The world-conquering king, distinguishing the clear-minded Bráhman by the honor of his address, said,

‘Praised be thy soul! in God’s* own secrets wise.
Praised be thy words! unveiling mysteries.

Thou hast narrated the story of one, who after securing the object of his desire, chose to be careless in preserving it, and hence the treasure passed from his hands and he was plunged in regret, and though panged with distress for his bereavement,* obtained nought but remorse and grief. Now recount the tale of one acting precipitately in the pursuit of his desired object, and continuing devoid of the advantages of counsel and deliberation, and point out in what such conduct and procedure finally issued, and what fruit men reap when they sow in the field of action the seed of haste?’ The Bráhman loosed his tongue in praise of the great king, and said,

‘King! still on thee may earth’s enactments rest,
And all earth’s garden with thy rule be blest!

Whoever bases not his actions on patience and steadiness, and does not strengthen the foundation of his proceedings by firmness and constancy, the final tendency of his doings is towards reproach, and the conclusion of his affairs will issue in repentance. And the most praiseworthy quality with which the Most High God has adorned men, and by the blessing of which he has bestowed on mankind the grade of a dignified position, is, that graceful one, long-suffering; and that eminent virtue, constancy.

Patience is reason’s treasury. We speak
Of brutes and devils when we name the unmeek.

And they have cleverly said, as to this, ‘That if thou wilt convert Ḥilm it becomes Milḥ,’* that is, meekness is the salt of the table of qualities. Thus when any one outstrips his peers in the acquisition of various excellencies, and carries off the ball of superiority from those of his time in the display of numerous virtues; if he combine therewith, roughness and haste and levity, his other good qualities, like insipid food, are relished by none; nay, his frivolity and want of steadiness cause him to be regarded with aversion. Thus it has been said, ‘But if thou hadst been severe and hard-hearted, they had surely separated themselves from about thee.’* And notwithstanding all those perfections which centred in his Holiness the Lord of created things, (On whom be the choicest blessings and most perfect benedictions!) he was graciously addressed as follows, by the Lord of Lords, saying, ‘O Muḥammad! if thou hadst been rough-tempered and hard-hearted, and prone to anger and resentful, assuredly the legions of stars—as it is said, ‘My companions are like the stars,’—which are now assembled round thee like the Pleiades, would be dispersed like the daughters of the Bier.* Moreover, the possessor of God’s friendship, and the Full Moon of Faith, Abraham the friend of God, (On our Prophet and on him be the blessings of The Merciful!) is praised for this quality, there, where he says, ‘Verily Abraham was pitiful and com­passionate.* For the mild person is beloved of all hearts, and the minds of high and low are all inclined towards him.

In patience reason’s prop we see,
And man disgraced by levity.

Precipitation is altogether alien from men of sense, and the thoroughly wise man regards it as a temptation of the devil; as it is said, ‘Patience is from God, haste from the devil,’ the meaning of which they have thus explained,

Hurry and rashness from the devil spring,
But patience, meekness, are from Heaven’s King.
See from God’s hand creation slow arise,
And six days’ labor claimed by earth and skies.
Else with two letters* He possessed the might,
Sudden to make new worlds’ upstart to light.
Lo! in this course instruction to us sent;
‘Use patience, for with it success is blent.’

And whoever in his proceedings surrenders the reins of choice to the grasp of precipitation, assuredly in the end his affairs will draw towards contrition, and the issue of his doings will be disappointment and regret.

Who dares to act without due thought and care,
Will sink at last in sorrow and despair.

And there are many anecdotes and innumerable stories à-propos of this subject which are written and commemorated in the pages of nocturnal conversations and elegant annals, and among these is the story of the Holy Man, who rashly stepped into the plain of precipitate action, and, staining his hands with innocent blood, destroyed* the unfortunate Ichneumon; which displays the ill effects of this precipitation.* The king asked, ‘How was that?’