The quote comes to us from Pliny the Elder, who translates it from the Greek of the artist Apeles:
Nulla dies sine linea
Not a day without a line
Apeles, Greek painter, quoted by Pliny, Natural History 35.36
The artist Apeles means this to refer only to art. An artist should not let a single day pass without drawing something, even a single line on the medium.
But Dr. McCarthy cast a wonderful secondary sense upon it. Those of you who love languages, who love Scripture, who love learning of any topic whatsoever--never let a day pass without a line.
A line, a single line of text in that language you want to keep in your heart. A line of Scripture, open the Bible and read just a bit of what you see. Whatever it is you want to keep strong in ability, do just even a little bit of it every day.
Who am I to tell you all this? A shameful hypocrite. I haven't read so much as a line of the Syriac Dr. McCarthy taught me in--no more lying--years.
[Five Minutes Later]
I've just remedied that. I just read Matthew 1:1 in Syriac.
In other words, I've just read a line. Tomorrow is another day.
Requiescas in pace, David. Memory Eternal. May you be in a Place of Brightness, a Place of Verdure, a Place of Repose.
I promise you, David, tomorrow, I will read another line...
It's a bargain at 0.99 cents on Kindle (or affordably priced at $11.90 on paperback).
You'll travel back to ancient Rome on a harrowing mission to save the modern world. It's the adventure of four lifetimes.