One of his discreet ministers said: “O king, it were expedient to supply such people with their means of subsistence by instalments, that they may not squander their absolute necessaries; but, with respect to what your majesty commanded as to coercion and prohibition, though it be correct, a party might impute it to parsimony. Nor does it moreover accord with the principles of the generous to encourage a man to hope for kindness and then overwhelm him with heartbreaking distrust:—Thou must not open upon thyself the door of covetousness; and when opened, thou must not shut it with harshness.—Nobody will see the thirsty pilgrims crowding towards the shore of the briny ocean; but men, birds, and reptiles will flock together wherever they can meet a fresh water fountain.”
One of the ancient kings was easy with the yeomanry in collecting his revenue, but hard on the soldiery in his issue of pay; and when a formidable enemy showed its face, these all turned their backs.—Whenever the king is remiss in paying his troops, the troops will relax in handling their arms. What bravery can he display in the ranks of battle whose hand is destitute of the means of living?
One of those who had excused themselves was in some sort my intimate. I reproached him and said, “He is base and ungrateful, mean and disreputable who, on a trifling change of circumstances, can desert his old master and forget his obligation of many years’ employment.” He replied: “Were I to speak out, I swear by generosity you would excuse me. Peradventure, my horse was without corn, and the housings of his saddle in pawn.—And the prince who, through parsimony, withholds his army’s pay cannot expect it to enter heartily upon his service.”—Give money to the gallant soldier that he may be zealous in thy cause, for if he is stinted of his due he will go abroad for service.—So long as a warrior is replenished with food he will fight valiantly, and when his belly is empty he will run away sturdily.