- The horse-leech had three dearly-beloved daughters: and
these three did not satisfy her; and the fourth was not contented so
as to say, Enough.
- The grave, and the love of a woman, and the earth not filled with
water; water also and fire will not say, It is enough.
- The eye that laughs to scorn a father, and dishonours the old age
of a mother, let the ravens of the valleys pick it out, let the young
eagles devour it.
- Moreover there are three things impossible for me to comprehend,
and the fourth I know not:
- the track of a flying eagle; and the ways of a serpent on a rock;
and the paths of a ship passing through the sea; and the ways of a man
- Such is the way of an adulterous woman, who having washed herself
from what she has done, says she has done nothing [a] amiss.
- By three things the earth is troubled, and the fourth it cannot
- if a servant reign; or a fool be filled with food;
- or if a maid-servant should cast out her own mistress; and if
a hateful woman should marry a good man.
- And there are four very little things upon the earth, but
these are wiser than the wise:
- the ants which are weak, and yet prepare their
food in summer;
- the rabbits also are a feeble race, who make their houses
in the rocks.
- The locusts have no king, and yet march orderly at one
- And the eft, which supports itself by its hands, and is
easily taken, dwells in the fortresses of kings.
- And there are three things which go well, and a fourth which
passes along finely.
- A lion's whelp, stronger than all other beasts, which
turns not away, nor fears any beast;
- and a cock walking in boldly among the hens, and a goat leading
the herd; and a king publicly speaking before a nation.
- If thou abandon thyself to mirth, and stretch forth thine hand in
a quarrel, thou shalt be disgraced.
- Milk out milk, and there shall be butter, and if thou wring
one's nostrils there shall come out blood: so if thou extort
words, there will come forth quarrels and strifes.
[a] Gr. out of place.
[English translation of the Septuagint by Sir Lancelot Charles Lee
Brenton (1807-1862) originally published by Samuel Bagster & Sons,
Ltd., London, 1851]
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