Gulistan of Saadi
On the Excellence of Contentment
One of the ulemas had many eaters to provide for and only a slender income. This fact he
communicated to a great man of whose character he entertained a very favorable opinion but his
expectations were disappointed because the man made a wry face and averred that according to his
opinion applications from respectable persons for aid are unbecoming.
With a face made sad by misfortune, to a dear friend
Do not go because thou wilt embitters his life also.
For the needful for which thou appliest, go with a fresh and
The man of joyful countenance will not be unsuccessful in his
It is related that the great man augmented his stipend a little but considerably diminished his
familiarity towards him and when he perceived after some days that it was not as usual, he recited:
‘Evil is the food which the time of degradation acquires.
The kettle is indeed placed but the dignity is lowered.’
He increased my bread but diminished my honour.
Poverty is better than the degradation of asking.