The Pacha of Many Tales eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 417 pages of information about The Pacha of Many Tales.
In the third place, exercising the best of your judgment, you are just as likely to go wrong as right.  In the fourth place, if a man happens to be wronged by our decision, he deserves it as a punishment for his other misdeeds.  In the fifth place, as the only respectability existing in either party consists in their worldly wealth, by deciding for him who gives most, you decide for the most respectable man.  In the sixth place, it is our duty to be grateful for good done to us, and in so deciding, we exercise a virtue strongly inculcated by the Koran.  In the seventh place, we benefit both parties by deciding quickly, as a loss is better than a lawsuit.  And in the eighth and last place, we want money.”

On this day a cause was being heard, and, although weighty reasons had already decided the verdict, still, pro forma, the witnesses on both sides were examined; one of these, upon being asked whether he witnessed the proceedings, replied, “That he had no doubt, but there was doubt on the subject, but that he doubted whether the doubts were correct.”

“Doubt—­no doubt—­what is all this? do you laugh at our beards?” said Mustapha sternly, who always made a show of justice.  “Is it the fact or not?”

“Your highness, I seldom met a fact, as it is called, without having half a dozen doubts hanging to it,” replied the man:  “I will not, therefore, make any assertion without the reservation of a doubt.”

“Answer me plainly,” replied the vizier, “or the ferashes and bamboo will be busy with you very shortly.  Did you see the money paid?”

“I believe as much as I can believe any thing in this world, that I did see money paid; but I doubt the sum, and I doubt the metal, and I have also my other doubts.  May it please your highness, I am an unfortunate man, I have been under the influence of doubts from my birth; and it has become a disease which I have no doubt will only end with my existence.  I always doubt a fact, unless——­”

“What does the ass say?  What is all this but Bosh?—­nothing.  Let him have a fact.”

The pacha gave the sign—­the ferashes appeared—­the man was thrown, and received fifty blows of the bastinado.  The pacha then commanded them to desist.  “Now, by our beard, is it not a fact that you have received the bastinado?  If you still doubt the fact, we will proceed.”

“The fact is beyond a doubt,” replied the man, prostrating himself.  “But excuse me, your sublime highness, if I do continue to assert that I cannot always acknowledge a fact, without such undeniable proofs as your wisdom has been pleased to bring forward.  If your highness were to hear the history of my life, you would then allow that I have cause to doubt.”

“History of his life!  Mustapha, we shall have a story.”

“Another fifty blows on his feet would remove all his doubts, your highness,” replied Mustapha.

“Yes; but then he will be beaten out of his story.  No, no; let him be taken away till the evening, and then we shall see how he will make out his case.”

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The Pacha of Many Tales from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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