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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.
of so many wise heads?” He replied:  “Because the event is doubtful, and the opinion of all rests in the pleasure of the most high God whether it shall be right or wrong.  Accordingly it is safer to conform with the judgment of the king, because if that shall prove wrong, our obsequiousness to his will shall secure us from his displeasure.—­To sport an opinion contrary to the judgment of the king were to wash our hands in our own blood.  Were he verily to say this day is night, it would behoove us to reply:  Lo! there are the moon and seven stars.”


An impostor plaited his hair and spake, saying, “I am a descendant of Ali;” and he entered the city along with the caravan from Hijaz, saying, “I come a pilgrim from Mecca;” and he presented a Casidah or elegy to the king, saying, “I have composed it!” The king gave him money, treated him with respect, and ordered him to be shown much flattering attention; till one of the courtiers, who had that day returned from a voyage at sea, said, “I saw him on the Eeduzha, or anniversary of sacrifice at Busrah; how then can he be a Haji, or pilgrim?” Another said, “Now I recollect him, his father was a Christian at Malatiyah (Malta); how then can he be a descendant of Ali?” And they discovered his verses in the divan of Anwari.  The king ordered that they should beat and drive him away, saying, “How came you to utter so many falsehoods?” He replied, “O sovereign of the universe!  I will utter one speech more, and if that may not prove true, I shall deserve whatever punishment you may command.”  The king asked, “What may that be?” He said:  “If a peasant bring thee a cup of junket, two measures of it will be water and one spoonful of it buttermilk.  If thy slave spake idly be not offended, for great travellers deal most in the marvellous!” The king smiled and replied, “You never in your life spake a truer word.”  He directed them to gratify his expectations, and he departed happy and content.


They have related that one of the vizirs would compassionate the weak and meditate the good of everybody.  He happened to fall under the royal displeasure, and they all strove to obtain his release.  Such as had him in custody were indulgent in their restraint, and his fellow-grandees were loud in proclaiming his virtues, till the king pardoned his fault.  A good and holy man was apprised of these events, and said:—­“In order to conciliate the good-will of friends, it were better to sell our patrimonial garden; in order to boil the pot of well-wishers, it were good to convert our household furniture into fire-wood.  Do good even to the wicked; it is as well to shut a dog’s mouth with a crumb.”


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