A Miser sold all that he had and bought a lump of gold, which
he buried in a hole in the ground by the side of an old wall
and went to look at daily. One of his workmen observed his
frequent visits to the spot and decided to watch his movements.
He soon discovered the secret of the hidden treasure, and digging
down, came to the lump of gold, and stole it. The Miser, on his next
visit, found the hole empty and began to tear his hair and to make
loud lamentations. A neighbor, seeing him overcome with grief and
learning the cause, said, "Pray do not grieve so; but go and take a
stone, and place it in the hole, and fancy that the gold is still lying
there. It will do you quite the same service; for when the gold was
there, you had it not, as you did not make the slightest use of it."
(Translated by George Fyler Townsend, 1814-1900)