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Page:Folk-lore - A Quarterly Review. Volume 8, 1897.djvu/127

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the Seven Wise Masters.

purpose. I will tell you something, and I don't let you go till you carry it out, and if you be a fellow (at all) and you desire it, do that which I tell you. I know that your father is old, and weak, and exhausted; I will slay your father, and you will become king in his stead, you taking me among your wives, and I becoming your wife." Now, after she had spoken these things to the youth, he was much enraged, and said unto her: "Know that I speak neither to thee, nor to any one else, until seven days shall have passed, when forthwith you will hear my reply to your words."

Now as soon as she heard these words, she knew that she had fallen from her glory, and she was afraid, and deliberated as to what she should do unto him. Whereupon she raised her voice aloud, struck herself on the face, and tore her garments. The king, having heard her cry, called her, and asked her, and said: "What ails thee?" Whereupon she replied unto him: "I was telling your son to speak to me, when suddenly he fell upon me, and wanted to insult me, and tore my face. I did know that all sorts of vices were in him, but I was not aware of this vice in him." And as she said these things to the king, he withdrew his favour from his son, and ordered him to be put to death.

But, as it happened, the king had philosophers as counsellors, so that he should do nothing in rashness before his having consulted with them. And when they heard this, how the king had commanded that his son should be killed without having consulted with them, they considered within themselves that the thing which the king had ordered he was doing in rage, having believed the woman; and the philosophers said: "He dare not be killed, nor dare the king kill his son, inasmuch as ultimately he will reproach himself, and remove us from his presence. But let us deliberate in what manner we may deliver the youth from death. Thereupon one of them said: "Let each of us go