As dead flies give perfume a bad smell,
so a little folly outweighs wisdom and honor.
The heart of the wise inclines to the right,
but the heart of the fool to the left.
Even as he walks along the road,
the fool lacks sense
and shows everyone how stupid he is.
If a ruler's anger rises against you,
do not leave your post;
calmness can lay great errors to rest.
There is an evil I have seen under the sun,
the sort of error that arises from a ruler:
Fools are put in many high positions,
while the rich occupy the low ones.
I have seen slaves on horseback,
while princes go on foot like slaves.
Whoever digs a pit may fall into it;
whoever breaks through a wall may be bitten by a snake.
Whoever quarries stones may be injured by them;
whoever splits logs may be endangered by them.
If the ax is dull
and its edge unsharpened,
more strength is needed
but skill will bring success.
If a snake bites before it is charmed,
there is no profit for the charmer.
Words from a wise man's mouth are gracious,
but a fool is consumed by his own lips.
At the beginning his words are folly;
at the end they are wicked madness—
and the fool multiplies words.
No one knows what is coming—
who can tell him what will happen after him?
A fool's work wearies him;
he does not know the way to town.
Woe to you, O land whose king was a servant
and whose princes feast in the morning.
Blessed are you, O land whose king is of noble birth
and whose princes eat at a proper time—
for strength and not for drunkenness.
If a man is lazy, the rafters sag;
if his hands are idle, the house leaks.
A feast is made for laughter,
and wine makes life merry,
but money is the answer for everything.
Do not revile the king even in your thoughts,
or curse the rich in your bedroom,
because a bird of the air may carry your words,
and a bird on the wing may report what you say.