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Sirach , CHAPTER 20

1

An admonition can be inopportune, and a man may be wise to hold his peace.

2

It is much better to admonish than to lose one's temper, for one who admits his fault will be kept from disgrace.

3

Like a eunuch lusting for intimacy with a maiden is he who does right under compulsion.

4

One man is silent and is thought wise, another is talkative and is disliked.

5

One man is silent because he has nothing to say; another is silent, biding his time.

6

A wise man is silent till the right time comes, but a boasting fool ignores the proper time.

7

He who talks too much is detested; he who pretends to authority is hated.

8

Some misfortunes bring success; some things gained are a man's loss.

9

Some gifts do one no good, and some must be paid back double.

10

Humiliation can follow fame, while from obscurity a man can lift up his head.

11

A man may buy much for little, but pay for it seven times over.

12

A wise man makes himself popular by a few words, but fools pour forth their blandishments in vain.

13

A gift from a rogue will do you no good, for in his eyes his one gift is equal to seven.

14

He gives little and criticizes often, and like a crier he shouts aloud. He lends today, he asks it back tomorrow; hateful indeed is such a man.

15

A fool has no friends, nor thanks for his generosity;

16

Those who eat his bread have an evil tongue. How many times they laugh him to scorn!

17

A fall to the ground is less sudden than a slip of the tongue; that is why the downfall of the wicked comes so quickly.

18

Insipid food is the untimely tale; the unruly are always ready to offer it.

19

A proverb when spoken by a fool is unwelcome, for he does not utter it at the proper time.

20

A man through want may be unable to sin, yet in this tranquility he cannot rest.

21

One may lose his life through shame, and perish through a fool's intimidation.

22

A man makes a promise to a friend out of shame, and has him for his enemy needlessly.

23

A lie is a foul blot in a man, yet it is constantly on the lips of the unruly.

24

Better a thief than an inveterate liar, yet both will suffer disgrace;

25

A liar's way leads to dishonor, his shame remains ever with him.

26

A wise man advances himself by his words, a prudent man pleases the great.

27

He who works his land has abundant crops, he who pleases the great is pardoned his faults.

28

Favors and gifts blind the eyes; like a muzzle over the mouth they silence reproof.

29

Hidden wisdom and unseen treasure-- of what value is either?

30

Better the man who hides his folly than the one who hides his wisdom.