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Robert Bland, Proverbs
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1. Viam qui nescit ad Mare.
Let him who knows not the way to the sea take a river for his guide; that is, let him follow the course of a river, which, though perhaps by a circuitous route, will at length lead him there; the sea being the common receptacle or reservoir into which nearly all rivers pour their contents. Or let those who wish for information on any subject on which they are ignorant inquire of those who are acquainted with them, however humble their situation: much useful knowledge being often to be obtained by conversing with the very lowest of the people; as in mechanics, husbandry, gardening, &c.
Fuente: Erasmo, 1681.
2. Vino vendibili suspensâ Hederâ nihil Opus.
Ing. Good wine needs no bush
Esp. El vino que es bueno, no ha menester pregonéro
It. Al buon vino non bisogna frasca
Fr. Le bon vin n'a point besoin de buchcron
"Good wine needs no bush." Good actions are their own interpreters, they need no rhetoric to adorn them. The phrase derives its origin from a custom among vintners, of hanging out the representation of an ivy bush, as an indication that they sell wine; a custom common in Germany, in the time of Erasmus, and probably much earlier. It is still continued among us; many of the principal inns in this kingdom, both in town and country, being known by the sign of the bush. While signs were in fashion, Bacchus astride on his tun, and ample bunches of grapes, with their handsome foliage, were also general designations of the good liquor that was to be had within. The proverb is applicable to persons too earnest in their commendation of any articles they are desirous of selling. The Spaniards therefore say, "El vino que es bueno, no ha menester pregonéro," the wine that is good needs no trumpeter.
The ivy is said to be an antidote to the intoxicating power of wine, hence Bacchus is always painted with a wreath of ivy on his head, and it may be that it was on account of this supposed property, that in old times a bush of ivy was chosen, in preference to any other, by the vintners. The proverb has been pretty generally adopted. "Al buon vino," the Italians say, "non bisogna frasca," and the French, "Le bon vin n'a point besoin de bucheron." Is this the origin of the vulgar term "Bosky," applied to persons who are tipsy, or drunk, viz. he has been under the bush? The Scotch, who are accustomed to fix a bunch of hay against houses where ale is sold, say, "Good ale needs no whisp."
Fuente: Erasmo, 1520.
3. Vita Mortalium brevis.
Life is short, and the duration of it also is uncertain, and not, therefore, at any period of it, to be wasted in indolence, or in the indulgence of our sensual appetites, but to be employed in improving our faculties, and in, performing the duties of our station; in short, we should take care to pass the portion allotted to us in such a manner, that at the end of it, we may have as little as possible to reproach ourselves with.

«To die is the first contract that was made
'Twixt mankind and the world, it is a debt
For which we were created, and indeed,
To die is man's nature, not his punishment».

Another poet says,

«This life's at longest but one day;
He who in youth posts hence away,
Leaves us i' the morn. He who has run
His race till manhood, parts at noon;
And who, at seventy odd, forsakes this light,
He may be said, to take his leave at night».

Spenser addresses the following apostrophe to us.

«O why do wretched men so much desire,
To draw their days unto the utmost date,
And do not rather wish them soon expire,
Knowing the misery of their estate,
And thousand perils which them still await,
Tossing them like a boat amid the main,
That every hour they knock at deathes gate?
And he that happy seems, and least in pain,
Yet is as nigh his end, as he that most doth plain».

Hippocrates, who was perhaps the author of this apothegm, extends it further, «Vita brevis», he says, «et ars longa», intimating that the longest life is only sufficient to enable us to acquire a moderate portion of knowledge in any art or science; and experience shews the justice of his position, for even assisted with the discoveries of our predecessors, neither medicine, to which he alludes, nor any other art has arrived at perfection.
Fuente: Erasmo, 2963.
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