Ch 04 On The Advantages Of Silence Story 12

Sa di 1210 (Shiraz) – 1291 (Shiraz)

A preacher imagined his miserable voice to be pleasing and raised useless shouts, thou wouldst have said that the crow of separation had become the tune of his song; and the verse- for the most detestable of voices is surely the voice of asses- appears to have been applicable to him. This distich also concerns him:

  When the preacher Abu-l-Fares brays
  At his voice Istakhar-Fares quakes.

On account of the position he occupied the inhabitants of the locality submitted to the hardship and did not think proper to molest him. In course of time, however, another preacher of that region, who bore secret enmity towards him, arrived on a visit and said to him: ‘I have dreamt about thee, may it end well!’ ‘What hast thou dreamt?’ ‘I dreamt that thy voice had become pleasant and that the people were comfortable during thy sermons.’ The preacher meditated a while on these words and then said: ‘Thou hast dreamt a blessed dream because thou hast made me aware of my defect. It has become known to me that I have a disagreeable voice and that the people are displeased with my loud reading. Accordingly I have determined henceforth not to address them except in a subdued voice’:

  I am displeased with the company of friends
  To whom my bad qualities appear to be good.
  They fancy my faults are virtues and perfection.
  My thorns they believe to be rose and jessamine.
  Say. Where is the bold and quick enemy
  To make me aware of my defects?
  He whose faults are not told him
  Ignorantly thinks his defects are virtues.

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Submitted on May 13, 2011

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Sa di

Saadi Shirazi was a major Persian poet and prose write of the medieval period. more…

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