The King's Treasury,

which reappears in later Western texts (see p. 330), but is here related with variations: After the king discovers that his treas­ury has been robbed, he takes counsel of a wise old man, who had formerly been himself a great robber, but, though now deprived of sight, often gave the king excellent advice. The old man suggests that a quantity of green grass should be taken into the treasury and placed on a fire; then, closing the gate, the king should walk round the building, and observe whether smoke escaped through any part of the walls. This the king does, and perceiving smoke issuing from between stones which were not cemented, the precise place where the robbers had gained entrance was at once ascertained.—The youth's device of stealing his father's body (omitted in other texts, but occurring in Herodotus and in the Indian story of Ghata and Karpara— see p. 332) is peculiar: The king, still acting by the old man's advice, causes the corpse to be guarded by twenty horsemen in white armour and twenty in black. The youth disguises him­self, one side in white and the other in black, so that he is mistaken as he rides past the two lines of horsemen by each as belonging to their own party.

On the Third Morning the king and his princes assemble as before; a great fire is kindled and the king's son is about to be cast into it, when, lo, an aged man of reverend aspect, on a black horse, and bearing a green olive branch, advances to the king. On learning the cause of the concourse, he says: “I am a Roman by nation, and am called one of the Seven Wise Men. Out of the treasury of my heart I offer things new and old to the kings and princes of the world. Seeing chance has brought me hither, if thou wilt hear me, I will tell thee a story—old, indeed, but perhaps new to thee.” The king commands silence, and the wise man begins the story of