¶ A good name is more worth than a precious ointment, and the day of death is better than the day of birth. It is better to go into an house of mourning, than into a banquet house. For there is the end of all men, and he that is living, taketh it to heart. It is better to be sorry than to laugh, for when the countenance is heavy, the heart is joyful. The heart of the wise is in the mourning house, but the heart of the foolish is in the house of mirth. It is better to give ear to the chastening of a wise man, than to hear the song of fools. For the laughting of fools is like the crackling of thorns under a pot. And that is but a vain thing.
¶ Who so doeth wrong, maketh a wise man to go out of his wit, and destroyeth a gentle heart. The end of a thing is better than the beginning. The patient of spirit is better than the high minded. Be not hastily angry in thy mind, for wrath resteth in the bosom of a fool. Say not thou: What is the cause that the days of the old time were better, than they that be now? For that were no wise question.
¶ Wisdom is better than riches, yea much more worth than the eyesight. For wisdom defendeth as well as money, and the excellent knowledge and wisdom giveth life to him that have it in possession. Consider the work of God, how that no man can make the thing straight, which he maketh crooked. Use well the time of prosperity and remember the time of misfortune: For God maketh one by the other, so that a man can find nothing else. These two things also have I considered in the time of vanity: that the just man perisheth for his righteousness' sake, and the ungodly liveth in his wickedness. Therefore be thou neither too righteous nor over wise, that thou perish not: be neither too unrighteous also nor too foolish, lest thou die before thy time. It is good for thee to take hold of this, and not to let that go out of thy hand. For he that feareth God shall escape them all. Wisdom giveth more courage unto the wise, than ten mighty men of the city. For there is not one just upon earth, that doth good, and sinneth not. Take not heed unto every word that is spoken, lest thou hear thy servant curse thee: For thine own heart knoweth, that thou thyself also hast oft times spoken evil by other men.
¶ All these things have I proved because of wisdom: For I thought to be wise, but she went farther from me than she was before, yea and so deep that I might not reach unto her. I applied my mind also to knowledge, and to seek out science, wisdom and understanding: to know the foolishness of the ungodly, and the error of doting fools. And I found, that a woman is bitterer than death: for she is a very angle, her heart is a net, and her hands are chains. Who so pleaseth God shall escape from her, but the sinner will be taken with her. Behold (sayeth the preacher) this have I diligently searched out and proved, that I might come by knowledge: which as yet I seek, and find it not. Among a thousand men I have found one, but not one woman among all. Lo, this onely have I found, that God made man just and right, but they seek divers sotylties,