1There are three things my soul delights in, and which are delightful to God and to all people: concordbetween brothers, friendship between neighbours, and a wife and husband who live happily together. 2There are three sorts of people my soul hates, and whose existence I consider an outrage: the poorswol en with pride, the rich who is a liar and an adulterous old man who has no sense. 3If you have gathered nothing in your youth, how can you discover anything in your old age? 4How fine a thing: sound judgement with grey hairs, and for greybeards to know how to advise! 5How fine a thing: wisdom in the aged, and considered advice coming from people of distinction! 6The crown of the aged is ripe experience, their glory, the fear of the Lord. 7There are nine things I can think of which strike me as happy, and a tenth which is now on my tongue:the man who can be proud of his children, he who lives to see the downfal of his enemies; 8happy is he who keeps house with a sensible wife; he who does not toil with ox and donkey; he whohas never sinned with his tongue; he who does not serve a man less worthy than himself; 9happy is he who has acquired good sense and can find attentive ears for what he has to say; 10how great is he who has acquired wisdom; but unsurpassed is one who fears the Lord. 11The fear of the Lord surpasses everything; what can compare with someone who has mastered that? 1213Any wound rather than a wound of the heart! Any spite rather than the spite of woman! 14Any evil rather than an evil caused by an enemy! Any vengeance rather than the vengeance of a foe! 15There is no poison worse than the poison of a snake, there is no fury worse than the fury of an enemy. 16I would sooner keep house with a lion or a dragon than keep house with a spiteful wife. 17A woman's spite changes her appearance and makes her face as grim as a bear's. 18When her husband goes out to dinner with his neighbours, he cannot help heaving bitter sighs. 19No spite can approach the spite of a woman, may a sinner's lot be hers! 20Like the climbing of a sandhill for elderly feet, such is a garrulous wife for a quiet husband. 21Do not be taken in by a woman's beauty, never lose your head over a woman. 22Bad temper, insolence and shame hold sway where the wife supports the husband. 23Low spirits, gloomy face, stricken heart: such is a spiteful wife. Slack hands and sagging knees: suchis the wife who does not make her husband happy. 24Sin began with a woman, and thanks to her we must al die. 25Do not let water find a leak, nor a spiteful woman give free rein to her tongue. 26If she wil not do as you tel her, get rid of her.
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