Gulistan of Saadi | The Manners of Kings | Story 6

Gulistan of Saadi | The Manners of Kings | Story 6

Gulistan of Saadi

 The Manners of Kings

 Story 6

It is narrated that one of the kings of Persia had stretched forth his tyrannical hand to the possessions
of his subjects and had begun to oppress them so violently that in consequence of his fraudulent
extortions they dispersed in the world and chose exile on account of the affliction entailed by his
violence. When the population had diminished, the prosperity of the country suffered, the treasury
remained empty and on every side enemies committed violence.

Who desires succour in the day of calamity,
Say to him: ‘Be generous in times of prosperity.’
The slave with a ring in his ear, if not cherished will depart.
Be kind because then a stranger will become thy slave.

One day the Shahnamah was read in his assembly, the subject being the ruin of the dominion of
Zohak and the reign of Feridun. The vezier asked the king how it came to pass that Feridun, 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 vezier 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?’

It is best to cherish the army as thy life
Because a sultan reigns by means of his troops.

The king asked: ‘What is the reason for the gathering around of the troops and the population?’ He
replied: ‘A padshah must practise 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.’

A tyrannic man cannot be a sultan
As a wolf cannot be a shepherd.
A padshah who establishes oppression
Destroys the basis of the wall of his own reign.

The king, displeased with the advice of his censorious vezier, 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.

A padshah who allows his subjects to be oppressed
Will in his day of calamity become a violent foe.
Be at peace with subjects and sit safe from attacks of foes
Because his subjects are the army of a just shahanshah.

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