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Sirach 20

 
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1 ὡς καλὸν ἐλέγξαι ἢ θυμοῦσθαι καὶ ὁ ἀνθομολογούμενος ἀπὸ ἐλαττώσεως κωλυθήσεται 1 Better the complaint made than the grudge secretly nursed. When a man con-fesses his fault, do not cut him short in mid utterance. 1

Quam bonum est arguere, quam irasci,
et confitentem in oratione non prohibere!
2 ἐπιθυμία εὐνούχου ἀποπαρθενῶσαι νεάνιδα 3 οὕτως ὁ ποιῶν ἐν βίᾳ κρίματα 2 Redress[1] sought by violence no more content shall bring thee 3 than eunuch’s lust for maid. 2
Concupiscentia spadonis devirginabit juvenculam:
3
sic qui facit per vim judicium iniquum.
4 4 Well it is to be reproved, and to confess thy fault, and be rid of all such guilt as thou hast incurred knowingly. 4
Quam bonum est correptum manifestare pœnitentiam!
sic enim effugies voluntarium peccatum.
5 ἔστιν σιωπῶν εὑρισκόμενος σοφός καὶ ἔστιν μισητὸς ἀπὸ πολλῆς λαλιᾶς 6 ἔστιν σιωπῶν οὐ γὰρ ἔχει ἀπόκρισιν καὶ ἔστιν σιωπῶν εἰδὼς καιρόν 7 ἄνθρωπος σοφὸς σιγήσει ἕως καιροῦ ὁ δὲ λαπιστὴς καὶ ἄφρων ὑπερβήσεται καιρόν 8 ὁ πλεονάζων λόγῳ βδελυχθήσεται καὶ ὁ ἐνεξουσιαζόμενος μισηθήσεται 5 A man may be the wiser for remaining dumb, where the glib talker grows wearisome; 6 the silent man, has he nothing to say? Or is he waiting for the right time to say it? 7 Wisdom keeps its utterance in reserve, where the fool’s vanity cannot wait. 8 The babbler cuts his own throat; claim more than thy right, and all men are thy enemies. 5
Est tacens qui invenitur sapiens:
et est odibilis qui procax est ad loquendum.
6
Est tacens non habens sensum loquelæ:
et est tacens sciens tempus aptum.
7
Homo sapiens tacebit usque ad tempus:
lascivus autem et imprudens non servabunt tempus.
8
Qui multis utitur verbis lædet animam suam:
et qui potestatem sibi sumit injuste, odietur.
9 ἔστιν εὐοδία ἐν κακοῖς ἀνδρί καὶ ἔστιν εὕρεμα εἰς ἐλάττωσιν 10 ἔστιν δόσις ἣ οὐ λυσιτελήσει σοι καὶ ἔστιν δόσις ἧς τὸ ἀνταπόδομα διπλοῦν 11 ἔστιν ἐλάττωσις ἕνεκεν δόξης καὶ ἔστιν ὃς ἀπὸ ταπεινώσεως ἦρεν κεφαλήν 12 ἔστιν ἀγοράζων πολλὰ ὀλίγου καὶ ἀποτιννύων αὐτὰ ἑπταπλάσιον 9 For a mind ill trained, success is failure, winning is losing. 10 Gift given may bring thee nothing in return, or twice its worth. 11 Honour achieved may belittle a man, and modesty bring him renown. 12 What use to make a good bargain, if thou must pay for it sevenfold? 9
Est processio in malis viro indisciplinato,
et est inventio in detrimentum.
10
Est datum quod non est utile,
et est datum cujus retributio duplex.
11
Est propter gloriam minoratio,
et est qui ab humilitate levabit caput.
12
Est qui multa redimat modico pretio,
et restituens ea in septuplum.
13 ὁ σοφὸς ἐν λόγοις ἑαυτὸν προσφιλῆ ποιήσει χάριτες δὲ μωρῶν ἐκχυθήσονται 14 δόσις ἄφρονος οὐ λυσιτελήσει σοι οἱ γὰρ ὀφθαλμοὶ αὐτοῦ ἀν{Q'} ἑνὸς πολλοί 15 ὀλίγα δώσει καὶ πολλὰ ὀνειδίσει καὶ ἀνοίξει τὸ στόμα αὐτοῦ ὡς κῆρυξ 16 σήμερον δανιεῖ καὶ αὔριον ἀπαιτήσει μισητὸς ἄνθρωπος ὁ τοιοῦτος 17 μωρὸς ἐρεῖ οὐχ ὑπάρχει μοι φίλος καὶ οὐκ ἔστιν χάρις τοῖς ἀγαθοῖς μου 18 οἱ ἔσθοντες τὸν ἄρτον αὐτοῦ φαῦλοι γλώσσῃ ποσάκις καὶ ὅσοι καταγελάσονται αὐτοῦ 19 13 Word of wise man endears him; the fool spends his favours in vain. 14 Little will the fool’s gift profit thee; seven times magnified is all he sees.[2] 15 The paltrier the gift, the longer the admonitions that go with it, and every word of his an incitement to anger. 16 Out upon the man who lends today, and will have the loan restored to-morrow! 17 The fool has no friends, nor can win love by all his favours; 18 they are but parasites that eat at his table; loud and long they will laugh over him; 19 so injudiciously he bestows gifts worth having, and gifts nothing worth. 13
Sapiens in verbis seipsum amabilem facit:
gratiæ autem fatuorum effundentur.
14
Datus insipientis non erit utilis tibi:
oculi enim illius septemplices sunt.
15
Exigua dabit, et multa improperabit:
et apertio oris illius inflammatio est.
16
Hodie fœneratur quis, et cras expetit:
odibilis est homo hujusmodi.
17
Fatuo non erit amicus,
et non erit gratia bonis illius:
18
qui enim edunt panem illius, falsæ linguæ sunt.
Quoties et quanti irridebunt eum!
19
neque enim quod habendum erat directo sensu distribuit;
similiter et quod non erat habendum.
20 ὀλίσθημα ἀπὸ ἐδάφους μᾶλλον ἢ ἀπὸ γλώσσης οὕτως πτῶσις κακῶν κατὰ σπουδὴν ἥξει 20 Slip of a liar’s tongue is like slip from roof to ground; a villain’s end is not long a-coming. 20
Lapsus falsæ linguæ quasi qui in pavimento cadens:
sic casus malorum festinanter veniet.
21 ἄνθρωπος ἄχαρις μῦθος ἄκαιρος ἐν στόματι ἀπαιδεύτων ἐνδελεχισθήσεται 21 An ungracious man is no more regarded, than some idle tale that is ever on the lips of the ill-bred. 21
Homo acharis quasi fabula vana,
in ore indisciplinatorum assidua erit.
22 ἀπὸ στόματος μωροῦ ἀποδοκιμασθήσεται παραβολή οὐ γὰρ μὴ εἴπῃ αὐτὴν ἐν καιρῷ αὐτῆς 22 No weighty saying but offends in a fool’s mouth; sure it is that he will bring it out unseasonably. 22
Ex ore fatui reprobabitur parabola:
non enim dicit illam in tempore suo.
23 ἔστιν κωλυόμενος ἁμαρτάνειν ἀπὸ ἐνδείας καὶ ἐν τῇ ἀναπαύσει αὐτοῦ οὐ κατανυγήσεται 23 Some avoid wrong only because they lack the means to do it; idle they remain, yet rest they cannot.[3] 23

Est qui vetatur peccare præ inopia,
et in requie sua stimulabitur.
24 ἔστιν ἀπολλύων τὴν ψυχὴν αὐτοῦ δ{I'} αἰσχύνην καὶ ἀπὸ ἄφρονος προσώπου ἀπολεῖ αὐτήν 25 ἔστιν χάριν αἰσχύνης ἐπαγγελλόμενος φίλῳ καὶ ἐκτήσατο αὐτὸν ἐχθρὸν δωρεάν 24 Some for very shame have courted their own ruin, resolved, though that opinion were worthless enough, to sacrifice themselves for another’s good opinion. 25 Some, too, for shame, make their friends high-sounding promises, and thereby gain nothing, but lose a friend. 24
Est qui perdet animam suam præ confusione,
et ab imprudenti persona perdet eam:
personæ autem acceptione perdet se.
25
Est qui præ confusione promittit amico,
et lucratus est eum inimicum gratis.
26 μῶμος πονηρὸς ἐν ἀνθρώπῳ ψεῦδος ἐν στόματι ἀπαιδεύτων ἐνδελεχισθήσεται 27 αἱρετὸν κλέπτης ἢ ὁ ἐνδελεχίζων ψεύδει ἀμφότεροι δὲ ἀπώλειαν κληρονομήσουσιν 28 ἦθος ἀνθρώπου ψευδοῦς ἀτιμία καὶ ἡ αἰσχύνη αὐτοῦ με{T'} αὐτοῦ ἐνδελεχῶς 26 A lie is a foul blot upon a man’s name, yet nothing so frequent on ill-guarded lips. 27 Worse than a thief is one who is ever lying, and to no better end may he look forward. 28 He lives without honour that lies without scruple, and shame is at his side continually. 26
Opprobrium nequam in homine mendacium:
et in ore indisciplinatorum assidue erit.
27
Potior fur quam assiduitas viri mendacis:
perditionem autem ambo hæreditabunt.
28
Mores hominum mendacium sine honore,
et confusio illorum cum ipsis sine intermissione.
29 ὁ σοφὸς ἐν λόγοις προάξει ἑαυτόν καὶ ἄνθρωπος φρόνιμος ἀρέσει μεγιστᾶσιν 30 ὁ ἐργαζόμενος γῆν ἀνυψώσει θιμωνιὰν αὐτοῦ καὶ ὁ ἀρέσκων μεγιστᾶσιν ἐξιλάσεται ἀδικίαν 29 The wise word brings a man to honour; prudence will endear thee to the great. 30 Till ground, and fill barn; live uprightly, and attain honour; win prince, and escape harm. 29
Sapiens in verbis producet seipsum,
et homo prudens placebit magnatis.
30
Qui operatur terram suam inaltabit acervum frugum,
et qui operatur justitiam, ipse exaltabitur:
qui vero placet magnatis effugiet iniquitatem.
31 ξένια καὶ δῶρα ἀποτυφλοῖ ὀφθαλμοὺς σοφῶν καὶ ὡς φιμὸς ἐν στόματι ἀποτρέπει ἐλεγμούς 31 Hospitality here, a gift there, how they blind the eyes of justice! No better gag to silence reproof. 31
Xenia et dona excæcant oculos judicum,
et quasi mutus, in ore avertit correptiones eorum.
32 σοφία κεκρυμμένη καὶ θησαυρὸς ἀφανής τίς ὠφέλεια ἐν ἀμφοτέροις 33 κρείσσων ἄνθρωπος ἀποκρύπτων τὴν μωρίαν αὐτοῦ ἢ ἄνθρωπος ἀποκρύπτων τὴν σοφίαν αὐτοῦ 32 Wisdom hidden is wasted, is treasure that never sees the light of day; 33 silence is rightly used when it masks folly, not when it is the grave of wisdom. 32
Sapientia absconsa, et thesaurus invisus,
quæ utilitas in utrisque?
33
Melior est qui celat insipientiam suam,
quam homo qui abscondit sapientiam suam.
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Copyright © 2013 by Kevin Knight. Dedicated to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.