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Descriptive Geography and Brief Historical Sketch of Palestine

By Rabbi Joseph Schwarz, 1850

The Right Proof.

One day the Pacha stood at a window in his palace at Akko, and observed that a soldier asked of an Arab peasant woman, who was selling milk, ten paras’ worth (about one cent) of her commodity, which he obtained and drank up. When the woman asked for her money, he averred that he had not yet received the milk, and would only pay when she had duly furnished him with it. The woman cried aloud that he had already drunk the milk; but he maintained the contrary. No one was present who could appear as witness; but the Pacha had seen everything, without being perceived by them. He had both thereupon summoned before him, as though he knew nothing of the whole dispute, and asked unconcernedly, for what they contended, when they told him their story. The Pacha demanded an oath from the soldier, who swore that he had not drunk the milk. The other, who from the evidence of his eyes knew the contrary, said then that an oath is no certain proof to discover the truth; but that he knew of a surer and entirely reliable evidence, to wit, that the man's stomach should be ripped open: if now the milk be found, he should pay the Arab woman the ten paras, and have to defray the expenses of being sewed up again himself; but in case no milk be found, he need not pay the money, and the woman should defray the cost of sewing him up. The Pacha's method of proving the fact was at once executed, the milk was found undigested in the soldier's stomach, and the woman received her ten paras.

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