Balthasar and Other Works
"Doubtless," said Balthasar, "but there are other things in Nature more beautiful even than palm-trees and crocodiles."
This he said thinking of Balkis. But Sembobitis, who was old, said:
"There is of course the phenomenon of the rising of the Nile which I have explained. Man is created to understand."
"He is created to love," replied Balthasar sighing. "There are things which cannot be explained."
"And what may those be?" asked Sembobitis.
"A woman's treason," the king replied.
Balthasar, however, having decided to become a mage, had a tower built from the summit of which might be discerned many kingdoms and the infinite spaces of Heaven. The tower was constructed of brick and rose high above all other towers. It took no less than two years to build, and Balthasar expended in its construction the entire treasure of the king, his father. Every night he climbed to the top of this tower and there he studied the heavens under the guidance of the