To exercise patience (by turning away) from (forbidden) desires is easier than exercising patience upon that which (such) desires necessitates (of punishments); for indeed (such desires) either necessitates hurt and punishment or suspends a more fulfilling pleasure.
[They (i.e. such forbidden desires) either squander (one’s) time by wasting it in (that which will lead to) sorrow and regret or defamation of honour that is more beneficial to the slave when respected than when defamed.
(They) either cause the perishing of wealth whose continuation is better for him than its cessation or the loss of a rank and (good) reputation whose continuation is better than its loss.
(They) either withhold blessings whose continuation is more pleasurable and delightful than the fulfilment of the desires or they strike by devising a path for you, which was not to be found previously.
(They) either bring about anxiety, distress, grief and fear which are not equal (in their severity) to the delight of desires or you forget knowledge whose mention is more delightful than the attainment of desires.
(They) either make (one’s) enemy rejoice and grieves (his) ally or they prevent the means to a blessing that was to be received, or they bring about flaws that remain as characteristics which will not cease to (exist); because deeds do inherit characteristics and manners.