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But, my son, think not that it is necessary for thee to be excellent if thou wouldst be powerful. Observe how the lighter substance in nature riseth by its own levity and overtoppeth that which is the more grave. Even so, my son, mayest thou be light and worthless, and yet make a goodly show above those who are of a more intrinsic value than thyself. But as much circumspection will be necessary for thee to attain this glorious end, and as by reason of thy youth thou art liable to miss many of the most able and effective means of becoming possessed of it, hear the words of an old man and treasure them in thy heart. The required qualities, my son, are easily procured; many are naturally gifted with them. In order, however, that thou mayest keep them in set form in thy mind commit to memory the following list of requisites: Love of self, love of show, love of sound, reserve, openness, distrust.

The love of self, which shall chiefly manifest itself in the obtaining the best of all things for thyself to the exclusion of another, be he who he may; and as meal-times are the fittest occasion for the exercise of this necessary quality, I will even illustrate my meaning that thou mayest the more plainly comprehend me. Suppose that many are congregated to a breakfast and there is a dish of kidneys on the table, but not so many but what the greater number must go without them, cry out with a loud voice, immediately that thou hast perceived them: “Kidneys! Oh, ah! I say, G., old fellow, give us some kidneys.” Then will the master of the house be pleased that he hath provided something to thy liking, and as others from false shame will fear to do the like thou wilt both obtain that thy soul desireth, and be looked upon by thy fellows as a bold fellow and one who knoweth how to make his way in the world, and G. will say immediately: “Waiter, take this to Mr. Potguts,” and he taketh them, and so on, my son, with all other meats that are on the table, see thou refrain not from one of them, for a large appetite well becometh a power, or if not a large one then a dainty one. But if thine appetite be small and dainty see thou express contempt for a large eater as one inferior to thyself. Or again, my son, if thou art not at a banquet but enterest any room where there are many met together, see thou take the arm-chair or the best seat or couch, or what other place of comfort is in the room; and if there be another power in the room as well as thyself see thou fight with him for it, and if thou canst by any craft get rid of him an he be more thickly set than thyself, see that thou do this openly and with a noise, that all men may behold and admire thee, for they will fear thee and yield and not venture to reprove thee openly; and so long as they dare not, all will be well. Nevertheless I would have thee keep within certain bounds, lest men turn upon thee if thy rule is too oppressive to be borne. And under this head I would class also the care and tending of the sick; for in the first place the sick have many delicacies which those who are sound have not, so that if thou lay the matter well, thou mayest obtain the lion’s share of these things also. But more particularly the minds of men being weak and easily overpowered when they are in sickness, thou shalt obtain much hold over them, and when they are well (whether thou didst really comfort them or not) they will fear to say aught against thee, lest men shall accuse them of ingratitude. But above all see thou do this openly and in the sight of men, who thinking in consequence that thy heart is very soft and amiable notwithstanding a few outward defects, will not fail to commend thee and submit to thee the more readily, and so on all counts thou art the gainer, and it will serve thee as an excuse with the authorities for the neglect or breach of duty. But all this is the work of an exceedingly refined and clever power and not absolutely necessary, but I have named it as a means of making thy yoke really the lighter but nevertheless the more firmly settled upon the neck of thy fellows. So much then for the love of self.