Gulistan of Saadi
On the Effects of Education
An illustrious scholar, who was the tutor of a royal prince, had the habit of striking him
unceremoniously and treating him severely. The boy, who could no longer bear this violence, went to
his father to complain and when he had taken off his coat, the father’s heart was moved with pity.
Accordingly he called for the tutor and said: ‘Thou dost not permit thyself to indulge in so much
cruelty towards the children of my subjects as thou inflictest upon my son. What is the reason?’ He
replied: ‘It is incumbent upon all persons in general to converse in a sedate manner and to behave in a
laudable way but more especially upon padshahs because whatever they say or do is commented on
by everybody, the utterances or acts of common people being of no such consequence.
‘If a hundred unworthy things are committed by a dervish
His companions do not know one in a hundred.
But if a padshah utters only one jest
It is borne from country to country.
‘It is the duty of a royal prince’s tutor to train up the sons of his lord in refinement of morals-and Allah
caused her to grow up as a beautiful plant-more diligently than the sons of common people.’
He whom thou hast not punished when a child
Will not prosper when he becomes a man.
While a stick is green, thou canst bend it as thou listest.
When it is dry, fire alone can make it straight.
The king, being pleased with the appropriate discipline of the tutor and with his explanatory reply,
bestowed upon him a robe of honour with other gifts and raised him to a higher position.