The Gulistan of Sa’di

Author: Sheikh Muslih-uddin Sa'di Shirazi  | Date: 1258

Admonition 10

Wrath beyond measure produces estrangement and untimely kindness destroys authority. Be neither so harsh as to disgust the people with thee nor so mild as to embolden them.

Severity and mildness together are best

Like a bleeder who is a surgeon and also applies a salve.

A wise man uses neither severity to excess

Nor mildness; for it lessens his authority.

He neither exalts himself too much

Nor exposes himself at once to contempt.

A youth said to his father: ’O wise man,

Give me for instruction one advice like an aged person.’

He said: ’Be kind but not to such a degree

That a sharp-toothed wolf may become audacious.’


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Chicago: Sheikh Muslih-uddin Sa'di Shirazi, "Admonition 10," The Gulistan of Sa’di Original Sources, accessed May 23, 2022,

MLA: Shirazi, Sheikh Muslih-uddin Sa'di. "Admonition 10." The Gulistan of Sa’di, Original Sources. 23 May. 2022.

Harvard: Shirazi, SM, 'Admonition 10' in The Gulistan of Sa’di. Original Sources, retrieved 23 May 2022, from