Journey Poems: 195 / 500

Ch 03 On The Excellence Of Contentment Story 22

Rating: 2.8

I met a trader who possessed one hundred and fifty camel loads of merchandise with forty slaves and servants. One evening in the oasis of Kish he took me into his apartment and taking all night no rest kept up an incoherent gabble, saying: ‘I have such and such a warehouse in Turkestan, such and such goods in Hindostan; this is the title-deed of such and such an estate and in this affair such and such a man is security.’ He said: ‘I intend to go to Alexandria because it has a good climate’, and correcting himself continued: ‘No, because the African sea is boisterous. O Sa’di, I have one journey more to undertake and after performing it I shall during the rest of my life sit in a corner and enjoy contentment.’ I asked: ‘What journey is that?’ He replied: ‘I shall carry Persian brimstone to China because I heard that it fetched a high price. I shall also carry Chinese porcelain to Rum and Rumi brocade to India and Indian steel to Aleppo, convey glass-ware of Aleppo to Yemen, striped cloth of Yemen to Pares. After that I shall abandon trading and shall sit down in a shop.’ He had talked so much of this nonsenses that no more strength remained in him so he said: ‘O Sa’di, do thou also tell me something of what thou hast seen and heard.’ I recited:

‘Thou mayest have heard that in the plain of Ghur
Once a leader fell down from his beast of burden,
Saying: “The narrow eye of a wealthy man
Will be filled either by content or by the earth of the tomb.”’

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