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Ecclesiasticus / Sirach - Chapter 31

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1 The sleeplessness brought by wealth makes a person lose weight, the worry it causes drives away sleep.

2 The worries of the daytime prevent you from sleeping, like a serious illness, they keep sleep at bay.

3 The rich for ever toils, piling up money, and then, leaving off, he is gorged with luxuries;

4 the poor for ever toils, barely making a living, and then, leaving off, is poorer than ever.

5 No one who loves money can easily avoid sinning, whoever pursues profit will be corrupted by it.

6 Gold has been the ruin of many; their coming destruction was self-evident,

7 since it is a snare for those who sacrifice to it and stupid people all get caught in it.

8 Happy the rich who is found to be blameless and does not go chasing after gold.

9 Who is he, so that we can congratulate him, for he has achieved marvels among his fellows?

10 Who has been through this test and emerged perfect? He may well be proud of that! Who has had the chance to sin and has not sinned, had the chance to do wrong and has not done it?

11 His fortune will be firmly based and the assembly will acclaim his generosity.

12 If you are sitting down to a lavish table, do not display your greed, do not say, 'What a lot to eat!'

13 Remember, it is bad to have a greedy eye. Is any creature more wicked than the eye? - That is why it is always weeping!

14 Do not reach out for anything your host has his eye on, do not jostle him at the dish.

15 Judge your fellow-guest's needs by your own, be thoughtful in every way.

16 Eat what is offered you like a well brought-up person, do not wolf your food or you will earn dislike.

17 For politeness' sake be the first to stop; do not act the glutton, or you will give offence,

18 and if you are sitting with a large party, do not help yourself before the others do.

19 A little is quite enough for a well-bred person; his breathing is easy when he lies in bed.

20 A moderate diet ensures sound sleep, one gets up early, in the best of spirits. Sleeplessness, biliousness and gripe are what the glutton has to endure.

21 If you are forced to eat too much, get up, go and vomit, and you will feel better.

22 Listen to me, my child, do not disregard me, eventually you will see the force of my words. Be moderate in all your activities and illness will never overtake you.

23 People praise the person who keeps a splendid table, and their opinion of his munificence is sound.

24 But a niggardly host provokes universal resentment and people will retail instances of his meanness.

25 Do not play the valiant at your wine, for wine has been the undoing of many.

26 The furnace proves the temper of steel, and wine proves hearts in the drinking bouts of braggarts.

27 Wine gives life if drunk in moderation. What is life worth without wine? It came into being to make people happy.

28 Drunk at the right time and in the right amount, wine makes for a glad heart and a cheerful mind.

29 Bitterness of soul comes of wine drunk to excess out of temper or bravado.

30 Drunkenness excites the stupid to a fury to his own harm, it reduces his strength while leading to blows.

31 Do not provoke your fellow-guest at a wine feast, do not make fun of him when he is enjoying himself, do not take him to task or annoy him by reclaiming money owed.


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