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from which we may draw, without fear of its being exhausted.'

I accordingly engaged workmen in my own trade to work for me, till all the ropemakers in Bagdad. were employed by me; I hired warehouses to receive their work, and to sell it in, and soon my profits and revenue were considerable.

Some time had passed, when Saad and. Saadi, one day passing through the street in their walk, were much astonished not to find me. Their wonder increased when they heard I had become a very great merchant, and had built a house like a palace. They came in search of me, and when they were introduced, I arose from my seat, ran to them, and would have kissed the border of their robes, but they prevented me.

I then told them the adventure of the fish, and when I had done, Saadi said to Saad : “I give up my opinion, and allow with you that money is not always a certain means to become rich.'

The two friends stayed for two nights at my house, well pleased to know that I did not make an ill. use of the fortune which, after Heaven, I owed to them.

[Write from dictation] My neighbour, the Jew, was acquainted with the value of the jewel, and after examining it, bargained with me, hoping to secure some abatement in my price ; but I exhausted his patience, and compelled him to increase his offer to a very considerable sum.




1. An ancient story I'll tell you anon Of a notable prince, that was called King John; And he ruled England with main and with might, For he did great wrong and maintained little right.

And I'll tell you a story, a story so merry,
Concerning the abbot of Canterbury ;
How for his housekeeping and high renown,
They rode post for him to fair London town.

An hundred men, the king did hear say,
The abbot kept in his house every day ;
And fifty gold chains, without any doubt,
In velvet coats waited the abbot about.

4. “How now, Father Abbot, I hear it of thee, Thou keepest a far better house than me; And for thy housekeeping and high renown, I fear thou work'st treason against my crown.'

5. • My liege,' quoth the abbot, ‘I would it were known, I never spend aught but what is my own: And I trust your Grace will do me no deere For spending of my own true gotten geere?

Yes, yes, Father Abbot, thy fault it is high,
And now for the same thou needest must die;
For except thou canst answer me questions three,
Thy head shall be smitten from thy bodie.


7. And first,' quoth the king, when I'm in this stead, With my crown of gold so fair on my head, Among all my liege-men so noble of birth, Thou must tell me to one penny what I am worth.

8. . Secondly, tell me, without any doubt, How soon I may

ride the whole world about; And at the third question thou must not shrink, But tell me here truly what I do think.'

O these are hard questions for my shallow wit,
Nor I cannot answer your Grace as yet;
But if


will give me but three weeks' space, I'll do

my endeavour to answer your Grace.'

10. · Now three weeks' space to thee will I give, And that is the longest time thou hast to live; If thou dost not answer my questions three, Thy lands and thy livings are forfeit to me.'

Away rode the abbot all sad at that word,
And he rode to Cambridge and Oxenford;
But never a doctor there was so wise,
That could with his learning an answer devise.

12. Then home rode the abbot of comfort so cold, And he met his shepherd agoing to fold: ‘How now, my Lord Abbot, you are welcome home; What news do you bring us from good King John ?'

Sad news, sad news, shepherd, I must give,
That I have but three days more to live;
For if I do not answer him questions three,
My head will be smitten from my bodie.

14. “The first is to tell him there in that stead, With his crown of gold so fair on his head, Among all his liege-men so noble of birth, To within one penny of what he is worth.

The second, to tell him without any doubt,
How soon he may ride this whole world about ;
And at the third question I must not shrink,
But tell him there truly what he does think.'

16. Now, cheer

Sir Abbot, did you ver hear yet That a fool he may learn a wise man wit? Lend me horse, and serving-men, and your apparel, And I'll ride to London to answer your quarrel.


17. • Nay, frown not, if it hath been told unto me, I am like your lordship as ever may be ; And if you will but lend me your gown, There is none shall know us in fair London town.'

Now horses and serving-men thou shalt have,
With sumptuous array most gallant and brave,
With crozier and mitre, and rochet and cope,
Fit to appear 'fore our father the pope.'

19. Now welcome, Sir Abbot,' the king he did say, ''Tis well thou’rt come back to keep thy day : For and if thou canst answer my questions three, Thy life and thy living both saved shall be.

20. And first, when thou see'st me here in this stead, With my crown of gold so fair on my head, Among all my liege-men so noble of birth, Tell me to one penny what I am worth.'

For thirty pence our Saviour was sold
Among the false Jews, as I have been told :
And twenty-nine is the worth of thee,
For I think thou art one penny worser than He.'

The king he laughed, and swore by St Bittel,
"I did not think I had been worth so little !
Now, secondly, tell me, without any doubt,
How soon I may ride this whole world about.'

23. •You must rise with the sun, and ride with the same, Until the next morning he riseth again ; And then your Grace need not make any

doubt But in twenty-four hours you 'll ride it about.'

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