The Cobbler and the banker
A cobbler passed his time in singing from morning till night;it was wonderful to see,wonderful to hear him;he was
more contented in shoes,than was any of the seven sages.His neighbor,on the contrary,who was rolling in wealth,sung
but little and slept less.He was a banker;when by chance he fell into a doze at day-break,the cobbler awoke him with
his song.The banker complained sadly that Providence had not made sleep a saleable commodity,like edibles or
drinkables.Having at length sent for the songster,he said to him,"How much a year do you earn,Master Gregory?"
"How much a year,sir?"said the merry cobbler laughing,"I have reckon in that way,living as I do from one day to
another;somehow I manage to reach the end of the year;each day brings its meal."
"Well then!How much a day do you earn,my friend?"
"Sometimes more,sometimes less;but the worst of it is,-and,without that our earnings would be very tolerable,-a
number of days occur in the year on which we are forbidden to work;and the curate,moreover,is constantly adding some
new saint to the list."
The banker,laughing at his simplicity,said,"In the future I shall place you above want.Take this hundred
crowns,preserve them carefully,and make use of them in time of need."
The cobbler fancied he beheld all the wealth which the earth had produced in the past century for the use of
mankind.Returning home,he buried his money and his happiness at the same time,No more singin;he lost his voice,the
moment he acquired that which is the source of so much grief.Sleep quitted his dwelling;and cares,suspicions,and
false alarms took its place,All day,his eye wandered in the direction of his treasure;and at night,if some stray cat
made a noise,the cat was robbing him.At length the poor man ran to the house of his rich neighbor;"Give my back."
said he,"sleep and my voice,and take your hundred crowns."