The ancient sage, who the world’s conflicts knew,
[In language sweet] thus wisdom’s veil undrew.

And when King Dábishlím had heard this story from the sage Bídpáí, he offered praise, from the signification of which the perfumes of friendship would reach the nostrils of the saintly, and whose import gave intelligence of the royal diplomas of the happy tidings of tho morn of felicity, and said,

‘O thou! from whom, in problems dark, the reason light has won;
And by whose sense thought’s knotty points are all with ease undone,

I have heard the description of the advantage of mildness and endurance, and the detriment of impetuosity and rashness; and have comprehended the superiority of composure and mildness over the other virtues of princes and qualities of potentates. Now recount a story illustrative of kings retaining faithful and loyal servants, and point out what class of persons best appre­ciate the value of patronage, and return thanks most fully for the benefits conferred on them.’ The Bráhman, in reply to the praises of the king, having arranged the offering of benediction, said, ‘May the most perfect share and most universal portion of every rare gift of fortune which unveils its face from the fabric, ‘Assistance from God and a speedy victory,’* and every felicitous boon which is displayed on the ornamented bride’s seat, ‘For victory is from God alone,’* be particularly bestowed on his highness the ruler of the kingdom!

O may the garden’s nurse erase, with th’ eastern breeze’s aid,*
The dust from off the tulip’s face and the Arghwán’s blushing cheek!
May the glory’s parterre, whither gales from Paradise have strayed,
Safe continue from the ravage of the winds of autumn bleak!

The most powerful assistance in the matter, whereof the king has spoken, is to discern the proper field for employing [each individual]; and it behoves a king to test the coin of his servants with a variety of experiments on the touchstone of trial; and to make himself acquainted with the assay-value of the judgment, and knowledge, and sincerity, and prudence of each; and so to rely on their temperance, and integrity, and good faith, and honesty. For the capital stock for the service of kings is truthfulness, and truthfulness cannot exist without the fear of God and uprightness. And the beginning of all knowledge is fear* and awe [as it is said], ‘Such only of his servants fear God as are endued with understanding.’* Every servant of the king that fears God, the king, too, will have strong grounds for reliance on him; and the people will see in him a prop of hopefulness.

One who fears God be o’er thy people set,
For ’tis the pious man builds up the State.
One who dreads Heaven for thy vazír get,
Not one who fears the king and his own fate.

And assuredly it is not fit that a liar and an untruthful man should be raised to a position of confidence, and should obtain the power of access to the king’s secrets; for thence troubles will arise, and the injurious effects thereof will be evident for a long, long period.’ The king said, ‘This subject requires detailed explanation, for men without birth, or dignity, or real worth, may be adorned with some attractive qualities, yet in the end their affairs, commencing a retrograde movement, will become the cause of shame to their patrons.

He that is by nature base, though faithful he at first may be,
Will alter in the end, and prove bent on acting cruelly.’

The Bráhman said, ‘The distinct exposition of this matter is, that three qualities are required for the servant of a king. The first is uprightness in action, for a trustworthy man is approved both by the Creator and by creatures, and is fit and worthy to be entrusted with the secrets of kings and the management of state-affairs. The second is truthfulness in speech, for the blemish of falsehood is a huge crime, and it is an indispensable duty for a king to shun those who speak falsely. And if all good qualities were collected in a person, and he were celebrated for his gratitude and thankful­ness, yet if he be false in speech he is not worthy of confidence. The third quality is a generous nature and high spirit; for a mean man, and one destitute of magnanimity does not rightly appreciate the value of what is bestowed on him, and of the bounty shewn to him. And from whatever direction the wind comes, thither his inclinations are evinced.

When the wind changed, he, as it veered, veered too.

And they have said, with relation to the unfaithful,

Plant firm thy foot in friendship’s path, unshaken as the ground;
And be not, like the breeze, each hour in a new quarter found.

And it behoves a king to fix his eyes on the virtuous qualities of his servants, not on their comeliness or strength,* for the beauty of the servants of princes is reason and ability, and their strength is knowledge and sagacity. And when any one is adorned with the ornaments of excellent qualities, and is free from the practice of corrupt habits, and unites in himself hereditary virtue and acquired merit,* and who issues from the crucible of trial pure and unsullied in the manner that has been mentioned, it is right that the king should observe every beneficial measure in encouraging him, and deliberately and by regular degrees elevate him to the different ranks of favor and stages of authority. Thus his honor will be established in all eyes, and his awe in all hearts. And the sages have said, ‘It behoves a king, in encouraging his servants, [to proceed] like a skilful physician. For, as the latter, until, in the first place, he has fully ascertained and distinctly inquired into the state of the sick man, and the duration of his indisposition, and the nature and extent of his sickness, and its causes and symptoms; and until he has acquired perfect acquaintance and complete knowledge both on general and particular points, and the evidences of the pulse and urine, does not commence the remedies, nor ventures on prescriptions; so a king, too, ought to acquaint himself with the circumstances of each of his attendants minutely and generally, and inform himself of his method of action, and manner of speech, and mode of procedure. Then let him begin to promote him and raise him to power, and not place confidence in any with too great facility, lest it prove a source of regret and repentance. And the principal point is, that the attendants of princes should be trustworthy, and to be depended upon; as well that the secrets, financial and administrative, may continue safe, as also that the soldiers and people may be preserved from injury and harm. For if, which heaven forefend! one of the favorite courtiers be led into the evil quality of treason, and his words be honored with acceptance by the monarch, it is possible that he may plunge some innocent person into destruction, and thus cause disgrace to his prince, and bring upon him evil consequences in the end. And among the narratives which relate to this subject is the story of the Goldsmith and the Traveler.’ The king asked, ‘How was that?’