The Potter, who is taken into the service of a King, and made General of his Army.

WHEN the sun went to the western quarter, Kho-jisteh, with her eyes full of tears, and an aching heart, went to the parrot and said, “When an Arab went to a rich man, and said, ‘I will go to Mecca;’ the rich man answered, ‘Go.’ He said, ‘I have not the means.’ The rich man replied, ‘If you have not money, it is not proper for you to go thither; for God has not commanded those who are poor to go to Mecca.’ The Arab returned, ‘I come to you in hopes of obtaining some money, and not to consult you on a point of law.’—Thus do you re-count to me maxims and fables, when I come merely to ask permission to visit my lover, not to hear advice and listen to stories.” The parrot said, “Be not uneasy at my words and exhortations, since the advice of a friendly monitor is serviceable for this world as well as for the next.” Khojisteh re­joined, “O parrot! I listen to every advice that you give me; to-night, being dark, I am afraid to go alone, and want to take my own slave along with me.” The parrot said, “A slave is a menial ser-vant, not fit to accompany you; for the sages have said, that no reliance ought to be placed on those of low degree. Have not you heard the story of the potter?” Khojisteh asked, “What kind of story is this?”

The parrot said: “One day a potter, having drank a quantity of liquor, was intoxicated, and, falling over the pots and pans, cut his face and body.— The cuts on his face were cured in a short time, but the wounds in his body left such marks that they resembled the scars of a sword or an arrow. A famine happening in the potter's town, he was obliged to go to another place in quest of service. The king of that country seeing such kind of scars on the potter's body, he thought this must be some valiant man to have put himself in the way of re-ceiving such wounds: thereupon the king engaged him, and exalted him to high rank. A few days after, the king was engaged in a war, and made the potter commander of his forces, and designed to send him to oppose the enemy. The potter, being terrified, fell sick, and said to the king, I am a potter, and shall never be able to perform military duty. The king laughed very heartily, but within himself was ashamed, and he sent another person to conduct the war.”

The parrot, having finished the tale, said to Kho-jisteh, “Don't take a slave along with you, but go alone, for no good actions can proceed from mean persons.” Khojisteh wanted to have gone unat­tended; instantly the cock crowed, and dawn ap­pearing, her departure was deferred.