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Lower Secondary English essays

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Describe an event which shows that charity begins at home
 
In an old town near the sea, there once lived a selfish and miserly merchant. He earned huge profits by fair and foul means. He cheated many innocent people into parting with their house leases. He lent money at high interest, knowing very well that the desperate borrowers would not be able to pay back. When that happened, he would confiscate their collateral, normally houses, land and other forms of property. He started raking in huge profits, but as more profits flowed in, he became more and more greedy.

Unfortunately, even though he was doing well, he led a frugal life at home. He grumbled when his wife wanted money to run the home or to buy new clothes for the children. He criticised her when she prepared sweet dishes; he would scold her when she bought some costly jewellery or trinkets for their two young daughters.

"Money doesn't grow on trees," he would snap at his children when they asked for money to buy books and new dresses. They had to make do with torn books and old clothes which his wife would obtain from second-hand shops. Many clothes were hand-me-downs from relatives living nearby, who realising the merchant's miserly attitude, condescended to do so reluctantly. They disliked him intensely for treating his wife and children so shabbily but could do nothing about it.

When his brothers, sisters and other relations came to ask for help, he insulted them cruelly and chased them away. There came a time when they began avoiding him or talking to him.

As he grew richer, he became more miserly. He dismissed the cook, the maid and the gardener. "Now, who will pay them? All of us must share the work and thus, avoid wastage," he told his wife and children sagely.

"What will you do with all this money?" they asked in perplexity. But he drove them away, screaming like a demon, "I will do what I like with my money. I earn it. So I will hoard it if I want to. No one will question me, do you understand? Soon, I will become the richest man in town. Wait and see."

It took him many years to become the richest man in town. But none had a good word to say about him. The people sneered at him when he walked by, calling him `Money Bags'. They dubbed him `King Miser'. Some even went as far as to spit on the ground when he passed them.

The merchant finally realised that he had become the most hated and most despised person in town. He pondered over the matter for some time, irked by the cold reception he was getting from everyone. How could he redeem his name? How can he earn their respect? He went to an elder in the family, whom he had not visited for a long time, to seek his wise counsel. "Should I open a charitable hospital? Should I establish a school for the children of the poor? Or open a chain of orphanages to help the underprivileged?" he asked.

"Not a bad idea. In fact, I would normally have commended it. But it will cost a lot of money," the elder pointed out.

"I am ready to spend some money to win name and fame. I must regain my lost respect and popularity," the merchant replied. He imagined that he had been a much-loved and well-liked person before he had fallen in the eyes of the people in his town.

The old man smiled knowingly, "How can you even think of helping strangers? Shouldn't you be attending to the needs of your near and dear ones first? Can't you see your wife and children walking around in rags? Don't you see how famished they look? Do they get even a square meal every day? Listen, my boy. Do your duty to your family first. Help your brothers and sisters and other members of your family who are poor. Opening hospitals for the poor or schools for the children of the poor must come later. You see, charity begins at home." Saying this, the wise man sent the merchant away.

The merchant returned home. He looked around his home with new eyes. For the first time, he noticed the forlorn and hopeless looks of his wife and children. They were badly dressed in old clothe which had seen many washes. They were frayed and sported some ghastly holes here and there. He also saw how skinny and starved his wife and children were looking. With tears in his eyes, he quickly walked out to the nearest restaurant, where he ordered all the food which he and his family had not enjoyed for a long time. He watched as his family ate the food ravenously, glad that the wise man had finally pointed out his greatest flaw. He promised silently to take better care of them as well as all his poor relatives who came to him in need.

Charity indeed begins at home.

     
forgo   miss
     
mesmerized   captivated
     
slumber   sleep
 
 

 

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Lower secondary English essays 1

 
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