“No, no, hegemon,’ said the prisoner, straining with the desire to convince. “This man follows me everywhere with nothing but his goatskin parchment and writes incessantly. But I once caught a glimpse of that parchment and I was horrified. I had not said a word of what was written there. I begged him– please burn this parchment of yours! But he tore it out of my hands and ran away.’
“Who was he?”, enquired Pilate in a strained voice and put his hand to his temple.
“Matthew the Levite,” said the prisoner eagerly. “He was a tax-collector. I first met him on the road to Bethlehem at the corner where the road skirts a fig orchard and I started talking to him. At first he was rude and even insulted me, or rather he thought he was insulting me by calling me a dog.’ The prisoner laughed. ‘ Personally I see nothing wrong with that animal so I was not offended by the word. . . , However, when he had heard me out he grew milder,’ went on Yeshua,’ and in the end he threw his money into the road and said that he would go travelling with me. . . .’
Pilate laughed with one cheek. Baring his yellow teeth and turning fully round to his secretary he said : ‘ Oh, city of Jerusalem! What tales you have to tell! A tax-collector, did you hear, throwing away his money!’
— The Master and Margarita, by Mikhail Bulgakov