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    FUTILITY

    One night a thief broke into the single-room apartment of French novelist Honore de Balzac. Trying to avoid waking Balzac, the intruder quietly picked the lock on the writer's desk. Suddenly the silence was broken by a sardonic laugh from the bed, where Balzac lay watching the thief. "Why do you laugh?" asked the thief. "I am laughing to think what risks you take to try to find money in a desk by night where the legal owner can never find any by day."

    Today in the Word, November 6, 1993.


    Poetry

    Tomorrow, and tomorrow and tomorrow
    creeps in this petty pace from day to day,
    To the last syllable of recorded time,
    And all our yesterdays have lighted fools
    The way to dusty death. Out, Out, brief candle
    Life's but a walking shadow, a poor player
    That struts and frets his hour upon the stage
    and then is heard no more. It is a tale
    Told by an idiot. Full of sound and fury
    signifying nothing.

    Shakespeare, Macbeth V., v., 17.