A Cobbler unable to make a living by his trade and made desperate
by poverty, began to practice medicine in a town in which he was
not known. He sold a drug, pretending that it was an antidote to
all poisons, and obtained a great name for himself by long-winded
puffs and advertisements. When the Cobbler happened to fall sick
himself of a serious illness, the Governor of the town determined
to test his skill. For this purpose he called for a cup, and while
filling it with water, pretended to mix poison with the Cobbler's
antidote, commanding him to drink it on the promise of a reward.
The Cobbler, under the fear of death, confessed that he had no
knowledge of medicine, and was only made famous by the stupid
clamors of the crowd. The Governor then called a public assembly
and addressed the citizens: "Of what folly have you been guilty?
You have not hesitated to entrust your heads to a man, whom
no one could employ to make even the shoes for their feet."
(Translated by George Fyler Townsend, 1814-1900)