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and friend is turned to an enemy? O wicked imagination, whence camest thou in to cover the earth with deceit? There is a companion, which rejoiceth in the prosperity of a friend: but in the time of trouble will be against him. Every counsellor extolleth counsel; but there is some that counselleth for himself. Beware of a counseller, and know before what need he hath; for he will counsel for himself; lest he cast the lot upon thee. Be in peace with many nevertheless have but one counsellor of a thousand. If thou wouldest get a friend, prove him first, and be not hasty to credit him. For some man is a friend for his own occasion, and will not abide in the day of thy trouble. And there is a friend, who being turned to enmity and strife will discover thy reproach. Again, some friend is a companion at the table, and will not continue in the day of thy affliction. But in thy prosperity he will be as thyself, and will be bold over thy servants. If thou be brought low, he will be against thee, and will hide himself from thy face. Separate thyself from thine enemies, and take heed of thy friends. A friend cannot be known in prosperity: and an enemy cannot be hidden in adversity. In the prosperity of a man enemies will be grieved: but in his adversity. even a friend will depart. Never trust thine
enemy for like as iron rusteth, so is his wickedness. Though he humble himself, and go crouching, yet take good heed and beware of him, and thou shalt be unto him as if thou hadst wiped a lookingglass, and thou shalt know that his rust hath not been altogether wiped away. Set him not by thee, lest, when he hath overthrown thee, he stand up in thy place; neither let him sit at thy right hand, lest he seek to take thy seat, and thou at the last remember my words, and be pricked therewith. Affect not to be made equal unto him in talk, and believe not his many words: for with much communication will he tempt thee, and smiling upon thee will get out thy secrets: but cruelly he will lay up thy words, and will not spare to do thee hurt, and to put thee in prison. Observe, and take good heed, for thou walkest in peril of thy overthrowing: when thou hearest these things, awake in thy sleep. If adversity come upon thee, thou shalt find him there first, and though he pretend to help thee, yet shall he undermine thee. He will shake his head, and clap his hands, and whisper much, and change his countenance.
From the same.
Whoso discovereth secrets loseth his credit, and shall never find a friend to his mind. Love thy friend, and be faithful unto him: but if thou bewrayest his secrets, follow no more after him. For as a man hath destroyed his enemy; so hast thou lost the love of thy neighbour. As one that letteth a bird go out of his hand, so hast thou let thy neighbour go, and shall not get him again. Follow after him no more, for he is too far off; he is as a roe escaped out of the snare. As for a wound, it may be bound up and after reviling there may be reconcilement: but he that be wrayeth secrets is without hope.
From the same.
Admonish a friend: it may be he hath not done it and if he have done it, that he do it no more. Admonish thy friend, it may be he hath not said it and if he have, that he speak it not again. Admonish a friend: for many times it is a slander, and believe not every tale. There is one that slippeth in his speech, but not from his heart; and who is he that hath not offended with
his tongue? Admonish thy neighbour before thou threaten him; and not being angry, give place to the law of the Most High. Whoso casteth a stone at the birds frayeth them away; and he that upbraideth his friend breaketh friendship. Though thou drewest a sword at thy friend, yet despair not; for there may be a returning to favour. If thou hast opened thy mouth against thy friend, fear not; for there may be a reconciliation: except for upbraiding, or pride, or disclosing of secrets, or a treacherous wound: for these things every friend will depart. Be faithful to thy neighbour in his poverty, abide sted fast unto him in the time of his trouble. Forget not thy friend in thy mind, and be not unmindful of him in thy riches. Do good unto thy friend before thou die, and according to thy ability stretch out thy hand and give to him. Forsake not an old friend; for the new is not comparable to him: a new friend is as new wine; when it is old, thou shalt drink it with pleasure. Change not a friend for any good by no means; neither a faithful brother for the gold of Ophir.
A man that hath friends must shew himself friendly: and there is a friend that sticketh closer than a brother. Thine own friend, and thy father's friend, forsake not. A friend loveth at all times, and a brother is born for adversity. A man that flattereth his neighbour spreadeth a net for his feet. Faithful are the wounds of a friend; but the kisses of an enemy are deceitful.
On Health and Cheerfulness.
Better is the poor, being sound and strong of constitution, than a rich man that is afflicted in his body. Health and a good state of body are above all gold, and a strong body above infinite wealth. There is no riches above a sound body, and no joy above the joy of the heart. Death is better than a bitter life, or continual sickness. Give not over thy mind to heaviness, and afflict not thyself in thine own counsel. The gladness of the heart is the life of man, and the joyfulness of a man prolongeth his days. Love thine own soul, and comfort thy heart, remove sorrow far