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Payne: The Niggard and the Loaves of Bread

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There was once a merchant, who was niggardly in his eating and drinking. One day, he went on a journey to a certain town and as lie walked in the market streets, he came upon an old woman with two cakes of bread. He asked her if they were for sale, and she said, "Yes." So he chaffered with her and bought them at a low price and took them home to his lodging, where he ate them that day. On the morrow, he returned to the same place and finding the old woman there with other two cakes, bought these also; and thus he did twenty days' space, at the end of which time the old woman disappeared. He made enquiry for her, but could hear nothing of her, till, one day, as he was walking about the streets, he chanced upon her; so he accosted her and asked why she had ceased to attend the market and bring him the two cakes of bread. At first, she evaded giving him a reply; but he conjured her to tell him; so she said, "Know, O my lord, that I was attending upon a certain man, who had an ulcer on his spine, and his doctor used to knead flour with butter into a plaster and lay it on the place of the pain, where it abode all night. In the morning, I used to take the flour and make it into two cakes, which I sold to thee or another; but presently the man died and I was cut off from making the cakes." When the merchant heard this, he repented, whenas repentance availed nothing, saying, "Verily, we are God's and to Him we return! There is no power and no virtue but in Him, the Most High, the Supreme!" And he repeated the saying of the Most High, "Whatsoever betideth thee of good, it is from God, and whatsoever betideth thee of ill, it is from thyself," and vomited till he fell sick.

Moreover, O King,' continued the second vizier, 'I have heard tell, of the malice of women, that...

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Payne, John (1842-1916). The Book of the Thousand Nights and One Night. London. 1901. Gutenberg Vol. I. Gutenberg Vol. II. Gutenberg Vol. III. Gutenberg Vol. IV. Please consult the Gutenberg edition for footnotes; the footnotes have not been included in this web version. Wollamshram Vol. V. Wollamshram Vol. VI. Wollamshram Vol. VII. Wollamshram Vol. VIII. Wollamshram Vol. IX. Please consult the Wollamshram edition for footnotes; the footnotes have not been included in this web version.

1001 Nights Hypertext. Laura Gibbs, Ph.D. This website is licensed under a Creative Commons License. The texts presented here are in the public domain. Thanks to Gene Perry for his excellent help in preparing the texts for the web. Page last updated: January 1, 2005 10:46 PM

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