The Manners of Kings
I heard a Padshah giving orders to kill a prisoner. The helpless fellow began to insult the king on that occasion of despair, with the tongue he had, and to use foul expressions according to the saying:
اسير كه از زندگى نااميد شده بود
خشمگين شد و شاه را مورد سرزنش و دشنام خود
washes his hands of life
When a man is in despair his tongue becomes long and he is like a vanquished cat assailing a dog.
وقت ضرورت چو نماند گريز
دست بگيرد سر شمشير تيز
of need, when flight is no more possible,
When the king asked what he was saying, a good-natured Vizier replied:
'My lord, he says:
Those who bridle their anger and forgive men; for Allah loveth the beneficent.'
The king, moved with pity, forbore taking his life but another Vizier, the antagonist of the former, said:
'Men of our rank ought to speak nothing but the truth in the presence of Padshahs. This fellow has insulted the king and spoken unbecomingly.'
The king, being displeased with these words, said:
'That lie was more acceptable to me than this truth thou hast uttered because the former proceeded from a conciliatory disposition and the latter from malignity;
and wise men have said:
: آن دروغ پسنديده تر آمد مرا زين راست كه تو گفتي كه
روي آن در مصلحتي بود و بناي اين بر خبثي
"A falsehood resulting in conciliation is better than a truth producing trouble."'
هر كه شاه آن كند كه او گويد
حيف باشد كه جز نكو گويد
the shah follows in what he says,
The following inscription was upon the portico of the hall of Faridun:
جهان اى برادر نماند به كس
دل اندر جهان آفرين بند و بس
مكن تكيه بر ملك دنيا و پشت
كه بسيار كس چون تو پرورد و كشت
چو آهنگ رفتن كند جان پاك
چه بر تخت مردن چه بر روى خاك
brother, the world remains with no one.
One of the kings of Khorasan had a vision in a dream of Sultan Mahmud, one hundred years after his death. His whole person appeared to have been dissolved and turned to dust, except his eyes, which were revolving in their orbits and looking about. All the sages were unable to give an interpretation, except a dervish who made his salutation and said:
هنوز نگران است كه ملكش با دگران است
'He is still looking amazed how his kingdom belongs to others.'
بس نامور به زير زمين دفن كرده اند
كز هستيش به روى زمين يك نشان نماند
وان پير لاشه را كه نمودند زير خاك
خاكش چنان بخورد كزو استخوان نماند
famous men have been buried under ground
that old corpse which had been surrendered to the earth
زنده است نام فرخ نوشيروان به خير
گرچه بسى گذشت كه نوشيروان نماند
خيرى كن اى فلان و غنيمت شمار عمر
زان پيشتر كه بانگ بر آيد فلان نماند
glorious name of Nushirvan survives in good repute
good, O man, and consider life as a good fortune,
I have heard that a royal prince of short stature and mean presence, whose brothers were tall and good-looking, once saw his father glancing on him with aversion and contempt but he had the shrewdness and penetration to guess the meaning and said:
كوتاه خردمند به كه نادان بلند . نه هر چه بقامت مهتر به قيمت بهتر
اشاة نظيفة و الفيل جيفية
a puny intelligent fellow is better than a tall ignorant man, neither is everything bigger in stature higher in price.
A sheep is nice to eat and an elephant is carrion.'
اقل جبال الارض طور و انه
لاعظم عندالله قدرا و منزلا
The smallest mountain on earth is
آن شنيدى كه لاغرى دانا
گفت بار به ابلهى فربه
اسب تازى وگر ضعيف بود
همچنان از طويله خر به
Hast thou not heard that a lean scholar
The father laughed at this sally, the pillars of the state approved of it, but the brothers felt much aggrieved.
تا مرد سخن نگفته باشد
عيب و هنرش نهفته باشد
هر پيسه گمان مبر نهالى
شايد كه پلنگ خفته باشد
While a man says not a word
I heard that on the said occasion the king was menaced by a powerful enemy and that when the two armies were about to encounter each other, the first who entered the battlefield was the little fellow who said:
آن نه من باشم كه روز جنگ بيني پشت من
آن منم گر در ميان خاك و خون بيني سري
كان كه جنگ آرد به خون خويش بازي مي كند
روز ميدان وان كه بگريزد به خون لشكري
'I am not he whose back thou wilt see on the day of battle
After uttering these words he rushed among the troops of the enemy, slew several warriors and, returning to his father, made humble obeisance and said:
اى كه شخص منت حقير نمود
تا درشتى هنر نپندارى
اسب لاغر ميان ، به كار آيد
روز ميدان نه گاو پروارى
'O thou, to whom my person appeared contemptible,
It is related that the troops of the enemy were numerous, and that the king's, being few, were about to flee, but that the puny youth raised a shout, saying:
اي مردان بكوشيد يا جامه زنان بپوشيد
'O men, take care not to put on the garments of women.'
These words augmented the rage of the troopers so that they made a unanimous attack and I heard that they gained the victory on the said occasion. The king kissed the head and eyes of his son, took him in his arms and daily augmented his affection till he appointed him to succeed him on the throne.
His brothers became envious and placed poison in his food but were perceived by his sister from her apartment, whereon she closed the window violently and the youth, shrewdly guessing the significance of the act, restrained his hands from touching the food, and said:
محال است كه هنرمندان بميرند و بي هنران جاي ايشان بگيرند
'It is impossible that men of honor should die, and those who possess none should take their place.'
كس نيابد به زير سايه بوم
ور هماى از جهان شود معدوم
No one goes under the shadow of an owl
This state of affairs having been brought to the notice of the father, he severely reproved the brothers and assigned to each of them a different, but pleasant, district as a place of exile till the confusion was quelled and the quarrel appeased; and it has been said that:
ده درويش در گليمى بخسبند و دو پادشاه در اقليمى نگنجند
ten dervishes may sleep under the same blanket but that one country cannot hold two Padshahs.
نيمنانى گر خورد مرد خدا
بذل درويشان كند نيمى دگر
ملك اقلمى بگيرد پادشاه
همچنان در بند اقليمى دگر
When a pious man eats half a loaf of bread
درختى كه اكنون گرفته است پاى
به نيروى مردى برآيد ز جاى
و گر همچنان روزگارى هلى
به گردونش از بيخ بر نگسلى
سر چشمه شايد گرفتن به بيل
چو پر شد نشايد گذشتن به پيل
tree which has just taken root
The conclusion was arrived at to send one man as a spy and to wait for the opportunity till the brigands departed to attack some people and leave the place empty. Then several experienced men, who had fought in battles, were dispatched to keep themselves in ambush in a hollow of the mountain. In the evening the brigands returned from their excursion with their booty, divested themselves of their arms, put away their plunder and the first enemy who attacked them was sleep, till about a watch of the night had elapsed:
قرص خورشيد در سياهى شد
يونس اندر دهان ماهى شد
disk of the sun went into darkness.
The warriors leapt forth from the ambush, tied the hands of every one of the robbers to his shoulders and brought them in the morning to the court of the king, who ordered all of them to be slain.
There happened to be a youth among them, the fruit of whose vigor was just ripening and the verdure on the rose-garden of whose cheek had begun to sprout. One of the Viziers, having kissed the foot of the king's throne and placed the face of intercession upon the ground, said:
'This boy has not yet eaten any fruit from the garden of life and has not yet enjoyed the pleasures of youth. I hope your majesty will generously and kindly confer an obligation upon your slave by sparing his life.'
The king, being displeased with this request, answered:
پرتو نيكان نگيرد هر كه بنيادش بد است
تربيت نااهل را چون گردكان برگنبد است
whose foundation is bad will not take instruction from the good,
'It is preferable to extirpate the race and offspring of these people and better to dig up their roots and foundations, because it is not the part of wise men to extinguish fire and to leave burning coals or to kill a viper and leave its young ones.
ابر اگر آب زندگى بارد
هرگز از شاخ بيد بر نخورى
با فرومايه روزگار مبر
كز نى بوريا شكر نخورى
cloud should rain the water of life
The Vizier heard these sentiments, approved of them nolens volens, praised the opinion of the king and said:
'What my lord has uttered is the very truth itself because if the boy had been brought up in the company of those wicked men, he would have become one of themselves. But your slave hopes that he will, in the society of pious men, profit by education and will acquire the disposition of wise persons. Being yet a child the rebellious and perverse temper of that band has not yet taken hold of his nature and there is a tradition of the prophet that:
كل مولود يولد على الفطرة فابواه يهودانه او ينصرانه او يمجسانه
every infant is born with an inclination for Islam but his parents make him a Jew, a Christian or a Majusi.'
پسر نوح با بدان بنشست
خاندان نبوتش گم شد
سگ اصحاب كهف روزى چند
پى نيكان گرفت و مردم شد
spouse of Lot became a friend of wicked persons.
When the vizier had said these words and some of the king's courtiers had added their intercession to his, the king no longer desired to shed the blood of the youth and said:
'I grant the request although I disapprove-of it.'
دانى كه چه گفت زال با رستم گرد
دشمن نتوان حقير و بيچاره شمرد
ديديم بسى ، كه آب سرچشمه خرد
چون بيشتر آمد شتر و بار ببرد
Knowest thou not what Zal said to the hero Rustam:
In short, the vizier brought up the boy delicately, with every comfort, and kept masters to educate him, till they had taught him to address persons in elegant language as well as to reply and he had acquired every accomplishment.
One day the vizier hinted at his talents in the presence of the king, asserting that the instructions of wise men had taken effect upon the boy and had expelled his previous ignorance from his nature. The king smiled at these words and said:
عاقبت گرگ زاده گرگ شود
گرچه با آدمى بزرگ شود
last a wolf's whelp will be a wolf
After two years had elapsed a band of robbers in the locality joined him, tied the knot of friendship and, when the opportunity presented itself, he killed the vizier with his son, took away untold wealth and succeeded to the position of his own father in the robber-cave where he established himself.
The king, informed of the event, took the finger of amazement between his teeth and said:
شمشير نيك از آهن بد چون كند كسى ؟
ناكس به تربيت نشود اى حكيم كس
باران كه در لطافت طبعش خلاف نيست
در باغ لاله رويد و در شوره زار خس
زمين شوره سنبل بر نياورد
در او تخم و عمل ضايع مگردان
نكويى با بدان كردن چنان است
كه بد كردن بجاى نيكمردان
can a man fabricate a good sword of bad iron?
I saw at the palace-gate of Oglimish the son of a military officer who was endued with marvelous intellect, sagacity, perception and shrewdness; also the signs of future greatness manifested themselves on his forehead whilst yet a small boy.
بالاى سرش ز هوشمندى
مى تافت ستاره بلندى
his head intelligence caused
In short, he pleased the sultan because he had a beautiful countenance and a perfect understanding; and philosophers have said:
توانگرى به هنر است نه به مال
بزرگى به عقل است نه به سال
'Power consists in accomplishments, not in wealth
and greatness in intellect, not in years.'
His companions, being envious, made an attempt upon his life and desired to kill him but their endeavors remained fruitless.
What can a foe do when the friend is kind?
The king asked: 'What is the cause of their enmity to thee?'
'Under the shadow of the monarchy of my lord I have satisfied my contemporaries except the envious, who will not be contented but by the decline of my prosperity, and may the monarchy and good fortune of my lord be perpetual.'
توانم آن كه نيازارم اندرون كسى
حسود را چه كنم كو ز خود به رنج در است
بمير تا برهى اى حسود كين رنجى است
كه از مشقت آن جز به مرگ نتوان رست
شوربختان به آرزو خواهند
may so act as not to hurt the feelings of anyone
مقبلان را زوال نعمت و جاه
گر نبيند به روز شب پره چشم
چشمه آفتاب را چه گناه ؟
راست خواهى هزار چشم چنان
كور، بهتر كه آفتاب سياه
decline of prosperous men in wealth and dignity.
When the population had diminished, the prosperity of the country suffered, the treasury remained empty and on every side enemies committed violence.
هر كه فريادرس روز مصيبت خواهد
گو در ايام سلامت به جوانمردى كوش
بنده حلقه به گوش از ننوازى برود
لطف كن كه بيگانه شود حلقه به گوش
desires succor in the day of calamity,
One day the Shahnamah was read in his assembly, the subject being the ruin of the dominion of Zohak and the reign of Faridun. The vizier asked the king how it came to pass that Faridun, who possessed neither treasure nor land nor a retinue, established himself upon the throne. He replied:
'As thou hast heard, the population enthusiastically gathered around him and supported him so that he attained royalty.'
The vizier said:
'As the gathering around of the population is the cause of royalty, then why dispersest thou the population?
Perhaps thou hast no desire for royalty?'
همان به كه لشكر به جان پرورى
كه سلطان به لشكر كند سرورى
is best to cherish the army as thy life
The king asked: 'What is the reason for the gathering around of the troops and the population?'
'A Padshah must practice justice that they may gather around him and clemency that they may dwell in safety under the shadow of his government; but thou possessest neither of these qualities.'
نكند جور پيشه سلطانى
كه نيايد ز گرگ چوپانى
پادشاهى كه طرح ظلم افكند
پاى ديوار ملك خويش بكند
tyrannical man cannot be a sultan
The king, displeased with the advice of his censorious vizier, sent him to prison.
Shortly afterwards the sons of the king's uncle rose in rebellion, desirous of recovering the kingdom of their father. The population, which had been reduced to the last extremity by the king's oppression and scattered, now assembled around them and supported them, till he lost control of the government and they took possession of it.
پادشاهى كو روا دارد ستم بر زير دست
دوستدارش روز سختى دشمن زورآور است
با رعيت صلح كن وز جنگ ايمن نشين
زانكه شاهنشاه عادل را رعيت لشكر است
Padshah who allows his subjects to be oppressed
In that boat there happened to be a philosopher, who said: 'With thy permission I shall quiet him.'
The Padshah replied: 'It will be a great favor.'
The philosopher ordered the slave to be thrown into the water so that he swallowed some of it, whereon be was caught and pulled by his hair to the boat, to the stern of which he clung with both his hands. Then he sat down in a corner and became quiet.
This appeared strange to the king who knew not what wisdom there was in the proceeding and asked for it. The philosopher replied:
از اول محنت غرقه شدن ناچشيده بود و قدر سلامتي نمي دانست، همچنين قدر عافيت كسي داند كه به مصيبتي گرفتار آيد
'Before he had tasted the calamity of being drowned, he knew not the safety of the boat;
thus also a man does not appreciate the value of immunity from a misfortune until it has befallen him.'
اى پسر سير ترا نان جوين خوش ننماند
معشوق منست آنكه به نزديك تو زشت است
حوران بهشتى را دوزخ بود اعراف
از دوزخيان پرس كه اعراف بهشت است
thou full man, barley-bread pleases thee not.
فرق است ميان آنكه يارش در بر
با آنكه دو چشم انتظارش بر در
There is a difference between him whose friend is in his arms
Hormuzd, being asked what fault the viziers of his father had committed that he imprisoned them, replied:
'I discovered no fault. I saw that boundless awe of me had taken root in their hearts but that they had no full confidence in my promises, wherefore I apprehended that they, fearing calamities would befall them, might attempt my life and I acted according to the maxim of sages who have said:
از آن كز تو ترسد بترس اى حكيم
وگر با چو صد بر آيى بجنگ
از آن مار بر پاى راعى زند
كه برسد سرش را بكوبد به سنگ
نبينى كه چون گربه عاجز شود
برآرد به چنگال چشم پلنگ
'Dread him who dreads thee, O sage,
'This message is not for me but for my enemies, namely the heirs of the kingdom.'
بدين اميد به سر شد، دريغ عمر عزيز
كه آنچه در دلم است از درم فراز آيد
اميد بسته ، برآمد ولى چه فايده زانك
اميد نيست كه عمر گذشته باز آيد
spent my precious life in hopes, alas!
كوس رحلت بكوفت دست اجل
اى دو چشم ! وداع سر بكنيد
اى كف دست و ساعد و بازو
همه توديع يكديگر بكنيد
hand of fate has struck the drum of departure.
بر من اوفتاده دشمن كام
آخر اى دوستان حذر بكنيد
روزگارم بشد به نادانى
من نكردم شما حذر بكنيد
Death, the foe of my desires, has fallen on me
درويش و غنى بنده اين خاك و درند
آنان كه غنى ترن محتاجترند
The dervish and the plutocrat are slaves on the floor of this
Then he said to me: 'Dervishes being zealous and veracious in their dealings, unite thy mind to mine, for I am apprehensive of a powerful enemy.'
I replied: 'Have mercy upon thy feeble subjects that thou mayest not be injured by a strong foe.'
به بازوان توانا و فتوت سر دست
خطا است پنجه مسكين ناتوان بشكست
نترسد آنكه بر افتادگان نبخشايد؟
كه گر ز پاى در آيد، كسش نگيرد دست
With a powerful arm and the strength of the wrist
هر آنكه تخم بدى كشت و چشم نيكى داشت
دماغ بيهده پخت و خيال باطل بست
زگوش پنبه برون آر و داد و خلق بده
و گر تو مى ندهى داد، روز دادى هست
Whoever sows bad seed and expects good fruit
بنى آدم اعضاى يكديگرند
كه در آفرينش ز يك گوهرند
The sons of Adam are limbs of each other
چو عضوى به درد آورد روزگار
دگر عضوها را نماند قرار
تو كز محنت ديگران بى غمى
نشايد كه نامت نهند آدمى
When the calamity of time afflicts one limb
He replied: 'For God's sake, what prayer is this?'
The dervish rejoined: 'It is a good prayer for thee and for all Muslims.'
اى زبردست زير دست آزار
گرم تا كى بماند اين بازار؟
به چه كار آيدت جهاندارى
مردنت به كه مردم آزارى
tyrant, who oppressest thy subjects,
تو را خواب نيم روز تا در آن يك نفس خلق را نيازاري
'For thee the best is to sleep one half of the day so as not to injure the people for a while.'
ظالمى را خفته ديدم نيم روز
گفتم : اين فتنه است خوابش برده به
و آنكه خوابش بهتر از بيدارى است
آن چنان بد زندگانى ، مرده ، به
saw a tyrant sleeping half the day.
ما را به جهان خوشتر از اين يكدم نست
كز نيك و بد انديشه و از كس غم نيست
have in the world no moment more delightful than this,
A naked dervish, who was sleeping outside in the cold, then said:
اى آنكه به اقبال تو در عالم نيست
گيرم كه غمت نيست ، غم ما هم نيست
thou like whom in happiness there is no one in the world,
The king, being pleased with these words of unconcern, held out a bag of a thousand dinars from the window and said: 'Dervish, spread out thy skirt.'
He replied: 'Whence can I, who have no robe, bring a skirt?'
The Padshah took pity on his helpless condition, added a robe to his gift and sent it out to him but the dervish squandered the money in a short time and returned.
قرار بركف آزادگان نگيرد مال
نه صبر در دل عاشق نه آب در غربال
Property cannot abide in the hands of the free,
The case of the dervish having been brought to the notice of the king when he was not in good humor, he became angry and turned his face away. Therefore it has been said that:
intelligent and experienced men ought to be on their guard against the violence and despotism of kings because their thoughts are generally occupied with important affairs of state so that they cannot bear to be importuned by the crowd of vulgar persons.
حرامش بود نعمت پادشاه
كه هنگام فرصت ندارد نگاه
مجال سخن تا نيابى ز پيش
به بيهوده گفتن مبر قدر خويش
will be excluded from the beneficence of the Padshah
The king said:
'Drive away this impudent and prodigal mendicant who has in so short a time thrown away so much money. He does not know that the Bait-ul-mal is intended to offer a morsel to the needy and not to feed the brothers of devils.'
ابلهى كو روز روشن شمع كافورى نهد
زود بينى كش به شب روغن نباشد در چراغ
fool who burns by day a camphor-light
One of councilor viziers said:
'My lord, it would seem proper to grant to such persons a sufficient allowance to be drawn from time to time so that they may not squander it. But anger and repulsion, as manifested by thee, are unworthy of a generous disposition as also to encourage a man by kindness and then again to distress him by disappointing his expectation.'
به روى خود در طماع باز نتوان كرد
چو باز شد، به درشتى فراز نتوان كرد
كس نبيند كه تشنگان حجاز
به سر آب شور گرد آيند
هر كجا چشمه اى بود شيرين
مردم و مرغ و مور گرد آيند
door ought not to be opened to applicants so
چو دارند گنج از سپاهى دريغ
دريغ آيدش دست بردن به تيغ
he refrains from giving treasure to the troops
What bravery will they display in battle array when their hands are empty and affairs deplorable?
I was on terms of friendship with one of those who had acted treacherously and reproached him, telling him that it was base, ungrateful, despicable and undutiful to abandon an old master when his affairs have changed a little and to disregard the obligations incurred for benefits received during many years.
'If I inform thee, perhaps thou wilt excuse me for my horse had no barley and my saddle-cloth was pawned.
A sultan who grudges money to his troops, they cannot bravely risk their lives for him.'
زر بده سپاهى را تا سر بنهد
و گرش زر ندهى ، سر بنهد در عالم
gold to the soldier that he may serve thee.
When a warrior is full, he will be brave in fight but if his belly be empty, he will be brave in flight.
'Retirement is better than occupation.'
آنان كه كنج عافيت بنشستند
دندان سگ و دهان مردم بستند
كاغذ بدريدند و قلم بشكستند
وز دست و زبان حرف گيران پرستند
Those who have sat down in the corner of safety
The king said: 'Verily we stand in need of a man of sufficient intelligence who is able to carry on the administration of the government.'
He replied: 'It is a sign of sufficient intelligence not to engage in such matters.'
هماى بر همه مرغان از آن شرف دارد
كه استخوان خورد و جانور نيازارد
huma excels all other birds in nobility
A donkey, having been asked for what salary he had elected to attend upon the lion, replied:
'That I may consume the remnants of his prey and live in safety from my enemies by taking refuge under his bravery.'
Being again asked that, as he had entered into the shadow of the lion's protection and gratefully acknowledged his beneficence, why he had not joined the circle of intimacy so as to be accounted one of his favorite servants, he replied:
'I am in the same way also not safe of his bravery.'
اگر صد سال گبر آتش فروزد
اگر يك دم در او افتد بسوزد
Should a Guebre
(fire-worshiper) kindle fire a hundred years
It may happen that a companion of his majesty the sultan receives gold and it is possible that he loses his head.
Philosophers have said that:
it is necessary to be on guard of the fickle temper of Padshahs because sometimes they are displeased with politeness and at others they bestow robes of honor for rudeness.
It is also said that:
much jocularity is an accomplishment in courtiers but a fault in sages.
تو بر سر قدر خويشتن باش و وقار
بازى و ظرافت به نديمان بگذار
Abide thou by thy dignity and gravity.
بس گرسنه خفت و كس ندانست كه كيست
بس جان به لب آمد كه بر او كس نگريست
a man slept hungry and no one knew who he was.
He was also apprehensive of the malevolence of enemies who would laugh behind his back and would attribute the struggle he underwent for the benefit of his family to his want of manly independence and that they will say:
مبين آن : بى حميت را كه هرگز
نخواهد ديد روى نيكبختى
كه آسانى گزيند خويشتن را
زن و فرزند بگذارد بسختى
'Behold that dishonorable fellow who will never
He also told me that as I knew he possessed some knowledge of arithmetic, I might, through my influence, get him appointed to a post which would become the means of putting his mind at ease and place him under obligations to me, which he could not requite by gratitude during the rest of his life. I replied:
'Dear friend! Employment by a Padshah consists of two parts, namely,
but it is against the opinion of intelligent men to incur this danger for that hope.'
كس نيايد به خانه درويش
كه خراج زمين و باغ بده
يا به تشويش و غصه راضى باش
يا جگربند، پيش زاغ بنه
one comes to the house of a dervish
He replied: 'Thou hast not uttered these words in conformity with my case nor answered my question. Hast thou not heard the saying?
"Whoever commits treachery let his hand tremble at the account."'
راستى موجب رضاى خدا است
كس نديدم كه گم شد از ره راست
Straightness is the means of acceptance with God.
Sages have said:
'Four persons are for life in dread of four persons:
But what has he to fear whose account of the conscience is clear?'
مكن فراخ روى در عمل اگر خواهى
كه وقت رفع تو باشد مجال دشمن تنگ
تو پاك باش و مدار از كس اى برادر، باك
زنند جامه ناپاك گازران بر سنگ
not extravagant when in office, if thou desirest
I said: 'The story of that fox resembles thy case, who was by some persons seen fleeing with much trouble and asked for the cause of his fear replied:
'I have heard that camels are being forced into the service.'
They said: 'O fool, what connection hast thou with a camel and what resemblance does the latter bear to thee?'
The fox rejoined: 'Hush. If the envious malevolently say that I am a camel and I am caught, who will care to release me or investigate my case?
Till the antidote is brought from Iraq the snake-bitten person dies.'
Thou art a very excellent and honest man but enemies sit in ambush and competitors in every corner. If they describe thy character in a contrary manner, thou wouldst be called upon to give explanations to the Padshah and incur reproof. Who would on that occasion venture to say anything? Accordingly I am of opinion that thou shouldst retire to the domain of contentment and abandon aspirations to dominion. Wise men have said:
به دريا در منافع بى شمار است
اگر خواهى ، سلامت در كنار است
the sea there are countless gains,
My friend, having heard these words, became angry, made a wry face and began to reproach me, saying:
'What sufficiency of wisdom and maturity of intellect is this? The saying of philosophers has come true, that:
دوستان به زندان بكار آيند كه بر سفره همه دشمنان دوست نمايند
friends are useful in prison because at table all enemies appear as friends.'
دوست مشمار آنكه در نعمت زند
لاف يارى و برادر خواندگى
دوست آن دانم كه گيرد دست دوست
در پريشان حالى و درماندگى
Account him not a friend who knocks at the door of prosperity,
Seeing that he had thus changed and ascribed my advice to an interested motive, I paid a visit to the President of the State Council and, trusting in my old acquaintance with him, explained the case of my friend whom he then appointed to a small post.
In a short time my friend's affable behavior and good management elicited approbation so that he was promoted to a higher office. In this manner the star of his good luck ascended till he reached the zenith of his aspirations, became a courtier of his majesty the sultan, generally esteemed and trusted. I was delighted with his safe position and said:
ز كار بسته مينديش و در شكسته مدار
كه آب چشمه حيوان درون تاريكى است
منشين ترش از گردش ايام كه صبر
تلخ است وليكن بر شيرين دارد
'Be not apprehensive of tangled affairs and keep not a broken heart
Do not grieve, O brother in misery,
Sit not morose on account of the turns of time; for patience,
He replied: 'As thou hast predicted, some persons envied me and brought against me an accusation of treason. The king ordered no inquiry on its truthfulness and my old well-wishers with my kind friends who failed to speak the word of truth forgot our old intimacy.
نبينى كه پيش خداوند جاه
نيايش كنان دست بر بر نهند
اگر روزگارش درآورد ز پاى
همه عالمش پاى بر سر نهند
'Seest thou not in front of the possessor of dignity
'In short, I was till this week undergoing various persecutions, when the news of the pilgrims' approach from Makkah arrived, whereon I was released from my heavy bonds and my hereditary property confiscated.' I replied:
'Thou hast not paid attention to my remarks when I said that the service of Padshahs is like a sea voyage, profitable and dangerous, so that thou wilt either gain a treasure or perish in the waves.'
يا زر به هر دو دست كند خواجه در كنار
يا موج ، روزى افكندش مرده بر كنار
The khawjah either takes gold with both hands to the shore
Not thinking it suitable to scratch the wound of the dervish more than I had already done and so sprinkle salt thereon, I contented myself with reciting the following two distiches:
ندانستى كه بينى بند بر پاى
چو در گوشت نيامد پند مردم ؟
Knewest thou not that thou wilt see thy feet in bonds
دگر ره چون ندارى طاقت نيش
مكن انگشت در سوراخ كژدم
Again, if thou canst not bear the pain of the sting
I desired in some way to save the allowance of my friends and intended to wait upon the great man but the doorkeeper would not allow me to enter and was rude. I pardoned him, because it has been said:
در مير و وزير و سلطان را
بى وسيلت مگرد پيرامن
سگ و دربان چو يافتند غريب
اين گريبانش گيرد، آن دامن
door of an Amir, vizier or sultan
When those who could at any time approach the presence of the said great man became aware of my case, they took me in with compliments and desired to assign me a high seat but I humbly took a lower one and said:
بگذار كه بنده كمينم
تا در صف بندگان نشينم
'Allow me who am the smallest slave
He said: 'Allah, Allah, what need is there for such words?'
گر بر سر چشم ما نشينى
بارت بكشم كه نازنينى
thou sittest on my head and eyes
In short, I took a seat and we conversed on a variety of topics till the affair of the error of my companions turned up and I said:
چه جرم ديد خداوند سابق الانعام
كه بنده در نظر خويش خوار مى دارد
خداى راست مسلم بزرگوارى و لطف
كه جرم بيند و نان برقرار مى دارد
'What crime has my lord seen, who was bountiful,
The governor, being pleased with these words, ordered the support of my friends to be attended to as before and the arrears to be made good. I expressed my gratitude, kissed the ground of obedience, apologized for my boldness, and said:
چو كعبه قبله حاجت شد از ديار بعيد
روند خلق به ديدارش از بسى فرسنگ
تو را تحمل امثال ما ببايد كرد
كه هيچكس نزند بر درخت بى بر، سنگ
'Since the Kasbah has become the Qiblah of wants from distant lands
نياسايد مشام از طبله عود
بر آتش نه كه چون عنبر ببويد
بزرگى بايدت بخشندگى كن
كه دانه تا نيفشانى نرود
tray of lignum aloes will emit no odor.
One of his courtiers began heedlessly to admonish him, saying:
'Former kings have by their exertions accumulated this wealth and deposited it for a useful purpose. Cease this movement because calamities may arise in front and enemies in the rear. It is not meet for thee to be helpless at a time of necessity.'
اگر گنجى كنى بر عاميان بخش
رسد هر كد خدايى را برنجى
چرا نستانى از هر يك جوى سيم
كه گرد آيد تو را هر وقت گنجى
thou distributest a treasure to the multitude
The royal prince turned away his face at these words and said:
'God the most high has made me the possessor of this country, to enjoy and to bestow, not to guard and to retain.'
قارون هلاك شد كه چهل خانه گنج داشت
نوشين روان نمرد كه نام نكو گذاشت
Qarun, who possessed forty treasure houses, perished.
'Pay for the salt lest it should become a custom and the village be ruined.'
Having been asked what harm could arise from such a trifling demand, Nushirvan replied:
'The foundation of oppression was small in the world but whoever came augmented it so that it reached its present magnitude.'
اگر ز باغ رعيت ملك خورد سيبى
برآورند غلامان او درخت از بيخ
به پنج بيضه كه سلطان ستم روا دارد
زنند لشكريانش هزار مرغ به سيخ
the king eats one apple from the garden of a subject
five eggs which the sultan allows to be taken by force
A tyrant does not remain in the world but the curse on him abides for ever.
اند هر كه خداي را عز و جل بيازارد تا دل خلقي به دست آرد خداوند تعالي همان خلق را بر او گمارد تا دمار از روزگارش برآرد
'Who offends God the most high to gain the heart of a created being, God will use that very being to bring on his destruction in the world.'
آتش سوزان نكند با سپند
آنچه كند دود دل دردمند
burning with wild rue will not
The prince of all animals is the lion and the meanest of beasts the ass. Nevertheless sages agree that:
an ass who carries loads is better than a lion who destroys men.
مسكين خر اگر چه بى تميز است
چون بار همى برد عزيز است
گاوان و خران بار بردار
به ز آدميان مردم آزار
poor donkey though void of discernment
When the king had obtained information of some of the oppressor's misdeeds and bad conduct, he had him put on the rack and slain by various tortures.
حاصل نشود رضاى سلطان
تا خاطر بندگان نجويى
خواهى كه خداى بر تو بخشد
با خلق خداى كن نكويى
wilt not obtain the approbation of the sultan
One of the oppressed who passed near him said:
نه هر كه قوت بازوى منصبى دارد
به سلطنت بخورد مال مردمان به گزاف
توان به حلق فرو برد استخوان درشت
ولى شكم بدرد چون بگيرد اندر ناف
everyone who possesses strength of arm and office
He asked: 'Who art thou, and why hast thou hit my head with this stone?'
The man replied: 'I am the same person whom thou hast struck on the head with this stone on such and such a day.'
The soldier continued: 'Where hast thou been all this time?'
The dervish replied: 'I was afraid of thy dignity but now when I beheld thee in the well I made use of the opportunity.'
ناسزايى را كه بينى بخت يار
عاقلان تسليم كردند اختيار
چون ندارى ناخن درنده تيز
با ددان آن به ، كه كم گيرى ستيز
هر كه با پولاد بازو، پنجه كرد
ساعد مسكين خود را رنجه كرد
باش تا دستش ببندد روزگار
پس به كام دوستان مغزش برآر
thou seest an unworthy man in good luck
Orders having been issued to search for an individual of this kind, the son of a landholder was discovered to possess the qualities mentioned by the doctors. The king summoned the father and mother of the boy whose consent he obtained by giving them immense wealth.
The Qazi issued a judicial decree that it is permissible to shed the blood of one subject for the safety of the king and the executioner was ready to slay the boy who then looked heavenwards and smiled. The king asked:
'What occasion for laughter is there in such a position?'
The youth replied:
'A son looks to the affection of his father and mother to bring his case before the Qazi and to ask justice from the Padshah. In the present instance, however,
- the father and mother have for the trash of this world surrendered my blood,
- the Qazi has issued a decree to kill me,
- the Sultan thinks he will recover his health only through my destruction
and I see no other refuge besides God the most high.'
پيش كه برآورم ز دستت فرياد؟
هم پيش تو از دست تو گر خواهم داد
whom shall I complain against thy hand
The sultan became troubled at these words, tears rushed to his eyes and he said:
'It is better for me to perish than to shed innocent blood.'
He kissed the head and eyes of the youth, presented him with boundless wealth and it is said that the king also recovered his health during that week.
I also remember the distich recited by the elephant-driver on the bank of the Nile:
زير پايت گر بدانى حال مور
همچو حال تو است زير پاى پيل
thou knewest the state of the ant under thy foot
He placed his head on the ground before Umru Laith and said:
هر چه رود بر سرم چون تو پسندي رواست
بنده چه دعوي كند ، حكم خداوند راست
'Whatever befalls my head is lawful with thy approbation.
'But, having been nourished by the bounty of this dynasty, I am loath that on the day of resurrection thou shouldst be punished for having shed my blood; but, if thou desirest to kill me, do so according to the provisions of the law.'
He asked: 'How am I to interpret it?'
The slave continued: 'Allow me to kill the vizier and then take my life in retaliation so that I may be killed justly.'
The king smiled and asked the vizier what he thought of the matter.
He replied: 'My lord, give freedom to this bastard as an oblation to the tomb of thy father for fear he would bring trouble on me likewise. It is my fault for not having taken account of the maxim of philosophers who have said:
چو كردى با كلوخ انداز پيكار
سر خود را به نادانى شكستى
چو تير انداختى بر روى دشمن
چنين دان كاندر آماجش نشستى
When thou fightest with a thrower of clods
The officials of the king, mindful of the benefits they had formerly received from him and being by them pledged to gratitude, treated him kindly whilst in their custody and allowed no one to insult him.
صلح با دشمن اگر خواهى هرگه كه تو را
در قفا عيب كند در نظرش تحسين كن
سخن آخر به دهان مى گذرد موذى را
سخنش تلخ نخواهى دهنش شيرين كن
thou desirest peace from the foe, whenever he
He was absolved of some accusations brought by the king against him but retained in prison for some.
Another king in those regions secretly dispatched a message to him, to the purport that the sovereigns of that country, not knowing his excellent qualities, had dishonored him, but that if his precious mind (may Allah prosper the end of his affairs) were to look in this direction, the utmost efforts would be made to please him, because the nobles of this realm would consider it an honor to see him and are waiting for a reply to this letter.
The khawjah, who had received this information, being apprehensive of danger, forthwith wrote a brief and suitable answer on the back of the sheet of paper and sent it back.
One, however, of the king's courtiers, who noticed what had taken place, reported to him that the imprisoned khawjah was in correspondence with the princes of the adjacent country. The king became angry and desired this affair to be investigated. The courier was overtaken and deprived of the letter, the contents of which were found on perusal to be as follows:
'The good opinion of high personages is more than their servant's merit deserves, who is unable to comply with the honor of reception which they have offered him, because having been nourished by the bounty of this dynasty, he cannot become unthankful towards his benefactor in consequence of a slight change of sentiments of the latter, since it is said:
آن را كه به جاى تو است هر دم كرمى
عذرش بنه ار كند به عمرى ستمى
who bestows every moment favors upon thee
The king approved of his gratitude, bestowed upon him a robe of honor, gave him presents and asked his pardon, saying: 'I committed a mistake.'
'My lord, it was the decree of God the most high that a misfortune should befall this servant but it was best that it should come from thy hands which had formerly bestowed favors upon him and placed him under obligations.'
گر گزندت رسد ز خلق مرنج
كه نه راحت رسد ز خلق نه رنج
از خدا دان خلاف دشمن و دوست
كين دل هردو در تصرف اوست
گرچه تير از كمان همى گذرد
از كماندار بيند اهل خرد
people injure thee grieve not
high degrees at the court of heaven are similarly bestowed upon servants:
دو بامداد گر آيد كسى به خدمت شاه
سيم هر آينه در وى كند بلطف نگاه
man comes two mornings to serve the shah
Sincere worshippers entertain the hope that they will not be disappointed at the threshold of God.
مهترى در بول فرمان است
ترك فرمان دليل حرمان است
هر كه سيماى راستان دارد
سر خدمت بر آستان دارد
Superiority consists in attending to commands.
مارى تو كه كرا ببينى بزنى
يا بوم كه هر كجت نشينى نكنى
زورت از پيش مى رود با ما
با خداوند غيب دان نرود
زورمندى مكن بر اهل زمين
تا دعايى بر آسمان برود
'Thou art a snake, stingest whom thou beholdest,
Although thy oppression may pass among us
Oppress not the denizens of the earth
The tyrant, being displeased with these words, got angry and took no notice of him until one night, when fire from the kitchen fell into the store of his wood and burnt all he possessed-transferring him from his soft bed to a hot mound of ashes-the same pious man happened again to pass and to hear him saying to his friends: 'I do not know whence this fire has fallen into my house.' replied:
'From the smoke of the hearts of dervishes.'
حذر كن ز درد درونهاى ريش
كه ريش درون عاقبت سر كند
بهم بر مكن تا توانى دلى
كه آهى جهانى به هم بر كند
Beware of the smoke of internal wounds
Upon the diadem of Kai Khosru the following piece was inscribed:
چه سالهاى فراوان و عمرهاى دراز
كه خلق بر سر ما بر زمين بخواهد رفت
چنانكه دست به دست آمده است ملك به ما
به دستهاى دگر همچنين بخواهد رفت
how many years and long lives
He had a particular affection for the beauty of one of his pupils whom he taught three hundred and fifty-nine tricks, refraining to impart to him only one. At last the youth had attained such power and skill that no one was able to contend with him and he went so far as to say to the sultan:
'I allow superiority to my teacher on account of his age and from gratitude for his instruction but my strength is not less than his and my skill equal.'
The king, who was not pleased with this want of good manners, ordered them to wrestle with each other and a spacious locality having been fixed upon, the pillars of state and courtiers of his majesty made their appearance.
The youth made an onslaught like a mad elephant with an impulse which might have uprooted a mountain of brass from its place but the master, who knew that he was in strength superior to himself, attacked him with the rare trick he had reserved to himself and which the youth was unable to elude; whereon the master, lifting him up with his hands from the ground, raised him above his head and then threw him down.
Shouts were raised by the spectators and the king ordered a robe of honor with other presents to be given to the teacher but reproached and blamed the youth for having attempted to cope with his instructor and succumbed.
He replied: 'My lord, he has not vanquished me by his strength but there was a slender part in the art of wrestling which he had withheld from me and had today thereby got the upper hand of me.'
The master said: 'I had reserved it for such an occasion because wise men have said:
"Do not give so much strength to thy friend that, if he becomes thy foe, he may injure thee."
Hast thou not heard what the man said who suffered molestation from one whom he had educated?
يا مگر كس در اين زمانه نكرد
كس نياموخت علم تير از من
كه مرا عاقبت نشانه نكرد
Either fidelity itself
does not exist in this world
The vizier said: 'The Padshah of the surface of the earth has passed near thee. Why hast thou not paid homage and shown good manners?'
'Tell the king to look for homage from a man who expects benefits from him and also that kings exist for protecting subjects and subjects not for obeying kings.'
پادشه پاسبان درويش است
گرچه رامش به فر دولت او است
گوسپند از براى چوپان نيست
بلكه چوپان براى خدمت او است
Padshah is the guardian of the dervish
يكى امروز كامران بينى
ديگرى را دل از مجاهده ريش
روزكى چند باش تا بخورد
خاك مغز سر خيال انديش
Today thou beholdest one man prosperous
فرق شاهى و بندگى برخاست
چون قضاى نوشته آمد پيش
گر كسى خاك مرده باز كند
ننمايد توانگر و درويش
Distinction between king and slave has ceased
The king, who was pleased with the sentiments of the dervish, asked him to make a request but he answered that the only one he had to make was to be left alone.
The king then asked for advice and the dervish said:
درياب كنون كه نعمتت هست به دست
كين دولت و ملك مى رود دست به دست
'Understand now while wealth is in thy hand
Zulnun wept and said:
'Had I feared God, the great and glorious, as thou fearest the sultan, I would be one of the number of the righteous.'
گرنه اميد و بيم راحت و رنج
پاى درويش بر فلك بودى
ور وزير از خدا بترسيدى
همچنان كز ملك ، ملك بودى
there were no hope of rest and trouble
He asked: 'How?'
The man replied: 'This punishment will abide with me one moment but the sin of it for ever with thee.'
دوران بقا چو باد صحرا بگذشت
تلخى و خوشى و زشت و زيبا بگذشت
پنداشت ستمگر كه ستم بر ما كرد
در گردن او بماند و بر ما بگذشت
period of life has passed away like the desert wind.
This admonition having taken effect, the king spared his blood.
Afterwards the viziers secretly asked him: 'What superiority hast thou discovered in the opinion of the king above so many other reflections of wise men?'
The philosopher replied:
'Since the termination of the affair is unknown and it depends upon the will of God whether the opinion of the others will turn out right or wrong, it was better to agree with the opinion of the king so that, if it should turn out to have been wrong, we may, on account of having followed it, remain free from blame.'
خلاف راءى سلطان راءى جستن
به خون خويش باشد دست شستن
اگر خود روز را گويد: شب است اين
ببايد گفتن ، آنك ماه و پروين
proffer an opinion contrary to the king's
One of the king's courtiers, who had that year returned from a journey, said: 'I have seen him at Basra on the Eid Duha festival, then how can he be a Haji?'
Another said: 'His father was a Christian at Melitah. How can he be a descendant of Ali? And his poetry has been found in the Divan of Anvari.'
The king ordered him to be beaten and expelled the country for his great mendacity. The man said: 'O lord of the surface of the earth, I shall say something more and, if it is not true, I shall deserve any punishment which thou mayest decree.'
He asked: 'What is it?'
غريبى گرت ماست پيش آورد
دو پيمانه آبست و يك چمچه دوغ
اگر راست مى خواهى از من شنو
جهان ديده ، بسيار گويد دروغ
a stranger brings before thee buttermilk
The king laughed, told him that all his life he had not uttered more true words than these and ordered the present which the fellow hoped for to be got ready.
to effect his liberation. Those who guarded him treated him leniently and the great men expatiated upon his good character to the Padshah till he renounced all further inquiry. A pious man who took cognizance of this affair said:
تا دل دوستان به دست آرى
بوستان پدر فروخته به
پختن ديگ نيكخواهان را
هر چه رخت سر است سوخته به
با بدانديش هم نكويى كن
دهن سگ به لقمه دوخته به
order to gain the hearts of friends
One of them proposed capital punishment, another the amputation of the tongue whilst a third recommended fine and imprisonment. Then Harun said:
'Oh my son, it would be generous to pardon him but, if thou art unable to do so, use likewise insulting expressions concerning his mother; not however to such a degree as to exceed the bounds of vengeance because in that case the wrong will be on thy side.'
نه مرد است آن به نزديك خردمند
كه با پيل دمان پيكار جويد
بلى مرد آنكس است از روى محقيق
كه چون خشم آيدش باطل نگويد
is not reputed a man by the wise
An ill-humored fellow insulted a man who patiently bore it saying:
'O hopeful youth, I am worse than thou speakest of me for I am more conscious of my faults than thou.'
I said: 'He had no longer to live and therefore delay took place in rescuing him.'
The sailor smiled and replied: 'What thou hast said is certain. Moreover, I preferred to save this one because, when I once-happened to lag behind in the desert, he seated me on his camel, whereas I had received a whipping by the hands of the other.
When I was a boy I recited:
(Quran 59:20) مَنْ عَمِلَ صَالِحًا فَلِنَفْسِهِ وَمَنْ أَسَاء
He, who doth right, doth it to his own soul and he, who doth evil, doth it against the same.'
تا توانى درون كس متراش
كاندر اين راه خارها باشد
كار درويش مستمند برآر
كه تو را نيز كارها باشد
As long as thou canst,
scratch the interior of no one
'Why labourest thou not to be delivered from the baseness of service because philosophers have said that it is better to eat barley bread and to sit than to gird oneself with a golden belt and to stand in service?'
به دست آهك تفته كردن خمير
به از دست بر سينه پيش امير
leaven mortar of quicklime with the hand
عمر گرانمايه در اين صرف شد
تا چه خورم صيف و چه پوشم شتا
اى شكم خيره به نانى بساز
تا نكنى پشت به خدمت دو تا
precious life was spent in considering
Someone had brought information to Nushirvan the just that an enemy of his had been removed from this world by God the most high. He asked:
'Hast thou heard anything about his intending to spare me?'
اگر بمرد عدو جاى شادمانى نيست
كه زندگانى ما نيز جاودانى نيست
There is no occasion for our rejoicing at a foe's death
'Viziers are like physicians and the latter give medicine to the sick only but, as I perceive that your opinions are in conformity with propriety, I have nothing to say about them.'
چو كارى بى فضول من بر آيد
مرا در وى سخن گفتن نشايد
و گر بينم كه نابينا و چاه است
اگر خاموش بنشينم گناه است
an affair succeeds without my idle talk
'In contrast to the rebel who had in his arrogance of being sovereign of Egypt pretended to be God, I shall bestow this country upon the meanest of my slaves.'
He had a stupid negro, Khosaib by name, whom he made governor of Egypt but his intellect and discrimination were so limited that when the tribe of Egyptian agriculturists complained and stated that they had sown cotton along the banks of the Nile and that an untimely rain had destroyed it he replied:
'You ought to have sown wool.'
A pious man heard this, and said:
اگر دانش به روزى در فزودى
ز نادان تنگ روزى تر نبودى
به نادانان چنان روزى رساند
كه دانا اندر آن عاجز بماند
livelihood were increased by knowledge
بخت و دولت به كاردانى نيست
جز بتاءييد آسمانى نيست
او فتاده است در جهان بسيار
بى تميز ارجمند و عاقل خوار
The luck of wealth consists not in skill
But only in the aid of heaven.
happens in the world that many
كيمياگر به غصه مرده و رنج
ابله اندر خرابه يافته گنج
an alchemist has died in grief and misery,
تو گويى تا قيامت زشترويى
بر او ختم است و بر يوسف نكويى
wouldst say that, till the resurrection, ugliness
شخصى نه چنان كريه منظر
كز زشتى او خبر توان داد
آنكه بغلى نعوذ باالله
مردار به آفتاب مرداد
person was of so wretched an aspect
At that time the desire of the negro was libidinous, his lust overcame him, his love leapt up and he took off the seal of her virginity.
In the morning the king sought the girl but could not find her and, having obtained information of what had taken place, he became angry, ordered the negro and the girl to be firmly tied together by their hands and feet and to be thrown from the lofty building into a ditch.
One of the viziers, placing the face of intercession upon the ground, pleaded that there was no guilt in the negro since all the servants of his majesty usually receive presents and benefits as he had received the girl.
The king rejoined: 'What would it have mattered if he had for one night delayed his enjoyment?'
He said: 'My lord, hast thou not heard that it was said:
تشته سوخته در چشمه روشن چو رسيد
تو مپندار كه از پيل دمان انديشد
ملحد گرسنه در خانه خالى برخوان
عقل باور نكند كز رمضان انديشد
When a man with a burning thirst reaches a limpid spring,
The king, being pleased with this sally, exclaimed: 'I make thee a present of the negro. What am I to do with the girl?'
He replied: 'Give the girl to the negro because that half is also due to a dog of which he has consumed the other half.'
هرگز آن را به دستى مپسند
كه رود جاى ناپسنديده
تشنه را دل نخواهد آب زلال
نيم خورده دهان گنديده
The thirsty heart does not wish for limpid water
'Whatever country I conquered by the aid of God the most high, I abstained from distressing its population and spoke nothing but good of the king.'
بزرگش نخوانند اهل خرد
كه نام بزرگان به زشتى برد
intelligent will not call him great
All this is nothing as it