Pahlavi Texts, Part II (SBE18), E.W. West, tr. , at sacred-texts.com
1. As to the forty-eighth question and reply, that which you ask is thus: As to them who shall buy corn and keep it in store until it shall become dear, and shall then sell it at a high price (pavan girânŏîh), what is the nature of the decision?
2. The reply is this, that when there is nothing therein on account of which I should so deem 1 it otherwise than due to the eating of the requisite amount (avâyisn) of food for one's self, that which is his controlling impulse (sardârîh), and not the teachings of the worthy and good, is the internal instruction which a time of scarcity has taught by means of the occurrences during that time 2; but clamorous worldly profit is want of diligence (akhapârakânîh), for they would buy to make people distressed, and in order that they may sell again dearer. 3. Moreover, the store one keeps, and keeps as closed even unto the good as unto the bad--and though it be necessary for a man of the good and worthy, and they beg for some of the food, they shall not sell at the price it is worth at that time, on account of its becoming dearer--one keeps in store unauthorisedly and grievously sinfully, and every calamity of those good people they shall suffer who would not sell it at the price they beg.
4. On account of that non-obtainment of corn, or that unlawfully heinous sin, and because of dearness of price it is not proper to give it for that non-distribution (an-afsânŏîh) unto him himself, or those under his control, or the poor to whom it would be given by him 1; and the distribution (reshisnŏ) which occurs is then retaliative upon him. 5. And if the corn be spoiled 2, through keeping too long a time in store, he is suffering assault from the hungry man (gûrsnŏ) who is injured even by that damaging (bôdyôzêdîh) 3 of the corn; if through that un-lawful want of preservation (adârisnŏîh) noxious creatures are associated with the corn, he is overwhelmed also by that heinous sin; and, through the profit of improper diligence he is unworthy.
6. But if it be necessary for their own people who are under their control, on account of the fear of a time of scarcity, they should buy at their own suitable time, and should afford protection. 7. Or, because of the teachings of the good and worthy, they should buy corn at a cheap price from a place where the corn is more than the requirements of the eaters, and they should bring it unto there where corn is scarce, provided (va hatŏ) the good and those requiring corn are sufficient (vasân). 8. So that, while their information of a scarcity of corn is even
from him himself to whom the price would become profit 1, or is the persistence of these same teachings of the good--so that it may become more abundant unto them than unto the bad, even in the time of scarcity when it is very much raised in price 2--they should buy corn at a cheap price during an excess of corn, so that one may keep it until the time of a period of scarcity. 9. When there occurs a necessity for it among the good he sells it at such price as one buys it at that time, that is, the market price (arg-î shatrôîk) 3; by that means, in a season of scarcity, much more is obtained in price, and it becomes more plentiful among the good; then a more invigorating (padîkhûînagtar) praise of him is commendable.
10. And, yet, as regards that which is suitable profit--and also apart from the eating of corn, from anything eatable for the maintenance of life, from medicine and remedies for the healthfulness of life, and from whatever is for the preservation of life--it is allowable that they shall buy and shall sell dear 4.
174:1 K35 has a blank space for this word, but it is given in M14, and also occurs in a similar phrase in Chap. LIV, 6.
174:2 That is, so long as one does not lay in a store more than sufficient for one's own requirements, it is only an act of prudence taught by former experience,
175:1 That is, corn is not to be sold to a man who keeps it in store for the purpose of raising the price, nor to his people, nor is it even to be given to the poor whom he relieves, so that he may be compelled to support them out of his own stores, as a penalty.
175:2 Reading tapâhî-aît, as in M14.
175:3 Literally 'destroying the consciousness,' or 'injuring the existence.' Bôdyôzêd is a technical name for sins whereby animals are ill-treated, or useful property injured (see Sls. II, 39).
176:1 And, therefore, likely to be correct, as it is given in opposition to his own interest.
176:2 M14 has 'begged at a price,' by inserting a stroke.
176:3 Without holding it back for an exorbitant rise in prices.
176:4 That is, there is no harm in speculating upon prices, except in the case of necessaries of life.