When Galen saw what appeared to him of the [mock] physician’s incapacity, he turned to his disciples and pupils and bade them fetch the other, with all his gear and drugs. So they brought him into his presence on the speediest wise, and when Galen saw him before him, he said to him, ‘Knowest thou me?’ ’ No,’ answered the other, ‘nor did I ever set eyes on thee before this day.’ Quoth the sage, ‘Dost thou know Galen?’ And the weaver said, ‘No.’ Then said Galen, ’What prompted thee to that which thou dost?’ So he related to him his story and gave him to know of the dowry and the obligation by which he was bound with regard to his wife, whereat Galen marvelled and certified himself of the matter of the dower.
Then he bade lodge him near himself and was bountiful to him and took him apart and said to him, ’Expound to me the story of the phial and whence then knewest that the water therein was that of a man, and he a stranger and a Jew, and that his ailment was indigestion?’ ’ It is well,’ answered the weaver. ’ Thou must know that we people of Persia are skilled in physiognomy[FN#23] and I saw the woman to be rosy-cheeked, blue-eyed and tall. Now these attributes belong to women who are enamoured of a man and are distraught for love of him;[FN#24] moreover, I saw her consumed [with anxiety]; wherefore I knew that the patient was her husband. As for his strangerhood, I observed that the woman’s attire differed from that of the people of the city, wherefore I knew that she was a stranger; and in the mouth of the phial I espied a yellow rag,[FN#25] whereby I knew that the patient was a Jew and she a Jewess. Moreover, she came to me on the first day [of the week];[FN#26] and it is the Jews’ custom to take pottages[FN#27] and meats that have been dressed overnight[FN#28] and eat them on the Sabbath day,[FN#29] hot and cold, and they exceed in eating; wherefore indigestion betideth them. On this wise I was directed and guessed that which thou hast heard.’
When Galen heard this, he ordered the weaver the amount of his wife’s dowry and bade him pay it to her and divorce her. Moreover, he forbade him from returning to the practice of physic and warned him never again to take to wife a woman of better condition than himself; and he gave him his spending-money and bade him return to his [former] craft. Nor,” added the vizier, “is this more extraordinary or rarer than the story of the two sharpers who cozened each his fellow.”
When King Shah Bekht heard this, he said in himself, “How like is this story to my present case with this vizier, who hath not his like!” Then he bade him depart to his own house and come again at eventide.
The Twenty-First Night of the Month.
When came the night, the vizier presented himself before the king, who bade him relate the [promised] story. So he said, “Hearkening and obedience. Know, Out