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THE THREE BROTHERS.
Abendali of Bagdad had three sons; the two eldest, very tall and proper youths for their years; but the youngest, on account of the dwarfishness of his stature, was called Little Agib. He had, notwithstanding, a wit and shrewdness very unusual to any, especially of his childish age; whereas his brothers were dull and slow of intellect, to an extraordinary degree.
Now Abendali, though he had money, was not rich enough to leave behind him a competence for each of his sons; wherefore he thought it best to teach them in the first instance to scrape together as much as they could; accordingly, calling them all to him, on some occasion, he presented to each a small canvass purse, with a sequin in it, by way of handsel, and then spoke to them to this effect:
"Behold! here is a money-bag a-piece, with a single sequin, for you must furnish the rest by your own industry. I shall require every now and then to look into your purses, in order to see what you have added; but to that end you shall not have any recourse to theft, or violent robbery, for money is often purchased by those methods at too dear a rate; whereas the more you can obtain by any subtle stratagems, or smart strokes of policy, the greater will be my opinion of your hopefulness and abilities." ••
The three brethren accepted of the purses with great good-will, and immediately began to think over various plans of getting money; so quickly does the desire of riches take root in the human bosom. .The two elder ones, however, beat about their wits to no purpose, for they could not start a single invention, except of begging alms, which they would not