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Robert Bland, Proverbs
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1. Habet et Musca Splenam, and Inest et Formicæ sua Bilis.
Ing. Even a fly has its sting
Ing. A worm if trodden upon will turn
Even a fly has its sting, and a worm if trodden upon will turn, and make an effort to avenge the injury: we should therefore not despise an enemy however weak and insignificant, or want only offend any one; there being few persons but who may, at some time, have it in their power to do us an injury, or who may not in some way be useful to us. Socrates determined him to be the wisest man, who gave the least offence.
Fuente: Erasmo, 2407.
2. Harenae mandas semina
Sowing your grain among stones, where they cannot take root, in the water, or on sand. «In aqua scribis, in harena ædificas», writing on water, or building on sand, with many others, are phrases used by the Romans, and are applicable to persons bestowing much labour in effecting what is impossible to be done, or heaping favours upon an ungrateful person, from whom no return can be expected. «Can the Æthiopian change his skin, or the leopard his spots».
Sinónimo(s): In aqua sementem facis, In saxis seminas
Fuente: Erasmo, 352, 553, 554.
3. Hirundinem sub eodem tecto ne habeas
Take not a swallow under your roof, he only pays his visit in the spring, but when winter, the time of difficulty and hardships, approaches, he is gone. Entertain no one as a friend who seeks only his own advantage by the intimacy he solicits. The proverb is also supposed to intimate that we should not admit chatterers to a familiarity with us, who will be sure to divulge whatsoever they may see or hear in our houses. «Percontatorem fugito, nam garrulus idem est». The swallow only comes, it is said, for his own purpose, and having produced and brought up its young, leaves us, without making any beneficial return for the entertainment it has received. Though it is probable that by devouring myriads of insects, which would have destroyed our fruit, they pay us abundantly for the subsistence afforded them.
Fuente: Erasmo, 2 (21).
4. Hodie nihil succedit.
Nothing has succeeded, or prospered with me this day. This, many among the common people were apt to suppose, proceeded not from their having omitted some necessary caution, but from their having begun the work on an unlucky day; and there are now, as there were formerly, persons who esteem certain days to be unfortunate in which no new business should be attempted.
Fuente: Erasmo, 3746.
5. Homo longus raro sapiens
Esp. El grande de cuerpo, no es muy hombre
Tall men are rarely found to be wise. The Spaniards say, El grande de cuerpo, no es muy hombre. That is, the robust man is rarely a great man; and the Scotch, fat paunches bode lean pates. Livy seems also to patronise the opinion, «men of great stature and bulk», he says, «appear more formidable, than they are found to be on trial». His observation, however, may be supposed to relate rather to their courage or bodily strength, than to their genius or understanding. «Sir Francis Bacon being asked by King Jamnes, what he thought of the French ambassador; he answered, that he was a tall proper man. I, his Majesty replied, but what think you of his head-piece? is he proper for the office of ambassador? Sir, said Bacon, tall men are like houses of four or five stories, wherein commonly the uppermost room is worst furnished». And Burton says, that «commonly your vast bodies and fine features are sottish, dull, and heavy spirits». Yet, notwithstanding this coincidence of opinion, of these different countries and persons, and the suffrages of others might perhaps be joined; the observation will be found to be much oftener contradicted than confirmed; and almost everyone's experience will tell him, that wit and judgment are promiscuously distributed, and fall as often to the lot of the tall and the robust as to those of an opposite stature and bulk.
Fuente: Erasmo, 2358.
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