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Indian Fables by  Ramaswami Raju
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THE CLEVER MINISTER

ONE day a king in the far East was seated in the hall of justice. A thief was brought before him; he inquired into his case, and said he should receive one hundred lashes with a cat-o'-ninetails.

Instantly he recollected an old Eastern saying,—

[97] "What we do to others in this birth they will do to us in the next," and said to his minister, "I have a great mind to let this thief go quietly, for he is sure to give me these one hundred lashes in the next birth."

"Sire" replied the minister, "I know the saying you refer to is perfectly true, but you must understand you are simply returning to the thief in this birth what he gave you in the last."

The king was perfectly pleased with this reply, says the story, and gave his minister a rich present.


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