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.

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XXIV

A weak fisherman got a strong fish into his net, but not having the power of mastering it, the fish got the better of him, and, dragging the net from his hand, escaped:—­A bondsman went that he might take water from the brook; the brook came to rise and carried off the bondsman.  On most occasions the net would bring out the fish; on this occasion the fish escaped, and took away the net.  The other fishermen expressed their vexation, and reproached him, saying, “Such a fish came into your net, and you were not able to master it.”  He replied:  “Alas! my brethren, what could be done?  It was not my day of fortune, and the fish had in this way another day left it.  And they have said:  ’Unless it be his lot, the fisherman cannot catch a fish in the Tigris; and, except it be its fate, the fish will not die on the dry shore.’”

XXV

A person without hands or feet killed a milleped.  A good and holy man passed by him at the time, and said:  “Glory be to God! notwithstanding the thousand feet he had when his destiny overtook him, he was unable to escape from one destitute of hand or foot.”—­When the life-plundering foe comes up behind, fate arrests the speed of the swift-going warrior.  At the moment when the enemy might approach step by step it were useless to bend the kayani, or Parthian bow.

XXVI

I met a fat blockhead decked in rich apparel, and mounted on an Arab horse, with a turban of fine Egyptian linen on his head.  A person said:  “O Sa’di, how comes it that you see these garments of the learned on this ignorant beast?” I replied:  “It is a vile epistle which has been written in golden letters:—­’Verily this ass, with the resemblance of a man, has the carcase of a calf, and the voice or bleating of a calf.’—­Thou canst not say that this brute appears like a man, unless in his garments, turban, and outward form.  Examine into all the ways and means of his existence, and thou shalt find nothing lawful but the shedding of his blood:—­though a man of noble birth be reduced to poverty, imagine not that his lofty dignity can be lowered; and though he may secure his silver threshold with a hasp of gold, conclude not that a Jew can be thereby ennobled.”

XXVII

A thief said to a mendicant:  “Are you not ashamed when you hold forth your hand to every mean fellow for a barleycorn of silver?” He replied:  “It is better to hold forth the hand for one grain of silver than to have it cut off for one and a half dang.”

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XXIX

I saw a dervish who had withdrawn into a cave, shut the door of communication between the world and himself, and with his lofty and independent eye viewed emperors and kings without awe or reverence:—­Whoever opens to himself the door of mendicity, must continue a beggar till the day of his death.  Put covetousness aside, and be independent as a prince; the neck of contentment can raise its head erect.

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Project Gutenberg
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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