The Paripatetic And The Pauper

The Peripatetic and the Pauper

A peripatetic scholar had come to the agora in order to sell fine books from the back of his cart, the collected wisdom from his travels and encounters. The nobles all purchased these valuable tomes for their sons who might come know the world and be better fit to take charge city affairs.

The scholar, feeling fine for the small fortune he made that day, spotted across the market a pauper selling odds and ends spread out on a blanket. Feeling generous, he approached the pauper and spoke: "Ho friend. I notice that your life's lot is sorry indeed. I have but one volume remaining on my cart and am willing to part with it for half price."

"Even at half price," spoke the pauper, "it would cost all that own."

"Ahh but you could read it, gaining in wisdom, before selling it on for more than you paid. I want simply to help you."

"Even so," replied the pauper, "no one would buy such a tome from me. It is your well-earned reputation that supplies such value to mere words."

After a long pause, the pauper continued: "I will, however, sell you all my wares at half price. I must be rid of them if I am to leave the city."