Moral dissertation dictated by St. Louis to Ms. Ermance Dufaux (May 5th, 1858)
A man left very early in the morning, going to the market place to hire workers. Well, there he saw
two common men sitting down with their arms crossed. He then approached one and said: “What
are you doing?” The man responded: “I have no work.” The one who was looking for workers then
said: “Take your tool and come to my field, by the side of the mountain, where the southern wind
blows; you will cut the heathers and rotate the soil until it gets dark. The task is tough but you shall
earn a good salary.” The man of the people took his hoe onto his shoulder, thankful for all that, with
all his heart.
Since hearing this, the other worker stood up and said, while approaching the owner: “Sir, let me go
and also work in the field.” Having asked both men to follow him, he marched ahead leading the
way. Later, arriving at the foothill, he split the work in two and left.
As soon as the owner left, the last worker to be hired set the bushes on fire in his assigned spot on
the land, turning the soil with his hoe. The sweat poured from his face under the scorching sun. The
other worker imitated him, moaning in the beginning, but soon stopping, sticking the hoe on the
ground, sitting by his fellow’s side, watching him.
Sometime during the afternoon, the owner arrives to examine the work. Calling the hard worker he
congratulated him saying: “You worked well. Here is your payment.” He then sent him off, giving
him a silver coin. The other man approached, demanding his payment, but then the owner said:
“Lazy man, my bread will not feed your hunger as you left untouched the piece of land I entrusted
you. It is not fair that the one who did nothing be paid as the one who worked well.”
And then he left, not giving the man anything.
I tell you that neither the strength nor the intelligence of the spirit was given to man to spend his
days in idleness, but to be useful to his neighbors. Well, the one whose hands are empty and the idle
spirit shall be punished, having to restart his job.
Truly I tell you that when his time comes his life will be put aside as something useless. Understand
this as a comparison. Who among you, having a fruitless tree in the orchard, will not tell the
servant: “Take that tree down and throw it into the fire, for its branches are sterile?”
Well, as the tree will be cut down for its unfruitfulness, also the life of the lazy one will be thrown
in the garbage for been sterile as for the good deeds.