Sacred Texts Journals Buddhist Articles








[Old Series, Volume IV]

[London, John W. Parker and Son]


{Scanned and edited by Christopher M. Weimer, April 2002}

p. 252

ART. IX.--Translation of a Burmese Version of the Niti Kyan, a Code of Ethics in Pali. By E. FOWLE, Esq.

[Read 20th November, 1858.]

THE work that I am about to read is called the Niti Kyan, signifying "a sacred writing."[1] It is a short code of ethics compiled from selections from various authors, and is one of several that I have translated from the Burmese language, which are themselves translations from the Pali. The present work is taught in the Burmese monasteries to the daily scholars and resident novices. The necessity of learning and the advantages of education are impressed upon the youthful population from an early age, and the consequences of ignorance are contrasted at the same time. It may perhaps be interesting to notice briefly the system of education adopted in Burmah; this is so simple in its practical application that I can explain it in a few words. The clergy receive no pay, and are not connected with the State, but entirely supported by voluntary contributions of food and other necessaries, a small quantity from each meal being set apart for the priests; but this custom is so general, and the portion so freely contributed, that there is generally a surplus of food at the monasteries, sufficient to feed the poor. In return, the poongyees, or priests, educate the whole of the male population without charge or fee of any description, their vocation precluding them from touching money.

   The education imparted generally consists of reading, writing, arithmetic, and sacred history. A useful amount of education is therefore generally diffused. A higher standard is less common, but a knowledge of algebra, astronomy, and of the classical Pali, besides the rudiments of the arts and sciences, are also imparted to the extent that they are understood by their religious professors. The fact that almost every man can read and write speaks for itself as regards the working of their system, which is based upon universal or national charity; it is firmly fixed and established among the people, and, as I have before stated, it results in feeding the poor, educating the people, and supporting the clergy.

   The same simple system I have no doubt exists also in Japan,

[1. More correctly "A Knowledge of Polity."--ED.]

p. 253 where, as in Burmah, the Buddhist religion exists in greater purity than in other countries, and may perhaps explain the recent interesting accounts that we have lately received, and be the cause of the prosperous, satisfactory, and contented condition of this singular and extraordinary nation.

   The code of ethics which I propose to read to you is in every day use, and is generally known, being one of their elementary books.

   The Burmese resemble the Persians in their style of conversation being remarkably figurative in their manner of expressing themselves, constantly seasoning their conversation wlth proverbs, metaphors, poetry, and citations from this work, either for attack or defence.

   But little of the literature of the Burmese has been translated, and it is therefore almost unknown. It is in a great measure derived from the Pali, but they are far from being deficient in strictly national literature, possessing a written history and poetry of their own, besides works too numerous to mention upon astronomy, botany, law, medicine, statistics, revelations, and also of fiction. Burmah is, comparatively speaking, a new field from which many wild flowers of literature may yet be gathered, sufficient to make a presentable bouquet to the Royal Asiatic Society, and to which I wish to direct the attention of the scholar and student.



   I bow with reverence to the three principles of worship--namely, God, his precepts (commandments), and disciples; and, having done so, will expound the Loga Nee Dee, a book formed from extracts gathered from various Burmese works on religious law. With respect to this book it deserves among men to be called their Life, Father, Mother, Teacher, Friend: therefore is it that those who have made themselves acquainted with its contents are celebrated for their wisdom and intelligence.

   1. A lazy man cannot acquire knowledge.

   2. A man without knowledge cannot collect wealth.

   3. A man without wealth cannot secure good friends.

   4. A man without good friends has no comfort.

   5. A man without comfort has no leisure for religious duties.

   6. A man who does not attend to his religious duties can never attain to the state of Nibban, or absorption into the Deity.

   7. Riches are not equal to learning, for wisdom cannot be stolen or lost; it is therefore thy best friend, and benefits while living and even after death.

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   8. Gather up each fragment of learning, and think it not small or unworthy of notice, for as rivers are formed and wells are filled by drops of water, so may thy wisdom increase.

   9. A knowledge and mastery of the tongue is desirable and good; equally so is that of the hand, but they can only be perfected by study and application, and in return they will support thee in thy profession or employment.

   10. Every mountain does not contain a mine of precious stones.

   11. A person without sense is like the fruit of the Sapan tree, fair without, but the inside is filled with insects.

   12. A sensible person is like unto a jack fruit, which may be rough without, yet is filled with wholesome food.

   13. A woman's wealth is her beauty.

   14. A man's wealth, his learning, family, and good name.

   15. A snake's wealth, its venom.

   16. The wealth of men in power, their position, influence, state, and followers.

   17. The wealth of priests, moral precepts.

   18. The wealth of Brahmans, their charms and prophecies.

   19. A man of good family upholds its honour, and however poor he may become, never disgraces it.

   20. The shade of the forest is pleasant.

   21. Better than the shade of the forest is the shelter of thy parents or relatives.

   22. Better than the shelter of thy parents is that of thy teacher.

   23. Better than the shelter of thy teacher is that of thy ruler.

   24. But above all, the shelter of thy God is greater.

   25. Soft words make many friends.

   26. Bitter words make many enemies. As the sun from its heat cannot be approached, and appears alone, so is he who speaketh bitterly; but, on the other hand, the man who speaketh fairly is as the cool moon, surrounded by the stars and planets which keep her company, so are his friends.

   27. A brave man is impatient for the battle.

   28. A lawyer is fond of argument.

   29. One wishes for a friend when one gets a rare or dainty dish.

   30. A scholar wishes for difficult passages for the pleasure of interpreting them.

   31. The ignorant are like dogs that snap and bite at each other; when they meet with a wise man they snarl and snap at him, fearing his power.

   32. He who takes his ease is liable to disease.

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   33. Every elephant is not an Albino (white elephant).

   34. Every scented tree is not a santagoo tree.

   35. Every town does not contain a philosopher.

   36. If a harper does not practice for five days he loses proficiency;

   37. An archer neglecting practice in seven days fails in his aim;

   38. And a woman separated from her husband for thirty days endangers her chastity.

   39. The man who eats and sleeps much, although he increases in fatness, increases in vice.

   40. The beauty of women and the sweetness of the sugar-cane bring satiety; but with the words of wisdom you can never be filled.

   41. Learning, to be permanent, must be taught by degrees.

   42. Those who seek for riches must do so by degrees.

   43. Those who go a-courting, must not be in a hurry.

   44. Those who ascend a mountain must walk slowly. Answer angry people gently and slowly. These five things are to be done gently and slowly.

   45. Give thanks and praise to soldiers when they return victorious from the battle.

   46. Be grateful and pleased when your grain is stored in your granary.

   47. Be thankful for the feast when you have partaken of it.

   48. Be grateful to your wife in old age.

   49. A man who continually asks favours is not liked.

   50. A man who never confers favours should not be liked.

   51. Those who have wealth in riches and learning should take care of them.

   52. Those who never accumulate riches or succeed in life are drunkards, gamblers, spendthrifts, dissipated characters, and their associates.

   53. The avarice of governors for riches, philosophers for learning, and the love of those we cherish, is as insatiable as the sea, which receives into its bosom all the rivers and waters of the world, but is never filled.

   54. A person may have youth, beauty, rank, wealth; but without learning, he is like a handsome flower that has no fragrance.

   55. A person, although his parents may be poor, foolish, and of humble origin, may yet become prime minister; therefore in talking never allude to a man's family.

   56. A person who studies many things at the same time without perfecting himself in any particular thing, remembers that which he p. 256 has imperfectly learned only as a dream, of which he has but a faint recollection.

   57. The master beats his pupil as a potter batters his clay, not to break it or destroy it, but to bring it into shape.

   58. A rose imparted its fragrance to a leaf in which it was folded: so associate thyself with wise men, and their wisdom will cling to thee.

   59. Associate with the virtuous, and when you have learned their law you can come to no harm. Mix not with the wicked, put them aside, but cling to the virtuous. Do good at all times, whether by night or by day; and reflect within thyself of the uncertainty of human existence.

   60. There is no friend like good sense.

   61. Gifts give great pleasure to the recipients.

   62. A good kind of flower, though withered, still retains some of its fragrance.

   63. A fighting elephant does not fear the battle.

   64. You may break or crush a sugar-cane as much as you please, but it will still retain its sweetness.

   65. However great may be the misfortunes of the virtuous man, be will never transgress by breaking the law, or acting improperly in any way.

   66. However hungry the lion, he will not feed on vegetables, or touch the flesh of his friend the elephant.

   67. The perfume of flowers is refreshing, more refreshing is light of the cool moon, but most refreshing are the words of wisdom.

   68. The sun may rise in the west, the Myeen Moh mountain may be bent as a bow, the infernal fires quenched, and the lotus grow on the mountain's top; but the words of truth and wisdom are unchangeable.

   69. The bee loves flowers, flies putritied flesh; the wicked quarrel, but the wise and virtuous love good deeds.

   70. However deep the well, it cannot contain as much water as the river.

   71. There is nothing that can shine like the sun.

   72. However much your friends and others may like you, it is nothing compared with a mother's love.

   73. A woman is the best and sweetest of blessings.

   74. Wonderful things are believed when seen.

   75. A wicked mother brings up her son to speak improperly, and a wicked father teaches him to act improperly, and if both parents are wicked the son both speaks and acts improperly.

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   76. A good mother teaches her son to speak fairly, and a good father teaches him to act honestly.

   77. A brave man is required in battle.

   78. A clever speaker is required to quell a riot.

   79. When we meet with a difficult passage in the sacred writings, we wish for the presence of a scholar.

   80. When one dog meets another he feels inclined to fight, and snarls at him; so it is with stupid persons, when they meet they are inclined to quarrel.

   81. Do nothing hurriedly without reflection, or you will repent at leisure.

   82. Those who are grateful God loves; be gentle, meek, and forbearing to those who revile or slander you.

   83. It is unfortunate to be in contact with uncleanliness; more so to be near enemies who hate you; but to be near those who are ungrateful is to be more unfortunate still.

   84. There is a proper time for punishment, and to give advice, and those who receive punishment when deserved, and advice when necessary, should be grateful for it; but punishment and advice should be given with consideration, and only when merited.

   85. Those who are superiors should master themselves, that they may master those who are inferior to them.

   86. Separate yourself from those you wish to master, and you will succeed.

   87. Inferiors are mastered by presents.

   88. To render yourself superior to your equals, you must be industrious.

   89. Be thankful to the horse that has carried you safely and swiftly to the end of your journey.

   90. Be thankful to the bullock that has carried your burden.

   91. Be thankful to the cow that gives her milk freely.

   92. Be thankful for the knowledge that has assisted you in difficulties.

   93. The wealth of the wise man is like a source or well, which, though water be constantly drawn from it, yet is constantly being replenished;

   94. But the wealth of the rogue is like the sea, which from its saltness cannot be drunk.

   95. Rivers do not drink their own waters, trees do not eat the fruits they produce, and the rains do not select particular spots, but distribute themselves equally on the earth; the virtuous and generous p. 258 man resembles these things by dispensing his wealth, charity, and wisdom to all, and by not being selfish,

   96. Suffer not ambition to lead you to aspire to impossible things, or to covet things beyond your reach; but it is proper to aspire to the attainment of possible things which your sense informs you you are capable of reaching by a useful occupation of time; for it is not proper to be satisfied with a state of idleness.

   97. Some prosper without exertion, others with great exertions sometimes fail; people must not always expect their efforts will be successful.

   98. Ignorant persons dislike the wise, but listen with pleasure and follow the advice of the wicked, which leads to destruction.

   99. The ignorant cannot keep a secret, but when anything is confided to them, they at once impart it to every one, making a noise like that of a half-filled jar of water when carried.

   100. The bite of a snake leads to death, but is sometimes cured by a proper antidote; but for a person confirmed in wickedness and sin, there is no hope or antidote; he is in a worse state than if bitten by a venomous snake; there is no cure for him,

   101. A confirmed or thorough fool is he who knowingly and obstinately persists in doing that which he is perfectly convinced is against his interest or well-being,

   102. An ignorant fellow, but a notorious robber and dacoit, committed many deeds without being caught, which so filled him with self-conceit that the recollection of his crimes was as sweet as honey to him. He was at last caught, placed in irons, and thrown into prison, and when his difficulties and the hour of adversity came upon him, he then knew that his deeds had been bad; for the recollection of his evil acts was as bitter as gall.

   103. Ignorant people should not be strong, because they are liable to commit acts of violence; and should they die while so doing, they have no chance of heaven, but are certain of hell-fire.

   104. Rats do mischief to houses, monkeys to forests, crows to young birds, and priests to men.

   105. A sleepless person thinks the morning is long in breaking; the tired traveller thinks the end of his journey still distant; and those who are wicked, and know not the law, think happiness is not attainable.

   106. A silly person can discover a fault as small as a teel seed in others, but he has not the ability to discover a fault of the size of a cocoa-nut in himself. A wise man, on the contrary, has not only the p. 259 power of discovering faults in others, but hiding his own; resembling the tortoise, which draws in its head and limbs when it wishes to conceal them.

   107. The praise of fools is painful to the wise, but the praise of the virtuous is most gratifying.

   108. The selfish and avaricious are gained by presents and bribery, the passionate by submission, the silly by conceding to their folly; but the wise by honesty and uprightness.

   109. Those who are connected with you in business, and work for your benefit, consider them as relations; but relations who work against your interests should not be considered as relations, for they resemble a disease of your own body; but the former, although not connected with you, yet resemble the medicine-tree, which, although it grows at a distance, still does you good.

   110. Those friends who flatter you to your face, but slander you behind your back, resemble a pot of poisoned honey, which must be thrown away; for though it is sweet yet it is dangerous.

   111. Many cling to you while rich, but desert you when poor; even relations, friends, and wives; therefore consider your wealth your best friend.

   112. A good servant is known by the cheerfulness with which he performs his work; a friend and wife in the time of adversity.

   113. Consider your partner in business as a relation, those who support you as a father, those who console you in trouble as a wife.

   114. Associate not with your enemies, be not too familiar with your friends; for if you quarrel they will reproach you with your defects which you have acquainted them with. Never admit to your confidence a friend with whom you have seriously quarrelled, for it is as dangerous as opening the side of a mare to bring forth its foal.

   115. Quarrel not with an enemy if away from your friends and assistance, but carry him on your back should he desire it; but if you come to a place where you have assistance, cast him off, and break him like an earthen jar if you can.

   116. In putting out a fire leave not the slightest ember behind, in discharging debts leave not a portion unpaid, and in war leave not a single enemy; for these three things will increase and destroy you.

   117. Associate not with those who flatter and fawn upon you with fair looks and words, for they resemble a snake, which, though handsome in shape, has venom in its fangs.

   118. Separate yourself from a cruel master; but he is preferable p. 260 to the hasty-tempered; but, above all, the oppressive master is to be shunned.

   119. Keep fifty cubits from horned cattle, one hundred cubits from horses; one thousand cubits from elephants; but from a fool run away to some other country.

   120. Run away from a bad district, a false friend, bad relations, and a bad wife.

   121. A good friend is one who when you are sick attends upon you and gives you medicine, who feeds you when you are hungry, assists you when in poverty, delivers you from your enemies, who will plead for you when in trouble with your rulers, and at the last get execution of judgment put aside; such a friend is to be prized and cherished.

   122. The cuckoo's notes are pleasant, a beautiful woman's glory is in the acquisition of a good husband, a plain person in his learning, priests and hermits in their patience and forbearance.

   123. A woman's wealth is in her beauty, a man's wealth in his knowledge, a priest's wealth in religion, the wealth of kings and rulers in their revenue.

   124. Priests and hermits are handsome when lean, four-footed animals when fat, men when learned, and women when married.

   125. Buffaloes delight in mud, the bird henza in beautiful lakes of clear water, women in the society of men, and priests in the words of truth and wisdom.

   126. Be thankful for a feast when you have partaken of it.

   127. Trust not a woman who has separated three times from three different husbands, a priest who has changed to three different temples, or a bird that has escaped three times from the snare of the fowler; they are very cunning and deceitful.

   128. The wicked are tamed by punishment, false friends are mastered by shunning them, a wicked or unruly wife by taking all your property out of her keeping, a gourmand is mastered by starvation.

   129. The night without moonlight is not beautiful, the sea without billows is not beautiful, a woman without a husband is not beautiful to contemplate, for from a husband she derives her ease and comfort; she is but able to take care of the property he accumulates, which she retains as a box, the husband being the source of all her happiness; and it well may be said that the woman is like the thread in the needle, which follows where the latter penetrates and leads.

   130. Women are as prone to sin as rivers to run crooked, and as full of wickedness as forests are of fuel.

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   131. When a woman is fond of contradicting, of backbiting, and slandering, who is quarrelsome, envious, and wishes for all she sees, who is greedy and eats ber meals before her husband, who is always gadding about to other people's houses, with such a woman remain not; separate from her.

   134. A good wife is as a brother to her husband when he eats or dresses, resembles a sister in modesty when in private with him, a slave when he is preparing for a journey, a friend when in difficulties; she comforts him quickly to sleep, she attires herself neatly to please him, she forbears kindly when he is angry; such a woman has been described by the learned as an excellent woman, and when she dies will attain to a heavenly state.

   135. If a young maiden has a golden complexion, a face with the expression of a deer, a long waist, wide hips, small stomach, thighs and legs tapering like an elephant's trunk, hair that reaches to her heels and turns up regular, and even teeth, and deep navel; should you meet such an one, consider not whether she be poor or rich, but marry her.

   136. November is the best month; a handsome woman the best thing; the eldest son the most prized; and the north side the most liked.

   137. Should a woman desire to be born a man in the course of transmigration, she can only attain this by treating her husband as the angels' wives treat their husbands, with love, respect, and attention.

   138. Should a man desire to return to earth as a man when death and transmigration occur, he should avoid committing adultery as he would shun treading in a miry way.

   139. Old age and extreme youth should not unite in marriage, for it leads to misery and unhappiness.

   140. Kings and ministers should sleep but a quarter of the night, philosophers and learned men but half the night, merchants and traders three parts of the night; but beggars may sleep the whole night.

   141. In a country that has no capital, government, learned man, doctor, or river, remain not a day.

   142. In a place where you are not appreciated, where no one loves you, where you have no friends, where you cannot learn, remain not a day, but be off.

   143. In a house without children there is quietness; in a well-governed country there is quietness;--dark-complexioned and poor people are quiet.

   144. He who wishes for riches, must trade (speculate); he who p. 262 wishes for learning must attach himself to those who have wisdom; and he who wishes for a family must marry a young woman; he who aims to be prime minister must study to please the wishes of the king.

   145. When priests and kings become dissatisfied, there is no chance for them, they are lost; a woman of good family, without modesty, is lost; a foolish woman who assumes modesty is lost.

   146. A bird's strength is the air; a fish's strength the water; the strength of the weak is in the law, and the strength of children in their parents.

   147. Rulers should pride themselves in forbearance, intelligence, energy, discrimination, tenderness, forethought, for these bring satisfaction and contentment.

   148. Rulers and priests should have but one true word, from which they should never depart.

   149. A man who is married and has a family, but stays at home without working, or exerting himself for their benefit, is lazy and good for nothing; a priest who has not command over his tongue is bad: the governor or magistrate who acts without consideration is worthless; a person who considers himself clever should never lose his temper.

   150. When there is a difference of opinion and discord among the learned, confusion is sure to follow, and bad results therefrom.

   151. Kings should personally know the amount of their revenue and of their expenditure, the quantity of food necessary for the subsistence of their subjects, and inform themselves as to the manner in which the duties of the civil and military services are executed.

   152. Repress and keep down those who misbehave, and exalt and reward the deserving.

   153. Fire, water, women, fools, snakes, and rulers should be avoided, for they lead to sudden death.

   154. He who lives in the same house with a wicked woman, a wicked slave, or a venomous snake, is in danger of death.

   155. A clever master loses his reputation in striving to teach a fool who will not learn; a man loses his honour who lives with an unchaste wife; and those who associate with the wicked lose their characters.

   156. Lay not the sin upon the child but upon the mother; when a pupil takes to evil blame the teacher; when the people of a country act improperly blame the rulers; when kings do wrong blame the ministers.

   157. Anger is conquered by gentleness; the unjust are conquered by justice; the irritable are mastered by coaxing and presents; liars are conquered by truth.

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   158. A generous man, though vulgar, becomes refined; a generous man can carry out his wishes with ease; the words of a generous nature are sweet; a man of an amiable disposition is always easy to approach, and you can become acquainted with him; he also can form the acquaintance of whom he wishes. What is generosity? the medicine of love. What is stinginess or avarice? the medicine of hatred. Generosity is a popular medicine; stinginess is a private medicine.

   159. Union is strength; many small fibres united will hold an elephant.

   160. A general or king who does not conquer with an army well provided with arms and stores, of what use is he? he is as a light which will expire by the smallest breath of wind.

   161. Seek not to imitate the pleasures of your rulers, nor their ways, dress, or conversation; perfume not yourself as they do, for they are neither your friends, relations, or equals, but your superiors.

   162. When you approach your superiors, keep not at too great a distance, or approach too near; place not yourself between the wind and them, neither place yourself directly in front of them, or in too high or too low a position; study to avoid these six faults, as you would a burning fire.

   163. A person with the highest qualifications comes to no advantage, if not supported by his king; a precious jewel is only seen to advantage when set in gold.

   164. Believe not a priest religious who converses with women; nor in the humanity of a man who indulges much in the eating of flesh; nor in the promises of a drunkard, or the modesty of a sensualist, or the knowledge of a lazy person, or the wealth of a bad-tempered man.

   165. For the drunkard, night-walker, gambler, lover of plays, and those who associate with lazy people, there is no ease or comfort in life; they will be destroyed after death.

   167. Look before you speak in the daytime; at night look to the right and left, before and behind; as a hunter considers the dangers of the forest, consider before you speak.

   168. Four kinds of living men were called dead men by the author. Who were they? First, an extremely poor man; second, a much oppressed man; third, a most ignorant man; and fourth, a favourite minister. These may be considered as dead men.

   169. The wise man avoids danger, and sees it from a distance; but if it overtakes him he fears not.

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   170. For the sluggard, for the man of bad memory, for the spendthrift, for the avaricious, for those oppressed by disease, for the lazy, and the careless, for these seven characters, there is no place in Holy Writ.

   171. Say not to wealth go not to the rich man, for he has plenty, but go to the poor man; nor to the clouds rain not in the sea or in the rivers, for there is already plenty there, but rain alone upon the earth: for where Providence directs thither will they go.

   172. The teacher should not expend the whole of his knowledge upon his pupil, he should retain something to himself that his disciple may respect him; even so in all things, expend not the whole of thy store, keep a reserve.

   173. Silk-cotton is the lightest thing, but lighter than this are careless persons; those who obey not their parents and teachers are the emptiest and lightest of all; but those who neglect their religion and God are lighter than air.

   174. Rocks are heavy. What is heavier? the voice of the Náths. What is of greater weight? the advice of parents and teachers: but the words of God are of greatest weight.

   175. The right hand is the slave of the body; the little finger the slave of the eye, the nose, and the ear; the left hand the slave of the feet.

   176. The cow should be respected and appreciated, as she nourishes man; and should therefore be considered as a mother, as her milk gives him food, and she conduces to his ease and comfort: all men eat her flesh, but those who do so, eat as it were their mother's flesh; it should not be eaten, but when she dies her flesh should be given to the vultures,

   177. Those who commence their studies on a Thursday learn thoroughly; those who commence on a Sunday or Friday obtain mediocrity; those who commence on a Saturday or Tuesday are liable to die.

   178. To commence studying on the eighth day of the increase or wane of the moon is equal to killing the teacher; on the fourteenth of the increase or waning moon it is equal to killing the pupil; on the tenth increase or wane, it is equal to the destruction of all learning; on the full moon, it is equal to killing your parents.

   179. Those who wish to learn should not on the seventh day of the increase or wane of the moon eat of coco nuts; on the third increase or wane they should not eat venison or the flesh of any other animal, for if they do they will lose what they have learned, by forgetting it.

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   180. Sacrifice and abandon your friend for your family, if necessary; sacrifice your relations for the good of the public; for your own interests, sacrifice the earth you live upon, and remove to some other spot.

   181. The lion, the elephant, and the wise man are never found but in a place suitable for them; but the crow, the deer, and a low person always remain in their old place.

   182. Consider well before leaving a place where you have been long a resident, to remove to another where you are a stranger.

   183. Go not unarmed to the battle field, and do not commence argument without being prepared to cite your authorities.

   184. A merchant who travels to buy or sell in foreign countries, as well as those who travel for pleasure, should be accompanied by some friend who is acquainted with the couutry.

   185. Ride from the world thy losses, thy grief, thy domestic troubles, and the intrigues and insults of thy enemies.

   186. To show your wisdom, speak according to your position, love those of your own rank, and moderate your anger to your position.

   187. There are three kinds of fools: those who have limited means but live above them; those who have no strength but are always fighting; and those who have no sense but are always arguing.

   188. There are three kinds of detestable characters: those who visit without being invited; those who volunteer their advice without being asked, and talk scandal; and those who vaunt their own praises.

   189. Ugly people are very talkative.

   190. A stupid man betrays his own ignorance and proclaims his own disgrace.

   191. A cow that has no milk kicks if you try to milk her.

   192. A frog once thought itself a lion, because its posture when seated was the same, but a crow seized the frog and made it croak for fear; so is it with those who assume a knowledge of what they do not understand: when they are in the company of those who have knowledge, fearing that they may be questioned, they cry out "Master, master," and show great civility. Can the wild boar think itself a cheetah, because his grunting somewhat resembles it? Does the cat imagine itself a tiger? Does the person consider himself wise, because he resembles a philosopher?

   193. Those who refuse to learn when young, will, when grown up, have to carry the loads, pull off the boats, and serve those who have learning.

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   194. Those who are learned are bowed to by the ignorant.

   195. The thorns upon the tree grew there, so learn to form thyself.

   196. Who polished the eye of the deer?

   197. Who gave to the lily its fragrance?

   198. A good tree will produce good fruit.

   199. There is no enemy like disease.

   200. Men love themselves more than anything else.

   201. Good deeds meet with their reward.

   202. A crab has no head, but he can come and go as he chooses.

   203. A fowl has no milk, but she can bring up her young ones.

   204. One good man is found in a hundred, a learned one in a thousand, a liberal one rarely; but a perfect one in a million.

   205. An ambassador should not be ashamed; when learning, buying, selling, or amusing yourself be not ashamed.

   206. Women consume twice as much as men; their sense is four times greater than man's; their industry and energy six times greater; and their passions eight times greater.

   207. The top of the sugar cane is saltish, but it increases in sweetness in every joint to the end; so is a true friend, he increases in goodness from the beginning to the end. A wicked friend also resembles the sugar cane, with this difference, that he increases in wickedness.

   208. The four causes of a country's prosperity are good cultivators, commercial men, good ministers, and priests.

   209. If study is neglected, learning is forgotten; those who are poor keep an uncomfortable house; those who are beautiful but lazy, are untidy; a priest who forgets his dignity is unclean and degraded.

   210. The property of those who are lazy goes to those who are industrious; the fool says it is fate, the wise man says it is not so; industry must never slacken, and you are sure to thrive; your conscience moreover will gladden you.

   211. If a man in these times be ugly, ignorant, and vulgar, but withal rich, he is considered faultless, says the author.

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