cates with the stomach, which is at the centre of the body, and informs it of the food that enters the mouth. If the body and stomach have no use for it, it says: “Forbidden!”, and expels it. And sometimes the food is harmful and bitter as well as not being beneficial for the body, and it spits it out immediately.
Thus, since the sense of taste is a doorkeeper, from the point of view of administering the body, the stomach is a master and a ruler. If the gifts arriving at the palace or city and those given to the palace’s ruler are worth one hundred liras, only five liras’ worth is appropriate for the doorkeeper in the form of a tip, lest he becomes conceited and is corrupted, then forgetting his duty he lets revolutionaries into the palace who will give him a bigger tip.
In consequence of this mystery we shall now imagine two mouthfuls. One consists of nutritious food like cheese and egg and costs forty para,1 and the other is of the choicest pastries and costs ten kurush. Before entering the mouth, there is no difference in these two mouthfuls with respect to the body, they are equal. And after passing down the throat, they are still equal in nourishing the body. Indeed, forty paras’ worth of cheese is sometimes more nutritious. Only, in regard to pampering the sense of taste in the mouth, there is a half-minute difference. You can see from this what a meaningless and harmful waste it is to increase the cost from forty para to ten kurush for the sake of half a minute.
Now, although the gift arriving for the palace’s ruler is worth one lira, to give the doorkeeper a tip nine times bigger than his due will corrupt him. He will declare: “I am the ruler,” and will allow to enter whoever gives him the biggest tip and most pleasure; he will cause a revolution and conflagration to break out. Then he will compel them to cry out: “Oh! Call the doctor and get him to put out this fire in my stomach and bring down my temperature!”
Thus, frugality and contentment are in conformity with divine wisdom; they treat the sense of taste as a doorkeeper and give it its remuneration accordingly. As for wastefulness, since it is to act contrarily to wisdom, it swiftly receives its punishment, upsets the stomach, and causes real appetite to be lost. Producing from the unnecessary variety of foods a false and artificial appetite, it causes indigestion and illness.
There were forty para to a kurush, and a hundred kurush to a lira. (Tr.)