Conduct in the Presenc
Courtiers round a king, like men before a fire, Should be neither too far nor too near. The way to gain gifts from a king Is not to covet what he covets. Beware and ward off faults. Suspicion once aroused is hard to clear. Whisper not, nor exchange smiles, Amidst illustrious august men. Don't eavesdrop or pursue a king's secret. Rather listen when secrets are revealed. Know his mood, consider the moment, Avoid the unpleasant and speak the needful. Tell the useful and even when asked Avoid always the useless. Don't treat him lightly as young or kin But act as befits his splendour. Those with unwavering vision Do not misuse their privileges and do wrong. Unworthy acts under the trust of old friendship Lead to ruinous woes.