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 the curiosity of making him another visit, and found the hermit much altered from what he first saw of him.  His face had become fair and ruddy, and his body plump and jolly; and he was reclining at his ease on cushions of brocade, and had the Houri-like damsel lolling by his side, and the fairy-formed youth holding a fly-flap of peacock’s feathers in his hand, and standing by him in attendance.  The king congratulated him upon his portly appearance, and they entered together upon a variety of topics, till his majesty concluded by observing, “In this world I have an affection for these two orders of mankind, the learned and the recluse.”  A philosophic vizir, and man of much worldly experience, happened to be present.  He said:  “O sire! such is the canon of affection that you should confer a benefit on each.  Give money to the learned man, that he may teach others; and give nothing to the hermit, that he may remain an anchorite.—­A zahid, or hermit, stands in need of neither diram nor dinar; when an anchorite takes either, look out for another.—­Whoever is virtuously disposed, and holds a mystical communication with God, is sufficient of a hermit without requiring the bread of charity, or the crumbs of mendicity.  The tapering finger of the lovely, and her soul-deluding ear-lobe, are decoration enough without a turquoise ring or ear-jewel.  Tell that piously-disposed and serene-minded dervish that he needs not the bread of consecration or scraping of beggary; tell that handsome and fair-faced matron that she does not require paint, coloring, or jewelry.—­When I have of my own, and covet what is another’s, if they esteem me not a hermit they treat me as I merit.”

XXXIV

Conformably with the above apologue, a king had a business of importance in hand.  He said:  “If this affair prosper to my wish I will distribute among the recluses a certain sum in dirams.”  Now his object was accomplished, and mind made easy, he thought it incumbent to fulfil the condition of his eleemosynary vow, and gave a bag of dinars to a favorite servant, that he might distribute them among the anchorites.  This was a discreet and considerate young man.  He wandered about for the whole day; and, returning in the evening, kissed the bag of money, and laid it before the king, saying, “However much I sought after, I have met with no recluses!” The king answered, “What a story is this? for I myself know four hundred recluses within this city.”  He said, “O sovereign of the universe! such as are recluses do not take money; and such as take money are not anchorites!” The king smiled, and observed to his courtiers, “However much I reverence and favor this tribe of God’s worshippers, this saucy fellow expresses for them a spite and ill-will; and, if you desire the truth, he has justice on his side.  Instead of that hermit who took dirams and dinars, get hold of one who is more an anchorite.”

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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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