“The leech has two daughters. ‘Give! Give!’ they cry. “There are three things that are never satisfied, four that never say, ‘Enough!’:
the grave, the barren womb, land, which is never satisfied with water, and fire, which never says, ‘Enough!’
“The eye that mocks a father, that scorns an aged mother, will be pecked out by the ravens of the valley, will be eaten by the vultures.
“There are three things that are too amazing for me, four that I do not understand:
the way of an eagle in the sky, the way of a snake on a rock, the way of a ship on the high seas, and the way of a man with a young woman.
“This is the way of an adulterous woman: She eats and wipes her mouth and says, ‘I’ve done nothing wrong.’
“Under three things the earth trembles, under four it cannot bear up:
a servant who becomes king, a godless fool who gets plenty to eat,
a contemptible woman who gets married, and a servant who displaces her mistress.
“Four things on earth are small, yet they are extremely wise:
Ants are creatures of little strength, yet they store up their food in the summer;
hyraxes are creatures of little power, yet they make their home in the crags;
locusts have no king, yet they advance together in ranks;
a lizard can be caught with the hand, yet it is found in kings’ palaces.
“There are three things that are stately in their stride, four that move with stately bearing:
a lion, mighty among beasts, who retreats before nothing;
a strutting rooster, a he-goat, and a king secure against revolt.
“If you play the fool and exalt yourself, or if you plan evil, clap your hand over your mouth!
For as churning cream produces butter, and as twisting the nose produces blood, so stirring up anger produces strife.”