The papyrus dates from the Nineteenth Dynasty. The
tale occupies the eleven pages of the recto, and four pages of the verso.
The beginning is lost, and the first four pages have numerous lacunae.
The lost beginning may be summarized as follows: Truth and Falsehood are
brothers. Falsehood, the younger brother, has denounced Truth to the
Ennead. He claims that he had lent to Truth a wondrous dagger of
extraordinary size, and Truth had failed to return it to him. He proceeds
to describe the dagger:
The Blinding of Truth by Falsehood
... / [and]... went ...[the Ennead...:... [a copper dagger of which the
Mountain of E[l forms the blade, of which the woods of Coptos form the
haft], of which the / god's tomb forms the scabbard, and of which the
herds of Kal form the belt. Falsehood said to the Ennead: Let [Truth [be
brought] and blinded <in> both his eyes and be assigned to be
doorkeeper of my house. The Ennead then acquiesced to all that he said.
After many days following this, Falsehood raised his eyes to have a
look, and he observed / the exemplariness of Truth, his elder brother.
Falsehood said to Truth's tow servants: Please abduct] your lord and
[cast] him [to] a dangerous lion that has many lionesses as mate's, and
they shall [devour him. Then they] abducted him. Now as they were going up
carrying him, Truth [told his servant's: Don't abduct [me and] put / [another
in my place... One of you go to town] and find a bit of bread for me...[So
the servant] went that he might tell Falsehood: When [we] cast [him to the
lion].... [And he] went out from the [house], and he called him in the....
Now [after many days] following this, (the lady) N. / went out [from]
her house [with her following], clad ...., [and they saw him [lying under
the covert and (saw) [that he was so handsome] that there was none like
[him in the] entire land. Then [they] went [to where] (they lady) N. was
and [said: Come [along with] us that [you may see / [the blind man] lying
under the covert, and he shall be brought and assigned to be doorkeeper of
(The lady) N. said <to> her. You shall go to (fetch) him that I
may see him. And she went and fetched him. [Then] (the lady) N. saw him,
and she desired him exceedingly when she saw [how handsome] he was in all
his body. So he went to bed with her in the night, and he had sexual
intercourse with her. / So she became pregnant that night with a baby boy.
Now after many days following this, she gave birth to a son whose like
did not exist in this entire land, [for he was] larger in...[then] a...
being [in] the nature [of] a young god. And he was sent to / school and
mastered writing very well, and he practiced all the arts of war so that
he (even) surpassed his older (schoolmates who were at school with him.
his (schoolmates said to him: whose son are you? You don't have a father.
And they would revile him and mock him: Truly, you don't have a father.
The / boy said to his mother. What is my father's name that <I> may
tell it to my (schoolmates? Truly, if they converse with me. "Where
is your father?" they (always) say to me, and they mock me. His
mother said to him: Do you see that blind man who is seated next to the
door? That is your father. / So she said telling him. Then he said to her:
The members of your family ought to be gathered together and be made to
summon a crocodile?
And so they boy brought his father and had him sit down with an
armchair supporting him, and he put a footstool under his feet. And he
placed food before him and let him eat and / drink. They boy said to his
father: Who is it that blinded you so that <I> may avenge you? And
he told him: It was my younger brother who blinded me. And he told him all
that had happened to him. So he set out <to> where Falsehood's
herdsman was. He said to him: Please take for yourself these ten loaves as
well as the staff, this / water skin, this sword, and this pair of
sandals, and tend this ox for me until I return from town.
After many days following this, his ox had completed many months in the
charge of Falsehood's herdsman. Then Falsehood / went off to the fields to
inspect his cattle, and he saw that that ox belonging to the boy was
exceedingly beautiful in appearance. he said to his herdsman: Give me that
ox that <I> may eat it. But the herdsman told him: It isn't mine, so
I won't be able to give it to you. Falsehood said to him: See, all my
cattle are at your disposition. Give one of them to its owner.
The boy learned / that Falsehood had appropriated his ox, and he came
to where Falsehood's herdsman was and said to him: Where is my ox? I can't
see it among your cattle. Said the herdsman to him: All the cattle are at
your disposition. Take / for yourself the one you want. Then the boy said
to him: Is there an ox as large as my own ox? If it should stand on The
Island of Amon, the tip of its tail would be lying <upon> the
Papyrus Marches, while one of its horns would be on the Western Mountain
and the other on the Eastern Mountain, and the Great River would be its
spot for lying down, and sixty calves would be born to it / daily.
The herdsman said to him: Is there an ox as large as the one you have
(just) mentioned? So the boy seized hold of him and took him off
<to> where Falsehood was. And he took / Falsehood to the tribunal
before the Ennead. <They> said to the boy: [What you have said] is
false. We have never seen an ox as large as the one you've mentioned.
[Said] the boy [to the Ennead: Is there a copper dagger as large as the
one you did mention, of which the Mountain of El forms the blade, of which
the woods of Coptos form the haft, of which the god's tomb forms the
scabbard, and of which the herds of Kal form the belt?
/ [He] told the Ennead: Judge between Truth and Falsehood. I am his
(i.e. Truth's) son. It is in order to avenge him that I have come. Then
Falsehood took an oath by the Lord, l.p.h., saying: By [Amon] and by the
Ruler, l.p.h., if Truth be found alive, I shall be blinded <in> both
my eyes and be assigned [to be doorkeeper in the [house of Truth]. Then /
the boy [had his father brought to the tribunal before the Ennead], and it
was verified that he was (still) alive. So [severe punishment] was
inflicted [upon Falsehood]. He [was] smitten with a hundred blows and five
open wounds, blinded <in> [both his eyes, and assigned to be doorkeeper
in the house of Truth, And he...
[And so] the boy avenged his father so that (the dispute between) Truth
and Falsehood was settled / ... the
[Thus it] concludes [happily and successfully].