1Whoever touches pitch will be defiled, and anyone who associates with the proud wil come to be likethem. 2Do not try to carry a burden too heavy for you, do not associate with someone more powerful andwealthy than yourself. Why put the clay pot next to the iron cauldron? It wil only break when they bang againsteach other. 3The rich does wrong and takes a high line; the poor is wronged and has to beg for pardon. 4If you are useful the rich will exploit you, if you go bankrupt he wil desert you. 5Are you well off? - he wil live with you, he will clean you out without a single qualm. 6Does he need you? - he will hoodwink you, smile at you and raise your hopes; he wil speak politely toyou and say, 'Is there anything you need?' 7He will make you feel smal at his dinner parties and, having cleaned you out two or three times over,wil end by laughing at you. Afterwards, when he sees you, he will avoid you and shake his head about you. 8Take care you are not hoodwinked and thus humiliated through your own stupidity. 9When an influential person invites you, show reluctance, and he will press his invitation all the more. 10Do not thrust yourself forward, in case you are pushed aside, but do not stand aloof, or you will beoverlooked. 11Do not affect to treat him as an equal, do not trust his flow of words; since all this talking is expresslymeant to test you, under cover of geniality he wil be weighing you up. 12Pitiless is anyone who retails gossip; he wil not spare you either blows or chains. 13Be wary, take very great care, because you are walking with your own downfal . 14 15Every living thing loves its own sort, and every man his fel ow. 16Every creature mixes with its kind, and human beings stick to their own sort. 17How can wolf and lamb agree? - Just so with sinner and devout. 18What peace can there be between hyena and dog? And what peace between rich and poor? 19Wild desert donkeys are the prey of lions; so too, the poor is the quarry of the rich. 20The proud thinks humility abhorrent; so too, the rich abominates the poor. 21When the rich stumbles he is supported by friends; when the poor fal s, his friends push him away. 22When the rich slips, there are many hands to catch him, if he talks nonsense he is congratulated. Thepoor slips, and is blamed for it, he may talk good sense, but no room is made for him. 23The rich speaks and everyone stops talking, and then they praise his discourse to the skies. The poorspeaks and people say, 'Who is this?' and if he stumbles, they trip him up yet more. 24Wealth is good where there is no sin, poverty is evil, the godless say. 25The heart moulds a person's expression whether for better or worse. 26Happy heart, cheerful expression; but wearisome work, inventing proverbs.
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