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vations, ver. 11. Melancihon mentions this, which be not reprehended, his fulsome flatteries will a. is not commonly noted. The Sodomites being die lienate from him the mind of his friend. vinely delivered by the help of Abraham, who overthrew the army that had spoiled them, and res Ver. 1.
S snow in summer, and as rain in harvest, covered the spoil, forgetting their former punisla•
so bonour is not seemly for a fool.] As ment and marvellous deliverance, ran furiously into snow or rain are so unseasonable, that they do a great more foul sins, wherein they utterly perished, by a deal of hurt in summer-time, when the fruits of the most terrible vengeance.
earth' are ready to be gathered; so is dignity and [i] Then follow, after one observation concerning á authority very ill placed in the hands of a fool or conceited fellow, several observations about sloth; wicked man, who knows not how to use it, but will some of which have been noted before in the fores do mischief both to himself and others with it. See going parts of this book, bat are here put to. Arg. [a] gether by the men of Hezekiah in some order, and Ver. 2. As the bird by wandering, as the swallow with some additions. For here seems to be three by Aying, so the curse causeless shall not come.] Though degrees of sloth represented. The first, when a men are too prone in their passion to will evil to 0. man is loth to stir out of doors, about his business thers, or by mistake to pronounce solemn curses ain the field, ver. 13. ; the second, when he is loth gainst them, yet there is no reason to fear such rash so much as to leave his bed, ver. 14.; and the third imprecations or unjust censures; for they shall do no and highest, when he will scarce put his hand to harm, (unless it be to him that makes thena), but his mouth, ver. 15.; by which hyperbolical expres- pass by the innocent, like a sparrow that wanders nosion he most admirably sets forth the incredible body knows whither, or a wild dove, than which few laziness of some men, which increases upon them 'birds fly away more swiftly. See Arg. [b] continually, if they will not shake it off. And Ver. 3. À whip for the horse, a bridle for the ass, yet so presumptuous (he observes, ver. 16.) they and a rod for the focl's back.] A horse that will not are with al, that they laugh at those who take a stir without a whip, and an ass that will not go withgreat deal of pains to be wise ; and fancy them out a goar, or will go only his own way, without a selves much wiser, because without any pains, bridle to turn about his stiff neck, are fit emblems of they can find fault sometimes in other men's works. a senseless sot; who must be treated like a beast, Nay, this very thing, perhaps, they think a piece and by smart punishments be excited unto his duty, to of folly, to study hard, imagining it to be the which he hath no list; and checked from running into greatest wisdom to enjoy the ease, and: reap the tbat evil to which he is inclined. benefit of other men's labours. After which folo : Ver. 4. Answer not a fool according to his folly, lest lows an admonition against tash intermeddling in thou also be hike unto him.] For words will not reclaim other men's affairs, against back biters and dis- a wicked fool, with whom, if thou hast occasion to semblers, especially such as are malicious, and contend, observe these two rules ; answer him not at cover the malignity their minds under: fair all, because it is to no purpose at least, not in his own shews of love, or peops of friendship. In seve way, with bawling, railing, and reproaches, which is ral of which verses the words are capable of more to be as very a fool as himself.
See Arg. [c] senses than one, which I have endeavoured to knit Ver. 5. Answer a fool according to his felly, lest he be together in the paraphrase. An example of which wise in his own conceit.] But if he grow insolent by I might give particularly, in ver. 24. where the thy silence, fancying that he is unanswerable, then word jinnaker may be rendered, either bie pretends say so much only as may serve to take down his preto be what he is not, or he is known to be what he sumption, and make it appear that he is a fool ; for is.
nothing is more dangerous, than to let him go away [k] And what Solomon says in the next verse, con with an high opinion of his own abilities. cerning him that Aattereth another, some extend
Ver. 6. He that sendeth a message by the hand of a to all wicked men, none of which are to be trust fool, cutteth off the feet, and drinketh damage.] He that ed; but as one of our writers advises, “ Though a 'sends a witless man, or one tlrat minds nothing but wicked man have done thte' seven courtesies, and his pleasure, to treat about his business, shall be sure promise fair for the eighth, yet do not trust him; not only to miscarry in it, but to suffer exceeding for there are seven-abominations in his heart. And great damage by his ill management. See Arg. [d] though thou mayest think thou hast some hank Ver. 7. The legs of the lame are not equal; so is a upon him, do not depend upon it, for he can un- parable in the mouth of fools.] A wise saying as ill fetter himself from them all, as Sampson from becomes a fool, as dancing doth a cripple; for as his the green withs and cords wherewith the Phi. lameness never so much appears, as when he would listines bound him, unless God mightily restrain seem nimble, so the other's folly is never so ridicu. him." :
lous, as when he would seem wise. See Arg. [e] [!] But I only observe one thing more, that the last Ver. 8. As he that bindeth a stone in a sling, so is he
verse is capable of this sense, which I have in that giveth honour to a fool.] As a stone put into a past touched : “A liar is not capable to be a sling stays not long there, so is that honour thrown friend, for if he be reprehended, trath makes him away which is bestowed upon a fool; who not knowhate the person that detects his falsehood, if he ing how to use his authority, (unless it be to do mis
chief, even to him that conferred it on him), it is as these idle companions, whose wit serves him only to ill placed in his hands, as a diamond when it is cast prate, and carp at men's honest labours, takes himself into a heap of common stones. See Arg. [f] to be much wiser than a great many able persons,
Ver. 9. As a thorn goeth up into the hand of a drunkard, who can give a satisfactory account of any thing that so is a parable in the mouth of fools.] It is as dangerous is proposed to them. for a fool to meddle with a proverb, as for a drun- Ver. 17. He that passeth by, and meddleth with strife kard to handle a thorn, wherewith he hurts himself; belonging not to him, is like one that taketh a dog by the but the sharpest saying, no more touches a fool with ears.] As he that takes an angry dog by the ears, any compunction, though spoken by his own mouth, is in danger to be bitten, whether he hold him or than the drunkard feels the thorn, when it runs into let him go ; so he that furiously engages in other his hand, and gives a grievous wound.
men's quarrels, whom he lights upon by chance, and Ver. 10. The great God, that formed all things, both in which he is not concerned, shall hardly escape the rewardeth the fool, and rewardeth the transgressor.] displeasure of one or both of them, which soever The great God, who made all things, governs them part he takes, or if he take neither. also most wisely and equally; dispensing, for instance, Ver. 18. As a mad man who casteth fire-brands, arrows, his punishments suitable to men's sins, whether out of and death :) As he that throws flames, darts, or other ignorance, or of wilful wickedness; whom a good deadly or destructive things, and hides his malice by prince imitates, but a bad proves an universal grie. feigning himself mad, is far more dangerous than he vance, by employing either fools or profane persons in that is mad indeed : his service, who vex the rest of his subjects. See Ver. 19. So is the man that deceiveth bis neighbour, Arg. 
and suith, Am not I in sport?] So he is worse than an Ver. 11. As a dog returneth to his vomit, so a focl open enemy, who cunningly abuses his neighbour, returneth to his folly.] As a dog, when he hath vo- and under a fair shew puts foul cheats upon him; and mited up the meat which made him sick, is no sooner then asks him, Why he resents it so heinously? for well, but he returns to it and eats it up again, for- he was only in jest, and intended merely to try how getting how ill it agreed with him; so an imprudent he would take it. person commits the same error over again, for which Ver. 20. Where no wood is, there the fire goeth out ; he formerly smarted, and a lewd sinner shamelessly so where there is no tale-bearer, the strife ceaseth.] Look and greedily repeats the crimes of which he hath upon him as an incendiary, that carries tales and whis. repented as grievous and hurtful to him. See Arg. pers false stories; and expel him from the family [h]
which he hath disturbed by back-biting; for as the Ver. 12. Seest thou a man wise in his own conceit? fire will go out if you take away the wood that feeds there is more hope of a fool than of him.] Such a sot- it, so will quarrels and contentions cease when he is tish
person is hardly curable ; and yet if he be not thrust out of doors that blows up the flame. altogether insensible of his folly, nor refuse admoni- Ver. 21. As coals are to burning coals, and wood to tion, there is more hope of his amendment than of fire ; so is a contentious man to kindle strife.] Avoid his, who takes himself to be so wise and virtuous, also an angry man, who is hard to please, and apt to that he despises his betters, and thinks he is above find fault with every thing ; for provoking language as instruction.
quickly passes into quarrels, as dead coals do into Ver. 13. The slothful man saith, There is a lion in burning, or wood into fire, when they are laid upon the way, a lion is in the streets.] He that hath no them. mind to labour, never wants pretences for his idle- Ver. 22. The words of a tale-bearer are as wounds, ness; for his fancy represents such terrible and in- and they go down into the innermost parts of the belly.] superable difficulties to him as seldom happen, and But there is never need of greater caution, than when frights him with a vain conceit of them, when he a whisperer makes a shew of harmless intentions, and might soon satisfy himself there are none at all. See of love and kindness, when he traduces others; nay, Arg. [i] See xxii. 13.
seems perhaps to do it very unwillingly, and with Ver. 14. As the door turneth upon its hinges, so doth great grief of heart; and not without excuses also, for the slothful upon his bed.] As a door turns to and fro the persons whom he backbites; for his words are upon its hinges, but never stirs from thence, so is a stabs, which give them the most deadly wounds, and sluggard fixed to his bed; where he turns from one sink deep into the minds of those that hear them. side to the other, (and is uneasy even in his sloth), See xviii. 8. but still remains in his idle posture.
Ver. 23. Burning lips, and a wicked heart, are like a Ver. 15. The slothful bideth his hand in his bosom; it potsherd covered with silver dross.] lll and angry langrieveth him to bring it again to his mouth.] All things guage suits as well with ill-will, as silver dross with a seem so hard to such a lazy wretch, that it is not piece of a broken pot ; and he that studies to hide his easy to persuade him to pull his hand from under bis hatred under most affectionate words, will as certainly arm ; but even this appears like a tiresome business, be detected and vilified, as a potsherd, that makes a though it be only to put his meat into his mouth. See fair shew at a distance, when it is covered merely with
the scum of silver. Ver. 16. The sluggard is wiser in his own conceit, Ver. 24. He that healeth dissembleth with bis lips, iban seven men that can render a reason.] Yet one of and layeth up deceit within him.] And yet there is nothing more visual, than for him that hates thee to Wise and good men should only meddle within counterfeit the greatest kindness to thee, when he the bounds of their calling, and depend also on means thereby only the more easily and securely to God for his blessing; but not attempt things without deceive and undo thee; though, let him study never just cause, presuming they can carry them as they so much to disguise his inward rancour, he commonly please. Thus Pericles, says he, made an unneceslets fall some word or other, whereby it may be dis- sary war, for a slight reason ; which many then covered ; nay, it may be known sometimes by his ex- judged to have been neglected ; and Alcibiades in traordinary expressions of friendship, beyond all rea- like manner passed over into Sicily; and Hannibal son and measure.
made war upon the Romans; and Pompey would Ver. 25. When be speaketh fair, believe bim not ; for needs try his fortune, as they called it), in war, there are seven abominations in his heart.] And thou when he might have kept peace upon honest conwilt the more certainly discover it, if thou observest ditions. All these were destructive to their counthis rule, not to be too credulous; no, not when he tries, and the proverb was verified in them, Mátail gives thee the kindest words, and beseeches thee to μάταια λογίζουν οι επιθυμίας, « Vain men advise vain believe him; but to remember, that if hatred still re- things, according as their desires lead them." main in his heart, it will suggest to him the most de. [b] And there is nothing more foolish than the vanity testable designs against thee, and that without number. of praising themselves, which follows in the next See Arg. [k]
verse, (ver. 2.), and is noted by all the authors, Ver. 26. Whose batred is covered by deceit; bis wic- who have many sharp sayings about it, which I also kedness shall be shewed before the whole congregation.] pass over ; but shall take notice, (because it is still And it were well, if such a man would think that it more useful), what the same good man, Melancthon, is hard for him to carry on his malicious designs so observes upon the third verse, that “fools and uncraftily ; but though a private person may not be able skilful people are more apt to be angry than others;" to find out his wickedness, yet when he comes to be because they consider not the infirmity of mankind, examined by the public counsel, some or other will and that there are many errors of others, which discover it ; and then that disse mbled hatred, which ought to be borne withal, and cured after a gentle he thought to have hid in secrecy, will be openly ex- manner; whence that true saying, Imperito nunquam posed to the view of all the world.
quicquam injustius est. But as goodness is most es Ver. 27. Whoso diggeth a pit shall fall therein ; and minent in God, who himself bears with many be that rolleth a stone, it will return upon him.] For evils in us, and commands us to “ forgive, and it by the righteous judgement of God, (as hath been an- shall be forgiven us;" so wise men bend their minds ciently observed, Psal. vii. 15. ix. 15.), the wicked to goodness and lenity; remembering the common are not only disappointed in their designs, but involve infirmities of all men, their own as well as others. themselves in that mischief which they intended to Nor can there be a more lively picture of the imdo to others; just like a man that falls into a pit dig- placable spirit of a fool, than that which our Saged with his own hands, or that is crushed in pieces viour himself hath drawn in the gospel, of a cruel by a stone, which returns upon him, as he rolls it up servant who, when he had been forgiven sixty ton a steep place for the oppression of another.
of gold by his master, would not forgive his fellowVer. 28. A lying tongue bateth those that are aflicted servant an hundred pence, Matth. xviii. by it, and a flattering mouth worketh ruin.] A forger tence of Solomon, therefore, saith he, admonishes of falsehood is not content to undo others by his ca- us to avoid the company of fools, qui neque cognoslumnies, but his guilt makes him hate those inen above cere neque ignoscere norunt ; as well as to be so wise all others; unless it be him that confutes his false- ourselves as to moderate our passions, and to be hood, and proves him a liar; whom he cannot endure, mindful of human weakness. For nibil magnum because he disables him from doing any farther mis- quod non est placidum, as Seneca speaks, like unto chief unto others; which is the design of all his gloss- which he adds other sayings out of Homer and Pliny. ing and Aattering words, which prove at last the ruin [c] In the next verse but one, some think the wise of himself. See Arg. 
man speaks of such friends as are too tender and
delicate, and for fear of offending others, have not CHA P. XXVII.
the courage to tell them of their errors; whoin the
great Lord Bacon follows, and thinks “ Solomon THE ARGUMENT.-[a] This chapter begins with a prefers an open enemy before such a friend;" which
most useful admonition of the inconstancy and un- I do not take to be the meaning ; but shall here set certainty of all things here below ; like to which down his excellent observation upon these words, there are a great many in other authors, which se- (Adv. of Learn. book viii. ch. 2. parab. 29.), veral writers have collected, (but I shall not trouble * The parable, saith he, reprehends the soft nature the readers with all); particularly Melancthon, who of such friends as will not use the privilege which observes, that the wise 'inan here teaches us mo- friendship gives them, in admonishing their friends desty, and prohibits these two great vices; con- with freedom and confidence, as well of their errors fidence in ourselves, or any thing we have; and as of their dangers. For what shall I do? sayć rash undertaking necessary things, out of a foolish such a tender-hearted friend ; or which way shall I hope they will succeed according to our desires. turn myself? I love him as dearly as any man can
do another; and if any misfortune should befal sense of this parable, they do much prejudice, him, I could willingly pawn my own person for his For, first, they manifestly betray themselves, either redemption. But I know his disposition ; if I deal to proceed from too much affection, or from stufreely with him, I shall offend him, at least make dious affectation ; whereby they may rather ingrahim sad, and yet do hint no good. And I shall tiate themselves with him whom they praise by sooner estrange him from my friendship, than re- false commendations, than adorn bis person by just claim him from those courses, upon which his mind and deserved atıributes; secondly, sparing and mois resolved. Such a friend as this, Solomon here re. dest praises commonly invite such as are present to prehends as weak and worthless, and says, that a something of their own to the commendation ; conman may reap more profit from a manifest enemy, trariwise, profuse and immodest praises invite the than from such an effeminate friend. For he may hearts to detract and take away something that beperhaps hear that by way of reproach from an ene- longs to them; thirdly, (which is the principal my, which, through too much indulgence, was faint- point), too much magnifying a man, stirs up envy ly whispered by a friend.”
towards him ; seeing all immoderate praises look [d] And as one great reason why men are loth to tell like a reproach to others who merit no less."
others of their faults, is, because they are wont to But, besides this, I cannot quite pass by the gloss which take it heinously. If men were more willing to soine have made upon these words; who, by jasreceive reproof, others would more faithfully give chkem babboker, (which I have applied only to their it; of which the wise man therefore admonishes too much assiduity in praising others, as if one lis, ver. 6. where the word Nataroth is so difficult, should say, "from morning to night,”), understand that it admits various interpretations; some of which making too much haste to praise men; when it is, I have expressed in the paraphrase. And made as we speak, but "early days with them;" and ver. 7. a caution against the immoderate enjoyment they have made no progress in those virtues for of pleasures which commend themselves to us by which they are commended. And then the sense their rarer use.
As the next, ver. 8. is a caution is, “ There is nothing inore dangerous, than to cry against unsettledness of mind, and discontent with up men too soon for their parts, or for their virtues; our present condition, which not only spoils all our
before they be sufficiently tried, and have made a pleasures, but often carries men restlessly to their due improvement; for this, instead of doing them ruin; where Melancthon suggests this useful medi. service, proves many times their ruin ;" making tation, that there is no condition of life, no function them, that is, entertain a vain opinion of their own without its cares, troubles, and dangers, which worth, and grow idle or negligent, &c. and so makes men soon weary of it; according to the an- dwindle away to nothing. cient saying, Optat ephippia bos piger, optat arare [f] What he saith afterward of a railing wife, ver. caballus. But the wise man would have us under
16. may be thus expressed, in short : “ There are stand that nothing is more dangerous than this; three things that cannot be concealed, because they and therefore to take care, leot, tired and broken with betray themselves; the wind, a strong perfume, and disgusts, we lightly desert that kind of life to which a scolding wife;" with which some join the we are rightly called. All the ancient wisdom
verse, ver. 17. as a remedy for the mischief of a hath observed, that such desultory humours never brawling wife, and thus render it ; "as iron is easily thrive ; about which they have many proverbs, joined with iron ; so is a man with his equal.” And with which I shall not fill these papers.
therefore, the best way for a man to avoid the [e] After this follow some advices about friendship, trouble of a bad wife, is, not to chuse one for his
and other things, which have been noted before, in consort, because she is rich, or because she is beau. the foregoing parts of this book. And then he tiful only, but because she is like him in humour, seems, ver. 14. to lay open the guise of flatterers, and inclination, and condition, &c. Thus the Ti. who hope to cully favour with their benefactors, gurine version. And de Dieu to the same purpose, by extolling their bounty with extravagant praises. who makes this proverb no more than that of like So I have expounded that verse, not merely of those to like, which best agree together. But this is too that praise others, but praise them for their kind. narrow; and therefore I have followed our, and ness to themselves; as the word barak properly indeed all the ancient translations; who take this to imports. The intention of which is only to get be of the same signification with another old saying, still more from them; which is commonly the end “One man is nobody ;” and therefore God hath of all those that praise others immoderately for formed us to have a communion with each other. their rare qualities and perfections ; hoping there- The necessity of which is expressed in abundance by to make them extraordinary kind to them above of ancient aphorisms; which admonish us to conall other men.
Thus the Lord Bacon hath obser- fer with others, and to hearken to the counsel and ved about this matter; whose gloss upon these judgement of the wise,
And daily experience words is this, (in the forenamed place, Parab. 33.) shews us how dangerous it is, idceßxasvav, to be a “ Moderate and seasonable praises, uttered upon oc- man's own counsellor ; and what is said of artificers casion, conduce both to men's fame and fortune ; may be applied unto all; “every man is his own but immoderate, streporous, and unseasonably pour- worst master.” To which purpose Melancthon alledges ed out, profit nothing ; nay rather, according to the that of Euripides, opening fraxi Tiguars, conversațion
brought forth arts;" when men, that is, not only ob. natures and customs) is the more aptly compared
have about their flocks and their herds; which are  The next verse but one, ver. 19. is understood so the best sort of possessions, he shews in several re. variously by interpreters, that it is a labour to num- gards. First, Because most durable, for they are ber their expositions; some of which are directly always increasing of themselves, ver. 24. Secondly, contrary to the other. For according as they take Because easily preserved without much labour, or the face to be represented in water, either perfect- fraudulent arts, God himself providing liberally for ly, or so lubricously and moveable, that it is hard them, ver.-25. Thirdly, Because most profitable, to discern what sort of face it is; so they make it yielding all things necessary for food and raiment, either easy or impossible to understand the hearts
ver. 26. 27. of other men. Melancthon took it in the latter [k] Where he mentions particularly in the last verse, sense; inculcating the old wholesome lessons, Méurso. the milk of the goats, and of no other creature ; épicer, and Quos credis fidos, effuge, tutus eris, &c. because they had abundance of them, and heir milk But now it is generally expounded the other way; was in daily use, both for meat and for medicine. and some expound it of men's own hearts, and some And for medicine the ancients preferred it before of the hearts of other men. I have in the para- all other, as most moderate and temperate. So phrase expressed two of those interpretations, which Galen and Paulus Ægineta, the l. st of which writes I looked upon as most simple. And think fit here thus : “ Woman's milk is the most temperate of all to mention that of Castalio, who applies it to a other; next to that goat's; and next to that ass's; man's self in this manner : “ As a man may know then sheep, and lastly, cow's milk. From whence what kind of face he hath, if he will look into the it was, (Bochartus conjectures, who hath heaped up water ; so he may know what kind of man he is, if a great deal on this subject, 1. ii. de Sac. 'Animal. he will examine his conscience.” And this of Malo cap. ult. part 1.), Jupiter, a king in Crete, about Adonate, who is alone, (as far as I can find), in his braham's time, (and looked upon afterwards as the exposition, which is this : “ As a man's face may greatest god), is said to have been nourished by a be seen in the water ; so his heart, or his inward goat; that is, by the best of nourishments. affections, may be seen in his countenance ;" taking man, in the conclusion of the sentence, for the out. Ver. 1. B AST not thyself of to-morrow, for thou ward man, i. e. his countenance ; and making the
knowest not wbat a day may bring forth.] Hebrew run thus: “ As a man's face is answerable Be not so confident of thy present power, riches, or to that face which appears in the water ; so his any thing else, as to grow presumptuous, and brag heart is answerable to his countenance." The what thou wilt do or enjoy hereafter; for thou canst Lord Bacon, as I have expressed it in the beginning not be secure of this very day, (wherein thou makest of my paraphrase on this verse, takes the end of such large promises to thyself of the future), which this parable to be, "to distinguish between the may produce some thing, for any thing thou knowest, mind of wise men, and of those that are not wise ; that shall spoil all thy designs, and frustrate all thy comparing the former to waters, or glasses, which expectations, which thou hast for to-morrow. See receive and represent the forms and images of things; Arg. [a] whereas the other are like to earth, or rude and un- Ver. 2. Let another man praise thee, and not thine polished stone, wherein nothing is reflected.' And
own mouth ; a stranger, and not thine own lips.] Be not the mind of a wise man (which is so capable that so blinded with self-love as to praise thyself, which it observes and comprehends an infinite diversity of is both indecent and imprudent; for others will only VOL. III.