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Robert Bland, Proverbs
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1. Quæ dolent ea molestum est contingere.
Ing. You touched him in a tender part
Esp. No se ha de mentar la soga, en casa del ahorcado
You touched him in a tender part, and brought to his memory some instance of vice or folly he would gladly have forgotten. This, however, is equally a breach of good manners, as it would be of humanity to tread on the foot of a person afflicted with corns or the gout, or to handle rudely any part that was diseased or wounded: No se ha de mentar la soga, en casa del ahorcado, we should not mention a halter in the house of one whose father was hanged.
Fuente: Erasmo, 3057.
2. Quae uncis sunt unguibus ne nutrias
Esp. Cría cuervos y te sacarán los ojos
Fr. Ôtez un vilain du gibet, il vous y mettra
Do not feed, or take under your roof animals of ferocious and savage dispositions, that have sharp and crooked claws. Do not cherish a snake in your bosom, or enter into friendship with crafty and deceitful persons. Otez un vilain du gibet, il vous y mettra, save a thief from the gallows, and he will cut your throat. Cría el cuervo, y sacarte ha los ojos, breed up a crow and he will tear out your eyes. Ingratitude and the unyielding bent of nature were typified by the Greeks under the elegant representation of a goat giving suck to the whelp of a wolf, with a subscription, which has been thus rendered.
«A wolf reluctant with my milk I feed,
Obedient to a cruel master's will;
By him I nourish'd, soon condemned to bleed,
For stubborn nature will be nature still».
We may add two familiar lines to these,
«The hedge-sparrow fed the cuckoo so long,
That she had her head bit off by her young».
Fuente: Erasmo, 2 (17).
3. Qualis hera, tales pedissequæ.
Ing. Like master like man
Esp. Qual la madre tal la hija
Esp. Qual el cuervo tal su huevo
Ing. Madre piedosa cria hija merdosa
Such as is the mistress such will be the servants. Like master like man, Qual la madre tal la hija, like mother, like daughter; Qual el cuervo tal su huevo, as is the crow so is the egg. It is therefore becoming those who have the management of the family to set good examples. Madre piedosa cria hija merdosa, an indulgent mother makes a slothful and sluttish daughter.
Fuente: Erasmo, 3463.
4. Quarta luna nati
Esp. En hora mala nace, quien mala fama cobra
Ing. Born with a silver spoon in his mouth
Born in the fourth moon. Persons who were peculiarly unfortunate, scarcely anything succeeding to their minds, were said to be born in the fourth moon, that being the month in which Hercules was born, whose labours, though beneficial to the world, were productive of little advantage to himself. The Spaniards say, En hora mala nace, quien mala fama cobra, he was born under an unlucky planet, or in an evil hour, who gets an ill name. The contrary to this, but equally the child of superstition, is «Albæ gallinæ filius».
5. Qui bene conjiciet, hunc vatem perhibeto optimum
Ing. He that conjectures least amiss, of all the best of prophets is
Lat. Quis est enim, inquit, qui totum diem jaculans non aliquando collimet?
Esp. Si fuera adivino, no muriera mezquino
Let him who conjectures best, who from circumstances draws the most rational conclusions, be esteemed your best counsellor or adviser, or more literally, let him be your soothsayer or prophet.
He that conjectures least amiss,
of all the best of prophets is
Do not, like the Africans, and other illiterate and uncultivated people consult astrologers, or diviners, with the view of learning your future destiny, which cannot with any certainty be foretold. It is true, as is said of persons having the second sight in Scotland, there is sometimes a very near, or perhaps, an exact coincidence between the prediction and the event, «Quis est enim, qui totum diem jaculans, non aliquando conlineat?» for, who shoots often, will at some time hit the mark. But on inquiry, it would be found, that they fail fifty times for once that they are right. But jugglers, or fortune-tellers, as they are called, are in no small degree of estimation in this country, and among persons who should be ashamed of giving encouragement to such wretched impostures. Erasmus complains, that they were not less in vogue in his time, and that they were resorted to by personages of the highest rank. Si fuera adevino, no muriera mesquino, if I were a conjuror, I should not die a beggar, the Spaniards say, which shews they do not want encouragement in that country also. Of the Spaniards, it has been said, that they are less wise, as the French are found to be more wise, more politic, at the least, than from their respective habits and manners, might be expected.
Fuente: Erasmo, 1278. 113.
6. Qui Lucerna egent, infundunt Oleum.
When we have occasion for a lamp, we trim it and fill it with oil. Anaxagoras having been often consulted by Pericles, and very advantageously, in the government of his country becoming old, and finding himself entirely neglected by his pupil and his former services forgotten, determined, by a total abstinence from food, to put an end to his existence; this being told to Pericles, he called upon and entreated him to desist from his purpose, as he had business requiring his assistance; but the philosopher being now near dying, answered, «O Pericles, et quibus lucerna opus est, infundunt oleum». Thus reproving him for his inattention, when he thought he should have no further occasion for his advice. The phrase thence became proverbial.
Fuente: Erasmo, 3663.
7. Qui non litigat, Cœlebs est.
Lat. Mulier in ædibus atra tempestas viro
Lat. Incendit omnem feminæ zelus domum
Lat. Muliere nil est pejus, atque etiam bonâ
Ing. To see a woman weeping is as piteous a sight, as to see a goose go barefoot
Esp. De buenas armas es armado quien con buena mujer es casado
The man who has a quiet house, has no wife. Certainly many of the Greek writers appear to have had a great horror of matrimony, to which, perhaps, may be attributed the high colouring they gave to the character of Xantippe, who was not, it is probable, so great a termagant as they have painted her. Some of their apothegms follow.

Mulier in ædibus atra tempestas viro.

A wife, like a tempest, is a perpetual disturbance to the house.

Incendit omnem feminæ zelus domum.

The restless spirit of the woman keeps the house in a perpetual flame; and

Muliere nil est pejus, atque etiam bonâ.

Nothing is worse than a woman, even than the best of them. «It is better», Solomon says, «to dwell in the wilderness, than with a contentious and angry woman»; and in another place, «It is better to dwell in the corner of the house-top, than with a brawling woman, and in a wide house». Montaigne has an observation equally satirical: «The concern», he says, «that some women shew at the absence of their husbands, does not arise from, their desire of seeing and being with them, but from their apprehension that they are enjoying pleasures in which they do not participate, and which, from their being at a distance, they have not the power of interrupting». A similar idea pervades the following, by Buchannan, who in the early part of Montaigne's life, was one of his preceptors.

«Illa mihi semper præsenti, dura Neæra,
Me quoties absum, semper abesse dolet,
Non desiderio nostri, non mœret amore,
Sed se non nostri posse dolore frui».

Neæra, who treats me when present with the greatest cruelty, yet never fails to lament my absence; not from the affection she bears me, but she grieves that she cannot then enjoy the pleasure of seeing me wretched; which may be better liked, perhaps, in the following:

«Neæra present, to my vows unkind,
When absent, still my absence seems to mourn;
Not moved by love, but that my tortur'd mind,
With anguish unenjoyed by her, is torn».

To finish the bad side of the picture, one only of our adages shall be given. To see a woman weeping, we say, is as piteous a sight, as to see a goose go barefoot. From all which we learn, that as there are some turbulent and ill-disposed women, so there have not been wanting men, ill-natured enough to make them the models, from which they chose to characterize the sex. Hesiod more justly and more reasonably says,

«Sors potior muliere probâ, non obtigit unquarn
Ulla viro, contraque malâ nil tetrius usquam est».

As the possession of a good woman, constitutes the greatest felicity a man can enjoy, so the being yoked to a bad one, is the greatest torment that can be inflicted upon him. The Spaniards, consonant to this, say, De buenas armas es armado, quien con buena mujer es casado, the man is well provided who is married to a good woman. «He that hath no wife», Cornelius Agrippa sayeth, «hath no house, because he doth not fasten (live) in his house; and if he have, he dwelleth therein as a stranger in an inn; he that hath no wife, although he be exceeding rich, he hath almost nothing that may be called his, because he hath not to whom he may leave it, nor to whom to trust, all that he hath is in danger of spoyle; his servants rob him, his companions beguile him, his neighbours despise him, his friends regard him not, his kinsfolk seek his undoing; if he hath any children out of matrimonie, they turn him to shame, wherefore the laws forbid him to leave them either the name of their familie, the armes of their predecessors, or their substance; and he is also, together with them, put back from all public offices and dignities by the consent of all law makers: this finally is the only state of life, wherein a man may lead the happiest life of all, in loving his wife, in bringing up his children, in governing his familie, in saving his substance and in encreasing his offspring; wherein if any charge and labour happen, and no state of life is without its cross, verily this only is that light burden and sweet yoke which is in wedlock».
Fuente: Erasmo, 3135.
8. Qui Nucleum esse vult, Nucem frangat oportet.
Fr. Qui veut manger de noyau, qu'il casse la noix
Ing. He that will not work, must not expect to eat
Esp. No hay dulzura, sin sudor
Esp. No hay ganancia, sin fatiga
Esp. El que trabaja y madra, hila oro
Qui veut manger de noyau, qu'il casse la noix , he that would eat the kernel, must break the shell; and, He that will not work, must not expect to eat. No hay dulzura, sin sudor no sweet, without sweat. No hay ganancia, sin fatiga, no gains, without pains; and El que trabaja y madra, hila oro, he who labours and strives, spins gold. This rule is applicable to persons in every station, the labour only varies in kind, but all must perform a part. Providence has ordained that every thing necessary to our subsistence, as well as those which custom or habit have made so to our comfort, as apparel, furniture, houses, should only be obtained by labour and exertion. To this law the wealthy, and those borne to high rank and distinction, are equally subjected with the poor. As the earth will not produce such a portion of food as is necessary for the support of its numerous inhabitants, unless it be cultivated, the labour of performing which, is usually the lot of the poor; so neither can men be rendered fit to manage large possessions, or fill high stations, unless their minds be well stored with knowledge, which is not to be acquired without equal care and diligence.

«The chiefest action for a man of spirit,
Is never to be out of action; we should think
The soul was never put into the body,
Which has so many rare and curious pieces
Of mathematical morion, to stand still.
Virtue is ever sowing of her seeds,
In the trenches for the soldier; in wakeful study
For the scholar; in the furrows of the sea
For men of that profession; of all which
Arises, and springs up honour». (John Webster)
Fuente: Erasmo, 1835.
9. Qui vitat Molam, vitat Farinam.
Ing. No mill, no meal
Ing. Who will not work, must not expect to eat
Ing. Who would have eggs, must bear the cackling of the hen
Lat. Lutum nisi tundatur, non fit urceus
Ing. Idleness is the root of all evil
Ing. Lazy folks take the most pains
No mill, no meal, or, if the noise of the mill offends you, you can have no meal. Who will not work, must not expect to eat, Who would have eggs, must bear the cackling of the hen. If the ground be not tilled, it will produce no grain, or the corn will be choked with weeds. Lutum nisi tundatur, non fit urceus, unless the clay be well pounded and wrought, it cannot be formed into vessels. Nothing valuable is to be produced without industry, «et quid tandem non efficiunt manus,» and to labour and ingenuity, scarcely any thing is impossible.

–––«Thou would'st be great», Lady Macbeth says to her husband,
«Art not without ambition; but without
The illness should attend it: what thou would'st highly,
That would'st thou holily; would'st not play false,
And yet would'st wrongly win».

This, though addressed, and suited particularly to Macbeth, is applicable in its principle to mankind in general. We all of us wish for, and would abound in the conveniences of life, but all have not that energy of mind, which is necessary to set them at work to obtain them. Hence we find in all barbarous, and semi civilised countries, the inhabitants are prone to thieving, as a more compendious way of getting what they desire, than by their labour. Captain Cook, lost his life by attempting to make the people of the Sandwich islands esteem, and punish robbery, as a crime; and we see with what difficulty the propensity is restrained in this, and other countries of Europe, where we are taught from our infancy, and it is made a part of our religion, to refrain from stealing, and where it is prohibited under the severest penalties, in some cases, even to forfeiture of life; yet many daily hazard that punishment, rather than exert themselves to procure what they want by industry: so true it is, that Idleness is the root of all evil, as it is also, that Lazy folks take the most pains, the robber procuring his booty with much greater difficulty and hazard, than it costs the industrious man to obtain what is of equal, or superior value. In India, we are told, there are whole tribes, or communities of robbers, the individuals of which do not shrink from the imputation. The Mahrattas are a nation of robbers, and on what other principle are carried on nearly all the wars of Europe?
Fuente: Erasmo, 2259.
10. Quid ad farinas?
What profit do you expect from this, or how will it conduce to provide you with bread, to which your attention should be principally turned, may be said to young persons, who are seen neglecting their business, and spending their time in idle pursuits, in keeping loose company, in haunting taverns, playhouses, and assemblies, in reading novels and romances, or in taking up the trade of poetry, without any better call than their own silly conceit; a vice now very prevalent.

«Quid me numeri tantlem ad farinas juverint?».
Fuente: Erasmo, 2531.
11. Quid ad Mercurium.
What has this to do with Mercury, was said when any one through ignorance, or with the view of distracting the attention of the auditor, introduced any matter foreign to the subject intended to be discussed. What has this to do with the business before us. Mercury seems to have been made use of, as he was esteemed to be the god, or patron of eloquence.
Fuente: Erasmo, 2192.
12. Quid Cæco cum Speculo.
What has a blind man to do with a looking-glass, an illiterate man with books, or one who knows not how rightly to use them, with riches ?
Fuente: Erasmo, 2654.
13. Quid nisi victis dolor
Ing. Pity only with new objects stays, but with the tedious sight of woe decays
What but misery to the conquered; and «væ victis!» woe to the conquered! was the cruel taunt of Brennus to the Romans, complaining that he exacted more than they had stipulated to pay, as a ransom for their city; reproaching them, perhaps, that they had not made so strenuous a defence as they ought to have done, before they capitulated. It should be sounded in the ears of the careless, the indolent, arid the profligate, in short, of all who, having nothing but their genius or their industry to depend upon for their support, pass their time in sloth and inactivity; or who dissipate the property left them by their parents, in the foolish, or perhaps criminal indulgence of their passions. What pleasure, or what comforts, are to be purchased by poverty, and what are they to expect, when they have reduced themselves to a state of indigence, but the neglect of those who would have been their friends, or the cold consolation of pity? How little relief distress may expect from pity, the following very just observations of Goldsmith shew: «Pity and friendship are passions incompatible with each other; and it is impossible that both can reside in any breast, for the smallest space of time, without impairing each other. Friendship is made up of esteem and pleasure, but pity is composed of sorrow and contempt. In fact», he adds, «pity, though it may often relieve, is but at best a short lived passion, and seldom affords distress more than a transitory assistance», which is consonant to the following observation of Dryden,
―"pity only with new objects stays,
But with the tedious sight of woe decays."
Fuente: Erasmo, 1501.
14. Quo semel est imbuta recens, servabit Odorem Testa diu.
Lat. Maxima debetur pueris reverentia
Lat. Nil dictu fœdum visuve hæc limina tangat intra quæ puer est
Lat. Sincerum est nisi vas, quodcunque infundis acescit
Vessels will for a long time preserve the scent of the liquor first put into them, or with which they were first impregnated. This observation is very happily introduced by Horace, to shew the necessity of instilling early good principles into the minds of young people; "maxima debetur pueris reverentia": and

"Nil dictu foedum visuve hæc limina tangat
Intra quæ puer est".

we should reverence youth; that is, we should take care that nothing be said or done in their presence offensive to good morals, that we may not suffer the cruel reflection of having led them into vice by our example.

"Sincerum est nisi vas, quodcunque infundis acescit".

For as, unless the vessel is kept clean and untainted, whatever is put into it will be spoiled: if the mind be corrupted when young, it will afterwards reject the most salutary precepts.
Philip of Macedon thought a good education of so much importance, that next to the pleasure he experienced in having a son to whom he might leave his empire, he esteemed that of his being born at a time when he was able to procure for him so excellent a preceptor as Aristotle; under whose tuition he placed him as soon as he was of an age to receive his instruction."It would be well," Roger Ascham says, "that we should adopt the manners of the Persians, whose children to the age of twenty-one years were brought up in learning and exercises of labour, and that in such places, where they should neither see that was uncomely, nor hear that was unhonest".
Fuente: Erasmo, 1320.
15. Quod alibi diminutum, exæquatur alibi.
Though deficient in one quality, yet abundantly endowed with others, equally valuable and productive. He is indeed blind, but has an exquisite ear to music. He is neither strong, nor swift of foot, but is a good penman and accountant. Of kin to it are,

Non omnes possumus omnia and
Non omnis fert omnia tellus

No man should be expected to be intimately acquainted with every art or science, nor any land to produce every kind of fruit or grain.
When Philip of Macedon was contending with the master of his choir, on some musical subject, the musician, instead of answering him, said, »God forbid that your majesty should be as well instructed in these matters, as I am«.
Sinónimo(s): Non omnes possumus omnia, and Non omnis fert omnia tellus.
Fuente: Erasmo, 2771.
16. Quod non Opus est, Asse carum est.
What you have no use for is dear at the price of a farthing. «Buy what thou hast no need of, and ere long thou shalt sell thy necessaries».
(quot. Benjamin Franklin)
Fuente: Erasmo, 3399.
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