Now the king had a vizier, a sly and artful infidel whose craftiness was such as to tie even water into knots. 'These Christians,' he said, 'are seeking to save their lives by concealing their religion from the king. Spare to slay them, for there is no profit in their slaughter. Religion has no perfume, it cannot be sniffed out like musk or aloeswood; the secret is concealed in a hundred wrappings--outwardly it is on your side, but inwardly it is bitterly opposed to you.'