The Prince said, ‘They have related that in the city of Andalús* there was a Farmer with an open hand and heart, who was successful in his agricultural occupations. Once on a time his receipts exceeded his disburse­ments, and he got together three hundred gold dínárs, and was very much delighted with that amount of money, and took care not to lay out a particle of it in his expenses. Every day he took out his well-stuffed purse, and counted the pieces, and made the lip of enjoyment smile with that mirth-augmenting saffron-colored coin.

Showers from that yellow fruit came down unceasing,
Which, saffron-like,* were still his joy increasing.

One day in his wonted manner, having counted his gold, he had put it back in the purse, and was about to deposit it in a secure place, when an intimate friend came to the door and called to him. The Farmer, through fear lest he should come in and become acquainted with that glittering-faced bride, (which, in accordance with the direction, ‘Hide thy gold!’ ought to be kept under the veil of concealment,) did not wait to secure it, but took it up and flung it into a pitcher, and set out with his friend to the village on account of a matter of importance, strictly charging his wife as he started to get ready a meal for them. As soon as the Farmer had gone, his wife wanted to cook some broth. Seeing the pitcher empty she took it up and went to the door and stood looking out for an acquaintance to pass by. It happened that the village butcher going to the city to buy a cow passed that spot. The Farmer’s wife recognised him, and asked him civilly if he would undertake the trouble of bringing a little water for her, by which he would, at the same time, oblige an old friend, and secure the merit of assisting one in a difficulty. The villager agreed, and the farmer’s wife gave him the pitcher in which was the purse of gold. The butcher put it on his back, and went to fetch the water. On the way he perceived something move in the pitcher, and on examining it, saw the purse. Forthwith, drawing it delightedly into the sleeve of possession, he exclaimed,

‘Faith! that is luck which, without effort, to our fond embraces yields;
If toil alone can win them, I’ll not value Eden’s sparkling fields.

Thanks, grateful thanks to God (may His glory be magnified!) that without the annoyance of trouble, and the calamity of hardship and suffering, an abundant blessing and complete opulence have been bestowed on me. I must now think it right to show my sense of this unexpected good-fortune, and not abandon my profession, but store up this gold for a day of emergency.’ Then, through delight at getting the gold, he forgot all about the water and the pitcher, and having purchased a fat young heifer with the money that he had of his own, he set out home. As soon as he had got out of the city, he thought to himself, ‘If I keep this purse about me, I cannot be secure from the dread of thieves; and if I bury it anywhere in this city I shall never be able to breathe at ease, from anxiety of mind and troublous thoughts; and I have not sufficient confidence in any one to be able to confide this to him as a deposit.

Seek not in this age for good faith, for it exists nowhere.

My best course is to put the purse in the Cow’s throat and manage to make it swallow it, and after I have slaughtered it I will take out safely my purse of gold.’ He then put the unfortunate cow to that torture, and made it like Sámiríy’s* calf, full of golden treasure, and turned his face homeward. It befell that the son met him on the road, and told him some other things which had occurred in the village, and which the butcher was to settle. The latter, in order to make some arrangements, returned to the city, and handed over charge of the cow to his son. Meanwhile the Farmer had returned with his friend from the village. Now a long time back, he had made a vow to sacrifice a fat heifer. When he saw one in such good case he was inclined to purchase it, and giving a little more profit to the butcher’s son than he expected, he bought it; and bringing it home, made the necessary preparations for the sacrifice. Meanwhile the matter of the gold returned to his memory, and he went to remove the money from that place and to deposit it in a safe spot. The more he searched for the pitcher, the less he found it. He then asked his wife where it was? She in reply told him the circumstances. Hereupon sighs arose from the Farmer’s heart, and the eye of his covetousness was weeping with poignant regret, and far-sighted prudence was laughing at his forlorn and ignominious plight.

Folks that can weep for property and pelf;
Be sure, they do but each deride himself.

For some time the farmer was immersed in the whirlpool of care in a state of unconsciousness; and for an interval tormented himself in the vortex of dismay. At last he adopted feelings of resignation and submission, and said,

‘We leave it to His bounty what to do.’

He then commanded them to sacrifice the cow, and when the knife was used to open the intestines his eyes lighted on the purse of gold. At this sight he lost his senses with joy, and when he recovered himself, he took up the purse, and having cleared it of filth, he took out the pieces and kept constantly lifting up one after another, kissing them, rubbing them upon his eyes, and restoring them to their places, while he said,

‘May ill luck never thy existence mar;’

He then reflected, ‘This time by the fortunate and accidental occurrence of such a strange affair—an extraordinary and mysterious coincidence that no eye has ever seen nor ear heard—this gold has been recovered. Hereafter this purse of money shall go nowhere but round my waist, and to be without it for a moment is a thing never again to be thought of.

From thee to part! I cannot frame the thought,
From his own soul can one be torn by aught?’

Thenceforward the Farmer always used to keep the purse about his own person, and his wife used to reproach him saying, ‘This conduct is alien from reliance on God, for to hoard implies distrust of the Giver of our daily sub­sistence. And since—in accordance with the saying, ‘Seek therefore your pro­vision from God,’* we ought to seek our daily bread from the treasury of His bounty,—the perfectly wise is he who does not display greediness in amassing money, but opens the eye of reliance to the overflowing beneficence of God, from a share of the table of whose benefits not a single creature is excluded; and feels sure that it is impossible to increase or diminish the allowance which has been predestined to him from eternity without beginning, and which the command of the Eternal One has fixed.

The cup of fate nor more nor less contains.’

The Farmer replied, ‘Wife! there is no alternative in this world of causes but to attend to means. In our outward behaviour we must be governed by the rule of cause and effect, and spiritually we must quaff the wine of resignation from the goblet of reliance on God.

Sit not supine! Since cause does all things leaven,
Neglect it not; and leave the rest to Heaven.’

The wife held her tongue, and the Farmer tied the purse round his waist, and went about his avocations. One day, he was bathing in a spring of water, and undoing the purse from his girdle, put it down by the side of the pool. When he had finished, he put on his dress, and forgetting the money, left it there and went* his way. After him a shepherd came to the same spot to water his flock, and saw the purse of gold on the margin of the spring. He immediately snatched it up, and, in excessive rapture, retraced his steps, and going to his own abode, counted the money, and found it three hundred dínárs. He then said to himself, ‘This is a round sum; were I to take anything out of it, it would impair the excellence of the number, and perhaps I could never make it up again to the same amount. I must be patient in unavoidable hardships, and store up this amount for a day of want.’ Whereupon, the simple fellow, fixing his heart upon the gold; and fastening it under his armpit, and rubbing the clay of silence on his lips, went on, as before, with his duties as a shepherd. Meantime, however, when the Farmer remembered his money, he began, with his heart full of anguish,* to shower from his eyes the rain of regret, and, with a hundred pangs and pains, ran searching about on the right hand and on the left.

Much did he search, and yet not reach his wish.

At length, baffled and sad, he returned home, and told his family what had occured. His wife’s heart was brimful of choler against her spouse. When she heard the state of the case, she loosed the tongue of reproach and said, ‘O good-for-nothing fellow! thou didst display all these excessive precautions in taking care of the gold, and choosing to be stingy in thy daily expenses, kept thy family on short allowance. Now cry away and lament for the loss of it!’ The Farmer replied, ‘Thou sayest the truth,

If we are panged with absence now, we cannot murmur at our lot,
For in the day of union we the tribute of our thanks forgot.

It was a downright blunder, a blunder downright, that I took such trouble to store up the cash, and withholding it from my wife and family, kept a watch over it with such prodigious care. No sensible man acts in this way, to tie a purse of gold round his waist, and suffer day and night, and undergo ready-money vexation for credit indulgences. And all of a sudden, a turn of fortune, which could never have been traced on the tablet of thought, makes its appearance from destiny’s workshop; and, like me, he tumbles into a whirlpool of dismay, and is left a long way off from the shore of escape.

They that have gems and still at mining slave,
Their lives in toil for other men bestow.
And since our cares augment, the more we crave;
Have we but milk and wine, why labor so?
How long wilt suffer in pursuit of more?
Contentment seek, and let thy woes be o’er.’

Then the Farmer employed himself in protestations of repentance and contrition, and vowed that he would never hoard up wealth again, and would expend without delay all that came to hand. So, seeking the divine favor by reliance on God, he committed his affairs to the Creator; and, acquiescing in the decrees of Providence, he placed the head of submission on the line of resignation.

Sit down, and on the Almighty’s bounty rest.

In the other direction, the shepherd, with the bag of gold under his arm, was feeding his flock. One day he was employed in the same business close by a well. Suddenly, a party of horsemen showed themselves in the distance. The shepherd, in dread lest they should take the gold from him, dropped the purse into the well, and as day was closing, he drove his sheep homewards. Just after he had gone away, the Farmer was going along, and a strong wind began to blow. It carried off his turban and threw it into that very well. The Farmer jumped down in a moment, and was looking for his turban, when all of a sudden he got hold of the purse of gold.

He sought a pearl, and lo! a ruby found.

Having returned thanks to God, he went back, and told his family the story of finding the money, and when he counted it, there were the three hundred dínárs as before. At this the Farmer exclaimed, ‘Behold! God Most High has from an invisible quarter conveyed to me the same amount which had disappeared.’ He then fulfilled the vows he had made, and began to expend the money. Some he disbursed for his family, and a small portion he devoted to religious purposes, until two hundred dínárs were gone. How­ever, after the Farmer had departed, the shepherd, having satisfied himself about his sheep, went in the night to the well, and found not his bright-faced Joseph therein. Jacob-like, he raised outcries, and called out, ‘Ah! Joseph!’ and said, ‘After this loss, of what use is life to me; and in my regret for that beloved mistress, what happiness or enjoyment can I derive from existence?

I wish not that the boon of sight be longer to me left,
When I shall be for ever of his blessed sight bereft.’

Thus the shepherd was wandering about night and day, grieving and distracted. After a considerable time, having gone back to the city, he chanced to pass by the Farmer’s hut. The latter, in accordance with his generous habits, gave the shepherd a meal. After they had finished eating, they began to discourse of various matters. The shepherd was telling a story, but the signs of the most complete grief were evident in his manner of talking; and from time to time he was involuntarily shedding tears of regret. The Farmer inquired the cause of his weeping, and of the pre-occupation of his mind. The shepherd replied, ‘How should I not be broken-hearted and distracted?

If Sulaimán had had the loss that I, unhappy, rue,
Fairies for Sulaimán had wept, fairies and devils too.

Know that I possesed three hundred gold dínárs, and my heart’s strength and soul’s happiness, and light of my eyes, and joy of my breast sprang from that. On a certain day, from dread of some cruel fellows, I threw this money into a certain well, and I never found any trace of it again.’ The Farmer, amazed at hearing this story, got up and went to his wife and said, ‘This money, which we thought was our lawful property, and to which we extended the hand of expenditure and disbursement, making unrestrained use of it, belonged to our guest. And we, owing to our incautiousness, have fallen into the labyrinth of crime and disastrous error. Now what little is left, we must hand over to him by way of present, and take care not to divulge this secret, otherwise he will come upon us for all the amount, and we shall be unable to pay.’ His wife agreed with him in this, and said, ‘The rightful owner must have his rights restored to him; and we must have recourse to contentment and reliance on God, until God Most High gives us something in return for it.

He who, with truth, on God relies,
His wishes’ face soon meets his eyes.’

Hereupon the Farmer placed the hundred dínárs that were left, before the shepherd by way of offering. The latter, deeply obliged, took up the money and counted it. There were exactly a hundred dínárs. He said to himself, ‘This is the first instalment, and I am in hopes that the remainder, too, will come to hand. Now I must take good care of this, that I do not fall into the same trouble a second time.’ He then hollowed part of a thick stick which he had, and with which he used to drive his flock to pasture, and deposited in it the pieces of gold, so that no one should know it. One day he was standing on the shore of a large stream, and his stick fell out of his hand into the river. Though he tried to get hold of it again, he could not. Now the river flowed by the city’s gates, and as the Farmer was making his ablutions beside the stream, he saw a staff which the water was bringing towards him. He took it up and carried it home. His dame was cooking, and there were no sticks left. The Farmer began to break the staff that the cooking might be finished. All of a sudden his lap, like the platter of the firmament, was filled with gold sparkling like fire. He took up the pieces and counted them, and there were just a hundred dínárs. Down he fell and prostrated himself in thanksgiving, and opened the hand of liberality and expenditure once more. Two or three days passed and the shepherd came again to the Farmer’s house, and more disconsolate than before, recounted the story of the stick and the hundred dínárs. The Farmer asked, ‘Speak the truth! whence didst thou get those pieces that thou didst lose the first time, and how didst thou amass them?’ The shepherd told the truth, saying, ‘On a certain date I found a purse at such a spring of water, and in the purse were three hundred pieces of gold, and those were the very same that I threw into the well; and these hundred dínárs thou thyself gavest to me.’ The Farmer smiled and said, ‘Thanks and praise be to the Lord! who has kept the right fixed in its own circle. Know that it was I who forgot the purse and left it at the fountain’s side, and I too found it in the well, and the hundred dínárs that I gave to thee were the residue thereof, and the staff has come back into my hands, and these are the hundred dínárs which we are expending.’ The shepherd remained astonished and said, ‘From the marvelous incidents of this story we may learn that none can appropriate the predestined portion of another.’

And the object of adducing this tale is, that my companions too should not surrender the station of contentment, nor step beyond the circle of reliance on God, nor be blind to the wonders of fortune which result from destiny and Providence, but duly valuing the opportunity of life, cease to confide in wealth and beauty, since the reality of future events is concealed and hidden behind the curtain of fate.

None know in what affairs may terminate.’

In short they brought that day to an end in such discourse. The next day when the husbandman of Omnipotence displayed the rose of hundred leaves, the sun, in the parterre of the horizon with a hundred shining hues; and the fragrant hyacinth of dark night drew over its countenance the curtain of con­cealment in the violet bed of the sky,

Like tulip in the sky, the sun shone bright,
And the stars’ blossoms were concealed from sight;

the farmer’s son arose and said, ‘Take your ease here till I bring for your inspection a share of the fruits of my labors; and to-morrow, when you have rested, each of you work for his livelihood as he may advise with himself.’ The friends agreed to this, and the young peasant went to the gate of the city and asked, ‘What is the best thing to do in this city?’ They replied, ‘Wood for fuel is now very valuable, and they are buying it at an exorbitant price.’ The youth immediately went to the hills, and having tied up a heavy bundle, as much as he could carry on his back, carried it to the city, and sold it for ten dirams. He then bought some nice food, and turned his face towards his comrades, and when he had come out of the city he wrote on the door, ‘The fruit of one day’s labour is ten dirams.’ In short, that day the companions eat a refreshing morsel from the table of the young peasant; and on the morrow, when the beauty of the world-adorning, brightly-shining sun illuminated the universe with the glitter of its perfect loveliness,

The lustrous sun, with smiles and blushes red,
From out day’s upper chamber showed his head;

they said to the handsome youth, ‘To-day contrive with thy beauty that there may be something to make thy friends comfortable and happy.’ The youth arose, and walked, deep in thought, towards the city, saying to himself, ‘I cannot do anything, and yet without succeeding in my object I cannot go back; and I am in a strangely-embarrassing position, such that I have no face to conceal it, nor courage to tell it.

Thy looks that ruin my affairs inflict this hardship, too, as well,
I cannot, dare not, for my life, my hardships to another tell.’

In this cogitation he entered the city and sate down ill at ease and out of spirits, at the top of a street. Suddenly, a pretty woman with curling ringlets, who possessed much wealth and property, passed by him, and beholding that captivating face and the enchanting downy hair upon it; gave the goods of patience and endurance to the winds of love.

Such ebullitions then her heart assailed,
Each several hair seemed vocal with love’s lay.
She clapped her hands, her moon-like face unveiled,*
And cast her lasso-ringlets in his way.

She said to her maid, ‘Look at this beautiful face, which is such that the rose-leaf, from shame at its freshness, droops like the yellow jasmine; and survey this graceful figure, from mortification at whose delicacy and elegance, the straight cypress has its hand on its head and its foot in the clay.

My cypress from the garden comes of spirit and the heart,
Think not those clay and water trees can be its counterpart.

If I were to attempt the description of that lip, I should say it is a ruby blent with sugar, and should I read the writing of that soft down, I should call it a mischief-exciting calamity.

Blessed God! what lineaments are here, and down in sunny line!
Thus, into one, God’s mercy does the rose and grass combine.*

And we cannot but suppose, ‘This is not a mortal, he is no other than an angel deserving the highest respect.*

This beauty goes beyond the bound of human race.

O damsel! bethink thee of a device, that this noble bird may fall into the snare, and employ some artifice that I may possess this beautiful Adonis.’ The slave-girl assenting, approached the youth, and said,

‘Light of my eyes! whose soul’s beloved art thou?
Whose honey-lip and sugar-grove?
Thy lip makes uproar wild enough, I trow,
In the world’s mart. Come, tell me, love!
Upon whose table blest the salt art thou?

O my beauty! my lady has sent her devotion to thee and says, ‘Thou appearest to be a stranger in this city, and* strangers are generally sad, and we possess a pleasant, agreeable residence and a delightful place. If thou wouldst eondescend to come there, and entertain us for a short time with thy beauty, we shall gain immortal life and thou wilt suffer no loss.’ He replied, ‘I obey thy commands, and I have no excuse for declining.’ He then went to the lady’s entertainment and stopped with her till close of day.

Headlong desire seized his passions’ rein,
And patience, shaft-like, from his bosom shot.
He, from so fair a bride, could not refrain
His love; but when he saw the oven hot
He shut his bread within, and blessed his lot.

At a late hour he thought of joining his companions. The lady placed a hundred dirams before him and offered thanks. And the youth, having provided supplies for his companions, wrote upon the gate of the city, ‘The price of a day’s worth of beauty is a hundred dirams.’

The next day, when the merchant of divine wisdom opened the door of the office of the azure sky, and gave to view the gold-worked brocade of the sun from the shop of high heaven to the traffickers of the market of the world,

Heaven’s jeweler poured down a golden sum;
From the sky’s mart arose a busy hum;

they said to the merchant’s son, ‘To-day we will be the guests of thy sagacity and quickness.’ The young merchant assented, and came to the city-gate. Just then a vessel laden with a variety of precious things, came by water to the gate, and the citizens delayed, that the goods might become cheaper. The merchant’s son bought them at a proper value, and selling them the same day for ready money, made a thousand dínárs profit. He then prepared things to entertain his friends, and wrote upon the gate of the city, ‘The gain of one day’s judgment and good sense is a thousand dínárs.’

The next day, when the sovereign of the stars mounted the throne of the fourth heaven,* and set up his banner in the metropolis of the sky,

The morn with golden crown and silver vest,
Wearing that crown a throne of ivory pressed;

they said to the Prince, ‘Thou always boastest of reliance upon God, and extollest acquiescence in the Divine Will, and resignation. Now if thou art to derive any fruit from these qualities, thou must provide for us.’ The Prince met their request with acceptance, and with a lofty spirit and a purpose void of the scruple of hesitation, turned his face towards the city. Fate had decreed that death should reach the king of that city that day, and the inhabitants were engaged in mourning for him. The Prince went as spectator to the deceased monarch’s palace, and seating himself on one side, kept quiet. The warder observed that while all others were occupied with mourning and lamentation, one person, seated silent in a corner, did not join them in their demonstrations of grief. He formed the idea that it was a spy, and treated him with indignity. The Prince having quenched the fire of wrath with the water of forbearance, was exclaiming,

‘When a proud fool intemperance displays,
I will with gentleness his roughness meet.
And though, displeased, a hundred cries he raise;
To my pleased ear that brawling shall seem sweet.’

When they carried out the bier, and the palace became empty, the Prince remained in the same spot, and was looking about on all sides of the palace. The warder again waxed more intemperate, and confined him in prison. Night came on, and no tidings or intelligence of the Prince reached the companions. They said to one another, ‘This hapless youth, basing his reliance on God, and finding no advantage therefrom, has turned his face from our society. Would that we had not imposed this task upon him, nor dis­tressed his noble heart.’ Thus they in this quarter were reproaching them­selves, and in the other the Prince, overtaken with bonds and imprisonment, was sending, with the hand of thought, messages to his companions.

‘Ah! swift convey my tidings to the birds of the parterre,
For their sweet voices, too, have reached the cage of my despair.’

The next day the nobles and ministers of the city, and Roots and Pillars of the State, having assembled; were desirous of committing to some one the business of the government—for their king had no heir. Having entered upon this deliberation, they were offering a great variety of opinions. The warder said to them, ‘Keep this matter close, for I have apprehended a spy, and it is probable, too, that he has a companion. Heaven forfend that they should obtain intelligence of your dissensions, and hence mischief arise!’ He then told them of the Prince and of his appearance there and of his own rigorous treatment of him. They thought it best to send for him and to inquire into his proceedings. Some one went and brought the Prince from the prison to the assembly. When their eyes fell upon his realm-adorning beauty, they perceived that that silver countenance had nothing of the spy in it, and that from such a gracious person and noble nature, such proceedings could not arise. Having treated him with all due respect, they asked, ‘What is the cause of thy coming? and what city is thy birth-place and native land?

Whence with this youth and grace dost thou appear?
Sit, if to glad our bosoms thou art here.’

The Prince answered them courteously, and informed them of his birth and lineage, and detailed to them the death of his sire and his brother’s taking possession of the throne. It happened that a number of the nobles had formerly waited on his father and had seen that pearl of a royal shell at a corner of the imperial throne. They immediately recognised him, and related to all the Pillars of the State, the condition of the dominions of his ancestors and the extent of their territories. So the whole body of the grandees of that country were pleased at seeing him and overjoyed at his fortunate arrival, and unanimously agreed that he was worthy to govern that realm, as possessing a generous nature and pure descent. They thought, too, that he would indubitably follow the steps of his noble progenitors, in setting wide the gates of justice and liberality to the people; and would imitate their amiable qualities and praiseworthy practices, and combine with hereditary excellencies acquired virtues, and preserve his people in tran­quillity under the shade of his fostering care. Thus they regarded the flash of divine glory which shone forth from his countenance, as a convincing proof and lucid testimony to his capabilities for reigning and his qualifications for sovereignty, and felt persuaded that the tokens of his worthiness to reign, and the signs of his future renown could not but be apparent to every man of penetration.

Such glory shone in Sulaimán, whoe’er could doubt of it,
Both bird and fish would laughingly deride his sense and wit.

Wherefore, they forthwith inaugurated him, and the kingdom, with this facility, passed into his possession; and through the blessed influences of reliance on God, he obtained this excellent fruit. And whoseover chooses to plant his foot firmly on the ground of trust in the Divine aid, and continues to tread there with sincerity of purpose and purity of disposition, will obtain the results thereof in faith and in worldly matters, and will be felicitous in both states of existence.

Canst thou secure the key of faith? with that,
Thou may’st the door of fortune’s hoards undo;
And with sincere dependance as a bat,
May’st in this court success’s ball win, too.

And it was an established custom in that city to seat the king on the first day, on a white elephant, and carry him round the city. This same rite they observed in the Prince’s case, and when the latter came to the city-gates, and saw the words which his companions had written, he commanded them to write underneath, ‘Labor and beauty, and good sense and perfect skill: these bear fruit when the Divine decree is consentaneous with them; and the adventures of a person, who, the first day was fettered in the prison of suffering, and the next day seated in the imperial palace on the throne adorned with gold, are sufficient to warn us of this.’ He then returned to the royal palace, and seated himself on the throne, and the kingdom was settled under his sway.

When Fortune saw him on the throne, it raised applauding shouts and said,
‘O thou who knowest how to sit upon the throne of regal sway!
Gird now thy waist like mighty kings, and o’er the world triumphant tread,
The time has come to act, the days of idleness have passed away.’

He then sent for his former companions, and made the possessor of good sense and ability share office with the minister of state, and the merchant’s son he appointed over the crown lands and possessions. But as for the beautiful youth he bestowed on him a magnificent robe of honor and unbounded wealth, and said, ‘Though it is painful to part with a dear friend, yet thy stay in this country is not advisable, that women be not tempted by thy fascinating beauty, and that become a source of immorality and mischief.’ He then turned to the grandees of the assembly and said, ‘There are many amongst you who are superior to me in understanding, and valor, and skill, and ability, but kingdoms are obtainable only by the Divine favor, and the aid of the Eternal One, as may be understood from the purport of the saying, ‘Thou givest the kingdom unto whom thou wilt.’*

O object of the musings of the wise!
Desire of the hearts of all in prayerful posture bowing!
The slave’s, the monarch’s, destinies
Are willed by Thee. Fortune’s gifts are nought save thy endowing:
Unless Thy wisdom and Thy guidance lead,
Who can this road by reason’s light proceed?

My companions were laboriously exerting themselves to earn, and each secured a trifle. But I did not rely on my own wisdom and strength, nor did I seek aid from any one’s support or protection. But I based my proceedings on reliance on God, and I acquiesced in the Divine decree and the Supreme predestination, and said,

‘The head must be submissive bent, the neck inclined obediently,
For all the Rightcous Judge ordains is justice, peace, and equity.

[After the Prince had thus spoken,] a man of eloquence among those present arose and said, ‘Everything that the King pronounces is a gem per­forated by the diamond of wisdom, and gold tried on the touchstone of knowledge: and there is no qualification for governing like understanding and judgment, and the high merits and worthiness of the king are by this token as clear as the sun, to all his subjects: and the Creator Himself knows what are the qualifications of each, and what promotion and advancement each accordingly deserves [as it is said], ‘God best knoweth whom He will appoint for a messenger.’*

From the table of His bounties, by no limiting confined,
Each his due share in proportion to his worth is sure to find.

The good-fortune of the people of this country brought thee to this station, and the vigorous auspices of the inhabitants of this land spread the felicitous shade of a Humá over thee like the heads of the drooping-pinioned subjects.

Most blest the spot where moons, like thee, make choice of their alighting-place!
Happy the region where such kings with favor turn, like thee, their face!’

Another then rose and adorned his tongue with praise of the king of youthful fortune, aud throne lofty as the sky, and having placed the jewels of these couplets on the tray of representation, he showered them, applaudingly, on the royal head;

‘Monarch! whose happy, gold-bestowing hand,
Successful casts a lasso on the sky;
As heaven itself, secure, the peaceful land
Which sleeps beneath thy kingly canopy.’

Similarly each of the nobles delivered his sentiments suitably to his position, and recited a select portion of the pages of the imperial virtues. At last, a pure-minded, fair-spoken old man rose on his feet, and after offering the fitting praises and eulogies, said, ‘O king! On the subject of fate and predestination, somewhat of which has been explained to the hearts of the assembly by the gem-scattering tongue of the sovereign, this slave has a story, and if the implicitly-obeyed command is condescendingly issued, I will recite it and set it forth.’ The king said, ‘Bring what thou hast, and say how that was.’