1 Dead flies cause the ointment of the perfumer to send forth a foul odor: so does a little folly to him that is respected for wisdom and honor. 2 A wise man's heart is at his right hand; but a fool's heart at his left. 3 Yea also, when he that is a fool walks by the way, his wisdom fails him, and he says to every one that he is a fool. 4 If the spirit of the ruler rises up against you, leave not your post; for yielding pacifies great offences.
5 There is an evil which I have seen under the sun, as an error which proceeds from the ruler:
6 Folly is set in great dignity, and the rich sit in low place. 7 I have seen servants upon horses, and princes walking as servants upon the earth.
8 He that digs a pit shall fall into it; and whosoever breaks through a wall, a serpent shall bite him. 9 Whosoever quarries stones may be hurt by them; and he that splits wood shall be endangered by it. 10 If the iron is blunt, and he does not sharpen the edge, then must he use more strength: but wisdom helps one to succeed. 11 Surely the serpent will bite without enchantment; and a babbler is no better. 12 The words of a wise man's mouth are gracious; but the lips of a fool will swallow him up. 13 The beginning of the words of his mouth is foolishness: and the end of his talk is wicked madness. 14 A fool also is full of words: a man cannot tell what shall be; and what shall be after him, who can tell him? 15 The labor of the foolish wearies every one of them, because he knows not how to go to the city. 16 Woe to you, O land, when your king is a child, and your princes feast in the morning! 17 Blessed are you, O land, when your king is the son of nobles, and your princes feast at the proper time, for strength, and not for drunkenness! 18 By much slothfulness the building decays; and through idleness of the hands the house leaks. 19 A feast is made for laughter, and wine makes merry: but money answers all things. 20 Curse not the king, no not even in your thought; and curse not the rich in your bedchamber: for a bird of the air shall carry the voice, and that which has wings shall tell the matter.