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.

The king had reported to him a part of his nefarious conduct.  He put him to the rack, and tortured him to death.  “Thou canst not obtain the sovereign’s approbation till thou make sure of the good-will of his people.  Wishest thou that God shall be bountiful to thee, be thou good thyself to the creatures of God.”

One who had suffered from his oppression passed him at the time of his execution, and said:  “It is not every man that may have the strong arm of high station, that can in his government take an immoderate freedom with the subjects’ property.  It is possible to cram a bone down the throat, but when it sticks at the navel it will burst open the belly.”

XXI

They tell a story of an evil-disposed person who struck a pious good man on the head with a stone.  Having no power of revenge, the dervish was keeping the stone by him till an occasion when the sovereign let loose the army of his wrath, and cast him into a dungeon.  The poor man went up and flung that stone at his head.  The person spoke to him, saying, “Who are you, and why did you throw this stone at my head?” He answered, “I am that poor man, and this is the same stone that you on a certain occasion flung at my head.”  He said, “Where have you been all this time?” The poor man answered, “I stood in awe of your high station, but now that I find you in a dungeon, I avail myself of the opportunity, as they have said—­’Whilst they saw the worthless man in prosperity, the wise thought proper to show him respect.  Now thou hast not sharp and tearing nails, it is prudent for thee to defer to engage with the wicked.  Whoever grappled with a steel-armed wrist exposed his own silver arm to torture.  Wait till fortune can manacle his hands, then beat out his brains to the satisfaction of thy friends.’”

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XXIII

One of King Umraw-layas’s slaves had absconded, and people that went after him brought him back.  The vizir, who had a dislike to him, used his interest to have him put to death, that the other slaves (as he pretended) might not commit the same offence.  The poor slave fell at Umraw-layas’s feet, and said:  “Whatever may befall me, if thou approve of it, it is so far proper.  What plea can a vassal offer against his lord and master’s decree?—­Nevertheless, inasmuch as I am the nurtured gift of this house, I could not wish that on the last day’s reckoning my blood should stand charged to your account.  If, at all events, you are resolved to put this your slave to death, let it be done with a plea of legality, that you may not be censured at the day of resurrection.”  The king asked, “How can I set up a legal plea?” He replied, “Issue your command that I may kill the vizir, then give an order to put me to death in retaliation for him, that you may kill me according to law!” The king smiled and asked the vizir,

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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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