The Folly of Avarice

It is told that in ancient China a Priest had hoarded a fine collection of Jewels, to which he was constantly adding, and of which he was inordinately proud.

One day when he was showing them to a friend, the latter feasted his eyes upon them for some time, and presently, upon taking leave, gratefully thanked his host for the Jewels.

“How is that,” cried the Priest, “you must have misunderstood! I have not given the Jewels to you, why do you thank me?”

“Well,” rejoined his friend, “I have at least had as much pleasure from looking at the Jewels, as you can possibly have. The only difference between us that I can see is that I am free from all care, while you have the trouble of guarding them.”

(Folklore of China. By N. D. Dennys, London, 1876.)