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Stela of the major Mentuhotep: UC 14333

(1) A king's offering to Osiris, lord of Busiris, the great god, lord of Abydos, may he give voice offerings of bread, beer, cattle, geese, thousands of calcite and linen and all good pure things for the leading nobleman, leading official, overseer of priests Mentuhotep, born of Hapi.

(2) He says: I was steadfast and obedient, one to whom his lord gave his love. I was a great one to whom his lord gave his love. I was a great one of the privy chamber, attentive, free from tremor (?)

(3) (but) not disrespectful towards a powerful man. Love of me was in the bodies of the courtiers, the great ones of the palace, and him who was enthroned there. (I was) one who entered the presence of his lord (with) the great ones behind him,

(4) the doorkeepers bowing low until I reached the place where (His) Person was. Whenever I went out there, my heart was exalted, and my favour was in face of everybody. His Person did

(5) these (things) for his servant on account of my obedience. He appointed me as a confidant of His Person in Armant, the foremost of his domain. The wise and the ignorant loved me; everyone praised god for me

(6) asking for me a long life on earth, inasmuch as His Person favoured me more than others who had been in this town. I was one who brought up the youth, who buried the old and

(7) any pauper. I gave bread to the hungry and clothing to the naked. I was a son of Nepri (grain-god), a husband of Tayt (cloth goddess), one for whom Sekhat-Hor (milk goddess)

(8) made cattle exist, a possessor of riches consisting of all the treasurers of the abode of Khnum, the creator of man, when a low flood occurred during the twenty-fifth year.

(9) I did not let my district starve. I gave it Upper Egyptian grain and emmer. I did not let misery come to pass in it until high floods came. I nourished the children with

(10) my donations, I anointed the widows. There was not a commoner miserable in my time. I strove to cause that I was beloved, so that my name might be good and that I might be vindicated

(11) in the necropolis. I taught my children, to speak in contentment, kindness, I was not contesting with a commoner - no superior who is arrogant is beloved. I was well disposed to one who would tell his troubles

(12) and to him who would pour out his heart. I investigated his case, I removed his misery, (for) a man should be placed according to what is right for him. Furthermore, I was silent when (my) wish was thwarted.

(13) I bow down to everyone, not to avert the face from a starving man; the helping hand is what is beloved. Who is alone, O men there should not be any opposition to an inspector

(14) (or) to any official of the administration, one saying only: Let thy heart be well-disposed. Do not be prejudiced against a petitioner until he has said what he has come for. The condition was reported to me of commoners,

(15) and of widows and orphans likewise. I made their ... to succour him who had fallen into misery. The good character of a man is indeed (worth) more to him than thousands of gifts. The speech of (common) men is heard

(16) as that utterance of the highest one and the word of the great. The monument of a man is his goodness; forgotten is who is evil of character. If it comes to pass as has been said, my name will be good and enduring in my town, and my monument will never perish.

after Stewart 1979: 20


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