1 Whoever touches pitch will be defiled, and anyone who associates with the proud will come to be like them.
2 Do not try to carry a burden too heavy for you, do not associate with someone more powerful and wealthy than yourself. Why put the clay pot next to the iron cauldron? It will only break when they bang against each other.
3 The rich does wrong and takes a high line; the poor is wronged and has to beg for pardon.
4 If you are useful the rich will exploit you, if you go bankrupt he will desert you.
5 Are you well off? - he will live with you, he will clean you out without a single qualm.
6 Does he need you? - he will hoodwink you, smile at you and raise your hopes; he will speak politely to you and say, 'Is there anything you need?'
7 He will make you feel small at his dinner parties and, having cleaned you out two or three times over, will end by laughing at you. Afterwards, when he sees you, he will avoid you and shake his head about you.
8 Take care you are not hoodwinked and thus humiliated through your own stupidity.
9 When an influential person invites you, show reluctance, and he will press his invitation all the more.
10 Do not thrust yourself forward, in case you are pushed aside, but do not stand aloof, or you will be overlooked.
11 Do not affect to treat him as an equal, do not trust his flow of words; since all this talking is expressly meant to test you, under cover of geniality he will be weighing you up.
12 Pitiless is anyone who retails gossip; he will not spare you either blows or chains.
13 Be wary, take very great care, because you are walking with your own downfall.
15 Every living thing loves its own sort, and every man his fellow.
16 Every creature mixes with its kind, and human beings stick to their own sort.
17 How can wolf and lamb agree? - Just so with sinner and devout.
18 What peace can there be between hyena and dog? And what peace between rich and poor?
19 Wild desert donkeys are the prey of lions; so too, the poor is the quarry of the rich.
20 The proud thinks humility abhorrent; so too, the rich abominates the poor.
21 When the rich stumbles he is supported by friends; when the poor falls, his friends push him away.
22 When the rich slips, there are many hands to catch him, if he talks nonsense he is congratulated. The poor slips, and is blamed for it, he may talk good sense, but no room is made for him.
23 The rich speaks and everyone stops talking, and then they praise his discourse to the skies. The poor speaks and people say, 'Who is this?' and if he stumbles, they trip him up yet more.
24 Wealth is good where there is no sin, poverty is evil, the godless say.
25 The heart moulds a person's expression whether for better or worse.
26 Happy heart, cheerful expression; but wearisome work, inventing proverbs.