THE KING AND HIS VASSAL
AN Eastern king was very angry with a certain chieftain who
had not seen him at court, though often desired to do so.
One day he was walking through the streets of his capital
in disguise with his chief minister, according to the custom
of kings in the East, to see how the people fared. Soon
after passing a butcher's shop, the king said to his
minister, "Instantly the chieftain arrives in the city,
send him up to me."
 When the minister returned to his palace, he found the
chieftain on his way to the court. "Pray, don't see his
Majesty till I ask you to do so; and don't ask me for the
reason now," said the minister to the chieftain, who
therefore postponed his visit.
The king came to know of this, and asked the minister why he
had done so.
"Sire," said the minister, "your order to send
up the chieftain was given after passing a butcher's shop,
and you meant to flay him like a sheep; so I asked him to
see you some time after, when you should be in a better mood
to see him."
The king confessed his intention, and said, "A
wise minister is a tyrant's curb."