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Robert Bland, Proverbs
Términos seleccionados: 31 Página 1 de 2

1. Nam nulli tacuisse nocet, nocet esse locutum.
Esp. Quien calla, piedras apaña
Esp. Oveja que bala bocada pierde
Ing. The fool's bolt is soon shot
It. Parla poco, ascolta assai, et non fallirai
What is retained and kept in the mind can never injure, it may injure us to have divulged it. Quien calla, piedras apaña, he that is silent is heaping up stones; he is thinking how he may profit by what others are saying; and Oveja que bala bocada pierde, the sheep loses a mouthful when it bleats. Silence is the sanctuary of prudence, and properly used, it is one of the most valuable attributes of wisdom. The fool's bolt is soon shot, he has little in him, and over that little he has no controul; he is always, therefore, saying something that is unseasonable and improper; he is precipitate in his judgment, and determines before he well knows the proposition to which his assent is required. But the wise man is reserved and cautious, he looks before he leaps, thinks before he speaks and even of a good bargain he thinks twice before he says done, for he knows that appearances are often deceitful, and that all is not gold that glitters, he has wide ears, and a short tongue, therefore more ready to hear the opinions of others, than to proclaim his own. Augustus Cæsar bore a sphinx, an emblem of silence, on his ring, intimating that the counsels of princes should be secret. But silence is often adopted for very different purposes and from different motives: some make use of it, to cover their ignorance; conscious of their inability to bear a part in the conversation, they avoid venturing their opinion, and «wisely keep the fool within», in which they shew a commendable prudence; even a fool when he holdeth his peace, is counted wise, and he that shutteth his lips is esteemed a man of understanding. Parla poco, ascolto assai, et non fallirai, speak little and attend to what falls from others, and you will commit no error. Others again are silent through craft, fearful lest by some unguarded expression they should betray the part they had taken in some transaction, in which they would not be thought to have been concerned; or that they should discover their opinion or intention, which may be the reverse of what they publicly profess: such men, to use the strong language of Churchill,

«Lest bold truth to do sage wisdom spight,
Should burst the portals of their lips by night,
Tremble to trust themselves one hour in sleep».

Yet there is an instance on record, where silence is said to have occasioned the destruction of a country, whence the following:

Amyclas perdidit Silentia.

Amyclas was lost by silence. The magistrates of this city having been frequently alarmed by some of the more timid inhabitants, with reports of an enemy being at hand when no danger was near, ordered, under the penalty of a severe punishment, that no one should again disturb them with such rumours. At length, when an enemy was actually approaching, the people not daring, on account of the law to give the necessary information, the city was taken. The proverb may be applied to any one neglecting the proper opportunity or time for doing any necessary business.
Antónimo(s): He looks before he leaps
He thinks before he speaks
Even of a good bargain he thinks twice before he says done
He has wide ears, and a short tongue
Fuente: Marco Porcio Catone.
2. Naturam expellas Furca tamen usque recurret.
Ing. What is bred in the bone, will never get out of the flesh
Lat. Lupus pilum mutat, non mentem
It. Vizio di natura dura fino alla sepoltura
Which may be aptly enough rendered by our English proverb, what is bred in the bone, will never get out of the flesh. Lupus pilum mutat, non mentem, it is easier for the wolf to change his coat than his disposition: habits are with difficulty changed, and with greater difficulty if of such long continuance as to become a second nature. As the bough of a tree drawn from its natural course, recoils and returns to its old position as soon as the force by which it had been restrained is removed; so do we return to old habits as soon as the motives, whether interest or fear, which had induced us to quit them, are done away: the cat that had been transformed into a fine lady, on seeing a mouse, forgetting the decorum required by her new form, sprung from the table where she was sitting to seize on her prey. Vizio di natura dura fino alla sepoltura, the vice that is born with us or is become natural to us, accompanies us to the grave. A rich miser being at the point of death, his confessor placed before him a large silver crucifix, and was about to begin an exhortation, when the usurer, fixing his eyes on the crucifix, said, «I cannot, sir, lend you much upon this ».
Fuente: Erasmo, 1614.
3. Naviges in Massiliam.
You are going the way of the Massilians, may be said to inconsiderate spendthrifts, who are dissipating what had been acquired for them, either by good fortune or the industry and frugality of their ancestors. The Massilians, once a brave and independent people, having by their commerce acquired great affluence, became so debauched, extravagant and effeminate, as to fall an easy prey to the neighbouring states.
Fuente: Erasmo, 1298.
4. Ne Æsopum quidem trivit.
Ing. He has not read his horn-book or his primer
Ing. Does not know his alphabet
He has not been taught even the fables of Æsop, was used to be said of persons totally illiterate; whose education has been so neglected, that they had not been initiated in the rudiments of literature; "he has not read his horn-book or his primer," or "does not know his alphabet," we say on similar occasions. The horn-book, it is known, is a piece of board six or seven inches long and four or five broad, on which is pasted a strip of paper containing the alphabet in capital and small letters, covered with a plate of transparent horn, to guard it from the fingers of the young subjects, to whose use it is dedicated: this description may seem superfluous at present, but horn-books are now so little used, that, it is probable, should the name of the contrivance continue, the form and fashion of it will in a short time be lost. To the same purport is: "Neque natare, neque Literas" (Erasmo, 0313).
Fuente: Erasmo, 1527.
5. Ne cuivis dextram injeceris
Offer not your hand to anyone with whom you may casually associate. This is in fact only an extension of the sense of the first apothegm, by which we were admonished not lightly, or unadvisedly, to admit anyone to an intimacy, «for with your hand you should give your heart». «Deligas enim tantum quem diligas», you should chuse as friends only such persons as are worthy of your love, and when you have found such, as Polonius advises his son Laertes, «Grapple them to thy soul with hooks of steel», for «amicus est magis necessarius quam ignis et aqua», a friend is more necessary to us than fire and water, without which, we know, we cannot even exist. From a want of making this selection, and of being well acquainted with the characters of the persons whom we admit to this intimacy, arises the frequent complaint of the perfidy of friends. «Qui sibi amicus est, scito hunc amicum omnibus esse», he who is a friend to himself is a friend to everyone to whom he professes to be so. If this apothegm of Seneca should not be admitted to its full extent, it will at the least be allowed, that he who is not a friend to himself, should not be expected to be a friend to anyone besides. For how should a man be a friend to strangers, who neglects what is necessary for the comfortable subsistence of himself and family? In short, to be a friend it is necessary that a man should shew himself to be a reasonable and a good moral man, fulfilling his duty to God, to his country, and to himself. Such a man, to adopt the language of Montaigne, «is truly of the cabinet council of the Muses, and has attained to the height of human wisdom».If these rules in the choice of our friends be followed, few persons will have reason to complain of their faithlessness. If it should be said that such characters are rare, it then follows, that there are but few persons with whom we should enter into that close intimacy which is designated by the term friendship.
Fuente: Erasmo, 2 (4)., Seneca, Epistulae morales, 1.6.
6. Ne Gladium tollas Mulier.
Women should not attempt to wield a sword, for which they are incompetent. Employ in every business means adapted and adequate to the purpose; also take care not to irritate any one whom you are not able to stand against, or oppose successfully. Brutus observed, that Cicero should not have railed against, and provoked Marc Anthony, who was much more powerful than himself. In the end, this imprudence cost Cicero his life. What, however, shall we say of those heroines, Judith in sacred, and Joan of Arc in modern history, or of the Amazons, who wielded this forbidden weapon with such advantage against their enemies, in defiance of this adage?
Fuente: Erasmo, 1451.
7. Ne gustaris quibus nigra est cauda
It is not known who was the Author of this enigmatical sentence, prohibiting to eat what has a black tail; that which is sweet to the taste, but leaves a sense of bitterness when swallowed. The interpretation seems to be, hold no intimate connection with persons of bad fame, nor do any thing of which you may repent on reflection.
Fuente: Erasmo, 2 (1).
8. Ne in Nervum erumpat.
Ing. The pitcher that goes often to the well returns broken at last
The string may break; this was said to persons who, emboldened by success, were perpetually engaging in new exploits: such persons were advised by this apothegm to desist, they had done enough to shew their skill or courage; a reverse might happen, or by one wrong step they might lose all the honour or emolument they had gained. The pitcher that goes often to the well returns broken at last.
The adage takes its rise from bowmen who, by overstraining the string, at length occasion it to break, not without danger to themselves.
Fuente: Erasmo, 1536.
9. Ne Iupiter quidem omnibus placet.
It is of importance that we should well consider every project that we may engage in, that there be a reasonable probability of its succeeding and that it receive the sanction of such prudent and sensible friends as we may think it right to consult; but no measure however well planned should be expected to meet with general approbation; Iupiter himself not being able to please every one.
Fuente: Erasmo, 1655.
10. Ne sutor ultra crepidam
Esp. The shoemaker should not go beyond his last
Esp. [The shoemaker should not judge above the sandal]
Ing. Cada cual hable en lo que sabe
Esp. Defiéndame Dios de mí
The shoemaker should not go beyond his last. Men should not attempt what they are neither by education nor genius qualified to perform, nor discourse on matters they do not understand; they will be listened to with no more attention than would be given to a blind man discoursing on colours. Cada qual hable en lo que sabe, let every one talk of what he understands. A shoemaker having suggested to Apelles an error in the form of a shoe he had painted, the artist, readily taking the hint, altered the picture in that part. But when the same shoemaker was proceeding to recommend alterations in the form and disposition of the limbs of the figure, he received the rebuke, which thence became proverbial, "The shoemaker should not meddle beyond his last." Defiéndame Dios de mí. God defend me from myself, the Spaniards say, make me to know what is my proper state and condition.
Fuente: Erasmo, 516.
11. Ne Verba pro Farina.
Ing. Fair words butter no parsnips
"Fair words butter no parsnips." Though we may for a time be satisfied with kind speeches, and fair promises, yet as we cannot take them to the market, or they will not pass there, the satisfaction derived from them will be but short-lived, and when we find them totally unproductive, and that they were merely unmeaning expletives, our resentment will be in proportion to the dependence we had placed on them, and to the time we have lost in the vain expectation of some promised benefit.
Fuente: Erasmo, 1516.
12. Ne è quovis Ligno Mercurius fiat.
Ing. You cannot make a silk purse of a sow's ear
Esp. De ruyn paño nunca buen sayo
A statue of Mercury may not be made from every kind of wood. All dispositions and capacities are not adapted to the higher walks of literature. It is incumbent on parents to educate their children, but they should give them such instruction, as is suited to their talents. Artificers are careful to make choice of materials fit for the work they have in hand, whether metal, stone, or wood; using the coarser sort for rough and common articles, the, finer for those that require to be more exquisitely finished. "You cannot make," we say, "a silken purse of a sow's ear," or "a horn of a pig's tail," or "a good coat", "of coarse or bad wool." The Spaniards say, "De ruyn paño nunca buen sayo".
Fuente: Erasmo, 1447.
13. Nec obolum habet, unde restim emat
Ing. He is as poor as a church mouse
Esp. No le alcanza la sal al agua
He has not a penny left to buy an halter. He has no property, «ne in pelle quidem», not even in his skin. «Ne obolus quidem relictus est», he has totally dissipated and wasted his property, not a morsel, or the smallest particle of it remains. He is as poor as a church mouse. «Beg», Gratiano says to Shylock, «that thou mayest have leave to hang thyself»; «And yet, thy wealth being forfeit to the state, Thou hast not left the value of a cord; Therefore thou must be hanged at the state's charge». No le alcaça la sal al agua, «he is so poor», the Spaniards say, «that he hath not salt enough to season his water». Xenophon, in his dialogues, makes one of the interlocutors say, «he had not so much land as would furnish dust for the body of a wrestler».
14. Necessitas Magistra.
Ing. Necessity has no law
Fr. La necessité n'a point de loi
Esp. La necessidad carece de ley
Ing. Hunger will break through stone walls
Ing. Hunger is the best sauce
Esp. A la hambre, no ay pan malo
Ing. A hungry dog will eat dirty pudding
Lat. Impletus venter, non vult studere libenter
«Necessity is the mother of invention, and the most powerful provoker of industry, and ingenuity». La necessité n'a point de loi, and La necessidad carece de ley. Necessity has no law, and Hunger will break through stone walls.

–––«Ingenii largitor venter,
Cautum e rudi reddit magistra necessitas».

Necessity makes the dull man bright, the sluggard active, the unwary cautious. It sharpens the wit, and makes men more apt for instruction.

«Jejunus raro stomachus vulgaria terabit».

Hunger is the best cure for daintiness, it is the best sauce; and A la hambre, no ay pan malo; A hungry dog will eat dirty pudding. To these may be added the following,

Impletus venter, non vult studere libenter.

A full belly does not excite to mental labour or exertion, and want sharpens, but luxury blunts the disposition to study.
Fuente: Erasmo, 3655.
15. Neglectis urenda Filix innascitur Agris.
It. L'ozio il padre di tutti i vizi
Fr. L'oisiveté nous mène à la mendicité
As fern and other hurtful weeds spring up in ground that is not tilled, so do ill humours abound in the bodies of the idle, and evil thoughts take possession of their minds. Hence we truly say, L'ozio è il padre di tutti i vizi, idleness is the root of all evil, L'oisiveté nous mène à la mendicité, and leads to beggary. Idle persons are necessarily restless and unhappy. «They are never pleased, never well in body or in mind, but weary still, sickly still, vexed still, loathing still; weeping, sighing, grieving, suspecting, offended with the world, and with every object; and this is the reason», Burton says, «that so many wealthy and great personages, become melancholy».
Fuente: Erasmo, 1897.
16. Nemo sibi nascitur.
«Non sibi sed toti mundo se credere natum».

No one is born, or should think himself born, solely for himself. The helpless state in which we are produced into the world, might teach us this maxim, or should we happen to forget it, a very slight fit of sickness would be sufficient to bring it back to our memories. But even in health we are none of us able, without the assistance of others, to prepare every article necessary for our comfort, or even for our subsistence. Every thing we wear, and every thing we eat or drink, requiring the concurrence of several hands, to make them fit for our use. This doubtless was intended by Providence to encourage mutual benevolence. As we were indebted in early life to our parents, teachers, and friends, for our maintenance, and for all the knowledge that was instilled into us, it becomes our duty to shew our sense of the obligation, by doing every thing in our power that may contribute to their comfort, and by giving the like assistance to those who may have similar claims upon us. The chain linking us together, is by this means kept entire, and we become what nature intended, social beings. Plato is said to have first promulgated this adage, «Each of us owing», he says, «a portion of our time, and of our exertions, to our country, to our parents, and to our friends».
Fuente: Erasmo, 3581.
17. Neque natare, neque Literas.
He has neither been taught to read nor to swim, two things which the Grecians and Romans were careful their children should be instructed in early; and which it was held to be disgraceful not to have learned.
Fuente: Erasmo, 0313.
18. Nihil de vitello.
But where is the yolk, was used to be said to persons reserving to themselves the best part of any viands, or other things, of which they had the distribution. A man dreamed he had found an egg. A soothsayer who was consulted to interpret the dream, told him that it portended he should find a treasure, the white of the egg representing silver, the yolk gold. The event corresponding with the prediction, the man took to the seer, some of the pieces of silver; but what, said the seer, is become of the yolk? Which thence became proverbial.
Fuente: Erasmo, 3251.
19. Nimia familiaritas parit contemptum
Ing. Familiarité engendre mépris
Ing. Familiarity breeds contempt
Ing. A prophet is not without honour, save in his own country
Familiarité engendre mépris. Familiarity breeds contempt. «E tribus optimis rebus», Plutarch says, «tres pessimae oriuntur», from three excellent endowments, three of the worst of our affections are produced. Truth begets hatred, familiarity contempt, and success envy. The contrary to this may be, «Omne ignotum pro magnifico est». We are apt rather to extol those persons whom we know only by report, but with whose merit, or real characters, we are not acquainted. A prophet is not without honour, we are told, save in his own country. Great men should not associate too familiarly with the world, ever more ready to blazon their defects, which reduce them to their own standard, than to admire those talents and qualities which they are incapable of imitating. To posterity they must look for justice, which never fails paying to their genius and abilities, the homage that had been refused them by their own age and country. «Suum cuique decus posteritas rependet». Posterity will give to everyone the portion of commendation, to which he was entitled by his merit. Or the adage may be thus interpreted: What is mentioned in the gross often fills the mind with surprise, which in detail would excite no emotion. If we should say of any man that he ordinarily walked between two and three thousand miles in a year, the account would seem to be exaggerated; but if we should say, he walked six or seven miles in a day, which would amount to the same number of miles in the year, no surprize would be excited.
Sinónimo(s): Suum cuique decus posteritas rependet
Antónimo(s): Omne ignotum pro magnifico est
20. Noctua volavit
An owl flew by us, it is a fortunate omen, our project will succeed, or we shall hear good news from our friends. The raven, on the contrary, was considered as a bird of ill omen, and its appearance was supposed to predict evil. "That raven on you left hand oak, Curse on his ill foreboding croak, Bodes me no good." The owl was in a particular manner reverenced by the Athenians, as it was the favoured bird of Minerva, their patroness. When Pericles was haranguing his men on board one of his vessels, who had mutinied, an owl, flying by on the right hand, is said to have settled on the mast of the ship, and the men observing the omen were immediately pacified, and came into his opinion. The phrase, noctua volavit, was also sometimes used to intimate that any advantage obtained was procured by bribery, by giving money on which the figure of an owl was impressed, such coin being common among the Athenians.
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