How a certain elder shrank from being praised, and rejoiced when he was despised.
A certain old man dwelt in the lower part of the desert, at peace, in a cave. A religious man from a neighbouring village used to bring him what he wanted. It happened that this man's son fell sick. With many prayers he besought the old man to come to his house and pray for the child. At length he prevailed with him, and running home, cried out, "Prepare for the coming of the hermit." When the people of the village knew that he was coming they went out with torches to welcome him as if he had been some prince or governor. The hermit, as soon as he perceived how they meant to greet him, stood upon the river-bank, and taking off his clothes, went naked into the water. When the man who was accustonied to minister to him saw this he was greatly ashamed, and said to the villagers, "Return to your homes, for our hermit has lost his senses." Then going to the old man, he said, "My father, why have you done this? All those who saw you are saying, 'That old man is nothing better than a fool.'" The hermit replied to him, "That is the very thing I wished to hear."
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