Shah Abbas of Persia was a man of wit who liked to converse in parables. Among his ministers was Merza Zaki， who understood his parables well.
One day the shah was holoding court with his ministers， discussing the ways of this world. Thereon he asked his ministers， “What is the sweetest melody？”
One answered， “The melody of the flute.”
“No，” answered another minister. “The melody of the harp is the most pleasant to the ear.”
The third remarked， “Neither one nor the other！ The violin has the finest tone.”
Thus a bitter dispute arose.
Merza was silent and did not say anything. Days passed. Then Merza invited the shah and the rulers of the state to a banquet arranged in their honor. Musicians entertained the honored guests on all kinds of instruments. But how strange， the table bore no refreshi]ments. The guests were without food and drink. You must know that in the East the tables are always laden with delicacies a banquest， and when the guess have eaten and drunk their fill， there is still more food， and copper vessels of meat and rice are bought to the loaded abes. Now where was the food？ It was embarrasing to ask， so the guests just went on sitting till midnight. Then Merza beckoned to the headwaiter， and he brought a vessel of cooked food into the room and beat the lid of the pot with a big spoon.
All the guests breathed a sigh of relief. Indeed it was time. Then Shah Abbas said， “The clink of dishes in the ears of a hungry man - this is the sweetest melody.”