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Page:Folk-lore - A Quarterly Review. Volume 8, 1897.djvu/149

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the Seven Wise Masters.

7th Philosopher. XVIII.—Listen further, my Sovereign! "There was once a man who swore an oath not to take a wife, unless he could manage to learn the whole trickery of wicked women. . . . . . . . . . . . . . ."

[3 leaves missing.]

Thereupon the king called his wise men and philosophers, and asked them: "Make known unto me whose is the fault, mine, or the boy's, or the woman's?" One of them answered and said: "The fault is Sindban's; for since he was aware that, if he were to speak during these seven days, the boy would die, he was in duty bound to have taken the boy to his house, and not to have sent him to thee." The second philosopher addresses the king: "It is not the case that Sindban is at fault; for there was a limit of time agreed upon between him and the king, which he could neither increase nor diminish without playing the king false. On this account he kept out of the way. But blame attaches to the one who had given orders that the boy should be killed." The third philosopher spake: "It is not so! For the fault is not the king's, because there is nothing on earth colder than the wood of the camphor and the sandal-tree: whereas, if a man take and rub them against each other, fire comes out of them. And so it is when a man, who happens to be finished and polished as regards mind and intellect, quarrels with a woman, particularly with a person who is dear to him. But the fault lies with the woman, inasmuch as she belied the king's son, and sought to destroy him." Now the fourth philosopher answered and said: "It is not as you have stated, for the fault lies not with the woman; for, seeing that the boy was goodlooking and noble in stature, especially as they were alone in the room, she sought out how she might satisfy her passion. But, indeed, the boy is at fault, for not having kept his master's instruction, and for having said to the woman that thing which caused her to be afraid of him." Now Sindban answered and said: