If a ruler’s anger rises against you, do not leave your post; calmness can lay great offenses to rest.
There is an evil I have seen under the sun, the sort of error that arises from a ruler:
Fools are put in many high positions, while the rich occupy the low ones.
I have seen slaves on horseback, while princes go on foot like slaves.
Whoever digs a pit may fall into it; whoever breaks through a wall may be bitten by a snake.
Whoever quarries stones may be injured by them; whoever splits logs may be endangered by them.
If the ax is dull and its edge unsharpened, more strength is needed, but skill will bring success.
If a snake bites before it is charmed, the charmer receives no fee.
Words from the mouth of the wise are gracious, but fools are consumed by their own lips.
At the beginning their words are folly; at the end they are wicked madness—
and fools multiply words. No one knows what is coming— who can tell someone else what will happen after them?