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A certain Arab of the desert loaded a camel with two big sacks one full of grain. He was seated
on the top of both sacks. A glib philosopher questioned him.
He asked him about his native land and led him to talk and said many fine things in the course
of (his) enquiry. Afterwards he said to him, “What are those two sacks filled with? Tell me the
truth of the matter.”
He replied, “In one sack I have wheat; in the other is some sand”
“Why,” he asked, “did you load this sand?” “In order that the other sack might not remain e,”
empty replied.
“For wisdom's sake,” said he, “pour half the wheat of that sack into the other. So that the sacks
may be lightened, and the camel too.” He (the Arab) cried, “Bravo! O clever and noble wise man!
Such subtle thought and excellent judgement! And you so naked, traveling on foot and in
The good man took pity on the philosopher and resolved to mount him on the camel.
He said to him again, “O fair-spoken wise man, explain a little about your own circumstances as
well. With such intelligence and talent as you have, are you a vizier or a king? Tell the truth.”
He answered, “I am not either of these two: I am of the common folk. Look at my appearance
and dress.”
He asked, “How many camels have you? How many oxen?” “I have neither these nor those,” he
He said, “At any rate, what goods have you in your shop?” He answered, “Where have I a shop,
and where a home?”
“Then,” said he, “I will ask about money. How much money have you?—for you are a solitary
wanderer and one whose counsel is valuable.
From this wisdom and learning and excellence of mind I have got nothing but phantasy and
headache.” Then the Arab said to him, “go far away from my side, so that your bad luck may not
rain upon me”
Take far away from me that unlucky wisdom of yours: your speech is unlucky for all the people
of the time. Either go you in that direction, and I will run in this direction; or if your way be
forwards, I will go back.
One sack of wheat and the other of sand is better for me than these vain mysteries.
My foolishness is a very blessed foolishness. My foolishness is sacred,
If you desire that misery should vanish from you, try that wisdom may vanish from you—


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