They used to say that [on one occasion] when Abba Arsenius the Great fell ill in Scete, a priest went and brought him to the church, and he spread a palm-leaf mat for him, and [placed] a small pillow under his head; and one of the old men came to visit him and saw that he was lying upon a mat and that he had a pillow under his head, and he was offended and said, 'And this is Arsenius lying upon such things!' Then the priest took the old man aside privately, and said to him, What labour did you do in your village?' and the old man said to him, 'I was a shepherd.' And the priest said to him, ' What manner of life did you lead in the world?' and he said to him, 'A life of toil, and sore want.' And when the old man had described all the tribulation which he had endured in the world, the priest said to him, 'And here what manner of life do you lead?' And the old man said to him, 'In my cell I have everything comfortable, and I have u more than I want'; and the priest said to him, 'Consider [the position of] Abba Arsenius when he was in the world! He was the father of kings, and a thousand slaves, girt about with gold-embroidered vests, and with chains and ornaments round their necks, and clothed in silk, stood before him; and he had the most costly couches and cushions [to lie upon]. But you were a shepherd, and the comforts which you did never enjoy in the world you have here; but this man Arsenius has not here the comforts which he enjoyed in the world, and now you are at your ease while he is troubled.' Then the mind of the old man was opened, and he expressed contrition and said, 'Father, forgive me; I have sinned. Verily this is the way of truth. He has come to a state of humility, while I have attained to ease.' And the old man having profited went his way.