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        > 小學英語 > 小學英語教材 > 澳大利亞語文第六冊 >  第41課

        (原版)澳大利亞語文第六冊 LESSON 41









        The next day a large number of persons assembled to hear the cadi's decisions. The philosopher and the peasant were called first.

        Take away thy wife, said the cadi to the philosopher, "and keep her, I advise thee, in proper subjection [1] ."

        Then turning toward an officer, he added, pointing to the peasant, "Give this man fifty blows." The command was instantly obeyed, and the philosopher carried off his wife.

        Next came forward the oil-merchant and the butcher. "Here," said the cadi to the butcher, "here is thy money. It is truly thine, and not his." Then pointing to the oil-merchant, he said to an officer, "Give this man fifty blows." The punishment was inflicted, and the butcher went off in triumph with his money.

        Bou-Akas and the cripple now presented themselves. "Shouldst thou recognize thy horse among twenty others?" said the cadi to the sheik.

        Yes, my lord.

        And thou? to the cripple.

        Certainly, my lord.

        Follow me, said the cadi to the sheik.

        They entered a large stable, and Bou-Akas pointed out his horse. "It is well," said the judge. "Return now to the tribunal, and send thine adversary hither."

        The disguised sheik obeyed. The cripple hastened to the stable as fast as his distorted limbs could carry him. Having a quick eye and a good memory, he without hesitation placed his hand on the right animal. "It is well," said the cadi; "return to the tribunal."

        When the cadi arrived there he took his place on the judgment seat, and waited till the cripple entered. He then said to Bou-Akas,

        The horse is thine; go to the stable and take him.

        Then turning to the officer, "Give this cripple fifty blows," said he. The blows were given. The sheik went to take his horse.

        When the cadi returned to his house, he found Bou-Akas waiting for him. "What now brings thee hither?" asked the judge.

        Art thou discontented with my decision?

        No, quite the contrary, replied the sheik. "But I wish to know by what inspiration thou has decided so well; for I doubt not that the other two eases were settled as justly as mine. I am not a merchant; I am Bou-Akas, thy sheik, in disguise, and I wished to judge for myself of thy reputed wisdom." The cadi bowed to the ground before his master.

        I am anxious, continued the sheik, "to know the reasons which determined thy three decisions."

        Nothing, my lord, can be more simple. Thou sawest that I detained [2] for a night the things in dispute?

        I did.

        Well, continued the judge, "early in the morning I caused the woman to be called. 'Put fresh ink in my inkstand,' I said to her suddenly; and, like a person who had done the same thing a hundred times before, she took the inkstand, washed it, and poured in fresh ink, and did it all with the utmost neatness and dexterity. So I said to myself, 'A peasant's wife would know nothing about inkstands—she must belong to the philosopher.'"

        Good, said Bou-Akas, nodding his head. "And the money?"

        Didst thou remark that the oil-merchant had his clothes and hands covered with oil?

        Certainly I did.

        Well, I took the money and placed it in a vessel filled with water. This morning I looked at it, and not a particle [3] of oil was to be seen on the surface of the water. So I said to myself, 'If this money belonged to the oil-merchant, it would be greasy from the touch of his hands; as it is not greasy the butcher's story must be true.'

        Bou-Akas nodded in token of approval. "Good," said he. "And my horse?"

        Ah, that was a different business, and until this morning I was greatly puzzled.

        The cripple, I suppose, did not recognize the animal.

        On the contrary, he pointed him out immediately.

        How, then, didst thou discover that he was not the owner?

        My object in bringing you separately to the stable was not to see whether thou wouldst know the horse, but whether the horse would know thee. Now, when thou camest near him, the creature turned towards thee and neighed with delight; but when the cripple touched him he kicked. Then I knew that thou wast truly his master.

        The sheik stood a moment, and then said, "Allah has given thee great wisdom. Thou oughtest to be in my place, and I in thine. And yet I know not; thou art certainly worthy to be sheik, but I fear that I should badly fill thy place as cadi.

        —DICKENS'S "Household Words "

        * * *

        [1] subjection: Control.

        [2] detained: Kept behind.

        [3] particle: Very small part.


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