MORE ANECDOTES OF THE GREAT
by J. Maurus
1) Oberlin, German philanthropist, was journeying through a snowstorm, near
Strasbourg, and lost his way. He was rescued from death by a wagoner who
came after Oberlin had sunk in the drifts. The man refused any reward.
'Tell me your name at least,' said Oberlin. 'Tell me,' was the reply, 'the name
of the Good Samaritan.' 'His name is not recorded,' said Oberlin,
wondering. 'Then let me withhold mine,' said the rescuer.
2) The crew of Christopher Columbus was something of a melting pot. President
John F. Kennedy, in his book, A Nation of Immigrants, wrote, "The three
ships which discovered America sailed under a Spanish flag, were commanded by a
Italian sea captain, and included in their crew an Englishman, an Irishman, a
Jew and a Negro."
3) Marian Anderson, who captured the hearts of millions with her soulful
singing, once expressed, her idea of brotherhood this way: 'I dream of a day
where there will be better understanding among people. When I sing, I
don't want them to see that my face is black; I don't want them to see that my
face is white--I want them to see my soul. And that is colorless.'
4) Cyrus, king of Persia, one of the most successful and glorious kings, wrote
this epitaph for himself:
'O man, whatsoever you are, and whencesoever you come, I know you will come to
the same condition in which I now am. I am Cyrus, who brought the empire
to the Persians: do not envy me, I beseech you, this little piece of
ground which covers my body.'
5) An American college student, visiting Beethoven's home at Bonn, asked
permission to play on the piano. After playing a few bars of the
Moonlight Sonata she turned to the guard and said, 'I suppose all of the
great pianists have played during visits here.' 'No Miss,' the
guard said. 'Paderewski was here two years ago but said he was not
worthy to touch it.'
6) Charles W.
Eliot, famous president of Harvard University, was being honored one night by a
group of well-known educators.
"Permit me to congratulate you on the miracles you have performed
at the university," said one educator. "Since you became
president, Harvard has become a storehouse of knowledge." "That is
true," laughed Eliot. "But I scarcely deserve the credit for
that. It is simply that the freshmen bring so much and the seniors take
away so little."
7) Andrew Carnegie, the multi-millionaire industrialist, was once asked what he
considered the most important factor in industry -- labor, capital or
brains. Quickly, Carnegie replied: "Which is the most
important of a three-legged stool?"
8) On his death-bed Governor Hogg of Texas requested that no
monument be placed at his grave; but that instead, there be planted, 'at my
head a pecan tree, and at my feet an old fashioned walnut, and when these trees
shall bear, let the pecans and walnuts be given out among the plains people of
Texas, so that they may plant them and make Texas a land of trees.' His wishes
were carried out. The first nuts were saved in 1926 and planted in
nursery rows. And the same thing has been done each year since. When the
saplings are large enough to transplant they are distributed to schools
and country boards.
9) A man of piety complained to the Baalshem, saying, 'I have labored hard and
long in the service of the Lord, and yet I haven't improved. I am still
an ordinary and ignorant person. The Baalshem answered, 'You have gained the
realization that you are ordinary and ignorant, and this is itself a worthy
10) A quite illuminating sentence comes from the Journal of French author Andre
Gide. Writing about his visit to Italy, he records, 'I found Rome
most boring, but that was because I did not find myself interesting there.'
11) When Lycurgus, king and legislator of Sparta, was away from his country,
the Spartans consulted him about the most effective means to repel their
enemies: 'You will be invincible,' he wrote, 'if you keep yourselves poor
12) C.S. Lewis in his book, The Problem of Pain, wrote, 'God
whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks to us in our conscience, but shouts in
13) On his deathbed, wrecked with pain, Schopenhauer cried
out, 'Oh, God! God!' The doctor asked him, 'What! Is there a God in
your philosophy?' 'Ah,' replied the philosopher, 'in suffering, philosophy
without God is insufficient.'
14) John Kepler, upon discovering his third law, intoned the following canticle
to the divine wisdom: 'Our God is great, his power is great and his mercy is
infinite. Praise him, heaven and earth, sun and moon and stars in your
own language. Let my soul praise him, the Lord, the Creator, as much as
it can. His be glory, respect and praise for ever and ever. Amen.'
15) The favorite answer of E. I. Bosworth to the question, 'How do
you know there is a God?' was an anecdote about a small boy whom he once
met flying a kite so high that it was out of sight. To the query,
'How do you know there is any kite there at all?' the boy replied,
'I feel the pull of it.'