Gesta Romanorum Vol. I (1871)/Of the Rigor of Death

Gesta Romanorum Vol. I  (1871) 
Anonymous, translated by Charles Swan
Of the Rigor of Death

TALE XXXI.

OF THE RIGOR OF DEATH.

We read, that at the death of Alexander, a golden sepulchre was constructed, and that a number of philosophers assembled round it. One said—"Yesterday, Alexander made a treasure of gold: and now gold makes a treasure of him." Another observed—"Yesterday, the whole world was not enough to satiate his ambition; to-day, three or four ells of cloth are more than sufficient." A third said—"Yesterday, Alexander commanded the people; to-day the people command him." Another said—"Yesterday, Alexander could enfranchise thousands; to-day he cannot free himself from the bonds of death." Another remarked—"Yesterday, he pressed the earth; to-day it oppresses him." "Yesterday," continued another, "All men feared Alexander; to-day men repute him nothing." Another said, "Yesterday, Alexander had a multitude of friends; to-day, not one." Another said, "Yesterday, Alexander led on an army; to-day, that army bears him to the grave."


APPLICATION.

My beloved, any one may be called Alexander who is rich and worldly-minded; and to him may the observations of the philosophers be truly applied.