Page images


A good name is rather to be chosen than great riches, and loving favour rather than silver and gold. He that trusteth in his riches shall fall, but the righteous shall flourish as a branch. Riches profit not in the day of wrath : but righte. ousness delivereth from death. The rich and poor meet together: the Lord is the maker of them all. Labour not to be rich; cease from thine own wisdom. Wilt thou set thine eyes upon that which is not? for riches certainly make themselves wings; they fly away, as an eagle toward heaven. For riches are not for ever: and doth the crown endure to every generation ?

On Women.


Who can find a virtuous woman? for her price is far above rubies. The heart of her husband doth safely trust in her; she will do him good and not evil all the days of her life. She seeketh wool, and flax, and worketh willingly with her hands. She is like the merchants' ships; she bringeth her food from afar. She riseth also while it is yet night, and giveth meat to her houshold, and a portion to her maidens. She considereth a eld, and buyeth it: with the fruit of her hands she planteth a vineyard. She girdeth her loins with strength, and strengtheneth her arms. She perceiveth that her merchandise is good: her candle goeth not out by night. She layeth her hands to the spindle, and her hands hold the distaff. She stretcheth out her hand to the poor; yea, she reacheth forth her hands to the needy. She is not afraid of the snow for her houshold: for all her houshold are clothed with scarlet. She maketh herself coverings of tapestry ; her clothing is silk and purple. Her husband is known in the gates, when he sitteth among the elders of the land. She maketh fine linen, and selleth it; and delivereth girdles unto the merchant. Strength and honour are her clothing; and she shall rejoice in time to come. She openeth her mouth with wisdom; and in her tongue is the law of kindness. She looketh well to the ways of her houshold, and eateth not the bread of idleness. Her children arise up, and call her blessed ; her husband also, and he praiseth her. Many daughters have done virtuously, but thou excellest



them all. Favour is deceitful, and beauty is vain: but a woman that feareth the Lord, she shall be praised. Give her of the fruit of her hands; and let her own works praise her in the gates.

From the same.

My son, attend unto my wisdom, and bow thine ear to my understanding: that thou mayest regard discretion, and that thy lips may keep knowledge. My son, keep thy father's commandment, and forsake not the law of thy mo. ther: bind them continually upon thine heart, and tie them about thy neck. When thou goest, it shall lead thee; when thou sleepest, it shall keep thee; and when thou awakest, it shall talk with thee. For the commandment is a lamp; and the law is light; and reproofs of instruction feet not be burned? For the lips of a strange woman drop as an honeycomb, and her mouth is smoother than oil: but her end is bitter as wormwood, sharp as a two-edged sword. For her house inclineth unto death, and her paths unto the dead: none that go unto her return again, neither take they hold of the paths of life. Her feet go

way of life: to keep thee from the evil woman, from the flattery of the tongue of a strange woman. Which forsaketh the guide of her youth, and forgetteth the covenant of her God. Lust not after her beauty in thine heart : neither let her take thee with her eyelids. Can a man take fire in his bosom, and his clothes not be burned? Can one go upon hot coals, and his

are the

down to death; her steps take hold on hell. Lest thou shouldest ponder the path of life, her ways are moveable, that thou canst not know them. Hear me now therefore, 1 ye children, and depart not from the words of my morth. Remove thy way far from her, and come not nigh the door of her house : lest thou give thine honour unto others, and thy years unto the cruel: lest strangers be filled with thy wealth ; and thy labours be in the house of a stranger; and thou mourn at the last, when thy flesh and thy body are consumed, and say, How have I hated instruction, and my heart despised reproof; and have not obeyed the voice of my teachers, nor inclined mine ear to them that in. structed me!

From the same,


House and riches the inheritance of fathers: and a prudent wife is from the Lord. Whoso findeth a wife findeth a good thing, and obtaineth favour of the Lord. It is better to dwell in the wilderness, than with a contentious and an angry woman.

A continual dropping on a very rainy day and a contentious woman are alike. As a jewel of gold in a swine's snout, so is a fair woman which is without discretion.


Blessed is the man that hath a virtuous wife, for the number of his days shall be double. A virtuous woman rejoiceth her husband, and he shall fulfil the years of his life in peace. A silent and loving woman is a gift of the Lord ; and there is nothing so much worth as a mind well instructed. A shamefaced and faithful waman is a double grace, and her continent mind cannot be valued. As the sun when it ariseth in the high heaven: so is the beauty of a good wife in the ordering of her house. But a grief of heart and sorrow is a woman that is jealous over an

« PreviousContinue »