Once a king called to his palace all the magicians from his kingdom and told them:
I want to be an example for my people. I seem to be powerful and peaceful, unruffled by the troubles of life. But sometimes it happens to me to be sad and pensive for a certain reason or because of an evil eye. Some other times an unexpected joy or a great achievement can lead me to an exaggerated enthusiasm. And this doesn’t satisfy me at all. It makes me feel as if I were like a straw hit by the waves of life. Make me an amulet to keep away from me all these feelings and changings of disposition, from pleasure to melancholy.
The magicians one after another confessed they were unable to fulfill the king’s wish. They could make amulets of all kinds for fool, reckless and naïve people but it was hard and dangerous to fool their king.
The king was on the verge of having a burst of anger when all of a sudden a wise old man came before him and said:
Your highness, tomorrow I shall bring you a ring and when you look at it if you are sad you’ll be content and if you are excited you’ll cool down when reading some words carved on it.
The next day the wise old man returned to the royal palace and in the perfect silence caused by the waiting for the magical words, he gave the ring to the king. The king after taking it read with amazement:
Everything is evanescent in this life.