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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 bewrayeth 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 caste eth 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
from thee: for sorrow hath killed many, and there is no profit therein. For of heaviness cometh death, and the heaviness of the heart breaketh strength. Take no heaviness to heart: drive it away, and remember the last end; forget it not, for there is no turning again.
All things are not profitable for all men, neither hath every soul pleasure in every thing. Be not unsatiable in any dainty thing, nor too greedy upon meats: for excess of meats bringeth sickness, and surfeiting will turn into choler, By surfeiting have many perished; but he that taketh heed prolongeth his life. Sound sleep cometh of moderate eating: he riseth early, and his wits are with him: but the pain of watching, and choler, and pangs of the belly, are with an unsatiable man. If thou givest thy soul the desires that please her, she will make thee a laugh, ing stock to thine enemies that malign thee. Take not pleasure in much good cheer, neither be tied to the expence thereof. Shew not thy
valiantness in wine; for wine hath destroyed many. The furnace proveth the edge by dipping: so doth wine the hearts of the proud by drunkenness. Wine measurably drunk and in season bringeth gladness of the heart, and cheerfulness of the mind: but wine drunken with excess maketh bitterness of the mind, with brawl. : ing and quarrelling; drunkenness increaseth the rage of a fool till he offend: it diminisheth strength, and maketh wounds. Rebuke not thy neighbour at the wine, and despise him not in his mirth : give him no despiteful words, and press not upon him with urging him to drink.
Wine is a mocker, strong drink is raging; and whosoever is deceived thereby is not wise. He that loveth pleasure shall be a poor man : he that loveth wine and oil shall not be rich. Hear thou, my son, and be wise, and guide thine heart in the way. Be not among wine bibbers; among riotous eaters of flesh. For the drunkard and the glutton shall come to poverty; and drowsiness shall clothe a man with rags. Who hath woe? who hath sorrow? who hath contentions? VOL. I.