The Dying Old Man

V.xi. 52. A certain old man in Scete was dying and his brothers stood around his bed and covered him with a garment and began to weep. He however, opened his eyes and laughed, and laughed again, and then a third time. When they saw this the brothers said, “Tell us, father, why do you laugh while we are weeping?” And he said to them, “I laughed the first time because you are frightened of death, the second time because you are not prepared for it, and the third time because after my labours I am now going to my rest, and you are weeping.” Having said this he straitway closed his eyes in death.

From: DE VITIS PATRUM, BOOK V, Libellus 11: Living Soberly

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