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An authentic biography of Rachel Ostrom who recently died in Poughkeepsie, N.
According to the parable of the Elm and the Vine in the quasi-Biblical Shepherd of Hermas, the rich and the poor should be in a relationship of mutual support.
Those with wealth are in need of the prayers of the poor for their salvation and can only earn them by acts of charity.
In the Christian West the attitude to those whose interest centred on gathering money has been coloured by the teachings of the Church.
From its point of view, both the miser and the usurer were guilty of the cardinal sin of avarice and the two were often confounded.
Accounts of misers were included in such 19th century works as G. Wilson's four-volume compendium of short biographies, The Eccentric Mirror (1807).