A facetious old gentleman of Bagdad gave his daughter in marriage to a shoemaker. The flint-hearted fellow bit so deeply into the damsel’s lip that the blood trickled from the wound. Next morning the father found her in this plight; he went up to his son-in-law, and asked him, saying: “Lowborn wretch! what sort of teeth are these that thou shouldst chew her lips as if they were a piece of leather? I speak not in play what I have to say. Lay jesting aside, and take with her thy legal enjoyment.—When once a vicious disposition has taken root in the habit, the hand of death can only eradicate it.”
A doctor of laws had a daughter preciously ugly, and she had reached the age of womanhood; but, notwithstanding her dowry and fortune, nobody seemed inclined to ask her in marriage:—Damask or brocade but add to her deformity when put upon a bride void of symmetry.
In short, they were under the necessity of uniting her in the bonds of wedlock to a blind man. They add, that soon after there arrived from Sirandip, or Ceylon, a physician that could restore sight to the blind. They spoke to the law doctor, saying, “Why do you not get him to prescribe for your son-in-law?” He answered: “Because I am afraid he may recover his sight, and repudiate my daughter; for—’the husband of an ugly woman should be blind.’”
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They asked a wise man which was preferable, munificence or courage? He answered, “Whoever has munificence has no need of courage.” On the tombstone of Bahram-gor was inscribed: “The hand of liberality is stronger than the arm of power.—Hatim Tayi remains not, yet will his exalted name live renowned for generosity to all eternity. Distribute the tithe of thy wealth in alms, for the more the gardener prunes his vine the more he adds to his crop of grapes.”
On the Preciousness of Contentment
A mendicant from the west of Africa had taken his station amidst a group of shopkeepers at Aleppo, and was saying: “O lords of plenty! had ye a just sense of equity, and we of contentment, all manner of importunity would cease in this world!” O contentment! do thou make me rich, for without thee there is no wealth. The treasure of patience was the choice of Lucman. Whoever has no patience has no wisdom.