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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.

VIII

In former times, I recollect, a friend and I were associating together like two kernels within one almond shell.  I happened unexpectedly to go on a journey.  After some time, when I was returned, he began to chide me, saying:  “During this long interval you never sent me a messenger.”  I replied:  “It vexed me to think that the eyes of a courier should be enlightened by your countenance, whilst I was debarred that happiness:—­Tell my old charmer not to impose a vow upon me with her tongue; for I would not repent, were she to attempt it with a sword.  Envy stings me to the quick, lest another should be satiated with beholding thee, till I recollect myself, and say:  Nobody can have a satiety of that!”

IX

I saw a learned gentleman the captive of attachment for a certain person, and the victim of his reproach; and he would suffer much violence, and bear it with great patience.  On one occasion I said, by way of admonition:  “I know that in your attachment for this person you have no bad object, and that this friendship rests not on any criminal design; yet, under this interpretation, it accords not with the dignity of the learned to expose yourself to calumny, and put up with the rudeness of the rabble.”  He replied:  “O my friend, withdraw the hand of reproach from the skirt of my fatality, for I have frequently reflected on this advice which you offer me, and find it easier to suffer contumely on his account than to forego his company; and philosophers have said:  ’It is less arduous to persist in the labor of courting than to restrain the eye from contemplating a beloved object’:—­Whoever devotes his heart to a soul deluder puts his beard or reputation into the hands of another.  That person, without whom thou canst not exist, if he do thee a violence, thou must bear with it.  The antelope, that is led by a string, cannot bound from this side to that.  One day I asked a compact of my mistress; how often have I since that day craved her forgiveness!  A lover exacts not terms of his charmer; I relinquished my heart to whatever she desired me, whether to call me up to her with kindness, or drive me from her with harshness she knows best, or it is her pleasure.”

X

In my early youth such an event (as you know) will come to pass.  I held a mystery and intercourse with a young person, because he had a pipe of exquisite melody, and a form silver bright as the full moon:—­“He is sipping the fountain of immortality, who may taste the down of his cheek; and he is eating a sweetmeat, who can fancy the sugar of his lips.”

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