Forgot your password?  

Resources for students & teachers

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.

One of the vizirs was displaced, and withdrew into a fraternity of dervishes, whose blessed society made its impression upon him and afforded consolation to his mind.  The king was again favorably disposed towards him, and offered his reinstatement in office; but he consented not, and said, “With the wise it is deemed preferable to be out of office than to remain in place.—­Such as sat within the cell of retirement blunted the teeth of dogs, and shut the mouths of mankind; they destroyed their writings, and broke their writing reeds, and escaped the lash and venom of the critics.”—­The king answered:  “At all events I require a prudent and able man, who is capable of managing the state affairs of my kingdom.”  The ex-minister said:  “The criterion, O sire, of a wise and competent man is that he will not meddle with such like matters.—­The homayi, or phoenix, is honored above all other birds because it feeds on bones, and injures no living creature.”

A Tamsil, or application in point.—­They asked a Siyah-gosh, or lion-provider, “Why do you choose the service of the lion?” He answered:  “Because I subsist on the leavings of his prey, and am secure from the ill-will of my enemies under the asylum of his valor.”  They said:  “Now you have got within the shadow of his protection and admit a grateful sense of his bounty, why do you not approach more closely, that he may include you within the circle of select courtiers and number you among his chosen servants?” He replied, “I should not thus be safe from his violence.”—­Though a Guebre may keep his fire alight for a hundred years, if he fall once within its flame it will burn him.—­Procul a Jove, procul a fulmine.  It on one occasion may chance that the courtier of the king’s presence shall pick up a purse of gold, and the next that he shall lie shorter by the head.  And philosophers have remarked, saying, “It is incumbent on us to be constantly aware of the fickle dispositions of kings, who will one moment take offence at a salutation, and at another make an honorary dress the return for an act of rudeness; and they have said, That to be over much facetious is the accomplishment of courtiers and blemish of the wise.—­Be wary, and preserve the state of thine own character, and leave sport and buffoonery to jesters and courtiers.”

XVI

One of my associates brought me a complaint of his perverse fortune, saying, “I have small means and a large family, and cannot bear up with my load of poverty.  Often has a thought crossed my mind, suggesting, Let me remove into another country, that in whatever way I can manage a livelihood none may be informed of my good or bad luck.”—­(Often he went asleep hungry, and nobody was aware, saying, “Who is he?” Often did his life hang upon his lip, and none lamented over him.)—­“On the other hand, I reflect on the exultation of my rivals, saying, They will scoffingly sneer behind my back, and impute my zeal in behalf of my family

Follow Us on Facebook