Romania - Tepes's law

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Romania - Tepes's law

  1. 1.   In Vlad Ţepeş’ time, a merchant travelling in our country, made someone shout at the crossroads that he’d lost a 1000 golden coins bag, promissing a hundred golden coins reward to whomever might find it.
  2. 2.   After a short while, a Christian, a God-fearing man, as many Romanians were in those days, showed himself to the merchant and told him:  - Patron merchant, as I was going my way, at the crossroads behind the fishmonger’s, I found this bag. I think it is yours, because I’ve heard you screaming that you lost a money bag.  - It is mine, indeed and I kindly thank you for giving it back to me.
  3. 3.   While counting the money, the merchant was struggling his mind to find a way out of paying the promised reward. When he finished with the counting, he put it back into the bag, then told the man:  - I have counted the money, and I see you’ve kept your reward. Now there are nine hundred coins instead of a thousand. You were perfectly right to do so.  - Patron merchant, said the Christian,you have no reason to say there is money missing in your bag. I haven’t even opened it to see how much it is inside. I’ve given it to you just the way I found it.
  4. 4.   - I’ve told you, harshly said the merchant , I lost a thousand golden coins bag and there is no more than nine hundred golden coins inside . And that’s it!  The man argued no more, but went straight to Tepeş in order to complain.  - Your Highness, he said, he hasn’t given me the promised reward; still I’m not angry for this reason, but he suspects me to have been dishonest.
  5. 5.   - If you, patron merchant, lost a thousand golden coins bag, and this man found a nine hundred golden coins bag, then this bag cannot possibly be yours.  You, Christian, take the money you’ve found and give it to whomever might have lost a nine hundred golden coins bag; and you, patron merchant, wait until you find the one thousand golden coins bag, which you say you’ve lost!  - If you, patron merchant, lost a thousand golden coins bag, and this man found a nine hundred golden coins bag, then this bag cannot possibly be yours.  You, Christian, take the money you’ve found and give it to whomever might have lost a nine hundred golden coins bag; and you, patron merchant, wait until you find the one thousand golden coins bag, which you say you’ve lost!  And so they did, since there was no way out. Vlad Ţepeş had judged.  The merchant paid for his deed, and he felt sorry for it his entire life. Your Highness, I was silver clean and never had it crossed my mind to steal anyone’s belongings. Ţepeş understood the merchant’s stratagem and commanded to be brought to him. Listening to both of them and severely judging their words, he could immediately tell the right from wrong. Then looking straight into the merchant’s eyes, he said:

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