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Robert Bland, Proverbs
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1. Date mihi Pelvim.
Ing. It made my gorge rise
Ing. I could have spit in the fellow's face
Bring me a bason, was used to be said, when any one had so completely worn out the patience of his auditors, by the tediousness, absurdity, or wickedness of his discourse, that it could no longer be borne, and was meant to express the utmost contempt for the relater. It made my gorge rise, or I could have spit in the fellow's face.
Fuente: Erasmo, 2068.
2. De lana caprina
It. Discorso di lana caprina
Disputing about what is of no value, about goat's wool, which can be turned to no profit, and half the disputes in the world are of as little importance; at the least, the subjects of them are rarely of half the value of the trouble and expense incurred in the contest. Of the same kind are, «De fumo disceptare», vel «de asini umbra». Plutarch tells a ludicrous story, as giving origin to the latter adage. Demosthenes observing, that the judges before whom he was pleading, paid no attention to what he was saying, but were discoursing on matters that had no relation to the subject before them, said to them, «If you will lend your attention a little, I have now a story to relate that will amuse you». Finding they were turned to him, he said, «A certain young man hired an ass, to carry provision to a neighboring town, but the day proving to be very hot, and there being no place on the road affording shelter, he stopped the ass, and sat himself down on one side of him, so as to be shaded by the ass from the sun. On this, the driver insisted on his getting up, alleging that he had hired the ass to carry his load, not to afford him a shade. The man, on the other hand, contended, that having hired the ass for the journey, he had a right to use him as a screen from the sun, as well as to carry his goods; besides, he added, the goods on the back of the ass, which were his, afforded more than half the shade; and so long a dispute ensued, which came at length to blows». Demosthenes, perceiving the judges were now fully intent on listening to his story, suddenly broke off, and descending from the rostrum, proceeded to walk out of the court. The judges calling to him to finish his story, «I perceive you are ready enough», he said, «to listen to a ridiculous story about the shadow of an ass, but when I was pleading the cause of a man, accused of a crime affecting his life, you had not leisure to pay it the necessary attention, to enable you to be masters of the subject on which you were to decide». A story in many respects similar to this, his related of Dr. Elmar, who was Bishop of London in the time of Queen Elizabeth. In the course of a sermon he was preaching in his parish church, before he had attained to the dignity of a bishopric, finding his auditory careless and inattentive, he read, with great solemnity, a passage from a Hebrew book he happened to have with him. This drawing the attention of the congregation, he reproved them for their inconsistency in listening to him when reading a language they did not understand, and neglecting of refusing to hear him, when explaining to them in their own language, doctrines, which they were materially interested to know and understand.
Fuente: Erasmo, 253.
3. Delphinum natare doces
Affecting to give information to persons on subjects they are better acquainted with than ourselves, is like teaching birds to fly, or fishes to swim.
Sinónimo(s): Aquilam volare doces
Fuente: Erasmo, 397, 398.
4. Demulcere Caput.
Patting and stroking the head, as we do of dogs, and other animals, to put them in good humour with us. Flattering with soft speeches. «Prætermitto», St. Jerome says to his correspondent, «salutationis officia, quibus meum demulces caput», not to mention the kind speeches and friendly reception I met with, doubtless with the view of bribing my judgment, and inducing me to favour your proposal.
Fuente: Erasmo, 2037.
5. Dentem dente rodere
Ing. Do not shew your teeth, when you cannot bite
It is one tooth biting another, was used to be said to any one attempting to hurt what was out of his reach, and could not be affected by him: or affronting one who could return the insult with interest; or having a contest with persons capable of doing him more mischief than he could do them. It has the same sense as, verberare lapidem, beating a stone; do not shew your teeth, we say, when you cannot bite. The adage probably took its rise from the fable of the serpent gnawing a file, which it met with in a smith's shop, by which it made its own gums bleed but without hurting the file.
Sinónimo(s): Verberare lapidem
Fuente: Erasmo, 1532, 1472.
6. Destitutus Ventis, Remos adhibe.
Lat. Post malam segetem serendum est
Ing. Worse luck now, better another time
Esp. Contra fortuna, no vale arte ninguna
When it is calm you must use your oars. If one project prove unsuccessful you must not despair, but have recourse to other means which may prove more productive. Post malam segetem serendum est, though the harvest has failed this year, you must continue your exertions in the hope you may speed better the next; worse luck now, better another time: though the Spaniards say, Contra fortuna, no vale arte ninguna, there is no use in striving against ill fortune.
Fuente: Erasmo, 3479.
7. Dies adimit ægritudinem
Lat. Medicus dedit qui temporis morbo moram, is plus remedii quam cutis sector dedit
Esp. El tiempo cura el enfermo, que no el ungüento
Esp. Si tienes medico amigo, quitale la gorra, y envíalo a casa de tu enemigo
It. Col tempo et la paglia si maturano nespoli
Time cures the greatest afflictions. There is no trouble, however pungent, which time has not the power of softening or removing. It is also esteemed to have no small influence in curing diseases affecting the body.

«Medicus dedit qui temporis morbo moram»,
Is plus remedii quam cutis sector dedit."

The physician who allows the disease to subside gradually, is more successful than he who has immediate recourse to rough and violent remedies, which is not unlike the following, El tiempo cura el enfermo, que no el ungüento, it is time, and not medicine that cures the disease. The Spaniards do not appear to have had much reverence either for medicines, or for the dispensers of them. Si tienes medico amigo, quitale la gorra, y embialo a casa de tu enemigo, if you have a physician for your friend, make your bow to him, and send him to your enemy, as the surest way to get rid of him. Time also brings things to perfection. Col tempo et la paglia si maturano mespoli, time and straw make medlars ripe.
Fuente: Erasmo, 1405.
8. Digna Cedro.
Ing. To be written in letters of gold
A speech deserving to be embalmed, to be preserved to the latest period of time. To be written in letters of gold.

–––«An erit qui velle recuset
Os populi meruisse? et cedro digna locutus
«Who lives, we ask, insensible to praise,
Deserves, and yet neglects, the proffer'd bays?
Who is not pleased that from the bookworm's rage,
The juice of cedar shall preserve his page?»

The ancients were accustomed to varnish the leaves of the papyrus, on which they had committed any thing to writing, with an oil extracted from the cedar, which had the faculty of preserving them from becoming putrid, as well as of driving away noxious or devouring insects; the oil of juniper was used, it is said, for the same purpose and with equal effect. It is probable that Russia leather, used in binding books, owes its power of killing or driving away the bookworm, if it really has that property, to some similar ingredient used in its preparation.
Fuente: Erasmo, 3054.
9. Dulce bellum inexpertis.
War is approved by the young and inconsiderate, by those who are unacquainted with the dreadful waste of life as well as of property that it occasions. «Expertus metuit», by men of knowledge and experience it is deprecated. «Iniquissimam pacem justissimo bello antefero», I prefer, says the sagacious and humane Cicero, the most impolitic and disadvantageous peace, to the justest war; and yet with what precipitancy and on what trifling occasions do countries often rush into war with each another! If sovereigns would weigh the consequences, would put against the object contended for, the numerous lives that must necessarily be sacrificed in the contest; the number of women who would be rendered childless, or would lose their husbands on whom they, and perhaps an infant family, depended for their support, they would surely not think it too much to sacrifice a small portion of their dignity to prevent such accumulated evils; these, however, are a small part only of the miseries of war. They are, indeed, all that this country has for many ages been exposed to experience. On the continent, when an hostile army enters a country, what massacres, what destruction marks its progress! Whole towns pillaged and destroyed, and the miserable inhabitants put to the sword, or the few that escape driven into the fields, without shelter, without clothes, and without food, only preserved for a short time to die a more miserable death than those who perished by the sword. With this kind of destruction we have been long threatened, and who can tell how soon it may fall upon us! In this state of things, how mortifying must it be, to the grave and considerate part of the community, to see the time and energy of those who have the care of the government of the country, employed in rebutting the attacks of noisy and contentious pseudo-patriots; who appear to be moving heaven and earth to embarrass the proceeding of the ministers, solely, it is to be feared, in the paltry expectation of getting into their places: strange infatuation! That men of the largest property in the state should be most forward in occasioning its destruction: surely so monstrous a procedure must portend some dreadful catastrophe! «Quos Deus vult perdere prius dementat», God first deprives of their reason those who are doomed to be destroyed. «And God hardened Pharaoh's heart», we are told, «blinded his judgment, that he would not let the children of Israel go»; it being predetermined that the Ægyptians should suffer a severe chastisement.
Fuente: Erasmo, 3001.
10. Dulcè est Miseris Socios habuisse Doloris.
It is a comfort to the wretched to have companions in their misfortunes. It is pleasant, Lucretius says, standing on the shore to see a ship driven about by a tempest; or from the window of a castle, to see a battle; not that we rejoice in the sufferings of the unhappy people in the vessel, who all of them, perhaps, after long struggling with the danger, perish in the ocean; or at the fate of those who are killed or wounded in the battle: the pleasure arises from our being exempt from the danger in which we see so many of our fellow creatures immersed. The comfort, therefore, that we experience in having companions in our troubles, in finding others suffering pains similar to those with which we are afflicted, does not arise from seeing them in pain, but from finding that we are not singled out in a particular manner to bear a greater portion of evil than falls to the lot of others: whenever this does happen, it adds greatly to the misery of what kind so ever it may be. Some men are peculiarly unhappy in this way; in all public calamities, whether by sickness, fire, or inundations, a much larger than their proportion of the evil, being sure to fall upon them. But upon what principle are we to account for the avidity with which people flock to be present at executions? Here they become voluntary spectators of one of the most distressing and afflicting scenes that can be well imagined; particularly when the execution is attended with any additional circumstances of horror; when the criminals are made to suffer the most excruciating torture before death relieves them from their misery. May we attribute this propensity to curiosity, to a desire to see in what manner human strength or courage is able to bear such an extremity of evil? It were much to be wished, that women, whose soft and delicate frames seem to render them unfit for such scenes, did not make so large a portion of the spectators on such occasions.
«I have long been sorry», Mrs. Montagu says, Letters, Vol. IV, «to see the best of our sex running continually after public spectacles and diversions, to the ruin of their health and understandings, and neglect of all domestic duties: but I own the late instance of their going to hear Lord Ferrers's sentence particularly provoked me: the ladies crowded to the House of Lords, to see a wretch brought loaded with crime and shame to the bar, to hear sentence of a cruel and ignominious death; which, considering only this world, cast shame on his ancestors and all his succeeding family. There was in this case every thing that could disgrace human nature and civil distinctions; but it was a sight, and in spite of all pretences to tenderness and delicacy they went adorned with jewels, and laughing and gay to see their fellow creature in the most horrid situation, making a sad end of this life, and in fearful expectation of the commencement of another». Lord Ferrers, it is known, was hanged for shooting one of his servants, in the year 1760.
Fuente: Horace.
11. Duos insequens Lepores neutrum capit.
Esp. Quien mucho abarca poco aprieta
Ing. Grasp all, lose all
By greedily attempting to take two hares together, they both of them escaped; like the dog who, catching at a second piece of meat which he saw by reflection in the water, lost that which he had in his mouth. Quien mucho abarca poco aprieta, grasp all, lose all.
Fuente: Erasmo, 2536.
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