In short we had one day travelled till dark, and at night composed ourselves for sleep under the wall of a castle. That graceless thief took up his neighbor’s ewer, saying, “I am going to my ablutions;” and he was setting out for plunder. Behold a religious man, who threw a patched cloak over his shoulders; he made the covering of the Cabah the housing of an ass. So soon as he got out of the sight of the dervishes, he scaled a bastion of the fort and stole a casket. Before break of day that gloomy-minded robber had got a great way off, and left his innocent companions asleep. In the morning they were all carried into the citadel, and thrown into a dungeon. From that time we have declined any addition to our party, and kept apart to ourselves, for there is safety in unity, but danger in duality or a multitude.—When an individual of a sect committed an act of folly, the high and the low sunk in their dignity. Dost thou not see that one ox in a pasturage will cast a slur upon all the oxen of the village?
I said: “Let there be thanksgiving to a Deity of majesty and glory that I am not forbid the benefits of dervishes, notwithstanding I am in appearance excluded from their society; and I am instructed by this narration, and others like me may profit by its moral during their remaining lives.—From one indiscreet person in an assembly a host of the prudent may get hurt. If they fill a cistern to the brim with rose-water, and let a dog fall into it, the whole will be contaminated.”
A zahid was the guest of a king. When he sat down at table he ate more sparingly from that than his appetite inclined him, and when he stood up at prayers he continued longer at them than it was his custom; that they might form a high opinion of his sanctity.—I fear, O Arab! that thou wilt not reach the Caabah; for the road that thou art taking leads to Turkistan, or the region of infidels.
When he returned home he ordered the table to be spread that he might eat. His son was a youth of a shrewd understanding. He said: “O father, perhaps you ate little or nothing at the feast of the king?” He answered, “In his presence I ate scarce anything that could answer its purpose!” Then retorted the boy, “Repeat also your prayers, that nothing be omitted that can serve a purpose.” Yes, thy virtues thou hast exposed in the palm of thy hand, thy vices thou hast hid under thy arm-pit. Take heed, O hypocrite, what thou wilt be able to purchase with this base money on the day of need or day of judgment.