Finishing on Three Strings

In the life of Ole Bull, great violinist and Freemason, there was an incident from which should come encouragement and Inspiration for those who find themselves confronted with what seem to be insurmountable difficulties. During one of Old Bull’s greatest concerts, when he had partly completed one of his own great compositions, his “A” string broke. Had this happened to a lesser artist, there certainly would have been an interruption, and possibly a display of artistic temperament; but Ole Bull didn’t hesitate. He completed the composition and applause was thunderous, but the conclusion was not the original one. He had improvised on three strings for the portion of the original composition which had not been completed. He finished on three strings.

Let us get inspiration from some notable examples of those who have overcome severe handicaps, who “finished on three strings.

Lack of school education is considered by some an insuffnountable obstacle, but Abraham Lincoln had almost no school education. Yet what gifted scholar will attempt to produce another Gettysburg address? Old Abe made the Bible his three stringed violin.

Loss of eyesight is considered by many an insurmountable handicap, yet Milton did some of his greatest writing and brought light to the world with his epic poems, Paradise Lost and Paradise Regained, after he had lost his eyesight. He finished on three strings.

Caesar was an epileptic but see where he went on three strings!

Beethoven, after becoming deaf, wrote some of the most beautiful music the world has ever known, He finished on three strings.

Napoleon was a runt; but even though I can express no admiration for him. he certainly bulks large in history. He finished on three strings.

Lord Byron was club-footed, Robert Louis Stevenson was tubercular, and Annette Kellerman was a paralytic. All of these succeeded with only three strings.

When seemingly insurmountable difficulties confront us, let us think of Ole Bull and his broken “A” string and of those others who pushed handicaps aside and finished on three strings.