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.
merchant gains the shore with gold in both his hands, or a wave will one day leave him dead on its beach.”—­Not deeming it generous any further to irritate a poor man’s wound with the asperity of reproach, or to sprinkle his sore with the salt of harsh words, I made a summary conclusion in these two verses, and said:—­“Wert thou not aware that thou shouldst find fetters on thy feet when thou wouldst not listen to the generous man’s counsel?  Thrust not again thy finger into a scorpion’s hole till thou canst endure the pain of its sting.”

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I was the companion of a holy fraternity, whose manners were correct from piety, and minds disciplined from probity.  An eminent prince entertained a high and respectful opinion of the worth of this brotherhood, and had assigned it an endowment.  Perhaps one of them committed an act unworthy of the character of dervishes; for the good opinion of that personage was forfeited, and the market of their support shut.  I wished that I could by any means re-establish the maintenance of my friends, and attempted to wait on the great man; but his porter opposed my entrance, and turned me away with rudeness.  I excused him conformably with what the witty have said:—­“Till thou canst take an introduction along with thee approach not the gate of a prince, vizir, or lord; for the dog and the doorkeeper, on espying a beggar, will the one seize his skirt and the other his collar.”

When the favorite attendants of that great man were aware of my situation, they ushered me into his presence with respect, and offered me the highest seat; but in humility I took the lowest, and said:  “Permit that I, the slave of the abject, should seat myself on a level with servants.”—­The great man answered, “My God, my God! what room is there for this speech?  Wert thou to seat thyself upon the pupil of mine eye, I would court thy dalliance, for thou art lovely.”

In short, I took my seat, and entered upon a variety of topics, till the indiscretion of my friends was brought upon the carpet, when I said:  “What fault did the lord of past munificence remark, that his servant should seem so contemptible in his sight?  Individually with God is the perfection of majesty and goodness, who can discern our failings and continue to us his support.”  When the prince heard this sentiment he subscribed to its omnipotence; and, with regard to the stipendiary allowance of my friends, he ordered its continuance as heretofore, and a faithful discharge of all arrears.  I thanked him for his generosity, kissed the dust of obeisance, apologized for my boldness, and at the moment of taking my leave, added:  “When the fane of the Caabah, at Mecca, became their object from a far distant land, pilgrims would hurry on to visit it for many farsangs.  It behooves thee to put up with such as we are, for nobody will throw a stone at a tree that bears no fruit.”

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Project Gutenberg
The Persian Literature, Comprising The Shah Nameh, The Rubaiyat, The Divan, and The Gulistan, Volume 2 from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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