Saadi Shirazi

(1814-1291 / Iran)

Ch 01 Manner Of Kings Story 07


A padshah was in the same boat with a Persian slave who had never
before been at sea and experienced the inconvenience of a vessel. He
began to cry and to tremble to such a degree that he could not be
pacified by kindness, so that at last the king became displeased as
the matter could not be remedied. 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 favour.' 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: '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.'

O thou full man, barley-bread pleases thee not.
She is my sweetheart who appears ugly to thee.
To the huris of paradise purgatory seems hell.
Ask the denizens of hell. To them purgatory is paradise.

There is a difference between him whose friend is in his arms
And him whose eyes of expectation are upon the door.

Submitted: Thursday, January 01, 2004

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