Page:A history of Sanskrit literature (1900), Macdonell, Arthur Anthony.djvu/394

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This, for instance, is how Bhartṛihari illustrates the humility of the benevolent:—

The trees bend downward with the burden of their fruit,
The clouds bow low, heavy with waters they will shed:
The noble hold not high their heads through pride of wealth;
Thus those behave who are on others' good intent (i. 71).

Many fine thoughts about true friendship and the value of intercourse with good men are found here, often exemplified in a truly poetical spirit. This, for instance, is from the Panchatantra:—

Who is not made a better man
By contact with a noble friend?
A water-drop on lotus-leaves
Assumes the splendour of a pearl (iii. 61).

It is perhaps natural that poetry with a strong pessimistic colouring should contain many bitter sayings about women and their character. Here is an example of how they are often described:—

The love of women but a moment lasts,
Like colours of the dawn or evening red;
Their aims are crooked like a river's course;
Inconstant are they as the lightning flash;
Like serpents, they deserve no confidence (Kathās. xxxvii. 143).

At the same time there are several passages in which female character is represented in a more favourable light, and others sing the praise of faithful wives.

Here, too, we meet with many pithy sayings about the misery of poverty and the degradation of servitude; while the power of money to invest the worthless man with the appearance of every talent and virtue is described with bitter irony and scathing sarcasm.

As might be expected, true knowledge receives fre-