Kalílah said, ‘They have related that there were two associates, one of whom was shrewd and the other careless. The former, by his extreme acuteness and cunning, could cast a thousand spells upon the water, and him they called Sharp-Wit. The latter, from his excessive stupidity and dullness, could not discern between things profitable and injurious, and him they called Light-Heart. These two formed the intention* of trading, and set out upon their travels in company with each other, and went on traversing many a stage and march. It chanced that they found a purse of gold in the way and viewing it as an unlooked-for piece of good-fortune, halted. The clever partner said, ‘O brother! there is in this world plenty of profit that is never realized. Now it appears to be best to be content with this purse of gold and to finish our lives in the nook of our cottages in unfettered ease.’

How long, gold-seeking, round the earth wilt go?
As grows thy treasure so thy care will grow.
Nought will the eye-cup of the greedy fill,*
Pearls brim the shell, but not until ’t is still.

They then retraced their steps, and, entering the city, alighted at a lodging. The careless partner said, ‘O brother! come on, let us divide this gold, and freeing ourselves from anxiety, spend our several portions according to our several inclinations.’ The clever one replied, ‘It is not advisable to divide at present. Our judicious course would be to take such sums as we require for our immediate expenditure, and place the rest very carefully in deposit somewhere, and every certain number of days come and take from thence as much as we require, and preserve the remainder in the very same manner, which will be less perilous and more safe.’ The stupid partner was deluded by this specious talk, and met his plausible proposal with approval, and taking out cash enough to meet his present* wants, in the manner aforesaid, the rest they, in conjunction, buried under a tree; and directing their course towards the city, went and stopped, each in his own quarters.

Next day when the sly juggling sky
Undid the box of subtlety,

The partner who affected to be astute went to the foot of the tree, and having dug out from the earth the gold, carried it off; and his careless associate, unaware of what had been done, was engaged in spending the cash he had, till nothing was left. He then came to the clever one, and said, ‘Come now, in order that we may take up something from that deposit, for I have become very much in want.’ The sharp fellow dissembling his knowledge of what had happened, said, ‘Very good.’ Then both came together to the foot of the tree, and the more they sought the less they found. Sharp-Wit then seized Light-Heart by the collar, saying, ‘Thou hast made away with this gold without any one’s knowing about it.’ The poor man swore and protested and bemoaned himself, but all in vain. In short, the matter came from wrangling to a summons before a judge, and from dispu-ting to an appeal to the law. The cunning partner took the careless one to the house of the Ḳáẓí, accused him, and recounted to the Ḳáẓí the particulars of the case and the tenor of the dispute, and after Light-Heart had denied it, the Ḳáẓí demanded of Sharp-Wit, proof in support of his charge. Where­upon Sharp-Wit replied, ‘Ḳáẓí! may God most high preserve thee!

Take the fruition of thy life, for from the throne of fate,
The mandate is confirmed which does thy course perpetuate.

I hope that the Glorious and Almighty God through His perfect power will give that tree the power of speech, in order that it may furnish testimony of the theft of this unjust and treacherous person who has carried off the whole amount of the gold, and deprived me of my share. The Ḳáẓí was astonished at these words, and after much discussion and long debate they came to this agreement, that the next day the Ḳáẓí should present himself at the foot of the tree, and call upon the tree to bear witness; and if its evidence should corroborate the charge, he should issue his commands in accordance with its testimony. The sharp partner went to his house, and having told the whole story to his father, withdrew the veil from the business and said, ‘O father! it was in reliance on thee that I formed the idea of the tree’s evidence, and in confidence of thy support that I planted this tree of artifice in the court of the judge, and the whole affair depends on thy kindness. If thou wilt agree to it we will carry off that gold, and get as much more* and pass the remainder of our lives in comfort and ease.’ The father asked, ‘What can it be, which depends upon me in this matter?’ The son answered ‘The centre of that tree is hollow to such an extent that if two persons were concealed in it they could not be seen. Thou must go to-night and stop in the tree until to-morrow when the Ḳáẓí comes and calls for testimony, then thou must give thy evidence in the usual manner.’ The father said, ‘O son! Give up the thought of deceit and trickery, for though they mayest deceive thy fellow-creatures, thou canst not deceive the Creator.’

Heaven’s Sovereign Lord knows all thy mystery,
He can thy every hair and vein descry.
Granted thy wiles may blind thy fellow-man,
Can they cheat him who does all nature scan?

Oh! many are the artifices that prove a source of ruin to their author, and the just recompense of which recoils on him, so that he is left disgraced and exposed to ignominy, and I fear lest thy deceit should turn out like the artifice of the Frog. The son inquired, ‘How was that?’