Sheikh Saadi

Story 5 – The Manners Of Kings – Gulistaan-e-Sa.Adii

I saw at the palace-gate of Oglimish the son of a military officer who was endued with marvellous intellect, sagacity, perception and shrewdness; also the signs of future greatness manifested themselves on his forehead whilst yet a small boy.

From his head intelligence caused

the star of greatness to shine.

In short, he pleased the sultan because he had a beautiful countenance and a perfect understanding; and philosophers have said: ‘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 endeavours remained fruitless.

What can a foe do when the friend is kind?

the king asked: ‘What is the cause of their enmity to thee?’ He replied: ‘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.’

I may so act as not to hurt the feelings of anyone

But what can I do to an envious man dissatisfied with himself?

Die, O envious man, for this is a malady,

Deliverance from which can be obtained only by death.

Unfortunate men sometimes ardently desire

the decline of prosperous men in wealth and dignity.

If in daytime, bat-eyed persons do not see

Is it the fault of the fountain of light, the sun?

thou justly wishest that a thousand such eyes

Should be blind rather than the sun dark

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