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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.


Reason is in like manner enthralled by passion, as an uxorious man is in the hands of an artful woman.  Thou may’st shut the door of joy upon that dwelling where thou hearest resounding the scolding voice of a woman.


Intellect, without firmness, is craft and chicanery; and firmness, without intellect, perverseness and obstinacy:—­First, prudence, good sense, and discrimination, and then dominion; for the dominion and good fortune of the ignorant are the armor of rebellion against God.


The sinner who spends and gives away is better than the devotee who begs and lays by.


Whoever foregoes carnal indulgence in order to get the good opinion of mankind, has forsaken a lawful passion and involved himself in what is forbidden:—­What, wretched creature! can that hermit see in his own tarnished mirror, or heart, who retires to a cell, but not for the sake of God?


A wise man should not through clemency overlook the insolence of the vulgar, otherwise both sustain a loss, for their respect for him is lessened and their own brutality confirmed:—­When thou addressest the low with urbanity and kindness, it only adds to their pride and arrogance.

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In a season of drought and scarcity ask not the distressed dervish, saying:  “How are you?” Unless on the condition that you apply a balm to his wound, and supply him with the means of subsistence:—­The ass which thou seest stuck in the slough with his rider, compassionate from thy heart, otherwise do not go near him.  Now that thou went and asked him how he fell, like a sturdy fellow bind up thy loins, and take his ass by the tail.


Two things are repugnant to reason:  to expend more than what Providence has allotted for us, and to die before our ordained time:—­Whether offered up in gratitude, or uttered in complaint, destiny cannot be altered by a thousand sighs and lamentations.  The angel who presides over the store-house of the winds feels no compunction, though he extinguish the old woman’s lamp.


O you that are going in quest of food, sit down, that you may have to eat.  And, O you that death is in quest of, go not on, for you cannot carry life along with you:—­In search of thy daily bread, whether thou exertest thyself, or whether thou dost not, the God of Majesty and Glory will equally provide it.  Wert thou to walk into the mouth of a tiger or lion, he could not devour thee, unless by the ordinance of thy destiny.

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