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Line numbering per Devaud & Zaba

Sequence and spellings edited by Bob Myers


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1
Maxim 1

4.1
1 2=43;3=45
sbAyt nt
The instruction of

4
imi-rA niwt TAty ptH-Htp
The venerable mayor and vizier, PtahHotep

5 6a=4
xr Hm n nizw-bit issi anx Dt r nHH
Under the majesty of the King of Uper and Lower Egypt, Isesi, living forever unto eternity

4.2
6b
Dd.f
Saith he:

7
iti nb.i
Sovereign, my lord,

8
Tni xpr iAw HAw
As infirmity arrives and old age descends,

4.3
9
wgg iww iHw Hr mAwy
Frailty has arrived and weakness accumulates

10
sDr n.f Xdr ra nb

2
One drowses in discomfort every day.

4.4
11
irty nDsw anxwy imrw
Eyes serve poorly and ears strain to hear.

12
pHty Hr Aq ni wrdw ib.i
Vigor on the wane grants me no relief.

13 14=11;15=10
rA grw ni mdw n.f
The mouth is quiet and he does not speak.

5.1
16
ib tmw sxA n.f sf
The heart is void and recalls not yesterday.

23
n Tnw aHa Hmst
Worn out, standing or sitting,

17
qs mn n.f Aww
His bones ache their length from age.

18
bw-nfr xprw m bw bin
What was good has become ill.

22
fnD DbAw ni ssn n.f
The nose is blocked and won't smell for him.

3
19
dpt nbt Smti
Taste is altogether gone.

5.2
20
irrt iAw n rmT
What old age does to people

21 24=18;25=19;26=20;27=21
bin m xwt nbt
Is negative in every regard.

5.3
28
wD tw n bAk im irit mdw-iAwy
Order that our apprentice, here, serve as a "staff of old age";

[29]
di.tw aHa zA.i m st.i
Allow my son to stand in my place,

30
ix Dd.i n.f mdw sDmyw
And so may I speak to him the words of the auditors,

31
zxrw imyw HAt
And the designs of the originators:

32
pAyw sDmw n nTrw
The matters heard among the gods,

4
[32a]
pAyw bAkw n tpyw aw
That were put into effect by the first chiefs.

5.4
33
ix iritw n.k mitt
Indeed, this may serve for you as well,

34
dr.tw Snw m rxyt
That sufferings may be subdued for the people,

35
bAk n.k idbwy
As you govern the two shores.
Maxim 2

36
Dd in Hm n nTr pn
So said his divine majesty:

5.5
37
sbA ir.k sw r mdt Xr HAt
Instruct him then concerning the words from the past,

[38]
Dr Hmzt.k
Until he is trained,

39
ix iri.f biA n msyw srw
And so make of him a model for the children of the nobles.

5
40
aq sDm im.f mtyt-ib nb
May attentiveness and all honesty enter into him.

5.6
41
ddw.f nin msy sArw
If you speak to him, the young one will not come up short.
Maxim 3

42
HAty-a m Tzw n mdwt nfrwt
Beginning of the collection of fine words

43
Ddt n iri-pat HAty-a iti-nTr mry nTr
Spoken by the premier and sheikh, god's father and beloved of the god,

5.7
44
zA nizwt smsw n Xt.f
King's eldest natural son,

[45a]
sDm Hwt wryt sisw
Magistrate in the house of the six great ones,

[45b]
rA shrr m tA r Dr.f
Whose utterance is pacifying throughout his land,

46
imi-rA niwt TAty ptH-Htp
Overseer of the city, vizier PtahHotep,

6
47
m sbA xmw r rx
In teaching the ignorant to be wise,

48
r tp-Hsb n mdwt nfrwt
According to the rules of fine words,

5.8
49
m Axt n sDm ty.fy
As a benefit to whomever heeds;

50
m wggt n nty r tht.st
Yet an impoverishment to whomever disregards it.
Maxim 4

51
Dd in.f xr zA.f
Said he then unto his son:

52
m aA ib.k Hr rx.k
Don't inflate your ego on account of your learning,

[53]
m mH ib.k Hr ntt tw m rxw
Nor drive your mind behind this or that teacher.

5.9
54
nDnD r.k Hna xmw mi rxw
Inquire of the unlearned as well as the learned.

7
55
ni in.tw Drw Hmwt
The pinnacle of an art is never attained:

56 [57]=55
nin Hmww apr Axw.f
And here is no craftsman whose skill is flawless.

5.10
58
dgAw mdwt nfrwt r wAD
Rarer is fine speech than malachite,

59
iw gmm tw.s m-a Hmwt Hr bnwt
Yet it may be found among women at the grindstone.
Maxim 5

60
ir gm.k DAisw m At.f
Should you encounter an adversary in his moment,

5.11
61
xrp-ib m iqr r.k
One superior in skill to you,

62
xAm awy.k XmsA.k
Bend your arms and bow.

63
m TAi ib.k r.f nin r mni n.f n.k
Do not raise your heart against him, for you cannot dissuade him.

8
5.12
64
s-anD.k dd bin
You can overcome bad talk

65
m tm xsf sw m At.f
By not resisting him in his moment.

66
nis tw.f m xm-xt pw
He will be dubbed an ignoramus,

5.13
67
rmn n dAir ib.k aHaw.f
When your poise has shouldered his exorbitance.
Maxim 6

68
ir gm.k DAisw m At.f
If you encounter an adversary in his moment,

69
mitw.k nty m rmnwt.k
Your equal, a man from your ranks,

5.14
70
didi.k xpr iqr.k r.f m gr
Establish your excellence over him with silence.

71
iw.f Hr mdt bint
While he is complaining,

9
72
wr wfA in sDmyw
In a big huff before the witnesses,

73
rn.k nfr m rx n srw
Your name remains good in the estimation of he officials.
Maxim 7

6.1
74
ir gm.k DAisw m At.f
Should you encounter an adversary in his moment,

75
m Hwrw ni is mitw.k
A poor man, and not your equal,

76
m Ad ib.k r.f xft Xzz.f
Do not pounce upon him on account of his wretchedness.

6.2
77
imi sw r tA xsf.f n.f Ds.f
Draw him onto ground where he will confute himself.

78
m wSd sw r isy ib.k
Don't answer him to unburden your mind.

79 80=77
m ia-ib n nty xfty.k
Do not wash your heart to an enemy.

10
6.3
81
qsn pw HDDw Hwrw-ib
Loathsome is one who oppresses the lowly.

82
tw r irit ntt m ib.k
It will work out the way you want:

83
Hww.k sw m xsf n srw
As you scourge him with the censure of the officials.
Maxim 8

6.4
84
ir wnn.k m sSmyw
If you are to be among leaders,

85
Hr wD n zxr n aSAwt
In charge of the guidance of the many,

86
HHy n.k zp nb mnx
Search thyself for every flaw thoroughly,

6.5
87
r wnt zxr.k nin iw im.f
Until there exists in your comportment no fault.

88
wr mAat wAH spdt
Great is Maat and ever at the ready.

11
89
ni Xnn tw.s Dr rk wsir
It has not been thwarted since the time of Osiris.

90
iw xsf.tw n swA Hr hpw
One who skirts laws is punished.

6.6
91
swAt pw m-Hr-n awn-ib
Neglect is tantamount to greed:

92
in nDywt iTi.tw aHaw
From coarse motives does one seek excesses.

93 94=92
ni pA DAyt mni zp.s
Crime does not bring its venture to port.

6.7
95
iw.f Dd.f sxt.i r.i Ds.i
He who proclaims, "I snare for myself,"

96
ni Dd n.f sxt.i Hr Hnt.i
Doesn't mean, "I gather for my needs."

97
wn pHwy mAat wAHt.sy
In the end, it is integrity that amounts to something;

12
98
Ddw zi w iti.i pw
And a man says, "This (property) is my father's."
Maxim 9

6.8
99
im.k iri Hryt m rmT
Don't put horror of your schemes into people,

100
xsf nTr m-mitt
As God chastises in like fashion.

101
iw zi Dd.f anx im
The man who says, "Such is life!"

102
iw.f Sw.f m tAw n tp-rA
He will be short of provisions owing to this.

6.9
103 104 105=111
iw zi Dd.f wsr.i im
The man who says, "Such is might!"

[106]
nin Dd HAw.i n.i Hr tp.i
Does not mean, "I vintage on my own behalf."

107 108=96;109=101;110=102
iw.f Dd.f sxt.i r.i siAt.i
He ultimately will say, "I have been snared by my own perception."

13
111
iw zi Dd.f Hwt.f ky
The man who says he will souse another,

112 113=103;114=112
iw.f ph.f rdi tw.f n xm n.f
He will end up given to self ignorance.

6.10
115
ni pA Hryt n rmT xpr
It is not the scheme of humans that will materialize:

116
wDwt nTr pw xprwt
But the commands of God are what manifest.

117
kAy anx m-Xnw hryt
So live abiding in serenity,

118
iwyw didit.sn Dsw iry
That Their provision may come of its own accord.
Maxim10

6.11
119
ir wnn.k m zi n Hmsyw
Should you be seated with a man at a gathering,

120
r st Tt wr r.k
In place at the table of one greater than you,

14
121
Ssp didit.f diw r fnD.k
Accept what he puts in front of your nose,

[122]
m dgA r nty m-bAH.f
Don't stare at what is before him.

123
gmH.k r ntt m-bAH.k
Inspect what is before you.

7.1
124
m stiw sw m gmHw aSAw
Do not dart him with many glances.

125
bwt kA pw wdt im.f
It is an affront to the ka to burden him like that.

126
m mdw n.f r iASt.f
Do not speak until he has invited you:

127 128=126,129
ni rx n.tw bint Hr ib
One knows know what may seem evil to a mind.

129
mdw.k xft wSd.f tw
Speak according to his address to you,

15
130
iw Ddt.k r nfr Hr ib
And what you say will please.

[131]
sbt.k m-xt sbt.f
Laugh along when he laughs,

[132] 133=130;134=127
wnn nfrw Hr ib.f wrt
And it shall please him well.

7.2
135
ir wr wnn.f HA tAw
For when a great man dines,

136
sxr.f xft wD kA.f
He behaves according to the mandate of his ka.

137
iw.f r rdit n Hssy.f
He will give to the one he favors.

138
sxr pw n grH xpr
Thus proceeds the night's hap.

139
in kA dwn awy.f
It is for the ka to stretch forth his hands.

16
140 141=139
wr di.f ni pH n zi
A great one gives not to a contentious man.

7.3
142 143=138
iw wnm.tw tAw Xr sxr nTr
The eating of bread is according to the design of God.

144
in xm anay.f Hr.s
But throught ignorance does one contend with it.
Maxim 11

145
ir wnn.k m zi n aqyw
If you happen to be a man of the public trust,

146
hAbw wr n wr
Sent by official to official,

147
mty Hr qd hAb.f tw
Be precise in the mission he sends you.

148
iri n.f wpwt mi dd.f
Carry out the assignment as he says.

4.4
149
aHA tw m s-Dw m mdwt
Guard against causing trouble with words,

17
150
zkn.ti wr n wr
Embroiling the great with the great.

[153]
m am-ib.k Hr Dd ti n.k
Do not swallow your heart when speaking to him;

[154]
sAA ti Hr zp n maht-ib
And guard well against the error of negligence.

151
nDrw mAat m zny.sy
Hold scrupulously to what is authentic.

152 155=151;156=152;157=149;158=150
ni wHm.tw is ia n ib
Yea, a confidence should not be repeated

159
m mdyw rmT nbt
Where it might become common talk.

7.5
160
wr ktt bwt kA pw
Be one great or otherwise, this is repulsive to the ka.
Maxim 12

161
ir skA.k rwD m sxt
If you farm and there is bounty in the field,

18
162 163=170;164=169
rdi.st nTr wr m a.k
God grants it to be great by your hand.

165
m-sA rA.k r-gs hAw.k
Watch your mouth around your neighbors;

166
wr irit Hrywt nt grw.
Great becomes dread of the silent man.

167
ir nb qd m nb xt
When a master of character is a master of means,

7.6
168
iTit.f mi msH m qnbt
He takes hold like a crocodile before the court of magistrates.

169
m twA n iwtw msw.f
Do not chide someone without children,

170
m Hwrw m aba im
Do not demean by boasting that way.

171
iw wn wr iti m Ahw
There is many a father with trouble;

19
172
mwt mst Htp Hr kt r.s
A mother in childbirth more at peace than another.

7.7
173
in waty zi s-xprw nTr
For the lone one is brought forth by God,

174
iw nb wHyt nHi.s Smsi.f
While the lord of a clan may pray that someone follow him.
Maxim 13

175
ir Xzi.k Smsi zi iqr
If you are of lowly station, follow a man of excellence,

176
nfr sSm.k nb xr nTr
And all your conduct may be good before God.

177
m rx n.k nDsw xntw
When you know a man to have been lowly at first,

7.8
178
im.k aA ib.k r.f
Do not pride yourself over him

179
Hr rxt n.k im.f xntw
Owing to your previous knowledge of him.

20
180
snD n.f xft xprwt n.f
Respect him according to what has taken place for him,

181
ni iwy n is xt Ds.s
For property does not come on its own:

182
hp.sn pw n mrrwt.sn
This is how Their designs unfold.

183
ir Ttf iw sAq n.f Ds
Now, this bounty is his own spoil,

184
in nTr iri iqr.f
Yet God ordains his excellence,

7.9
185
xsf.f Hr.f iw.f sDr
And guards over him even while he sleeps.
Maxim 14

186
Smsi ib.k tr n wnn.k
Follow your heart during your lifetime.

187
m iri HAw-Hr mddwt
Do not take on in excess of what is assigned.

21
188
m xbi tr n Smsi ib
Do not squander the season of following the heart.

189
bwt kA pw HDt At.f
It is an offense to the ka to violate its moment.

7.10
190
m ngb zp Xrt hrw
Don't divert the daily allotments,

191
m HAw n grg pr.k
To inflate the furnishing of your house.

192
xpr xt Smsi ib
In manifesting things, use good judgment.

193 194=191;195=171;196=172
nin km n xt iw zfA.f
Surplus profits not the one overburdened.
Maxim 15

197
ir wnn.k m zi iqr
If you would be a man of excellence,

7.11
198
iri.k zA n s-imAm nTr
Beget thyself a son appeasing to God.

22
199
ir mty.f pXr.f n qd.k
If he is careful about participating in your business,

[200]
sDm.f n sbAyt.k
And listens to your instructions,

[201]
s-iqr s-xrw.f m Xnw pr.k
Makes excellent his conduct in the affairs of your house,

202
nwi.f xt.k r st iry
Arranging your possessions in their proper place,

203
iri n.f bw-nb nfr
Do for him everything good:

204
zA.k pw ns-sw sti kA.k
This is your son, who springs from the seed of your ka.

205
im.k iwd ib.k r.f
Do not separate your heart from him.

7.12
206
iw mtwt iri.s Snty
But ambition can make a rebel;

23
207
ir nnm.f thi.f sxrw.k
If he goes astray, if he transgresses your orders,

[208]
tm.f irt sbAyt.k
Or he lacks heed for your instructions,

[209]
Xzy sxrw.f m-Xnw pr.k
Is slack with the regulations of your household,

210
bTn n.f Ddt nbt
Rebels against all your mandates,

211
Sm rA.f m mdt Xzt
Or His mouth wanders into spoiled speech,

[212]
wAw m Hr.f ni wnt m awy.fy
His destiny is not in your hands.

[213]
rwi.k sw nin zA.k is pw
Quit him, for he is not really your son;

[214]
nin msi n tw.f is n.k
Nor even is he kindred to you.

24
215
bAk.k sw r rA.f mi qd.f
Govern him so that his speech represents your designs.

216
wdi r.k m xbd n.sn
To mistreat you is to offend Them.

8.1
217
wDd sDb n.f pw m Xt
His hubris was ordained in the womb.

218
ni nnm n sSm.sn
Never aimless is Their guidance;

8.2
219
ni gm n iww.sn DAt
As Their boatless find no passage.
Maxim 16

220
ir wnn.k m rwyt
If you are in the audience hall,

8.3
221
aHa Hms r nmtt.k
Stand and sit at your station,

222
wDd n.k hrw tpy
Assigned to you on the first day.

25
223
m swA xpr Sna tw.k
Don't presume, or you will eventually be reined in.

8.4
224
spd Hr n aq smi
Keen is the countenance when one arrives announced.

225 226=224
wsx st nt iAS n.f
Spacious is the seat when one has been called.

8.5
227
iw rwyt r tp Hsb
The audience hall follows regulations,

228
sxr nb xft xAyw
Every step according to procedure.

229 230=229
in nTr sxnt st
By God is awarded a post:

8.6
231
ni irr.tw rdiw kaH
One does not secure advancement with the elbow.
Maxim 17

232
ir wnn.k hna rmt
If you are to be among the people,

26
233
iri n.k mrw n kfA-ib
Make for yourself confidants of the trustworthy,

8.7
234
iw kfA-ib nfr Hr rn.k
And be honorable behind your good name.

235 236=239
iwtw pXr.f Dd m Xt.f
The one without issues twisting in his belly,

237
xpr.f m Tzw Ds.f
He becomes a commander, himself.

[238]
iw snD n.f xft Sfyt.f
There is regard for him in accordance with his eminence.

8.8
239
nb xt mi-m sxr.f
The master of means: What of his comportment?

240
rn.k nfr nin mdwy.k
Your name is good, you are not involved in controversy,

8.9
241
Haw.k DfAw Hr.k r hAw.k
Your limbs are looked after for you more than for your contsituents,

27
242
abwt.tw n.k m xmt n.k
And you are praised by those know you not.

243
wnn ib sDm n Xt.f
When ones heart hearkens to his belly,

8.10
244
rdi.f knwt.f m st mrwt.f
He hands out resentment in place of his love.

245
ib.f Akw Haw.f XsAw
His mind is unfocused, his body unkempt;

[246]
Xr iri ib.f r.f
He will become paranoid.

8.11
247
iw wr ib rdiw nTr
But greatness of heart is a pronoia of God:

248
iw sDm n Xt.f ns-sw xfty
Listening to ones appetites is but allegiance to the enemy.
Maxim 18

249
smi sSm.k nin am-ib
Report on your responsibilities without swallowing your heart.

28
8.12
250
rdi sxr.k m sH n nb.k
Deliver your advice in the council of your master.

251
ir Ttf r.f xft Dd.f
For one fully fluent in speaking

252
nin qsn r wpwty smit
Will not experience difficulty reporting as a messenger.

8.13
253
nin wSb.tw mi-A rx st
He is not answered, "On whose authority?"

254
in wr r xt.f nnm
As then the elder's agenda could miscarry:

8.14
255
ir kA.f r xsf.f Hr.s
Should someone incline to take him to task him over this,

256
iw.f gr.f Hr iw Dd n.i
He will fall silent at, "Thus it was said to me."
Maxim 19

257
ir wnn.k m sSmy
If you would be a leader,

29
9.1
258
wsTn sXrw m wDyt.k
With broad scope in your commission,

259
iri r.k xt Tnw
You should do outstanding things,

9.2
260
sxA n.f hrwyw iwy Hr-sA
So as to be remembered in days to come.

261
ni iwy mdt m qAb Hswt
A litigation does not arise in the midst of praises:

9.3
262
bss kApw xpr sfAt
If the monster makes its way in, contention ensues;

[263]
ann.tw is r Hn
And one is turned back from the objective.
Maxim 20

264
ir wnn.k m sSmy
If you are to be a leader,

9.4
265
hr sDm.k mdw sprw
Be patient when you listen to the words of a petitioner,

30
266
m gfn sw r skt Xt.f
Do not belittle him before he sweeps out his gut

9.5
267
m kAt n.f Dd n.f st
Of what he had planned to say.

268
mr Xr iw iat ib.f
One who has been wronged loves a soothing of his heart,

269
r irit iwyt n.f Hr.s
Even more than the accomplishment of what he came for.

[270]
Hai sw im r sprw nb
Any petitioner more rejoices from this,

[271] 272=276
r xprwt pAyt sDm
Than the outcome of the hearing.

9.6
273
ir iri gfnw sprtyw,
If one makes rebuffs to petitioners,

274
iw Dd.tw iw tr r mi thi.f st
It will be said, "Why pray tell did he trample thus?"

31
9.7
275
nin sprt n.f nbt Hr.s m xprty.sn
Not everything for which one petitions can come about,

276
s-naa ib pw sDm nfr
But a good hearing smoothes out the heart.
Maxim 21

9.8
277
ir mri.k swAH xnms
Should you desire a lasting friendship.

278
m-Xnw pr aq.k r.f
Within the house you may enter,

9.9
279
m nb m sn m xnms rA-pw
Whether as master, brother, or friend,

280
r bw nb aq.k im
Or anywhere you may go,

281
aHA tw m tkn m Hmwt
Guard against approaching the women.

9.10
282
ni nfr n bw irrw st im
There is no benefit where this may happen.

32
283
ni spd n Hr Hr pxA st
There is no prudence in starting it.

9.11
284
iw ngb.tw zi xA r Axt n.f
Man by the thousand is blocked from his blessing.

[285]
s-wxa.tw m awt tn ti Hnwt
As limbs hewn of horn-stone

[286]
aHa sxpr ti m Hrst
Arise and become carnelian.

287
At kitt mitt rswt,
A brief moment, like a dream,

9.12
288
iw pH.tw mwt Hr rx.st
And death comes from having known her.

[288b]
mdw pfA aA
Such behavior is arrogance.

[289] 290=284
m isyw biAwt
Do not debase your conduct;

33
[291]
nin st Ax m irit
There is no advantage such conduct.

292
Tz pw Xz sti xfty
It is a coarse custom to provoke enmity.

9.13
293
prr.tw Hr irt.f ib Hr win.f
Proceeding to do so, ones heart abandons him.

[294]
m iri.st bwt ms pw
Avoid that tragedy, surely;

[295]
Swi.k m HAt ib n ra nb
And be free of grief in every day.

296
ir whh m snk Hr.s
Should one blunder in such selfishness,

297
ni mar n sxr nb m a.f
No project could flourish in his hand.
Maxim 22

10.1
298
ir mri.k nfr sSmw.k
If you wish to excel in leadership,

34
299
nHm.tw m-a Dwt nbt
And be preserved indeed from all evil.

300
aHA.tw Hr zp n awn-ib
Guard against the mistake of greed.

10.2
301
xAyt pw mrt nt biTitw
It is a grievous affliction of the forsaken.

302
ni xpr.n aq im.s
Nothing welcome can arise from it.

303
iw.s Hr s-ibt itiw mwwt
It is an estrangement of fathers and mothers,

10.3
304
hna snw Hr mwt
Brothers from the mother therewith,

[305]
iw.f s-dH r.f xnms bnr
It can bring down for one an agreeable friendship.

[306] 307=303
iw.f swAt.f aq r nb
It can wipe out access to ones lord.

35
308
iw nS.s Hmt TAy
It comes between wife and husband,

10.4
309
TAwt pw bint nbt
It is a burden of every malady,

310 311=309
arf pw n xbdwt nbwt
A bundle of every disgraceful thing.

312
wAH zi aqA.f mAat
The man prospers whose measure is Maat,

313
Sm r nmtt.f
And he escapes from entrapments.

10.5
314
iw.f iri.f imt-pr im
He may draw up a testament by it;

315
nin wn iz n awn-ib
While the rapacious man has no sepulchre.
Maxim 23

316
m awn-ib.k Hr pzSt
Do not be stingy over an apportion,

36
10.6
317
m Hnt ni is r Xrwt.k
Nor covet what is clearly not your lot.

318
m awn-ib.k r hAw.k
And, don't be greedy with your neighbors;

10.7
319
wr twA n sfA r nxt
For greater is the claim of mercy than of might.

320
and pw prr Xr hAw.f
Wretched is one who wrails against his kith,

321
Sw m int n mdt
Void of conciliatory manner:

10.8
322
in nhyw n awnt Hr.s
When a fraction of what is sought

323 324=321
s-xpr Snty m qbb Xt
Could transform the contentious into the contented.
Maxim 24

325
ir iqr.k grg.k pr.k
If you would pursue excellence and establish your own house,

37
10.9
326
mri.k Hmt.k m-Xnw Hsb
Love your wife in good faith.

327
mH Xt.s Hbs sA.s
Fill her stomach, clothe her back;

328
pXrt pw nt Haw.s mrht
The remedy for her limbs is unguent.

10.10
329
s-Awi ib.s tr n wnnwt.k
Humor her heart during your lifetime.

330
AHt pw Axt n nb.s
She is a field of blessing for her lord.

331
imi.k wDa si ryt
Don't be judgmental of her issues,

10.11
332
s-Hry si r sxm ArwD is
But do direct her past arduous responsibility.

333
Da.s pw irt.s mAA.s
A squall is in her eye when she looks about.

38
[334]
s-naa ib.s m xprwt n.k
But her attitude will smooth as your affairs take shape.

10.12
335
s-wAH.s pw m pr.k
This will keep her in your house:

336
Snay.k si mw pw
To over regulate her would be pointless.

337
kAt di tw.s n awy.s
The vulva bestows her means:

338
Snnty.s iri n.s mr
By her charms she commissions a canal.
Maxim 25

339
s-Htp aqw.k m xprwt n.k
Satisfy your intimates with what comes to you.

340
xpr n Hzzw nTr
It accrues to one favored of God.

11.2
341
ir whh m s-Htp aqw.f
If one neglects to provide for his kindred,

39
342
iw Dd.tw kA pw aAbw
He will be called selfish.

343
ni rx n.tw xprwt siA.f dwA
One knows not how things will turn out as he takes thought for the morrow:

11.3
344 345=343
kA pw kA n mty Htpw im.f
The ka of the scrupulous is the ka that brings one peace.

346
ir xpr zpw nw Hswt
When there arises cause for celebration,

11.4
347
in aqw Dd iy.wy
It is kindred who say, "Come on over!"

348
ni in.tw Htpt r dmi
One does not beckon propitiation from a strange place;

349
iw in.tw aqw wn Aq
One seeks intimates in time of trouble.
Maxim 26

11.5
350
imi.k wHm mski n mdt
You shouldn't engage in malicious gossip,

40
351
ni sDm.k sw
Nor should you listen to it.

352
prw pw nt tA-Xt
It is the method of the belly acher.

11.6
353
wHm mdt mAA ni sDm n
Report what you have seen, not simply heard.

354
st r tA m Dd r-sst
What falls to the ground should not be stirred up.

11.7
355
mi.k xft Hr.k rx iqr
Take note of good sense when it is before you.

356
iw wD.tw TAwt irit.s
When it is ordered that a sanction be carried out,

11.8
357
s-xprw r iTit.s msDt mi hp
Its plaintiff may get drawn up by like statutes.

[358]
iw mski mi zp n rswt
Scandal is like a bad dream;

41
359
mi.k sswn rswt pw
As if to chase away a nightmare like this,

360 361
Hbs.tw Hr.s
One covers his face.
Maxim 27

11.9
362
ir wnn.k m zi iqr
Should you become a man of excellence,

363
Hmsi m sH n nb.f
Sitting in the council of his lord,

364
sAq ib nb r bw iqr
Focus your will entirely upon excellence.

11.10
365
gr.k Ax st r tftf
Reticence brings more benefit than controversy.

366
mdy.k rx n.k wHa.k
Speak up when you understand your own contribution.

11.11
367
in Hmww mdww m sH
It is those who are skilled who should speak in the council.

42
368
qsn mdt r kAt nbt
Speaking is the trickiest of any responsibility.

369
in wHa sy didi sy r-xt
Through sorting a matter out, one brings it under effective control.
Maxim 28

11.12
370
ir wsr.k didi.k snD.k
If you are successful in commanding respect for yourself,

371
m rx m hrt Dd
By knowldege or by gentle speech,

11.13
372
m wD tp ni is r sSmw
Don't boss people around except by the regulations.

373
iw Stm ak.f n iwyt
The overbearing man welcomes cause for regret.

12.1
374
m qA ib.k tm.f dHi
Do not be invasive, for it culminates in disappointment.

375
m gr zAw xnd.k
Furthermore, tread carefully

43
12.2
376
wSb.k mdt m n nsrw
When you answer the speech of a fiery man.

377
sHri Hr.k Hn tw
Avert your face; control yourself,

378
iw nswt nt tA-ib sXr.f
That the the missle of the bully may miss.

379
an xndw qd miTn.f
For the one gracious in treading, smooth will be his course.

12.4
380
mnS n hrw r Aw.f
If he dwell on cares all day long

381
ni-n iri n.f At nfrt
One never enjoys a good moment.

382
wnf-ib n hrw r Aw.f
If one is gay all day long,

383
ni-n grg n.f pr
He will never establish a house.

44
384
stiw mHi
An arrow launched

385
mi iri Hmw zp r tA
Is like an oar dropped overboard:

386
ky nDrw
Another collects it,

12.6
387
iw sDm.n ib.f r Hn A
And the heart will hear its cry of regret.
Maxim 29

388
m xsf tw m At wr
Do not impede the focus of a great man;

12.7
389 [390]
m sHDnw ib n nty Atpw
Don't vex the heart of him who is burdened.

391
xpr s-Dbi.f r Snt sw
It will turn out that he thwarts the one who threatens him,

392
sfx kA m mrr sw
As his ka supports the one who would love him.

45
12.8
393
didi kAw pw Hna nTr
This generosity of living spirits is connected with the Divine.

394
mrrt.f irtt n.f
What he wills shall be accomplished by him.

395 [396]
s-qdi r.k Hr m-xt nSny
If he bestows his favor to you again after a tempest,

397
iw Htp xr kA.f
There is peace for his ka

12.9
397b
iw s-Dbi xr xfty
As there arise setbacks for the accuser;

398
kAw pw srwd mrwt
For, sowing love yields sustenance.
Maxim 30

399
sbA wr r Axt n.f
Instruct a great one in what is useful for him;

12.10
400
s-xpr Ssp-a.f m Hry rmT
Foster confidence in his policies among the people.

46
401
rdi.k xr sAA.f Hr nb.f
Help his contribution to show its worth to his master.

[402]
iw Ssp r wDwt zf
Customary authority is milder than mandates;

[403]
nfr.tw Xr.s anx...
And one lives well under its grace...

12.11
404 405
wnn DfAw n.k xr kA.f
Yea, there may be rewards for you before his ka.

406
iw Xt nt mrwt r Htpw
The livelihood of loved ones will be nurtured,

407
iw sA.k r Hbs Xr.s
Your back will be clothed by it.

12.12
408
wn Ssp-a.f Hr.k r anx n pr.k
His patronage will be over you and the life of your house.

409
xr saH.k mrr.k
For your patron, the one you love,

47
410 410b=411a
anx sw Xr.s
He enlivens by it.

411
iri.f qaH nfr im.k gr
When he makes a benevolent gesture, you should not be silent.

12.13
412
wAH grt mrwt.k pw
This, moreover, assures your reciprocity

413
m Xt nt mrrwt tw
In the bodies of those loved by you.

414
mi.k kA pw mrr sDm
You see; it is the ka who loves to listen.
Maxim 31

13.1
415
ir iri.k sA zi n qnbt
If you act as the son of a man in the court of magistrates,

416
wpwty n hrt aSAt
A messenger for engaging the public,

13.2
417
Sdi mAdw nw wDat
Read aloud the words as they appear in the official record.

48
418
mdy.k m rdi Hr gs
Speak without taking either side.

13.3
419
sAw Dd.f zxr.f
One should be careful when he relates his counsel.

420
srw rdi.f mdt Hr gs iry
Should one give his address to the magistrates leaning to one side,

12.4
421
wDb zp.k r wDaty
A slip up may turn into an unfavorable decision.
Maxim 32

422
ir sfn.k Hr zp xprw
Should you incline to lenience on the back of a mishap,

13.5
423
gsA.k n zi Hr aqA.f
Value a man for his straightforwardness.

424
swA Hr.f m sxA sw
Pass him by; do not bring it up;

13.6
425 426=497, 427=498
Dr gr.f n.k hrw tpy
For he might hold his peace for you, some day.

49
Maxim 33

428
ir aAi.k m-xt nDsw.k
If you are a magnate having earlier been of lowly estate,

13.7
429 430
iri.k xt m-xt gAwt tp-im
Carry on with things as in your previous austerity

431
m niwt rxti n.k
In a town where you are recognized,

13.8
432
m zSAw xprt n.k xntw
With an appreciation of what happened to you before.

433
m kfA ib.k Hr aHaw.k
Do not place your trust in what you have stored up:

434
xprw n.k m rdiw nTr
They are arisen to you by the generosity of God;

13.9
435
nin tw HA ky mitw.k
That you need not bow to another who is but your peer;

436 437
xprw n.f mitt iry
For he has arisen in like manner.

50
[438]
zAw Sm nma.k im
Take care in passing that you are mindful of him.

[439]
m zf rn.k xr srw
Don't sabotage your reputation with the nobles;

[440]
tp mdw.k r gs iry
For it is formed at your first exchange.
Maxim 34

441
Xms sA.k n Hry-tp.k
Bow in respect of your superior,

13.10
442
imi-r.k n pr nswt
Your superintendent at court.

443
wnn pr.k mn Hr xt.f
Your house will be established in its affairs,

13.11
444 445=448
DbAw.k m st iry
And you will be equipped according to your position.

446
qsn pw itnw m Hry-tp
Wretched is one who is contentious with a chieftan.

51
13.12
447
anx.tw tr n sft.f
You thrive while his good will endures.

448 449
ni xAb.n qaH n kfyt.f
Nor will bending the shoulder denude it.

14.1
450
m TAwyw pr sAHw
Do not appropriate a house of dependants;

451
m dAir xt tkn im.k
Nor ravage things close to you.

[452]
nin st Ax n iri r.st
Never does this yield benefit.

14.2
453
imi.f siw r.k r sDmt.k
Let no one write you off before you have been heard out.

454
imi pw n ib bqbqw
The indolent one has no honor

14.3
455
ir rx.f st iw.f r Sny
If he is reputed for his storminess,

52
14.4
456
qsn pw n itnw m st tknt
There is vexation for the disagreeable man in his own back yard.
Maxim 35

457
imi.k niki Hmt Xrd
Do not diddle a lady boy:

14.5
458
rx n.k xsfwt r mw Hr HAty.f
You understand the convoluted courses about his heart.

459
nin qbb n ntt m Xt.f
What's in his gut never cools down.

14.6
460 461=459?
imi.f swxAw r irt xsfwt
He has no shame about doing what is shameful.

462
qbb.f m-xt HD.f ib.f
While he does gratify himself, he impoverishes his heart.
Maxim 36

463
ir Dar.k qd n xnms
If you would investigate the disposition of a friend,

464

53
m Snn r.k tkn im.f
Don't probe about for yourself, but approach him about it.

465
iri zp hna.f waw
Take the matter up with him, one on one.

14.8
466
r tmt.k mn xrwt.f
That you may ride out misunderstanding his concerns.

467 468-469
DAis hna.f m-xt aHaw
Confront him with it and, after a while,

14.9
470
wSm ib.f m zp n mdt
Test his heart in the difference of opinion;

471
ir pri mAt n.f m-a.f
If he will be forthcoming with his point of view.

472
iri.f zp Spt.k Hr.f
If he addresses the issues you hold with him,

14.10
473< >
mi.k xnms sw rA pw
Or detect if he is of a friendly disposition toward you.

474

54
m iTi.tw Hr
Don't become stingy about it,

475
sAqw m wbA n.f mdt
Be refined in your speech that it does not drill him,

14.11
476
m wSb m zp n zhA
And do not respond in a tone of hostility.

477
m wiAn.tw r.f m hbw sw
Do not negate him with derision,

[478]
sAw.tw m-awAy
And be wary of entrapment.

14.12
479
ni pA zp.f tm iw
His time will not fail to arrive:

480
ni whi n.tw m SA sw
One cannot default on what is due of him.
Maxim 37

481
HD Hr.k tr n wnn.k
Let your face beam in the lifetime that is yours;

55
14.13
482
ir pri m miXr ni aq.n
For, on leaving this storehouse, we do not return.

483
in tAw n pzSwt Hnty Hr.f
At the parceling of provisions one discovers the greedy;

484
srxy pw Sw m Xt.f
The bitter man is the one with an empty stomach.

485
xpr itnw m sAhhw
Disaffection arises from deprivation.

15.2
486
m iri sw r tkn im.k
Don't give someone cause to deplore you.

487
sxAw pw n zi iAmwt
The legacy of a man is in his gracious deeds

488
n rnpwt imt-xt wAs
In the years that follow his career.
Maxim 38

15.3
489
rx Swt.k wnn xt.k
Know your audience and your affairs will move forward.

56
490
m Xzi biAyt.k r xnmsw.k
Don't test the forbearant humor of your friends:

491
wDb.f pw mHi.f wr sw r Spssw.f
They are the prime estate one conserves above his riches.

492
iw xt ky n ky
They are the business of one to another.

493
Ax biAyt nt sA zi n.f
A forbearant humor is an asset for a man's son,

494
iw qdw nfr r sxAw
As good character will make one remembered.
Maxim 39

495
xsf Hr tp sbA Hr qdw
Regulate with authority but instruct by virtue.

496
iw nDrt xww r mnt biA
The redress of wrongdoing demonstrates acumen.

15.6
497
ir zp ni is Hr iyt
For when a problem goes uncorrected,

57
498
rdi xpr anay pw m iTnw
It allows a complaint to become a dispute.
Maxim 40

499
ir iri.k Hmt m Spnt
If you marry a party girl,

15.7
500
wnft-ib rxt n niwtyw.s
One known as fun-loving to her townfolk,

501
iw.s m hpwy
If she is rather unregulated,

502
an n.s nw
And indulges for a while,

503 504,505
m nS si imi r.k wnm.s
Do not deny her, but let her enjoy herself;

15.8
506
iw wnft-ib s-ip.s aqAA
As a light heart makes for navigable waters.
Maxim 41

507

58
ir sDm.k nn Dd n.i n.k
If you heed these things which I have said to you,

508
wnn sxr.k nb r HAt
Your every design will move forward.

15.9
509
ir zp n mAat iry Spss.sn pw
If ventures are trustworthy, they will be blessed.

510
rwi sxA.sn m rA n rmT
To flourish, they must find merit in the mouths of people.

511
m-a nfr n Tzw.sn
Owing to the appropriateness of their arrangement.

512 513=511
in n.tw mdt nbt
When every opinion is brought in,

15.10
514
ni ski n m tA pn Dt
It does not ever disappear from off this earth.

515
irit.s Ssrt r nfr
When something is discussed in good faith

516

59
mdw srw r.s
The appraisal of the officials will accord with it.

15.11
517
sbA zi pw r Dd n imyw xtw
To instruct a man is thus to speak to posterity;

518
sDm.f st xpr m Hmww sDmw
He listens to it and becomes an alert man of skill.

519
nfr Dd n imyw xtw ntf sDm.f st
It is good for one to speak to descendants who will pay attention:

15.12
520-1
ir xpr zp nfr m-a wnn m Hry-tp
If there issue good deeds from him who becomes a supervisor,

522
wnn.f mnx n nHH
He will be an eternal example.

523
iw sAA.f nb r Dt
His wisdom will be forever.

524
in rx sm bA.f m smnt
When the learned one nurtures his soul with what is lasting,

15.13
525

60
nfr.f im.f tp tA
It shall be good to him on the earth.

526
sAi.tw rx Hr rxt n.f
The prudent man is recognized for his understanding;

527
in sr Hr zp.f nfr
As is the nobleman for his good times.

528
m-a n ib.f nst.f
His heart according with his tongue,

16.1
529
aqAy spty.fy iw.f Hr Dd
Reliable are his lips whenever he speaks.

530
irty.fy Hr mAA
And his eyes when seeing.

16.2
531
anxwy.f twt Hr sDm Axt n sA.f
His ears are intent on hearing what is useful for his son:

532 533=531?
iri r mAat Sw m grg
Because to do what is right is to stay free of fraud.
Maxim 42

61
16.3
534
Ax sDm n zA sDmw
Beneficial is listening for the son who hears.

535
aq sDm m sDmw
Attention enters into one who listens.

16.4
536
xpr sDmw m sDmi
One who listens becomes one who is heard.

537 < >


nfr sDm nfr wDa mdt
Good listening leads to good discernment.

538< > 539


Sspw sDmw nb Axt
He who cultivates attention is ever effective.

16.5
540 < >
Ax mrr sDm n sDmw
Loving to listen well serves the listener.

541
nfr sDm r ntt nbt
Better it is to listen than anything, as

542
xpr mrwt nfrt
From what is loved comes what is beautiful.

62
543
nfr wy Ssp zA Dd iti.f
How good it is when a son grasps what his father says:

544
xpr n.f iAwt Xr.s
He attains maturity owing to it.

16.7
545
mrrw nTr pw sDm
He who listens will be loved by God:

546 547=546?;548=552;549
ni sDm.n msDDw nTr
When we do not listen, it is an affront to God.

550
in ib s-xpr nb.f
Now, the heart creates its keeper.

551
m sDm m tm sDm
Do not hear from him who will not listen.

552
anx wDA snb n zi ib.f
A man's heart to him are life, wholeness, and drive.

16.9
553
in sDmw sDm Dd
It is the listener who hears what is said:

63
554 555
mrr sDm pw iri r Ddwt
And loving to listen, will do what is said.

16.10
556
nfr wy sDm zA n iti.f
How good it is when a son hearkens to his father!

557
rS wy Dddy n.f nn
How happy is he in speaking to such a one.

16.11
558 559
zA an.f m nb sDm
The son is magnificent who hearkens to his master.

560
sDmw Ddw n.f st mnx.f m Xt
Listening to what is said, there is confidence in his gut.

16.12
561
imAxy xr iti.f
One who is reverent in the presence of his father

562
iw sxA.f m rA n anxw
Is remembered in the speech of the living.

16.13
563
ntyw tp tA wnnty.sn
These in the world are the ones who make progress.
Maxim 43

64
564
ir Ssp zA zi Dd iti.f
If a man's son receives what his father says,

16.14
565
nin nnm n zxr.f nb
None of his designs will miscarry.

566
sbA.k m zA.k sDmw
Teach your son to be a listener,

17.1
567
iqr ti.fy Hr ib n srw
Who will be thus excellent in the mind of he officials,

568
sSm rA.f r Dddt n.f
Guiding his mouth according to what he has been told;

17.2
569
mAw m sDmw
Recognized as one who heeds.

570 571
zA iqr.f nmtt.f Tnw
The son who excels, his steps are distinguished;

17.3
572
nnm bsiw n tm sDm
But apprenticeship goes awry if one fails to heed.

65
573
dwA rx r smnt.f
The learned man rises early to organize himself,

17.4
574
iw wxA mDd.f
While the unskillful one may become hard pressed.
Maxim 44

575
ir wxA iwtw sDm.f
Now, as for the slow-wit who doesn't pay attention,

576
nin iri n.f xt nbt
He will never accomplish anything.

577
mAA.f rx m xm
He will views wisdom as ignorance;

17.6
578
Axwt m mniwt
And things that serve well as onerous.

579
iri r.f xbdwt nbwt
He is wont to make all kinds of mistakes,

17.7
580
r Tsswt im.f ra nb
And and there will daily be complaints against him.

66
581
anx.f m mwtt Xr.s
He lives by that from which one dies.

582 583=573?
aqw.f pw xbn Dd
His sustenance is twisted talk.

17.8
584
biAt.f im m rx n srw
The officials are aware of his mettle in this

585
Hr mwt anx ra nb
Owing to his perpetual sluggishness.

17.9
586
swA.tw Hr zpw.f
His faults are passed over,

587
m-a aSA n iwywt Hr.f ra nb
On account of the sheer abundance of his errors, every day.
Maxim 45

17,10
588
zA sDmw m Smsw Hr
A son who heeds is a follower of Horus.

589
nfr n.f m-xt sdm.f
He does well because he listens throughout.

67
17.11
590
iAww.f pH.f imAx
In maturity he attains revered status;

591
s-Dd.f m-mitt n Xrdw.f
He will deliver likewise to his children,

17.2
592
m s-mAwy sbAw iti.f
In renewing the teaching of his father.

593
zi nb sbA mi iri.f
Every man instructs by his example,

17.13
594 < >
s-Dd.f xr mstyw
In speaking to his offspring.

595 < >


ix Dd n.sn n Xrdw.sn
And so, they can tell their children.

18.1
596
iri biA m rddiw aDt.k
Show noblesse; do not pass down your prejudice.

18.2
597
s-rwD mAat anx msyw.k
Trustworthiness secures the life of your children.

68
18.3
598-9
ir tpi iy Xr isft
But, for the principal who arrives with wrongdoing,

600
ix Dd rmT mAAti.sn
People declare what they observe:

18.4
601
mitt is pfA pw
"This one is just like that one!"

602
Dd n sDmty.sn
To say to those who will hear;

18.5
603
mitt is pfA pw gr
"He is just like that one!" as well.

604-5
mAA bw-nb sn
Everyone sees them,

18.6
605-6
s-grH aSAt
And the multitude is pacified.

18.7
607
nin km n Spssw m-xmt.sn
There is no lasting benefit in wealth without them.

69
608
m iTi mdt m in.s
Do not remove a word, nor add it.

18.8
609
m rdi kiti m st kiti
Do not put one in place of another.

[610]
iw st.s m Xnw n Xt.k
Its place is within your belly.

611
aHA tw m wn iniw im.k
Resist violation of the safeguards on you.

18.9
612
sAw tw r Dd rx-xt
Or be admonished when one worldly-wise says:

16.10
613
sDm r.k mr.k smnt.k
"Pay heed, if you wish to advance yourself

614
m rA n sDmyw
In the repute of the assessors,

18.11
615
mdwy.k aq n.k m zp ni Hmww
You should speak when are familiar with the ways proper to the craftsman."

70
616
mdw.k r zp n qn
If you speak with elegant timing,

18.12
617
wnn sxr.k nb r st.f
Then every plan of yours will fall into its place.
Maxim 46

618
hrp ib.k Hn rA.k
Submerge your heart and regulate your mouth.

18.13
619
ix sxr.k mi-m srw
Then surely your designs will be in accord with the nobles'.

18.14
620
mtr Hr qd xr nb.k
Be upright in character before your lord.

621
iri r Dd n.f zA pfA pw
Do as he tells you, as would his son;

19.1
622
r dd n sDmty.sn st
So that those who hear it will say,

623
Hsi grt msy n.f sw
"A refreshment indeed to him who engendered him."

71
19.2
624
wAH ib.k tr n mdwy.k
Be patient of heart at the time that you speak,

625
Dd.k xt Tnw
And so say things of distinction,

19.3
626
ix Dd srw sDmty.sn
That the nobles who hear may say,

627
nfr wy prw n rA.f
"How good is what comes from his mouth!"
Maxim 47

628
iri r Ddt nb.k r.k
Act so that your master will have said to you:

19.4
629
nfr wy sbA n iti.f
"How well he has been taught by his father!

630
pri n.f im.f xnt Haw.f
When he came forth from his members,

631
Dd n.f n.f iw.f m Xt r-Aw
Of whom it was said of him while yet within the womb,

72
19.5
632
wr irit n.f r Dddwt n.f
'His deeds will exceed what he has been commissioned!'"

633
mi.k zA nfr n didi nTr
You see, a good son, by the grace of God,

634
rdi HAw Hr Ddwt n.f xr nb.f
Surpasses what he has been asked to do before his lord.

635
iri.f mAat
He does what is right;

19.6
636
iri n ib.f r nmtt.f
And his heart will follow proper steps.

637
mi pH.k wi Aw.k wDA
As you being of sound body succeed me,

638
nizwt Htpw m xprwt nbwt
The king at peace with every emergence,

19.7
639
iTi.k rnpwt m anx
You should be accomplished in years of life.

73
640
nin Srr irit n.i tp tA
Not meagre is what I have accomplished on earth.

641
iTi n.i rnpwt Snt-mD m anx
I have betaken 110 years of life;

19.8
642
n didi n.i nizwt
By the grace of the Pharaoh;

643
Hswt xnt tpiw awyw
Favored before the great chiefs,

644
m-a irit mAat n nizwt r st imAx
Having done right by the King unto the Place of Reverence.
Colophon:

19.9
645
iwi.f pw HAt.f r pHwy.fy
This has arrived from beginning to end,

646 647
mi gmyt m zXA
As it was found in writing.

74