The Clever Judge

A rich man lost a cloth in which he had sewn into a great sum of money. He made known the loss and offered a reward of 100 crowns for who so ever would return to him his lost property.

An honest man made himself known to the rich man bringing with him the cloth in which was sewn the coins.

The rich man was not an honest fellow and saw a way he could cheat the man out of his reward.

He opened up the cloth and counted the coins. I can only find 700 coins he declared, you must have opened up the cloth and claimed your one hundred coins as there was originally 800 coins. Not that be a problem as I promised 100 crowns as a reward.

The honest man did not mind the loss of the reward, but he did mind the loss of his reputation.

They appeared before a wise judge. Being wise he quickly appraised himself of the situation.

Both stuck to their story. The judge got them each to swear a solemn oath that what they were saying was true. He then gave his ruling.

To the honest man he said, since the rich man has lost a cloth containing 800 crowns, what you have found cannot be his. I recommend you take it home, keep it in a safe place until such time as its rightful owner should turn up to claim it.

To the rich man he said, as you lost a cloth containg 800 crowns this that the honest man found cannot be yours as it contains 700 crowns. I recommend that you go home, be patient and your cloth containg 800 crowns will turn up.

Taken from The Treasure Chest (1881), a collection of pithy comic anecdotes, mysteries and moral tales full of sanity, wit and good humour by Johann Peter Hebel and read by Mark Williams on BBC Radio 4 (Sunday 16 January 2011).

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2 Responses to “The Clever Judge”

  1. marcell jackson Says:

    It was a very interesting reading piece which made great interest.

  2. keithpp Says:

    I agree. A judge with the wisdom of Solomon.

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