chapter  XL
19 Pages

On shewing mercy to the creatures of God and restoring all lapsed practices and customs to their proper order

I At any time the state may be overtaken by some celestial accident, or influenced by the evil eye.1 Then the government will change and pass from one house to another, or the country will be thrown into disorder through seditions and tumults; opposing swords [will be drawn and there will be] killing, burning, plunder and violence. In such days of discord and disaffection men of noble birth will be crushed; base-born men will gain control and whoever has strength will do what he likes; righteous men will have no power or influence and evil-doers will become rich; the least of men will be an amir [army-commander], the basest of persons will become a civil governor. Noble and learned men will be dispossessed, and any wretch will not hesitate to take upon himself titles reserved for'the king and the vazir; Turks will adopt titles proper to civil dignitaries and the latter will take those belonging to Turks, while Turks and Taziks [Persians] alike will decorate themselves with titles of scholars and theologians. The king's wives will issue orders; the religious law will be held in contempt; the peasants will become unruly and the soldiers oppressive; all discretion and decency will vanish away and no one will remedy matters. If a Turk keeps ten administrators, it will pass, and if one Tazik is administrator for ten Turks, it will be allowed. All the affairs of the country will lapse (and have lapsed) from their proper order and organization, and the king will be so distracted by expeditions, wars and anxieties that he will not have the opportunity to attend to such matters or even consider them.