|The Universe of Discourse|
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Fri, 28 Oct 2005
The king's friend propounds nineteen questions, all of which the wise and clever princess answers without difficulty. On the morning of the twentieth day, the king, after praying to the goddess Saraswarti for help, is inspired with the solution: he will ask the princess to solve his own difficulty, and to tell him what question he should ask her. "And if she tells me, then I will ask her tomorrow what she tells me to-day: and if she does not tell me, then she is mine according to the terms of the agreement, to-day: and so in either alternative, the bird is caged."
[Addendum: Despite the many notes in the text on translation details, untranslatable puns, and so forth, the author, F.W. Bain, probably wrote it himself, rather than translating it from an unknown manuscript as he claimed.]