Monday, May 14, 2012
Charles Dickens, in "All the Year Round," says, "Some one was asked, 'What is genius?' He replied, 'A being who pays attention to trifles.' Columbus was about the best possible illustration of this. We know what an eye for incidents upon which to found conjectures he had. In the last days of his tour of discovery, when even he himself was a quarter disposed to turn back, and side with his men in their discontent at the barrenness of the voyage, he could bring forward that strong muster of trifling observations which together meant America.
'You know that we have for several days been able to fathom; and the nature of the material brought up by the lead seems to me auspicious. The clouds about the sun toward evening are of a different form and color from what they were a few days ago. The atmosphere, as you can feel, is warmer and softer than it was. The wind no longer blows with the same force, nor in so straightforward and unwavering a manner; it is inclined to hesitate and change, as though broken by some impediment. To these signs add that of the piece of sugar cane we discovered in the sea, which bore marks of having been recently severed, and the little branch of a tree with fresh red berries upon it; besides the swarms of birds thats pass over us, though they have deceived us before, are now so frequent and vast that I think there must be some special reason for their appearance. In short, all these omens together make me very hopeful and expectant."This was from the diary of Columbus.
Orison Swett Marden, The Secret of Achievement.