Some for the Glories of this World; and some
Sigh for the Prophet's Paradise to come;
Ah, take the Cash, and let the Credit go,
Nor heed the rumble of a distant Drum!
FitzGerald, Stanza XIII, 4th ed.
E.B. Cowell and his influence on FitzGerald:
Edward Byles Cowell was the first Professor of Sanskrit at Cambridge, a post he held from 1867 until his death in 1903. Cowell began his Persian studies at fourteen or fifteen, and his early translations were of the ghazals of Hafez. His first published translation of a ghazal came just before his sixteenth birthday. He also began studying Sanskrit while still at school in Ipswich. Cowell excelled in languages, nine of which he had learned by his mid-twenties. Not only did he learn languages, but he read extensively in the languages he was mastering. And he did much of this while working in the office at his father's business. (Cowell's father died when Cowell was sixteen, a circumstance which forced this eldest son to leave school then to work in the business.)
Cowell's letters from this early period are testimony to his love of language and literature. Cowell was about nineteen when he met FitzGerald, who would have been thirty-six. In the following passage from The Life and Letters of Edward Cowell, p. 23 (written by Edward Cowell's cousin and biographer, George Cowell -- see bibliography), we see through George Cowell's eyes the influence Edward Cowell had on FitzGerald, with whom he read Greek and Latin authors and even Spanish writers. Cowell inspired FitzGerald to learn Persian:
There is no evidence that FitzGerald at that time [a year or two after he and Cowell had met] even desired to learn Persian, but it is plain that Cowell had rapidly obtained a remarkable influence over him, the secret of which was probably the new interest he gave to the classical authors they read together both in Greek and Latin, the greater exactness he followed in the translations, and the new meanings that passages acquired when illuminated by parallel passages and illustrations from other authors, which his marvellous memory enabled him to give to their readings in both these languages. He raised in FitzGerald's breast an interest and enthusiasm which he equally inspired in Spanish and Persian, when later they came to read together the best writers in both those languages.
In a letter of FitzGerald's, an extract in George Cowell, p. 22, the letter itself in Terhune 1. 566 -- for Terhune, see bibliography -- FitzGerald tells us that he had come to read Thucydides with as much pleasure as I used to read a novel-- and as Cowell concludes on p. 23, no mean tribute to the classical insight with which Cowell had inspired his pupil and to the influence which had created or revived in him a love for all that was best in scholarship.
FitzGerald prophetically addressed Cowell' s abilities early (1847) in a letter written to FitzGerald's friend, William Bodham Donne (Terhune, 1. 572-573). FitzGerald refers to an article , "Persian Poetry," which Cowell had published in the Westminster Review, July 1847: His article is quite unaffected; he writes at present without a style; which is a good feature in a young writer, I think. Generally a man comes out dressed after Gibbon, or after Hume, or after Macaulay, etc. But Cowell seems only to wish to say what he knows; and has thought more about knowing than telling. He ought to do something in the world; for, as far as I see, his delicacy of discrimination is as great as his capacity for amassing—a rare combination.
Robert Bernard Martin describes the relationship between Cowell and FitzGerald as one of 'a deep mutual intellectual admiration' (see 138-141 in Martin's With Friends Possessed). For more on Cowell, see the short article in the online Encyclopaedia Iranica by Parvin Loloi.
We learn more about the warm relationship between Cowell and FitzGerald thanks to William Martin and Sandra Mason in their excellent new book: The Man Behind the Rubáiyát of Omar Khayyám, I.B. Tauris, London & New York, 2016. FitzGerald and Cowell exchanged over 300 letters, more letters between the two of them than between any other correspondent and FitzGerald.
FitzGerald's Latin "sketch" of Stanza XIII:
Dicunt illi--"Paradisus Ecce quam Credenti suavis!"
Ego dico-- "Lympha Vitis Ecce quam Bibenti suavis!"
Ah, pecuniam praesentem ... debitamque mitte
Tuba nam Regalis illa procul audienti suavis[.]
They say--"See how sweet Paradise is to the Believer!"
I say--"See how sweet the Juice of the Vine is to the Drinker!"
Ah, the Cash right now ... let the Credit go,
The king's trumpets are sweet to the Listener far away.
(context will supply a "taking/demanding" verb to fill the lacuna in FG's Latin sketch)
Heron-Allen, p. 25 - 'The original of this quatrain is found in O[useley] 34' - below, as in the link:
گویند بهشت عدن با حور خوشست
من میگویم که آب انگور خوشست
این نقد بگیر و دست از آن نسیه بدار
کاواز دُهُل برادر از دور خوشست
guyand behesht-e ‘adn baa hur khoshast
man miguyam ke aab-e angur khoshast
in naqd begir o dast az aan nasye bedaar
kaavaaz-e dohol baraadar az dur khoshast
They say the Paradise of Eden with the houris is delightful;
I say that the juice of the grape is delightful.
Take this cash, and withhold your hand from that credit,
for the sound of the drum, brother, from afar is delightful.
Arberry, Romance ... p. 114
Of Paradise they talk and hooris sweet—
The juice of grape I hold as better treat;
Ah, take the cash and let the credit go—
Sweet sounds the drum when distant is the beat.
Saidi, quatrain 33
Hedaayat, quatrain 90, has the same text although he doubts the authenticity of this quatrain. Saidi, Forughi (quatrain 41), and Whinfield (quatrain 108) have slightly different versions. Heron-Allen offers another quatrain from the Calcutta MSS, this one C 156. H-A feels this quatrain is 'almost identical in sentiment' [to the Ouseley 34 above].
گویند بهشت و حوض کوثر باشد
آنجا می ناب و شهد و شکّرباشد
پر کن قدح باده و بر دستم* نه
نقدی هزار نسیه بهتر باشد
*Heron-Allen had written دست but the meter requires دستم
guyand behesht o howz-e kowsar baashad
aanjaa mey-e naab o shahd o shakkar baashad
por kon qadah-e baade o bar dastam neh
naqdi ze hazaar-e nasye behtar baashad
They say that there will be heaven and the Fount of Kausar
That there, there will be pure wine and honey and sugar,
Fill up the wine cup and place it in my hand,
(For) ready cash is better than a thousand credits.
Heron-Allen, p. 27
Hedaayat has a similar quatrain (89 -- with doubts as to authenticity). Dashti does not include this quatrain in his 75 select quatrains.