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.
a drought, or if the whole earth was deluged with a flood, confident of their own abundance, they would not inquire after the poor man’s distress, and, fearless of the divine wrath, exclaim:—­If, in his want of everything, another person be annihilated, I have plenty; and what does a goose care for a deluge? Such as are lolling in their litters, and indulging in the easy pace of a female camel, feel not for the foot-traveller perishing amidst overwhelming sands:—­The mean-spirited, when they could escape with their own rugs, would cry:  ‘What care we should the whole world die.’

“Such as you have stated them, there is a tribe of rich men; but there is another class, who, having spread the table of abundance, and made a public declaration of their munificence, and smoothed the brow of their humility, are solicitous of a reputation and forgiveness, and desirous of enjoying this world and the next; like unto the servants of his Majesty the sovereign of the universe, just, confirmed, victorious, lord paramount and conqueror of nations, defender of the stronghold of Islamism, successor of Solomon, most equitable of contemporary kings.  Mozuffar-ud-din Atabak-Abubakr-Saad, may God give him a long life, and grant victory to his standards!—­A father could never show such benevolence to his son as thy liberal hand has bestowed upon the race of Adam.  The Deity was desirous of conferring a kindness upon man, and in his special mercy made thee sovereign of the world.”

Now that the cazi had carried his harangue to this extreme, and had galloped the steed of metaphor beyond our expectation, we of necessity acquiesced in the absolute decree of being satisfied, and apologized for what had passed between us; and after altercation we returned into the path of reconciliation, laid the heads of reparation at each other’s feet, mutually kissed and embraced, and, letting mischief fall asleep, and war lull itself into peace, concluded the whole in these two verses:—­“O poor man! complain not of the revolutions of fortune, for gloomy might be thy lot wert thou to die in such sentiments.  And now, O rich man! that thy hand and heart administer to thy pleasures, spend and give away, that thou may’st enjoy this world and the next.”

CHAPTER VIII

Of the Duties of Society

I

Riches are intended for the comfort of life, and not life for the purpose of hoarding riches.  I asked a wise man, saying:  “Who is the fortunate man, and who is the unfortunate?” He said:  “That man was fortunate who spent and gave away, and that man unfortunate who died and left behind:—­Pray not for that good-for-nothing man who did nothing, for he passed his life in hoarding riches, and did not spend them.”

II

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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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