260 The king said that this man, too, had answered well and asked the tenth, What is the fruit of wisdom? And he replied, ‘That a man should be conscious in himself that he has wrought no evil 261 and that he should live his life in the truth, since it is from these, O mighty King, that the greatest joy and steadfastness of soul and strong faith in God accrue to you if you rule your realm in piety.’ And when they heard the answer they all shouted with loud acclaim, and afterwards the king in the fullness of his joy began to drink their healths.

262 And on the next day the banquet followed the same course as on previous occasions, and when the opportunity presented itself the king proceeded to put questions to the remaining guests, and 263 he said to the first, ‘How can a man keep himself from pride?’ And he replied, ‘If he maintains equality and remembers on all occasions that he is a man ruling over men. And God brings the proud to nought, and exalts the meek and humble.’

264 The king spoke kindly to him and asked the next, Whom ought a man to select as his counsellors? and he replied, ‘ Those who have been tested in many affairs and maintain unmingled goodwill towards him and partake of his own disposition. And God manifests Himself to those who are worthy that these ends may be attained.’

265 The king praised him and asked another, What is the most necessary possession for a king? ‘The friendship and love of his subjects,’ he replied, ‘for it is through this that the bond of goodwill is rendered indissoluble. And it is God who ensures that this may come to pass in accordance with your wish.’

266 The king praised him and inquired of another, What is the goal of speech? And he replied, ‘To convince your opponent by showing him his mistakes in a well-ordered array of arguments. For in this way you will win your hearer, not by opposing him, but by bestowing praise upon him with a view to persuading him. And it is by the power of God that persuasion is accomplished.’