1I too am mortal like everyone else, a descendant of the first man formed from the earth. I was model edin flesh inside a mother's womb, 2where, for ten months, in blood I acquired substance -- the result of virile seed and pleasure, sleep'scompanion. 3I too, when I was born, drew in the common air, I fel on the same ground that bears us al , and cryingwas the first sound I made, like everyone else. 4I was nurtured in swaddling clothes, with every care. 5No king has known any other beginning of existence; 6for there is only one way into life, and one way out of it. 7And so I prayed, and understanding was given me; I entreated, and the spirit of Wisdom came to me. 8I esteemed her more than sceptres and thrones; compared with her, I held riches as nothing. 9I reckoned no precious stone to be her equal, for compared with her, al gold is a pinch of sand, andbeside her, silver ranks as mud. 10I loved her more than health or beauty, preferred her to the light, since her radiance never sleeps. 11In her company al good things came to me, and at her hands incalculable wealth. 12All these delighted me, since Wisdom brings them, though I did not then realise that she was theirmother. 13What I learned diligently, I shal pass on liberally, I shal not conceal how rich she is. 14For she is to human beings an inexhaustible treasure, and those who acquire this win God'sfriendship, commended to him by the gifts of instruction. 15May God grant me to speak as he would wish and conceive thoughts worthy of the gifts I havereceived, since he is both guide to Wisdom and director of sages; 16for we are in his hand, yes, ourselves and our sayings, and al intellectual and al practical knowledge. 17He it was who gave me sure knowledge of what exists, to understand the structure of the world andthe action of the elements, 18the beginning, end and middle of the times, the alternation of the solstices and the succession of theseasons, 19the cycles of the year and the position of the stars, 20the natures of animals and the instincts of wild beasts, the powers of spirits and human mentalprocesses, the varieties of plants and the medical properties of roots. 21And now I understand everything, hidden or visible, for Wisdom, the designer of all things, hasinstructed me. 22For within her is a spirit intel igent, holy, unique, manifold, subtle, mobile, incisive, unsul ied, lucid,invulnerable, benevolent, shrewd, 23irresistible, beneficent, friendly to human beings, steadfast, dependable, unperturbed, almighty, al -surveying, penetrating al intel igent, pure and most subtle spirits. 24For Wisdom is quicker to move than any motion; she is so pure, she pervades and permeates allthings. 25She is a breath of the power of God, pure emanation of the glory of the Almighty; so nothing impurecan find its way into her. 26For she is a reflection of the eternal light, untarnished mirror of God's active power, and image of hisgoodness. 27Although she is alone, she can do everything; herself unchanging, she renews the world, and,generation after generation, passing into holy souls, she makes them into God's friends and prophets; 28for God loves only those who dwel with Wisdom. 29She is indeed more splendid than the sun, she outshines al the constel ations; compared with light,she takes first place, 30for light must yield to night, but against Wisdom evil cannot prevail.
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