When the clime-adorning king had heard this story full of advantage, which may be regarded as a treasure fraught with the gems of wisdom, and a store-house filled with the coins of admonition, being bound heart and soul in obligation to the perfect and accomplish sage, he said,

‘Thou from the ocean of whose radiant mind,
The weary wanderers in inquiry’s plain,
To slake their thirst, pure streams of wisdom find!
Whose counsel’s hand, from wisdom’s face again
Withdraws the veil of doubts and errors vain!

I have already wearied your highness, possessed of wisdom, beyond all bounds, and have carried the excess of my importunities to the limits of disrespect, and the point has been almost reached for the chain* of your sublime discourse to be severed. Since then, you have acquainted me with the signification of the thirteenth precept, and I have heard the tale of kings in reference to their patronage of counsellors and near dependants, and have been informed of the mischiefs which spring from associating with the mean and base: now be so condescendingly gracious as to set forth a detailed explanation of the last precept and discourse on this subject, viz.: Why the beneficent and intellectual sage is fettered by the bonds of calamity, and broken by the wounds of adverse fortune, while the vile ignorant person, fatuously careless, passes his life in ease and enjoyment? why neither the former is assisted by his good sense and sagacity, nor the latter overthrown by his ignorance and fatuity. Say, moreover, what kind of stratagem is to be employed to secure advantage and repel injury? and by what counsel one may enjoy the happy influences of felicity, and by what service our roads may lead to the halting-place wished-for?’ The Bráhman replied, ‘O king! there are first steps and sources of felicity, which when a person has secured, he will become more deserving of rank and authority, and more fit for an honorable and exalted position; but the results and fruits thereof are dependent on the Divine decree and God’s will; and the king’s command may be viewed as the first source of all, and means and appliances will, if destiny so requires it, prove abortive and ineffectual. For many wise persons who have been in the enjoyment of deserved good-fortune, have suddenly been excluded even from food sufficient for a single day; while many ignorant persons, without the aid of puissance and virtue, have been seated on the throne of sovereignty.

They royal treasures on the base bestow,
Yet cannot for the worthy crumbs afford;
Spontaneous give high places to the low,
But ne’er, e’en by mistake,* a place afford,
To men of learning in the outer ward.

And assuredly this state of things cannot but be in connection with the Divine decree and the command of God Most Holy. And although one may possess perfect understanding, so that in that way he might procure a maintenance; or a very lucrative profession, whence he might provide the means of support; or fascinating beauty by which he might capture hearts, and so secure advantages: yet when the Divine will yields not assistance thereto, the party will reap no fruit, nor will he see such gainful results from the antecedents of beauty and wisdom and perfection. And a Prince wrote this proposition on the gate of the city of Nusṭúr, and there is a beautiful story and sweet tale connected with this.’ The King asked, ‘How was that?’