página principal
Robert Bland, Proverbs
Términos seleccionados: 331 Página 17 de 17

321. Velut Umbra sequi.
Envy will merit as its shade pursue, and like that serves to prove the substance true
Following any one as his shadow, as parasites do silly young men of fortune, being constantly seen with them, until they have disburdened them of their substance, and then the shadow vanishes of course: or, as envy does men of talents.

Envy will merit as its shade pursue, And like that serves to prove the substance true.
Fuente: Erasmo, 2651.
322. Venter obesus non gignit Mentem subtilem.
Ing. Fat paunches make lean pates
An over crammed belly does not produce a quick, and ready wit, or fat paunches make lean pates. The Lacedemonians, who were remarkably frugal in their diet, had such an abhorrence and contempt for fat and corpulent persons, that they were about to banish from their city, Auclides, one of their countrymen, who, by a course of indolent and voluptuous living, had swelled himself to an enormous bulk, and were only deterred from it by his engaging to live for the future more sparingly. They would have no inhabitants but such as, in time of danger, might be assisting in repelling an enemy.
Fuente: Erasmo, 2518.
323. Verecundia inutilis Viro egenti.
Bashfulness is of no use to a man in want. The adage teaches that persons liberally educated but in mean circumstances, should not refuse to undertake offices, though beneath them, which might be executed without offending against any moral or religious duty. This many do, not from their objection to the labour, but from being ashamed to appear to their friends, or to the world in a degraded situation; they can contemn pleasure, and bear pain or grief with firmness, but reproach and obloquy breaks and overwhelms them. It is the disgrace more than the confinement that makes a prison hateful. When Johnson found a pair of shoes placed at his door by one of his fellow students, actuated by false shame or by pride, he threw them, with great indignation, out of the window; though his own were so much worn as not to keep his feet from the stones. But bashfulness or false modesty is more than useless also, when it deters men from laying open their circumstances to their friends, who both might and would, by their advice or otherwise, relieve them, until, by delay, they are become so involved that nothing can prevent their fall: or when it leads them to conceal their bodily complaints, which not unfrequently happens, from the physician or surgeon, until they no longer admit of being cured.
Fuente: Erasmo, 1602.
324. Veritatis simplex est oratio
Truth needs not the ornament of many words, it is most lovely then when least adorned. There are circumstances, however, in which art may honestly be used; when we have any afflicting news to communicate, it is often necessary to prepare the mind for its reception by some general observations: or when we would persuade a person to do what we know to be unpleasant, but which we believe would be ultimately to his advantage; or would recal him from courses or connections, we believe to be injurious to his fame or fortune. In these cases a blunt declaration of our intentions would defeat the proposed end, and we must have recourse to a little art and management to engage the attention of the persons whom we wish to persuade. The proverb is opposed to those who, by a multiplicity of words, endeavour to obscure the truth, and to induce those they converse with to entertain opinions very different to what they would have formed, if the story had been told in a plain and simple manner. Two architects having offered themselves as candidates to ereet a public building at Athens, the one described in a florid and ostentatious manner, all the parts of the building, and with what ornaments he would complete it; when he had finished, the other only said, "My lords, what this man has said, I will do." He was elected.
325. Veterem injuriam ferendo, invitas novam
It. Chi pecora si fa, il lupo la mangia
Fr. Qui se fait brebis, le loup le mange
By quietly bearing, and putting up with one affront, we often lay ourselves open to fresh insults. Though humanity and tenderness towards our neighbours and associates, and a disposition to overlook slight offences, is highly commendable, and is becoming the frailty of our nature; yet too great facility in this point, is not only improper, but may in the end be highly injurious, even to the parties whose offence we have overlooked. Æsop has given us in one of his fables a story, which may serve to illustrate this adage. «A boy out of idleness and wantonness, throwing stones at, and otherwise insulting him, he had recourse, at first», he says, «to intreaties to induce him to desist: these failing, he gave him a small piece of money, all, he told the boy, he could spare; at the same time he shewed him a more wealthy person, who was coming that way, and advised him to throw stones at him, from whom he might expect a much larger reward. The boy followed his advice, but the rich man, instead of in treating, or bribing him to desist, ordered his servants to take him before a magistrate, by whom he was severely punished». Socrates, indeed, seemed to be of a different opinion, when he said, «If an ass kicks me, shall I strike him again?» but this forbearance must not be carried too far, for, according to the Italian proverb, Che pecora si fa, il lupo la mangia, and the French, Qui se fait brebis, le loup le mange, that is, he that makes himself a sheep, shall be eaten by the wolf. If a strange dog, going along the street, claps his tail between his legs, and runs away, every cur will snap at him but, if he turns upon them, and gives a counter snarl, they will let him go on without further molestation.
Fuente: Publilio Siro, Sententiae.
326. 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.
327. 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.
328. 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.
329. Volam Pedis ostendere.
Ing. To shew a light pair of heels
To shew a light pair of heels. The phrase is applied as a reproach to persons leaving their posts and flying from the enemy instead of fighting.
Fuente: Erasmo, 3956.
330. Volvitur Dolium.
A cask, when empty, may be rolled or moved from its place, by a slight impulse, but when filled, it is not to be moved but by the exertion of considerable force. The weak and uninformed man, like an empty vessel, may be turned from his purpose, by the most trifling and insignificant arguments, or rather, having no fixed principle of action, he is perpetually wavering, and changing his designs. But the considerate and wise man, having, on mature reflection, formed a plan for his conduct, like the well filled cask, he is not easily to be moved or deterred from pursuing his object.

«Though the whole frame of nature round him break,
He unconcerned will hear the mighty crack».

The adage is said to have taken its rise from a story told of Diogenes, the cynic. When the city of Abdera, in which he lived, was threatened with a siege, seeing the citizens running about confusedly, without order, or fixing on any plan for defending the place, he took the tub in which he lived into the market, and rolled it about with great vehemence, intimating that until they quieted the tumult and confusion that reigned in the city, they were equally insignificantly and unprofitably employed.
Fuente: Erasmo, 3206.
331. Vox et præterea nihil.
Plutarch in his apothegms tells us, that a nightingale being, among other things, set before a Lacedemonian for his dinner, when he was about to eat it, observing how very slender the body of the bird was, and comparing it with the strength and beauty of his song, he exclaimed, «Vox es et præterea nihil», you are all voice; the expression hence became proverbial, and is applied to persons who abound in words, but have little sense, «Qui dant sine mente sonum». Cicero therefore says, &à171;Malo indisertam prudentiam quam loquacem stultitiam», give me rather a prudent man, who, though unlearned, is silent, than a loquacious blockhead. For as the poet observes,

«Words are like leaves, and where they most abound,
Much fruit of sense beneath, is rarely found».
Fuente: Plutarch, Moralia, Apophthegmata Laconica.
< página principal Acerca de | Secciones | Top 10 | Licencia | Contacto | Acceso Licencia de Creative Commons
© 2008 Fernando Martínez de Carnero XHTML | CSS Powered by Glossword