A gentleman who saw beauty in the works of great artists began
collect their works. He loved to surround himself with these great
inspirations and thus began a fabulous collection. As with most
parents, the gentleman's passion was soon transferred to his child, a
son. The son as he grew older, came to appreciate these works, the
beauty that was put on canvas, and the insights of his father.
As time progressed, a war began and the son was soon called away.
About 1 year later, the gentleman received a letter saying that his
son was missing in action. A few days went by and 2 men in uniform
knocked upon the gentleman's door. He was told that his son indeed
had been killed in battle but that he had died with courage and
The gentleman was heartbroken but at the same time very proud of his
son. A year passed and a knock was heard at the door. As the
gentleman opened the door there stood a young man with a package in
his hand. He told the gentleman that he did not know him but that the
young man knew all about the gentleman. These things he had learned
from the gentleman's son. The young man also told the gentleman that
his son had died saving a young man's life on the battle field.
The young man said he learned from the gentleman's son of the love of
the gentleman for paintings and that young man himself was an artist
although not very good. He then gave the gentleman the package. The
gentleman unwrapped the package and there he found a portrait of his
son. The painting itself was not very good and certainty not to the
standards of the artist's painting on the walls but there was
something about the expression that was on his son's face that the
gentleman truly loved. He immediately took down the Rembrandt from
the revered spot above the fireplace and hung this his newest
. As he continued to collect great works, the gentleman often gave tours
to the great art critics of the world. He often showed them his
greatest treasure, the portrait of his son and declared this was the
greatest treasure of all. The critics dismissed the gentleman as being
old and becoming senile.
One day the word came that the gentleman too had died and that there
was to be an auction. The art world turned out to buy the great
treasures that the gentleman had collected over the years. The
auction opened with great fanfare and when the first painting was
uncovered, a hush fell over the crowd. It was the portrait of the
gentleman's son. Soon there was a outcry from the crowd saying this
was not what they had come for, a lowly work of art from an unknown
painter, but they had come only for the treasures. The crowd became a
little unruly until the auctioneer told them that the gentleman had
left specific instructions in his will as how things should be done.
Finally a man in the back of the room, said that he had known the
gentleman and his son and that he would start the bidding with a bid
of $10. Although the auctioneer sought a raise in the bid, he could
get none since all the critics wanted only the treasures. The
gentleman's prized painting was then sold to the man in the back.
The crowd began to buzz with excitement, when the auctioneer announced
that the auction was over. The crowd was stunned. This couldn't
be!!! The auctioneer assured them that this was correct. The crowd
irately called back that there were still all the treasures, that was
what they came for and the auction should move on. The auctioneer
reminded them that as he had said earlier, the gentleman had left a
will and that he was required to follow the instructions in the will.
When the crowd demanded to know what the will said so that they might
be able to acquire the treasures in another manner, the auctioneer
then quietly responded,
"Who shall take my son shall also get my treasures."