Friday Fable. (Sir Roger L'Estrange) Abstemius’s, “A Miser and his Bags.”

Posted by jlubans on December 11, 2015

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Caption: One of dozens of bronze sculptures by Tom Otterness, Nelson Rockefeller Park, NYC. Photo by author.

“A Covetous Rich Churl finding himself at the Point of Death, caus'd his Coffers to be brought up, and his Bags laid before him. You and I, says he, must part, and I would willingly bequeath ye to Those that will take most Delight in ye.
Why then, say the Bags, you must divide us betwixt your Heirs, and the Devils. Your Heirs will have Drink and Whores for your Money, and the Devils will be as well pleas'd on the other hand, that they are to have your Soul for't.”

“The Money of a Miser is the last Friend he takes his Leave of in this World.”

“That’s not what I wanted to hear,” sayeth the Churl. “I have loved you for so many years, I was hoping you’d come with me.”
“No? I thought – alas, wrongly - you loved me in return!”
Many of Tom Otterness’ sculptures in the Nelson Rockefeller installation are whimsical and mischievous, each suggesting just how a lust for cash can tie us down, enslave and stifle us.
Among the bronze moneygrubbers, penny pinchers, skinflints, cheapskates, and tightwads Otterness inserts the exploited and the downtrodden – the miser’s victims. Fortunately, all is not “dog eat dog”; he shows that happiness lies in simple things, in childhood innocence, in a mother’s love, in Nature.

*Source: Aesop’s Fables translated by Sir Roger L'Estrange, 1692.

© Copyright John Lubans 2015

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