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THE MISER AND HIS FRIEND. Jean de La Fontaine

A Miser once who′d got much money,
Was puzzled how to hide that honey;
For ignorance and love of gain
Being ever sisters twain,
Had left him at a total loss
Where to secrete his golden dross;
And why the Miser was so hot to find
A place of safety for his hoarded pelf,
Was simply the great fear that filled his mind,
That some day he should spend and rob himself:
Yes, rob himself by gathering pleasure
From the usage of his treasure.
Poor Miser! how I pity your mistake!
Wealth is not wealth unless we use it,
And when we do not we abuse it.
Why keep money till the sense
Of pleasure dies in impotence?
To gather gold alone is wretched slaving;
To have to watch it makes it not worth having.
However this may be, our Miser might
Have found some trusty banker for his gold;
But it seemed better, to his purblind sight,
To give it to the depths of earth to hold.
So with a comrade′s aid
It soon beneath the turf was laid;
But when a little time was past,
Our Miser going to re-visit
His buried treasure, found a huge deficit.
At first despair oppressed him; but at last
He hurried to his comrade, and he said—
"To-morrow I shall want your help again;
Some bags of gold still in my house remain,
And they had better with the rest be laid."
The comrade immediately hurried away,
And returned all the gold he had taken,
Intending to grasp the whole lot the next day;
But in this he was somewhat mistaken;
For the Miser grown wise by the loss of his store,
Resolved ′neath the earth to conceal it no more,
But to use and enjoy it; and thus the poor thief,
By being too clever, came headlong to grief.

In my belief there is no ill in
Playing the rascal to a villain.

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