§ 52. Persians and Indians contrasted.

The Emperor learnt from the news-letter of Ghaznin, “Subhan Quli, the thanahdar of the Persian frontier, has written a letter to Amir Khan, the governor of Kabul, saying, ‘Between the two frontiers there is a distance of 4 leagues. Praised be God! friendship and alliance prevail between the two countries; and there is no apprehension of quarrel and rupture on any account whatever. It is proper that the people of each side should go to the other side for buying and selling, so that both the places may increase in prosperity.’ Amir Khan wrote in reply, ‘I shall report the point to His Majesty, and inform you of the order that I get.’” The same thing was brought to the Emperor's notice in the report from Kabul.

On the sheet of the news-letter of Ghaznin, Aurangzib wrote, “My reply is written on the report of Kabul,”— which was this: “I wonder that Amir Khan,—a hereditary servant aware of my sentiments, whose ancestors from generation to generation had lived in the society of my ancestors of the house of Timur,—has forgotten the sense of this couplet:

Don't give up caution when your enemy turns gentle:
Stratagems may be concealed under a veil, like water under grass.

Without [being charged with] prejudice and enmity, we may say that as the Sun is the guardian planet of the Persians, the intellectual keenness of those men in quickness of perception and foresight is four times as great as that of the Indians, whose tutelary planet is Saturn. Their only defect is that by reason of its con­junction with Venus, they have grown ease-loving, whereas men governed by Saturn are accustomed to toil; and the nearness of Saturn to Jupiter is really more frequent [than that of the Sun to Venus?] But there is a little natural inferiority and meanness in Saturn, the exceptions being certain individuals only, in whose horoscopes some other planet is their helper. The purport of my words is this, that you should be on your guard against the great cunning of the Persians and never submit to me such [seemingly] friendly over­tures, as they only prove your lack of sagacity. (Verse)

The flood kissed the foot of the wall only to overthrow it!”

Text.—MS. N. 29b 1—30b 5.