The Sick Kite

2.55. THE SICK KITE. A Kite had been sick a long time; and finding there were no hopes of recovery, begged of his mother to go to all the churches and religious houses in the country, to try what prayers and promises would effect in his behalf. The old Kite replied: Indeed, dear Son, I would willingly undertake anything to save your life, but I have great reason to despair of doing you any service in the way you propose: For, with what face can I ask anything of the Gods in favour of one whose whole life has been a continued scene of rapine and injustice, and who has not scrupled upon occasion to rob the very altars themselves?
MORAL. After a long life spent in acts of impiety and wickedness, we may justly suspect the sincerity of a death-bed repentance. [more info]

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