THE FOOLISH DOMINIE [FN#170]



Once upon a time, a schoolmaster was visited by a man of letters who entered a school and, sitting down by the host’s side, entered into discourse with him and found him an accomplished theologian, poet, grammarian, philologist and poet; intelligent, well bred and pleasant spoken; whereat he wondered, saying in himself, “It cannot be that a man who teacheth children in a school, should have a perfect wit.”  Now when he was about to go away, the pedant said to him, “Thou are my guest to-night;” and he consented to receive hospitality and accompanied him to his house, where he made much of him and set food before him.  They ate and drank and sat talking, till a third part of the night was past when the host spread his guest a bed and went up to his Harim.  The stranger lay down and addressed himself to sleep, when, behold, there arose a great clamour in the women’s rooms.  He asked what was the matter and they said, “A terrible thing hath befallen the Shaykh and he is at the last gasp.”  Said he, “Take me up to him”; so they took him up to the pedagogue whom he found lying insensible, with his blood streaming down.  He sprinkled water on his face and when he revived, he asked him, “What hath betided thee?  When thou leftest me, thou wast in all good cheer and whole of body,” and he answered, “O my brother, after I left thee, I sat meditating on the creative works of Almighty Allah, and said to myself: ‘In every thing the Lord hath created for man, there is an use; for He (to Whom be glory!) made the hands to seize, the feet to walk, the eyes to see, the ears to hear and the penis to increase and multiply; and so on with all the members of the body, except these two ballocks; there is no use in them.’  So I took a razor I had by me and cut them off; and there befel me what thou seest.”  So the guest left him and went away, saying, “He was in the right who said, ‘Verily no schoolmaster who teacheth children can have a perfect wit, though he know all the sciences.’”  And they tell a pleasant tale of the



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