|‘The Instructions of Amenemope’
The truly silent, who keeps apart,
He is like a tree grown in a meadow.
It greens, it doubles its yield,
It stands in front of its lord.
Its fruit is sweet, its shade is delightful,
Its end comes in the garden.
Broadcast not your words to others,
Not join with one who bares his heart.
Better is one whose speech is in his belly
Than he who tells it to cause harm
God prefers him who honours the poor,
To him who worships the wealthy.
Don’t start a quarrel with a
Not needle him with words,
Pause before a foe, bend before an attacker.
Sleep on it before speaking.
A storm that bursts like fire through straw,
Such is the heated man in his hour.
Withdraw from him, leave him alone,
The god knows how to answer him.
What good is one dressed in finery,
If he cheats before the god?
Faience, disguised as gold,
Comes day , it turns to lead.
Keep your tongue free from evil words,
And you will be loved by men.
Put the good remark in your tongue,
While the bad is concealed in your belly.
Do not set your heart on wealth,
There is no ignoring Fate and Destiny;
Do not let your heart go straying,
Every man comes to his hour.
Do not strain to seek increase,
What you have, let it suffice you.
If riches come to you by theft,
They will not stay the night with you
Come day they are not in your house,
Their place is seen but they’re not there:
Earth opened its mouth, levelled them, swallowed them.
Do the good and you will prosper,
Do not dip your pen to injure a man.
Do not befriend the heated man,
Nor approach him in conversation.
Swift is the speech of one who is angered,
More than wind over water.
He tears down, he builds up with is tongue.
When he makes his hurtful speech.
The pilot who sees from afar,
He will not wreck his boat.
The heart of a man is a gift of god,
Beware of neglecting it.
Do not cheat a man through pen upon scroll,
The god abhors it;
Do not bear witness with false words,
So as to brush aside another with your tongue.
Do not assess a man who has nothing,
And thus falsify your pen.
If you find a large debt against a poor man,
Make It into three parts;
Forgive two, let one stand,
You will find it a path of life.
‘From the instructions of Any’
Behold I give you these useful counsels,
For you to ponder in your heart;
Do it and you will be happy,
All evil will be far from you.
Guard against the crime of fraud,
Against words that are not true,
Conquer malice in thyself.
Double the food your mother gave you,
Support her as she supported you:
She had a heavy load in you,
But she did not abandon you,
When you were born after your months,
She was yet yoked to you,
Her breast in your mouth for three years.
Learn about the way of a man
Who undertakes to found his household.
Make a garden, enclose a patch,
In addition to your own plough land,
Set our trees within it,
As shelter about your house.
Fill you hand with all the flowers
That your eye can see;
One has need of all of them
It is a good fortune not to lose them
A quarrelsome man does not rest on the morrow.
Keep away from a hostile man
Do not let him become your comrade;
Befriend one who is straight and true,
One whose actions you have seen.
If your rightness matches his,
The friendship will be balanced.
‘The Ninth Instruction’
He who knows how to hold his heart has
The equivalent of every teaching.
‘The Fifteenth Instruction’
Do not be greedy, lest your name stink.
The wealth of the generous man is greater than the wealth of the greedy.
Greed puts strife and combat in the house,
Greed removed shame, mercy and trust from the heart.
Money is the snare the god has placed on the earth for the impious man so that he should worry daily.
He who gives food to the poor, the god takes to himself in boundless mercy.
The goods of the greedy are ashes driven by the wind.
‘The Seventeenth Instruction’
Do not let worry flourish lest you become distraught.
If the heart worries about its owner it creates illness for him.
When worry has arisen, the heart seeks death itself.
One day is not like another for him whose heart cares.
‘The Twentieth Instruction'
The heart in its smallness sustains its owner,
Many are the small things that are worthy of respect.
A small benefaction is not hidden from the god.
A small good news makes the heart live,
The small document has great benefit.
The small falsehood makes trouble fro him who commits it.
The little bee brings the honey.
Few are the great things that are worthy of admiration
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