1Dead flies cause the precious oil of the apothecary to become stinking and foaming; so doth a little folly him that is valued for wisdom and honor.
2The heart of a wise man is at his right hand; but the heart of a fool is at his left.
3Yea also, on whatever way the fool walketh, doth he lack proper sense, and he saith to all that he is a fool.
4If the spirit of the ruler rise up against thee, leave not thy place; for submissiveness causeth great offences to be avoided.
5There is an evil which I have seen under the sun, like an error which proceedeth from the ruler:
6Folly is set in great high places, and the rich sit in lowness.
7I have seen servants on horses, and princes walking like servants upon the ground.—
8He that diggeth a pit will fall into it; and him who breaketh down a fence—a serpent will bite him.
9Whoso removeth stones will be hurt through them; and he that cleaveth wood will be endangered thereby.
10If the iron be blunt, and man do not whet the edge, then must he exert more strength; but the advantage of making it properly sharp is wisdom.
11If the serpent do bite because no one uttered a charm, then hath the man that can use his tongue in charming no preference.—
12The words of a wise man's mouth bring grace; but the lips of a fool will destroy himself.
13The beginning of the words of his mouth is foolishness; and the last that cometh out of his mouth is evil-bringing madness.
14The fool also multiplieth words; but a man cannot know what is to be; and what is to be after him, who can tell him?
15The toil of the foolish will weary every one of them, because he knoweth not how to go to the city.—
16Woe to thee, O land, when thy king is lowminded, and when thy princes eat in the morning!
17Happy art thou, O land, when thy king is noble-spirited, and thy princes eat in proper time, for strengthening, and not for gluttony!—
18Through slothful hands the rafters will sink; and through idleness of the hands the house will become leaky.
19For gay pleasure they prepare a feast, and wine is to make the living joyful; but money procureth all things.
20Even in thy thought thou must not curse a king; and in thy bed-chambers do not curse the rich; for a bird of the air can carry the sound, and that which hath wings can tell the word.