Century Marks

Pain too shall pass: The great French painter August Renoir suffered from painful arthritis in his later years, and had to strap a brush to his paralyzed fingers to do his creating. When friends suggested he give up painting, Renoir responded, “Pain passes but beauty remains forever” (Paul Coutinho, S.J., in Just As You Are).

Speedy correction: Joshua Speed knew his friend Abraham Lincoln to be a religious skeptic, so he was mystified one evening in the summer of 1864 when he saw Lincoln poring over the pages of the Bible. Speed told the president, “If you have recovered from your skepticism, I am sorry to say that I have not.” To which Lincoln responded: “You are wrong, Speed. Take all of this book upon reason that you can, and the balance on faith, and you will live and die a happier and better man” (American History, October).


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