Rembrandt's oath

Rembrandt had a special way of painting. At times he would take an oath that he would not allow anyone to watch him paint. He wanted to work all by himself, in pin-drop silence. If anybody came near him, he would become furious.

He said to his friends and colleagues, "You think it is just because you are my friends, colleagues and students that I am behaving this way. But I tell you, it is not true. I will not give an audience even to the first monarch of the world when I do not want to see anybody.

"Rest assured, this is not my whim. This is my oath! When I do not want to do something, I will not do it. When I want something to be done, I will get it done by any means. Here I am telling you, even the greatest monarch of the world will not be able to see me while I am painting if I do not want to see him. In what way am I indebted to anybody on earth? Since I am not indebted, I am under no obligation to see the greatest monarch of the world. When I want to be all by myself, I am at perfect liberty to keep myself free."