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Therefore, dear son Alexander, despise no man of low birth, nor of small stature, if you see any science or any wisdom in him, and if he also has good behaviour and manners in him, and keeps from vices. Anyone so well-mannered is worthy to be loved by princes and kings. And you should do nothing without counseling. And I pray, dear son, that you love him that love truth & who counsel you faithfully and sometimes in opposition to your opinion. For such a man is steadfast of courage, faithful & just to you & your subjects. And the counsel of such a man is good for the governance of the king & of his realm.


Therefore dere sone Alexander dyspyse no man of lowe byrthe nor of small stature yf thou se ony scyence or ony wysdome in hym, and that he have also cood condycyons and maners in hym, and dooth exchewe vyces. Suche one so wel manered is worthy to be loved of prynces and kynges. And thou ought for to do nothynge without councell. And I pray the dere sone that thou love hym that loveth trouthe & that counceleth the faythfully & somtyme contrary to thyn opynyon. For suche a man is stedfast of courage, faythfull & Just to the & thy subgectes. And the councel of such a man is good to the governayle of the kynge & of his realme.”

– Aristotle to Alexander the Great, Kitab Sirr al-Asrar, 10th cent. (in modern and 1528 translation)