Go to now, you rich men, weep and howl for your miseries that shall come on you.…
Do not be over-anxious about riches. Get as much of true wisdom and goodness as you can; but be satisfied with a moderate portion of this world's good. Riches may prove a curse as well as a blessing. I was walking through an orchard, looking about me, when I saw a low tree laden more heavily with fruit than the rest. On a nearer examination it appeared that the tree had been dragged to the very earth and broken by the weight of its treasures. "Oh!" said I, gazing on the tree, "here lies one who has been ruined by his riches." In another part of my walk I came up with a shepherd who was lamenting the loss of a sheep that lay mangled and dead at his feet. On inquiry about the matter he told me that a strange dog had attacked the flock, that the rest of the sheep had got away through a hole in the hedge, but that the ram now dead had more wool on his back than the rest, and the thorns of the hedge held him fast till the dog had worried him. "Here is another," said I, "ruined by his riches." At the close of my ramble I met a man hobbling along on two wooden legs, leaning on two sticks. "Tell me," said I, "my poor fellow, how you came to lose your legs?" "Why, sir," said he, "in my younger days I was a soldier. With a few comrades I attacked a party of the enemy and overcame them, and we began to load ourselves with spoil. My comrades were satisfied with little, but I burdened myself with as much as I could carry. We were pursued; my companions escaped, but I was overtaken and so cruelly wounded that I only saved my life afterwards by losing my legs. It was a bad affair, sir; but it is too late to repent of it now." "Ah, friend," thought I, "like the fruit tree, and the mangled sheep, you may date your downfall to your possessions. It was your riches that ruined you." When I see so many rich people as I do, caring so much for their bodies and so little for their souls, I pity them from the bottom of my heart, and sometimes think there are as many ruined by riches as by poverty.
Parallel VersesKJV: Go to now, ye rich men, weep and howl for your miseries that shall come upon you.