1 Dead flies cause the oil of the perfumer to send forth an evil odor; [so] doth a little folly outweigh 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 the fool walketh by the way, his understanding faileth him, and he saith to every one [that] he is a fool. 4 If the spirit of the ruler rise up against thee, leave not thy place; for gentleness allayeth great offences.
5 There is an evil which I have seen under the sun, as it were an error which proceedeth from the ruler: 6 folly is set in great dignity, and the rich sit in a low place. 7 I have seen servants upon horses, and princes walking like servants upon the earth.
8 He that diggeth a pit shall fall into it; and whoso breaketh through a wall, a serpent shall bite him. 9 Whoso heweth out stones shall be hurt therewith; [and] he that cleaveth wood is endangered thereby. 10 If the iron be blunt, and one do not whet the edge, then must he put to more strength: but wisdom is profitable to direct. 11 If the serpent bite before it is charmed, then is there no advantage in the charmer.
12 The words of a wise man's mouth are gracious; but the lips of a fool will swallow up himself. 13 The beginning of the words of his mouth is foolishness; and the end of his talk is mischievous madness. 14 A fool also multiplieth words: [yet] man knoweth not what shall be; and that which shall be after him, who can tell him? 15 The labor of fools wearieth every one of them; for he knoweth not how to go to the city.
16 Woe to thee, O land, when thy king is a child, and thy princes eat in the morning! 17 Happy art thou, O land, when thy king is the son of nobles, and thy princes eat in due season, for strength, and not for drunkenness! 18 By slothfulness the roof sinketh in; and through idleness of the hands the house leaketh. 19 A feast is made for laughter, and wine maketh glad the life; and money answereth all things. 20 Revile not the king, no, not in thy thought; and revile not the rich in thy bedchamber: for a bird of the heavens shall carry the voice, and that which hath wings shall tell the matter.