"I was passing along the street when a beggar, a decrepit old man, stopped me. Swollen, tearful eyes, blue lips, bristling rags, unclean sores....... Oh, how horribly had poverty gnawed that unhappy being!
He stretched out to me a red, bloated, dirty hand..... He moaned, he bellowed for help.
I began to rummage in all my pockets... Neither purse, nor watch, nor even handkerchief did I find..... I had taken nothing with me.
And the beggar still waited... and extended his hand, which swayed and trembled feebly.
Bewildered, confused, I shook that dirty, tremulous hand heartily..... "Blame me not, brother; I have nothing."
The beggar fixed his swollen eyes upon me; his blue lips smiled--- and in his turn he pressed my cold fingers.
"Never mind, brother," he mumbled. "Thanks for this also, brother. --- This also is an alms."
I understood that I had received an alms from my brother. -- "The Beggar Man,"
by Turgenef - Photo by Henk Jacobs