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
There was once, in the city of Baghdad, a man, [by name El Merouzi,][FN#30] who was a sharper and plagued[FN#31] the folk with his knavish tricks, and he was renowned in all quarters [for roguery]. [He went out one day], carrying a load of sheep’s dung, and took an oath that he would not return to his lodging till he had sold it at the price of raisins. Now there was in another city a second sharper, [by name Er Razi,][FN#32] one of its people, who [went out the same day], bearing a load of goat’s dung, which he had sworn that he would not sell but at the price of dried figs.
So each of them fared on with that which was with him and gave not over going till they met in one of the inns[FN#33] and each complained to the other of that which he had abidden of travel [in quest of custom] and of the lack of demand for his wares. Now each of them had it in mind to cheat his fellow; so El Merouzi said to Er Razi, ‘Wilt thou sell me that?’ ‘Yes,’ answered he, and the other continued, ’And wilt thou buy that which is with me?’ Er Razi assented; so they agreed upon this and each of them sold his fellow that which was with him [in exchange for the other’s ware]; after which they bade each other farewell and parted. As soon as they were out of each other’s