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Selections from “The Golestan of Sa'di – Chapter III: On the Excellence of Contentment,” Part 2 of 2

2021-03-09
Език:English ,Persian (Farsi)(ففارسی)

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Story 11 “One of the ulama had many eaters to provide for and only a slender income. This fact he communicated to a great man of whose character he entertained a very favorable opinion, but his expectations were disappointed because the man made a wry face and averred that according to his opinion applications from respectable persons for aid are unbecoming. With a face made sad by misfortune, to a dear friend Do not go because thou wilt embitter his life also. For the needful for which thou apply, go with a fresh and smiling face. The man of joyful countenance will not be unsuccessful in his affairs. It is related that the great man augmented his stipend a little but considerably diminished his familiarity towards him and when he perceived after some days that it was not as usual, he recited: 'Evil is the food which the time of degradation acquires. The kettle is indeed placed but the dignity is lowered.' He increased my bread but diminished my honor. Poverty is better than the degradation of asking.”

Story 15 “Moses, to whom be salutation, beheld a dervish who had on account of his nudity concealed himself in the sand, exclaiming: 'O Moses, utter a supplication to God the Most High to give me an allowance because I am, on account of my distress, at the point of starvation.' Moses accordingly prayed and departed, but returning a few days afterwards he saw that the dervish was a prisoner and surrounded by a crowd of people. On asking for the reason, he was informed that the dervish had drunk wine, quarreled, slain a man and was to be executed in retaliation. If the humble cat possessed wings He would rob the world of every sparrow-egg. It may happen that when a weak man obtains power He arises and twists the hands of the weak. And if Allah were to bestow abundance upon his servants, they would certainly rebel upon Earth. What has made thee wade into danger, O fool, Till thou hast perished. Would that the ant had not been able to fly! When a base fellow obtains dignity, silver and gold, His head necessarily demands to be knocked. Was not after all this maxim uttered by a sage? 'That ant is the best which possesses no wings.' He who does not make thee rich Knows better what is good for thee than thyself.”

Story 18 “In the same manner another traveler lost himself in an extensive region, having neither any strength nor food left, but he possessed some money and roamed about. The road leading him nowhere, he perished from exhaustion. Some people afterwards discovered his corpse with the money in front of it and the following written on the ground: If possessed of all the Ja'feri gold, It will avail nothing to a hungry man. To a poor man burnt in the desert Boiled turnips are more valuable than pure silver.”

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