¶ Dead flies that corrupt sweet ointment and make it to stink, are something more worth then the wisdom and honor of a fool. A wise man's heart is upon the right hand, but a fool's heart is upon the left. A doting fool thinketh, that every man doth as foolishly as himself.
¶ If a principal spirit be given thee to bear rule, be not negligent then in thine office: for so shall great wickedness be put down, as it were with a medicine. Another plague is there, which I have seen under the son: namely, the ignorance that is commonly among princes: in that a fool setteth in great dignity, and the rich are sit down beneath: I see servants ride upon horses, and princes going upon their feet as it were servants. But he that diggeth up a pit, shall fall therein himself: and whoso breaketh down the hedge, a serpent shall bite him. Whoso removeth stones shall have travail withal: and he that heweth wood, shall be hurt therewith. When an iron is blunt, and the point not sharpened, it must be whet again, and that with might: Even so doth wisdom follow diligence. A babbler of his tongue is no better than a serpent that stingeth without hissing.
¶ The words out of a wise man's mouth are gracious, but the lips of a fool will destroy himself. The beginning of his talking is foolishness, and the last word of his mouth is great madness. A fool is so full of words, that a man can not tell what end he shall make: who will then warn him to make a conclusion? The labour of the foolish is grievous unto them, while they know not how to go in to the city.
¶ Woe be unto thee (O thou realm and land) whose king is but a child, and whose princes are early at their banquettes. But well is thee (O thou realm and land) whose king is come of nobles, and whose princes eat in due season, for strength and not for lust. Thorow slothfulness the balks fall down, and thorow idle hands it raineth in at the house. Meat maketh men to laugh, and wine maketh them merry: but unto money are all things obedient. Wish the king no evil in thy thought, and speak no hurt of the rich in thy privy chamber: for a bird of the air shall betray thy voice, and with her feathers shall she betray thy words.