Growing Goblets

Ogedei Khan, son of Genghis Khan and immediate heir of the Mongol Empire, was extremely supportive of his prime minister, Yeliu Chucai, who had served his father, as well.

Once, before some foreign envoys, he made a speech saying that the greatness of his empire was due to his minister’s wisdom, and asked boastfully whether they themselves had anyone in their own nations who could compete with Yeliu in virtue and wisdom.

With some shame, Ogedei then admitted that he himself drank too much, but was now determined to follow his minister’s advice and reduce his intake, bowing to drink only half of what he once had.  He kept his vow, but in a strange way.  He only drank half as many goblets of wine as before, but he ordered them larger and larger, until they had grown to be twice as large as they had been before his vow!

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