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Ch 03 On The Excellence Of Contentment Story 20

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A king with some of his courtiers had during a hunting party and in the winter season strayed far from inhabited places but when the night set in he perceived the house of a dehqan and said: ‘We shall spend the night there to avoid the injury of the cold.’ One of the veziers, however, objected alleging that it was unworthy of the high dignity of a padshah to take refuge in the house of a dehqan and that it would be best to pitch tents and to light fires on the spot. The dehqan who had become aware of what was taking place prepared some food he had ready in his house, offered it, kissed the ground of service and said: ‘The high dignity of the sultan would not have been so much lowered, but the courtiers did not wish the dignity of the dehqan to become high.’ The king who was pleased with these words moved for the night into the man’s house and bestowed a dress of honour upon him the next morning. When he accompanied the king a few paces at the departure he was heard to say:

‘Nothing was lost of the sultan’s power and pomp
By accepting the hospitality of a dehqan,
But the corner of the dehqan’s cap reached the sun
When a sultan such as thou overshadowed his head.’

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