Bible (Wycliffe)/Syrach

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Chapter 1


1 Al wisdom is of the Lord God, and was euere with hym, and is bifore the world.

2 Who noumbride the grauel of the see, and the dropis of reyn, and the daies of the world? Who mesuride the hiynesse of heuene, and the breed of erthe, and the depthe of the see?

3 Who enserchide the wisdom of God, that goith bifore alle thingis?

4 Wisdom was formed firste of alle thingis, and the vndurstonding of prudence, fro the world.

5 The welle of wisdom is the sone of God in hiy thingis; and the entryng of that wisdom is euerlastynge comaundementis.

6 To whom was the roote of wisdom schewid? and who knewe the sutilites therof?

7 To whom was the lore of wisdom shewid, and maad opyn? and who vndurstood the multipliyng of the entryng therof?

8 Oon is the hiyeste creatour of alle thingis, almyyti, and a myyti kyng, and worthi to be dred ful miche, sittynge on the trone of that wisdom, and God hauynge lordschipe.

9 He fourmyde `that wisdom in the Hooli Ghost, and he siy, and noumbride, and he mesuride.

10 And he schedde out it on alle hise werkis, and on ech fleisch bi his yifte; he yyueth it to hem that louen hym.

11 The drede of the Lord is glorie, and gloriyng, and gladnesse, and a coroun of ful out ioiyng.

12 The drede of the Lord schal delite the herte; and schal yyue gladnesse and ioie in to lengthe of daies.

13 To hym that dredith God, it schal be wel in the laste thingis; and he schal be blessid in the dai of his deth.

14 Forsothe thei to whiche wisdom apperith in siyt, louen it in siyt, and in knowyng of hise grete thingis.

15 The loue of God is onourable wisdom.

16 The bigynnyng of wisdom is the drede of the Lord; and it is formyd togidere in the wombe with feithful men, and it goith with chosun wymmen, and is knowun with iust men and feithful.

17 The drede of the Lord is religiouste of kunnyng.

18 Religiouste schal kepe, and schal iustifie the herte; and schal yyue myrthe and ioie.

19 It schal be wel to hym that dredith God; and he schal be blessid in the daies of his coumfort.

20 The fulnesse of wisdom is for to drede God; and fulnesse is of the fruytis therof.

21 It schal fille ech yifte of hym of generaciouns, and reseitis of the tresouris therof.

22 The coroun of wisdom is the drede of the Lord, and fillith pees, and the fruyt of heelthe.

23 And he siy, and noumbride it; forsothe euer eithir ben the yiftis of God.

24 Wisdom schal departe the kunnyng and vndurstondyng of prudence; and it enhaunsith the glorie of hem, that holden it.

25 The roote of wisdom is for to drede God; forsothe the braunchis therof ben longe durynge.

26 Vndurstonding, and religiouste of kunnyng ben in the tresouris of wisdom; but wisdom is abhomynacioun to synners.

27 The drede of the Lord puttith awei synne,

28 for he that is with out drede, mai not be iustified; for whi the wrathfulnesse of his pride is the destriyng of hym.

29 A pacient man schal suffre til in to tyme; and aftirward schal be yelding of mirthe.

30 Good wit schal hide the wordis of hym til in to a tyme; and the lippis of many men schulen telle out the wit of hym.

31 In the tresouris of wisdom is signefiyng of kunnyng;

32 but the worschipyng of God is abhomynacioun to a synnere.

33 A! sone, coueitynge wisdom, kepe thou riytfulnesse, and God schal yyue it to thee.

34 For whi the drede of the Lord is wisdom, and kunnyng, and that

35 that is wel plesaunt to hym is feith and myldenesse; and God schal fille the tressours of hym.

36 Be thou not rebel, and vnbileueful to the drede of the Lord; and neiye thou not to hym in double herte.

37 Be thou not an ypocrite in the siyt of men; and be thou not sclaundrid in thi lippis.

38 Take thou kepe to tho, lest thou falle, and brynge disonour to thi soule; and lest God schewe thi priuytees,

39 and hurtle thee doun in the myddis of the synagoge;

40 for thou neiyidist wickidli to the Lord, and thin herte was ful of gile and of falsnesse.

Chapter 2


1 Sone, neiyynge to the seruyce of God, stonde thou in riytfulnesse, and drede; and make redi thi soule to temptacioun.

2 Bere doun thin herte, and suffre, and bowe doun thin eere, and take the wordis of vndirstonding, and haaste thou not in to the tyme of deeth.

3 Suffre thou the susteynyngis of God; be thou ioyned to God, and abide thou, that thi lijf wexe in the last tyme.

4 Take thou alle thing that is set to thee, and suffre thou in sorewe, and haue thou pacience in thi lownesse.

5 For whi gold and siluer is preued in fier; forsothe men worthi to be resseyued ben preued in the chymeney of lownesse.

6 Bileue thou to God, and he schal rekeuere thee; and dresse thou thi weie, and hope thou in to hym. Kepe thou his drede, and wexe thou eld ther ynne.

7 Ye that dreden the Lord, abide his merci, and boowe ye not awei fro hym, lest ye falle doun.

8 Ye that dreden the Lord, bileue to hym, and youre mede schal not be auoidid.

9 Ye that dreden the Lord, hope into hym, and merci schal come to you into delityng.

10 Ye that dreden the Lord, loue hym, and youre hertis schulen be liytned.

11 Sones, biholde ye the naciouns of men, and wite ye, that no man hopide in the Lord, and was schent;

12 noon dwellide in hise heestis, and was forsakun; ether who inwardli clepide hym, and he despiside hym `that clepide?

13 For whi God is pitouse, and merciful, and he schal foryyue synnes in the dai of tribulacioun; and he is defendere to alle men, that seken hym in treuthe.

14 Woo to the `man with double herte, and with cursid lippis, and misdoynge hondys; and to a synnere entrynge in to the lond bi twei weies.

15 Wo to hem that ben dissolute of herte, that bileuen not to God; and therfor thei schulen not be defendid of him.

16 Wo to hem that han lost pacience, and that han forsake riytful weies, and han turned awei in to schrewid weies.

17 And what schulen thei do, whanne the Lord schal bigynne to biholde?

18 Thei that dreden the Lord, schulen not be vnbileueful to his word; and thei that louen hym, schulen kepe his weie.

19 Thei that dreden the Lord, schulen enquere tho thingis, that ben wel plesaunt to hym; and thei that louen him, schulen be fillid with his lawe.

20 Thei that dreden the Lord, schulen make redi her hertis, and schulen halewe her soulis in his siyt.

21 Thei that dreden the Lord, schulen kepe hise comaundementis, and schulen haue pacience til to the biholdyng of hym;

22 and schulen seie, If we doon not penaunce, we schulen falle in to the hondis of the Lord, and not in to the hondis of men.

23 For bi the greetnesse of hym, so and his merci is with hym.

Chapter 3


1 The sones of wisdom ben the chirche of iust men, and the nacioun of hem is obedience and loue.

2 Dereworthe sones, here ye the doom of the fadir; and do ye so, that ye be saaf.

3 For whi God onouride the fadir in sones, and he sekith, and hath maad stidfast the doom of the modir in to sones.

4 He that loueth God, schal preie for synnes, and he schal absteyne hym silf fro tho, and he schal be herd in the preier of daies.

5 And as he that tresourith, so and he that onourith his modir.

6 He that onourith his fadir, schal be maad myrie in sones, and he schal be herd in the dai of his preier.

7 He that onourith his fadir, schal lyue bi lengere lijf; and he that obeieth to the fader, schal refreische the modir.

8 He that dredith the Lord, onourith fadir and modir; and he schal serue in werk, and word,

9 and al pacience to hem that gendriden hym as to lordis.

10 Onoure thi fadir, that the blessyng of God come to thee; and his blessing dwellith in the laste.

11 The blessyng of the fadir makith stidfast the housis of sones; but the cursyng of the modir drawith out the foundementis.

12 Haue thou not glorie in the dispisyng of thi fadir; for it is not glorie to thee, but confusioun.

13 For whi the glorie of a man is of the onour of his fadir; and the schenschip of the sone is a fadir with out onour.

14 Sone, resseyue the elde of thi fadir, and make thou not hym sori in his lijf;

15 and if he failith in wit, yyue thou foryyuenesse, and dispise thou not hym in thi vertu; for whi the almes of the fadir schal not be foryetyng.

16 For whi good schal be restorid to thee for the synne of the modir,

17 and bildyng schal be maad to thee in riytfulnesse; and it schal remembre of thee in dai of tribulacioun, and thi synnes schulen be releessid, as iys in clerenesse of the sunne.

18 He is of ful yuel fame, that forsakith the fadir; and he that wraththith the modir, is cursid of God.

19 Sone, performe thi werkis in myldenesse, and thou schalt be loued ouer the glorie of men.

20 In as myche as thou art greet, make thee meke in alle thingis, and thou schalt fynde grace bifore God; for whi the power of God aloon is greet,

21 and he is onourid of meke men.

22 Seke thou not hiyere thingis than thou, and enquere thou not strongere thingis than thou; but euere thenke thou tho thingis, whiche God comaundide to thee; and be thou not curiouse in ful many werkis of hym.

23 For it is not nedeful to thee to se with thin iyen tho thingis, that ben hid.

24 In superflu thingis nyle thou seke manyfold; and be thou not curiouse in many werkis of hym;

25 for whi ful many thingis aboue the wit of men ben schewid to thee.

26 For the suspecioun of many men hath disseyued hem, and withhelde her wittis in vanytee.

27 And hard herte schal haue yuel in the laste tyme; and he that loueth perel, schal perische ther ynne.

28 An herte that entrith bi tweie weies, schal not haue prosperitees, ether reste; and a man of schrewid herte schal be sclaundrid in tho.

29 A wickid herte schal be greuyd in sorewis; and a synnere schal `hepe to do synne.

30 Helthe schal not be to the synagoge of proude men; for whi the thicke wode of synne schal be drawun out bi the roote in hem, and it schal not be vndurstondun.

31 The herte of a wise man is vndurstondun in wisdom, and a good eere schal here wisdom with al coueitise.

32 A wijs herte and able to vndurstonde schal absteyne it silf fro synnes, and schal haue prosperitees in the werkis of riytfulnesse.

33 Watir quenchith fier brennynge, and almes ayenstondith synnes.

34 And God, the biholdere of hym that yeldith grace, hath mynde aftirward; and he schal fynde stidefastnesse in the tyme of his fal.

Chapter 4


1 Sone, defraude thou not the almes of a pore man, and turne not ouere thin iyen fro a pore man.

2 Dispise thou not an hungri man, and wraththe thou not a pore man in his nedynesse.

3 Turmente thou not the herte of a nedi man, and tarie thou not the yifte to a man that is set in angwisch.

4 Caste thou not awei the preiyng of a man set in tribulacioun, and turne not awei thi face fro a nedi man.

5 Turne not awei thi iyen fro a pore man for ire, and yyue not occasioun to men axynge to curse thee byhynde.

6 For the preyer of hym that cursith thee in the bitternesse of soule, schal be herd; forsothe he that made hym, schal here hym.

7 Make thee eesi to speke to the congregacioun of pore men, and make meke thi soule to a preest, and make meke thin heed to a greet man.

8 Boowe doun with out sorewe thin eere to a pore man, and yelde thi debt, and answere thou pesibli in myldenesse.

9 Delyuere thou hym that suffrith wrong fro the hond of a proude man, and bere thou not heuyli in thi soule.

10 In demynge be thou merciful as a fadir to fadirles children, and be thou for an hosebonde to the modir of hem;

11 and thou schalt be as an obedient sone of the hiyeste, and he schal haue merci on thee more than a modir `hath merci on hir child.

12 Wisdom enspirith lijf to hise sones, and resseyueth men sekinge hym, and schal go bifore in the wei of riytfulnesse; and he that loueth that wisdom,

13 loueth lijf, and thei that waken to it, schulen biclipe the pesiblenesse, ether swetnesse, therof.

14 Thei that holden it, schulen enherite lijf; and whidir it schal entre, God schal blesse.

15 Thei that seruen it, schulen be obeiynge to the hooli; and God loueth hem, that louen it.

16 He that herith it, demeth folkis; and he that biholdith it, schal dwelle tristili.

17 If a man bileueth to it, he schal dwelle, and enherite it; and the creaturis of hem schulen be in confermyng.

18 For in temptacioun it goith with hym, and among the firste it chesith hym.

19 It schal brynge in on hym drede, and feer, and preuyng, and it schal turmente hym in the tribulacioun of his doctryn, til it tempte hym in hise thouytis, and bileue to his soule.

20 And it schal make hym stidefast, and schal brynge riyt weie to hym, and it schal make hym glad;

21 and schal make nakid hise priuytees to hym, and schal tresore on hym kunnyng, and vndurstondyng of riytfulnesse.

22 Forsothe if he errith, God schal forsake hym, and schal bitake hym in to the hondis of his enemy.

23 Sone, kepe thou tyme, and eschewe thou fro yuel.

24 Be thou not aschamed for thi lijf to seie treuthe; for whi ther is schame that bryngith synne,

25 and ther is schame that bryngith glorie and grace.

26 Take thou not a face ayens thi face, nethir a leesyng ayens thi soule.

27 Schame thou not thi neiybore in his fal,

28 nether withholde thou a word in the tyme of helthe. Hide not thi wisdom in the fairnesse therof;

29 for whi wisdom is knowun in tunge, and wit, and kunnyng, and techyng in the word of a wijs man; and stidfastnesse is in the werkis of riytfulnesse.

30 Ayenseie thou not the word of treuthe in ony maner; and be thou aschamed of the leesyng of thi mislernyng.

31 Be thou not aschamed to knouleche thi synnes; and make thee not suget to ech man for synne.

32 Nyle thou stonde ayens the face of the myyti, nethir enforse thou ayens the strok of the flood.

33 For riytfulnesse fiyte thou for thi soule, and til to the deth stryue thou for riytfulnesse; and God schal ouercome thin enemyes for thee.

34 Nyle thou be swift in thi tunge, and vnprofitable and slak in thi werkis.

35 Nyle thou be as a lioun in thin hous, turnynge vpsedoun thi meneals, and oppressynge hem that ben sugetis to thee.

36 Thin hond be not redi to take, and closid togidere to yyue.

Chapter 5


1 Nile thou take heed to wickid possessiouns, and seie thou not, Sufficient lijf is to me; for it schal no thing profite in the tyme of veniaunce, and of failynge, ether deth.

2 Sue thou not the coueitise of thin herte in thi strengthe,

3 and seie thou not, As Y myyte, ether who schal make me suget for my dedis? For whi God vengynge schal venge.

4 Seie thou not, Y haue synned, and what sorewful thing bifelle to me? For the hiyeste is a pacient yeldere.

5 Of the foryyuenesse of synnes, nyle thou be without drede, nether heepe thou synne on synne.

6 And seie thou not, The merciful doyng of God is greet; he schal haue merci on the multitude of my synnes.

7 For whi merci and ire neiyeth soone fro hym, and his ire biholdith on synneris.

8 Tarie thou not to be conuertid to the Lord, and dilaie thou not fro dai in to dai.

9 For whi his ire schal come sodeynli, and he schal leese thee in the time of veniaunce.

10 Nyle thou be angwischid in vniust richessis; for tho schulen not profite in the dai of failing, ether of deth, and of veniaunce.

11 Wyndewe thee not in to ech wynd, and go thou not in to ech weie; for so a synnere is preued in double tunge.

12 Be thou stidfast in the weie of the Lord, and in treuthe and kunnyng of thi wit; and the word of pees and riytfulnesse sue thee perfitli.

13 Be thou mylde to here the word of God, that thou vndurstonde, and with wisdom brynge thou forth a trewe answere.

14 If thou hast vndirstondyng, answere thi neiybore; ellis thin hond be on thi mouth, lest thou be takun in a word vnwiseli tauyt, and be aschamed.

15 Onour and glorie is in the word of a wijs man; but the tunge of an vnprudent man is his distriyng.

16 Be thou not clepid a preuy yuel spekere in thi lijf, and be thou not takun in thi tunge, and be aschamed.

17 Schame and penaunce is on a theef, and worst schenschip is on a man of double tunge. Forsothe hatrede and enemytee and dispisyng is to a preuy bacbitere.

18 Iustifie thou a litil man and a greet man in lijk maner.

Chapter 6


1 Nile thou for a freend be maad enemye to the neiybore; for whi an yuele man schal enherite vpbreidyng and dispisyng, and ech synnere enuyouse and double tungid.

2 Enhaunse thee not in the thouyt of thi soule, as a bole doith; lest thi vertu be hurtlid doun bi foli,

3 and it ete thi leeues, and leese thi fruytis, and thou be left as a drye tree in deseert.

4 Forsothe a wickid soule schal leese hym that hath it, and it yyueth hym in to the ioie of the enemye, and it schal leede forth in to the part of wickid men.

5 A swete word multiplieth frendis, and swagith enemyes; and a tunge wel graciouse schal be plenteuouse in a good man.

6 Many pesible men be to thee, and oon of a thousynde be a counselour to thee.

7 If thou hast a frend, haue hym in temptacioun, and bitake not liytli thi silf to hym.

8 For ther is a frend bi his time, and he schal not dwelle in the dai of tribulacioun.

9 And ther is a frend which is turned to enemytee; and ther is a freend, that schal schewe opynli hatrede, and chiding, and dispisyngis.

10 Forsothe ther is a frend, felowe of table, and dwellith not in the dai of nede.

11 If a frend dwellith stidfast, he schal be as a man euene with thee, and he schal do tristili in thi meyneal thingis.

12 If he mekith hym silf bifore thee, and hidith hym fro thi face, thou schalt haue good frendschip of oon acord.

13 Be thou departid fro thin enemyes, and take heede of thi frendis.

14 A feithful frend is a strong defendyng; forsothe he that fyndith him, fyndith tresour.

15 No comparisoun is to a feithful frend; weiyng of gold and of siluer is not worthi ayens the goodnesse of his feithfulnesse.

16 A feithful frend is medicyn of lijf, and of vndeedlynesse; and thei that dreden the Lord, schulen fynde hym.

17 He that dredith the Lord, schal haue euenli good frendschip; for whi his frend schal be at the licnesse of hym.

18 Sone, fro thi yongthe take thou doctryn, and til to hoor heeris thou schalt fynde wisdom.

19 As he that erith, and that sowith, neiye thou to it, and abide thou the goode fruytis therof.

20 For thou schalt trauele a litil in the werk therof, and thou schalt ete soone of the generaciouns therof.

21 Wisdom is ouer scharp to vntauyt men, and an hertles man schal not dwelle there ynne.

22 As the vertu of a stoon, preuyng schal be in hem; and thei schulen not tarie to caste awei it.

23 Forsothe the wisdom of techyng is bi the name therof, and it is not opyn to many men; but it dwellith with hem, of whiche it is knowun, til to the siyt of God.

24 Sone, here thou, and take the counsel of vndurstondyng, and caste thou not awei my counsel.

25 Set in thi foot in to the stockis therof, and thi necke in to the bies therof.

26 Make suget thi schuldir, and bere it, and be thou not anoied in the boondis therof.

27 In al thi wille go to it, and in al thi vertu kepe the weies therof.

28 Enquere thou it, and it schal be maad opyn to thee; and thou made holdinge wisdom forsake not it.

29 For in the laste thingis thou schalt fynde reste ther ynne, and it schal turne to thee in to deliting.

30 And the stockis therof schulen be to thee in defence of strengthe, and the foundementis of vertu, and the bie therof in a stoole of glorie.

31 For whi the fairnesse of lijf is in wisdom, and the boondis therof ben heelful byndyng.

32 Thou schalt `were it as a stoole of glorie, and thou schalt sette on thee a coroun of thankyng.

33 Sone, if thou takist heede to me, thou schalt lerne wisdom; and if thou yyuest thi wille, thou schalt be wijs.

34 If thou bowist doun thin eere, thou schalt take teching; and if thou louest for to here, thou schalt be wijs.

35 Stonde thou in the multitude of prudent preestis, and be thou ioyned of herte to the wisdom of hem; that thou maist here ech telling of God, and the prouerbis of preisyng fle not awey fro thee.

36 And if thou seest a wijs man, wake thou to hym, and thi foot trede on the greeces of his doris.

37 Haue thou thouyt in the comaundementis of God, and be thou most bisi in his heestis; and he schal yyue to thee herte, and coueitise of wisdom schal be youun to thee.

Chapter 7


1 Nile thou do yuels, and tho schulen not take thee.

2 Departe thou fro wickidnesse, and yuels schulen faile fro thee.

3 Sowe thou not yuels in the forewis of vnriytfulnesse, and thou schalt not repe tho in seuene fold.

4 Nyle thou seke of a man ledyng, nethir of a kyng the chaier of onour.

5 Iustifie thou not thee bifore God, for he is the knowere of the herte; and nyle thou wilne to be seyn wijs anentis the king.

6 Nile thou seke to be maad a iuge, no but thou maist breke wickidnessis bi vertu; lest thou drede the face of a myyti man, and sette sclaundre in thi swiftnesse.

7 Do thou not synne in the multitude of a cytee, nether sende thee in to the puple;

8 nether bynde thou double synnes, for thou schalt not be giltles in oon.

9 Nyle thou be a coward in thi soule, to preie;

10 and dispise thou not to do almes.

11 Seie thou not, God schal biholde in the multitude of my yiftis; and whanne Y schal offre to God alther hiyeste, he schal take my yiftis.

12 Scorne thou not a man in the bitternesse of soule; for whi God is the biholdere, that makith meke, and enhaunsith.

13 Nyle thou loue a leesyng ayens thi brother; nether do thou in lijk maner ayens a frend.

14 Nyle thou wilne to lie ony leesing; for whi the contynuaunce therof is not good.

15 Nyle thou be a ianglere in the multitude of preestis; and reherse thou not a word in thi preier.

16 Haate thou not trauelouse werkis, and erthetilthe maad of the hiyeste.

17 Arette thou not thee in the multitude of vnlernyd men.

18 Haue thou mynde on ire, for it schal not tarie.

19 Make thou meke greetli thi spirit, for whi the veniaunce of the fleisch of an vnpitouse man is fier, and worm.

20 Nyle thou trespasse ayens thi frend dilaiynge monei; nether dispise thou a ful dereworth brother for gold.

21 Nyle thou departe fro a wijs womman, and good, whom thou hast gete in the drede of the Lord; for whi the grace of hir schamefastnesse is aboue gold.

22 Hirte thou not a seruaunt worchynge in treuthe, nether an hirid man yyuynge his lijf.

23 A witti seruaunt be dereworthe to thee as thi soule; defraude thou not hym of fredom, nether forsake thou hym nedi.

24 Beestis ben to thee? take thou heede to tho; and if tho ben profitable, dwelle tho stille at thee.

25 Sones ben to thee? teche thou hem, and bowe thou hem fro her childheed.

26 Douytris ben to thee? kepe thou the bodi of hem, and schewe thou not glad face to hem.

27 Yyue thi douyter to mariage, and thou doist a greet werk; and yyue thou hir to a wijs man.

28 If a womman is to thee aftir thi soule, caste hir not awei; and bitake thou not thee in alle thin herte to an hateful womman.

29 Onoure thi fadir; and foryete thou not the weilyngis of thi modir.

30 Haue thou mynde that thou haddist not be, no but bi hem, and yelde thou to hem as and thei diden to thee.

31 In al thi soule drede thou God, and halewe thou hise preestis.

32 In al thi vertu loue thou him that made thee; and forsake thou not hise mynystris.

33 Onoure thou God of al thi soule; and onoure thou preestis, and clense thee with armes.

34 Yyue thou to hem the part of the firste fruytis, and of purgyng, as also it is comaundid to thee; and of thi negligence purge thou thee with fewe men.

35 Thou schalt offre to the Lord the yyfte of thin armes, and the sacrifice of halewyng, the bigynnyngis of hooli men.

36 And dresse thin hond to a pore man, that thi merci and blessyng be performyd.

37 Grace is youun in the siyt of ech that lyueth; and forbede thou not grace to a deed man.

38 Faile thou not in coumfort to hem that wepen; and go thou with hem that morenen.

39 Be thou not slow to visite a sijk man; for bi these thingis thou schalt be maad stidfast in loue.

40 In alle thi werkis haue thou mynde on thi laste thingis; and thou schalt not do synne withouten ende.

Chapter 8


1 Chide thou not with a miyti man, leste thou falle in to hise hondis.

2 Stryue thou not with a riche man, lest perauenture he make ple ayenward to thee.

3 For whi gold and siluer hath lost many men; and it stretchith forth til to the herte of kyngis, and turneth.

4 Chide thou not with a man, a ianglere, and leie thou not trees in to his fier.

5 Comyne thou not with an vntauyt man, lest he speke yuele of thi kynrede.

6 Dispise thou not a man turnynge awei hym silf fro synne, nether vpbreide thou hym; haue thou mynde, that alle we ben in corrupcioun.

7 Dispise thou not a man in his eelde; for whi of vs men wexen eld.

8 Nyle thou make ioye of thin enemy deed, witynge that alle we dien, and wolen not come in to ioie of oure enemys.

9 Dispise thou not the tellyng of wise preestes, and be thou conuersaunt in the prouerbis of hem;

10 for of hem thou schalt lerne wisdom, and techyng of vndurstondyng, and to serue without pleynt to grete men.

11 The tellyng of eldere men passe not thee; for thei han lerned of her fadris.

12 For of hem thou schalt lerne vndurstondyng; and in the tyme of nede thou schalt yyue answere.

13 Kyndle thou not the coolis of synneris, and repreue hem; and be thou not brent with the flawme of fier of her synnes.

14 Stonde thou not ayens the face of a man ful of dispisyng; lest he sitte as a spiere to thi mouth.

15 Nyle thou leene to a man strongere than thou; that if thou hast lent, haue thou it as lost.

16 Biheete thou not aboue thi power; that if thou hast bihiyt, bithenke thou as yeldynge.

17 Deme thou not ayens a iuge; for he demeth vp that, that is iust.

18 Go thou not in the weie with an hardi man, lest perauenture he agregge hise yuels in thee; for he goith aftir his wille, and thou schalt perische togidere with his foli.

19 Make thou not chidyng with a wrathful man, and go thou not in to desert with an hardi man; for whi blood is as nouyt bifore hym, and where noon help is, he schal hurtle thee doun.

20 Haue thou not councel with foolis; for thei moun not loue, no but tho thingis that plesen hem.

21 Make thou not a counsel bifore a straunger; for thou noost, what he schal bringe forth. Make not thin herte knowun to ech man; lest perauenture he brynge to thee fals grace, and dispise thee.

Chapter 9


1 Loue thou not gelousli the womman of thi bosum; lest sche schewe on thee the malice of yuel doctryn.

2 Yyue thou not to a womman the power of thi soule; lest sche entre in thi vertu, and thou be schent.

3 Biholde thou not a womman of many willis; lest perauenture thou falle in to the snaris of hir.

4 Be thou not customable with a daunseresse, nethir here thou hir; lest perauenture thou perische in the spedi werk of hir.

5 Biholde thou not a virgyn; lest perauenture thou be sclaundrid in the feirnesse of hir.

6 Yyue not thi soule to hooris in ony thing; lest thou leese thee, and thi soule, and thin eritage.

7 Nyle thou biholde aboute in the lanys of the cytee; nethir erre thou in the large streetis therof.

8 Turne awei thi face fro a womman `wel arayed; and biholde thou not aboute the fairnesse of othere.

9 Many men han perischid for the fairnesse of a womman; and `herbi couetise brenneth `an hiy as fier.

10 Ech womman which is an hoore, ethir customable to fornycacioun, schal be defoulid as a fen in the weie.

11 Many men wondrynge on the fairnesse of an alien womman weren maad repreuable, for whi the speche of hir brenneth an hiy as fier.

12 Sitte thou not in ony maner with an alien womman, nether reste thou with hir on a bed;

13 and iangle thou not with hir in wyn, lest perauenture thin herte boowe in to hir, and thou falle in to perdicioun bi thi blood.

14 Forsake thou not an eld frend; for a newe frend schal not be lijk hym.

15 Newe wijn is a newe frend; it schal wexe eld, and thou schalt drinke it with swetnesse.

16 Coueyte thou not the glorie and richessis of a synnere; for thou noost, what distriyng of hym schal come.

17 The wrong of vniust men plese not thee, and wite thou that a wickid man schal not plese til to hellis.

18 Be thou fer fro a man that hath power to sle, and thou schalt not haue suspicioun of the drede of deth;

19 and if thou neiyest to hym, nyle thou do ony trespasse, lest perauenture he take awei thi lijf.

20 Knowe thou the comynyng of deth; for thou schalt entre in to the myddis of snaris, and thou schalt go on the armuris of hem that sorewen.

21 Bi thi vertu kepe thee fro thi neiybore; and trete thou with wise men and prudent men.

22 Just men be gestis, ethir mete feris, to thee; and gloriyng be `to thee in the dreed of God.

23 And the thouyt of God be to thee in wit; and al thi tellynge be in the heestis of the hiyeste.

24 Werkis schulen be preisid in the hond of crafti men, and the prince of the puple in the wisdom of his word; forsothe in the wit of eldere men a word.

25 A man, a ianglere, is dredeful in his citee; and a fool hardi man in his word schal be hateful.

Chapter 10


1 A wijs iuge schal deme his puple; and the prinshed of a witti man schal be stidfast.

2 Aftir the iuge of the puple, so and hise mynystris; and what maner man is the gouernour of the citee, siche ben also men dwellinge ther ynne.

3 An vnwijs king schal leese his puple; and citees schulen be enhabitid bi the wit of prudent men.

4 The power of erthe is in the hond of God, and al the wickidnesse of hethene men is abhomynable; and he schal reise a profitable gouernour at a tyme on it.

5 The power of man is in the hond of God; and he schal sette his onour on the face of a wijs man in the lawe.

6 Haue thou not mynde on al the wrong of the neiybore; and do thou no thing in the werkis of wrong.

7 Pride is hateful bifore God and men; and al the wickidnesse of hethene men is abhomynable.

8 A rewme is translatid fro a folk in to folk, for vnriytfulnessis, and wrongis, and dispisyngis, and dyuerse gilis.

9 No thing is cursidere than an auerouse man. What art thou proude, thou erthe and aische?

10 No thing is worse, than for to loue monei; for whi this man hath also his soule set to sale, for in his lijf he hath cast awei hise ynneste thingis.

11 Ech power is schort lijf; lengere siknesse greueth the leche.

12 A leche kittith awei schort siknesse; so and a king is to dai, and to morewe he schal die.

13 Forsothe whanne a man schal die, he schal enherite serpentis, and beestis, and wormes.

14 The bigynnyng of pride of man was to be apostata fro God;

15 for his herte yede awei fro hym that made hym. For whi pride is the bigynnyng of al synne; he that holdith it, schal be fillid with cursyngis, and it schal distrye hym in to the ende.

16 Therfor the Lord hath schent the couentis of yuele men, and hath destried hem til `in to the ende.

17 God destriede the seetis of proude duykis; and made mylde men to sitte for hem.

18 God made drie the rootis of proude folkis; and plauntide meke men of tho folkis.

19 The Lord destriede the londis of folkis; and loste tho `til to the foundement.

20 He made drie the rootis of hem, and loste hem; and made the mynde of hem to ceesse fro the erthe.

21 God loste the mynde of proude men; and lefte the mynde of meke men in wit.

22 Pride was not maad to men; nether wrathfulnesse to the nacioun of wymmen.

23 This seed of men that dredith God, schal be onourid; but this seed schal be disonourid, that passith the comaundementis of the Lord.

24 In the myddis of britheren the gouernour of hem is in onour; and thei that dreden God, schulen be in hise iyen.

25 The glorie of riche men onourid and of pore men is the drede of God.

26 Nyle thou dispise a iust pore man; and nyle thou magnefie a riche synful man.

27 The iuge is greet, and is miyti in onour; and he is not grettere than that man that dredith God.

28 Fre children seruen a witti seruaunt; and a prudent man and lerned schal not grutche, whanne he is blamed, and an vnkunnynge man schal not be onourid.

29 Nyle thou enhaunse thee in thi werk to be don; and nyle thou be slow in the tyme of angwisch.

30 He is betere that worchith, and hath plente in alle thingis, than he that hath glorie, and nedith breed.

31 Sone, kepe thi soule in myldenesse; and yyue thou onour to it, aftir his merit.

32 Who schal iustifie hym that synneth ayens his soule? and who schal onoure hym that disonourith his soule?

33 A pore man hath glorie bi his lernyng and drede; and ther is a man that is onourid for his catel.

34 Forsothe if a man hath glorie in pouert, hou myche more in catel? and he that hath glorie in catel, drede pouerte.

Chapter 11


1 The wisdom of a man maad meke schal enhaunse his heed; and schal make hym to sitte in the middis of grete men.

2 Preise thou not a man in his fairnesse; nether dispise thou a man in his siyt.

3 A bee is litil among briddis; and his fruyt hath the bigynnyng of swetnesse.

4 Haue thou neuere glorie in clothing, and be thou not enhaunsid in the dai of thin onour; for whi the werkis of the hiyeste aloon ben wondurful, and hise werkis ben gloriouse, and hid, and vnseyn.

5 Many tyrauntis han sete in trone; and a man of whom was no supposyng bar the diademe.

6 Many myyty men ben oppressid strongli; and gloriouse men ben youun in to the hondis of othere men.

7 Bifore that thou axe, blame thou not ony man; and whanne thou hast axid, blame thou iustli.

8 Bifor that thou here, answere thou not a word; and in the myddis of eldere men adde thou not to speke.

9 Stryue thou not, of that thing that disesith not thee; and stonde thou not in the dom of synnes.

10 Sone, thi dedis be not in many thingis; and if thou art riche, thou schalt not be with out part of gilt. For if thou suest, thou schalt not take; and thou schalt not ascape, if thou rennist bifore.

11 Ther is a man trauelynge, and hastynge, and sorewynge, and vnpitouse; and bi so myche more he schal not haue plentee.

12 Ther is a man fade, nedi of rekyueryng, failynge more in vertu, and plenteuouse in pouert;

13 and the iye of God bihelde hym in good, and reiside hym fro his lownesse, and enhaunsid his heed; and many men wondriden in him, and onouriden God.

14 Goodis and yuels, lijf and deth, pouert and oneste, ben of God.

15 Wisdom, and lernyng, and kunnyng of the lawe ben anentis the Lord; loue and the weies of goode men ben at him.

16 Errour and derknessis ben maad togidere to synneris; forsothe thei that maken ful out ioye in yuel, wexen eld togidere in to yuels.

17 The yifte of God dwellith to iust men; and encreessyngis of hym schulen haue prosperitees without ende.

18 A man is that is maad riche in doynge scarsli, and this is the part of his mede,

19 in that that he seith, Y haue founden reste to me, and now Y aloone schal ete of my goodis.

20 And he noot that tyme passith hym, and deth neiyeth, and he schal leeue alle thingis to othere men, and schal die.

21 Stonde thou in thi testament, and speke thou togidere in it; and wexe thou eld in the werk of thin heestis.

22 Dwelle thou not in the werkis of synneris; but triste thou in God, and dwelle in thi place.

23 For it is esy in the iyen of God, sudeynli to make onest a pore man.

24 The blessing of God haastith in to the meede of a iust man; and the going forth of hym makith fruyt in swift onour.

25 Seie thou not, What is nede to me? and what goodis schulen be me her aftir?

26 Seie thou not, Y am sufficient, and what schal Y be maad worse heraftir?

27 In the dai of goodis be thou not vnmyndeful of yuels, and in the dai of yuels be thou not vnmyndeful of goodis;

28 for it is esi bifor God to yelde in the dai of deth to ech man aftir hise weies.

29 The malice of oon our makith foryeting of moost letcherie; and in the ende of a man is makyng nakid of hise werkis.

30 Preise thou not ony man bifore his deth; for whi a man is knowun in hise sones.

31 Brynge thou not ech man in to thin hous; for whi many tresouns ben of a gileful man.

32 For whi as the entrailis of stynkynge thingis breken out, and as a partrich is led in to a trap, ether net, and as a capret is led in to a snare, so and the herte of proude men; and as a biholdere seynge the fal of his neiybore.

33 For he turneth goodis in to yuels, and settith tresouns, and puttith a wem on chosun men.

34 Fier is encreessid of a sparcle, and blood is encreessid of a gileful man; for whi a synful man settith tresoun to blood.

35 Take heede to thee fro a gileful man, for he makith yuels; lest perauenture he bringe yn on thee scornyng with outen ende.

36 Resseyue thou an alien to thee, and he schal distrie thee in whirlwynd, and he schal make thee alien fro thin owne weies.

Chapter 12


1 If thou doist wel, wite thou to whom thou doist; and miche grace schal be to thi goodis.

2 Do thou wel to a iust man, and thou schalt fynde greet yelding; thouy not of hym, certis of the Lord.

3 It is not wel to hym that is customable in yuels, and to hym that yyueth not almes; for whi the hiyeste bothe hatith synneris, and doith merci to hem that doen penaunce.

4 Yyue thou to a merciful man, and resseyue thou not a synnere; God schal yelde veniaunce bothe to vnfeithful men and to synneris, kepynge hem in the dai of veniaunce.

5 Yyue thou to a good man, and resseyue thou not a synnere.

6 Do thou good to a meke man, and yyue thou not to an vnpitouse man; forbede thou to yyue looues to hym, lest in tho he be myytiere than thou.

7 For thou schalt fynde double yuels in alle goodis, whiche euere thou doist to hym; for whi the hiyeste bothe hatith synneris, and schal yelde veniaunce to vnfeithful men.

8 A frend schal not be knowun in goodis, and an enemy schal not be hid in yuels.

9 In the goodis of a man hise enemyes ben sori; and a frend is knowun in the sorewe and malice of him.

10 Bileue thou neuer to thin enemy; for his wickidnesse roustith as irun.

11 Thouy he be maad meke, and go lowe, caste awei thi soule, and kepe thee fro him.

12 Sette thou not him bisidis thee, nether sitte he at thi riytside, lest he turne and stonde in thi place; lest perauenture he turne in to thi place, and enquere thi chaier, and in the laste tyme thou know mi wordis, and be prickid in my wordis.

13 Who schal do medecyn to an enchauntere smytun of a serpent, and to alle men that neiyen to beestis, and to him that goith with an yuel man, and is wlappid in the synnes of him?

14 In oon our he schal dwelle with thee; sotheli if thou bowist awei, he schal not bere vp.

15 The enemy makith swete in hise lippis, and in his herte he settith tresoun to ouerturne thee in to the dich.

16 The enemy wepith in hise iyen; and if he fyndith tyme, he schal not be fillid of blood.

17 If yuels bifallen to thee, thou schalt fynde hym the formere there.

18 The enemy schal wepe bifore thin iyen, and he as helpynge schal vndurmyne thi feet.

19 He schal stire his heed, and he schal beete with hond; and he schal speke priuyli many yuels of thee, and schal chaunge his chere.

Chapter 13


1 He that touchith pitch, schal be defoulid of it; and he that comyneth with a proude man, schal clothe pride.

2 He reisith a weiyte on hym silf, that comyneth with a more onest man than hym silf; and be thou not felowe to a man richere than thou.

3 What schal a cawdroun comyne to a pot? for whanne tho hirtlen hem silf togidere, the pot schal be brokun.

4 A riche man schal do vniustli, and schal gnaste; but a pore man hirt schal be stille.

5 If thou yyuest, he schal take thee; and if thou hast not, he schal forsake thee.

6 If thou hast, he schal lyue togidere with thee, and schal make thee voide; and he schal not haue sorewe on thee.

7 If thou art nedeful to hym, he schal disseyue thee; and he schal flatere, and schal yyue hope, tellinge to thee alle goodis; and schal seie, What is nede to thee?

8 And he schal schende thee in hise metis, til he anyntische thee twies and thries, and at the laste he schal scorne thee; aftirward he schal se, and schal forsake thee, and he schal moue his heed to thee.

9 Be thou maad meke to God, and abide thou hise hondis.

10 Take heede, lest thou be disseyued, and be maad lowe in foli.

11 Nyle thou be lowe in thi wisdom, lest thou be maad low, and be disseyued in to foli.

12 Whanne thou art clepid of a miytiere man, go thou awei; for bi this he schal more clepe thee.

13 Be thou not greetli pressyng, lest thou be hurtlid doun; and be thou not fer fro hym, lest thou go in to foryetyng.

14 Witholde thou not to speke with hym euenli, and bileue thou not to hise many wordis; for of myche speche he schal tempte thee, and he schal leiye priuyli, and schal axe thee of thin hid thingis.

15 His cruel soule schal kepe thi wordis, and he schal not spare of malice, and of bondis.

16 Be war to thee, and take heede diligentli to thin heryng; for thou goist with thi distriyng.

17 But thou heringe tho thingis, se as in sleep, and thou schalt wake.

18 In al thi lijf loue thou God, and inwardli clepe thou him in thin heelthe.

19 Ech beeste loueth a beeste lijk it silf; so and ech man owith to loue his neiybore.

20 Ech fleisch schal be ioyned to fleisch lijk it silf, and ech man schal be felouschipid to a man lijk hym silf.

21 As a wulf schal comyne sum tyme with a lomb, so a synnere with a iust man.

22 What comininge is of an hooli man to a dogge? ethir what good part is of a riche man to a pore man?

23 The huntyng of a lioun is a wielde asse in desert; so the lesewis of riche men ben pore men.

24 And as mekenesse is abhomynacioun to a proude man, so and a pore man is abhomynacioun of a riche man.

25 A riche man moued is confermed of hise frendis; but a meke man, whanne he fallith, schal be cast out, yhe, of knowun men.

26 Many rekyuereris ben to a riche man disseyued; he spak proudli, and thei iustifieden hym.

27 A meke man is disseiued, ferthermore also he is repreuyd; he spak wiseli, and no place was youun to hym.

28 The riche man spak, and alle men weren stille; and thei schulen brynge his word til to the cloudis.

29 A pore man spak, and thei seien, Who is this? and if he offendith, thei schulen destrye hym.

30 Catel is good to hym, to whom is no synne in conscience; and `the worste pouert is in the mouth of a wickid man.

31 The herte of a man chaungith his face, ethir in good ethir in yuel.

32 Of hard and with trauel thou schalt fynde the step of a good herte, and a good face.

Chapter 14


1 Blessid is the man, that stood not bi the word of his mouth, and was not prickid in the sorewe of trespas.

2 He is blessid, that hath not sorewe of his soule, and fallith not doun fro his hope.

3 Catel is with out resoun to a coueitouse man, and hard nygard; and wherto is gold to an enuyouse man?

4 He that gaderith of his wille vniustli, gaderith to othere men; and another man schal mak wast in hise goodis.

5 To what othere man schal he be good, which is wickid to hym silf? and he schal not be myrye in hise goodis.

6 No thing is worse, than he that hath enuye to hym silf; and this is the yelding of his malice.

7 And if he doith good, he doith vnwityngli, and not wilfuli; and at the laste he schewith his malice.

8 The iye of an enuyous man is wickid, and turnynge awei the face, and dispisynge his soule.

9 The iye of the coueitouse man is neuere fillid; he schal not be fillid in to the part of wickidnesse, til he performe vnriytfulnesse, and make drie his soule.

10 An yuel iye to yuels, and the nedi man schal not be fillid of breed; and he schal be in sorewe on his table.

11 Sone, if thou hast, do wel with thi silf, and offre thou worthi offryngis to God.

12 Be thou myndeful that deth schal not tarie, and the testament of hellis, which is schewid to thee; for whi the testament of this world schal die bi deth.

13 Bifore deth do thou good to thi frend, and bi thi miytis stretche thou forth, and yyue to a pore man.

14 Be thou not disseyued of a good dai, and a litil part of a good day passe not thee.

15 Whether thou schalt not leeue to othere men thi sorewis, and trauels?

16 In the departyng of lot yyue thou, and take; and iustifie thi soule.

17 Bifore thi deth worche thou riytfulnesse; for at hellis it is not to fynde mete.

18 Ech man schal wexe eld as hey, and as a leef bryngynge fruit in a greene tree.

19 Othere ben gendrid, and othere ben cast doun; so the generacioun of fleisch and blood, another is endid, and another is borun.

20 Ech corruptible werk schal faile in the ende; and he that worchith it, schal go with it.

21 And al chosun werk schal be iustified; and he that worchith it, schal be onourid in it.

22 Blessid is the man, that schal dwelle in wisdom, and that schal bithenke in riytfulnesse, and schal thenke in wit the biholding of God.

23 Which thenkith out, ether fyndith out, the weies of hym in his herte, and schal be vndurstondynge in the hid thingis of hym; goynge as a serchere aftir it, and stondynge in the weies of it.

24 Which biholdith bi the wyndows therof, and herith in the yatis therof;

25 which restith nyy the hous therof, and settith a stak in the wallis therof. He schal sette his litil hous at the hondis of hym, and goodis schulen reste in his litil hous, bi duryng of the world;

26 he schal sette hise sones vndur the hilyng therof, and he schal dwelle vndur the boowis therof;

27 he schal be kyuerid vndur the hilyng therof fro heete, and he schal reste in the glorie therof.

Chapter 15


1 He that dredith God, schal do goode werkis; and he that holdith riytfulnesse, schal take it.

2 And it as a modir onourid schal meete hym, and as a womman fro virgynyte it schal take hym.

3 It shal feede hym with the breed of lijf, and of vndurstonding; and it schal yyue drynke to hym with watir of heelful wisdom; it schal be maad stidfast in hym, and he schal not be bowid.

4 And it schal holde hym, and he schal not be schent; and it schal enhaunse hym at his neiyboris.

5 And in the myddis of the chirche he schal opene his mouth; and God schal fille hym with the spirit of wisdom, and of vndurstonding, and schal clothe hym with the stoole of glorie.

6 God schal tresore on hym myrthe, and ful out ioiyng; and schal enherite hym with euerlastynge name.

7 Fonned men schulen not take that wisdom, and witti men schulen meete it. Fonned men schulen not se it; for whi it goith awey fer fro pride, and gile.

8 Men leesyngmongeris schulen not be myndful therof, and sothefast men ben foundun ther ynne; and schulen haue prosperite `til to the biholding of God.

9 Preisyng is not fair in the mouth of a synnere, for he is not sent of the Lord.

10 For whi wisdom yede forth fro God; forsothe heriyng schal stonde nyy the wisdom of God, and it schal be plenteuouse in a feithful mouth, and the Lord schal yyue it to him.

11 Seie thou not, It goith awei bi God; for whi do thou not tho thingis, whiche God hatith.

12 Seie thou not, He made me for to erre; for whi wickid men ben not nedeful to hym.

13 The Lord hatith al cursidnesse of errour, and it schal not be amyable to hem, that dreden hym.

14 At the bigynnyng God made man, and lefte him in the hond of his councel.

15 He addide hise comaundementis, and lawis;

16 if thou wolt kepe the comaundementis, tho schulen kepe thee, and kepe plesaunt feith with outen ende.

17 He hath set to thee watir and fier; dresse thin hond to that, that thou wolt.

18 Bifor man is lijf and deth, good and yuel; that, that plesith hym, schal be youun to hym.

19 For whi the wisdom of God is myche, and he is strong in power, and seeth alle men without ceessing.

20 The iyen of the Lord ben to hem, that dreden hym; and he knowith al the trauel of man.

21 He comaundide not to ony man to do wickidli; and he yaf not to ony man space to do synne.

22 For he coueytith not the multitude of sones vnfeithful and vnprofitable.

Chapter 16


1 Be thou not glad in wickid sones, if thei ben multiplied; nether delite thou on hem, if the drede of God is not in hem.

2 Bileue thou not to the lijf of hem, and biholde thou not in to the trauels of hem.

3 For whi betere is oon dredynge God, than a thousynde wickid sones.

4 And it is more profitable to die with out sones, than to leeue wickid sones.

5 A cuntrei shal be enhabitid of o witti man; and it schal be maad desert of thre wickid men.

6 Myn iye siy many othere thingis, and myn eere herde strongere thingis than these.

7 Fier schal brenne an hiy in the synagoge of synneris, and yre schal brenne an hiy in a folk vnbileuful.

8 Elde giauntis that weren distried, tristynge on her vertu, preieden not for her synnes;

9 and God sparide not the pilgrymage of hem, but he killide hem, and curside hem, for the pride of her word.

10 He hadde not merci on hem, and he loste al the folk enhaunsynge hem silf in her synnes.

11 And as he killide sixe hundrid thousynde of foot men, that weren gaderid togidere in the hardnesse of her herte; and if oon hadde be hard nollid, wondur if he hadde be giltles.

12 For whi merci and ire is with hym; preier is myyti, and schedynge out ire.

13 Bi his merci, so is the chastisyng of ech man; he is demyd bi hise werkis.

14 A synnere in raueyn schal not ascape; and the sufferaunce of hym that doith merci schal not tarie.

15 Al merci schal make place to ech man, aftir the merit of his werkis, and aftir the vndurstonding of his pilgrymage.

16 Seie thou not, Y schal be hid fro God; and fro the hiyeste, who schal haue mynde on me?

17 Seie thou not, Y schal not be knowun in a greet puple; for whi which is my soule in so greet a creature?

18 Lo! heuene, and the heuenes of heuenes, the greet occian, and al erthe, and tho thingis that ben in tho, schulen be mouyd in his siyt;

19 munteyns togidere, and litle hillis, and the foundementis of erthe; and whanne God biholdith tho, tho schulen be schakun togidere with tremblyng.

20 And in alle these thingis the herte is vnwijs, and ech herte is vndurstondun of hym.

21 And who vndurstondith hise weies? and `who vndurstondith a tempest, which the iye of man siy not?

22 For whi ful many werkis of hym ben `in hid thingis, but who schal telle out the werkis of his riytfulnesse, ether who schal suffre? For whi the testament is fer fro summe men; and the axyng of men is in the endyng.

23 He that is maad litil in herte, thenkith veyn thingis; and a man vnprudent and a fool thenkith fonned thingis.

24 Sone, here thou me, and lerne thou techyng of wit, and yyue thou tent to my wordis in thin herte; and Y schal seie techyng in equyte, and Y schal seke to telle out wisdom. And yyue thou tent to my wordis in thin herte;

25 and Y seie in equyte of spirit the vertues, whiche God hath set on hise werkis at the bigynnyng, and in treuthe Y telle out the kunnyng of him.

26 In the doom of God ben hise werkis fro the bigynnyng; and in the ordynaunce of tho he departyde the partis of tho, and he departide the bigynnyngis of tho in hise folkis.

27 He ournede with outen ende the werkis of hem; thei hungriden not, nether traueliden, and thei ceessiden not of her werkis.

28 Ech schal not make streit the nexte to hym, til in to with outen ende.

29 Be thou not vnbileueful to the word of him.

30 Aftir these thingis God bihelde `in to the erthe, and fillide it with hise goodis.

31 Forsothe the soule of ech lyuynge thing teld bifore his face; and thilke soule is eft the turnyng ayen of tho thinges.

Chapter 17


1 God formede man of erthe; and aftir his ymage he made man.

2 And eft he turnede man in to that ymage; and aftir hym silf he clothide hym with vertu.

3 He yaf to hym the noumbre of daies, and tyme; and he yaf to him power of tho thingis that ben on erthe.

4 He settide the drede of man on al fleisch, and he was lord of beestis and fliynge briddis.

5 He formyde of man an help lijk hym; he yaf to hem councel, and tunge, and iyen, and eeris, and herte to thenke out; and he fillide hem with techyng of vndurstondyng.

6 He made to hem the kunnyng of spirit, he fillide the herte of hem with wit; and he schewide to hem yuels and goodis.

7 He settide the iye of hem on the hertes of hem, to schewe to hem the grete thingis of hise werkis,

8 that thei preise togidere the name of halewyng; and to haue glorie in hise meruels, that thei telle out the grete thingis of hise werkis.

9 He addide to hem techyng; and he enheritide hem with the lawe of lijf.

10 He ordeynyde an euerlastynge testament with hem; and he schewide to hem hise riytfulnesse, and domes.

11 And the iye of hem siy the grete thingis of his onour, and the eeris of hem herden the onour of vois; and he seide to hem, Take heede to you fro al wickid thing.

12 And he comaundide to hem, to ech man of his neiybore.

13 The weies of hem ben euere bifore hym; tho ben not hid fro hise iyen.

14 On ech folk he made souereyn a gouernour;

15 and Israel was maad the opyn part of God.

16 And alle the werkis of hem ben as the sunne in the siyt of God; and hise iyen biholden with out ceessyng in the weies of hem.

17 Testamentis weren not hid fro the wickidnesse of hem; and alle the wickydnessis of hem weren in the siyt of God.

18 The almes of a man is as a bagge with hym, and it schal kepe the grace of a man as the appil of the iye;

19 and afterward man schal rise ayen, and it schal yelde to hem a yelding, to ech man in to the heed of hem; and schal turne in to the lower partis of erthe.

20 Forsothe it yaf to men repentinge the weie of riytfulnesse, and confermede men failynge to suffre, and ordeynede to hem the part of treuthe.

21 Turne thou to the Lord, and forsake thi synnes;

22 preye thou bifore the face of the Lord, and make thou lesse hirtingis.

23 Turne thou ayen to the Lord, and turne thou awei fro thin vnriytfulnesse, and hate thou greetli cursyng.

24 And knowe thou the riytfulnessis, and domes of God; and stonde thou in the part of good purpos, and of preier of the hiyeste God.

25 Go thou in to the partis of the hooli world, with men lyuynge, and yyuynge knouleching to God.

26 Dwelle thou not in the errour of wickid men. Knouleche thou bifore deth; knouleching perischith fro a deed man, as no thing.

27 Lyuynge thou schalt knouleche, lyuynge and hool thou schalt knowleche, and schalt herie God; and thou schalt haue glorie in the merciful doyngis of hym.

28 The merci of God is ful greet, and his help to hem that conuerten to hym.

29 For whi not alle thingis moun be in men; for whi the sone of man is not vndeedli, and malices plesiden in to vanyte.

30 What is clerere than the sunne? and this schal faile; ethir what is worse than that, that fleisch and blood thouyte out? and of this he schal be repreued.

31 He biholdith the vertu of hiynesse of heuene; and alle men ben erthe and aische.

Chapter 18


1 He that lyueth with out bigynnyng and ende, made of nouyt alle thingis togidere; God alone schal be iustified, and he dwellith a king vnouercomun with outen ende.

2 Who schal suffice to telle out his werkis?

3 for whi who schal seke the grete thingis of hym?

4 But who schal telle out the vertu of his greetnesse? ether who schal leie to for to telle out his mercy?

5 It is not to make lesse, nether to leie to; nethir it is to fynde the grete thingis of God.

6 Whanne a man hath endid, thanne he schal bigynne; and whanne he hath restid, he schal worche.

7 What is a man, and what is the glorie of him? and what is good, ether what is the wickid thing of him?

8 The noumbre of the daies of men, that ben comynli an hundrid yeer, ben arettid as the dropis of the watir of the see; and as the stoon of grauel, so a fewe yeeris in the dai of euerlastyngnesse.

9 For this thing God is pacient in hem, and schedith out on hem his merci.

10 He siy the presumpcioun of her herte, for it was yuel; and he knew the distriyng of hem, for it was wickid.

11 Therfor he fillide his merci in hem, and schewide to hem the weie of equite.

12 The merciful doyng of man is aboute his neiybore; but the merci of the Lord is ouer ech fleisch.

13 He that hath merci, and techith, and chastisith as a scheepherde his floc,

14 do merci, takynge the techyng of merciful doyng; and he that hastith in the domes therof.

15 Sone, in goodis yyue thou not pleynt, and in ech yifte yyue thou not heuynesse of an yuel word.

16 Whether dew schal not kele heete? so and a word is betere than yifte.

17 Lo! whether a word is not aboue a good yifte? but euer ethir is with a man iustified.

18 A fool schal vpbreide scharpli; and the yifte of an vntauyt man makith iyen to faile.

19 Bifore the doom make thou redi riytfulnesse to thee; and lerne thou, bifore that thou speke.

20 Bifore sikenesse yyue thou medicyn; and bifore the doom axe thi silf, and thou schalt fynde merci in the siyt of God.

21 Bifore sikenesse make the meke, and in the tyme of sikenesse schewe thi lyuyng.

22 Be thou not lettid to preye euere, and drede thou not to be iustified til to deth; for whi the meede of God dwellith with outen ende.

23 Bifore preier make redi thi soule; and nyle thou be as a man that temptith God.

24 Haue thou mynde of ire in the dai of endyng; and make thou in lyuyng the tyme of yelding.

25 Haue thou mynde of pouert in the dai of abundaunce; and the nede of pouert in the tyme of richessis.

26 Fro the morewtid `til to the euentid the tyme schal be chaungid; and alle these thingis ben swift in the iyen of God.

27 A wise man schal drede in alle thingis; and in the daies of trespassis he schal fle fro vnkunnyng, ether slouthe.

28 Ech fel man knowith wisdom; and to hym that fyndith it, he schal yyue knouleching.

29 Witti men in wordis also thei diden wiseli, and vndurstoden treuthe, and riytfulnesse; and bisouyten prouerbis and domes.

30 Go thou not aftir thi coueitises; and be thou turned awei fro thi wille.

31 If thou yyuest to thi soule the coueitisis therof, it schal make thee in to ioie to thin enemyes.

32 Delite thou not in cumpenyes, nether in litle cumpenyes; for whi the synnyng of hem is contynuel.

33 Be thou not meene in the stryuyng of looue, and sum thing is to thee in the world; for whi thou schalt be enuyouse to thi soule.

Chapter 19


1 A drunkelew werk man schal not be maad riche; and he that chargith not litle synnes, fallith doun litil and litil.

2 Wyn and wymmen maken to be apostataas, yhe, wise men; and thei repreuen witti men.

3 And he that ioyneth hym silf to hooris, schal be wickid; rot and wormes schulen enherite hym, and he schal be set an hiy in to more ensaumple, and his soule schal be takun awei fro noumbre.

4 He that bileueth soone, is vnstable in herte, and schal be maad lesse; and he that trespassith ayens his soule, schal be had ferthermore.

5 He that ioieth in wickidnesse, schal be cursid; and he that hatith blamyng, schal be maad lesse in lijf; and he that hatith ianglyng, quenchith malice.

6 He that synneth ayens his soule, schal repente; and he that is myrie in malice, schal be cursid.

7 Reherse thou not an hard word, and wickid; and thou schalt not be maad lesse.

8 Nyle thou telle thi wit to frend and enemye; and if trespas is to thee, nyle thou make nakid.

9 For he schal here thee, and schal kepe thee, and he as defendynge the synne schal hate thee; and so he schal be euere with thee.

10 Thou hast herd a word ayens thi neiybore; die it togidere in thee, and triste thou that it schal not breke thee.

11 A fool trauelith greetli of the face of a word, as the sorewe of beryng of a yong child.

12 An arowe fastned in the hipe of a dogge, so a word in the herte of a fool.

13 Repreue thou a frend, lest perauenture he vndurstonde not, and seie, Y dide not; ether if he hath do, lest he adde to do eft.

14 Repreue thou a neiybore, lest perauenture he seie not; and if he seith, lest perauenture he reherse.

15 Repreue thou a frend, for whi trespassynge is don ofte;

16 and bileue thou not to ech word. Ther is a man that fallith bi his tunge, but not of wille.

17 For `whi who is he, that trespassith not in his tunge? Repreue thou a neiybore, bifore that thou manaasse;

18 and yyue thou place to the drede of the hiyeste. For whi al wisdom is the drede of God, and in that wisdom for to drede God; and the ordynaunce of lawe is in al wisdom.

19 And the teching of wickidnesse is not wisdom; and the prudence of synnes is not good thouyt.

20 Ther is wickidnesse of prudence, and cursidnesse is ther ynne; and ther is an vnwijs man, which is maad litil in wisdom.

21 Betere is a man that hath litil in wisdom, and failynge in wit in the drede of God, than he that hath plentee of wit, and brekith the lawe of the hiyeste.

22 Ther is certeyn sutilte, and it is wickid.

23 And ther is a man, that sendith out a certeyn word, tellynge out treuthe. Ther is a man, that mekith hym silf wickidly; and hise ynnere thingis ben ful of gile.

24 And ther is a iust man, that makith low greetli hym silf of myche mekenesse; and ther is a iust man, that bowith the face, and feyneth hym to se not that, that is vnknowun.

25 Thouy he is forbodun of feblenesse of strengthis to do synne; if he fyndith tyme to do yuele, he schal do yuel.

26 A man is knowun bi siyt; and a witti man is knowun bi meetyng of face.

27 The clothing of bodi, and the leiyyng of teeth, and the entring of a man, tellen out of hym.

28 Ther is fals repreuyng in the ire of a man ful of dispisyng; and ther is dom which is not preued to be good; and ther is a stille man, and he is prudent.

Chapter 20


1 It is ful good to repreue, more than to be wrooth, and to forbede not a man knoulechyng in preiere.

2 The coueitise of a geldyng hath defoulid the maidynhed of a yong womman,

3 so he that makith wickid dom bi violence.

4 It is ful good, that a man `that is repreued schewe opynli penaunce; for so thou schalt ascape wilful synne.

5 Ther is a stil man, which is foundun wijs; and he is hateful, which is fool hardi to speke.

6 Sotheli ther is a stille man, not hauynge wit of speche; and ther is a stille man, knowynge the sesoun of couenable tyme.

7 A wijs man schal be stille til to tyme; but a ioli man and vnprudent man schulen not kepe tyme.

8 He that vsith many wordis, hirtith his soule; and he that takith power to hym silf vniustli, schal be hatid.

9 Ther is goyng forth in yuels to a man vnlernyd; and ther is fyndyng in to peiryng.

10 Ther is a yifte, which is not profitable; and ther is a yifte, whos yeldyng is double.

11 Ther is makyng lesse for glorie; and ther is a man, which schal reise the heed fro mekenesse.

12 Ther is a man, that ayen bieth many synnes for litil prijs, and restorith tho in seuenfold.

13 A wijs man in wordis makith hym silf amyable; but the graces of foolis schulen be sched out.

14 The yifte of an vnwijs man schal not be profitable to thee; for hise iyen ben seuenfold.

15 He schal yyue litle thingis, and he schal vpbreide many thingis; and the openyng of his mouth is enflawming.

16 To dai a man leeneth, and to morewe he axith; and siche a man is hateful.

17 A frend schal not be to a fool, and grace schal not be to hise goodis.

18 For thei that eten his breed, ben of fals tunge; hou ofte and hou many men schulen scorne hym?

19 For he departith not bi euene wit that, that was worthi to be had; in lijk maner and that, that was not worthi to be had.

20 The falling of a fals tunge is as he that fallith in the pawment; so the fallis of yuele men schulen come hastili.

21 A man with out grace is as a veyn fable; and it schal be customable in the mouth of vnlerned men.

22 A parable schal be repreued of the mouth of a fool; for he seith not it in his tyme. Ther is a man, that is forbodun to do synne, for pouert; and he schal be prickid in his reste.

23 Ther is a man, that schal leese his soule for schame; and for the vnprudence of a persoone he schal leese it.

24 Forsothe he schal leese hym silf for the takyng of a persoone.

25 Ther is a man, that for schame biheetith to a frend; and he hath gete hym enemy with out cause.

26 Leesyng is a wickid schenschip in a man; and it schal be customabli in the mouth of vnlerned men.

27 Betere is a theef than the customablenesse of a man, a leesyngmongere; forsothe bothe thei schulen enherite perdicioun.

28 The maneres of men leesyngmongeris ben with outen onour; and her schenschype is with hem with out ceessyng.

29 A wijs man in wordis schal brynge forth hym silf; and a prudent man schal pleese grete men.

30 He that worchith his lond, shal make hiy the heep of fruytis; and he that worchith riytfulnesse, schal be enhaunsid. Sotheli he that plesith grete men, schal ascape wickidnesse.

31 Presentis and yiftis blynden the iyen of iugis; and as doumb in the mouth it turneth awei the chastisyngis of hem.

32 Wisdom hid, and tresour vnseyn, what profit is in euer eithir?

33 He is betere, that hidith his vnwisdom, than a man that hidith his wisdom.

Chapter 21


1 Sone, thou hast do synne? adde thou not eft; but biseche thou for the formere synnes, that tho be foryouun to thee.

2 As fro the face of a serpent fle thou synnes; and if thou neiyest to `tho synnes, tho schulen take thee.

3 The teeth of a lioun ben the teeth therof, that sleen the soulis of men.

4 Al wickidnesse is as a scharp swerd on either syde; heelthe is not to the wounde therof.

5 Chidyngis and wrongis schulen distrie catel; and an houe that is ouer riche, schal be distriede bi pride; so the catel of a proude man schal be drawun vp bi the roote.

6 The preyer of a pore man schal come fro the mouth `til to eeris; and doom schal come to hym hastili.

7 He that hatith repreuyng, is a step of the synnere; and he that dredith God, schal be turned to his herte.

8 A miyti man with an hardi tunge is knowun afer; and a witti man kan kepe him silf fro that man.

9 He that bildith his hous with othere mennus costis, is as he that gaderith hise stonys in wyntir.

10 Scheuys gaderid togidere is the synagoge of synneris; and the endyng of hem is the flawme of fier.

11 The weie of synneris is set togidere with stoonys; and in the ende of hem ben hellis, and derknessis, and peynes.

12 He that kepith riytfulnesse, schal holde the wit therof.

13 The perfeccioun of Goddis drede is wisdom and wit.

14 He schal not be tauyt, which is not wijs in good.

15 Forsothe vnwisdom is, which is plenteuouse in yuel; and wit is not, where is bittirnesse.

16 The kunnyng of a wijs man schal be plenteuouse as flowyng; and the councel of hym dwellith as a welle of lijf.

17 The herte of a fool is as a brokun vessel; and it schal not holde ony wisdom.

18 What euer wijs word a kunnynge man herith, he schal preise, and leie to. A letcherouse man herde, and it schal displese hym; and he schal caste it awei bihynde his bak.

19 The tellynge of a fool is as a birthun in the weie; for whi grace schal be foundun in the lippis of a wijs man.

20 The mouth of a prudent man is souyt in the chirche; and men schulen thenke hise wordis in her hertis.

21 As an hous distried, so is wisdom to a fool; and the kunnyng of an vnwijs man is wordis that moun not be teld out.

22 Stockis in the feet is techyng to a fool; and as bondis of hondis on the riyt hond.

23 A fool enhaunsith his vois in leiyyng; but a wijs man schal leiye vnnethis stilli.

24 Techyng is a goldun ournement to a prudent man; and as an ournement of the arm in the riyt arm.

25 The foot of a fool is liyt in to the hous of a neiybore; and a wijs man schal be aschamed of the persoone of a miyti man.

26 A fool biholdith fro the wyndow in to the hous; but a lerned man schal stonde with out forth.

27 It is foli of a man to herkene bi the dore; and a prudent man schal be greuyd bi dispisyng.

28 The lippis of `vnprudent men schulen telle fonned thingis; but the wordis of prudent men schulen be weied in a balaunce.

29 The herte of foolis is in her mouth; and the mouth of wise men is in her herte.

30 Whanne a wickid man cursith the deuel, he cursith his owne soule.

31 A priuy bacbitere schal defoule his soule, and in alle thingis he schal be hatid, and he that dwellith, schal be hatid; a stil man and wijs schal be onourid.

Chapter 22


1 A slow man is stonyd in a stoon of cley; and alle men schulen speke on the dispisyng of him.

2 A slow man is stonyd of the dung of oxis; and ech man that touchith hym, schal schake the hondis.

3 The schame of a fadir is of a sone vnlerned; but a fonned douyter schal be in decreessyng.

4 A prudent douyter is eritage to hir hosebonde; for sche that schendith hir hosebonde, is in dispisyng of the fadir.

5 A `schameles womman schendith the fadir and hosebonde, and schal not be maad lesse than vnfeithful men; forsothe sche schal not be onourid of euer either.

6 Melodie in morenyng is vncouuenable tellyng; betyngis and techyng in al tyme with wisdom.

7 He that techith a fool, as he that glueth togidere a tiel stoon.

8 He that tellith a word to hym that herith not, is as he that reisith a man slepynge fro a greuouse sleep.

9 He that tellith wisdom to a fool, spekith with a man slepynge; and in the ende of the tellyng he schal seie, Who is this?

10 Wepe thou on a deed man, for whi his liyt failide; and wepe thou on a fool, for he failide of wit.

11 Wepe thou a litil on a deed man, for he hath restid.

12 Forsothe the lijf of a ful wickid man is ful wickid, more than the deth of a fool.

13 The morenyng of a deed man is seuene daies; but the morenyng of a fool and of a wickid man is alle the daies of her lijf.

14 Speke thou not myche with a fool, and go thou not with an vnwijs man.

15 Keep thee fro hym, that thou haue not disese; and thou schalt not be defoulid in the synne of hym.

16 Boowe thou awei fro hym, and thou schalt fynde reste; and be thou not anoied by his foly.

17 What schal be maad heuyere than leed? and what othere name than a fool is to it?

18 It is liytere to bere grauel, and salt, and a gobet of yrun, than a man vnprudent, and a fool, and vnfeithful.

19 As an heep of trees, boundun togidere in the foundement of the bilding, schal not be vnboundun, so and an herte confermed in the thouyt of counsel.

20 The thouyt of a wijs man shal not be maad schrewid in ony tyme, nether drede.

21 As chaffis in hiye places, and soond with out medling of hym, set ayens the face of wynd, schulen not dwelle;

22 so and a dreedful herte in the thouyt of a fool ayenstondith not ayens the feersnesse of drede.

23 As ournyng, ether pargetyng, ful of grauel in a cleer wal, so and a ferdful herte in the thouyt of a fool schal not drede in ony tyme; so and he that dwellith euere in the heestis of God.

24 He that prickith the iye, schal leede out teeris; and he that prickith the herte, bryngith forth wit.

25 He that castith a stoon to briddis, schal caste doun tho; so and he that doith wrong to a frend, departith frenschipe.

26 Thouy thou bryngist forth a swerd to a frend, dispeire thou not; for ther is going ayen to the frend.

27 If he openeth a soreuful mouth, drede thou not; for whi ther is acordyng, outakun dispisynge, and schenschipe, and pride, and schewyng of preuyte, and a tretcherouse wounde; in alle these thingis a frend schal fle awei.

28 Haue thou feith with a frend in his pouert, that thou be glad also in hise goodis.

29 In the tyme of his tribulacioun dwelle thou feithful to hym, that also thou be euene eir in the eritage of hym.

30 Heete and smook of fier is maad hiy bifore the fier of a chymenei; so and cursyngis, and dispisyngis, and manaassis, comen bifore blood.

31 I schal not be aschamed for to grete a frend, and Y schal not hide me fro his face; thouy yuels comen to me bi hym, Y schal suffre.

32 Ech man that schal here, schal kepe warli hym silf fro hym.

33 Who schal yyue keping to my mouth, and a certeyn ceelyng on my lippis, that Y falle not bi tho, and that my tunge leese not me?

Chapter 23


1 Lord, fadir, and lordli gouernour of my lijf, forsake thou me not in the thouyt and counsel of hem; nether suffre thou me to falle in that schenschipe.

2 Who settith aboue in my thouyt beetyngis, and in myn hert the techyng of wisdom, that in the vnkunnyngis of hem he spare not me, and that the trespassis of hem appere not?

3 Lest myn vnkunnyngis encreesse, and my trespassis be multiplied, and my synnes be plenteuouse; and lest Y falle in the siyt of myn aduersaries, and myn enemy haue ioie.

4 Lord, fadir, and God of my lijf, forsake thou not me in the thouyt of hem.

5 Yyue thou not to me enhaunsyng of myn iyen; and turne thou awei fro me al schrewid desijr.

6 Do thou awei fro me the coueitisis of the wombe, and the coueitisis of letcherie take me not; and yyue thou not `me to a soule vnreuerent and vndiscreet.

7 Sones, here ye the techyng of mouth; and he that kepith it, schal not perische bi hise lippis, nether schal be

8 sclaundrid in worste werkis A synnere and proude man schal be takun in his vanite; and a cursid man schal be sclaundrid in tho.

9 Thy mouth be not customable to swering; for whi many fallyngis ben ther ynne.

10 Forsothe the nemyng of God be not customable in thi mouth, and be thou not meddlid to the names of seyntis; for thou schalt not be giltles of hem.

11 For as a seruaunt that is axid bisili, schal not wante wannesse; so ech man swerynge and nemynge schal not be purgid of synne in al.

12 A man swerynge myche schal be fillid with wickidnesse; and veniaunce schal not go awei fro his hous.

13 And if he disseyueth a brother, his trespas schal be aboue hym; and if he feyneth, he schal trespasse doubli.

14 And if he swerith in veyn, he schal not be iustified; for whi his hous schal be fillid with worst yelding.

15 Also ayenward another speche is in to deth; be it not found in the eritage of Jacob.

16 For whi alle these thingis schulen be don awei fro merciful men; and thei schulen not delite in trespassis.

17 Thi mouth be not customable to vnreuerent speche; for whi a word of synne is in it.

18 Haue thou mynde on thi fadir and modir; for thou stondist in the myddis of grete men.

19 Lest perauenture God foryete thee in the siyt of hem; and lest thou maad a fool bi thi customablenesse, suffre schenschipe, and haddist leuere to be not borun, and curse the dai of thi birthe.

20 A man customable in the wordis of schenschipe, in alle daies schal not be tauyt.

21 Twei kyndis ben plenteuouse in synnes, and the thridde bringith ire and perdicioun.

22 An hoot soule brennynge as fier schal not be quenchid, til it swolewe sum thing;

23 and a wickid man in the mouth of his fleisch schal not faile, til he kyndle fier.

24 Ech breed is swete to a letcherouse man; he schal not be maad weri, trespassynge `til to the ende.

25 Ech man that passith his bed, doith dispit ayens his soule, and seith, Who seeth me?

26 Derknessis cumpassen me, and wallis kyueren me, and no man biholdith me. Whom drede Y? The hiyeste schal not haue mynde on my synnes.

27 And he vndirstondith not, that the iye of him seeth alle thingis; for whi the drede of siche a man puttith awei fro him the drede of God, and the iyen of men that dreden hym putten awei fro hym Goddis drede.

28 And he knew not, that the iyen of the Lord ben myche more clerere than the sunne, and biholden alle the weies of men, and the depthe of the see, and biholden the hertis of men in to hid partis.

29 For whi alle thingis weren knowun to the Lord, bifore that thei weren maad of nouyt; so and aftir the makyng he biholdith alle thingis.

30 This man schal be punyschid in the stretis of the citee; he schal be dryuun a wei as an horse colt, and he schal be takun, where he hopith not.

31 And he schal be schenschip to alle men; for he vndurstood not the drede of the Lord.

32 So and ech womman forsakynge hir hosebonde schal do synne, and ordeynynge eritage of an alien matrimonye.

33 For firste sche was vnbileueful in the lawe of the hiyeste, and the secounde tyme sche forsook hir hosebonde; and the thridde tyme sche was defoulid in auowtrie, and ordeynede to hym sones of another man.

34 `This womman schal be brouyt in to the chirche, and me schal biholde on hir sones.

35 Hir sones schulen not yyue rootis, and hir braunchis schulen not yyue fruyt.

36 Thei schulen leeue the mynde of hir in to cursyng, and the schenschipe of hir schal not be don awei.

37 And thei that ben left schulen knowe, that no thing is betere than the drede of God, and nothing is swettere than to biholde in the comaundementis of the Lord.

38 It is greet glorie to sue the Lord; for whi lengthe of daies schulen be takun of hym.

Chapter 24


1 Wisdom schal preise his soule, and he schal be onourid in God; and he schal haue glorie in the myddis of his puple.

2 And he schal opene his mouth in the chirchis of the hiyeste; and he schal haue glorie in the siyt of his vertu.

3 And he schal be enhaunsid in the myddis of his puple; and he schal wondre in hooli plentee.

4 And in the multitude of chosun men he schal haue preisyng; and among blessid men he schal be blessid,

5 and seie, I, the firste gendrid bifore ech creature, cam forth fro the mouth of the hiyeste.

6 I made in heuenes, that liyt neuere failynge roos vp, and as a cloude Y hilide al erthe.

7 Y dwellide in hiyeste thingis, and my trone in a piler of cloude.

8 Y aloone yede aboute the cumpas of heuene, and Y perside the depthe of the see; and Y yede in the wawis of the see,

9 and Y stood in al the lond.

10 And Y hadde the firste dignite in ech puple, and in ech folk;

11 and Y trad bi vertu on the neckis of alle excelent men and meke; and in alle these men Y souyte reste, and Y schal dwelle in the eritage of the Lord.

12 Thanne the creatour of alle comaundide, and seide to me; and he that formyde me, restide in my tabernacle; and he seide to me,

13 Dwelle thou in Jacob, and take thou eritage in Israel, and sende thou rootis in my chosun men.

14 Y was gendrid of the bigynnyng and bifore worldis, and Y schal not faile `til to the world to comynge; and Y mynystride in an hooli dwellyng bifore hym.

15 And so Y was maad stidfast in Syon, and in lijk maner Y restide in a citee halewid, and my power was in Jerusalem.

16 And Y rootid in a puple onourid; and the eritage therof in to the partis of my God, and my witholding in the plentee of seyntis.

17 Y was enhaunsid as a cedre in Liban, and as a cipresse tree in the hil of Syon.

18 Y was enhaunsid as a palm tree in Cades, and as the plauntyng of roose in Jeryco.

19 As a fair olyue tree in feeldis; and Y was enhaunsid as a plane tree bisidis watir in stretis.

20 As canel and bawme yyuynge greet smelle, Y yaf odour; as chosun myrre Y yaf the swetnesse of odour.

21 And as storax, and galban, and vngula, and gumme, and as Liban not kit doun, Y made hoot my dwellyng place; and myn odour as bawme not meddlid.

22 Y as a terebynte stretchide forth my boowis; and my boowis ben boowis of onour, and of glorie.

23 Y as a vyne made fruyt the swetnesse of odour; and my flouris ben the fruytis of onour, and of oneste.

24 I am a modir of fair loue, and of drede, and of knowyng, and of hooli hope.

25 In me is al grace of weie, and of treuthe; in me is al hope of lijf and of vertu.

26 Alle ye that coueiten me, passe to me; and be ye fillid of my generaciouns.

27 For whi my spirit is swete aboue hony; and myn eritage is aboue hony, and hony comb.

28 My mynde is in the generacioun of worldis.

29 Thei that eten me, schulen hungre yit; and thei that drynken me, schulen thirste yit.

30 He that herith me, shal not be schent; and thei that worchen in me, schulen not do synne; and thei that declaren me,

31 schulen haue euere lastynge lijf.

32 Alle these thingis is the book of lijf, and the testament of the hiyeste, and the knowyng of treuthe.

33 Moises comaundide a lawe in the comaundementis of riytfulnessis, and eritage to the hous of Jacob, and biheestis to Israel.

34 He settide to Dauid, his child, to reise of hym a kyng moost strong, and sittynge with outen ende in the trone of onour.

35 Which kyng fillith wisdom, as Phison schedith out watir; and as Tigris in the daies of newe thingis.

36 Which, as Eufrates, fillith wit; which multiplieth, as Jordan in the tyme of heruest.

37 Which sendith techyng as liyt; and is niy alle men, as Gion in the dai of vendage.

38 Which makith perfitli first to knowe that wisdom; and a feblere man schal not enserche it.

39 For whi the thouyt therof schal be plenteuouse of the see; and his counsel in the greet occian.

40 Y wisdom schedde out floodis;

41 Y as a weie of ful greet watir of the flood. Y as the flood Dorix, and as a watir cundit Y yede out of paradis.

42 Y seide, I schal watir my gardyn of plauntyngis; and Y schal greetli fille the fruyt of my child beryng.

43 And lo! a plenteuouse weie of watir is maad to me; and my flood neiyede to the see.

44 For Y liytne techyng as the cheer morewtid to alle men; and Y schal telle out it `til to fer.

45 Y schal perse alle the lowere partis of erthe, and Y schal biholde alle that slepen; and Y schal liytne alle that hopen in the Lord.

46 Yit Y schal schede out teching as profesie, and Y schal leeue it to hem that seken wisdom; and Y schal not faile in to the generaciouns of hem, til in to the hooli world.

47 Se ye, that Y trauelide not to me aloone, but to alle that seken out treuthe.

Chapter 25


1 In thre thingis it is plesid to my spirit, which ben appreued bifore God and men; acordyng of britheren,

2 and loue of neiyboris, a man and womman wel consentynge to hem silf.

3 My soule hatide thre spicis, and Y am greued greetli to the soule of hem;

4 a pore man proud, and a riche man liere, and an eld man a fool and vnwitti.

5 Hou schalt thou fynde in thin eelde tho thingis, whiche thou gaderist not in thi yongthe?

6 Doom is ful fair in hoornesse, and to preestis to knowe councel.

7 Wisdom is ful fair to eelde men, and gloriouse vndirstondyng, and councel.

8 The coroun of eelde men is in myche kunnyng; and the glorie of hem is the drede of God.

9 I magnefiede nyne thingis vnsuspect of the herte; and Y schal seie the tenthe thing bi tunge to men.

10 A man which lyuynge is myrie in sones, and seynge the distriyng of hise enemyes.

11 He is blessid that dwellith with a witty womman, and he that felle not bi his tunge, and he that seruyde not to men vnworthi to hym silf.

12 He is blessid that fyndith a very frend, and he that tellith out riytfulnesse to an eere heringe.

13 He is ful greet that fyndith wisdom and kunnyng; but he is not aboue him that dredith God.

14 The drede of God hath set it silf aboue alle thingis.

15 Blessid is the man to whom it is youun to have the drede of God; to whom schal he be licned, that holdith that drede?

16 The drede of God is the bigynnyng of his loue; forsothe the bigynnyng of feith is to be faste ioyned therto.

17 The sorewe of herte is ech wounde; and the wickidnesse of a womman is al malice.

18 A leche shal se ech wounde, and not the wounde of herte; and al wickidnesse,

19 and not the wickidnesse of a womman;

20 and ech hilyng, and not hilyng of hateris;

21 and ech veniaunce, and not the veniaunce of enemyes.

22 Noon heed is worse than the heed of an eddre dwellynge in schadewe;

23 and noon ire is aboue the ire of a womman. It schal plese more to dwelle with a lioun and a dragoun, than to dwelle with a wickid womman.

24 The wickidnesse of a womman chaungith hir face; and sche blyndide her cheer as a beer doith, and sche schal schewe as a sak in the myddis of neiyboris.

25 Hir hosebonde weilide; and his wickid wijf herde, and siyyide a litil.

26 Al malice is schort on the malice of a womman; the parte of synneris falle on hir.

27 As a stiynge ful of grauel in the feet of an elde man, so is a womman a greet ianglere to a pesible man.

28 Biholde thou not the fairnesse of a womman, and coueyte thou not a womman for fairnesse.

29 The ire and vnreuerence of a womman is grete schenschipe.

30 If a womman hath the firste dignyte, ethir cheef gouernail, sche is contrarie to hir hosebonde.

31 A low herte, and soreuful face, and wounde of deeth, is a wickid womman.

32 Feble hondis and knees vnboundun, a womman that blessith not hir hosebonde.

33 The bygynnyng of synne was maad of a womman; and alle we dien bi hir.

34 Yyue thou not issu to thi watir, yhe, not a litil issu; nether to a wickid womman fredom of goyng forth.

35 If sche goith not at thin hond, sche schal schende thee in the siyt of enemyes.

36 Kitte hir a wei fro thi fleischis, lest euere sche mysvse thee.

Chapter 26


1 The hosebonde of a good womman is blessid; for whi the noumbre of her yeeris is double.

2 A strong womman delitith hir hosebonde; and shal fille in pees the yeeris of his lijf.

3 A good womman is a good part; in the good part of hem that dreden God, sche schal be youun to a man for goode dedis.

4 Forsothe the herte of a riche man and of a pore man is good; in al tyme her cheer is glad.

5 Myn herte dredde of thre thingis, and my face dredde in the fourthe thing.

6 Bitraiyng of a citee, and the gadering togidere of puple,

7 and fals chaleng; alle thingis greuouse on deth.

8 The sorewe of herte, and morenyng is a ielouse womman.

9 In a gelouse womman is betyng of tunge, and sche comyneth with alle men.

10 As a yok of oxis which is mouyd, so and a wickid womman; he that holdith hir, is as he that takith a scorpioun.

11 A drunkelew womman is greet ire, and dispisyng; and hir filthe schal not be hilid.

12 The fornycacioun of a womman is in the reisyng of yyen; and schal be knowun in the iye liddis of hir.

13 Make thou sad kepyng in a douytir not turnynge a wei hir silf; lest sche mysvse hir silf, if sche fyndith occasioun.

14 Be thou war of al vnreuerence of hir iyen; and wondre thou not, if sche dispisith thee.

15 As a weiegoere thirstynge schal opene the mouth at a welle, and schal drynke of ech watir next; and the forseid douytir schal sitte ayens ech pale, and schal opene the arowe caas ayens ech arowe, til sche faile.

16 The grace of a bisi womman schal delite hir hosebonde; and schal make fat hise boonus.

17 The kunnyng of hir is the yifte of God.

18 A wijs womman and stille is not chaungyng of a lernyd soule.

19 Grace on grace is an hooli womman, and schamfast.

20 Forsothe al weiyng is not worth a contynent soule.

21 As the sunne risynge in the world in the hiyeste thingis of God, so the fairnesse of a good womman is in to the ournement of hir hous.

22 A lanterne schynynge on an hooli candilstike, and the fairnesse of a face on stidfast age.

23 Goldun pileris on siluerne foundementis, and stidfast feet on the soolis of a stidfast womman.

24 Euerlastynge foundementis on a sad stoon, and the heestis of God in the herte of an hooli womman.

25 In twei thingis myn herte was maad sori, and in the thridde thing wrathfulnesse cam to me.

26 A man a werriour failynge bi nedynesse, and a wijs man dispisid.

27 And God hath maad hym redi to the swerd, that passith ouer fro riytfulnesse to synne.

28 Twei spices apperiden harde and perilouse to me; a marchaunt is delyuered of hard fro his necgligence, and a tauerner schal not be iustified of synnes of lippis.

Chapter 27


1 Many men han trespassid for nedynesse; and he that sekith to be maad riche, turneth a wei his iye.

2 As a stake is fastned in the myddis of a heep of stoonys, so and a man schal be angwischid bi synnes bitwixe the middis of sillyng and biyng.

3 Trespas schal be al to-brokun with hym that trespassith.

4 If thou holdist not thee diligentli in the drede of the Lord, thin hous schal soone be turned vpsedoun.

5 As dust schal dwelle in the hoolis of a riddil, so the angwisch of a man schal dwelle in the thouyt of hym.

6 A furneis preueth the vessels of a pottere; and the temptacioun of tribulacioun preueth iust men.

7 As cherliche trauel aboute a tree schewith the fruyt therof, so a word of thouyt schewith the herte of man.

8 Preise thou not a man bifore a word; for whi this is the temptacioun of men.

9 If thou suest riytfulnesse, thou schalt take it; thou schalt clothe it as a long cloth of onour, and thou schalt dwelle with it, and it schal defende thee with outen ende, and in the dai of knowing thou shalt fynde stidfastnesse.

10 Volatilis comen togidere to briddis lijk hem silf; and treuthe schal turne ayen to hem that worchen it.

11 A lioun settith aspies euere to huntyng; so synnes to hem that worchen wickidnesse.

12 An hooly man dwellith in wisdom, as the sunne dwellith stabli; for whi a fool is chaungid as the moone.

13 In the myddis of vnwise men kepe thou a word to tyme; but be thou bisi in the myddis of hem that thenken the lawe of God.

14 The tellyng of synneris is hateful; and the leiyyng of hem is in the trespassis of synne.

15 Speche sweringe myche schal make stondyng up of heeris, for astonying, to the heed; and vnreuerence therof is stoppyng of eeris.

16 The schedyng out of blood is in the chidyng of proude men; and the cursyng of hem is greuouse heryng.

17 He that schewith opynli the priuytees of a frend, leesith feithfulnesse; and he schal not fynde a frend to his soule.

18 Loue thou a neiybore, and be thou ioyned with hym in feith.

19 For if thou schewist opynli the priuytees of hym, thou schalt not perfitli sue aftir hym.

20 For as a man that leesith his frend, so he that leesith the frenschipe of his neiybore.

21 And as a man that latith go a brid fro his hond, so thou that hast forsake thi neiybore, and thou schalt not take hym.

22 Thou schalt not sue hym, for he is fer absent; for he ascapid as a capret fro a snare, for the soule of hym is woundid.

23 Thou schalt no more mow bynde hym togidere; but of yuel seiyng is acordyng.

24 Sotheli to schewe opynli the pryuytees of a frend, is dispeir of a soule vnblessid.

25 He that twynclith with the iye, makith wickid thingis;

26 and no man schal caste hym awei. In the siyt of thin iyen he schal defoule his mouth, and he schal wondre on thi wordis; but at the laste he schal turne weiwerdli his mouth, and in his wordis he schal yyue sclaundre.

27 Y herde mani thingis, and Y made not euene to hym; and the Lord schal hate hym.

28 If a man throwith a stoon an hiy, it schal falle on his heed; and the gileful wounde of a gyleful man schal departe woundis.

29 And he that diggith a diche, schal falle in to it; and he that settith a stoon to a neiybore, schal offende therynne; and he that settith a snare to a nother man, schal perische ther ynne.

30 If a man makith worst councel, it schal be turned on hym; and he schal not knowe fro whennus it schal come to him.

31 The scornyng and dispisyng of proude men and veniaunce schal sette a spie to hym, as a lioun doith.

32 Thei that deliten in the fal of iust men, schulen perische bi a snare; forsothe sorewe schal waste hem, bifore that thei dien.

33 Ire and woodnesse, euer either ben abhomynable; and a synful man schal holde tho.

Chapter 28


1 He that wole be vengid, schal fynde of the Lord veniaunce; and he kepynge schal kepe hise synnes.

2 Foryyue thou to thi neiybore that anoieth thee, and thanne synnes schulen be releessid to thee preiynge.

3 A man kepith ire to man; and sekith he of God medicyn?

4 He hath no merci on a man lijk hym silf; and bisechith he the hiyeste for hise owne synnes?

5 He the while he is fleisch, reserueth ire; and axith he of God merci? who schal preie for hise synnes?

6 Haue thou mynde on the laste thingis, and ceesse thou to be enemy.

7 For whi failyng and deth neiyen not in the comaundementis of God.

8 Haue thou mynde on the drede of the Lord, and be thou not wrooth to the neiybore.

9 Haue thou mynde on the testament of the hiyeste, and dispise thou the ignoraunce of thi neiybore.

10 Absteyne thee fro strijf, and thou schalt abregge synnes.

11 For whi a wrathful man kyndlith strijf; and a synful man schal disturble frendis, and he schal sende in enemyte in the myddis of men hauynge pees.

12 For whi aftir the trees of the wode, so fier schal brenne an hiy; and after the myyte of a man, so his wrathfulnesse schal be, and aftir his catel he schal enhaunse his ire.

13 Hasti stryuyng schal kyndle fier, and hasti chidyng schal schede out blood; and a tunge berynge witnessing schal brynge deth.

14 If thou blowist, as fier it schal brenne an hiy; and if thou spetist theron, it schal be quenchid; euer either comen forth of the mouth.

15 A preuy bacbiter, and a double tungid man is cursid; for he disturblide many men hauynge pees.

16 The thridde tunge hath stirid many men, and hath scaterid hem fro folc in to folc.

17 It hath distried wallid citees of riche men, and hath myned doun the housis of grete men.

18 It hath kit doun the vertues of puplis, and hath vnknit strong folkis.

19 The thridde tunge hath cast out weddid wymmen, and hath priued hem of her trauelis.

20 He that biholdith the thridde tunge, schal not haue rest; nether schal haue a frend, in whom he schal reste.

21 The wounde of betyng makith wannesse; but the wounde of tunge schal make lesse the boonys.

22 Many men fellen doun bi the scharpnesse of swerd; but not so as thei that perischiden bi her tunge.

23 He is blessid that is kyuerid fro a wickid tunge; and he that passide not in the wrathfulnesse therof, and he that drow not the yok therof, and was not boundun in the bondis therof.

24 For whi the yok therof is an irun yok, and the boond therof is a brasun boond.

25 The deth therof is the worste deth; and helle is more profitable than it.

26 The perseueraunce therof schal not dwelle, but it schal holde the weies of vniust men; in his flawme it schal not brenne iust men.

27 Thei that forsaken God, schulen falle in to it; and it schal brenne greetli in hem, and it schal not be quenchid; and as a lioun it schal be sent in to hem, and as a parde it schal hirte hem.

28 Bisette thin eeris with thornes, and nyle thou here a wickid tunge; and make thou doris to thi mouth, and lockis to thin eeris.

29 Welle thou togidere thi gold, and thi siluer; and make thou a balaunce to thi wordis, and riytful bridels to thi mouth.

30 And take heede, lest perauenture thou slide in tunge, and falle in the siyt of enemyes, settynge tresoun to thee, and thi falle be vncurable in to deth.

Chapter 29


1 He that doith merci, leeneth to his neiybore; and he that is ful myyti in hond, kepith the comaundementis.

2 Leene thou to thi neiybore in the tyme of his nede; and eft yelde thou to a neiybore in his tyme.

3 Conferme thou a word, and do thou feithfuli with hym; and in al tyme thou schalt fynde that, that is nedeful to thee.

4 Many men gessiden borewyng as fyndyng, and yauen disese to tho men that helpiden hem.

5 Til thei taken, thei kissen the hondis of the yyuer; and in biheestis thei maken meke her vois.

6 And in the time of yelding he schal axe tyme, and he schal speke wordis of anoie, and of grutchingis, and he schal calenge falsli the tyme.

7 Forsothe if he mai yelde, he schal be aduersarie; of a schilling vnnethis he schal yelde the half, and he schal rekyn that as fyndyng.

8 Ellis he schal defraude him in his monei, and the leenere schal haue him an enemy with outen cause.

9 And he schal yelde to hym, that is, to the leenere, wrongis and cursyngis; and for onour and benefice he schal yelde to hym dispisyng.

10 Many men lenten not `to pore neiyboris, not for cause of wickidnesse, but thei dredden to be defraudid with outen cause.

11 Netheles on a meke man in soule be thou strongere; and for almes drawe thou not hym.

12 For the comaundement of God take thou a pore man; and for his nedynesse leeue thou not hym voide.

13 Leese thou monei for a brother and frend, and hide thou not it vndur a stoon, in to perdicioun.

14 Putte thi tresour in the comaundementis of the hiyeste; and it schal profite to thee more than gold `schal profite.

15 Close thou almes in the bosum of a pore man; and this almes schal preye for thee `to be delyuered of God fro al yuel.

16 The almes of a man is as a bagge with hym; and it schal kepe the grace of man as the appil of the iye.

17 And aftirward it schal rise ayen, and schal yelde to hem a yelding, to ech man in to the heed of hem.

18 Aboue a scheld of the myyti man, and aboue a spere it schal fiyte ayens thin enemye.

19 A good man makith feith to his neiybore; and he that leesith, schal leeue schame to hym.

20 Foryete thou not the grace of the borewe; for he yaf his lijf for thee.

21 A synful man and vncleene fleeth the biheetere.

22 A synnere arretteth to hym silf the goode wordis of the borowe; and the vnkynde man in wit forsakith a man delyuerynge hym.

23 A man biheetith for his neiybore; and whanne `the neiybore hath lost reuerence, the borew schal be forsakun of hym.

24 Worst biheest hath lost many louynge men, and hath moued hem as the wawis of the see.

25 It goynge in cumpas made myyti men to passe ouer; and thei wandriden aboute among alien folkis.

26 A synnere brekynge the comaundement of the Lord schal falle in to a wickid biheest; and he that enforsith to do many thingis, schal falle in to dom.

27 Rekiuere thi neiybore bi thi vertu; and take heed to thi silf, lest thou falle.

28 The bigynnyng of lijf of a man is watir, and breed, and clothing, and hous hilynge filthe.

29 Betere is the lijflode of a pore man vndur the hilyng of sparris, than schynynge feestis in pilgrymage with outen hous.

30 The leeste thing pleese thee for a greet thing; and thou schalt not here the schenschipe of pilgrymage.

31 It is wickid lijf to seke herbore fro hous in to hous; and where he schal be herborid, he schal not do tristili, nethir he schal opene the mouth.

32 He schal be herborid, and he schal feede, and yyue drinke to vnkynde men; and yit he schal here bittir thingis.

33 Passe, thou that art herborid, and araye a table; and yyue thou meetis to othere men, tho thingis that thou hast in the hond.

34 Go thou out fro the face of the onour of my frendis, for the frendschipe, ethir affinyte, of myn hous; bi herboryng thou art maad a brother to me.

35 These thingis ben greuouse to a man hauynge wit; the repreuyng of hous, and the dispising of the vsurer.

Chapter 30


1 He that loueth his sone, yyueth bisili betingis to hym, that he be glad in hise laste thing, and that the sone touche not the doris of neiyboris.

2 He that techith his sone, schal be preisid in hym; and schal haue glorie in hym in the myddis of menyals.

3 He that techith his sone, sendith the enemye in to enuye; and in the myddis of frendis he schal haue glorie in that sone.

4 The fadir of hym is deed, and he is as not deed; for he hath left aftir hym a sone lijk hym.

5 He siy in his lijf, and was glad in hym; and in his deth he was not sori, nether was aschamed bifore enemyes.

6 For he lefte a defendere of the hous ayens enemyes; and yeldynge grace to frendis.

7 For the soulis of sones he schal bynde togidere hise woundis; and hise entrails schulen be disturblid on ech vois.

8 An hors vntemyd, `ether vnchastisid, schal ascape hard, and a sone vnchastisid schal ascape heedi.

9 Flatere thou the sone, and he schal make thee dredinge; pleie thou with hym, and he schal make thee sory.

10 Leiye thou not with hym, lest thou haue sorewe togidere, and at the laste thi teeth schulen be astonyed.

11 Yyue thou not power to hym in yongthe, and dispise thou not hise thouytis.

12 Boowe thou his necke in yongthe, and bete thou hise sidis, while he is a yong child; lest perauenture he wexe hard, and bileue not to thee, and he schal be sorewe of soule to thee.

13 Teche thi sone, and worche in hym; lest thou offende in to the filthe of hym.

14 Betere is a pore man hool, and strong in myytis, than a riche man feble, and betun with malice.

15 The helthe of soule is in the hoolynesse of riytfulnesse, and it is betere than ony gold and siluer; and a strong bodi is betere than ful myche catel.

16 No catel is aboue the catel of helthe of bodi; and no likyng is aboue the ioie of herte.

17 Betere is deth than bittir lijf, and euerlastinge reste is betere than siknesse dwellynge contynueli.

18 Goodis hid in a closid mouth ben as settyngis forth of metis set aboute a sepulcre.

19 What schal sacrifice profite to an idol? for whi it schal not ete, nether schal smelle.

20 So he that is dryuun awei fro the Lord, and berith the medis of wickidnesse,

21 seynge with iyen and weilynge inwardli, as a geldynge biclippynge a virgyn, and siyyynge.

22 Yyue thou not sorewe to thi soule, and turmente not thi silf in thi counsel.

23 Mirthe of herte, this is the lijf of man, and is tresour of hoolynesse with outen failyng; and ful out ioiyng of a man is long lijf.

24 Haue thou mercy on thi soule, and plese thou God; and holde togidere and gadere togidere thin herte in the hoolynesse of hym, and putte fer awei sorewe fro thee.

25 For whi sorewe hath slayn many men; and noon heelthe is ther ynne.

26 Enuye and wrathfulnesse schulen make lesse daies; and thouytys schulen brynge eldnesse bifore the tyme.

27 A schynynge herte is good in metis; for whi meetis therof ben maad diligentli.

Chapter 31


1 Wakyng of oneste schal make fleischis to faile; and thouyt therof schal take awei sleep.

2 Thouyt of bifore knowyng turneth awey wit; and greuouse siknesse makith sobre the soule.

3 A ryche man trauelide in the gaderyng of catel; and in his reste he schal be fillyd with hise goodis.

4 A pore man trauelide in decreessyng of lijflode; and in the ende he is maad nedi.

5 He that loueth gold, schal not be iustified; and he that sueth wastyng, schal be fillid therof.

6 Many men ben youun in to the fallyngis of gold; and the perdicioun of hem was maad in the feirnesse therof.

7 A tre of offencioun is the gold of hem that maken sacrifice; wo to hem that suen it, and ech vnprudent man schal perische ther ynne.

8 Blissid is a riche man, which is foundun with out wem; and that yede not aftir gold, nether hopide in money, and tresouris.

9 Who is this, and we schulen preyse hym? for he dide merueils in his lijf.

10 Which is preued ther ynne, and is foundun perfit, and euerlastynge glorye schal be to hym? which myyte trespasse, and trespasside not, and do yuels, and dide not.

11 Therfor hise goodis ben stablischid in the Lord; and al the chirche of seyntis schal telle out hise almesdedis.

12 Thou hast sete at a greet boord; opene thou not firste thi cheke on it.

13 Seie thou not, whether tho ben many thingis, that ben on it.

14 Haue thou mynde, that an yuel iye is weiward.

15 What thing worse, than an iye is maad? therfor of al his face he schal wepe, whanne he seeth.

16 Stretche thou not forth first thin hond; and thou defoulid bi enuye, be aschamed.

17 Be thou not oppressid of wyn in a feeste.

18 Vnderstonde of thi silf the thingis, that ben of thi neiybore.

19 Vse thou as a discreet and temperat man these thingis that ben set forth to thee; and be thou not hatid, whanne thou etist myche.

20 Ceesse thou first bicause of lernyng, ethir nurture; and nyle thou be outrageouse, lest perauenture thou offende.

21 And if thou hast sete in the myddis of many men, stretche not forth thin hond sunnere than thei; and axe thou not firste for to drynke.

22 A litil wyn is ful sufficient to a lerned man; and in slepynge thou schalt not trauele for that wyn, and thou schalt not feele trauel.

23 Wakyng, and colre, ether bittir moisture, and gnawyng to an vndiscreet `either vntemperat man.

24 But the sleep of heelthe is in a scars man; he schal slepe `til to the morewtid, and his soule schal delite with hym.

25 And if thou art constreyned in etyng myche, ryse thou fro the myddis, and brake thou; and it schal refreische thee, and thou schalt not brynge sikenesse to thi bodi.

26 Sone, here thou me, and dispise thou not me; and at the laste thou schalt fynde my wordis.

27 In alle thi werkis be thou swift; and al sikenesse schal not come to thee.

28 The lippis of many men schulen blesse a schynynge man in looues; and the witnessyng of his treuthe is feithful.

29 The citee schal grutche in the worste breed; and the witnessyng of wickidnesse therof is soth.

30 Nyle thou excite hem that ben diligent in wyn; for whi wyn hath distried many men.

31 Fier preueth hard irun; so wyn drunkun in drunkenesse schal repreue the hertis of proude men.

32 Euene lijf to men is wyn drunkun in sobrenesse; if thou drynkist it mesurably, thou schalt be sobre.

33 What is the lijf which is maad lesse bi wyn?

34 What defraudith lijf? deth.

35 Wyn was maad in gladnesse, not in drunkenesse, at the bigynnyng.

36 Wyn drunkun mesurabli is ful out ioiyng of soule and of bodi.

37 Sobre drynk is helthe of soule and of bodi.

38 Wyn drunkun myche makith avoiding, and ire, and many fallyngis.

39 Wyn drunkun myche is bitternesse of soule.

40 Strengthe of drunkenesse and hirting of an vnprudent man makith vertu lesse, and makynge woundis.

41 In the feeste of wyn repreue thou not a neiybore; and dispise thou not hym in his mirthe.

42 Seye thou not wordis of schenschipe to hym; and oppresse thou not hym in axynge.

Chapter 32


1 Thei han set thee a gouernour, nyle thou be enhaunsid; be thou among hem as oon of hem.

2 Haue thou cure of hem, and so biholde thou; and whanne al thi cure is fillid, sitte thou to mete.

3 That thou be glad for hem, and take the ournement of grace; and gete coroun, and dignyte of congregacioun.

4 Speke thou the gretter man in birthe;

5 for whi the word of hym that loueth kunnyng bicome thee first; and lette thou not musik.

6 Where heryng is not, schede thou not out a word; and nyle thou be enhaunsid vncouenabli in thi wisdom.

7 A iemme of carbuncle in the ournement of gold; and comparisoun of musikis in the feeste of wyn.

8 As in the makyng of gold is a signe of smaragde, so the noumbre of musikis is in myrie and mesurable wyn.

9 Here thou stille, and good grace schal come to thee for reuerence.

10 Yonge man, speke thou vnnethis in thi cause, whanne nede is.

11 If thou art axid twies, the heed haue thin answere.

12 In many thingis be thou as vnkunnyng, and here thou stille togidere and axynge.

13 And presume thou not to speke in the myddis of grete men; and where elde men ben, speke thou not myche.

14 Leityng schal go bifore hail, and grace schal go bifore schamfastnesse, and good grace schal come to thee for reuerence.

15 And in the our of risyng tifle thee not; forsothe renne thou bifore first in to thin hous, and there clepe thou thee to answer, and there pleie thou.

16 And do thi conseitis, and not in synnes, and in a proud word.

17 On alle these thingis blesse thou the Lord, that made thee, and fillynge thee greetli of alle hise goodis.

18 He that dredith God, schal take his techyng; and thei that waken to hym, schulen fynde blessyng.

19 He that sekith the lawe, schal be fillid therof; and he that doith tretourousli, schal be sclaundrid ther ynne.

20 Thei that dreden God, schulen fynde iust dom; and schulen kyndle riytfulnesse as liyt.

21 A synful man schal eschewe blamyng; and aftir his wille he schal fynde comparisoun.

22 A man of counsel schal not leese vndirstonding; a man alien and proud schal not drede dredyng.

23 Yhe, aftir that he hath do with that drede with out councel, and he schal be repreued bi hise suyngis.

24 Sone, do thou no thing with out councel; and aftir the dede thou schalt not repente.

25 Go thou not in the weie of fallyng, and offende thou not ayens stoonys. Bitake thou not thee to a trauelouse weie, lest thou sette sclaundir to thi soule;

26 and be thou war of thi sones, and perseyue thou of thi meyneals.

27 In al thi werk bileue thou bi feith of thi soule; for whi this is the keping of comaundementis.

28 He that bileueth to God, takith heede to the comaundementis; and he that tristith in hym, schal not be maad lesse.

Chapter 33


1 Iuelis schulen not come to hym that dredith God; but God schal kepe hym in temptacioun, and schal delyuere fro yuelis.

2 A wijs man hatith not the comaundementis, and riytfulnessis; and he schal not be hurtlid doun, as in the tempest of a schip.

3 A wijs man bileeueth to the lawe of God, and the lawe is feithful to hym.

4 He that makith opene axyng, schal make redi a word; and so he schal preie, and schal be herd, and he schal kepe techyng, and thanne he schal answere.

5 The entraylis of a fool ben as a wheel of a carte, and his thouytis as an extre able to turne aboute.

6 An hors a staloun, so and a frend a scornere, neiyeth vndur ech sittynge aboue.

7 Whi a dai ouercometh a dai, and eft the liyt ouercometh liyt, and a yeer ouercometh a yeer, the sunne ouercometh the sunne?

8 Tho ben departid of the kunnyng of the Lord, bi the sunne maad, and kepynge the comaundement of God.

9 And it schal chaunge tymes and the feeste daies of hem, and in tho tymes the Jewis halewiden hali daies at an our.

10 God enhaunside and magnyfiede of tho hali daies; and of tho he settide in to the noumbre of daies; and God made alle men of sad erthe, and of neische erthe, whereof Adam was formed.

11 In the multitude of kunnyng of the Lord he departide hem, and chaungide the weies of hem.

12 Of hem God blesside, and enhaunside; and of hem he halewide, and chees to hym silf; of hem he curside, and made lowe, and turnyde hem fro the departyng of hem.

13 As cley of a pottere is in the hond of hym,

14 to make and dispose, that alle the weies therof ben aftir the ordynaunce of hym; so a man is in the hond of hym that made hym; and he schal yelde to hym bi his dom.

15 Ayens yuel is good, and ayens lijf is deth; so and a synnere is ayens a iust man. And so biholde thou in to alle the werkis of the hiyeste; twey thingis ayens tweyne, and o thing ayens oon.

16 And Y the laste wakide, and as he that gaderith draf of grapis, aftir the gadereris of grapis.

17 And Y hopide in the blessyng of God; and as he that gaderith grapis, Y fillide the pressour.

18 Biholde ye, for Y trauelide not to me aloone, but to alle that seken kunnyng.

19 Grete men, and alle puplis, here ye me; and ye gouernouris of the chirche, perseyue with eeris.

20 Yyue thou not power ouer thee in thi lijf to a sone, and to a womman, to a brothir, and to a freend; and yyue thou not thi possessioun to another man, lest perauenture it repente thee, and thou biseche for tho.

21 While thou art alyue, and brethist yit, ech man schal not chaunge thee.

22 For it is betere, that thi sones preye thee, than that thou biholde in to the hondis of thi sones.

23 In alle thi werkis be thou souereyn;

24 yyue thou not a wem in to thi glorie. In the day of endyng of daies of thi lijf, and in tyme of thi goyng out departe thin erytage.

25 Metis, and a yerde, and birthun to an asse; breed, and chastisyng, and werk to a seruaunt.

26 He worchith in chastisyng, and sekith to haue reste; slake thou hondis to hym, and he sekith fredom.

27 A yok and bridil bowen doun an hard necke; and bisi worchingis bowen doun a seruaunt.

28 Turment and stockis to an yuel willid seruaunt; sende thou hym in to worchyng, lest he be ydel;

29 for whi idilnesse hath tauyte miche malice.

30 Ordeyne thou hym in werk, for so it bicometh hym; that if he obeieth not, bowe thou doun hym in stockis, and make thou not hym large ouer ony man, but with out dom do thou no thing greuouse.

31 If a feithful seruaunt is to thee, be he as thi soule to thee; trete thou him so as a brother, for thou hast bouyt hym in the blood of lijf.

32 If thou hurtist hym vniustli, he schal be turned in to fleyng awei;

33 and if he enhaunsynge goith awei, thou noost whom thou schalt seke, and in what weie thou schalt seke hym.

Chapter 34


1 Veyn hope and a leesyng to an vnwijs man; and dremes enhaunsen vnprudent men.

2 As he that takith schadewe, and pursueth wynd, so and he that takith heede to leesyngis seyn.

3 Vpe this thing is the siyt of dremes; bifore the face of a man is the licnesse of another man.

4 What schal be clensid of him that is vnclene, and what trewe thing schal be seid of a liere?

5 Fals dyuynyng of errour, and fals dyuynyngis bi chiteryng of briddis, and dremes of witchis, is vanyte.

6 And as the herte of a womman trauelynge of child, thin herte suffrith fantasies; no but visitacioun is sent out of the hiyeste, yyue thou not thin herte in tho dremes.

7 For whi dremes han maad many men for to erre, and men hopynge in tho fellen doun.

8 The word of the lawe `of God and of hise profetis, schal be maad perfit with out leesyng; and wisdom in the mouth of a feithful man schal be maad pleyn.

9 What kan he, that is not asaied? A man asaied in many thingis, schal thenke many thingis; and he that lernyde many thingis, schal telle out vndirstondyng.

10 He that is not asaied, knowith fewe thingis; forsothe he that is a fool in many thingis, schal multiplie malice.

11 What maner thingis kan he, that is not asaied? He that is not plauntid, schal be plenteuouse in wickidnesse.

12 I siy many thingis in tellyng out, and ful many customs of wordis.

13 Sum tyme Y was in perel `til to deth, for the cause of these thingis; and Y was delyuered bi the grace of God.

14 The spirit of hem that dreden God is souyt, and schal be blessid in the biholding of hym.

15 For whi the hope of hem is in to God sauynge hem; and the iyen of the Lord ben in to hem, that louen hym.

16 He that dredith God, schal not tremble for ony thing, and he schal not drede; for whi God is his hope.

17 The soule of hym that dredith the Lord, is blessid.

18 To whom biholdith he, and who is his strengthe?

19 The iyen of the Lord ben on hem that dreden hym. God is a defendere of myyt, stidfastnesse of vertu, hilyng of heete, and a schadewyng place of myddai;

20 bisechyng of offendyng, and help of fallyng, enhaunsynge the soule, and liytnynge the iyen, and yyuynge heelthe, and lijf, and blessyng.

21 The offryng of hym that offrith of wickid thing, is defoulid; and the scornyngis of vniust men ben not wel plesaunt.

22 The Lord aloone is to hem that abiden hym in the weie of treuthe, and of riytfulnesse.

23 The hiyeste appreueth not the yiftis of wickid men, nethir biholdith in the offryngis of wickid men, nether in the multitude of her sacrifices he schal do mercy to synnes.

24 He that offrith sacrifice of the catel of pore men, is as he that sleeth the sone in the siyt of his fadir.

25 The breed of nedi men is the lijf of a pore man; he that defraudith hym, is a man of blood.

26 He that takith awei breed in swoot, is as he that sleeth his neiybore.

27 He that schedith out blood, and he that doith fraude to an hirid man, ben britheren.

28 Oon bildynge, and oon distriynge; what profitith it to hem, no but trauel?

29 Oon preiynge, and oon cursynge; whos vois schal the Lord here?

30 What profitith the waischyng of hym, that is waischun for a deed bodi, and touchith eft a deed bodi?

31 So a man that fastith in hise synnes, and eft doynge the same synnes, what profitith he in mekynge hym silf? who schal here his preyer?

Chapter 35


1 He that kepith the word, multiplieth preier.

2 Heelful sacrifice is to take heede to the comaundementis, and to departe fro al wickidnesse.

3 And to offre the plesyng of sacrifice for vnriytfulnesses, and bisechyng for synnes, is to go awey fro vnriytfulnesse.

4 He that offrith purest flour of wheete, schal yelde grace; and he that doith merci, offrith a sacrifice.

5 It is wel plesaunt to the Lord, to go awei fro wickidnesse; and preier is to go awei fro vnriytfulnesse.

6 Thou schalt not appere voide bifore the siyt of God;

7 for whi alle these thingis ben doon for the heestis of God.

8 The offryng of a iust man makith fat the auter, and is odour of swetnesse in the siyt of the hiyeste.

9 The sacrifice of a iust man is acceptable, and the Lord schal not foryete the mynde of hym.

10 With good wille yelde thou glorie to God, and make thou not lesse the firste fruytis of thin hondis.

11 In ech yifte make glad thi cheer, and in ful out ioiyng halewe thi tithis.

12 Yyue thou to the hiyeste aftir his yifte; and with good iye make thou the fyndyng of thin hondis.

13 For whi the Lord is a yeldere, and he schal yelde seuene fold so myche to thee.

14 Nyle thou offre schrewid yiftis; for he schal not resseyue tho.

15 And nyle thou biholde an vniust sacrifice; for the Lord is iuge, and glorie of persoone is not at hym.

16 The Lord schal not take a persoone ayens a pore man; and he schal here the preier of hym that is hirt.

17 He schal not dispise the preyeris of a fadirles child, nether a widewe, if sche schedith out speche of weilyng.

18 Whether the teeris of a widew goen not doun to the cheke, and the criyng of hir on hym that ledith forth tho teeris?

19 For whi tho stien fro the cheke `til to heuene, and the Lord herere schal not delite in tho.

20 He that worschipith God in delityng, schal be resseyued; and his preyer schal neiye `til to the clowdis.

21 The preier of hym that mekith hym silf schal perse clowdis, and til it neiyeth, he schal not be coumfortid, and he schal not go awey, til the hiyeste biholde.

22 And the Lord schal not be fer, but he schal iuge iust men, and schal make doom; and the strongeste schal not haue pacience in tho, that he troble the bak of hem.

23 And he schal yelde veniaunce to folkis, til he take awei the fulnesse of proude men, and troble togidere the ceptris of wickid men;

24 til he yelde to men aftir her dedis, and aftir the werkis of Adam, and aftir the presumpcioun of hym;

25 til he deme the dome of his puple, and schal delite iust men in his merci.

26 The merci of God is fair in the tyme of tribulacioun, as clowdis of reyn in the tyme of drynesse.

Chapter 36


1 God of alle thingis, haue thou merci on vs; and biholde thou vs, and schewe thou to vs the liyt of thi merciful doyngis.

2 And sende thi drede on hethene men, that souyten not thee, that thei knowe that no God is, no but thou; that thei telle out thi grete dedis.

3 Reise thin hond on hethene men aliens, that thei se thi power.

4 For as thou were halewid in vs in the siyt of hem, so in oure siyt thou schalt be magnefyed in hem;

5 that thei knowe thee, as and we han knowe, that noon othere is God, outakun thee, Lord.

6 Make thou newe signes, and chaunge thou merueilis;

7 glorifie the hond, and the riyt arm.

8 Reise thou stronge veniaunce, and schede out ire;

9 take awei the aduersarie, and turmente the enemye.

10 Haaste thou the tyme, and haue thou mynde on the ende, that thei telle out thi merueils.

11 And he that is sauyd, be deuourid in the ire of flawme; and thei that treten worst thi puple, fynde perdicioun.

12 Al to-breke thou the heed of princis, and of enemyes, seiynge, Noon othere is, outakun vs.

13 Gadere thou togidere alle the lynagis of Jacob, and knowe thei that no God is, no but thou, that thei telle out thi grete dedis; and thou schalt enherite hem, as at the bigynnyng.

14 Haue thou merci on thi puple, on which thi name is clepid in to help; and on Israel, whom thou madist euene to thi firste gendrid sone.

15 Haue thou merci on Jerusalem, the citee of thin halewyng, on the citee of thi reste.

16 Fille thou Syon with thi vertues, that moun not be teld out, and fille thi puple with thi glorie.

17 Yyue thou witnessyng, that at the bigynnyng thei weren thi creaturis; and reise thou preieris, whiche the formere profetis spaken in thi name.

18 Lord, yyue thou meede to hem that abiden thee, that thi prophetis be foundun trewe; and here thou the preier of thi seruauntis.

19 Aftir the blessyng of Aaron yyue thou to thi puple, and dresse thou vs in to the weie of riytfulnesse; that alle men wite, that dwellen in erthe, that thou art God, the biholdere of worldis.

20 The wombe schal ete alle mete, and o mete is betere than another mete.

21 Chekis touchen mete almest, and an vnwise herte resseyueth false wordis.

22 A schrewid herte schal yyue heuynesse, and a wijs man schal ayenstonde it.

23 A womman schal take ech knaue child, and a douytir is betere than a sone.

24 The fairnesse of a womman makith glad the face of hir hosebonde, and sche schal brynge desir ouer al the coueitise of man.

25 If ther is a tunge of heelyng, ther is also of swagyng, and of merci; the hosebonde of hir is not aftir the sones of men.

26 He that hath in possessioun a good womman, bigynneth possessioun; sche is an help lijk hym, and a piler as reste.

27 Where an hegge is not, the possessioun schal be rauyschid awei; and where a womman is not, a nedi man weilith.

28 To whom bileueth he that hath no nest, and bowith doun where euer it is derk, as a theef girt, skippynge out fro citee in to citee?

Chapter 37


1 Ech frend schal seie, And Y haue couplid frenschip; but that is a frend, a frend bi name aloone. Whether sorewe is not til to deth?

2 Forsothe a felowe of table and a frend schulen be turned to enemyte.

3 A! the worste presumpcioun, wherof art thou maad to hile drie malice, and the gilefulnesse therof?

4 A felowe of table schal be myrie with a frend in delityngis, and in the dai of tribulacioun he schal be aduersarie.

5 A felowe of table schal haue sorewe with a frend, for cause of the wombe; and he schal take scheeld ayens an enemye.

6 Foryete thou not thi frend in thi soule, and be thou not vnmyndeful of hym in thi werkis.

7 Nyle thou take councel with the fadir of thi wijf; and hide thou councel fro hem that han enuye to thee.

8 Ech councelour schewith councel, but ther is a councelour to hym silf.

9 Kepe thi soule fro an yuel counselour; firste wite thou, what is his nede, and what he schal thenke in his soule;

10 lest perauenture he sende a stake in to the erthe, and seie to thee,

11 Thi weie is good, and he stonde ayenward, to se what schal bifalle to thee.

12 With an vnreligiouse man trete thou of holynesse, and with an vniust man of riytfulnesse, and with a womman of these thingis whiche sche hatith. With a ferdful man trete thou of batel, with a marchaunt, of cariyng ouer of marchaundies to chepyng; with a biere, of sillyng, with an enuyouse man, of graces to be don;

13 with an vnpitouse man, of pytee, with an vnonest man, of oneste, with a werk man of the feeld, of ech werk;

14 with a werk man hirid bi the yeer, of the endyng of the yeer, with a slowe seruaunt, of myche worchyng. Yyue thou not tent to these men in al councel,

15 but be thou bisi with an hooli man, whom euere thou knowist kepynge Goddis drede,

16 whos soule is aftir thi soule. Who euer doutith in derknessis, schal not haue sorewe with thee.

17 And stablische thou the herte of good councel with thee; for whi another thing is not more than it to thee.

18 The soule of an hooli man tellith out treuthis sum tyme; more than seuene biholderis sittynge an hiy for to biholde.

19 And in alle these thingis biseche thou the hiyeste, that he dresse thi weie in treuthe.

20 Bifore alle werkis a sothefast word go bifore thee; and a stidfast councel go bifore ech dede.

21 A wickid word schal chaunge the herte, of which herte foure partis comen forth; good and yuel, lijf and deth; and a bisi tunge is lord of tho.

22 A wijs man hath tauyt many men, and he is swete to his soule.

23 He that spekith `bi soffym, is hateful; he schal be defraudid in ech thing.

24 For whi grace is not youun of the Lord to hym, for he is defraudid of al wisdom.

25 A wijs man is wijs to his soule, and the fruytis of his wit ben worthi to be preisid.

26 A wijs man techith his puple, and the fruytis of his wit ben feithful.

27 A wijs man schal be fillid with blessyngis, and thei that seen hym schulen preise hym.

28 The lijf of a man is in the noumbre of daies; but the daies of Israel ben vnnoumbrable.

29 A wijs man in the puple schal enherite onour, and his name schal be lyuynge with outen ende.

30 Sone, asaie thi soule in thi lijf; and if it is wickid, yyue thou not power to it;

31 for whi not alle thingis speden to alle men, and not ech kynde plesith ech soule.

32 Nyle thou be gredi in ech etyng, and schede thou not out thee on ech mete.

33 For in many metis schal be sikenesse, and gredynesse schal neiye `til to colrye.

34 Many men dieden for glotenye; but he that is abstinent, schal encreesse lijf.

Chapter 38


1 Onoure thou a leche, for nede; for whi the hiyeste hath maad hym.

2 For whi al medicyn is of God; and he schal take of the kyng a yifte.

3 The kunnyng of a leche schal enhaunse his heed; and he schal be preisid in the siyt of grete men.

4 The hiyeste hath maad of the erthe medicyn; and a prudent man schal not wlate it.

5 Whether bittir watir was not maad swete of a tre?

6 The vertu of tho thingis cam bi experience to the knowing of men; and the hiyeste yaf kunnyng to men, for to be onourid in his merueils.

7 A man heelynge in these thingis schal aswage sorewe, and an oynement makere schal make pymentis of swetnesse, and schal make anoyntyngis of heelthe; and hise werkis schulen not be endid.

8 For whi the pees of God is on the face of erthe.

9 Mi sone, dispise not thi silf in thi sikenesse; but preie thou the Lord, and he schal heele thee.

10 Turne thou awei fro synne, and dresse thin hondis, and clense thin herte fro al synne.

11 Yyue thou swetnesse, and the mynde of cleene flour of wheete, and make thou fat offryng; and yyue thou place to a leche.

12 For the Lord made hym, and departe he not fro thee; for hise werkis ben nedeful to thee.

13 For whi tyme is, whanne thou schalt falle in to the hondis of hem.

14 Forsothe thei schulen biseche the Lord, that he dresse the werk of hem, and helthe for her lyuyng.

15 He that trespassith in the siyt of hym, that made hym, schal falle in to the hondis of the leche.

16 Sone, brynge thou forth teeris on a deed man, and thou as suffrynge hard thingis bigynne to wepe; and bi doom hile thou the bodi of hym, and dispise thou not his biriyng.

17 But for bacbityng bere thou bittirli the morenyng of hym o dai; and be thou coumfortid for sorewe.

18 And make thou morenyng aftir his merit o dai, ether tweyne, for bacbityng.

19 For whi deth hastith of sorewe, and hilith vertu; and the sorewe of herte bowith the heed.

20 Sorewe dwellith in ledyng awei; and the catel of a nedi man is aftir his herte.

21 Yyue thou not thin herte in sorewe, but put it awei fro thee; and haue thou mynde on the laste thingis, and nyle thou foryete.

22 For whi no turning is, and thou schalt no thing profite to this deed man; and thou schalt harme worste thi silf.

23 Be thou myndeful of mi dom; for also thin schal be thus, to me yistirdai, and to thee to dai.

24 In the reste of a deed man make thou hys mynde to haue reste; and coumforte thou hym in the goyng out of his spirit.

25 Write thou wisdom in the tyme of voidenesse; and he that is made lesse in dede, schal perseyue wisdom; for he schal be fillid of wisdom.

26 He that holdith the plow, and he that hath glorie in a gohode, dryueth oxis with a pricke, and he lyueth in the werkis of tho; and his tellyng is in the sones of bolis.

27 He schal yyue his herte to turne forewis; and his wakyng schal be aboute the fatnesse of kien.

28 So ech carpenter, and principal werk man, that passith the niyt as the dai; that graueth ymagis grauun, and the bisynesse of hym dyuersith the peynture; he schal yyue his herte to the licnesse of peynture, and bi his wakyng he perfourmeth the werk.

29 So a smyth sittynge bisidis the anefelt, and biholdynge the werk of yrun, the heete of fier brenneth hise fleischis; and he stryueth in the heete of the furneis.

30 The vois of a hamer makith newe his eere; and his iye is ayens the licnesse of a vessel.

31 He schal yyue his herte in to the perfourmyng of werkis; and bi his wakyng he schal ourne vnperfeccioun.

32 So a potter sittynge at his werk, turnynge a wheel with hise feet, which is put euere in bisynesse for his werk; and al his worchyng is vnnoumbrable.

33 In his arm he schal fourme clei; and bifore hise feet he schal bowe his vertu.

34 He schal yyue his herte to ende perfitli sum thing; and bi his wakyng he schal clense the furneis.

35 Alle these men hopiden in her hondis; and ech man is wijs in his craft.

36 A citee is not bildid with outen alle these men.

37 And thei schulen not dwelle, nether go; and thei schulen not skippe ouer in to the chirche.

38 Thei schulen not sitte on the seete of a iuge; and thei schulen not vndirstonde the testament of doom, nether thei schulen make opyn techyng and doom; and thei schulen not be foundun in parablis.

39 But thei schulen conferme the creature of the world, and her preyer is in the worching of craft; and thei yyuen her soule, and thei axen togidere in the lawe of the hiyeste.

Chapter 39


1 A wijs man schal seke out the wisdom of alle elde men; and he schal yyue tent in profetis.

2 He schal kepe the tellyng of named men; and he schal entre togidere in to the hard sentensis of parablis.

3 He schal seke out the pryuy thingis of prouerbis; and he schal be conuersaunt in the hid thingis of parablis.

4 He schal mynystre in the myddis of grete men; and he schal appere in the siyt of the cheef iuge.

5 He schal passe in to the lond of alien folkis; for he schal asaie goodis, and yuels in alle thingis.

6 He schal yyue his herte to wake eerli to the Lord that made hym; and he schal biseche in the siyt of the hiyeste.

7 He schal opene his mouth in preier; and he schal biseche for hise trespassis.

8 For if the grete Lord wole, he schal fille hym with the spirit of vndurstondyng.

9 And he schal sende the wordis of his wisdom, as reynes; and in preier he schal knouleche to the Lord.

10 And he schal dresse his counsel, and techyng; and schal councele in hise hid thingis.

11 He schal make opene the wisdom of his techyng; and he schal haue glorie in the lawe of the testament of the Lord.

12 Many men schulen preyse his wisdom; and it schal not be don awey til in to the world.

13 His mynde schal not go awei; and his name schal be souyt fro generacioun in to generacioun.

14 Folkis schulen telle out his wisdom; and the chirche schal telle his preisyng.

15 If his name dwellith, he schal leeue more than a thousynde; and if he restith, it schal profite to hym.

16 Yit Y schal take councel to telle out, for Y am fillid as with woodnesse;

17 and myn ynnere spirit seith in vois, Ye fruytis of God, here me, and make ye fruyt, as roosis plauntide on the ryuers of watris.

18 Haue ye odour of swetnesse, as the Liban hath.

19 Bringe forth flouris, as a lilee; yyue ye odour, and make ye boowis in to grace. And preise ye togidere a song; and blesse ye the Lord in hise werkis.

20 Yyue ye greet onour to his name, and knouleche ye to him in the vois of youre lippis, in songis of lippis, and in harpis; and thus ye schulen seie in knouleching,

21 Alle the werkis of the Lord ben ful goode.

22 Forsothe watir as an heepe of stoonys stood at his word; and as resettis of watris in the word of his mouth.

23 For whi pesiblenesse is maad in his comaundement; and no defaute is in the heelthe of hym.

24 The werkis of ech fleisch ben bifore hym; and no thing is hid fro hise iyen.

25 He biholdith fro the world til in to the world; and no thing is wondurful in his siyt.

26 It is not to seie, What is this thing, ether, What is that thing? for whi alle thingis schulen be souyt in her tyme.

27 The blessyng of hym schal flowe as a flood;

28 and as the grete flood fillide greteli the erthe, so his yre schal enherite in folkis, that souyten not hym.

29 As he turnede watris in to drynessis, and the erthe was dried, and hise weies weren dressid to the weies of hem; so offenciouns in his ire ben dressid to synneris.

30 Goode thingis weren maad at the bigynnyng to goode men; so goode thingis and yuele ben maad to worste men.

31 The bigynnyng of nedeful thing to the lijf of men, watir, fier, and yrun, and salt, and mylk, and breed of cleene flour of whete, and hony, and a clustre of grape, and oile, and cloth.

32 Alle these thingis schulen turne to hooli men in to goodis; so and to vnfeithful men and synneris in to yuels.

33 Spiritis ben that ben maad to veniaunce; and in her woodnesse thei confermyden her turmentis.

34 And in the tyme of endyng thei schulen schede out vertu; and thei schulen confounde the strong veniaunce of hym that made hem.

35 Fier, hail, hungur, and deth; alle these thingis ben maad to veniaunce; the teeth of beestis,

36 and scorpiouns, and serpentis, and a swerd punyschynge wickid men in to destriyng.

37 In the comaundementis of hym tho schulen ete, and tho schulen be maad redi on the erthe in nede; and in her tymes tho schulen not passe o word.

38 Therfor fro the bigynnyng Y was confermed; and Y counselide, and thouyte, and lefte writun.

39 Alle the werkis of the Lord ben goode; and ech werk schal serue in his our.

40 It is not to seie, This is worse than that; for whi alle thingis schulen be preued in her tyme.

41 And now in al the herte and mouth preise ye togidere, and blesse ye the name of the Lord.

Chapter 40


1 Greet occupacioun is maad to alle men, and an heuy yok on the sones of Adam, fro the dai of the goyng out of the wombe of her modir, til in to the dai of biriyng in to the modir of alle men.

2 The thouytis of hem, and the dredis of herte, fyndyngis of abidyng, and the dai of endyng;

3 fro hym that sittith bifore on a gloriouse seete, `til to a man maad lowe in to erthe and aische;

4 fro hym that vsith iacynct, and berith a coroun, `til to hym that is hilid with raw lynnun cloth, woodnesse, enuye, noise, doutyng, and drede of deth, wrathfulnesse dwellynge contynueli, and strijf;

5 and in the tyme of restyng in the bed, the sleep of nyyt chaungith his kunnyng.

6 Forsothe a litil is as nouyt in reste; biholdyng is of hym in sleep as in the dai.

7 He is disturblid in the siyt of his herte, as he that ascapith in the dai of batel. He roos vp in the dai of his helthe, and dredynge not at ony drede, with al fleisch,

8 fro man `til to beeste, and seuenefold schal come on synneris.

9 At these thingis, deth, blood, stryuyng, and swerd, oppressyngis, hungur, and sorewe, and beetyngis;

10 alle these thingis ben maad on wickid men, and the greet flood was maad for hem.

11 For whi alle thingis that ben of the erthe, schulen turne in to the erthe; and alle watris schulen turne in to the see.

12 Al yifte and wickidnesse schal be don awei; and feith schal stonde in to the world.

13 The richessis of vniust men schulen be maad drie as a flood; and schulen sowne as a greet thundur in reyn.

14 An vniust man schal be glad in openynge hise hondis; so trespassouris schulen faile in the ende.

15 The sones of sones of wickid men schulen not multiplie braunchis; and vncleene rootis sownen on the cop of a stoon.

16 Grenenesse bisidis ech watir; and at the brynk of the flood it schal be drawun out bi the roote bifor al hey.

17 Grace as paradiss in blessyngis; and merci dwellith in to the world.

18 The lijf of a werk man sufficient to hym silf schal be maad swete; and thou schalt fynde tresour ther ynne.

19 Bildyng of a citee schal conferme a name; and a womman with out wem schal be rikenyd aboue this.

20 Wyn and musik maken glad the herte; and loue of wisdom gladith aboue euer either.

21 Pipis and sawtree maken swete melodie; and a swete tunge aboue euer either.

22 An yye schal desire grace and fairnesse; and greene sowyngis aboue these thingis.

23 A frend and felowe comynge togidere in tyme; and a womman with man aboue euer either.

24 Britheren in to help in the tyme of tribulacioun `coumforten myche; and merci schal delyuere more than thei.

25 Gold and siluer, and settyng of feet; and counsel wel plesing is aboue euer either.

26 Richessis and vertues enhaunsen the herte; and the drede of the Lord more than this.

27 Making lesse is not in the drede of the Lord; and in that drede it is not to seke help.

28 The drede of the Lord is as paradijs of blessyng; and `the blessyngis of God kyueriden hym aboue al glorie.

29 Sone, in the tyme of thi lijf be thou not nedi; for it is betere to die, than to be nedi.

30 A man biholdinge in to another mannus boord, his lijf is not in the thouyt of lijflode; for he susteyneth his lijf with othere mennus metis.

31 Forsothe a chastisid man and lernd schal kepe him silf.

32 Nedynesse schal be defoulid in the mouth of an vnprudent man; and fier schal brenne in his wombe.

Chapter 41


1 A! deth, thi mynde is ful bittir to an vniust man, and hauynge pees in hise richessis;

2 to a restful man, and whose weies ben dressid in alle thingis, and yit myyti to take mete.

3 A! deth, thi doom is good to a nedi man, and which is maad lesse in strengthis,

4 and failith for age, and to whom is care of alle thingis, and vnbileueful, that leesith wisdom.

5 Nyle thou drede the doom of deth; haue thou mynde what thingis weren byfore thee, and what thingis schulen come on thee; this dom is of the Lord to ech man.

6 And tho thingis that schulen come on thee in the good plesaunce of the hiyeste; whethir ten yeer, ether an hundrid, ether a thousynde.

7 For whi noon accusyng of lijf is in helle.

8 The sones of abhomynaciouns ben the sones of synneris; and thei that dwellen bisidis the housis of wickid men.

9 The eritage of the sones of synneris schal perische; and the contynuaunce of schenschipe with the seed of hem.

10 Sones playnen of a wickid fadir; for thei ben in schenschip for hym.

11 Wo to you, ye wickid men, that han forsake the lawe of the hiyeste.

12 And if ye be borun, ye schulen be borun in cursidnesse; and if ye ben deed, youre part schal be in cursidnesse.

13 Alle thingis that ben of the erthe, schulen turne in to the erthe; so wickid men schulen turne fro cursyng in to perdicioun.

14 The morenyng of men is in the bodi of hem; but the name of wickid men schal be doon awei.

15 Haue thou bisynesse of a good name; for whi this schal dwelle more with thee, than a thousynde tresouris grete and preciouse.

16 The noumbre of daies is the terme of good lijf; but a good name schal dwelle with outen ende.

17 Sones, kepe ye techyng in pees; for whi wisdom hid, and tresour vnseyn, what profit is in euer either?

18 Betere is a man that hidith his foli, than a man that hidith his wisdom.

19 Netheles turne ye ayen in these thingis that comen forth of my mouth.

20 For it is not good to kepe alle vnreuerence, and not alle thingis plesen alle men in feith.

21 Be ye aschamed of fornycacioun, bifor fadir, and bifor modir; and of a leesyng, bifore a iustice, and bifore a myyti man;

22 and of trespas, bifor a prince, and bifore a iuge; and of wickidnesse, bifore a synagoge, and a puple; and of vnriytwisnesse,

23 bifore a felow, and a frend;

24 and of thefte, in the place where ynne thou dwellist; of the treuthe and testament of God; of sittyng at the mete in looues, and of the blemyschyng of yifte, and takyng;

25 of stilnesse, bifore hem that greeten; of the biholdyng of a letcherouse womman, and of the turnyng a wey of the cheer of a cosyn.

26 Turne thou not awey the face fro thi neiybore; and be thou war of takyng a wei a part, and not restorynge.

27 Biholde thou not the womman of an othere man; and enserche thou not her hand maide, nether stonde thou at hir bed.

28 Be thou war of frendis, of the wordis of vpbreidyng; and whanne thou hast youe, vpbreide thou not.

Chapter 42


1 Double thou not a word of heryng, of the schewyng of an hid word; and thou schalt be verily with out schame, and thou schalt fynde grace in the siyt of alle men. Be thou not schent for alle these thingis; and take thou not a persoone, that thou do trespas.

2 Be thou war of the lawe and testament of the hiyeste, of doom to iustifie a wickid man;

3 of the word of felowis, and of weigoeris, and of the yyuyng of eritage of frendis;

4 of the euennesse of balaunce, and of weiytis, of the getyng of many thingis, and of fewe thingis;

5 of corrupcioun of biyng, and of marchauntis, and of myche chastising of sones; and of a worste seruaunt, to make the side to bleede.

6 A seelyng is good on a wickid man.

7 Where ben many hondis, close thou; and what euer thing thou schalt bitake, noumbre thou, and weie thou; forsothe discryue thou, ether write, ech yifte, and takyng.

8 Absteine thou fro the techyng of an vnwitti man, and fool, and of eldere men that ben demed of yonge men; and thou schalt be lernd in alle thingis, and thou schalt be comendable in the siyt of alle men.

9 An hid douyter of a fadir is wakynge and bisynesse of hym; sche schal take awei sleep; lest perauenture sche be maad auowtresse in hir yong wexynge age, and lest sche dwellynge with the hosebonde, be maad hateful;

10 lest ony tyme sche be defoulid in hir virginytee, and be foundun with child in the kepyng of hir fadir; leste perauenture sche dwellynge with the hosebonde, do trespasse, ether certis be maad bareyn.

11 Ordeyne thou kepyng on a letcherouse douyter, lest ony tyme sche make thee to come in to schenschipe to enemyes, of bacbityng in the citee, and of castyng out of the puple; and sche make thee aschamed in the multitude of puple.

12 Nyle thou take heed to ech man in the fairnesse; and nyle thou dwelle in the myddis of wymmen.

13 For whi a mouyte cometh forth of clothis, and the wickidnesse of a man cometh forth of a womman.

14 For whi the wickidnesse of a man is betere than a womman doynge wel, and a womman schendyng in to schenschipe.

15 Therfor be thou myndeful of the werkis of the Lord; and Y schal telle the werkis of the Lord, whiche Y siy, in the wordis of the Lord.

16 The sunne liytnynge bihelde by alle thingis; and the werk therof is ful of the glorie of the Lord.

17 Whether the Lord made not hooli men to telle out alle hise merueilis, whiche the Lord almyyti stidfast in his glorie schal conferme?

18 He schal enserche the depthe, and the herte of men; and he schal thenke in the felnesse of hem.

19 For the Lord knew al kunnyng, and bihelde in to the signe of the world; tellynge tho thingis that ben passid, and tho thingis that schulen come; schewynge the steppis of hid thingis.

20 And no thouyt passith hym, and no word hidith it silf fro hym.

21 He made fair the grete werkis of his wisdom, which is bifore the world, and til in to the world; nether ony thing is encreessid,

22 nether is decreessid, and he hath no nede to the counsel of ony.

23 Alle hise werkis ben ful desirable, and to biholde, as a sparcle which is.

24 Alle these thingis lyuen, and dwellen in to the world; and alle thingis obeien to hym in al nede.

25 Alle thingis ben double, oon ayens oon; and he made not ony thing to faile. He schal conferme the goodis of ech; and who schal be fillid, seynge his glorie?

Chapter 43


1 The firmament of hiynesse is the fairnesse therof; the fairnesse of heuene in the siyt of glorie.

2 The sunne in biholdyng, tellynge in goyng out, is a woundurful vessel, the werk of hiy God.

3 In the tyme of myddai it brenneth the erthe; and who schal mow suffre in the siyt of his heete? Kepynge a furneis in the werkis of heete;

4 the sunne brennynge hillis in thre maneris, sendynge out beemys of fier, and schynynge ayen with hise beemys, blyndith iyen.

5 The Lord is greet, that made it; and in the wordis of hym it hastide iourney.

6 And the moone in alle men in his tyme is shewing of tyme, and a signe of the world.

7 A signe of the feeste dai is takun of the moone; the liyt which is maad litil in the ende.

8 The monethe is encreessynge bi the name therof, wondirfuli in to the ending.

9 A vessel of castels in hiy thingis, schynynge gloriousli in the firmament of heuene.

10 The fairnesse of heuene is the glorie of sterris; the Lord an hiy liytneth the world.

11 In the wordis of the hooli tho schulen stonde at the doom; and tho schulen not faile in her wakyngis.

12 Se thou the bouwe, and blesse thou hym that made it; it is ful fair in his schynyng.

13 It yede aboute heuene in the cumpas of his glorie; the hondis of hiy God openyden it.

14 Bi his comaundement he hastide the snow; and he hastith to sende out the leiytyngis of his dom.

15 Therfor tresouris weren opened, and clowdis fledden out as been.

16 In his greetnesse he settide clowdis; and stoonys of hail weren brokun.

17 Hillis schulen be moued in his siyt; and the south wynd schal blowe in his wille.

18 The vois of his thundur schal beete the erthe; the tempest of the north, and the gaderyng togidere of wynd.

19 And as a brid puttynge doun to sitte sprengith snow, and the comyng doun of that snow is as a locust drenchynge doun.

20 The iye schal wondre on the fairnesse of whitnesse therof; and an herte dredith on the reyn therof.

21 He schal schede out frost as salt on the erthe; and while the wynd blowith, it schal be maad as coppis of a brere.

22 The coold northun wynd blew, and cristal of watir frees togidre; it restith, on al the gedering togidere of watris, and it clothith it silf with watris, as with an haburioun.

23 And it schal deuoure hillis, and it schal brenne the desert; and it schal quenche grene thing as fier.

24 The medicyn of alle thingis is in the haasting of a cloude; a deewe, meetynge the heete comynge of brennyng, schal make it low.

25 The wynd was stille in the word of God; bi his thouyt he made peesible the depthe of watris; and the Lord Jhesu plauntide it.

26 Thei that seilen in the see, tellen out the perels therof; and we heeringe with oure eeris schulen wondre.

27 There ben ful cleer werkis, and wonderful, dyuerse kindis of beestis, and of alle litle beestis, and the creature of wondurful fischis.

28 The ende of weie is confermyd for it; and alle thingis ben maad in the word of hym.

29 We seien many thingis, and we faylen in wordis; forsothe he is the endyng of wordis.

30 To what thing schulen we be myyti, that han glorie in alle thingis? for he is al myyti aboue alle hise werkis.

31 The Lord is ferdful, and ful greet; and his power is wondurful.

32 Glorifie ye the Lord as myche as euere ye moun, yit he schal be myytiere; and his grete doynge is wondurful.

33 Ye blessynge the Lord, enhaunse hym as myche as ye moun; for he is more than al preisyng.

34 Ye enhaunsynge hym schulen be fillid with vertu; trauele ye not, for ye schulen not take perfitli.

35 Who siy hym, and schal telle out? and who schal magnefie hym, as he is fro the bigynnyng?

36 Many thingis gretter than these ben hid fro vs; for we han seyn fewe thingis of hise werkis.

37 Forsothe the Lord made alle thingis; and he yaf wisdom to men doynge feithfuli.

Chapter 44


1 Preise we gloriouse men, and oure fadris in her generacioun.

2 The Lord made myche glorie bi his greet doyng, fro the world.

3 Grete men in vertu weren lordis in her poweris, and riche in her prudence; tellynge in profetis the dignete of profetis, and comaundynge in present puple,

4 and tellynge hoolieste wordis to puplis, bi the vertu of prudence.

5 Sekynge maneres of musik in her childhod, and tellynge songis of scripturis.

6 Riche men in vertu, hauynge the studie of fairnesse, makynge pees in her housis.

7 Alle these men gaten glorie in the generaciouns of her folk; and ben had in preysyngis in her daies.

8 Thei that weren borun of hem, leften a name to telle the preisyngis of hem.

9 And summe ben, of whiche is no mynde; thei perischiden as thei that weren not, and thei weren borun as not borun; and her sones perischiden with hem.

10 But also tho men of mercy ben, whose pitees failiden not;

11 and good eritage dwellide contynueli with the seed of hem.

12 And the seed of her sones sones stood in testament,

13 and the eritage of her sones dwellith for hem, til in to with outen ende; the seed of hem, and the glorie of hem, schal not be forsakun.

14 The bodies of hem ben biried in pees; and the name of hem schal lyue in to generaciouns and generaciouns.

15 Puplis tellen the wisdom of hem; and the chirche tellith the preysyng of hem.

16 Enok pleside God, and was translatid in to paradis, that he yyue wisdom to folkis.

17 Noe was foundun parfit and iust, and he was maad recouncelynge in the tyme of wrathfulnesse.

18 Therfor residue seed was left to erthe, whanne the greet flood was maad.

19 Testamentis of the world weren set anentis hym, lest al fleisch myyte be doon awei bi the greet flood.

20 Abraham was the greet fadir of the multitude of folkis; and noon was foundun lijk hym in glorie, which kepte the lawe of hiy God, and was in the testament with hym.

21 He made a testament to stonde in his fleisch; and he was foundun feithful in temptacioun.

22 Therfor God with an ooth yaf to hym glorie in his folk; God made hym to encreesse, as an heep of erthe,

23 and to enhaunse his seed as sterris, and to enherite hem fro the see `til to the see, and fro the flood `til to the endis of erthe.

24 And to Isaac God dide in the same maner, for Abraham, his fadir.

25 The Lord yaf to hym the blessing of alle folkis; and confermyde his testament on the heed of Jacob.

26 He knew hym in hise blessyngis, and yaf eritage to hym; and departide to hym a part in twelue lynagis.

27 And he kepte to hym men of merci, fyndynge grace in the siyt of eche man.

Chapter 45


1 Moises was loued of God and of men; whose mynde is in blessyng.

2 He made him lijk in the glorie of seyntis, and he magnefiede hym in the drede of enemyes; and in his wordis he made peesible the wondris ayens kynde.

3 He glorifiede hym in the siyt of kyngis, and he `comaundide to hym bifore his puple, and schewide his glorie to hym.

4 In the feith and myldenesse of hym God made hym hooli; and chees him of alle men.

5 For he herde hym, and his vois; and ledde in hym in a cloude.

6 And yaf to hym an herte to comaundementis, and to the lawe of lijf, and of techyng; to teche Jacob a testament, and Israel hise domes.

7 He made hiy Aaron, his brother, and lijk hym of the lynage of Leuy.

8 He ordeynede to hym euerlastynge testament, and yaf to hym the preesthod of the folk. And he made hym blissful in glorie,

9 and girte hym with a girdil of riytfulnesse; and clothide hym with a stoole of glorie, and crownede hym in the ournementis of vertu.

10 He settide on hym sandalies, and breeches, and a clooth on the schuldur, and girte hym aboute with ful many small goldun bellis in cumpas;

11 to yyue soun in his goyng, to make soun herd in the temple, in to mynde to the sones of his folk.

12 God yaf to hym an hooli stoole, a wouun werk, with gold, and iacynct, and purpur, the werk of a wijs man, maad riche with doom and treuthe;

13 the werk of a crafti man, in writhun reed threed, with preciouse iemmes grauun in the byndyng of gold, and grauun bi the werk of a crafti man of stoonys, in to mynde, bi the noumbre of the lynagis of Israel.

14 A goldun coroun on his mytre, set forth with the signe of hoolynesse, the glorie of onour, and the werk of vertu, ourned to desijr of iyen.

15 Siche thingis so faire weren not bifore hym, `til to the eest.

16 Noon alien was clothid ther ynne, but oneli hise sones, and hise sones sones aloone, bi al tyme.

17 Hise sacrifices weren endid ech dai bi fyer.

18 Moises fillide hise hondis, and anoyntide hym with hooli oile.

19 It was maad to hym in to euerlastynge testament, and to his seed as the daies of heuene, to vse presthod, and to haue preisyng, and to glorifie his puple in his name.

20 God chees hym of ech lyuynge man, to offre sacrifice to God, encense, and good odour, in to mynde, for to plese for his puple.

21 And he yaf to hym power in hise comaundementis, and in the testamentis of domes, to teche Jacob witnessyngis, and in his lawe to yyue liyt to Israel.

22 For aliens stooden ayens hym, and men that weren with Datan and Abiron, and the congregacioun of Chore, in wrathfulnesse cumpassiden hym for enuye, in desert.

23 The Lord siy, and it pleside not hym; and thei weren wastid in the feersnesse of wrathfulnesse.

24 He made to hem wondris ayens kynde, and in the flawme of fier he wastide hem.

25 And he encreesside glorie to Aaron, and yaf eritage to hym; and he departide to Aaron the firste thingis of fruytis of the erthe.

26 He made redi his breed in the firste thingis, in to fulnesse; for whi and thei shulen ete the sacrifices of the Lord, whiche he yaf to hym, and to his seed.

27 But in the lond of his folk he schal not haue eritage, and no part is to hym among the folk; for whi God is the part and eritage of hym.

28 Fynees, the sone of Eleazarus, was the thridde in glorie, in suynge hym in the drede of God,

29 and to stonde in the reuerence of folk; in the goodnesse and gladnesse of his soule he pleside God of Israel.

30 Therfor God ordeynede to hym the testament of pees, and made hym prince of hooli men, and of his folk; that the dignete of presthod be to hym and to his seed, with outen ende.

31 And the testament of Dauid, the sone of Jesse, of the lynage of Juda, was eritage to hym, and to his seed; that he schulde yyue wisdom in to oure herte, to deme his folk in riytfulnesse, lest her goodis schulen be don awei; and he made the glorie of hem to be euerlastinge, in the folk of hem.

Chapter 46


1 Jhesus Naue, the successour of Moises in profetis, was strong in batel, that was greet bi his name.

2 The gretteste in to the helthe of chosun men of God, to ouercome enemyes risynge ayens hem, that he schulde gete the erytage of Israel.

3 Which glorie he gat in reysynge his hondis, and in castynge scharpe arowis ayens citees.

4 Who bifore hym ayenstood so? for whi the Lord hym silf smoot the enemyes.

5 Whether the sunne was not lettid in the wrathfulnesse of hym, and o dai was maad as tweyne?

6 He clepide to help the hiyeste God, myyti in ouercomynge enemyes on ech side; and God, greet and hooli, herde hym, in stoonys of hail of ful greet vertu.

7 He made asauyt ayens the folk enemy, and in the comynge doun he loste the aduersaries;

8 that hethene men knowe the myyt of hym, for it is not esy to fiyte ayens the Lord; and he suede myyti men at the bak.

9 And in the daies of Moises he and Caleph, the sone of Jephone, diden merci; to stonde ayens the enemye, and to forbede the folk fro synnes, and to refreyne the grutchyng of malice.

10 And thei tweyne weren stidfast, and weren delyuered fro perel, of the noumbre of sixe hundrid thousynde `foot men, to brynge hem in to the eritage, in to the lond that flowith mylk and hony.

11 And the Lord yaf strengthe to thilke Caleph, and til in to elde vertu dwellide perfitli to hym; that he stiede in to the hiy place of the lond, and his seed gat eritage.

12 And alle the children of Israel sien, that it is good to obeie to hooli God.

13 And alle iugis bi her name, the herte of whiche was not corrupt, weren strong in batel, which weren not turned awei fro the Lord;

14 that the mynde of hem be in blessyng, and her boonys apperen fro her place;

15 and her name dwellith with outen ende, for the glorie of hooli men dwellith at the sones of hem.

16 Samuel, the profete of the Lord, that was louyd of his Lord God, made newe the empire, and anoyntide prynces in his folk.

17 In the lawe of the Lord he demyde the congregacioun, and he siy the Lord of Jacob, and in his feith he was preued a profete.

18 And he was knowun feithful in hise wordis, for he siy the Lord of liyt.

19 And he clepide in to help the Lord almyyti, in ouercomynge enemyes stondynge aboute on ech side, in the offrynge of a man vndefoulid.

20 And the Lord thundride fro heuene, and in greet soun he made his vois herd.

21 And he al to-brak the princes of men of Tyre, and alle the duykis of Filisteis.

22 And bifore the tyme of ende of his lijf, and of the world, he yaf witnessyng in the siyt of the Lord, and of Crist; he took not of ony man richessis, yhe, til to schoon; and no man accuside hym.

23 And after this he slepte, and he made knowun to the kyng, and he schewide to hym the ende of his lijf; and he enhaunside his vois fro the erthe in profesie, to do awei the wickidnesse of the folc.

Chapter 47


1 Aftir these thingis Nathan, the profete, roos, in the daies of Dauid.

2 And as ynnere fatnesse departide fro the fleisch, so Dauid fro the sones of Israel.

3 He pleiede with liouns, as with lambren; he dide in lijk maner with beris, as with lambren of scheep.

4 Whether in his yongthe he killide not a giaunt, and took awei schenschip fro the folk?

5 In reisynge the hond in a stoon of a slynge, he castide doun the ful out ioiyng of Golias,

6 where he clepide to help the Lord almyyti; and he yaf in his riyt hond to do awei a stronge man in batel, and to enhaunse the horn of his folk.

7 So he glorifiede hym in ten thousynde, and he preiside hym in the blessyngis of the Lord, in offrynge to hym the coroun of glorie.

8 For he al to-brak enemyes on ech side, and drow out bi the roote Filisteis contrarie, `til in to this dai; he al to-brak the horn of hem, `til in to with outen ende.

9 Dauid in ech werk yaf knouleching to hooli God, and hiy in the word of glorie.

10 Of al his herte he heriede God, and he louyde the Lord that made hym, and yaf to hym power ayens enemyes.

11 And he made syngeris to stonde ayens the auter; and he made swete motetis in the soun of hem.

12 And he yaf fairnesse in halewyngis, and he ournede tymes `til to the endyng of lijf; that thei schulden preise the hooli name of the Lord, and make large eerli the hoolynesse of God.

13 Crist purgide the synnes of hym, and enhaunside his horn with outen ende; and he yaf to hym the testament of kyngis, and the seete of glorie in Israel.

14 Aftir hym roos a witti sone; and for hym he castide doun al the power of enemyes.

15 Salomon regnede in the daies of pees, to whom God made suget alle enemyes, that he schulde make an hous in the name of God, and make redi hoolynesse with outen ende, as he was lerned in his yongthe.

16 And he was fillid with wisdom as a flood is fillid; and his soule vnhilide the erthe.

17 And thou, Salomon, fillidist derk figuratif spechis in licnessis; and thi name was pupplischid to ilis afer, and thou were louyde in thi pees.

18 Londis wondriden in songis, and in prouerbis, and in licnessis, and interpretyngis, ether exposiciouns; and in the name of the Lord,

19 to whom the surname is God of Israel.

20 Thou gaderidist togidere gold as latoun, and thou fillidist siluer as leed.

21 And thou bouwidist thi thies to wymmen; thou haddist power in thi bodi.

22 Thou hast youe a wem in thi glorie, and madist vnhooli thi seed, to brynge in wrathfulnesse to thi children, and thi foli in othere men;

23 that thou schuldist make the rewme departid in to tweyne, and of Effrem to comaunde an hard comaundement.

24 But God schal not forsake his merci, and schal not distrie, nether do awei hise werkis, nether he schal leese fro generacioun the sones sones of his chosun kyng Dauid; and he schal not distrie the seed of hym that loueth the Lord.

25 Forsothe God yaf remenaunt to Jacob, and to Dauid of that generacioun.

26 And Salomon hadde an ende with hise fadris.

27 And he lefte aftir hym of his seed Roboam,

28 the foli of the folk, and made lesse fro prudence; which Roboam turnede awei the folk bi his councel.

29 And Jeroboam, the sone of Nabath, that made Israel to do synne, and yaf to Effraym weie to do synne; and ful many synnes of hem weren plenteuouse,

30 for thei turneden hem awei greetli fro her lond.

31 And the lynage of Effraym souyte al wickidnessis, til defence cam to hem; and delyuerede hem fro alle synnes.

Chapter 48


1 And Elie, the profete, roos as fier; for whi his word brente as a brond.

2 Which brouyte yn hungur on hem, and thei suynge hym weren maad fewe for enuye; for thei myyten not suffre the comaundementis of the Lord.

3 Bi the word of the Lord he held togidere heuene, and castide doun fro it fier to the erthe.

4 So Elie was alargid in his merueils; and who may haue glorie in lijk maner with thee, which tokist awei a deed man fro hellis,

5 fro the eritage of deth, in the word of the Lord God?

6 Which castidist doun kyngis to deth, and hast broke togidere liytli the power of hem, and gloriouse men fro her bed.

7 Which herdist dom in Syna, and in Oreb domes of defence.

8 Which anoyntist kyngis to penaunce, and makist prophetis successouris aftir thee.

9 Which were reseyued in a whirlwynde of fier, in a chare of horsis of fier.

10 Which art writun in the domes of tymes, to plese the wrathfulnesse of the Lord, to recounsele the herte of the fadir to the sone, and to restore the lynagis of Jacob.

11 Thei ben blessid, that siyen thee, and weren maad feir in thi frenschipe;

12 for whi we lyuen oneli in lijf, but after deth oure name schal not be siche.

13 Elie, that was hilid in a whirlewynd; and his spirit was fillid in Elisee. Elisee in hise daies dredde not the prince, and no man ouercam hym bi power;

14 nether ony word ouercam hym, and his deed bodi profesiede.

15 In his lijf he dide wondris ayens kynde; and in deth he wrouyte merueilis.

16 In alle these thingis the puple dide not penaunce, and yeden not awei fro her synnes, til whanne thei weren cast awei fro her lond, and weren scatered in to ech lond.

17 And a ful fewe folk was left, and a prince in the hous of Dauid.

18 Summe of hem diden that, that pleside God; but othere diden many synnes.

19 Ezechie maad strong his citee, and brouyte watir in to the myddis therof; and diggide a rooche with irun, and bildide a pit to watir.

20 In hise daies Senacherib stiede, and sente Rapsaces; and he reiside his hond ayens hem, and he reiside his hond ayens Syon, and was maad proud in his power.

21 Thanne the hertis and hondis of hem weren moued; and thei hadden sorewe as wymmen trauelynge of child.

22 And thei clepiden to help the merciful Lord, and thei spredden abrood the hondis, and reisiden to heuene; and the hooli Lord God herde soone the vois of hem.

23 He hadde not mynde on her synnes, nether yaf hem to her enemyes; but he purgide hem in the hond of Isaie, the hooli profete.

24 The aungel of the Lord castide doun the castels of Assiriens, and al to-brak hem.

25 For whi Ezechie dide that that pleside the Lord, and yede strongli in the weie of Dauith, his fadir; which weie Isaie, the grete profete, and feithful in the siyt of God, comaundide to hym.

26 In the daies of hym the sunne yede ayen abak; and God encreesside lijf to the kyng.

27 With greet spirit Ysaie siy the laste thingis; and he coumfortide the moreneris in Sion, `in to with outen ende.

28 He schewide thingis to comynge, and hid thingis, bifore that tho camen.

Chapter 49


1 The mynde of Josie maad in the makyng of odour, is the werk of a pyment makere.

2 In ech mouth his mynde schal be maad swete as hony, and as musik in the feeste of wyn.

3 He was dressid of God in the penaunce of folk; and he took awei the abhomynaciouns of wickidnesse.

4 And the herte of hym gouernede to the Lord; and in the daies of synnes he strengthide pitee.

5 Outakun Dauid, Ezechie and Josie, alle kyngis diden synne.

6 For whi the kyngis of Juda leften the lawe of myyti God, and dispisiden the drede of God.

7 For thei yauen her rewme to othere men, and her glorie to an alien folk.

8 Thei brenten the chosun citee of hoolynesse; and thei maden the weies therof forsakun in the hond of Jeremye.

9 For thei tretiden yuel hym, which from the wombe of the modir was halewid a profete, to turne vpsedoun, and to leese, and efte to bilde, and make newe.

10 Ezechiel, that siy the siyt of glorie, which the Lord schewide to hym in the chare of cherubyn.

11 For he made mynde of enemyes in reyn, to do wel to hem, that schewiden riytful weies.

12 And the boonys of twelue profetis apperen fro her place; and thei strengthiden Jacob, and ayenbouyten hem in the feith of her vertu.

13 Hou schulen we alarge Zorobabel? for whi and he was a signe in the riyt hond of God to Israel;

14 and Jhesu, the sone of Josedech? whiche in her daies bildiden an hous, and enhaunsiden the hooli temple to the Lord, maad redi in to euerlastynge glorie.

15 And Neemye in the mynde of myche tyme, that reiside to vs the wallis, `that weren cast doun, and made the yatis and lockis to stonde; which Neemye reiside oure housis.

16 No man borun in erthe was such as Enok; for whi and he was resseyued fro the erthe.

17 And Joseph, that was borun a man, the prince of britheren, the stidfastnesse of folk, the gouernour of britheren, the stablischyng of puple;

18 and his boonys weren visitid, and profesieden after deth.

19 Seth and Sem, these gaten glorie anentis men, and ouer ech man in the generacioun of Adam.

Chapter 50


1 Symount, the sone of Onyas, was a greet preest, which in his lijf vndursettide the hous, and in hise daies strengthide the temple.

2 Also the hiynesse of the temple was bildide of hym, the double bildyng, and hiy wallis of the temple.

3 In the daies of hym the pittis of watris camen forth; and as the see tho weren fillid aboue mesure.

4 Which Symount helide his folk, and delyuerede it fro perdicioun.

5 Which was myyti to alarge the citee; which gat glorie in the conuersacioun of folk; and alargide the entryng of the hous, and of the large cumpas aboute.

6 As the dai sterre in the myddis of a cloude, and as a ful moone schyneth in hise daies;

7 and as the sunne schynynge, so he schynede in the temple of God;

8 as a reyn bouwe schynynge among the cloudis of glorie, and as a flour of rosis in the daies of veer, and as lilies, that ben in the passyng of watir, and as encense smellynge in the daies of somer; as fier schynynge,

9 and ensence brennynge in fier;

10 as a sad vessel of gold, ourned with ech preciouse stoon;

11 as an olyue tree spryngynge forth, and a cipresse tree reisynge it silf an hiy; while he took the stoole of glorie, and was clothid in the perfeccioun of vertu.

12 In the stiyng of the hooli auter, the clothing of hoolynesse yaf glorie.

13 Forsothe in takynge partis of the hoond of prestis, and he stood bisidis the auter. The coroun of britheren, as a plauntyng of cedre in the hil Liban, was aboute hym;

14 so thei stoden aboute hym as boowis of palm tree, and alle the sones of Aaron stoden in her glorie.

15 Sotheli the offryng of the Lord was in the hondis of hem, bifore al the synagoge of Israel; and he vside ful endyng on the auter, to alarge the offryng of the hiy kyng.

16 And he dresside his hond in moiste sacrifice; and sacrifiside in the blood of grape.

17 He schedde out in the foundement of the auter, the odour of God to the hiy prince.

18 Thanne the sones of Aaron crieden lowde; thei sowneden in trumpis betun out with hameris, and maden a grete vois herd in to mynde bifore God.

19 Thanne al the puple hastiden togidere, and fellen doun on the face on the erthe, for to worschipe her Lord God, and to yyue preyers to almyyti God an hiy.

20 And men syngynge in her voices alargiden; and a soun ful of swetnesse was maad in the greet hous.

21 And the puple preiede the hiy Lord in preier, til that the onour of the Lord was doon perfitli, and thei parformeden her yifte.

22 Thanne Symount cam doun, and reiside hise hondis in to al the congregacioun of the sones of Israel, to yyue glorie to God bi hise lippis, and to haue glorie in the name of hym.

23 And he reherside his preier, willynge to schewe the vertu of God.

24 And he preyede more the Lord of alle, that made grete thingis in ech lond; which encreesside oure daies fro the wombe of oure modir, and dide with vs bi his mercy.

25 Yyue he gladnesse of herte to vs, and that pees be maad in Israel bi euerlastynge daies;

26 that Israel bileue, that Goddis merci is with vs, that he delyuere hem in her dayes.

27 Mi soule hatith twei folkis; but the thridde is not a folk, whom Y hate.

28 Thei that sitten in the hil of Seir, and the Filisteis, and the fonned puple, that dwellith in Sichemys.

29 Jhesus, the sone of Sirach, a man of Jerusalem, wroot in this book the techyng of wisdom, and of kunnyng; and he renulide wisdom of his herte.

30 He is blessid, that dwellith in these goodis; he that settith tho in his herte, schal euere be wijs.

31 For if he doith these thingis, he schal be miyti to alle thingis; for whi the liyt of God is the step of hym.

Chapter 51


1 Lord kyng, Y schal knouleche to thee; and Y schal togidere herie thee, my sauyour.

2 Y schal knouleche to thi name, for thou art maad an helpere and defendere to me;

3 and thou hast delyuered my bodi fro perdicioun, fro the snare of a wickid tunge, and fro the lippis of hem that worchen a leesyng; and in the siyt of hem that stonden nyy thou art maad an helpere to me.

4 And thou hast delyuered me, bi the multitude of merci of thi name, fro roreris maad redi to mete;

5 fro the hondis of hem that souyten my soule, and fro many tribulaciouns that cumpassiden me;

6 fro ouerleiyng of flawme that cumpasside me, and in the myddis of fier Y was not brent;

7 fro the depthe of the wombe of helle, and fro a tunge defoulyd, and fro a word of leesyng; fro a wickid kyng, and fro a tunge vniust.

8 `Til to the deth my soule schal preise thee, Lord;

9 and my lijf was neiyynge in helle bynethe.

10 Thei cumpassiden me on ech side, and noon was that helpide; Y was biholdynge to the help of men, and noon was.

11 Lord, Y hadde mynde on thi merci, and on thi worchyng togidere, that ben fro the world;

12 for thou delyuerst hem that abiden thee, and thou delyuerst hem fro the hond of hethene men.

13 Thou enhaunsidist my dwellyng on erthe; and Y bisouyte for deth fletynge doun.

14 Y clepyde to help the Lord, fadir of my Lord, that he forsake not me in the dai of my tribulacioun, and forsake not me with outen help, in the tyme of hem that ben proude.

15 Y schal preise thi name contynueli, and Y schal herie it togidere in knoulechyng; and my preier is herd.

16 And thou hast delyuered me fro perdicioun, and thou hast delyuered me fro the wickid tyme.

17 Therfor Y schal knouleche, and Y schal seie heriyng to thee; and Y schal blesse the name of the Lord.

18 Whanne yit Y was yongere, bifore that Y erride, Y souyte wisdom opynli in my preier.

19 Bifore the tyme of eelde Y axide for it, and `til in to the laste thingis Y schal enquere it; and it schal flour as a grape ripe bifore othere.

20 Myn herte was glad ther ynne, my foot yede a riytful weye; fro my yongthe Y souyte it.

21 Y bowide doun a litil myn eere, and Y took it.

22 Y foonde myche wisdom in my silf, and Y profitide myche ther ynne.

23 Y schal yyue glorie to hym, that yyueth wisdom to me.

24 For whi Y took councel to do it; Y loued feruentli good, and Y schal not be schent.

25 My soule wrastlide togidere ther ynne; and Y was confermyd in doynge it.

26 Y stretchide forth myn hondis an hiy; and my soule schynede in the wisdom of hym, and he liytnyde myn vnkunnyngis.

27 Y dresside my soule to it; and Y foond it in knowyng.

28 Y hadde pesibli fro the bigynnyng an herte with tho; for this thing Y schal not be forsakun.

29 My soule was disturblid in sekynge it; therfor Y schal haue pesibli a good possessioun.

30 For whi the Lord yaf to me a tunge my meede; and in it Y schal preise hym.

31 Ye vntauyt men, neiye to me; and gadere ye you in to the hous of techyng.

32 What tarien ye yit? and what seien ye in these thingis? youre soules thristen greetli.

33 Y openyde my mouth, and Y spak, Bie ye wisdom to you with out siluer,

34 and make youre necke suget to the yok therof, and youre soule resseyue techyng; for whi it is in the nexte to fynde it.

35 Se ye with youre iyen, that Y trauelide a litil, and Y foond myche reste to me.

36 Take ye techyng in myche noumbre of siluere, and welde ye plenteuouse gold ther ynne.

37 Youre soule be glad in the merci of hym; and ye schulen not be schent in the preysing of hym.

38 Worche ye youre werk bifore the tyme; and he schal yyue to you youre meede in his tyme.