A Thousand Offerings Burned

“Certain things are good for nothing until they have been kept for a long while; and some are good for nothing until they have been long kept and used. Of the first, wine is the the illustrious and immortal example. Of those which must be kept and used I will name three– meerschaum pipes, violins, and poems. The meerschaum is but a poor affair until it has burned a thousand offerings to the cloud-compelling deities… The fire is lighted in its central shrine, and gradually the juices which the broad leaves of the Great Vegetable have sucked up from an acre and curdled into a dram are diffused through its thirsting pores.”

– Oliver W. Holmes, The Autocrat of the Breakfast Table

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