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13 forms, but guilty of grofs immoralities in secret. [There

is] a generation, O how lofty are their eyes! and their eyelids are lifted up; their pride discovers itself in their

countenance, and they disdain to look on their inferiors; de 14 not learn their haughty, senseless manners. [There is) a

generation, whole teeth (are as] fwords, and their jaw teeth [as] knives, to devour the poor from off the earth, and the needy from [among) men; tyrannical, arbitrary people, who oppress and grind the poor; have ng connection with such men as these. The next question is, What is most insatiable ?

The horseleach hath two daughters, a forked tongue, which greedily seeketh blood, [crying,] Give, give. There are three (things that] are never satisfied, [yea,] four

[things] fay not, [It is] enough; are as insatiable : 16 The grave, that swallows every succeeding generation;

and the barren womb, that is eagerly desirous of children; the earth, particularly in hof countries, [that] - is not filled with water; and the fire [that] saith not, [It is] enough, but devours all that is thrown into it. He then adds the doon of the disobedient children mentioned in the

eleventh verse. 17 The eye [that] mocketh at (his] father for his infir

mities, and despiseth to obey [his] mother, the ravens of the valley shall pick it out, and the young eagles fhall eat it; his body shall be exposed as a malefaEtor, or he shall die in fome desolate place; the vengeance of God shall find him abroad, tho' the tenderness of his abused parents may spare him at home.

To the next question, What is most obscure and unaccount18 able ? he answers, There be three [things which] are

too wonderful for me, yea, four which I know not: 19 The way of an eagle in the air, that flies high and strong ;

the way of a serpent upon a rock, that without feet climbs up rocks; the way of a ship in the midst of the sea, that sometimes sinks and sometimes rises, and moves very swiftly along; and the way of a man with a maid,

the artifices of a man to gain the woman he is courting. 20 Such [is] the way of an adulterous woman; she eateth, and wipeth her mouth, and faith, I have done no wickedness: this is a modest way of expressing a detestable allion ; She puts on an artful appearance, behaves outwardly like an honest woman and a kind wife. We have then an


answer to the question, What things are most intolerable ? 21 For three things) the earth is disquieted, and for four 22 (which] it cannot bear : For a fervant when he reign

eth, when he gets into power and authority; and a fool

when he is filled with meat, a petulant, rude fellow when 23 he is drunk; For an odious (woman,] that is, a cross,

ill: tempered woman, when she is married, a happiness too great for her to expect, and yet which only shows her ill temper the more; and an handmaid that is heir to her mistress, to whom her mistress leaves her estate, or who hath supplante ed her mistress and married her master.

In answer to the query, What things are small and con24 temptible in themselves and yet wise, he replies, There be

four (things which are] little upon the earth, but they 25 (are] exceeding wife : The ants Care] a people not

strong, yet they prepare their meat in the summer, and 26 thus teach us to prepare against a time of adversity;. The

conies, or Arabian mice, [are but) a feeble folk, yet make

they their houses in the rocks, and thus teach us caution 27 in avoiding those dangers we cannot refift; The locufts

have no king, yet go they forth all of them by bands,

and their numbers make them terrible, which should teach us 28 union in prosecuting good designs ; The spider taketh hold

with her hands, and is in kings' palaces; and by indefatigable diligence repairs her web; which should teach us perseverance, and not to be discouraged. The question then

is, What things are most stately and majestick? 29

There be three (things] which go well, yea, four 30 are comely in going: A lion (which is] strongest 31 among beasts, and turneth not away for any; A

greyhound, or horse prepared for the battle; an he goat allo; and a king, against whom (there is) no rising up, a king that reigns in the hearts of his people, this gives him a consciousness which adds dignity to his appear ance. Having thus advised his pupils to be innocent and pious in order to be happy, he adds the two last verses, upon a supposition that they should say or do any foolish things.


If thou hast done foolishly in lifting up thyself, or if thou hast thought evil, [lay] thine hand upon thy mouth ; humbly acknowledge that thou hast done wrong, and

make a proper apology, rather than, from an insolent temper, 33 defend what is wrong because thou hast done it. Surely the

churning of milk bringeth forth butter, and the wringing of the nose bringeth forth blood : so the forcing of wrath bringeth forth ftrife; the one is not more natural than the other. He that would live peaceably and happily, and be esteemed among men, jould, behave himself with modesty and humility; for he that lifteth up himself, tho' he may think himself a wise man, does very foolishly, and all about him will despise him.


HE words of king Lemuel,” the prophecy that

his mother taught him. What, my fon? and . what, the son of my womb? and what, the son of my vows? An abrupt and beautiful form of speech; as if she had said, What instruction shall I give thee, how mall I express my love to thee, thou son of my womb, thou son of

my vows, whom I have prayed for, and devoted to God be3 fore thou wast born? Give not thy strength unto women, nor thy ways to that which destroyeth kings; do not waste the vigour of your years in effeminate, sinful pleasures like other eastern

princes ; by which their constitutions are broken, and their reigns dishonoured. Happy had it been for him had 4 he taken this advice. [It is) not for kings, O Lemuel,

[it is) not for kings to drink wine; nor for princes

strong drink, that is, immoderately; which would not only 5 injure themselves, but their subjekts. Lest they drink,

and forget the law, and pervert the judgment of any
of the afflicted.
Vol. V.


6 Give * I take it for granted, with the generality of commentators, that Lemuel is Solomon, a name which fignifies one belonging to God; it is nearly of the fame import with Jedediah. There Hare the divine lessons his mother Bathsheba taught him to com:

mit to memory.




Give strong drink unto him that is ready to perish, and wine to those that be of heavy hearts; when persons

are in deep distress, they need, and can bear cordials to sup7 port their spirits. Let him drink, and forget his 8 ty, and remember his misery no more. Open thy

mouth for the dumb in the cause of all such as are ap

pointed to destruction; who are in danger of suffering 9 considerable damage either in body, credit, or estate. Open

thy mouth, judge righteously, and plead the caufe of the poor and needy; pronounce a bold and just sentence.

Who can find a virtuous woman, prudent, good natured, and religious: for her price [is] far above rubies; above all things advising him to take heed in the choice of a

wife; or rather, it may refer to the chara&ter of a good wife 11 in general. The heart of her husband doth safely trust

in her, in her chastity, prudence, and fidelity; he has no jealousy, nor uneasy apprehensions; so that he shall have no need of spoil; he shall have no need of spoiling others to

enrich himself, and no fear of being plundered, as some are 12 by their wives. She fhall do him good and not evil all

the days of her life; She will take the greatest care to engage and keep his affections, study to oblige and please him ;

and this, not only in sudden fits of good humour, but all her 13 days. She seeketh wool, and fax, and worketh wil

lingly with her hands ; she provides employment for her 14 servants, and sets them a good example. She is like the

merchants' ships; she bringeth her food from afar. 15 She riseth also while it is yet night, before break of day,

and giveth meat to her household, and a portion to her maidens; she giveth food to those that go abroad to work,

and to her maidens at home : Mhe rises early to attend to her 16 domestick cares. She considereth a field, and buyeth it:

with the fruit of her hands she planteth a vineyard; by

the commodities Spun and woven in the family she buys land 17. and plants vineyards. She girdeth her loins with strength,

and strengtheneth her arms; She does not make little dif18 ficulties an excuse for indolence, but ałts resolutely. She

perceiveth that her merchandize [is] good: her candle

goeth not out by night; fe takes as much of the night as 19 can conveniently be spared from necessary sleep. She layeth


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her hands to the spindle, and her hands hold the distaff. Ladies of the highest quality in the east were thus employed, as we find from many passages in Homer, and other heather

writers; and a much better employment it was than most 20 modern ones. She stretcheth out her hand to the poor ;

yea, fhe reacheth forth her hands to the needy; she is

not such a housewife as to lay up every thing, but relieves 21 the poor. She is not afraid of the snow for her house

hold: for all her household Care] clothed with scarlet, 22 or double garments. She maketh herself coverings of

tapestry; her clothing [is] filk and purple; the more 23 glorious because her own work. Her husband is known

in the gates, when he fitteth among the elders of the land, who congratulate him upon his happiness in having so

prudent a wife; and her wise conversation increaseth his 24 wisdom, and makes him more fit to advise others. She

maketh fine linen, and felleth [it;] and delivereth 25 girdles unto the merchant. Strength and honour [are]

her clothing; she has a great deal of courage and resolution, and laughs at those difficulties by which others are discourag

ed; and she shall rejoice in time to come; maintain a 26 cheerful spirit even in old age and death. She openeth her

mouth with wisdom; and in her tongue [is] the law of kindness; she discourses prudently and judiciously on the most serious and important subjects; avoids a pettish way of Speaking; there is kindness, Softness, and tenderness in every

thing foe says, which is obliging, like a law; one of the most 27 essential qualifications of a good wife. She looketh well to

the ways of her household, and eateth not the bread of idleness; be examines the conduet of her servants,

and how they perform their duty: she neither suffers them to gad abroad, or to be idle at home; she sees that her children be well educated and behave themselves aright, and sets them

all an example of diligence: and in consequence of this, 28 Her children arise up, and call her blessed; her huf

band (állo,) and he praiseth her: they set themselves to 29 commend her, and say, Many daughters have done vir30 tuously, but thou surely excellest them all. Favour [is]

deceitful, and beauty [is] vain ; a graceful behaviour and beautiful features are trifling in themfelves, have often H


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