Wednesday, July 31, 2013

The Wisdom of Dandemis

The Wisdom of Dandemis, an Indian sage living around the time of Alexander the Great. He is also known as Dandamis and Dandi Swami.

“Do not defer till the evening what the morning may accomplish; for idleness is the parent of want. Do not be slothful lest you become a burden to yourself. Do not loiter about, lest the hours hang heavy on your hands through not knowing what to do. Do not let your days pass away like the shadow of a cloud which leaves behind it no trace for remembrance. Do not let your body become diseased for want of exercise, lest you should wish for action and find that you have no power to move. When you see with your eyes, and when you hear with your ears, do not sit still with no resolution shaking your head and wishing, lest ruin come upon you like a whirlwind. If your soul thirsts for honour and if your ear finds pleasure in the voice of praise, raise yourself from the dust and exalt your aim to something that is praiseworthy; but let him who does good beware how he boasts of it, for rarely is it of his own free will. Is not the event of an impulse usually from without: born of uncertainty; suggested by accident; dependent on something else? – to these, then, is the praise due. Beware of irresolution in the intent of your actions, and beware of instability in the execution of them: so shall you triumph over two great failings in human nature. Do not esteem an action because it is done with noise and pomp; for the noblest soul is he who does great things quietly. When you do good, do it because it is good – not because men praise it; and when you avoid evil, avoid it because it is evil – not because men speak against it.”

“Be careful to do nothing while you are in anger: why put out to sea in the violence of a storm? Give a mild answer to an angry man, for it is like water on fire: it will abate his heat; and from an enemy he will become a friend. Anger always begins through folly or weakness; but remember, it seldom concludes without repentance.”

“Do not esteem a man for his titles, nor condemn the stranger because he lacks them: you cannot judge the camel by his bridle.”

“Is not your hand a miracle in itself? Why was it given to you but that you might stretch it out to the assistance of one another. Why, of all things living, are you, alone, made capable of blushing, unless it be that if you allow your soul to do a shameful thing the world shall be able to read the shame upon your face. Why do fear and dismay rob your face of its natural colour? Avoid guilt, and then you, and the whole world, shall know that fear is beneath you, and that, to you, dismay is unmanly. You, alone, of all creatures of the earth, have the power of speech. Be thankful for your glorious privilege; and pay to Him who gave you speech a welcome and a rational praise.”

“Do not trust a man before you have tried him; yet do not mistrust without reason, for that is uncharitable. When you have proven a man to be honest, look upon him in your heart as a treasure and regard him as a jewel of inestimable worth. Do not accept favours of a mercenary man, lest they be but snares to your virtue. Do not join with the wicked, lest it bring grief to your soul. Endeavour to reach the top of your calling, whatever it may be; and do not let anybody surpass you in well-doing. Nevertheless, do not envy the merits of another, but improve your own talents by watching his example; neither depreciate the endeavours of those who excel you, lest you put an evil interpretation on all their doings. Be faithful to your trust, and do not deceive any man who relies upon you; for, be assured, it is less in the sight of God to steal than to betray.”

“From the creatures of God man can learn wisdom; and he can apply to himself the instruction they give. Go into the desert, my son. Watch the young stork of the wilderness, and let him speak to your heart. He bears his aged parent between his wings; he carries him into safety – and he supplies him with food. Be grateful, then, to your father, for he gave you life; and likewise to your mother, for she nurtured you and sustained you. When your parents utter words of reproof, they are spoken for your own good; so listen to their admonition, for it does not proceed from malice, but is provided by love.  Your parents have watched over your welfare, and they have toiled that life shall be easier for you. Honour them, therefore, in their age; and let them not be treated with irreverence. They ask no reward for what they have done for you; but see that you do not repay them with ingratitude. Think back on the years of your helpless infancy, lest you forget to help them through the infirmities of the decline of life. So shall their heads go down to the grave in peace; and your own children, in reverence of your own example, will do the same for you.”

“Do not condemn the judgement of another because it differs from your own. May you not both be in error?”

“Repentance follows much speaking; but in silence is safety. Do not deride another, for it is dangerous: a bitter jest is the poison of friendship; and whosoever speaks of another’s failings with pleasure, shall hear his own with shame. Let the words of your mouth be the thoughts of your heart; so will you be far above the meanness of dissimulation. Do not mask your words in a semblance of truth, lest you become like the hypocrite whose business in life is only to deceive…. The pride of emptiness is an abomination, and to talk much is the foolishness of folly. Nevertheless, it is part of wisdom to bear with fools, to hear their absurdities with patience, and to pity their weaknesses. Do not become puffed-up, nor boast of superior understanding; for the cleverest human knowledge is but little better than blindness.”

“Perils, misfortune, want, pain, and injury come the way of every man who comes into the world; therefore, you should fortify your mind with courage and patience from your youth up, that you may bear with resolution any part of calamity that may come your way. Let courage sustain you in the instant of danger, so that the steadiness of your mind shall carry you through; for calmness alleviates the weight of misfortunes, and by constancy you are able to surmount them. In the hour of danger be not embarrassed; and in the day of misfortune, do not let despair overwhelm your soul.”

“If you would learn to die nobly, let your vices die first; then, when your hour comes, you will be happy from having nothing to regret. Man is not punished for the good that he has done; therefore, to the man of virtue, there is nothing in death to fear. No man knows but that to-day’s setting of the sun may be his last here on earth. To-morrow, when he stands in the presence of his Creator, when, in a flash, he sees the purpose of life, when he is asked what progress he has made, happy will he be who has exercised the principles of virtue, for he will reap of the seeds he has sown during the fitful years of his visit to Earth.’

“Pay the debts which you owe; for he who gave you credit relied upon your honour, and to withhold from him his due is both mean and unjust.”

“Your food, your clothing, your convenience of habitation, your enjoyment of the pleasures and comforts of life you owe to the assistance of others; and you could not enjoy them but in the bands of society.”

“You have been given the power of free-will – a power that is divine, and by it you are able to do good and also to do harm. Be careful that you direct your line of freedom along the paths of virtue. Because of your freedom the soul is rash; therefore, guard it. Because of freedom it is irregular; therefore, restrain it. As a sword in the hand of a madman, so likewise is the soul to him that lacks discretion.”

“The noblest employment of the mind of man is the study of the works of his Creator. Cast your eyes towards the clouds. Do you not find the heavens full of wonders? Look down at the earth. Does not the worm proclaim to you: “Could less than Omnipotence have formed me?” The planets follow their courses and the sun remains in his place; the comet wanders through Space and returns to his destined road again. What but an Infinite Wisdom could have appointed them their laws? Look down upon the Earth and see her produce; examine under the surface, and behold what it contains. Has not Wisdom and Power ordained the whole? Can the meanest fly create itself? – could you have fashioned it? You, who see the whole as admirable as its parts, cannot better employ your eye than in tracing out your Creator’s greatness; or your mind than in examining the wonders of Creation. What is the study of words compared with this? Wherein lies Knowledge, but in the study of Nature! For the rest, whatever science is most useful, and whatever knowledge has least vanity, is to be preferred. All other sciences are vain; and all other
knowledge is boast unless it makes a man more good and more honest. Adoration of your God, and benevolence to your fellow-creatures: are they not your great studies? Who shall teach you the one, or who shall inform you of the other, like unto the study of His works!”

“Who is there who does not either judge too highly of himself, or thinks too meanly of others? Our Creator himself does not escape our presumption: how, then, shall we be safe from one another! Man, who fears to breathe a whisper against his earthly Sovereign, does not hesitate to arraign the dispensations of his God. He listens to the sentence of the magistrate with silence, yet dares to plead with the Eternal: he attempts to soothe Him with entreaties; to flatter Him with promises; to agree with Him upon conditions – he even murmurs at Him if his requests are not granted! Why is he not punished for his impiety? This is not yet his day of retribution! Man, who is truly but a mote in the wide expanse, believes the whole world to have been created only for him: he thinks the whole frame of Nature is only interested in his well-being. As the fool, when the images tremble on the face of the water, thinks that trees, towns, and the whole wide horizon are dancing to do him pleasure, so man, while Nature performs her destined course, believes that all her motions are but to entertain his eye. While he courts the ray of the sun to warm him, he supposes that it was made only to be of use to him; and while he traces the moon in her mighty path, he thinks she was created simply to entertain him. Man is not the cause why the world holds its course: for him only were not made the vicissitudes of summer and winter. No change would follow if the whole human race ceased to exist: man is but one among millions of species that are blessed in Creation. Do not exalt yourself to the heavens, for the angels are above you; nor disdain your fellow-inhabitants of the earth because they are beneath you: are they not the work of the same Hand? Do not set your judgment above that of all the earth, neither condemn as falsehood that which does not agree with your own understanding. Who gave any of us the power of determining for others: when was the right of free choice taken from the world? Remember how many things have been rejected which are now received as truths; and those which are now received as truths which shall, in their turn, be despised. Have not truth and falsehood the same appearance in any subject we do not understand? What, then, but our presumption determines between them!  We easily believe anything which is above our comprehension – or we are proud to pretend it – in order that we may appear to have wisdom. Is not this folly and arrogance? Who is it that affirms most boldly? Who is it that holds to his opinion most obstinately? He who has most ignorance, because he has most pride. Every man when he lays hold of an opinion desires to maintain it, but most of all he who is an egotist, for he is not content with betraying his own soul into it, but he tries to impose it on others to believe in it also. Do not say that truth is established by years, or that a multitude of believers makes a certainty: one human proposition has as much right of authority as any other, if reason does not make any difference? Of what, then, can man be certain? Do all the good that you know, and you shall have happiness: happiness is more your business here than wisdom!”

“Do not attribute the good actions of another to bad causes. You do not know his heart, but the world will know that your own is full of envy.”

“Are not your eyes the sentinels that watch for you? –yet, how often are they unable to distinguish truth from error!”
“Have courage in truth; but fear to lie. Learn to blush at falsehood, so that, in speaking the truth, you may have a steady eye.”

“The promises of hope are sweeter than roses in the bud; but the threatenings of fear are a terror to the heart. Nevertheless, do not let hope allure you, nor fear deter you from doing right; for thus you will be able to meet all events with an even mind. In all your undertakings let a reasonable assurance animate your endeavours; and remember, if you despair of success you cannot hope to succeed.  Do not terrify your soul with vain fears, neither let your heart sink because of the phantoms of imagination: fear invites failure; he that hopes, helps himself. As the ostrich, when pursued, buries its head in the sand, so the fears of a coward expose him to danger.”

“Do not bestow on any man the flattery of unmeaning words. You know that when he returns them to you, you heed them not; he knows he lies to you – and that you know it, yet he knows you will thank him for it. Always speak with sincerity, for then you shall hear with instruction.”

“There is nothing so easy as to revenge an offence; but there is nothing so honourable as to pardon it. The greatest victory man can obtain is over himself; and he who disdains to feel an injury, returns it upon him who offers it.”

“Let your happiness depend not upon Fortune and her smiles, so that, when she frowns, you will not be dismayed. As the water that passes from the mountains on its way to the ocean kisses every field that borders the river, so Fortune visits the sons of men: her motion is incessant; she does not stay in one place; she is unstable as the winds; she kisses you, and you are blessed – but, as you turn to thank her, she has gone to another. The wise man makes everything the means of advantage; and with the same countenance he looks upon all the faces of Fortune – he does good, he conquers evil; and he is unmoved in it all.”

“He who wisely gives away his treasures, gives away his plagues; but he who retains their increase, heaps up his own sorrows. Do not refuse unto the poor that which he needs; and do not deny unto your brother even that which you want for yourself: there is more delight in being without what you have given away than there is in possessing that which you do not know how to use.”

“All her words were decent, so that the music of her speech had delicacy and truth. She showed prudence in her gestures; she let wisdom walk before her; she went hand-in-hand with virtue, so that the tongue of the licentious was dumb in her presence, and the awe of her pureness kept it silent…. Her heart was a mansion of goodness, so that she does not suspect evil in others, and they do not look for it in her. When scandal is busy, and the reputations of others is being tossed from tongue to tongue, her sense of charity closes her ears and the finger of good-nature rests upon her lips…when a woman allows these precepts to sink into her heart, she charms her mind and adds grace to her form, so that her beauty, like a rose, retains its sweetness long after the bloom itself has withered.”
“Acknowledge your obligations with cheerfulness; and look upon your benefactor with love and esteem. If it is not in your power to return it; nourish the memory of it in your breast with kindness: forget it not all the days of your life.”

“The rich should not presume in his riches, nor the poor despond in his poverty; for the providence of God gives happiness to both of them – and the distribution of happiness between them is more equally divided than the fool would believe.”

“Do not envy the appearance of happiness in any man, for you do not know his secret griefs.”

“Every man may be viewed in two lights: in one he will be troublesome; in the other, less offensive. Choose to see him in that light which least hurts you – then you will not wish to harm him.”

“Be more ready to love than to hate; so shall you be loved by more than hate you.”

“What health is to the body, so is honesty to the soul.”

“Teach men to be honest, and oaths will be unnecessary.”

“Let the tongue of sincerity be rooted in your heart, so that hypocrisy and deceit have no place in your words. Never try to be more than you are, lest the wise man strip off your disguise and the finger of derision be pointed at you with scorn.”

“True wisdom is less presuming than folly: the wise man doubts often, and changes his mind; but the fool is obstinate and does not doubt – he knows all things save his own ignorance! The wise man knows his own imperfections; but the fool peeps into the shallow stream of his own mind and is pleased with the pebbles which he sees at the bottom – he brings them up, and shows them as pearls, and the applause of other fools delights him. A fool boasts of attainments in things of no worth; but where there is a shame in his ignorance, he is void of understanding.”

“The slightest health is less noticed than the slightest pain. Do you not know that the thought of affliction wounds deeper than the affliction itself? If you do not think of your pain when it is upon you you will avoid what hurts you most.”

“Be resolute, and direct an even and an uninterrupted course; so shall your foot be upon the earth, and your head above the clouds. Though obstacles appear in your path, do not deign to look down upon them, but proceed with resolution, guided by right, and mountains shall sink beneath your tread; storms may roar against your shoulders, but they will not shake you; thunder will burst over your head in vain – the lightning will serve but to show the glory of your soul.”
“As the torrent that rushes down the mountain destroys all that is borne away by it, so does common opinion overwhelm reason in him who accepts it without first asking: “What is the foundation?”

“Evil is not requisite to man; yet, how many evils are permitted by the connivance of the laws! Do not say that justice cannot be executed without wrong; for, surely your own words will condemn you! Teach men to be just, that there may be no need for repentance.”

“Learn to esteem life as you ought; then you will be near to the pinnacle of wisdom. Do not think with the fool that nothing is more valuable, nor believe with the pretended-wise that it is to be despised: life is not for itself, but for the good it may be of to others. Gold cannot buy it back for you, neither can a mine of diamonds purchase back the moments you have lost of it; therefore, employ all your moments in the exercise of virtue. Do not think it would have been best not to have been born; or, if born, that it would have been best to have died early; neither ask your Creator: “Where had been the evil had I not existed?” Remember that evil is but lack of good, and that good is within your power. So, if your question to your Creator is a just one, does it not, of itself, condemn you! A good death is better than an evil life; but while your life is worth more to others than your death, it is your duty to preserve it.  Do not complain with the fool of the shortness of your time; for you should remember that with your days your cares are shortened. Take from the period of your life the useless parts of it, and what remains? Take off the time of your infancy; your sleep; your thoughtless hours; your days of sickness – and even in the fullness of years, how few have been your hours of usefulness! He who gave you life as a blessing, shortened it to make it more so. To what end would longer life serve you? Is it that you may have the opportunity of more vice? Or is it that you wish to have the opportunity of doing more good? As to the good, will not He who limits your span be satisfied with the fruits of it! If it is that you wish to improve your wisdom and virtue, have you employed the little time that you have? If not, why complain that more is not given you? Man, who dares to enslave the World when he knows that he can enjoy his tyranny but for a moment, what would he not aim at were he given all things before he has learned how to use the few that he has!”

“When modesty and virtue enlighten her charms, the luster of a beautiful woman is brighter than the stars of heaven. The whiteness of her bosom transcends the lily, and her smile is more delicious than a garden of roses. The innocence of her eyes is as of an angel; and simplicity and truth dwell in her heart; her kisses are sweeter than honey; and the perfumes of Arabia breathe from her lips. Do not shun the tenderness of love; for if its flame is pure it will ennoble your heart, and will soften it to receive the fairest impressions.”

“Weak in strength and knowledge as you are, and humble as you ought to be – yet you are able to contemplate Omnipotence displayed before your eyes by examining your own body. You are wonderfully made; and, of all creatures, you only stand erect. There has been added to your body something which you cannot see, and this something speaks to you in a way that is different from your senses. The body remains after this unseen part has fled, so it is no part of the body. It is immaterial; therefore eternal. It is free to act; therefore accountable for its actions. Know Yourself, therefore, as the pride of Earth’s creatures. You are the link uniting Divinity and Matter. There is a part of God himself in you; therefore, remember your own dignity and the command and superiority you have been given over all other creatures. Be faithful to the Divine spark which is You; and rejoice before your Creator with thanksgiving and praise.”

“She remembers that woman was created to be man’s companion, and not the slave of his passions. She assists man through his life, and soothes him with that tenderness which is the divine possession only of a woman.”

“When you feel uneasiness, and bewail misfortunes, you should examine the roots from which they spring – even down to your own folly, your own pride, or your own distempered fancy. Do not murmur, therefore, but correct yourself.”

“Why should a man’s heart give up joy when the causes of joy have not been removed from him! Why be miserable for the sake of misery! Ask men if their sadness makes things the better, and they themselves will confess to you that it is folly; they will go even further and praise him who bears his ills with patience, and who makes headway against misfortune with courage. Be not deceived with fair pretences, nor suppose that sorrow heals misfortune; for sorrow is a poison under the colour of a remedy: while it pretends to draw the arrow from the breast, it plunges it into the heart. It is not in our nature to meet the arrows of ill-fortune unhurt – nor does reason require it of us; but it is our duty to bear misfortune like men. The greatest misfortune is not to be reckoned from the number of tears shed for it: the greatest griefs are above those testimonies, as are the greatest joys beyond utterance.”

“Do not clothe yourself in rich attire in order to court observation, lest you become puffed up in your own imagination. Nothing blinds the eye, or hides the heart of a man from himself, like vanity. Remember that it is when you do not see yourself that others see you most plainly. Do not say, “To what end my gorgeous raiment; to what purpose are my tables filled with dainties, if no eye gaze upon them, or if the world knows it not?”
Better would it be if you gave your vestures to the naked, and your food to the hungry; for thus you would be praised, and thus you would deserve it…. Do not treat inferiors with insolence, lest your own superiors look down upon your pride and folly with laughter. As a plain garment best adorns a beautiful woman, so is modest behaviour the greatest ornament of wisdom…. When you do anything worthy of praise, do not let your joy be to proclaim it; for men do not say: “Behold! He has done it!; what they say is: “See how proud he is of it!”

“If you believe a thing impossible, your despondency will make it so; but if you persevere, you will overcome every difficulty.”

“Do not let your recreations be expensive, lest the pain in purchasing them exceed the pleasure of their enjoyment…. Be moderate in your enjoyment, and it will remain in your possession; let joy be founded on reason, and then sorrow will be a stranger to you.”

“Days that are past are gone forever, and those that are to come may not come to you; therefore, enjoy the present without regretting the loss of what is past, or depending too much on that which is not yet here. This instant is yours; the next still belongs to futurity, and you do not know what it may bring forth.”

“As the tulip, that is gaudy but without smell, so is the man without merit who sets himself on high.”

“To bear adversity cheerfully is difficult; but to be temperate in prosperity is the height of wisdom. Good and ill are the tests by which you are able to know the degree of your constancy; and there is nothing else that can so well tell you the powers of your own soul.”

“If you had the ear of a stag, or the eye of an eagle, or were your smell equal to that of the hound, yet without Reason, what would they avail you?”

“The end of the search is the acquisition of Truth; and the soul’s means of discovering it are by reason and experience. Perception of yourself. Is that not plain enough before your face? Then what more is there that you need to know?”

“Disdain the man who attempts to wrong you, for you not only preserve your own peace, but inflict on him all the punishment of revenge without your stooping to employ it against him. Poorness of spirit actuates revenge; whereas greatness of soul despises the offence.  Why seek revenge? With what purpose would you pursue it? Do you think you will pain your adversary with it? Do you not know that revenge gnaws the heart of him who is afflicted with it: that the revengeful feel its greatest torment! Revenge is painful in the intent and dangerous in the execution: seldom does that axe fall where he who lifted it up intended. While the revengeful seeks to hurt his enemy he often brings about his own destruction: while he aims at one of the eyes of his adversary, he often puts out both his own. If he does not attain his end, he laments; if he succeeds, he repents of it. When you meditate revenge, you confess that you feel the wrong; when you complain, you acknowledge yourself hurt by it. Would you add this pride to the triumph of your enemy?
There is nothing so easy as to revenge an offence; but there is nothing so honourable as to pardon it. Noble behaviour in yourself will make a man ashamed to be your enemy; and the greatness of your soul will terrify him from the thought of hurting you.”

“Sadness is an enemy of the race; she poisons the sweets of life, therefore, drive her from your heart. She raises the loss of a straw to the destruction of a fortune, and while she vexes the soul with trifles she robs the attention to the things of consequence. Do not let sadness cover herself with a face of piety: do not let her deceive you with a show of wisdom.  Remember that religion pays honour to your Creator, so let it not be coloured with melancholy.”

“As the soundest health is less noticed than the slightest pain, so the highest joy touches us less deeply than the smallest sorrow. Do you not know that the thought of affliction wounds deeper than the affliction itself? He who weeps before he needs, weeps more than he needs.”

“Thought; understanding; reason; will, do not call these your soul. They are the actions of the soul, but not the soul itself. Do not think that you can hide from your soul in the crowd; or that you can bury it in forgetfulness, for your soul is You, yourself.”

“When you envy the man who possesses honours; when his titles and greatness raise your indignation, seek to know how he obtained them…. The favours of princes may be bought by vice; rank and title may be purchased by money, - but these are not true honours. Crimes cannot exalt a man to glory; neither can gold make men noble…. There is no such thing as nobility except that of the soul; nor is there any honour except that of virtue.”

“It is not the receiving of honour that delights a noble mind: the pride and honour is in deserving it! Is it not better that men should say: “Why is there not a statue to this man?” than that they should ask: “Why has he one?”

“Truth is but one. Your doubts are of your own raising. He who made virtues what they are, planted also in you a knowledge of their pre-eminence; therefore, ask your soul, and if you act as that dictates to you, the end shall be always right.”

“Inconstancy is powerful in the heart of man; intemperance sways it whither it will; despair engrosses much of it, - but vanity is beyond them all. The hero, the most renowned of human characters, what is he but a bubble of this weakness? The public is unstable and ungrateful; so why should a man of wisdom endanger himself for fools!”

“Be virtuous while you are young; and in your age you will be honoured.”

“It is said that grey hairs are revered, and in length of days there is honour; yet, without virtue, age plants more wrinkles in the soul than on the forehead.”

“Learn that it is not abundance that makes riches, but economy and the application of what you have…. The man to whom God gives riches should be careful to employ them in the right way. You should look upon your wealth with pleasure, for it gives you the means to do good. You should protect the poor and the injured; and fight against the mighty when they oppress the weak. Do not let the benevolence of your mind be checked by your fortune; so shall you rejoice in your riches, and your joy will be blameless.
Do not heap up wealth in abundance to rejoice in its possession alone, lest woe comes unto you. Do not grind the faces of the poor: consider the sweat of their brows. Do not thrive on oppression, lest the ruin of your brother disturb your heart. Do not harden your heart with love of wealth, lest grief and distress soften it again.”

“An immoderate desire for riches is poison to the soul: it contaminates and destroys everything that is good in it; and it is no sooner rooted there than all virtue, all honesty, and all natural affection is driven out. Riches are servants to the wise, but to the soul of the fool they are tyrants.”

“Learn wisdom from the experience of others; and from their failings you will be able to correct your own faults…. The first step towards being wise is to know that you are ignorant; and if you wish to be esteemed in the judgement of others, cast off the folly of trying to appear wise.”

“Do not use to-day what to-morrow may need; neither leave anything to chance which foresight may provide for, or care prevent.”

“Be moderate in your enjoyment and it will remain in your possession; let joy be founded on reason, and then sorrow will be a stranger to you. The delights of love are ushered in by sighs, and they terminate in languishment and dejection; and the object you burn for nauseates with satiety, and no sooner is it possessed than its presence is wearisome. Join esteem in your admiration; unite friendship with your love; be moderate in all things – so shall you find in the end that contentment surpasses raptures: that tranquility is worth more than ecstasy.”

“As a man, take to yourself a wife, and obey the ordinance of God: so shall you become a member of society. On your choice depends the happiness of your wife, your own, and that of your future children; so use care and discretion. If much of her time is given to dress and ornaments; if she is enamoured with her own good looks; if she is delighted with empty praise of herself; if she talks with a loud voice; if her feet are seldom in her father’s house; or, if her eyes rove with undue boldness towards the faces of other men, then, even though her beauty be ravishing, turn your eyes from her charms. Do not allow your soul to become ensnared by the allurements of passion. But, if you find sensibility of heart with a softness of manner, and an accomplished mind with a form that appeals to you, then she is worthy to be your friend; your companion through life; the wife of your dreams, and the mother of your children. Cherish her as a gift sent from heaven; and let the kindness of your behaviour endear you to her heart. Make her the mistress of your home; and treat her with respect, that all who know her may respect her also. Do not oppose her wishes without just cause: she is the partner of your cares, so make her the companion of your pleasures. Reprove her faults with gentleness; and encourage her to point out your own, that you also may profit. Do not exact obedience from her with rigour: her nature is gentle, so be gentle also. Trust her with your secrets and you will not be deceived, for her counsels will be sincere. Be faithful to her: she is your temple, and the mother of your children. When pain and sickness assail her, let your tenderness soothe her; for one look of pity from you will alleviate her grief, will mitigate her pain, and will be more helpful than ten doctors. Remember the delicacy of her sex, and the tenderness of her frame. Be not severe to her weaknesses; but remember your own imperfections. Honour her; and she will lead you to the gates of Heaven."

[Obtained from ‘Wisdom of the Ages’ by Mark Gilbert. First published in 1936.]


  1. Reality Wedge... Can you please, please tell me where you found these Dandemis quotes? They are phenomenal and I cannot find any of his material elsewhere. I would be eternally grateful!!! Thank you :)

    1. Hi

      I obtained the Dandemis quotes (I selected about 95% of the best) from the book ‘Wisdom of the Ages’ by Mark Gilbert (Gilbert compiled quotes from many times and historical personages. The book was first published in 1936 but was reprinted in 1948 (2nd English Edition). Publisher: London, The Saint Catherine Press Ltd., 29, Great Queen Street, Kingsway, W.C.

      Abebooks or Alibris might be useful in trying to obtain a copy....

      I hope you get this info; I only check for comments very infrequently.