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ANF08. The Twelve Patriarchs, Excerpts and Epistles, The Clementia, Apocrypha, Decretals, Memoirs of Edessa and Syriac Documents, Remains of the First
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Chapter XIII.—The Beggar Woman.

But when Peter had admired only the columns, being no wise ravished with the grace of the painting, he went out, and saw before the gates a poor woman asking alms of those who went in; and looking earnestly at her, he said:  “Tell me, O woman, what member of your body is wanting, that you subject yourself to the indignity of asking alms, and do not rather gain your bread by labouring with your hands which God has given you.”  But she, sighing, said:  “Would that I had hands which could be moved; but now only the appearance of hands has been preserved, for they are lifeless, and have been rendered feeble and without feeling by my knawing of them.”  Then Peter said:  “What has been the cause of your inflicting so great an injury upon yourself?”  “Want of courage,” said she, “and nought else; for if I had had any bravery in me, I could either have thrown myself from a precipice, or cast myself into the depths of the sea, and so ended my griefs.”

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