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    6- Grecian King and the Physician Douban

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    Chapter 7
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    There was in the country of Yunaun or Greece, a king who was
    leprous, and his physicians had in vain endeavoured his cure;
    when a very able physician, named Douban, arrived at his court.

    This physician had learnt the theory of his profession in Greek,
    Persian, Turkish, Arabic, Latin, Syriac, and Hebrew books; he was
    an experienced natural philosopher, and fully understood the good
    and bad qualities of plants and drugs. As soon as he was informed
    of the king's distemper, and understood that his physicians had
    given him over, he found means to present himself before him. "I
    know," said he, after the usual ceremonials, "that your majesty's
    physicians have not been able to heal you of the leprosy; but if
    you will accept my service, I will engage to cure you without
    potions, or external applications."

    The king listened to what he said, and answered, "If you be able
    to perform what you promise, I will enrich you and your
    posterity. Do you assure me that you will cure my leprosy without
    potion, or applying any external medicine?" "Yes, Sire," replied
    the physician, "I promise myself success, through God's
    assistance, and to-morrow, with your majesty's permission, I will
    make the trial."

    The physician returned to his quarters, made a hollow mace, and
    at the handle he put in his drugs; he made also a ball in such a
    manner as suited his purpose, with which next morning he
    presented himself before the king, and falling down at his feet,
    kissed the ground.

    The physician Douban rose up, and after a profound reverence,
    said to the king, he judged it meet that his majesty should take
    horse, and go to the place where he used to play at mall. The
    king did so, and when he arrived there, the physician came to him
    with the mace, and said, "Exercise yourself with this mace, and
    strike the ball until you find your hands and body perspire. When
    the medicine I have put up in the handle of the mace is heated
    with your hand, it will penetrate your whole body; and as soon as
    you perspire, you may leave off the exercise, for then the
    medicine will have had its effect. Immediately on your return to
    your palace, go into the bath, and cause yourself to be well
    washed and rubbed; then retire to bed, and when you rise to-
    morrow you will find yourself cured."

    The king took the mace, and struck the ball, which was returned
    by his officers who played with him; he played so long, that his
    hands and his whole body were in a sweat, and then the medicine
    shut up in the handle of the mace had its operation, as the
    physician had said. Upon this the king left off play, returned to
    his palace, entered the bath, and observed very exactly his
    physician had prescribed to him.

    The next morning when he arose, he perceived with equal wonder
    and joy, that his leprosy was cured, and his body as clean as if
    it had never been affected. As soon as he was dressed, he came
    into the hall of audience, where he ascended his throne, and
    shewed himself to his courtiers: who, eager to know the success
    of the new medicine, came thither betimes, and when they saw the
    king perfectly cured, expressed great joy. The physician Douban
    entering the hall, bowed himself before the throne, with his face
    to the ground. The king perceiving him, made him sit down by his
    side, presented him to the assembly, and gave him all the
    commendation he deserved. His majesty did not stop here: but as
    he treated all his court that day, made him eat at his table
    alone with him.

    The Grecian king was not satisfied with having admitted the
    physician Douban to his table, but caused him to be clad in a
    rich robe, ordered him two thousand pieces of gold, and thinking
    that he could never sufficiently acknowledge his obligations to
    him, continued every day to load him with new favours. But this
    king had a vizier, who was avaricious, envious, and naturally
    capable of every kind of mischief. He could not behold without
    envy the presents that were given to the physician, whose other
    merits had already begun to make him jealous, and he therefore
    resolved to lessen him in the king's esteem. To effect this, he
    went to the king, and told him in private, that he had some
    information of the greatest consequence to communicate. The king
    having asked what it was? "Sire," said he, "it is highly
    dangerous for a monarch to confide in a man whose fidelity he has
    never tried. Though you heap favours upon the physician Douban,
    your majesty does not know that he is a traitor, sent by your
    enemies to take away your life." "From whom," demanded the king,
    "have you the suggestion which you dare pronounce? Consider to
    whom you are speaking, and that you are advancing what I shall
    not easily believe." "Sire," replied the vizier, "I am well
    informed of what I have had the honour to reveal to your majesty;
    therefore do not rest in dangerous security: if your majesty be
    asleep, be pleased to awake; for I once more repeat, that the
    physician Douban left his native country, and came to settle
    himself at your court, for the sole purpose of executing the
    horrible design which I have intimated."

    "No, no, vizier," interrupted the king; "I am certain, that this
    physician, whom you suspect to be a villain and a traitor, is one
    of the best and most virtuous of men. You know by what medicine,
    or rather by what miracle, he cured me of my leprosy: If he had
    had a design upon my life, why did he save me then? He needed
    only to have left me to my disease; I could not have escaped it,
    as life was fast decaying. Forbear then to fill me with unjust
    suspicions: instead of listening to you, I tell you, that from
    this day forward I will give that great man a pension of a
    thousand pieces of gold per month for his life; nay, though I
    were to share with him all my riches and dominions, I should
    never pay him sufficiently for what he has done. I perceive it to
    be his virtue that raises your envy; but do not think I will be
    unjustly prejudiced against him. I remember too well what a
    vizier said to king Sinbad, his master, to prevent his putting to
    death the prince his son."

    What the Grecian king said about king Sinbad raised the vizier's
    curiosity, who said, "I pray your majesty to pardon me, if I have
    the boldness to ask what the vizier of king Sinbad said to his
    master to divert him from putting the prince his son to death."
    The Grecian king had the condescension to satisfy him: "That
    vizier," said he, "after having represented to king Sinbad, that
    he ought to beware, lest on the accusation of a mother-in-law he
    should commit an action of which he might afterwards repent, told
    him this story."
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