Gesta Romanorum Vol. I (1871)/Of an eternal Recompence

Gesta Romanorum Vol. I  (1871) 
Anonymous, translated by Charles Swan
Of an eternal Recompence



A king made a great feast, and despatched messengers with invitations, in which the guests were promised not only a magnificent entertainment, but considerable wealth. When the messengers had gone through town and country, executing every where the commands of their king, it happened that there dwelt in a certain city two men, of whom one was valiant and robustly made, but blind: while the other was lame and feeble, but his sight was excellent. Said the blind man to the lame, "My friend, our's is a hard case; for it is spread far and near that the king gives a great feast, at which every man will receive not only abundance of food but much wealth; and thou art lame, while I am blind: how then shall we get to the feast?" "Take my counsel," replied the lame man, "and we will obtain a share both of the dinner and wealth." "Verily," answered the other, "I will follow any counsel that may benefit me." "Well then," returned the blind man, "thou art stout of heart, and robust of body, and therefore, thou shalt carry me on thy back who am lame and weak. My eyes shall be as thine: and thus, for the loan of thy legs, I will lend thee my eyes; by means of which we shall reach the festival and secure the reward." "Be it as thou hast said," replied he of the legs; "get upon my back immediately." He did so; the lame man pointed the way, and the other carried him. They arrived at the feast, and received the same recompence as the rest. (66)


My beloved, the king is our Lord Jesus Christ, who prepared the feast of eternal life. The blind man is the powerful of this world, who are blind to their future safety. The lame man is any devout person, who has nothing in common with the man of the world, but sees the kingdom which is to come[1].

  1. The latter part of this moralization recommends "fideliter viris ecclesiasticis decimas dare. Si hæc feceritis nos viri religiosi tenemur vobis viam salutis ostendere quomodo poteritis ad vitam eternam pervenire." The monks never forgot this—"If you pay us, we will shew you the way; else, find it out yourself." Such was the burden of their song.

Note 66.Page 250.

This fable has crept in our story-books.