1Any friend wil say, 'I am your friend too,' but some friends are friends only in name. 2Is it not a deadly sorrow when a comrade or a friend turns enemy? 3O evil inclination, why were you created, to cover the earth with deceit? 4One kind of comrade congratulates a friend in prosperity but in time of trouble appears on the otherside. 5One kind of comrade genuinely feels for a friend and when it comes to a fight, springs to arms. 6Do not forget the genuine friend, do not push him out of mind once you are rich. 7Any adviser wil offer advice, but some are governed by self-interest. 8Beware of someone who offers advice; first find out what he wants himself- since his advice coincideswith his own interest -- in case he has designs on you 9and tel s you, 'You are on the right road,' but stands wel clear to see what will happen to you. 10Do not consult anyone who looks at you askance, conceal your plans from people jealous of you. 11Do not consult a woman about her rival, or a coward about war, a merchant about prices, or a buyerabout sel ing, anyone mean about gratitude, or anyone selfish about kindness, a lazy fel ow about any sort ofwork, or a casual worker about finishing a job, an idle servant about a major undertaking -- do not rely on thesefor any advice. 12But have constant recourse to some devout person, whom you know to be a keeper of thecommandments, whose soul matches your own, and who, if you go wrong, wil be sympathetic. 13Finally, stick to the advice your own heart gives you, no one can be truer to you than that; 14since a person's soul often gives a clearer warning than seven watchmen perched on a watchtower. 15And besides all this beg the Most High to guide your steps into the truth. 16Reason should be the basis for every activity, reflection must come before any undertaking. 17Thoughts are rooted in the heart, and this sends out four branches: 18good and evil, life and death, and mistress of them always is the tongue. 19One kind of person is clever at teaching others, yet is no good whatever to himself; 20another, very eloquent, is detested and ends by starving to death, 21not having won the favour of the Lord, and being destitute of al wisdom. 22Another considers himself wise and proclaims his intel ectual conclusions as certainties. 23But the truly wise instructs his people and his intel ectual conclusions are certainties. 24The wise is showered with blessings, and al who see him wil cal him happy. 25Human life lasts a number of days, but the days of Israel are beyond counting. 26The wise wil earn confidence among the people, his name wil live for ever. 27During your life, my child, see what suits your constitution, do not give it what you find disagrees withit; 28for not everything is good for everybody, nor does everybody like everything. 29Do not be insatiable for any delicacy, do not be greedy for food, 30for over-eating leads to illness and excess leads to liver-attacks. 31Many people have died from over-eating; control yourself, and so prolong your life.
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