The Persian Literature, Comprising The Shah Nameh, The Rubaiyat, The Divan, and The Gulistan, Volume 2 eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 130 pages of information about The Persian Literature, Comprising The Shah Nameh, The Rubaiyat, The Divan, and The Gulistan, Volume 2.
and experience have remarked that it behooves us to guard against the wrath and fury of kings, whose noble thoughts are chiefly occupied with important affairs of state, and cannot endure the importunate clamors of the vulgar.—­The bounty of the sovereign is forbid to him who does not watch a proper opportunity.  Till thou canst perceive a convenient time for obtruding an opinion, undermine not thy consequence by idle talk.—­The king said, “Let this impudent beggar and spendthrift be beaten and driven away, who in a short time dissipated such a sum of money, for the treasury of the Beat-al-mal, or charity fund, is intended to afford mouthfuls to the poor, and not bellyfuls to the imps of the devil.—­That fool who can illuminate the day with a camphorated taper must soon feel a want of oil for his lamp at night.”

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.”

XIV

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.

XV

Copyrights
Project Gutenberg
The Persian Literature, Comprising The Shah Nameh, The Rubaiyat, The Divan, and The Gulistan, Volume 2 from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
Follow Us on Facebook