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51

Of the desire of riches, and of moderation in eating and drinking.

[1] Watching for riches consumeth the flesh, and the thought thereof driveth away sleep. [2] The thinking beforehand turneth away the understanding, and a grievous sickness maketh the soul sober. [3] The rich man hath laboured in gathering riches together, and when he resteth he shall be filled with his goods. [4] The poor man hath laboured in his low way of life, and in the end he is still poor. [5] He that loveth gold, shall not be justified: and he that followeth after corruption, shall be filled with it.

[6] Many have been brought to fall for gold, and the beauty thereof hath been their ruin. [7] Gold is a stumblingblock to them that sacrifice to it: woe to them that eagerly follow after it, and every fool shall perish by it. [8] Blessed is the rich man that is found without blemish: and that hath not gone after gold, nor put his trust in money nor in treasures. [9] Who is he, and we will praise him? for he hath done wonderful things in his life. [10] Who hath been tried thereby, and made perfect, he shall have glory everlasting. He that could have transgressed, and hath not transgressed: and could do evil things, and hath not done them:

[11] Therefore are his goods established in the Lord, and all the church of the saints shall declare his alms. [12] Art thou set at a great table? be not the first to open thy mouth upon it. [13] Say not: There are many things which are upon it. [14] Remember that a wicked eye is evil. [15] What is created more wicked than an eye? therefore shall it weep over all the face when it shall see.

[16] Stretch not out thy hand first, lest being disgraced with envy thou be put to confusion. [17] Be not hasty in a feast. [18] Judge of the disposition of thy neighbour by thyself. [19] Use as a frugal man the things that are set before thee: lest if thou eatest much, thou be hated. [20] Leave off first, for manners' sake: and exceed not, lest thou offend.

[21] And if thou sittest among many, reach not thy hand out first of all: and be not the first to ask for drink. [22] How sufficient is a little wine for a man well taught, and in sleeping thou shalt not be uneasy with it, and thou shalt feel no pain. [23] Watching, and choler, and gripes, are with an intemperate man: [24] Sound and wholesome sleep with a moderate man: he shall sleep till morning, and his soul shall be delighted with him. [25] And if thou hast been forced to eat much, arise, go out, and vomit: and it shall refresh thee, and thou shalt not bring sickness upon thy body.

[26] Hear me, my son, and despise me not: and in the end thou shalt find my words. [27] In all thy works be quick, and no infirmity shall come to thee. [28] The lips of many shall bless him that is liberal of his bread, and the testimony of his truth is faithful. [29] Against him that is niggardly of his bread, the city will murmur, and the testimony of his niggardliness is true. [30] Challenge not them that love wine: for wine hath destroyed very many.

[31] Fire trieth hard iron: so wine drunk to excess shall rebuke the hearts of the proud. [32] Wine taken with sobriety is equal life to men: if thou drink it moderately, thou shalt be sober. [33] What is his life, who is diminished with wine? [34] What taketh away life? death. [35] Wine was created from the beginning to make men joyful, and not to make them drunk.

[36] Wine drunken with moderation is the joy of the soul and the heart. [37] Sober drinking is health to soul and body. [38] Wine drunken with excess raiseth quarrels; and wrath, and many ruins. [39] Wine drunken with excess is bitterness of the soul. [40] The heat of drunkenness is the stumblingblock of the fool, lessening strength and causing wounds.

[41] Rebuke not thy neighbour in a banquet of wine: and despise him not in his mirth. [42] Speak not to him words of reproach: and press him not in demanding again.

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