The rich and the poor Lazarus

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Transcript of The rich and the poor Lazarus

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    Poverty and Wealth by William Powell Frith, 1888

    The rich Lazarus The rich Lazarus The rich Lazarus The rich Lazarus

    Im 27, tall, slim, handsome, with long blond hair and blue eyes.

    Ive always enjoyed life. When I invite friends we always have a good time with good food and excellent wine. I detest all kinds of work. Whenever I purchase anything, it is for pure pleasure. I have no enemies.

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    I prefer pleasant relationships to complex ones. Im just happy to be myself and Id never exchange my fate for another. Sometimes, before I get to sleep, I enjoy lying in bed and reflecting. But Im not a philosopher so I never reach a conclusion. Then I comfortably surrender to sleep just like one who surrenders to the world as it is.

    Of course, I do realize there is misery around me but I accept it just like one who accepts stormy weather in the shelter of a warm home.

    Alas! There are so many homeless out there who make me wonder what I would do, if I were in their place. I immediately answer myself that I would never be in their shoes.

    No way! Its just a nightmare. By the way, I would like to mention a trifle coincidence that has been bothering me for a while now.

    As I said, my name is Lazarus. Now, at my doorsteps theres a beggar whose name is also Lazarus.

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    Hes about the same age as me.

    Hes also tall and blond and he might have been handsome, too if he were luckier.

    He must have been starving for ages. Hes skinny and filthy and his complexion is full of wounds. Sometimes I throw him the leftovers of my dinner table. I pity him, you see. But he also disgusts me. Hes so miserable.

    Only the dogs that gather around him to share his food dont seem to get disgusted. They just lick his wounds and he speaks to them as he feeds them.

    I dont know what to think and how to feel about him. Why was he born to suffer while I was born to enjoy? Anyway, life is life. Theres nothing common between us two except for the name. Theres a huge abyss between us which is bound to widen as time goes by because he gets poorer and more ill all the time while Im getting richer and happier.

    My friends have been asking me why I keep him at my doorstep. They cant stand the sight of him, neither his smell My girlfriends have to keep their garments away from him and his dogs when they cross my threshold.

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    But I let him lie there. I have the strange feeling he is soon going to die. Why, on Earth, has he chosen my doorsteps to die on?

    The poor LazarusThe poor LazarusThe poor LazarusThe poor Lazarus

    Im called Lazarus. All Ive ever been able to recall from my childhood is the sun glittering on the leaves of an apricot tree. Ive always been poor but healthy. Ever since my childhood it has been raining. Raindrops have been falling like a curse on me.

    Its soaked me to the bone. Its swept away my life, my home, even my skin. My bones have been aching so that Ive dropped half dead in front of this house.

    Just like a puppet whose strings were suddenly cut. Inside the house theres always fun but music doesnt seem to make me happy any longer I have been thrown food to survive and the lord of the house has been watching me eat.

    I feel it satisfies him when I eat. But Im afraid I wont be able to comfort him for much longer. Im seriously ill and Im about to die. Let him be satisfied hes kept me here till the end.

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    I might also be leaving him to relieve him from my burden. He wont have to cast me away.

    The rich LazarusThe rich LazarusThe rich LazarusThe rich Lazarus

    Who would have guessed that I died along with the poor Lazarus this spring! That was far beyond my expectations Neither had I ever expected to find myself in a place like this. So unpleasant, quite unlike my place! Here it stinks of burning rubber. Somebody has been throwing tinder sticks to keep this fire burning eternally. Ive been waiting for someone to explain to me why I have come to Hell. Ive never killed or robbed anyone. I still cant believe that indifference is the greatest sin.

    The poor LazarusThe poor LazarusThe poor LazarusThe poor Lazarus

    My complexion is now clean and smooth. Ive been lying in the shadow of an apricot tree. It feels as if I had never left this place. Im sure now Ive always been a happy man!

    The rich LazarusThe rich LazarusThe rich LazarusThe rich Lazarus

    I have started to realize that I am being punished for the ease with which I used to fall asleep.

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    Back on earth I have five siblings; Theyre called ..

    Theyve been enjoying comfort and luxury without ever suspecting that nothing is to be taken for granted. Totally unaware of the fact that Life does not belong to them.

    Ive been praying to Lord and begging dear Lazarus to give them a chance of seeing and feeling before it is too late

    Before their last breath is taken, before their names are forgotten, before the End is written in their books by the angels, before the game is over and while theyre still lying in their warm beds in total cosiness and apathy, I beg you, LORD, batter their hearts!

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