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XXIII. 4. Labour not to be rich : cease from thine own wisdom.
Do not too eagerly affect and labour to be rich; and follow not thine own carnal wisdom, which suggests unto thee wrong ways to the hasty purchase of wealth.
XXIII. 5. Wilt thou set thine eyes upon that which is not ? for riches certainly make themselves wings; they fly away as an eagle toward heaven.
Wilt thou be so foolish, as to fix thy heart and thine eyes, upon that, which hath no constant being? For surely riches are of a flitting, uncertain condition: they will not abide with thee, but, as with eagles' wings, will fly away from thee.
XXIII. 6. Eat thou not the bread of him that hath an evil eye, neither desire thou his dainty meats :
Be not thou beholden to a niggard for his bread; neither do thou wish to take part with him, in any dainty dish :
XXIII. 7. For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he: Eat and drink, saith he to thee ; but his heart is not with thee.
For, as in his heart he doth inwardly grudge thee every bit thou eatest, so, in his countenance and gesture, he betrays it : he bids thee, after his churlish fashion, to eat and drink ; but his heart repines at thy presence, and wishes thee further off.
XXIII. 8. The morsel which thou hast eaten shalt thou vomit up, and lose thy sweet words.
So shalt thou be vexed with thy grudging entertainment, that thou shalt wish the churl's meat were out of thy belly ; and shalt repent of all those kind words, that thou hast cast away upon so harsh and unworthy a host.
XXIII. 18. For surely there is an end ; and thine expectation shall not be cut off.
For surely there shall be a happy and wished end, and a blessed reward of all thy holy endeavours; and thine expectation of a joyful retribution shall not be disappointed.
XXIII. 23. Buy the truth, and sell it not.
Be thou glad to purchase the truth, at any rate : whatsoever it cost thee, the pennyworth is not dear; but when thou hast it, do not part with it upon any terms.
XXIII, 27. A whore is a deep ditch. See Prov. xxii. 14.
XXIII. 29. Who hath woe? who hath sorrow? who hath contentions ? who hath babbling? who hath wounds without cause ? who hath redness of eyes?
Every wickedness brings mischief with it; but who is the man, that especially draws upon himself all manner of sorrows and inconveniences, both in soul and in body and estate? Who is he, that raiseth quarrels and contentions upon every trifle ? Who is he, that is full of idle, obscene, unsavory words? Who is he, that, in distempered frays, gets stripes and wounds? Who is he, that afflicts his eyes with defluxions and inflammations ?
XXIII. 30. They that tarry long at the wine ; they that go to seek mixed wine.
Who, but even he, that sits long at the wine ; that hunts about from one tavern to another, where he may find the most exquisite wine and the truest drunkards.
XXIII. 31. Look not thou upon the wine when it is red, when it giveth his colour in the cup, when it moveth itself aright.
Suffer not thine eyes to be tempted, to take too much pleasure in beholding the pure and pleasing colour of the wine, when it shews itself in the glass ; and when, through the strength and spirit that is in it, it sparkleth right upward, therein.
XXIII. 34. Yea, thou shalt be as he that lieth down in the midst of the sea, or as he that lieth upon the top of a mast.
Thy head shall be so giddy, and thy brain so turned within thee, as if thou wert laid sea-sick in the midst of the ship; or as if thou layest upon the top of a tottering mast.
XXIII. 35. They have stricken me, shalt thou say, and I was not sick ; they have beaten me, and I felt it not : when shall I awake? I will seek it yet again.
Thou shalt be made so senseless, that thou shalt not know, either what thou dost, or what is done to thee: when thou art stricken, thou art not offended with it; and when thou art beaten, thou art not sensible of it; and so shalt thou be besotted with this excess of liquor, that thou shalt resolve, after all correction, when thou awakest out of thy drunken sleep, to return to the wonted course of thy drunkenness.
• XXIV. 5. A wise man is strong ; yea, a man of knowledge increaseth strength.
A wise man hath much inward strength in himself; yea, he, that is a man of knowledge and understanding, gives a great increase of strength and defence unto the whole city or community wherein he is. · XXIV. 7. Wisdom is too high for a fool : he openeth not his mouth in the gate.
Wisdom is too high for a fool to attain unto; neither hath he any capacity of public employments; either he is not called to counsel, or is unable to give it.
XXIV. 9. The thought of foolishness is sin.
He, that is wickedly foolish, entertaineth commonly no thoughts, but sinful.
XXIV. 11. If thou forbear to deliver them that are drawn unto death, and those that are ready to be slain ; · If thou do, out of a willing neglect or unmercifulness, forbear to deliver those, who are crushed by oppression and led to an unjust death, and now are ready for a cruel execution ;
XXIV. 12. If thou sayest, Behold, we know it not ; doth not he that pondereth the heart consider ? &c.
Think not to plead excuses of thine ignorance, as to say ; I
knew not this man to be innocent, the other unjust ; neither the quality of his desert, nor the means of his delivery; for, there is an allseeing God, who looks upon the secrets of all hearts, who is privy to the falsehood of all thy vain pretences and dissimulation.
XXIV. 13. My son, eat thou honey, because it is good ; and the honeycomb, which is sweet to thy taste :
My son, as when thou eatest honey thou findest the taste of it sweet, and the honeycomb which thou tastest is delightful to thy palate;
XXIV. 14. So shall the knowledge of wisdom be unto thy soul. · So shalt thou find the knowledge of heavenly wisdom unspeakably delectable to thy soul.
XXIV. 16. For a just man falleth seven times, and riseth up again : but the wicked shall fall into mischief.
For the righteous man, if he fall into manifold miseries and calamities, yet, through the goodness of God, he shall be delivered out of them all; but the wicked man, through God's just judgments, shall fall unrecoverably.
XXIV. 18. And he turn away his wrath from him.
Have nothing to do with them who are seditiously disposed ; who vary from all good laws and orders, and are affected to innovation and change, both of princes and government.
XXIV. 22. And who knoweth the ruin of them both ? : Who knows how soon, how suddenly God shall bring judgment and utter ruin, upon both the wicked man, and the seditious ?
XXIV. 26. Every man shall kiss his lips that giveth a right answer.
Every good man will applaud and bless the mouth of him, that giveth an upright sentence in judgment.
XXIV. 27. Prepare thy work without, and make it fit for thyself in the field ; and afterwards build thine house.
Look well to the settling and husbanding of thine estate; and when thou hast well secured and stocked and furnished thyself, then think of either building or garnishing thy house ; whereof let all the materials be first provided abroad, ere thou begin with the fabric.
XXV. 2. It is the glory of God to conceal a thing : but the honour of kings is to search out a matter.
It is the great glory of God's infinite wisdom, that he hath hidden mysteries, which our weak and ignorant capacity cannot reach unto; but as for these human affairs, they may be searched into:
and it is the glory of kings to fathom them, even to the bottom; that so they may thereupon award just judgments upon all occasions. Or, it is the great praise of God's mercy, that he hides and covers our manifold infirmities; but it is the honour of kings, to find out and punish offences.
XXV. 3. The heavens for height, and the earth for depth, and the heart of kings is unsearchable.
As the heaven is exceedingly high, and the earth exceedingly deep, beyond the reach of man ; so is the heart of kings : the very place wherein they are, and the due managing thereof, calls them to great reservedness.
XXV. 6. Put not forth thyself in the presence of the king.
Make not too much ostentation of thy wit, or wealth, or bravery, in the presence of the king; as if thou wouldest offer to compare with thy superiors, under whose countenance thou must live; towards whom submissness of carriage would both better become thee, and more avail to thy good.
XXV. 9. Debate thy cause with thy neighbour himself; and discover not a secret to another.
If there be a difference betwixt thy neighbour and thee, take him aside, and in a friendly manner argue the matter with him alone ; and offer fair terms of peace and reconciliation; and discover not a secret unkindness to a third person, till thou seest no other way of atonement.
XXV. 11. A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in pictures of silver.
A seasonable and discreet speech is a most pleasing and precious thing; and no less delights the ear and the mind, than the most curious and costly embroidery, or pictures of gold and silver, doth the eye.
XXV. 12. As an earring of gold, and an ornament of fine gold, 80 is a wise reprover upon an obedient ear.
A docible and pliable ear accounts a loving and discreet reproof of his friend, more precious than the richest earring of gold, or whatsoever more curious and costly ornament.
XXV. 13. As the cold of snow in the time of harvest, so is a faithful messenger to him that sends him.
The coolness of the snow or ice, wherewith the liquor is wont, in hot regions, to be tempered, doth not more refresh the thirsty traveller, in the heat of summer, than a faithful messenger doth refresh and content the heart of him that sends him.
XXV. 14. Whoso boasteth himself of a false gift is like clouds and wind without rain.
He, that makes bountiful and deluding promises of great gifts, which will never be performed, is like a cloud, which makes shew of that rain, which it will not nor cannot yield.
XXV. 15. A soft tongue breaketh the bone.
· A gentle and submissive answer softeneth and suppleth the most obdured and inflexible heart.
XXV. 16. Hast thou found honey ? eat so much as is sufficient for thee.
Take but a meet and moderate measure of those thing, which are most pleasing and delightful to thy nature or appetite. · XXV. 20. As he that taketh away a garment in cold weather, and as vinegar upon nitre, so is he that singeth songs to a heavy heart.
He, that offers music to a man in deep heaviness, doth as unseasonably, as he, that takes off a coverlid in an extreme cold weather, from the bed; or as he, who, to preserve nitre, pours vinegar upon it, wherewith it is presently dissolved.
XXV. 22. For thou shalt heap coals of fire upon his head, and the LORD will reward thee.
For thus, thou shalt either win and overcome him with kindness, or, if he be stubbornly malicious, thou shalt aggravate his judgment; and if he continue unthankful to thee, yet that God, for whose sake thou dost good for evil, will be sure to retribute it graciously unto thee.
XXV. 26. A righteous man falling down before the wicked is as a troubled fountain, and a corrupt spring.
Look how hateful a thing it is, to see a clear and pure fountain annoyed with mud and filth, so odious a sight it is, to see a just man oppressed and tyrannized over by a wicked one.
XXV. 27. It is not good to eat much honey : so for men to seek their own glory is not glory.
Honey is good, but to eat too much honey is not good : so, to have a care of our own reputation and honour, is good ; but to seek our own glory and reputation too much, is shameful and justly odious.
XXVI. 2. As the bird by wandering, as the swallow by flying, so the causeless curse shall not come.
As a bird flies swiftly away, and returns not to thy hand again; so the causeless curse shall vanish into the air suddenly, and never come near thee, to thy hurt.
XXVI. 4. Answer not a fool according to his folly, lest thou also be like unto him.
Answer not a fool in that idle or malicious fashion wherein he provoketh thee, lest thou declare thyself to be as very a fool as he.
XXVI. 5. Answer a fool according to his folly, lest he be wise in his own conceit.
In a discreet and sober manner take up a fool roundly, and convince him of his absurd cavils and proud ignorance ; lest, otherwise, he go away more highly conceited of his own abilities and victory.