THE steward of a certain rich man was left in charge of his master’s property. When asked by someone as to whose property it was, he used to say: “Sir, this is all my property; these houses and these gardens are all mine.” He would speak in this strain and go about with an air of vanity. One day he happened to catch fish in a pond of his master’s garden-house in contravention of his strict prohibition. As ill-luck would have it, the master came upon the scene just then, and saw what his dishonest steward was doing. Finding out the faithlessness of his servant, the master at once drove him away from his estate, disgraced and dishonoured, and confiscated all his past earnings. The poor fellow could not take with him even his rickety box of utensils which was his sole private property.
Such is the punishment that overtakes false pride. (18)