A Hut and a Palace – by Lev Tolstoy

One king built himself a palace and before the palace made a garden. But at the most entrance into the garden a hut stood, and a poor man lived in it. The king wanted to tear the hut down, for it not to spoil the garden, and sent his minister to the poor man to buy the hut.

The minister went to the man and said:

– You are lucky. The king wants to purchase your house. It is not worth even ten rubles, but the king gives you hundred.

The man said:

– No, I will not sell my house for a hundred rubles.

The minister said:

– Well, the king gives you two hundred.

The man said:

– I won’t give it for neither two hundred, nor for a thousand. My grandfather and father lived and died in this house, and I grew old in it and will die, God willing.

The minister came back to the king and said:

– The man is stubborn. Takes nothing. Do not give the man anything, and just tear the hut down. That’s all.

The king said:

– No, I don’t want to do this.

Then the minister said:

– What else to do? Is it possible in front of the palace to have a rotten hut? Everyone will take a look at the palace and say: “Nice palace, but the hut spoils. It looks like the king did not have the money to buy the hut.”

And the king said:

– No, whoever will take a look at the palace, will say: “It looks like the king had a lot of money, as he has built such a palace”; and will take a look at the hut and says: “It looks like in this king was the truth, too”. Leave the hut.

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