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Postby Bambang » Mon Aug 20, 2007 7:58 am

**Elena** wrote:There is very instructive incident involving the life of Alexander, the great Greek king.

Alexander, after conquering many kingdoms, was returning home. On the way, he fell ill and it took him to his death bed. With death staring him in his face, Alexander realized how his conquests, his great army, his sharp sword and all his wealth were of no consequence.

He now longed to reach home to see his mother's face and bid her his last adieu. But, he had to accept the fact that his sinking health would not permit Him to reach his distant homeland. So,
the mighty conqueror lay prostrate and pale, helplessly waiting to breathe his last. He called his generals and said, "I will depart from this world soon,

I have three wishes, please carry them out without fail." With tears flowing down .Their cheeks, the generals agreed to abide by their king's last wishes.

"My first desire is that," said Alexander, "My physicians alone must carry my coffin." After a pause, he continued, "Secondly, I desire that when my coffin is being carried to the grave, the path leading to the graveyard be strewn with gold, silver and precious stones which I have collected in my treasury.

" The king felt exhausted after saying this. He took a minute's rest and continued. "My third and last wish is that both my hands be kept dangling out of my coffin."

The people who had gathered there wondered at the king's strange wishes. But no one dare bring the question to their lips. Alexander's favorite general kissed his hand and pressed them to his heart. "O king, we assure you that your wishes will all be fulfilled. But tell us why do you make such strange wishes?"

At this Alexander took a deep breath and said: "I would like the world to know of the three lessons I have just learnt. I want my physicians to carry my coffin because people should realize that no doctor can really cure any body. They are powerless and cannot save a person from the clutches of death. So let not people take life for granted.


The second wish of strewing gold, silver and other riches on the way to the graveyard is to tell People that not even a fraction of gold will come with me. I spent all my life earning riches but cannot take anything with me. Let people realize that it is a sheer waste of time to chase wealth.

And about my third wish of having my hands dangling out of the coffin, I wish people to know that I came empty handed into this world and empty handed I go out of this world."

With these words, the king closed his eyes. Soon he let death conquer him and breathed his last. . . . .


I like the moral of this story.

First, life and death is God's business.

Second, don't be too greedy in earning money.

Third, We'll bring nothing to the hereafter life except good deeds we do in this temporary world.
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Postby Krisi » Mon Aug 20, 2007 8:59 am

bambang wrote:I like the moral of this story.
First, life and death is God's business.
Second, don't be too greedy in earning money.
Third, We'll bring nothing to the hereafter life except good deeds we do in this temporary world.


Nice words uncle bambang.

I love the story too.
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Postby Krisi » Mon Aug 20, 2007 9:12 am

This is very touching. Felt sad.
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Postby **Elena** » Mon Aug 20, 2007 9:49 am

ITS A VERY NICE AND FUNNY SHORT STORY

The Romance of a Busy Broker by O.Henry

PITCHER, CONFIDENTIAL CLERK in the office of Harvey Maxwell, broker, allowed a look of mild interest and surprise to visit his usually
expressionless countenance when his employer briskly entered at half past nine in company with his young lady stenographer. With a snappy `Good morning, Pitcher,' Maxwell dashed at his desk as though he were intending to leap over it, and then plunged into the great heap of letters and telegrams waiting there for him. The young lady had been Maxwell's stenographer for a year. She was
beautiful in a way that was decidedly unstenographic. She forwent the pomp of the alluring pompadour. She wore no chains, bracelets or lockets. She had not the air of being about to accept an invitation to luncheon. Her dress was grey and plain, but it 8tted her figure with fidelity and discretion. In her neat black turban hat was the gold-green wing of a macaw. On this morning she was softly and shyly radiant. Her eyes were dreamily bright, her cheeks genuine peachblow, her expression a happy one, tinged with reminiscence. Pitcher, still mildly curious, noticed a difference in her ways this morning. Instead of going straight into the adjoining room, where her desk was, she lingered, slightly irresolute, in the outer office. Once she moved over by Maxwell's desk, near enough for him to be aware of her presence. The machine sitting at that desk was no longer a man; it was a busy New York broker, moved by buzzing wheels and uncoiling springs.
`Well - what is it? Anything?' asked Maxwell sharply. His opened mail lay like a bank of stage snow on his crowded desk. His keen grey eye, impersonal and brusque, flashed upon her half impatiently.
`Nothing,' answered the stenographer, moving away with a little smile.
`Mr. Pitcher,' she said to the confidential clerk, `did Mr. Maxwell say anything yesterday about engaging another stenographer?'
`He did,' answered Pitcher. `He told me to get another one. I notified the agency yesterday afternoon to send over a few samples
this morning. It's 9.45 o'clock, and not a single picture hat or piece of pineapple chewing gum has showed up yet.'
`I will do the work as usual, then,' said the young lady, `until someone comes to fill the place.' And she went to her desk at once and hung the black turban hat with the gold-green macaw wing in its accustomed place. He who has been denied the spectacle of a busy Manhattan broker during a rush of business is handicapped for the profession of anthropology. The poet sings of the `crowded hour of glorious life.' The broker's hour is not only crowded, but the minutes and seconds are hanging to all the straps and packing both front and rear platforms. And this day was Harvey Maxwell's busy day. The ticker began to reel out jerkily its fitful coils of tape, the desk telephone had a chronic attack of buzzing. Men began to throng into the office and call at him over the railing, jovially, sharply, viciously, excitedly. Messenger boys ran in and out with messages and telegrams. The clerks in the office jumped about like sailors during a storm. Even Pitcher's face relaxed into something resembling animation. On the Exchange there were hurncanes and landslides and snowstorms and glaciers and volcanoes, and those elemental disturbances were reproduced in miniature in the broker's offices. Maxwell shoved his chair against the wall and transacted business after the manner of a toe-dancer. He jumped from ticker to 'phone, from desk to door with the trained agility of a harlequin. In the midst of this growing and important stress the broker became suddenly aware of a high-rolled fringe of golden hair under a nodding canopy of velvet and ostrich tips, an imitation sealskin sacque and a string of beads as large as hickory nuts, ending near the floor with a silver heart. There was a self possessed young lady connected with these accessories; and Pitcher was there to construe her.
`Lady from the Stenographer's Agency to see about the position,' said Pitcher.
Maxwell turned half around, with his hands full of papers and ticker tape.
`What position?' he asked, with a frown.
`Position of stenographer,' said Pitcher. `You told me yesterday to call them up and have one sent over this morning.
`You are losing your mind, Pitcher,' said Maxwell. `Why should I have given you any such instructions? Miss Leslie has given perfect
satisfaction during the year she has been here. The place is hers as long as she chooses to retain it. There's no place open here, madam. Countermand that order with the agency, Pitcher, and don't bring any more of'em in here.'
The silver heart left the office, swinging and banging itself independently against the office furniture as it indignantly departed.
Pitcher seized a moment to remark to the bookkeeper that the `old man' seemed to get more absent-minded and forgetful every day of the world. The rush and pace of business grew fiercer and faster. On the floor they were pounding half a dozen stocks in which Maxwell's Gustomers were heavy investors. Orders to buy and sell were coming and going as swift as the flight of swallows. Some of his own holdings were imperilled, and the man was working like some high-geared, delicate, strong machine - strung to fall tension, going at fall speed, accurate, never hesitating, with the proper word and decision and act ready and prompt as clockwork. Stocks and bonds, loans and mortgages, margins and securities - here was a world of finance, and there was no room in it for the human world or the world of nature. When the luncheon hour drew near there came a slight lull in the uproar.
Maxwell stood by his desk with his hands full of telegrams and memoranda, with a fountain pen over his right ear and his hair hanging in disorderly strings over his forehead. His window was open, for the beloved janitress Spring had turned on a little warmth through the waking registers of the earth.
And through the window came a wandering - perhaps a lost odour - a delicate, sweet odour of lilac that fixed the broker for a moment immovable. For this odour belonged to Miss Leslie; it was her own, and hers only.
The odour brought her vividly, alinost tangibly before him. The world of finance dwindled suddenly to a speck. And she was in the next room - twenty steps away.
`By George, I'll do it now,' said Maxwell, half aloud. `I'll ask her now. I wonder I didn't do it long ago.'
He dashed into the inner office with the haste of a short trying to cover. He charged upon the desk of the stenographer.
She looked up at him with a smile. A soft pink crept over her cheek, and her eyes were kind and frank. Maxwell leaned one elbow on
her desk. He still clutched fluttering papers with both hands and the pen was above his ear.
`Miss Leslie,' he began hurriedly, `I have but a moment to spare. I want to say something in that moment. Will you be my wife? I haven't had time to make love to you in the ordinary way, but I really do love you. Talk quick, please - those fellows are clubbing the stuffing out of Union Pacific.'
`Oh, what are you talking about?' exclaimed the young lady. She rose to her feet and gazed upon him, round-eyed.
`Don't you understand?' said Maxwell restively. `I want you to marry me. I love you, Miss Leslie. I wanted to tell you, and I
snatched a minute when things had slackened up a bit. They're calling me for the 'phone now. Tell 'em to wait a minute, Pitcher. Won't you, Miss Leslie?'
The stenographer acted very queerly. At first she seemed overcome with amazement; then tears flowed from her wondering eyes; and then she smiled sunnily through them, and one of her arms slid tenderly about the broker's neck.
`I know now,' she said softly. `It's this old business that has driven everything else out of your head for the time. I was frightened
at first. Don't you remember, Harvey? We were married last evening at eight o'clock in the Little Church Around the Corner.'
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Postby Bambang » Mon Aug 20, 2007 3:25 pm

The love of mothers to their children has no border.
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Postby Bambang » Mon Aug 20, 2007 3:36 pm

Bravo.
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Postby **Elena** » Tue Aug 21, 2007 9:29 am

A Service Of Love also by O. Henry

When one loves one's Art no service seems too hard.

That is our premise. This story shall draw a conclusion from it, and show at the same time that the premise is incorrect. That will be a new thing in logic, and a feat in story-telling somewhat older than the great wall of China.
Joe Larrabee came out of the post-oak flats of the Middle West pulsing with a genius for pictorial art. At six he drew a picture of the town pump with a prominent citizen passing it hastily. This effort was framed and hung in the drug store window by the side of the ear of corn with an uneven number of rows. At twenty he left for New York with a flowing necktie and a capital tied up somewhat closer.
Delia Caruthers did things in six octaves so promisingly in a pine- tree village in the South that her relatives chipped in enough in her chip hat for her to go "North" and "finish." They could not see her f--, but that is our story.
Joe and Delia met in an atelier where a number of art and music students had gathered to discuss chiaroscuro, Wagner, music, Rembrandt's works, pictures, Waldteufel, wall paper, Chopin and Oolong.
Joe and Delia became enamoured one of the other, or each of the other, as you please, and in a short time were married--for (see above), when one loves one's Art no service seems too hard.
Mr. and Mrs. Larrabee began housekeeping in a flat. It was a lonesome flat--something like the A sharp way down at the left-hand end of the keyboard. And they were happy; for they had their Art, and they had each other. And my advice to the rich young man would be--sell all thou hast, and give it to the poor--janitor for the privilege of living in a flat with your Art and your Delia.
Flat-dwellers shall indorse my dictum that theirs is the only true happiness. If a home is happy it cannot fit too close--let the dresser collapse and become a billiard table; let the mantel turn to a rowing machine, the escritoire to a spare bedchamber, the washstand to an upright piano; let the four walls come together, if they will, so you and your Delia are between. But if home be the other kind, let it be wide and long--enter you at the Golden Gate, hang your hat on Hatteras, your cape on Cape Horn and go out by the Labrador.
Joe was painting in the class of the great Magister--you know his fame. His fees are high; his lessons are light--his high-lights have brought him renown. Delia was studying under Rosenstock--you know his repute as a disturber of the piano keys.
They were mighty happy as long as their money lasted. So is every-- but I will not be cynical. Their aims were very clear and defined. Joe was to become capable very soon of turning out pictures that old gentlemen with thin side-whiskers and thick pocketbooks would sandbag one another in his studio for the privilege of buying. Delia was to become familiar and then contemptuous with Music, so that when she saw the orchestra seats and boxes unsold she could have sore throat and lobster in a private dining-room and refuse to go on the stage.
But the best, in my opinion, was the home life in the little flat-- the ardent, voluble chats after the day's study; the cozy dinners and fresh, light breakfasts; the interchange of ambitions--ambitions interwoven each with the other's or else inconsiderable--the mutual help and inspiration; and--overlook my artlessness--stuffed olives and cheese sandwiches at 11 p.m.
But after a while Art flagged. It sometimes does, even if some switchman doesn't flag it. Everything going out and nothing coming in, as the vulgarians say. Money was lacking to pay Mr. Magister and Herr Rosenstock their prices. When one loves one's Art no service seems too hard. So, Delia said she must give music lessons to keep the chafing dish bubbling.
For two or three days she went out canvassing for pupils. One evening she came home elated.
"Joe, dear," she said, gleefully, "I've a pupil. And, oh, the loveliest people! General--General A. B. Pinkney's daughter--on Seventy-first street. Such a splendid house, Joe--you ought to see the front door! Byzantine I think you would call it. And inside! Oh, Joe, I never saw anything like it before.
"My pupil is his daughter Clementina. I dearly love her already. She's a delicate thing-dresses always in white; and the sweetest, simplest manners! Only eighteen years old. I'm to give three lessons a week; and, just think, Joe! $5 a lesson. I don't mind it a bit; for when I get two or three more pupils I can resume my lessons with Herr Rosenstock. Now, smooth out that wrinkle between your brows, dear, and let's have a nice supper."
"That's all right for you, Dele," said Joe, attacking a can of peas with a carving knife and a hatchet, "but how about me? Do you think I'm going to let you hustle for wages while I philander in the regions of high art? Not by the bones of Benvenuto Cellini! I guess I can sell papers or lay cobblestones, and bring in a dollar or two."
Delia came and hung about his neck.
"Joe, dear, you are silly. You must keep on at your studies. It is not as if I had quit my music and gone to work at something else. While I teach I learn. I am always with my music. And we can live as happily as millionaires on $15 a week. You mustn't think of leaving Mr. Magister."
"All right," said Joe, reaching for the blue scalloped vegetable dish. "But I hate for you to be giving lessons. It isn't Art. But you're a trump and a dear to do it."
"When one loves one's Art no service seems too hard," said Delia.
"Magister praised the sky in that sketch I made in the park," said Joe. "And Tinkle gave me permission to hang two of them in his window. I may sell one if the right kind of a moneyed idiot sees them."
"I'm sure you will," said Delia, sweetly. "And now let's be thankful for Gen. Pinkney and this veal roast."
During all of the next week the Larrabees had an early breakfast. Joe was enthusiastic about some morning-effect sketches he was doing in Central Park, and Delia packed him off breakfasted, coddled, praised and kissed at 7 o'clock. Art is an engaging mistress. It was most times 7 o'clock when he returned in the evening.
At the end of the week Delia, sweetly proud but languid, triumphantly tossed three five-dollar bills on the 8x10 (inches) centre table of the 8x10 (feet) flat parlour.
Sometimes," she said, a little wearily, "Clementina tries me. I'm afraid she doesn't practise enough, and I have to tell her the same things so often. And then she always dresses entirely in white, and that does get monotonous. But Gen. Pinkney is the dearest old man! I wish you could know him, Joe. He comes in sometimes when I am with Clementina at the piano--he is a widower, you know--and stands there pulling his white goatee. 'And how are the semiquavers and the demisemiquavers progressing?' he always asks.
"I wish you could see the wainscoting in that drawing-room, Joe! And those Astrakhan rug portieres. And Clementina has such a funny little cough. I hope she is stronger than she looks. Oh, I really am getting attached to her, she is so gentle and high bred. Gen. Pinkney's brother was once Minister to Bolivia."
And then Joe, with the air of a Monte Cristo, drew forth a ten, a five, a two and a one--all legal tender notes--and laid them beside Delia's earnings.
"Sold that watercolour of the obelisk to a man from Peoria," he announced overwhelmingly.
"Don't joke with me," said Delia, "not from Peoria!"
"All the way. I wish you could see him, Dele. Fat man with a woollen muffler and a quill toothpick. He saw the sketch in Tinkle's window and thought it was a windmill at first, he was game, though, and bought it anyhow. He ordered another--an oil sketch of the Lackawanna freight depot--to take back with him. Music lessons! Oh, I guess Art is still in it."
"I'm so glad you've kept on," said Delia, heartily. "You're bound to win, dear. Thirty-three dollars! We never had so much to spend before. We'll have oysters to-night."
"And filet mignon with champignons," said Joe. "Were is the olive fork?"
On the next Saturday evening Joe reached home first. He spread his $18 on the parlour table and washed what seemed to be a great deal of dark paint from his hands.
Half an hour later Delia arrived, her right hand tied up in a shapeless bundle of wraps and bandages.
"How is this?" asked Joe after the usual greetings. Delia laughed, but not very joyously.
Clementina," she explained, "insisted upon a Welsh rabbit after her lesson. She is such a queer girl. Welsh rabbits at 5 in the afternoon. The General was there. You should have seen him run for the chafing dish, Joe, just as if there wasn't a servant in the house. I know Clementina isn't in good health; she is so nervous. In serving the rabbit she spilled a great lot of it, boiling hot, over my hand and wrist. It hurt awfully, Joe. And the dear girl was so sorry! But Gen. Pinkney!--Joe, that old man nearly went distracted. He rushed downstairs and sent somebody--they said the furnace man or somebody in the basement--out to a drug store for some oil and things to bind it up with. It doesn't hurt so much now."
"What's this?" asked Joe, taking the hand tenderly and pulling at some white strands beneath the bandages.
"It's something soft," said Delia, "that had oil on it. Oh, Joe, did you sell another sketch?" She had seen the money on the table.
"Did I?" said Joe; "just ask the man from Peoria. He got his depot to-day, and he isn't sure but he thinks he wants another parkscape and a view on the Hudson. What time this afternoon did you burn your hand, Dele?"
"Five o'clock, I think," said Dele, plaintively. "The iron--I mean the rabbit came off the fire about that time. You ought to have seen Gen. Pinkney, Joe, when--"
"Sit down here a moment, Dele," said Joe. He drew her to the couch, sat beside her and put his arm across her shoulders.
"What have you been doing for the last two weeks, Dele?" he asked.
She braved it for a moment or two with an eye full of love and stubbornness, and murmured a phrase or two vaguely of Gen. Pinkney; but at length down went her head and out came the truth and tears.
"I couldn't get any pupils," she confessed. "And I couldn't bear to have you give up your lessons; and I got a place ironing shirts in that big Twentyfourth street laundry. And I think I did very well to make up both General Pinkney and Clementina, don't you, Joe? And when a girl in the laundry set down a hot iron on my hand this afternoon I was all the way home making up that story about the Welsh rabbit. You're not angry, are you, Joe? And if I hadn't got the work you mightn't have sold your sketches to that man from Peoria.
"He wasn't from Peoria," said Joe, slowly.
"Well, it doesn't matter where he was from. How clever you are, Joe --and--kiss me, Joe--and what made you ever suspect that I wasn't giving music lessons to Clementina?"
"I didn't," said Joe, "until to-night. And I wouldn't have then, only I sent up this cotton waste and oil from the engine-room this afternoon for a girl upstairs who had her hand burned with a smoothing-iron. I've been firing the engine in that laundry for the last two weeks."
"And then you didn't--"
"My purchaser from Peoria," said Joe, "and Gen. Pinkney are both creations of the same art--but you wouldn't call it either painting or music.
And then they both laughed, and Joe began:
"When one loves one's Art no service seems--"
But Delia stopped him with her hand on his lips. "No," she said-- "just 'When one loves.'"
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Postby Andrianna » Tue Aug 21, 2007 11:31 am

Oh! I'm crying... :cry: very-very impressive
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Postby Bambang » Wed Aug 22, 2007 4:51 pm

G r e a t
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Postby Krisi » Thu Sep 27, 2007 12:40 am

I love this, Elena...Image...
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