The Holy Bible – Knox Translation
The Book of Proverbs
As well snow in summer or rain in harvest, as honour paid to a fool.
Light as a bird of passage, light as sparrow on the wing, the curse that is undeserved shall reach thee.
Whip for horse, bridle for ass, and never a rod for the fool’s back?
Leave the fool’s challenge unanswered, and prove thyself wise;
or answer it, if thou wilt, and prove him fool.
Send a fool on thy errand, thou hast a lame journey, and mischief brewing for thee.
Give a fool leave to speak, it is all fair legs and no walking.
Pay a fool reverence, thou hast wasted one more stone on Mercury’s cairn.
Speech fits as well in a fool’s mouth as branch of bramble in the hand of a drunkard.
The law settles quarrels at last, yet silence the fool, and feud there shall be none.✻
Like a dog at his vomit, the fool goes back ever to his own folly.✻
Who is in more perilous case than the fool himself? The man who lays claim to wisdom.
What, go abroad? says Sloth; there is a lion there; trust me, a lion’s dam loose in the street.
Sloth turns about, but keeps his bed, true as the door to its hinge.
With folded hands the sluggard sits by, too idle to put hand to mouth.✻
Wiser than seven sages is the sluggard in his own thought.
Better pull a dog by the ears than meddle in another’s quarrels; pass on in quiet.
No excuse he finds, that deadly brand and arrow casts about him;
nor he either, that hurts a friend by treachery and pleads that it was done in jest.
No fuel, no fire; no tell-tale, no quarrel.
Coal needs ember, and fire tinder, and strife a quarreller, for their kindling.
Innocent enough seem the words of the backbiter, yet their poison sinks deep into a man’s belly.✻
When the heart is wicked, fine talk is but lustre ware.
The enemy that has treacherous thoughts is betrayed by his friendly talk;✻
trust him not when he speaks thee fair; here are seven depths of wickedness in a single heart.
Vain the pretences that cloak his malice; before the whole assembly it shall be made known;
dig pit, and thou shalt fall into it, shift rock, and it shall roll back on thee.
Fie on the glib tongues that hate all honesty, the treacherous lips that plot men’s downfall!
The Holy Bible