photo by woodley wonderworks
In celebration of the numerically whimsical date.
First: The most influential list of ten in the history of humanity:
The Ten Commandments
- You shall have no other gods before me.
- You shall not make for yourself any carved image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth; you shall not bow down to them nor serve them. For I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children to the third and fourth generations of those who hate me, but showing mercy to thousands, to those who love Me and keep My commandments.
- You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain, for the Lord will not hold him guiltless who takes His name in vain.
- Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord your God. In it you shall do no work: you, nor your son, nor your daughter, nor your manservant, nor your maidservant, nor your cattle, nor your stranger who is within your gates. For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested the seventh day. Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and hallowed it.
- Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long upon the land which the Lord your God is giving you.
- You shall not murder.
- You shall not commit adultery.
- You shall not steal.
- You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.
- You shall not covet your neighbor’s house; you shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, nor his manservant, nor his maidservant, nor his ox, nor his donkey, nor anything that is your neighbor’s.
Second: Other than the Bible (which I already gave the top spot), the all time top bestsellers according to Wikipedia:
1. A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens (1859, English)
2. The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien (1954, English)
3. The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien (1937, English)
4. Dream of the Red Chamber by Cao Xueqin (1759-1791, Chinese)
5. On the Three Representations by Jiang Zemin (2001, Chinese)
6. And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie (1939, English)
7. The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis (1950, English)
8. She by H. Rider Haggard (1887, English)
9. Le Petit Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupery (1943, French)
10. The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown (2003, English) [Okay, at the risk of looking like a literary snob, this kills me a little bit.]
Third: From the greatest writer in the English language, William Shakespeare’s Sonnet 10:
For shame deny that thou bear’st love to any,
Who for thyself art so unprovident.
Grant, if thou wilt, thou art beloved of many,
But that thou none lovest is most evident;
For thou art so possess’d with murderous hate
That ‘gainst thyself thou stick’st not to conspire.
Seeking that beauteous roof to ruinate
Which to repair should be thy chief desire.
O, change thy thought, that I may change my mind!
Shall hate be fairer lodged than gentle love?
Be, as thy presence is, gracious and kind,
Or to thyself at least kind-hearted prove:
Make thee another self, for love of me,
That beauty still may live in thine or thee.
Would love to hear what literary 10s you come up with. Better yet, what literary 11s since 11-11-11 will be here before we know it.