The Holy Bible – Knox Translation
The Book of Ecclesiasticus
Inure thy son to the rod, as thou lovest him; so shalt thou have comfort of him✻ in thy later years, nor go about knocking softly at thy neighbour’s doors.
Discipline thy son, and thou shalt take pride in him; he shall be thy boast among thy familiars.
Discipline thy son, if thou wouldst make thy ill-wishers envy thee, wouldst hold thy head high among thy friends.
Father that dies lives on, if a worthy son he has begotten;
here is a sight to make life joyous for him, and death not all unhappiness, and a bold front he keeps before his ill-wishers;
such an heir will shew loyalty to his race, its foes warding off, its friends requiting.
Let a man pamper his children, binding up every wound, his heart wrung by every cry,✻
and he shall find spoilt son headstrong and stubborn as a horse unbroken.
Cosset thy son and make a darling of him, it shall be to thy own anxiety, thy own remorse.
Smile at his follies now, and the bitter taste of it shall set thy teeth on edge hereafter.
Thou canst not afford to give him freedom in his youth, or leave his thoughts unchecked;
none is too young to be bent to the yoke, none is too childish to be worth a drubbing, if thou wouldst not see him wilful and disobedient, to thy heart’s unrest.
Discipline thy son, be at pains with him, or his shameless ways will be thy downfall.
Poor man sound and strong of body is better off than rich man enfeebled, and racked with disease.
Health of the soul, that lies in duty done faithfully, is more worth having than gold or silver; no treasure so rare that it can match bodily strength.
Health is best wealth; no comfort wilt thou find like a merry heart.
Better the endless repose of death, than life by lingering sickness made irksome.
For mouth that refuses nourishment what use in dainties? They are no better than the banquet left on a tomb,
little availing yonder idol, that cannot taste or smell.
Once the Lord has laid thee by the heels, to do penance for thy sins,
thou shalt hanker and sigh for these dainties but as eunuch that fondles maid.
Nor let anxious thoughts fret thy life away;
a merry heart is the true life of man, is an unfailing store of holiness; length of years is measured by rejoicing.
Thy own self befriend, doing God’s will with endurance, and giving all thy heart to the holiness he enjoins, and banish thy sad thoughts;
sadness has been the death of many, and no good ever came of it.
Jealousy and peevishness shorten a man’s days; cares bring old age untimely;
gay and gallant heart is ever feasting, sets to and makes good cheer.
The Holy Bible