The Holy Bible – Knox Translation
The Book of Ecclesiastes
Chapter 10
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No ointment can perfumer brew so sweet, but it grows foul when dead flies are lodged in it. And wouldst thou barter away wisdom and honour both, for a moment’s folly?

The fool’s wits are astray; the wise man’s right is to him left.
By his way of it, every passer-by on the road is a fool, save he.

Though a prince’s anger should mount against thee, do not desert thy post; great harm by thy healing touch may yet be assuaged.

This is a source of trouble I have marked, here under the sun; the causeless whim of tyrants.

Fools come to the top, down go rank and riches;
slaves you will see riding on horseback, and princes going afoot at their bridle-rein.

Fall into pit thou shalt not, if thou dig none; breach no walls, if thou wouldst avoid the adder’s sting.
Stone crushes his foot that stone carries, and wood scratches him that wood cuts.

Blunt tool that has grown dull from long disuse shall cost thee pains a many;if thou hadst been wise sooner, thou shouldst have toiled less.
Bite snake ere the spell begins, he is no better off that has the master-word.

Wise utterance wins favour; the fool that opens his mouth does but ruin himself,
his preface idle talk, his conclusion madness.
Of words a fool has no stint …

… What went before, is lost to man’s view, and what shall befall when he is gone, none can tell him.

He is on a fool’s errand, that does not even know his way to town.

Woe to the land that has young blood on the throne, whose court sits feasting till daybreak!
And happy the land whose king is of true princely breed, whose courtiers feast when feast should be, to comfort their hearts, not all in revelry.

Roof sags where idleness dwells; a leaking gutter means nerveless hands within.

Food will cheer thee, wine bring thee gladness, but money, it answers every need.

Of the king, no treasonable thought; of the nobles, no ill word even in thy bed-chamber; the very birds in heaven will catch the echoes of it, and fly off to betray thy secret.