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A child found in its garden a plant. Fair and stately it was, full of rosy buds, with green leaves strong and luminous. The child admired it greatly.
"How fair it is!" he said. "How full of light and fragrance! but how does it grow? One should know that."
He looked down, and saw that the plant came up out of the ground.
"This is strange!" he said. "How should so fair a thing come up out of this black and dirty soil? I must look to this!"
He dug away the soil, and found the roots of the plant, bare and twisted, clinging to the soil and dark with the touch of it.
"Ah!" said the child, "this is terrible. Has that fair crown of rose and green drawn its life from so foul a source as this? Oh, sorrow and shame!" and he wept, and wrung his hands.
As he sorrowed, the Angel of the Garden passed by, with her arms full of flowers and fruit.
"Little one," she said, "have you anything for me?"
"Alas!" said the child. "Look! I had this fair plant, the sweetest in the world, but I find that its life grows out of the black and ugly mould; its roots are black with it. Look! the flower begins to droop!"
"Yes," said the Angel. "Oh, the pity! you have killed it."
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In the 1600s, Balthasar Gracian, a jesuit priest wrote 300 aphorisms on living life called "The Art of Worldly Wisdom." Join our newsletter below and read them all, one at a time.
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