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Ch 01 Manner of Kings Story 18

Sa di 1210 (Shiraz) – 1291 (Shiraz)

A royal prince, having inherited abundant treasures from his father, opened the hand of liberality and satisfied his impulse of generosity by lavishing without stint benefits upon the army and the population.

  A tray of lignum aloes will emit no odour.
  Place it on fire, it will smell like ambergris.
  If thou wishest to be accounted great, be liberal
  Because grain will not grow unless it be sown.

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."

  If thou distributest a treasure to the multitude
  Each householder will receive a grain of rice.
  Why takest thou not from each a barley-corn of silver
  That thou mayest accumulate every day a treasure?

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."

Qarun, who possessed forty treasure houses, perished. Nushirvan has not died because he obtained a good reputation.

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Submitted on May 13, 2011

1:03 min read

Sa di

Saadi Shirazi was a major Persian poet and prose write of the medieval period. more…

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