Gobsec – a miser or a philosopher?

… Not one human soul

Has received such severe hardening

In trials, like him.

O. de Balzac. Gobsek

I do not know how you can judge or evaluate a person living at another time, in another society, under other laws. But if such a question arises, then I prefer to look not only at the results of human life, but also on the motives of actions that moved this person.

It seems to me that in the evaluation of Hobsak, Derville was the most righteous person, who managed to get to know him better than anyone else, and decided that in this man there exist “a miser and a philosopher, a mean and sublime being.”

Yes, in everything that concerned money, Gobsek was repulsively unpleasant: greedy, cruel to debtors, uncompromising, greedy. Huge stocks of rotting products, fabrics and other things, unused, spoiled because of the stinginess and intractability of the usurer, evoke in memory the image of Gogol’s Plyushkin, and at the same time

– a feeling of disgust, disgust.

But at the same time, we know that in everything that did not concern money issues, Gobsek was a man of “the most scrupulous honesty in all of Paris.” Having experienced in childhood and youth a lot of hardship, having learned an unbearable work, having felt the injustice of society, where, really, “… it’s better to press yourself than to allow others to put pressure on you,” Gobsek managed to collect the necessary capital, as he saw fit, as he wanted, but did not lose true humanity, those moral principles that guide the best representatives of humanity. Just knowing people well, Gobsek remarkably understood the viciousness and injustice of the world in which he lives: “gold is the spiritual essence of the whole of today’s society.” Gobsek learned to read in the hearts of people, so it was impossible to deceive him. His ruthless attitude towards creditors was fully justified by the fact that these people constantly tried to play “comedies” and “tragedies” before him, they were unaware of honesty,

sincerity, frankness, forced out of their lives by the usual cunning and cunning.

Absolutely differently refers Gobsec to people in whom he sees the desire to make money with his work, decent and honest primarily before him. With a feeling of compassion and warmth, he talks about Fanny Malvo, helps Dervil with money, however, at high interest rates. However, when Dervil then asked Gobsak why he did not want to help unselfishly, the moneylender gave an answer worthy of an extremely noble person: “I saved you from I gave you the right to believe that you owe me nothing, and that’s why we are the best friends in the world. “

Such is Gobsek: a miser and philosopher, merciful and ruthless, dispassionate and able to rejoice as a child, infinitely economical and inexpressibly rich. A man of his time, living according to the laws of society, based on social inequality and the power of money.

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Gobsec – a miser or a philosopher?