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(Masnavi Book 4: 30) The Slave whose allowance was reduced



Showing that (the proverb), Omission to reply is a reply, confirms the saying that silence is the (proper) reply to the fool. The explanation of both these (sayings) is (contained) in the story which will now be related.

1490. There was a king: he had a slave; he (the slave) was one whose reason was dead and whose lust was alive.
He would neglect the niceties of service to him (the king): he was thinking evil and deeming (it)
good.
The monarch said, Reduce his allowance, and if he wrangle strike his name off the roll.”
His reason was deficient, his cupidity excessive: when he saw the allowance reduced he became violent and refractory.
Had there been reason (in him), he would have made a circuit round himself, in order that he might see his offence and become forgiven.

1495. When, on account of asininity, a tethered ass becomes violent, both his (fore-)legs will be shackled in addition.
Then the ass will say, “One tether is enough for me”; (but) in sooth do not think (that such is the case), for those two are (result) from the action of that vile creature.

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