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Robert Bland, Proverbs
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1. Per Ignem incedis.
Ing. Take care you do not burn yourself
Ing. Take care you do not burn your fingers
Or, as Horace gives it,

–––«Incedis per ignes
Suppositos cineri doloso».

You are treading on hot ashes. You are engaged in a difficult and hazardous business. Take care, we say, you do not burn yourself, or, burn your fingers. Johnson uses the phrase, when entering on the lives of the poets, who lived near his time, or were his contemporaries; meaning, that by speaking freely of them, and giving his sentiments of their works there was danger of offending their friends or relatives. The adage may also mean, as you are treading on hot ashes, that is, are in jeopardy, get out of the business, conciliate the parties whom you have offended, as soon as you can, as you would run or hasten over a floor that is burning; the flame which is at present smothered, may burst out and destroy you. That this is also intimated, seems probable from the following.

Non incedis per Ignem.

You are not walking over a furnace, which was used to be said to persons appearing to be in great haste, but who had no urgent business.
Antónimo(s): Non incedis per Ignem
Fuente: Erasmo, 2994.
2. Perdere Naulum.
Esp. Echar la soga tras el caldero
Ing. It is throwing the rope after the bucket, the helve after the hatchet
Echar la soga tras el caldero. It is throwing the rope after the bucket, the helve after the hatchet, may be said to persons under misfortunes, who, instead of exerting themselves to recover what they have lost, give way to despair, and so suffer what remains of their property to be wrecked likewise.

Furor est post omnia perdere naulum.

But the adage is more immediately applicable to persons who have made an unsuccessful venture, who have taken goods to a country where they are little in request, or are valued at a very low price. Do not let them be destroyed, get, at the least, so much for them as will pay the freight;of a bad bargain we should make the best, and, half a loaf is better than no bread.
Antónimo(s): Of a bad bargain we should make the best
Half a loaf is better than no bread
Fuente: Erasmo, 2476.
3. Pergræcari.
To live voluptuously like the Greeks, to be great topers. The phrase seems to have been used by the Romans to express their contempt of the soft and effeminate manners of the Grecians, particularly of that portion of them who had taken up their residence at Rome, and were probably the most worthless of the country, who were not able to get a living at home. These men, we are told, had the art, by flattery and by administering to the vices of the great, to make themselves so acceptable that scarcely any favour could be procured, or even any access to the nobles could be obtained but through them. Juvenal severely censures his countrymen for their attachment to these vermin:

«All Greeks are actors, and in this vain town,
Walk a short road to riches and renown.
Smiles the great man? they laugh with noisy roar;
Weeps he? their eyes with bidden tears run o'er.
Asks he a fire in winter's usual cold?
The warmest rugs their shivering limbs enfold.
Pants he beneath the summer's common heat?
Lo! they are bath'd in sympathetic sweat.
In vain the Roman would contest the prize,
For native genius arms the Greek with lies;
He, every moment of the night or day,
Mimics the great in all they look or say;
Loads their vain ear with praise that never tires,
And all their folly, all their trash admires».
Hodgson's Translation.

Johnson, in his imitation of the same satire, has transferred the censure to the French, who, he seems to think, had obtained the same influence here, the Grecians had at Rome:

«Obsequious, artful, voluble and gay,
On Britons' fond credulity they prey.
No gainful trade their industry can 'scape,
They sing, they dance, clean shoes, or cure a clap;
All sciences a fasting Monsieur knows,
And bid him go to hell, to hell he goes».
Fuente: Erasmo, 3064.
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