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.
his fidelity, bestowed on him an honorary dress and largess, and made his excuses, saying, “I was to blame, that could do you an injury.”  He replied, “In this instance, my lord, your servant sees no blame that attaches to you; but such was the ordination of God, whose name was glorified, that this your devoted slave should verily be overtaken with a calamity.  Accordingly, it is more tolerable at the hand of you, who possess the rights of past good, and have claims of gratitude on this servant:—­Be not offended with mankind should any mischief assail thee, for neither pleasure nor pain originate with thy fellow-being.  Know that the contrariety of foe and friend proceeds from God, and that the hearts of both are at his disposal.  Though the arrow may seem to issue from the bow, the intelligent can see that the archer gave it its aim.”

XXV

I have heard that one of the kings of Arabia directed the officers of his treasury, saying, “You will double a certain person’s salary, whatever it may be, for he is constant in attendance and ready for orders, while the other courtiers are diverted by play, and negligent of their duty.”  A good and holy man overheard this, and heaved a sigh and groan from the bottom of his bosom.  They asked, saying, “What vision did you see?” He replied, “The exalted mansions of his devoted servants will be after this manner portioned out at the judgment-seat of a Most High and Mighty Deity!—­If for two mornings a person is assiduous about the person of the king, on the third he will in some shape regard him with affection.  The sincerely devout exist in the hope that they shall not depart disappointed from God’s threshold.  The rank of a prince is the reward of obedience.  Disobedience to command is a proof of rejection.  Whoever has the aspect of the upright and good will lay the face of duty at this threshold.”

XXVI

They tell a story of a tyrant who bought fire-wood from the poor at a low price, and sold it to the rich at an advance.  A good and holy man went up to him and said, “Thou art a snake, who bitest everybody thou seest; or an owl, who diggest up and makest a ruin of the place where thou sittest:—­Although thy injustice may pass unpunished among us, it cannot escape God, the knower of secrets.  Be not unjust with the people of this earth, that their complaints may not rise up to heaven.”

They say the unjust man was offended at his words, turned aside his face, and showed him no civility, as they have expressed it (in the Koran):—­He, the glorified God, overtook him amidst his sins:—­till one night, when the fire of his kitchen fell upon the stack of wood, consumed all his property, and laid him from the bed of voluptuousness upon the ashes of hell torments.  That good and holy man happened to be passing and observed that he was remarking to his friends, “I cannot fancy whence this fire fell upon my dwelling.”  He said, “From the smoke of the hearts of the poor!—­Guard against the smoke of the sore-afflicted heart, for an inside sore will at last gather into a head.  Give nobody’s heart pain so long as thou canst avoid it, for one sigh may set a whole world into a flame.”

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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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