Saadi Shirazi

Sa'di] (1814-1291 / Iran

Ch 07 On The Effects Of Education Story 11

When I was a child I asked an illustrious man about puberty. He replied: ‘It is recorded in books that it has three signs. First, the age of fifteen years; secondly nocturnal pollutions; and thirdly, sprouting of hair on the pudenda; but in reality there is only one sign which is sufficient that thou shouldst seek the approbation of the most high and glorious rather than to be in the bondage of sensual pleasures; and whoever does not entertain this disposition is by erudite men considered not to have attained puberty.’

The form of man was attained by a drop of water
Which remained forty days in the womb.
If in forty years it has not attained sense and propriety
It can in reality not be called a man.
Virility consists in liberality and amiableness.
Think not that it is only in the material figure.
Virtue is necessary because the form may be painted
In halls with vermilion or verdigris.
If a man possesses not excellence and goodness
What is the difference between him and a picture on the wall?
It is no virtue to gain the whole world.
Gain the heart of one person if thou canst.
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