Speaking to a learned gathering without ample knowledge
is like playing a dice game without the board.
An uneducated man desiring to be eloquent
is like a breastless woman longing to be feminine.
Even the ignorant will be considered wise
if they refrain from speaking in the presence of the learned.
However excellent an untaught man’s knowledge may be,
erudite men will never accept it.
An unschooled man’s self-conceit will shrivel
the moment he speaks to an assembly.
Like unproductive barren land is the man who has neglected
learning. All that can be said about him is that he exists.
The handsome charm of him whose knowledge
is neither subtle nor penetrating is like that of a painted clay doll.
Even more wretched than a learned man’s poverty
is the unlearned man’s wealth.
Though he is humbly born, a lettered man’s nobility
transcends that of the illiterate nobleman.
As men are to wild beasts, so are the masters
of brilliant texts to other men.