Sirach 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.