幸運女神與乞丐 江銘輝 五夢網
題目： Fortune and the Beggar
A wretched beggar, carrying a ragged old wallet, was creeping along from house to house; and, as he grumbled at his lot, he kept wondering that folks who lived in rich apartments, and were up to their throats in money and in the sweets of indulgence, should be always unsatisfied, however full their pockets might be, and that they should go so far as often to lose all they have, while unreasonably craving for, and laying their hands on, new riches.
"Here, for instance," he says, "the former master of this house succeeded in trading prosperously, and made himself enormously rich by commerce. But then, instead of stopping, and handing over his business to another, 'and spending the rest of his years in peace, he took to' equipping ships for the sea in the spring. He expected to get mountains of gold; but the ships were smashed, and his treasures were swallowed up by the waves. Now they all he at the bottom of the sea, and he has found his riches melt away like those in dreams.
Another man became one of the farmers of the spirit-tax, and so gained a million. That was a trifle: he wanted to double it. So he plunged up to his ears in speculations, and was utterly ruined. In short, instances of this are countless. And quite right too: a man should use discretion."
At this moment Fortune suddenly appeared to the beggar, and said: "Listen I have long wished to help you. Here is a lot of ducats I have found. Hold out your wallet, and I will fill it with them; but only on this condition: All shall be gold that falls into the wallet; but if any of it falls out of the wallet to the ground, it shall all become dust. Consider this well. I have warned you beforehand. I shall keep strictly to my compact. Your wallet is old; don't overload it beyond its powers."
Our beggar is almost too overjoyed to breathe He scarcely feels the ground beneath his feet. He opens his wallet, and with generous hand a golden stream of ducats is poured into it. The wallet soon becomes rather heavy.
"Is that enough?"
"Isn't it cracking?"
"Consider, you're quite a Croesus."
"Just a little more;just add a handful."
"There, it's full. Take care: the wallet is going to burst.
"Just a little bit more." '
But at that moment the wallet split; the treasure fell through and turned to dust; and Fortune disappeared. The beggar had nothing but his empty wallet, and remained as poor as before.