Tuesday, March 18, 2014
As you pass by
Such as thou art, sometime was I.
Such as I am, such shalt thou be.
I thought little on th'our of Death
So long as I enjoyed breath.
But now a wretched captive am I,
Deep in the ground, lo here I lie.
My beauty great, is all quite gone,
My flesh is wasted to the bone.
This epitaph was paraphrased frequently in later years, and I saw it myself on a gravestone dating to the eighteenth century:
Behold, O man, as you pass by,
As you are now, so once was I.
As I am now, you soon must be.
Repent, prepare to follow me.
Most of this past weekend was spent at the Northwest Coin Club’s annual Money Show. I had volunteered to collect donations from the vendors for Sunday’s Youth Auction – and to serve as a “spotter” at the auction. Between times, I sat at a long table in the “Bourse Room” – where coin vendors plied their trade – to answer questions. I brought my laptop along and got some writing done. I also bought three coins. In ascending price they were a 2013 Sacegewea dollar, the one with a turtle, turkey and wolf on the reverse (I’ve been looking for that particular issue for over a year); a silver Peace Dollar, the one with the lovely young woman’s head on the obverse (face); and a King James I of England shilling. (James was born in 1566 and a year later became King James VI of Scotland. He succeeded to the English crown on the death of Elizabeth I in 1603. He died in 1625. James sponsored the translation of the Bible that is named after him.) I also continued my education on the Morgan silver dollar, and will use it in the book I’m writing.
Another buy: I stopped at an antique store in Minneapolis and bought a small lidded Chinese box made of cinnabar – another item that will be featured in the book. Well, the one in the book is bigger, much older, and far more costly than the little thing I bought. But I needed to get a close-up look at some cinnabar, and our Institute of Arts, while they have some, would not let me handle any of it – and I needed to actually touch it for the book The box I bought is about four and a quarter inches long, three and a quarter wide and maybe one and a half inches deep.