It is proper for him to offer counsel to kings who dreads not to lose his head, nor looks for a reward:—Whether thou strewest heaps of gold at his feet, or brandishest an Indian sword over the Unitarian’s head, to hope or fear he is alike indifferent; and in this the divine unity alone he is resolved and firm.
It belongs to the king to displace extortioners, to the superintendent of the police to guard against murderers, and to the cazi to decide in quarrels and disputes. No two complainants ever referred to the cazi content to abide by justice:—When thou knowest that in right the claim is just, better pay with a grace than by distress and force. If a man is refractory in discharging his revenue, the collector must necessarily coerce him to pay it.
Every man’s teeth are blunted by acids excepting the cazi’s, and they require sweets:—That cazi, or judge, that can accept of five cucumbers as a bribe, will confirm thee in a right to ten fields of melons.
* * * * *
They asked a wise man, saying: “Of the many celebrated trees which the Most High God has created lofty and umbrageous, they call none azad, or free, excepting the cypress, which bears no fruit; what mystery is there in this?” He replied: “Each has its appropriate produce and appointed season, during the continuance of which it is fresh and blooming, and during their absence dry and withered; to neither of which states is the cypress exposed, being always flourishing; and of this nature are the azads, or religious independents. Fix not thy heart on what is transitory; for the Dijlah, or Tigris, will continue to flow through Bagdad after the race of Khalifs is extinct. If thy hand has plenty, be liberal as the date-tree; but if it affords nothing to give away, be an azad, or free man, like the cypress.”
Two orders of mankind died, and carried with them regret: such as had and did not spend, and such as knew and did not practise:—None can see that wretched mortal a miser who will not endeavor to point out his faults; but were the generous man to have a hundred defects, his liberality would cover all his blemishes.
The book of the “Gulistan, or Flower-Garden,” was completed through the assistance and grace of God. Throughout the whole of this work I have not followed the custom of writers by inserting verses of poetry borrowed from former authors:—“It is more decorous to wear our own patched and old cloak than to ask in loan another man’s garment.”