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p. 36


Dost thou not see how the nurse in the earliest days of its childhood sometimes ties the little one in its cradle, and at times is ever laying it on her bosom; sometimes strikes it hard and sometimes soothes it; sometimes puts it away from her and repels it, sometimes kindly kisses its cheek and again caresses it and bears its grief? A stranger is angry with the nurse when he sees this, and sighs; he says to it, The nurse is not kind, the child is of little account with

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her. How shouldst thou know that the nurse is right? Such is always the condition of her work.

God too, according to his compact, performs his whole duty towards his slave; He gives the daily food that is required, sometimes disappointment, sometimes victory; sometimes He sets a jewelled crown upon his head, sometimes He leaves him needy with only a copper.

Be thou contented with God's ordinance; or if not, then cry aloud and complain before the Qâzî, that he may release thee from His decree! A fool is he who thinks thus! Whatever it is,--whether misfortune or prosperity,--it is an unmixed blessing, and the evil only transitory. He who brings the world into being with 'Be, and it was,'--how, how shall He do evil to the creatures of the world? Good and evil exist not in the world of the Word; the names 'good' and 'evil' belong to thee and to me. When God created the regions of the earth He created no absolute evil; death is destruction for this one, but wealth for that; poison is food to this, and death to that.

If the face of the mirror were black like its back, no one would look at it; the usefulness belongs to the face of the mirror, even though its back be stuffed with jewels. The bright-faced sun is good, be its back black or white; if the peacock's foot were like its feathers, it would shine splendid both by night, and day.