Gulistan of Saadi
The Morals of Dervishes
Having become tired of my friends in Damascus, I went into the desert of Jerusalem and associated
with animals till the time when I became a prisoner of the Franks, who put me to work with infidels in
digging the earth of a moat in Tarapolis, when one of the chiefs of Aleppo, with whom I had formerly
been acquainted, recognized me and said: ‘What state is this?’ I recited:
‘I fled from men to mountain and desert
Wishing to attend upon no one but God.
Imagine what my state at present is
When I must be satisfied in a stable of wretches.
The feet in chains with friends
Is better than to be with strangers in a garden.’
He took pity on my state and ransomed me for ten dinars from the captivity of the Franks, taking me
to Aleppo where he had a daughter and married me to her with a dowry of one hundred dinars. After
some time had elapsed, she turned out to be ill-humoured, quarrelsome, disobedient, abusive in her
tongue and embittering my life:
A bad wife in a good man’s house
Is his hell in this world already.
Alas for a bad consort, alas!
Preserve us, O Lord from the punishment of fire.
Once she lengthened her tongue of reproach and said: ‘Art thou not the man whom my father
purchased from the Franks for ten dinars?’ I replied: ‘Yes, he bought me for ten dinars and sold me
into thy hands for one hundred dinars.’
I heard that a sheep had by a great man
Been rescued from the jaws and the power of a wolf.
In the evening he stroked her throat with a knife
Whereon the soul of the sheep complained thus:
Thou hast snatched me away from the claws of a wolf,
But at last I see thou art thyself a wolf.’