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Full text of "The Dabistan"

185

without foundation, and contaminated by fraud and
deception; nay, the very business of women is arti-
fice and fiction: the power of imagination is not
otherwise seductive. To continue: the lies and false
promises of women being so many lures, they
render mankind their slaves with their show, and
never keep their faith; so that all they affect turns
out to be futile. Thus, when a man follows the
steps of imagination, he never attains true intelli-
gence, as he always remains upon the track of out-
ward ornament and in the bondage of corporeal
appearance, without reality.

" And as to what the prophet stated: When 1
" went on, Jabriil said: ' If thouhadst waited until
" ' she had joined thee, thou wouldst have become
* * ' a friend of the world;? " this means: that worldly
affairs are without reality, brittle and soon decaying,
and that worldly occupations have a value but in
conjunction with the views of a future state; inas-
much as occurrences and appearances are a decep-
tion, and are esteemed as adjuncts to the secrets of a
high intelligence \ and whoever devotes himself to
the former rests behind the higher intelligences,and,
in the illusion of vanity, rests imprisoned in the pit-
fall of ignorance.

And what Muhammed said: t6 When I left the
u mountains and these two persons behind me, I
" went on until I reached the house of sanctity