Columbus And The Egg





BY JAMES BALDWIN (ADAPTED) [8]







One day Columbus was at a dinner which a Spanish gentleman had given

in his honor, and several persons were present who were jealous of the

great admiral's success. They were proud, conceited fellows, and they

very soon began to try to make Columbus uncomfortable.



"You have discovered strange lands beyond the seas," they said, "but

what of that? We do not see why there should be so much said about

it. Anybody can sail across the ocean; and anybody can coast along the

islands on the other side, just as you have done. It is the simplest

thing in the world."



Columbus made no answer; but after a while he took an egg from a dish

and said to the company:--



"Who among you, gentlemen, can make this egg stand on end?"



One by one those at the table tried the experiment. When the egg had

gone entirely around and none had succeeded, all said that it could not

be done.



Then Columbus took the egg and struck its small end gently upon the

table so as to break the shell a little. After that there was no trouble

in making it stand upright.



"Gentlemen," said he, "what is easier than to do this which you said

was impossible? It is the simplest thing in the world. Anybody can do

it,--AFTER HE HAS BEEN SHOWN HOW!"





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