J. R. R. Tolkien: Do You Value Food & Cheer & Song above Hoarded Gold?

Feast of Hosea the Prophet and Andrew the Righteous Monk-martyr of Crete

Bilbo_Square.pngIT'S ME, Bilbo Baggins, companion of Thorin!” he cried, hurriedly taking off the ring.

“It is well that I have found you!” said the man striding forward. “You are needed and we have looked for you long. You would have been numbered among the dead, who are many, if Gandalf the wizard had not said that your voice was last heard in this place. I have been sent to look here for the last time. Are you much hurt?”

“A nasty knock on the head, I think,” said Bilbo. “But I have a helm and a hard skull. All the same I feel sick and my legs are like straws.”

“I will carry you down to the camp in the valley,” said the man, and picked him lightly up.

The man was swift and sure-footed. It was not long before Bilbo was set down before a tent in Dale; and there stood Gandalf, with his arm in a sling. Even the wizard had not escaped without a wound; and there were few unarmed in all the host.

When Gandalf saw Bilbo, he was delighted. “Baggins!” he exclaimed. “Well I never! Alive after all – I am glad! I began to wonder if even your luck would see you through! A terrible business, and it nearly was disastrous. But other news can wait. Come!” he said more gravely. “You are called for”; and leading the hobbit he took him within the tent.

“Hail! Thorin,” he said as he entered. “I have brought him.” There indeed lay Thorin Oakenshield, wounded with many wounds, and his rent armour and notched axe were cast upon the floor. He looked up as Bilbo came beside him.

“Farewell, good thief,” he said. “I go now to the halls of waiting to sit beside my fathers, until the world is renewed. Since I leave now all gold and silver, and go where it is of little worth, I wish to part in friendship from you, and I would take back my words and deeds at the Gate.”

Bilbo knelt on one knee filled with sorrow. “Farewell, King under the Mountain!” he said. “This is a bitter adventure, if it must end so; and not a mountain of gold can amend it. Yet I am glad that I have shared in your perils – that has been more than any Baggins deserves.” 

“No!” said Thorin. “There is more in you of good than you know, child of the kindly West. Some courage and some wisdom, blended in measure. If more of us valued food and cheer and song above hoarded gold, it would be a merrier world. But sad or merry, I must leave it now. Farewell!”

~J. R. R. Tolkien, The Hobbit

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