How the abbot Anastasius would not resist an evil done to him, and thereby won his brother's soul.
Anastasius had a manuscript written on vellum which was worth a great sum of money, for it contained the whole of the Old and New Testaments. It happened that a certain brother who came to visit him, seeing this manuscript in his cell, coveted it. At his departure he stole it. After a little while Anastasius desired to read something in his manuscript. He searched for it but could not find it. Then he understood that this brother had stolen it. He was unwilling, however, to send after the thief or to ask him to restore the property lest, perhaps, he might add a lie to the sin of his theft. The brother who had committed the theft went straightway to a neighbouring town in order that he might sell the manuscript. When one came to buy it, he named a certain price. Then the buyer said, "Let me have the manuscript that I may find out whether it is worth so much." Receiving it, he went straightway to the abbot Anastasius, and said to him, "My father, I pray you look at this book, and tell me if it is worth such a price. It is for such a sum that a certain man seeks to sell it to me." The abbot Anastasius answered him, "It is a good book, and is well worth what you are asked for it." Then he who was about to buy returned to the seller, and said, "Take the price you name. I have showed the book to the abbot Anastasius, and he told me that it was a good book, and well worth your price." Then the seller, he who had stolen it, asked, "Did the abbot Anastasius say anything more to you about it?" The other said, "No. I have told you all he said." Then the thief replied to him, "I have thought again about the matter, and I am not willing to sell the book at all." This he said, being cut to the heart. He hastened to the cell of the abbot Anastasius, threw himself upon the ground, and with tears of penitence besought the abbot that he would take back the book. But Anastasius refused, saying, "Go! and my peace go with you, brother. Take the book for your own. I give it freely to you." But he persisted weeping and praying, and he said, Unless you take back the book, father, my soul will never anywhere find peace." At length he took back his own book. Afterwards that brother remained with the blessed Anastasius, sharing his cell with him until the day of his death.
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