WHICH is restraining the mind from improper words and reprehensible actions; keeping ourselves and all men in the due degree of honour; and not throwing away our own character nor that of others. The true nature of Decorum is, that in all circumstances a man should imitate his Eminence the Refuge of Prophecy (On whom be the blessing of God!) for he it is who is perfect in Decorum, because no one has been, like him, formed in manners and polished in behaviour in the school of “Teach me, O Lord, and I shall be perfect in my teaching.”

Learn propriety of behaviour from that man of perfect manners,
For he learned Decorum from the Lord.
Learn thy lesson from that person, who, in every case,
Learned his lesson from the tablet of the Most High.

And Decorum looks well in all men; especially in kings governing the earth, and in princes of high estate: because when they persevere in the paths of Decorum, the observance of the same propriety of behaviour becomes incumbent on their dependents; and by this cause their subjects also cannot deviate from the way of Decorum: and thus the affairs of government are duly regulated, and the comforts of the body of the people are provided for in conformity with sound principles. In the Spiritual Poem it is said,

“From God, we pray for the guidance of Decorum:
He who is without Decorum is shut out from the grace of the Lord:
The Heavens are splendid with Decorum:
And by Decorum the angels are sanctified and pure.”

And holy men have said that the best possession and the richest ornament of the children of Adam, more especially in the kings of the earth, is Decorum. It is recorded in books of history that the Emperor of Constantinople, having formed the plan of an alliance with the King of Egypt, demanded his daughter in marriage for his son; and at the same engaged his own daughter to the King’s son. In consequence of this alliance ambassadors were appointed on both sides. And by the amity of these two sovereigns, the two countries derived great improvement; and in all affairs, whether general or particular, they mutually con­sidered each other; nor did they even begin any matter of importance without the advice and opinion of each other. One day the Prince of Egypt sent a message to the Kaisar of Rome, saying, “Children are the cream of existence, and the prop of life; and our name after our death does not continue, but in their existence.

That man still lives; in whose territories
A successor exists, to his memory.

All our attention should therefore be turned to the improve­ment of their fortune and their comfort of mind; and the reins of thought should be turned to their ease and wealth. Now I have collected for my Son many stores and valuable things; with garments and horses, and utensils and furniture. On your part, what has the world-adorning wisdom of your Majesty resolved upon for your Son.” When this message reached the ears of the Kaisar, he smiled and said, “Wealth is a faithless friend, and an inconstant mistress; and no account should be made of it, and we should not be deceived by the deceitful corruptible riches of this world. I have adorned my Son with the ornament of Decorum; and I have laid up in store for him the treasures of what is most noble in morals: wealth is subject to corruption and decay; but Decorum is safe from change and alteration.” When this answer was brought to the Prince of Arabia, he said, “He speaks truly; Decorum is better than Gold.

Decorum is better than the treasures of Kárún;
It is superior to the kingdom of Farídún;
Great men have never had any care for wealth:
For riches have their face towards departure;
They have turned their reins after wisdom and Decorum;
For they have got their reputation by Decorum.”