Let pure men of studied eloquence study the audience
Before speaking deliberate words.
Let those good men who have the gift of eloquence await
The right moment and then speak with clear knowledge.
Those who do not assess an audience before venturing to speak
Are unaware of the way of words and remain ineffective.
Be brilliant before brilliant men; but assume
The dullness of white mortar before the unlearned.
Among all good things the best is that diffidence
Which refrains from speaking first with elders.
To blunder before perceptive, erudite men
Is to slip and fall from a high place.
A learned man's learning shines brightest
Among luminaries who can capably critique his language.
Speaking to an audience of understanding men
Is like watering a bed of growing plants.
Those who speak good things to good and learned gatherings
Should never say them to ignorant groups, even forgetfully.
Speaking before men of alien mind
Is like pouring sweet nectar down a drain.
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