A moving story about a mermaid who longs for the shore. When mermaids come of age, they are allowed to rise above the water. When the little mermaid surfaces, she sees a prince. It's love at first sight. One day, he is drowning. She rescues him. She knows she loves him. She makes a pact with a witch to become a woman who walks on two legs. But part of the witch's pact is that the mermaid must give up her voice. The tale is heartbreaking.
"To the Dim Light and the Large Circle of Shade" by Dante Alighieri (poem)
A sestina. Young Dante sees a woman from a distance. Love at first sight. But only for him. She has no interest in him. A cold poem.
"Of Experience" by Michel de Montaigne (essay)
An essay about everything. Mostly about Montaigne and his life as an aged man, especial focus on his habits for meals, how he treats aches, pains, how he savors every happy moment and passes through the bad ones. Worth revisiting over and over again for Montaigne's breadth of understanding of the good life, which is more a matter of temperament than anything else.