A boy at school possessed much loveliness of person and sweetness of conversation; and the master, from the frailty of human nature, was enamoured of his blooming skin. Like his other scholars, he would not admonish and correct him, but when he found him in a corner he would whisper in his ear:—“I am not, O celestial creature! so occupied with thee, that I am harboring in my mind a thought of myself. Were I to perceive an arrow coming right into it, I could not shut my eye from contemplating thee.”
On one occasion the boy said: “In like manner, as you inspect my duties, also animadvert on my tendency to vice, in order that if you discern any immorality in my behavior, which has met my own approbation, you can warn me against it, that I may correct it.” He replied: “O my child! propose this task to somebody else; for the light in which I view you reflects nothing but virtue.” That malignant eye, let it be plucked out in whose sight his virtue can seem vice. Hadst thou but one perfection and seventy faults, the lover could discern only that one perfection.
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A person who had not seen his friend for a length of time, said to him: “Where were you? for I have been very solicitous about you.” He replied, “It is better to be sought after than loathed.” Thou hast come late, O intoxicating idol! I shall not in a hurry quit my hold on thy skirt:—that mistress whom they see but seldom is at last more desired than she is whom they are cloyed with seeing.
The charmer that can bring companions along with her has come to quarrel; for she cannot be void of jealousy and discontent:—Whenever thou contest to visit me attended with comrades or rivals, though thou comest in peace yet thy object is hostile:—for one single moment that my mistress associated with a rival, it went well-nigh to slay me with jealousy. Smiling, she replied: “O Sa’di! I am the torch of the assembly; what is it to me if the moth consume itself?”