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Observations on wisdom and folly, ambition and detraction.

[1] Dying flies spoil the sweetness of the ointment. Wisdom and glory is more precious than a small and shortlived folly. [2] The heart of a wise man is in his right hand, and the heart of a fool is in his left hand. [3] Yea, and the fool when he walketh in the way, whereas he himself is a fool, esteemeth all men fools. [4] If the spirit of him that hath power, ascend upon thee, leave not thy place: because care will make the greatest sins to cease. [5] There is an evil that I have seen under the sun, as it were by an error proceeding from the face of the prince:

[6] A fool set in high dignity, and the rich sitting beneath. [7] I have seen servants upon horses: and princes walking on the ground as servants. [8] He that diggeth a pit, shall fall into it: and he that breaketh a hedge, a serpent shall bite him. [9] He that removeth stones, shall be hurt by them: and he that cutteth trees, shall be wounded by them. [10] If the iron be blunt, and be not as before, but be made blunt, with much labour it shall be sharpened: and after industry shall follow wisdom.

[11] If a serpent bite in silence, he is nothing better that backbiteth secretly. [12] The words of the mouth of a wise man are grace: but the lips of a fool shall throw him down headlong. [13] The beginning of his words is folly, and the end of his talk is a mischievous error. [14] A fool multiplieth words. A man cannot tell what hath been before him: and what shall be after him, who can tell him? [15] The labour of fools shall afflict them that know not how to go to the city.

[16] Woe to thee, O land, when thy king is a child, and when the princes eat in the morning. [17] Blessed is the land, whose king is noble, and whose princes eat in due season for refreshment, and not for riotousness. [18] By slothfulness a building shall be brought down, and through the weakness of hands, the house shall drop through. [19] For laughter they make bread, and wine that the living may feast: and all things obey money. [20] Detract not the king, no not in thy thought; and speak not evil of the rich man in thy private chamber: because even the birds of the air will carry thy voice, and he that hath wings will tell what thou hast said.

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