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The Covetous Man

Fables

Aesop

A poor covetous wretch, who had scraped together a good parcel of money, went and dug a hole in one of his fields and hid it. The great pleasure of his life was to go and look upon this treasure once a day at least; which one of his servants observing, and guessing there was something more than ordinary in the place, came at night, found it, and carried it off. The next day, returning as usual to the scene of his delight, and perceiving it had been stolen away from him, he tore his hair for grief, and uttered the doleful complaints of his despair to the woods and meadows. At last, a neighbour of his, who knew his temper, overhearing him, and being informed of the occasion of his sorrow, "Cheer up, man!" says he, "thou has lost nothing; there is the hole for thee to go and peep at still; and if thou canst but fancy thy money there, it will do just as well."

MORAL.

Money, well used, has its full value; but when allowed to lie useless to others or to one's self, it possesses no more value than a heap of oyster shells. Avarice is, therefore, a silly as well as a sinful vice. Use your wealth in doing good, and its highest value will be attained.

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