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This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 130 pages of information about The Persian Literature, Comprising The Shah Nameh, The Rubaiyat, The Divan, and The Gulistan, Volume 2.


Expose not the secret failings of mankind, otherwise you must verily bring scandal upon them and distrust upon yourself.


Whoever acquires knowledge and does not practise it resembles him who ploughs his land and leaves it unsown.

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It is not every man that has a handsome physical exterior that has a good moral character; for the faculty of business or virtue resides in the heart and not in the skin.  Thou canst in one day ascertain the intellectual faculties of a man, and what proficiency he has made in his degrees of knowledge; but be not secure of his mind, nor foolishly sure, for it may take years to detect the innate baseness of the heart.


Whoever contends with the great sheds his own blood:—­Thou contemplatest thyself as a mighty great man; and they have truly remarked that the squinter sees double.  Thou who canst in play butt with a ram must soon find thyself with a broken pate.


To grapple with a lion, or to box against a naked scimitar, are not the acts of the prudent:—­Brave not the furious with war and opposition before their arms of strength cross thy hands of submission.


A weak man who tries his courage against the strong leagues with the foe to his own destruction:—­Nurtured in a shade, what strength can he have that he should engage with the warlike in battle; impotent of arm, he was falling the victim of folly when he set his wrist in opposition to a wrist of iron.


Whoever will not listen to admonition harbors the fancy of hearing reprehension:—­When advice gains not an admission into the ear, if I give thee reproof, hear it in silence.


The idle cannot endure the industrious any more than the curs of the market-place, who, on meeting dogs employed for sporting, will snarl at and prevent them passing.


A mean wretch that cannot vie with another in virtue will assail him with malignity:—­The narrow-minded envier will somehow manage to revile thee, who in thy presence might have the tongue of his utterance struck dumb.

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To hold counsel with women is bad, and to deal generously with prodigals a fault:—­Showing mercy upon the sharp-fanged pard must prove an injustice to the harmless sheep.


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