Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Cardinal Bembo had a desk with thirty divisions, or pigeon holes; and whenever he completed a sonnet, he put it into the first hole, whence he took it, after a certain interval, and having read and corrected it, put it into the next compartment. In a little time he would take it out, give it some more touches here and there, and promote it to another pigeon hole. In this way he used to make his sonnet run the gauntlet through all the crypts, till he took it from the last of them, a pure and perfect chrysolite.

Alonzo Cano, the Spanish sculptor, completed a beautiful statue in twenty-five days. When the sordid merchant who had employed him wished to pay him by the day, he cried out, indignantly, “Wretch! I have been at work twenty-five years, learning to make this stature in twenty-five days.”

It is said that the greatest sermon ever preached by Dr. Lyman Beecher, the father of Henry, -- one of the most powerful pulpit orators in America, -- was one on “The Government of God.” When asked, as he descended the pulpit steps, how long it took him to prepare that sermon, he replied, “About forty years, sir.”

The Will and the Way by William Mathews. Photo by Naret Visevongsa, Thailand

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