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C.D. Warner, et al., comp.  The Library of the World’s Best Literature.
An Anthology in Thirty Volumes.  1917.
 
The Charity of Sympathy
By Catulle Mendès (1841–1909)
 
From ‘The Humor of France’: Translation of Elizabeth Lee

ON the Spanish high-road, where the pretty lasses and the handsome lads arm-in-arm were returning from the Corrida, a young beggar, wrapped in his ragged cloak, asked alms, saying he had eaten nothing for two days. Judging from his miserable appearance and his hollow cheeks, it was plain he did not lie. However, no one took any heed of him, occupied as they were with singing and love. Must he be left to die of hunger, the handsome beggar, by the roadside?  1
  But three girls of twenty years, plump, laughing, stopped and took pity on him.  2
  The first gave him a real.  3
  “Thank you,” he said.  4
  The second gave him a smaller coin.  5
  “May God reward you,” he said.  6
  The third—the poorest and the prettiest—had neither small coins nor reals; she gave him a kiss. The starving man spoke never a word; but a flower-seller happening to come by, he spent all the money they had just given him on a big bunch of roses, and presented it to the pretty girl.  7
 
 
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