The rise and fall of a merchant

Once upon a time in the city of Vardhaman, lived a wealthy merchant named Dantila. He threw a great reception for his wedding attended by the king, the queen, their ministers and all the rich and influential persons in the city. Present at the reception was Gorambha, a lowly sweeper in the royal household. When Dantila saw him occupying a seat reserved for the nobles and the king, he ordered his servants to throw Gorambha out of his house.

Thus insulted, Gorambha thought that he is a poor man and so cannot give a fitting reply to such a wealthy person as Dantila. Filled with revenge, he decided to somehow see that the king stops making favors to Dantila. Then he made a plan to take revenge on Dantila.

One early morning when the king was still in sleep, Gorambha pretending to sweep the king’s bedroom began loudly murmuring, “Oh, how arrogant is Dantila! He has the audacity to lock the queen in his embrace.” Hearing this, the king woke up and summoned Gorambha. King demanded to know whether what Gorambh was murmuring is true. Had Dantila dared to take the queen in his embrace? Did Dantila embrace the queen?

Gorambha  said “Oh, your majesty, I don’t remember nor do I know what I was saying because I was drowsy having spent the entire night in gambling,”

The king was not satisfied with his reply and thought that it was possible that the sweeper had seen Dantila embracing the queen. He remembered wise men saying that men were likely to talk in their sleep about what they did, saw and desired in the day. Convinced that Dantila had indeed embraced the queen, the king barred Dantila from entering the royal household.

The merchant began grieving his fate. Dantila was completely unaware why he has been deprived of the King’s favors.  He thought to himself that he had not done any harm to the king or his relatives even in his dreams.

One day as Dantila was trying to enter the king’s palace he was barred by the king’s men.  Seeing this Gorambha told the guards, “You fools, you are barring the great Dantila who has won the king’s favours. He is very powerful. If you stop him, you will meet with the same fate as I did at the hands of Dantila one day.”

Dantila thought that it would do him good to make Gorambha happy and win his confidence. One evening he invited the sweeper for tea and presented him with expensive clothes and told him, “Friend, I had never meant to insult you. You had occupied a seat I had set apart for the learned. Kindly pardon me.”

Gorambha   was pleased and promised to win the king’s favor for Dantila again. The next day, Gorambha repeated the same drama of pretending to talk irrelevantly, raving that the king was eating cucumber in the rest room. “What nonsense are you talking? Did you ever see me doing such things?” the king demanded to know. Did you ever see me doing Such Thing? “No, my lord. I do not know nor do I remember what I was saying because I was drowsy having spent the entire night in gambling,” the sweeper said.

The king then realized that if what the sweeper had said about him was not true what he had said about Dantila also could not be true. A person like Dantila could not have done what Gorambha had told him. The king also found that without Dantila the affairs of the state had suffered and civic administration had come to a standstill. The king immediately summoned the merchant to his palace and restored to him all the authority he had enjoyed before he fell out of king’s favor.

“That is why we must know that pride goes before fall.”

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