§ 19. Be not too bold.

The Emperor learnt from the news-letter of the army of Prince Muhammad Azam Shah that he used to go incautiously towards the entrenchments in order to view the fort of Panhala. Although the nazir and the mahaldar forbade him, he did not mind their prohibi­tion. The same thing was also reported to the Emperor in the letters of the nazir and the mahaldar.

His Majesty wrote, “I wonder at this son, on whom my society has produced no [educative] effect whatever! He is a thousand stages remote from caution and far­sightedness, and has not laid to heart the maxim ‘Precaution is a suspicion of mischief,’ nor put to use the verse ‘Don't thrust yourself with your own hands into destruction.’ (Verses)

A bird that is prudent in this garden of a world,
Suspects the rose of being the claws of a royal falcon!
When a partridge flies without circumspection,
Blood drops from its visible wounds, as the result of its laughter.
The society of the good does not turn a bad nature into good,
The almond comes out of sugar as bitter as before.

Manliness does not consist in audacity and reck­lessness, but in breaking one's self (i.e., humility). (Verses)

The perfection of manliness and humanity lies in self-suppression.
Kiss the hand of the man who has broken this bow (i.e., self).”

Text.–Ir. MS. 18a–b.

Notes.–Panhala, 11 m. s. w. of Kolhapur. Aurangzib captured it after a siege lasting from 9th March to 28th May, 1701. (Masir-i-Alamgiri, 430—439; Khafi Khan, ii. 476—490).