A Husbandman lost his Mattock. Men denied knowing so he went to town to ask the Oracle. Oracle robbed the night before; nobody knew by who. Man went home.
Even gods may not know everything.
A Husbandman, busily employed in trenching his Vineyard, laid down for awhile the Mattock he was using. When he went to take it up again, it was gone. He called together all his hired men, and asked them if they had seen the tool. They all denied any knowledge of it; and the Man, in a great rage, said he knew that one of them must have taken it, and, let it cost him what it might, he would find out the thief. With that view he insisted upon their going with him to the shrine of a famous oracle in a neighbouring city. Arrived within the city gates, they stopped at the fountain in the market-place, to bathe their feet. Just at that moment the town-crier came up, and in a loud voice announced that, the sacred shrine having been robbed last night, he was told to offer a large reward to any one who could discover the thief. Thereupon the Husbandman at once called upon his men to turn their faces homewards. “If this god,” said he, “cannot tell who has robbed his temple, the chances are that he knows as little who has taken my Mattock.”
Agricola et Fur
Agricola fodiens vineam, cum bidentem amisisset, quaerebat num quis praesentium furatus eum esset rusticorum. Negabat quisque. Tum incertus homo quid faceret, in urbem deduxit omnes, iusiurandum delaturus (deorum enim eos opinantur vulgo qui sunt ingenio tardiores ruri habitare; qui autem muris intus degunt, veros esse deos et cuncta inspicere). Cum vero, ingressi portam, ad fontem pedes lavarent, manticis depositis, praeco proclamabat mille se drachmas numeraturum, furtorum praemium indicandorum quae ex dei aede fuerant ablata. His auditis, agricola “Quam vanum,” ait, “iter feci! Fures enim alios quo deus deprendet modo, qui sui spoliatores templi non cognoscit, quaeritque mercede oblata illos num quis noverit mortalium?”