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Gesta Romanorum Vol. II (1871)/Of Envy toward the Good




There once lived in the same city four physicians, well skilled in medicine. The younger of them, however, excelled the other three; insomuch that the sick went only to him. This excited the envy of the rest, and talking together upon this subject, they said, "How shall we get rid of that troublesome fellow? every body runs to him, and our gains are a mere trifle." "Why," said one, "you know he goes every week on a visit to the duke, about three leagues off. Now I will go a league beyond the city on the day he takes this journey, and there await his coming. You shall be stationed at the second league, and our fellow here, at the third. And when he has advanced the first league, I will meet him and make the sign of the cross before him. Both of you must do the like. He will then ask the reason of this, and we will answer, 'Because you are a leper;' and his fear will certainly occasion it. Thus diseased, no one will approach him." And so it was done.


My beloved, by the three physicians who infected the fourth, three vices are signified, the devil, the world and the flesh. The fourth physician is a good Christian.