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'The younger answered: "He who kept good the raiment of the people oflsrael for forty years in the wilderness hath kept my skins even as thou seest."

'Then the elder perceived that the younger was more perfect than he, for he had every year had dealings with men. Whereupon, in order that he might have [the benefit of] his conversation, he said: ''Brother, thou knowest not how to read, and I know how to read, and I have in my house the psalms of David. Come, then, that I may each day give thee a reading and make plain to thee what David saith."

'The younger answered: "Let us go now."

'Said the elder: "O brother, it is now two days since I have drunk water; let us therefore seek a little water."

'The younger replied: "O brother, it is now two months since I have drunk water. Let us go, therefore, and see what God saith by his prophet David: the Lord is able to give us water."

'Whereupon they returned to the dwelling of the elder, at the door whereof they found a spring of fresh water.

Said the elder: "O brother, thou art an holy one of God; for thy sake hath God given this spring."

'The younger answered: "O brother, in humility sayest thou this; but certain it is that if God had done this for my sake he would have made a spring close to my dwelling, that I should not depart in search thereof. For I confess to thee that I sinned against thee. When thou saidst that for two days that thou didst not drink thou soughtest water and I had been for two months without drink, whereupon I felt an exaltation within me, as though I were better than thou."

'Then said the elder: ''O brother, thou saidst the truth, therefore thou didst not sin."

'Said the younger: "O brother, thou hast forgotten what our father Elijah said, that he who seeketh God ought to condemn himself alone. Assuredly he wrote it not that we might know it, but rather that we might observe it."

'Said the more aged, perceiving the truth and righteousness of his companion: "It is true; and our God hath pardoned thee."

'And having said this he took the Psalms, and read that which our father David saith: "I will set a watch over my mouth that my tongue decline not to words of iniquity, excusing with excuse my sin." And here the aged man made a discourse upon the tongue, and the younger departed. Whereupon they were fifteen years more ere they found one another, because the younger changed his dwelling.

'Accordingly, when he had found him again, the elder said: "O brother, wherefore returnedst thou not to my dwelling?"

'The younger answered: "Because I have not yet learned well what thou saidst to me."

'Then said the elder: "How can this be, seeing fifteen years are past?"

'The younger replied: "As for the words, I learned them in a single hour and have never forgotten them; but I have not yet observed them. To what purpose is it, then, to learn too much, and not to observe it? Our God seeketh not that our intellect should be good, but rather our heart. So, on the day of judgment, he will not ask us what we have learned, but what we have done."