From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search
This page has been validated.

"And as for my master's remark: 'It is long since you were last visible,' pray hear the reason of that:

Where just distinction is not drawn
Between the left and right,
The self-respecting, if they can,
Will quickly take to flight.

If masters no distinction make
Among their servants, then
They lose the zealous offices
Of energetic men.

And in a market where it seems
That no distinctions hold
Between red-eye and ruby, how
Can precious gems be sold?

There must be bonds of union
In all their dealings, since
No prince can lack his servants
Nor servants lack a prince.

"Yet the nature of the servant also depends on the master's quality. As the saying goes:

In case of horse or book or sword,
Of woman, man or lute or word,
The use or uselessness depends
On qualities the user lends.

"And another point. You do wrong to despise me because I am a jackal. For

Silk comes from worms, and gold from stone;
From cow's hair sacred grass is grown;
The water-lily springs from mud;
From cow-dung sprouts the lotus-bud;