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Page:Folk-lore - A Quarterly Review. Volume 8, 1897.djvu/129

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the Seven Wise Masters.

account of the lion to enter upon it any more.' The king said unto the man: 'It is true (the lion) did come upon it, but he did it no harm; go, enter upon the field and work it well, do not fear!'

"Now, my master and king, for this reason have I told you this parable, viz., that not everything which enters the heart of man is true; and I have further found concerning base women, that their wickedness is not to be overcome.

1st Philosopher. II.—"Now, further, there was a man who bought a bird which used to speak the language of man. He put it in a cage and hung it in his own room, charging it to acquaint him with everything that his wife did. And he left and went upon a journey, and the paramour of that woman came and stayed with her. And as the bird saw it, he knew all that they had done. And as soon as the husband of that woman had returned, the bird told him everything that his wife had done, nor did it omit to tell anything that it had seen. Now when the husband left her and was forming his plan with regard to her, the wife thought within herself that the maid had informed her husband, and she addressed her maid: 'It is you who told my husband what I've done.' But the maid swore that she had not told him. Thereupon the wife sought means whereby to make out the bird a liar. She took the cage, placed it near her all the night, and from time to time turned a mill with her hand; and she caused a mirror to send lightning-flashes, and sprinkled water upon the cage; and she was showing these phenomena all night long, until the bird thought it had been lightning, thundering, and raining during the whole night. She lit, too, a wax taper, now showing it, now hiding it from view. When the husband arrived in the morning, he fetched the bird and questioned it thus: 'What did you see this night, Polly?' The bird replied: 'The lightning, rain, and thunder did not suffer me to see anything.' As soon as the husband heard such things from the bird, he said: 'Everything that