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10. FRIENDS AND ENEMIES
He is the friend who stands by in illness, adversity, famine, attack by enemy, at the ruler's door and the cremation ground.
One should avoid a friend who speaks sweetly in one's presence and acts against one behind one's back. Such a friend is like a pitcher full of poison, with milk at the surface.
Alliance with good people is conducive to prosperity (not with bad ones). The grain separated from the husk does not get beaten.
The good qualities of even an enemy should be spoken, as also the bad qualities of even a teacher. Logically spoken words should be grasped, not everything out of respect for the teacher.
He who wishes to trust the enemy is deemed as the one who slept on the tips of tree branches and fell.
An enemy who was defeated earlier and who has since become a friend should not be trusted, as a burnt cave filled with smoke is not trusted by the crow, even after the fire is extinguished.
One should not rust a bad friend or even a good friend. Sometimes an angered friend discloses all secrets.
One who does not trust us should not be trusted, even the trustworthy should not be trusted too much. Insecurity born out of trust can destroy even the roots.
The remnants of an enemy can become active like those of a disease, fire and debt. Hence these should be exterminated completely.
Even a weak enemy should not be ignored by wise men, even a weak fire can burn up a forest.
One should never ignore an enemy, knowing him to be weak. He becomes dangerous in due course, like the spark of fire in a havstack.
Even the children of enemies v»'ho have surrendered should not be ignored by wise men. They will prove dangerous in due course. Wild fires break out even from dry leaves of forest trees.
What is not possible by deployment of force is possible by the use of stratagem. The black cobra was defeated by the stratagem of the crow and the golden chain.
One should not be too straightforward. Go and sec the forest. The straight trees are cut down, the crooked ones are left standing.