One evening, when
seated at table, Brother
Benjamin was called
the Abbot to give the riddle that was that day demanded of him.
he, "I am no good at the making
knowest full well; but I have been teasing my poor brain over a matter
that I trust some among you will expound to me, for I cannot rede it
It is this.
Mark me take a glass of sack from this bottle that
contains a pint of wine and pour it into that jug which contains a pint
of water. Now, I fill the glass with the mixture from the jug and pour
back into the bottle holding
Pray tell me, have I taken more
wine from the bottle than water from the jug?
Or have I taken more
from the jug than wine from the bottle?"
I gather that the
monks got nearer to a great
poser than had ever happened before.
One brother so far forgot himself
to tell his neighbour that "more wine had got into his pate than wit
out of it," while another noisily insisted that it all depended on the
shape of the glass and the age of the wine.
But the Lord Abbot
intervened, showed them what a simple question it really was, and
restored good feeling all round.