Don’t crap here, we’re full already

I’ve often flippantly wondered whether the taboo on excretion at holy sites so thoroughly documented by Michael Gilleland is the origin of the old joke about the antiquarian who locks his shop during absences to prevent folks depositing even more Dan Brown. Here’s Melchor de Santa Cruz de Dueñas’ take (Floresta española, 1574) on Mark 4:25 (“For he that hath, to him shall be given”):

A great lord had a servant who complained in his absence because, being very poor, he never made gifts to him nor to others, except to the very rich who had no need of them. It so happened once that when this lord was crossing a river on horseback the horse stopped to urinate in the middle of the river, on which the servant said, “Are you like your master, who gives more to those who already have?”


Un gran señor tenía un criado, el cual se quejaba en su ausencia, porque, siendo muy pobre, jamás le hacía mercedes, y no las hacía a otros sino a los muy ricos que no lo habían menester. Sucedió que, pasando este señor un río a caballo, el caballo se paró a orinar en medio del río. Dijo entonces el criado:

-¿También tienes tú la condición de tu amo, que siempre da do hay abundancia?

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