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Blinded by self-conceit and knowing nothing, Like elephant infatuate with passion, I thought within myself, I all things knew; But when by slow degrees I somewhat learnt By aid of wise preceptors, my conceit, Like some disease, passed off; and now I live In the plain sense of what a fool I am.
Idleness is a great enemy to mankind. There is no friend like energy, for, if you cultivate that, it will never fail.
Man is an actor who plays various parts: First comes a boy, then out a lover starts; His garb is changed for, lo! a beggar?s rags; Then he?s a merchant with full money-bags; Anon, an aged sire, wrinkled and lean; At last Death drops the curtain on the scene.*
The good man shuns evil and follows good; he keeps secret that which ought to be hidden; he makes his virtues manifest to all; he does not forsake one in adversity; he gives in season: such are the marks of a worthy friend.
The sun opens the lotuses, the moon illumines the beds of water-lilies, the cloud pours forth its water unasked: even so the liberal of their own accord are occupied in benefiting others.
A good man may fall, but he falls like a ball [and rebounds]; the ignoble man falls like a lump of clay.
Trees loaded with fruit are bent down; the clouds when charged with fresh rain hang down near the earth: even so good men are not uplifted through prosperity. Such is the natural character of the liberal.
What is the most profitable? Fellowship with the good. What is the worst thing in the world? The society of evil men. What is the greatest loss? Failure in one?s duty. Where is the greatest peace? In truth and righteousness. Who is the hero? The man who subdues his senses. Who is the best beloved? The faithful wife. What is wealth? Knowledge. What is the most perfect happiness? Staying at home.
The son who delights his father by his good actions; the wife who seeks only her husband?s good; the friend who is the same in prosperity and adversity?these three things are the reward of virtue.
Hark! here the sound of lute so sweet, And there the voice of wailing loud; Here scholars grave in conclave meet, There howls the brawling drunken crowd; Here, charming maidens full of glee, There, tottering, withered dames we see. Such light! Such shade! I cannot tell, If here we live in heaven or hell.
Low-minded men are occupied solely with their own affairs, but noble-minded men take special interest in the affairs of others. The submarine fire drinks up the ocean, to fill its insatiable interior; the rain-cloud, that it may relieve the drought of the earth, burnt up by the hot season.
The attribute most noble of the hand Is readiness in giving; of the head, Bending before a teacher; of the mouth, Veracious speaking; of a victor?s arms, Undaunted valour; of the inner heart, Pureness the most unsullied; of the ears, Delight in hearing and receiving truth?These are adornments of high-minded men, Better than all the majesty of Empire.