The Miser’s Unbearable Tightness of Being

The Miser, Thomas Couture 1876

A bowl of soup would have spared the life of Osterwald. A crust of bread would have kept the Berliner Danden from wasting away.

To what depths of destitution had Osterwald and Danden sunk that they would die in such a needlessly agonizing manner? The answer is, none at all. Both men were rich – indeed perhaps fatally so, each unwilling to part with the few shillings necessary to secure their sustenance.

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