The Exchanged Children

There was once a King. In his house there was a handmaiden and she attended the Queen (do doubt, a simple cook may not be admitted to the royal presence, but the handmaiden had an attendant, a lesser servant). [i.e. she was a high-ranking servant and she herself had a servant.] The time came when the Queen was to deliver her child, and the handmaiden was also due to deliver at that time. So the midwife went and exchanged the children in order to see what would happen what would develop from this. She took the child of the King and laid it near the handmaiden; and the child of the handmaiden, she laid near the Queen.

Then the children started to grow, and the Prince (the child that grew up by the King, and who was thought to be the Prince) was raised (elevated) always higher and higher till he became very big, and he was a great hero. And the son of the handmaiden (he who was brought up by the handmaiden, but in truth was the son of the King, etc.) also grew up by the handmaiden. These two children studied together in one class, and the true Prince (who is here called the son of the handmaiden), his nature inclined to habits of royalty; but he was raised in the handmaiden’s house. And on the contrary, the handmaiden’s son (who is here called the prince) his nature inclined in a different direction, not like royalty, but he was raised in the King’s house, so he had to behave in a royal way, because he was accustomed to this way.

The midwife, because women have light thought (women are easily swayed, that is, they cannot keep things to themselves), went and disclosed the secret to a person: that she had exchanged the babies. And every person has a comrade, and the comrade has another comrade; thus one disclosed to the other till the secret came out, as is usual in the world, till people discussed it quietly that the prince had been exchanged. For it surely could not be talked about loudly, for the king should not become aware, because what will the King be able to do in such a case? For he cannot put it right. He cannot believe this: it might be a lie—and how can one exchange back? Therefore the King surely must not be informed; but the people among themselves quietly discussed the thing.

Came a day when one went and disclosed the secret to the prince, that people say about him that he was exchanged, “but you must not think of this, for it is beneath you. And how can one think of such a thing! But I am only telling it to you so that you may know. For perhaps, there may come to pass a plot against the Kingdom; and the plot can become strengthened through this: for they will say that they will take the prince for their King, i.e. the one whom it is said that he is the true prince etc. You should therefore see about getting rid of the youth.” (Thus spoke the one to the prince who in truth was the son of the handmaiden etc.)

So the prince went and began to victimize the other’s father (who in truth was really his own father). And he always contrived to harm him; and he kept on making him troubles, one after the other, in order to force him to uproot himself and go away with his son. As long as the King himself was alive, he did not have much power, but nevertheless he still harassed him. Afterwards, the King grew old and died, and he inherited the Kingdom. Then he made thinks still worse for the other son’s father (i.e. for the father of the handmaiden’s son, who in truth was the prince; and the father was really the father of him who had taken over the Kingdom, for they had been exchanged etc.). And he did evil things to him in secret (so that it should not be evident that it was from him), because it was unfitting that it should be known, and he continued to harass him again and again. So the man understood that he was giving him trouble because of the thing (because the world says that the children were exchanged). So he spoke and said to his son (the slave, the husband of the handmaiden, who was continually being persecuted so that he should expel his son, because it was rumored that the children had been exchanged etc.), and disclosed to him the whole story and said to him, “I have great pity for you, for no matter what the case may be if you are my child, the I surely have great pity for you. If you are not my child, but in truth the prince, then you are even more to be pitied; because he (the one who took over the Kingdom) wants to destroy you altogether, G-d forbid. Therefore, you must go away (i.e. escape) from here.” He was very miserable, and he felt very bad about the whole thing. But the King meantime continued persecutions one after another, so the son resolved (i.e. the real prince who had been exchanged) that he must escape. The father gave him a large amount of money, and he went away.

He felt great resentment that he was banished from his country for no reason, because he considered all aspects and thought, “Why have I earned banishment? If I am really the prince, then I certainly do not deserve to be banished. And even if I am not the prince, I still do not merit to be a refugee (one who escapes) without cause, because what have I sinned that I am guilty here?” So he was very resentful, and because of this he took to drinking, and went to brothels (i.e. to the houses where whores live), and he wanted in this way to spend his life: he would drink and follow whatever his heart prompted, because he had been banished without cause.

The King (the false prince, the exchanged one who had become King) took over the Kingdom with strength. If he heard something about people murmuring and talking about it (that they were exchanged etc.) he punished them (that is punished and tortured), and he revenged himself on them, and he ruled with ambition and might.

Came a day. The King rode with his Ministers a-hunting (to catch wild animals), and they came to a beautiful spot, and a clear spring was before that spot. They stopped there to rest and wanted to go for a walk there. So the King lay down a while, and it came into his mind this deed that he had done, that he had banished that one without cause. Because no matter what the case may be, if he really were the prince, not only had he been exchanged, but why should he be also banished without cause? And if he is not the prince, he still has not earned that he should be banished, for how has he sinned? The prince was deep in thought about this and regretted the sin and the great injustice that he had done here. And the King could not make up his mind what to do now. As it was not possible to discuss such a thing with anybody to get advice (because one is surely ashamed to talk about this with others), the King became very worried and in great anxiety.  So he ordered the Ministers to turn back, because as he was worried, there was no need to go out for pleasure. So they turned homewards. As soon as the king came home, he certainly had many matters and interests to attend to. So he busied himself with his interests, and the matter went out of his mind (the anxiety and the regret he felt for having banished the other one without cause).

He who had been banished (the true Prince) went on doing what he did, and he squandered his money. Once he went out by himself to take a walk, and he lay down to rest. So there came into his mid all that had happened to him, and he began to ponder, “What has G-d done to me? If I am the prince, then I also do not deserve the same, that I should be a refugee, and a deportee.” Then he resolved in his mind, “Alright! If this is really so, if G-d can so order that a prince should be exchanged, and that all this should pass over him, then I am justified in my conduct, and what I have done is right. It is suitable that I should so conduct myself as I have been doing.” He began to feel very unhappy and have deep regrets over the evil deeds he had committed. After that, he turned to where he stayed and once again took to drinking. But since he had begun to have regrets, he used to become confused with the thoughts of regret and repentance which always came into his mind.

Once, when he was dozing, he dreamed that in such and such a place a fair will be held on such and such a day. Therefore, he should go there; and the first chance he gets of making some profit, he should at once take, even if it will be beneath his pride (this he dreamed). He awoke, and the dream penetrated deep into his thoughts. For sometimes it happens that the thing immediately leaves the mind, but this dream was very much in his mind. In spite of this, it was still difficult for him to do this. And he continued to drink, and the dream he dreamed again several times, and the dream caused him great confusion. Once he was told in a dream: if you want to have mercy on yourself, you should do this (he should go to the fair etc.). So he had to bring the dream to realization. He went and gave away the rest of the money he still had. He gave it away at the place where he lodged, and the good clothes he possessed he also left at the lodgings. He took simple cloths that merchants wear, that is a “Pintche,” and he journeyed to the fair and arrived there. He rose very early and went to the fair. He was met by a dealer who said to him, “Would you like to earn something?”

He answered, “Yes.”

So he said to him, “I have to drive cattle here, so I will hire you.”

He had no time to consider because of the dream etc. (for the dream was that the first earnings he must accept etc.). So he answered at once, “Yes.”

And the dealer immediately hired him and immediately began to order him about, just like a master over his servants. He began to ponder what he had done here; for he felt that such service was surely not for him, since he was a gentleman, and now he would have to drive cattle, and he would have to walk beside the cattle. But it was too late for regrets, and the dealer ordered him about like a master. He asked the dealer, “How will I go alone with the cattle?”

He answered him, “I have some more drivers who drive my cattle, so you will go together with them.” And he gave over to him several animals that he should drive. He led the cattle outside the town, and there were gathered the rest of the drovers who drive cattle. So they all went together, and he drove the cattle and the dealer rode on a horse and went with them.

The dealer rode with cruelty (with anger and without mercy); and towards him, he was even more merciless, and he was very very frightened of the dealer, for he saw that he had great cruelty and anger towards him. He was afraid, for if he gave him a blow with his stick, he would die on the spot (for the prince was a very delicate person, and because of his delicacy he was very frightened, and so he imagined this).

He went with the cattle and the dealer with them; and they came to a place. The bag containing bread for the drovers was taken out and they were given to eat, and he was also given of the bread and he ate.

After that they passed by a very dense wood (forest), and two of his cattle wandered into the wood. The dealer shouted at him, so he went after the two animals to catch them. The animals ran away, further, and he pursued them, and because the wood was so very dense, as soon as he entered the wood they could not see one another; and he immediately disappeared (i.e. became hidden) from their eyes (from the others that had gone with him). He (i.e. the prince), from whom the two animals had strayed, kept on following in pursuit of these animals, and they still ran away. He pursued them long, till he entered into very dense wood. So he thought, “In any case I shall die, because if I go back without the animals, I will die through the dealer,” (because of the great fear he had of the dealer, he thought the dealer would kill him if he returned without the animals). “And if I remain here, I shall also die through the beasts in the wood.” So he resolved, “Why should I go back to the dealer? How can I come to him without the animals?” For he was very much afraid of him.

So he went and pursued the animals further, and they kept on escaping. Meantime night came on, and such a thing he had never before experienced: that he must pass the night alone in such a dense wood. He heard the roaring of the beasts who roared, as is their nature. So he made up his mind and climbed up a tree and passed the night there, and he heard the voices of the beasts who clamored, as their habit is. In the morning he looked around and saw the animals standing near him; so he descended from the tree and went to catch them. Again they escaped, and again he pursued, and again they escaped. The animals found some grass to eat there, so they stood and fed. He followed to catch them, and again they escaped, and so he continued to follow them, and they escaped. He pursued them and they escaped, till he came into very dense wood where there were beasts who were not at all afraid of any man, for they were far away from settlements.

Again it was night. He heard the voices of the roaring animals and was very frightened. Meanwhile, he noticed standing near him a very tall tree, so he climbed up the tree. As soon as he climbed up the tree, he saw a person lying there, so he was very frightened. But nevertheless he was glad that he had found a person there.

They asked one another, “Who are you?”

“A man.”

Whence came you here?”

He did not want to tell him all that had happened to him, so he answered, “Through the cattle that I pastured, two of them strayed here, and through this I came here.”

So he in turn asked the man he found there in the tree, “From where do you come here?”

He answered, “I came here through the horse. For I was riding a horse, and I stood to rest a while. The horse strayed into the wood, so I followed him to catch him, and the horse again ran away, till I came here.”

They agreed between themselves to keep together, and they made a pact that even if they came to a settlement, they should still keep together. They both passed the night there; and they heard the voices of the beasts: how they roared and screamed. Towards day he heard a great laughter (ha ha ha) all over the wood (the sound of the laughter went over the whole wood), for it was a very great laughter, till the tree trembled with the noise of the laughter. He became very frightened and had great fear of this.

So the other said to him (the man he found there in the tree), “I have now no fear at all of this, for I have been sleeping here many nights, and every night it is so. As soon as day comes near, this laughter is heard, till all the trees tremble and shake themselves.”

He was very frightened and said to the other, “It looks as though this is the place of those people (the devils), for in settlements such laughter is never heard, because who ever heard a laughter over all the world?” After that, day came immediately. They looked about, and he saw his animals standing and the horse of the other also stood. So they came down and started in pursuit, this one after the cattle and that one after the horse. The animals again escaped, and he followed etc. etc.; and so also the other kept on running after the horse, and the horse kept on escaping, till they wandered away from one another and knew not of each other. Meanwhile, he found (the prince who was in pursuit of the cattle) a bog of bread; and this was certainly very previous in a wood. He took the bag on his back and followed the cattle. Meantime he met a person. He was frightened at first, but nonetheless, he was still glad that he had found a man there.

The man asked him, “How come you here?”

And he asked the other man back, “How come you here?”

The other man answered, “I?” (in a tone of wonder), “My parents and my parents’ parents grew up here. But you! How do you come here, for here comes nobody from the settlements.” So he was very frightened, for he understood that this is no human being at all, because he says that his parents grew up here, and no person of the settlements ever came here. So he understood that this was not a man at all. Still, despite this, he did nothing to him, and he was friendly to him (the man of the forest did no evil to the prince who was following after the cattle).

The man of the forest said to him, “What are you doing here?” So he answered that he was pursuing the cattle. So the man called out to him, “Stop running now after your sins, because these are no cattle at all. Only your sins are leading you on so. Enough now. You have already taken yours (your punishment you have already taken). Now do stop running after them. Come with me and you will come to your aim.”

So he went with him, and he was afraid to talk to him and to ask him anything, because such a eing perhaps will open his mouth and swallow him, so he followed him.

Meanwhile, he met his friend who had been running after the horse. As soon as he saw him, he immediately made a sign to him; that this was no man at all, and he should have no dealings with him, for this is no man. At once he went and whispered this into his ear, that this is no human being etc. (etc.). In the meantime the other looked round (i.e. the man of the horse), and saw that he had a bag of bread on his back. So he began to beg him, “Brother, it is already so many days that I have not eaten. Give me bread.”

He answered, “Here in the forest nothing helps, for my life is more important. I need the bread for myself.”

So he again started to beg him and he begged him very much. “I will give you what I will give you.” (But of course in the wilderness no gift comes before bread).

So he answered him, “What can you give me for bread in the forest?”

He said to him (i.e. the man of the horse who begged him for bread said to the man of the cattle who was the true prince), “I give myself altogether away, I sell myself to you as a slave for the bread.”

So he bethought himself (i.e. the man of the cattle etc.), to buy a person is worth giving him bread. So he bought him for an everlasting slave, and he had him sworn under oaths that he would be to him an eternal salve, even when they come into settlements and he should give him bread; that is, they will both eat of the sack of break, so long as it lasts. They both went together and followed the man of the forest; and the slave followed him (the man of the horse who had sold himself for a slave followed the man of the cattle, for he was already his slave, and they both were following the man from the forest). In the meantime he felt rather easier (for he now had a slave). If he had to pick up something or do something else, he ordered his slave that he should pick it up or do something, and together they followed the man of the forest.

They came to a place full of reptiles and scorpions and he was very frightened, and because of the fear he asked the man of the forest, “How shall we cross over here?”

He answered him, “Not only that, how will you go into my house?”

And he showed him his house, how it stood in the air. So they went with him (with the man of the forest). He took them safely across, and he brought them into his house, and gave them food and drink and went away. And he (the true prince who had driven the cattle) ordered his slave to do whatever he needed, and this made the slave very resentful that he had sold himself as a slave, because of one hour when he needed bread to eat. For now he already had food, and only because of one hour he should have to be a slave forever. And he gave a great sigh, “To what have I come that I should be a slave?”

So he asked him (i.e. the real prince who was his master asked him), “What sort of greatness did you possess, that you sign about what you have come to?”

He answered him and related to him that he was a monarch, and it was spoken about him that he had been exchanged etc. etc. (for the owner of the horse was, in reality, the King himself who in truth was the son of the handmaiden), and he had banished his friend (the real prince). Once it came into his mind that he did not act rightly, and he regretted etc.; and there continued to come regrets into his mind always at the evil deed and at the great injustice he had done to his friend. Once he dreamt that his remedy was that he should cast off the Kingdom, and he should go wherever his eyes would lead him, and in this way he would mend his sin. He did not want to do this; but these dreams kept on confusing him that he should do so, till it remained in his mind that he would do so. He cast off the Kingdom and wandered wherever he wandered until he came here, and now he had to be a slave.

The other heard all this, and was silent (the real prince, who drove the cattle, heard out all this that he was being told) and he thought to himself, “Now I will know how to get along with you.” At night there arrived the man of the forest and gave them food and drink, and they passed the night there. Towards day they heard the great laughter (etc.) till all trees trembled. It broke all the trees (the voice of the laughter). So he persuaded him (the slave persuaded the real prince, who was his master) to ask the man of the forest what this is.

He asked him, “What is this, such a great laughter near to day?”

He answered him, “Thus laughs the day at the night, for the night asks the day, ‘Why, when you come, have I no name?’ So the day gives a great laugh; and then it becomes day, and this is the laughter that is heard towards day.”

This was a great wonder to him, for it is an extraordinary thing that the day laughs at the night (to question further he declined, since the other answered in such language).

In the morning again the man of the forest departed, and they ate and drank there. At night, he came again, and they ate and drank and passed the night there. At night, they heard the voices of the animals, how they all roared and screamed with wild noises. The lion roared and the leopard growled with a different voice, and thus all the other beasts, each beast growled with a different voice, and the birds chirped and twittered and thus all growled with wild noises. At first, they were very frightened, so they did not listen carefully to the noise because of fear. Afterwards they lent their ears and listened, so they heard that this was the sound of a tune. They were singing a very melodious tune which was an incredible wonder. So they listened even more carefully, and they heard that it was an unusually beautiful melody which was a great wonder and a very great pleasure to hear, that all the pleasures in the world are as naught and are worth nothing against the exceptional great pleasure to be derived from hearing this wonderful tune. So they talked among themselves that they should remain here, because they had here food and drink and had here such a pleasure, such a wonderful thing that all kinds of pleasures in the world fall short of this pleasure.

The slave persuaded his master (the true prince) to ask him (the man of the forest) what this was. He asked him. He answered him, “The sun made a dress [i.e. of light] for the moon. So all the beasts of the forest cried out that the moon does them great favors, since the power of the beasts is principally only during the night. For sometimes they have to go into settlements, and this they cannot do during the day, so their power is chiefly only by night. The moon does them such a favor, that she lights them at night, therefore they have all agreed to create a new tune in honor of the moon, and this is the tune that you hear.”

When they heard that this was a tune, they listened even more. And they heard that it was an unusually beautiful, sweet tune, which was a very great wonder.

So he said to them (the man of the forest), “Why do you find it such a wonder? Even so, I have an instrument that I received from my parents, who inherited it from their parents’ parents, which is made with such things, with such leaves and with such colors, that if you take the instrument and place it on whatever beast or on whatever bird, it immediately starts to play this tune (the tune that the beasts played here).”

After that there again came the laughter, and it was day, and the man of the forest again departed. He (the real prince) went to look for the instrument. He searched the whole room and did not find it, and further he was afraid to go. They (the real prince and his slave, who is the handmaiden’s son that was previously the King) were afraid to ask the man of the forest to lead them into a settlement Afterwards came the man of the forest and told them that he would lead them into a settlement. So he guided them to a settlement, and he took the instrument etc. and gave it to the real prince, and said to him, “This instrument I grant you and with this one (with the slave who was previously King etc. etc.), you will know how to deal with him.”

They asked him, “Where shall we go?”

He told them to ask the way to the country called by the name: “The foolish land and the clever kingdom.”

They asked him, “On which side shall we begin to enquire after the country?”

So he showed them with his hand, “This way” (like one points with a finger). The man of the forest said to the real prince, “Go there to that country; and there you will come into your own greatness.”

So they went where they went, and they very much desired to find some animal or cattle in order to test the instrument if it could play (etc.), but they had still not seen any animal. They then went further into the settlement and found an animal So on her they laid down the instrument, and it began to play the tune (etc.). So, in this way, they walked and walked till they came to the country.

This country had a wall all around, and one could not go into this country except through only one gate and one must go round many miles to reach that gate. The walked on till they came to the gate. When they had already reached the gate, they were not given entry. Since the King of the country had died, the King’s son remained. The King has willed that as heretofore the country was called “The foolish land with the wise government,” now it should be called the opposite: “The wise land with the foolish government.” Whoever would undertake that he would give back to the land the original name (that the outcry should again be called by its original name, the foolish country with the clever government), that one should become King. For that reason, no single person was being admitted into the country, except the one who would undertake this thing, that he would give back to the land the original name. He was told, “Can you undertake this, that you should give back to this country the original name?” He could surely not undertake this; so they could not enter. And the slave tried to persuade him to return home, but he did not want to go back, because the man of the forest had told him to go to this country, and there he would come to his greatness.

In the meanwhile, there arrived another person who came riding on a horse, and he wanted to go in, but he also was not admitted because of (etc.). Meanwhile, he saw standing the other man’s horse, so he went and took the instrument and laid it down on the horse. And it started to play the very fine tune (etc.). The owner of the horse begged him very much to sell it to him.

And he answered him, “What can you give me for such a marvelous instrument?”

The man of the horse said to him, “What then are you able to do with this instrument? You can only make a show with it and take money. But I know of something which is better than your instrument. I know something that I have inherited from my parents’ parents, that through this thing one can understand one thing from a different thing (one should understand one thing from the other thing). If someone speaks a word, one can, through that which I have inherited, understand one thing from the other. And I have so far not revealed this thing to a single person in the world. Therefore, I will teach you this particular thing, if you will give me this particular instrument.”

So he bethought himself (the real prince who had the instrument), “It is in truth a great wonder to be able to understand one thing form another thing.” So he gave him the instrument, and he (the man of the horse) went and taught him how to understand a thing from another thing.

The real prince, since he was able to understand one thing from another thing, went about there by the gate of the country. And he understood that it was quite possible for him to undertake that he should give back to the country the original name, because he could now understand one thing form another thing. For this reason, he understood that it was possible, though he did not yet know how. Even so, he would be able to give back the original name to the country. But nonetheless, still, because he understood one thing form another thing, he understood that it was possible. He decided he would ask to be given entry, and he would undertake this, to give back to the country the original name. What had he to lose here? So he said (to the people who had refused to let him in), that they should let him in; and he would undertake this particular thing, that he would give back to the country the original name. He was admitted and information was given to the Ministers that there was to be found such a person who wished to undertake to give back the country its original name. He was brought before the Ministers of the country.

The Minister said to him, “You should know that we are also no fools, G-d forbid. But he who was King was an unusually great sage, compared to whom we were all simpletons, and because of this, the country was called the foolish land with the wise government. After the King died, remained the King’s son, and the King’s son is also wise. But compare to us he is no sage, and because of this the country is now called the opposite; the clever land with the foolish government. The King left a condition in his will that if there were found such a wise one who would be able to give back to the country the original name, he should be King; and enjoined upon his son that if such a person is found, he should make way for him to reign (i.e. if there is found such a wise one, who will be so wondrous wise that compared to him, they will all be simpletons, he should become King). For this person will again give back to the country the original name, the foolish land with the wise government; because they are all simpletons compared to him. Therefore, you should know what you are undertaking here.”

Thus the Ministers spoke to him.

In addition, they said to him, “There will be a test whether you really are such a wise one. There is a garden here that was left by the previous King, who was a very wise man, and this garden is a very great wonder. There grow in it metal things (vessels of iron ware), silver vessels and golden vessels. And it is a very great wonder. But one cannot enter into this garden, because if a person goes into it, he immediately begins to be chased, and is chased. He shouts and he knows nothing at all, and he sees nothing at all of who is chasing him; and so he is always chased till he is made to escape from the garden. Therefore, we shall see if you are a wise one, if you will be able to go into the garden.”

He asked whether the person who enters was beaten.

They answered him, “The main thing is he is chased. He knows nothing who is chasing him, and he must escape in very great panic.”

This was told to them by people who entered there (thus continued the Ministers to tell the real prince).

So he got up and went to the garden. He saw there was a wall around it. The gate was open, and there were not guards there, since surely no guards are needed for this garden (because nobody could go into it etc.). He walked by the garden (the real prince). He looked and he noticed that near the garden there stood a man; that is to say, a man was painted there. He looked again, and saw that above the man there was a tablet There it was written that this man was a King many hundreds of year before (many hundreds of years ago), and in the time of this King there was peace. For till this King there were wars, and also after him there were wars and in the day of their King there was peace. From this he understood (for he was one who understood one thing form another thing), that it all depends on this person. If one goes into the garden and begins to be chase, one need not escape at all, but one should stand near this person: by this he will be rescued. Even more, if one were to take this man and place him inside the garden, then everybody would be able to go peacefully into the garden (all this was understood by the real prince since he was understanding of one thing from another thing).

So he rose and went into the garden. As soon as he began to be chased, he went and stood next to the person that stood near the garden on the outside, and by this he went out peacefully and was not harmed at all. For others, when they entered the garden and began to be chased, they escaped in great panic and were punished through this. He went out in peace and plenty through his having stood near that person. The Ministers saw this, and they greatly wondered that he went out in peace. After that he ordered (i.e. the real prince ordered) that the person be taken and placed inside in the garden. This was done. So all the Ministers went inside into the garden, and there they took a walk and then went out in peace.

The Ministers said to him, “Still, nevertheless, even though we have seen such a thing from you, despite, this, because of one thing, you are not yet entitled to take over the Kingdom. We will test you with one thing more. Now there is here a throne of the previous King, and this throne is very high, and next to the throne there stands all kinds of animals and birds carved out of wood. Before the throne there stands a bed; and next to the bed stands a table. On the table stands a candlestick, and from this throne there extend well-trodden paths, and these paths are walled. The paths go out from the throne on all sides, and no single person knows the meaning of the throne with the paths. On the paths, after going out and extending some distance, there stands a golden lion, and should a person go near him, he will open his mouth and swallow him. After the lion, the path extends further still; and thus with the other paths that go out of the throne (that is to say, by the other path that goes out from the throne). From another side, it is the same: that the path goes some distance and there stands another animal (a leopard made of iron). There one also cannot come near him etc. (for he will swallow him up). After the leopard, the path goes further, and so also with the other paths, and these paths stretch out and go over the whole country. Not a single person knows the meaning of the throne with all those things and the pathways. Therefore, you will be tested with this whether you will be able to know the secret of the throne and all else.”

He was shown the throne. He saw that it was very high etc. He went towards the throne and looked. He understood that the throne was made from the wood of the box (the instrument that the man of the forest had presented him etc.). He looked further; and he saw that there was missing from the top of the throne something like a rose, and if the throne had this rose, the throne would have the power of the box (the instrument etc. which had the power that when it used to be laid upon some beast or animal etc. it began to play etc.). He looked further, and he saw that the rose that was missing from the top of the throne, this rose was lying lower down on the throne. So it was necessary to take out the rose from down there and set it in at the top, and thus the throne would have the power of the box (etc.), because the previous King had everything done very cleverly and had disguised it all so that nobody should understand the thing that he meant, till there would come such a very unusually wise one who would find out and would be able to guess how to change it all and put in order all the things as needed. Thus the bed: he understood that it had to be slightly moved from the place where it stood; and so also the table must be slightly moved from its place, and so also the candlestick must be slightly moved from its place; and so the birds and animals must all be moved. One should take this bird from this place and put it in that place; and thus all must be re-arranged otherwise, because the King had purposely disguised with cleverness, so that none should know his meaning, till there would come the wises one who would be able to understand how to arrange it all in proper order. Thus also the lion, who stands there where the path leads out, must be place elsewhere, and thus all has to be re-arranged. So he ordered that everything should be re-arranged as necessary, that the rose should be taken out from underneath and set in place at the top. So all these things should be removed and re-arranged otherwise (as is necessary according to his orders). When this was done, they all began to play that beautiful tune that is such a marvelous thing, and they all performed that which they had to do. Thus the Kingdom was given over to him (i.e. the real prince who showed all this wisdom etc.). He spoke up and said to the son of the handmaiden, “Now I understand that I really am the true prince, and you are the son of the handmaiden in truth.”


In olden times when people discussed Kabbalah, the discussion was carried on in such language (like this story) etc. This story is an extraordinary wonder and is all one the cattle etc. and the throne, and the garden etc. are all one. Sometimes it is called so and sometimes otherwise.

The explanation of the story is like the throne which the King had made, whose main wisdom was to know how to place in order each thing. Also he who is well read in books and is truly very wise can understand the explanation; but one must know to place in good order, because sometimes the thing has one name, and sometimes another. Happy is the one who will be blessed enough to understand this. All this he himself (may he rest in peace) discussed after the story.