¶ So I turned me, and considered all the violent wrong that is done under the Sun: and behold the tears of such as were oppressed, and there was no man to comfort them or that would deliver and defend them from the violence of their oppressors. Wherefore I judged those that are dead, to be more happy than such as be alive: Yea him that is yet unborn to be better at ease then they both, because he seeth not the miserable works that are done under the Sun.
¶ Again, I saw that all travail and diligence of labour was hated of every man. This is also a vain thing, and a vexation of mind. The fool foldeth his hands together, and eateth up his own flesh. One handful (sayeth he) is better with rest, then both the hands full with labor and travail.
¶ Moreover, I turned me, and behold yet another vanity under the Son. There is one man, no more but himself alone, having neither child nor brother: yet is there no end of his careful travail, his eyes can not be satisfied with riches, (yet doth he not remember himself, and say:) For whom do I take such travail? For whose pleasure do I thus consume away my life? This is also a vain and miserable thing. Therefore two are better than one, for they may well enjoy the profit of their labour. If one of them fall, his companion helpeth him up again: But woe is him that is alone, for if he fall, he hath not another to help him up. Again, when two sleep together, they are warm: but how can a body be warm alone? One may be overcome, but two may make resistance: A threefold cable is not lightly broken.
¶ A poor child being wise, is better than an old king, that doteth, and can not beware in time to come. Someone cometh out of prison, and is made a king: and another which is born in the kingdom, cometh unto poverty. And I perceived, that all men living under the Son, go with the second child, that cometh up in the stead of the other. As for the people that have been before him, and that come after him, they are innumerable: yet is not their joy the greater thorow him. This is also a vain thing and a vexation of mind.