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Main Page The great Gospel of John Volume 4 GGJ04-43 Chapter

Chapter 43 - Citizen Zorel, whose property was burned, asks for compensation.

43,1. I had scarcely finished speaking when our man, whose name was Zorel, arrived with a very disturbed expression on his face, wrapped in partly burned rags and making a considerable amount of noise.

43,2. I indicated to Julius to meet him and ask him what he wants and what he is looking for here this afternoon. Julius goes with a very solemn face and does what I have advised him to do.

43,3. Zorel stands and says in a firm voice: “I am a citizen from the town who has lost everything in the fire and I only learned today, that the great Cyrenius is here with considerable resources to support the victims of the fire. I therefore took courage and came here, firstly to see for myself if Cyrenius was indeed here and if he really intends to support the unfortunate people. If he does something in accordance with honourable Roman custom, I surely will not have come here in vain. However, if he does nothing for whatever reason, he certainly will not make an exception for me! Therefore tell me, honourable Roman, whether Cyrenius is here, and if he is dispensing charity, as I have heard, so that I can go to him to beg for help!”

43,4. Says Julius: “Yes he is here and is carrying out important relief work, - but only for those who are known to him as having a completely irreproachable reputation! If this is also the case with you, you will not return home empty-handed! He is sitting there at the long table in the shade of the high cypresses and cedars granting audiences on all sides. Go there and introduce yourself! But be thoroughly prepared as he is has the sharp eye of an eagle and can often sum up the character of a person at first sight! He is never more critical than when he is distributing charity!”

43,5. Zorel starts to consider this introduction deeply in order to decide what he should do under the given circumstances. After a short while he decides to limp towards Cyrenius, which is in fact a stupid pretence on his part. When he reaches Cyrenius, he bows three times to touch the ground with his forehead. After completing the third bow he speaks out in a trembling shrill voice: “Noble lord and most powerful commander, I, Zorel, former citizen of the town of Caesarea Philippi, recently destroyed by fire, beg you to use your most noble Roman sense of compassion to assist me in some small way. I am a victim like a poor lost faun and even a pittance in money and some clothes would help me since I do not own anything except these rags.

43,6. I was the honest owner of a small hut built on two acre plot of poor agricultural land. I had a wife, whom the gods took from me two years ago and she certainly went immediately to Elysium . I did not have any children, but I have a maid, who is living with me, but still no children. My personal property consisted of two sheep, one goat and one donkey, a few poor quality agricultural tools and some clothing. Everything went up in smoke and flames, when I was busy extinguishing fires in other houses.

43,7. I am now, like hundreds of my neighbours, reduced to begging. Even my maid who was the only support left in my life has left me, because I could no longer give her anything - this however I will remember! Should I have the extraordinary good fortune to obtain a hut and some other personal possessions again, let her come to me if she wishes to return and I will certainly know how to show that disloyal woman the path which leads away from the house!

43,8. For the rest of my life I will generally avoid and despise everything that is called woman for no woman is worth anything! They say in fact that I am a stupid animal, do not understand how to handle a woman and even that my wife has died of grief! If this were to have been the case, then I would not have mourned for her for nearly a year, and the maid would not have stayed with me of her own free will until misfortune struck me, despite my being unable to offer her a large wage.

43,9. It is of course a real shame that man should also be born of woman. Taking other things into account it would almost be better if my birth mother had been a she-bear!

43,10. If the gods have ordered everything wisely, they have nevertheless shown a blank spot with women and this does them no honour! It therefore serves Zeus right if Juno continuously causes him a lot of trouble! In general it seems as if all the gods are half-baked as it would otherwise be impossible for them to carry through their really silly, sub-human practical jokes!

43,11. I am a believer and honour the gods because there are many wise institutions in the world. However, when they sometimes reek of stupidity, I am no longer their friend.. Would our town have burnt down if Apollo had not played some practical joke or other?! Just as our wise priests confirm, he fell for some unusually attractive nymph here on earth, perhaps even paying her a clandestine visit. In the meantime Juno or Diana played a practical joke on him, and we poor fauns must pay for the god to bathe!

43,12. It is understandable that now and then a person will weaken normally if there is a lack of satisfactory experiences. Can the weak stalk resist if it if it is blown to and fro by the wind?! However, if immense cedars, which are symbolic of our dear gods, also bend and bow in all directions just like the stalk, driven by the wretched winds on earth, sometimes even in an unacceptable direction, then that is incomprehensible. Even a person who considers the matter with only a slightly sober mind must necessarily view this as very stupid!

43,13. God this way or god that way! If a god acts wisely, as is consistent with his status, he deserves all honour. If however he from time to time behaves in a weak way like a mortal human being, and if we poor folk undeservedly come to harm through some frivolous prank by a god, then this is unworthy of that god and I can not therefore honour and praise him.

43,14. You, noble commander, who are yourself something of a demi-god, will surely recognize that only the gods can be blamed for my misfortune - especially Apollo who fell in love!? I therefore beg you, to recompense me for my losses!”

Main Page The great Gospel of John Volume 4 GGJ04-43 Chapter