Friday, August 31, 2007

Latin Via Proverbs 141

I hope these notes will help you tackle this group of proverbs in Latin Via Proverbs. This group includes one last set of third declension nouns with third conjugation verbs.

Please note: to read the proverbs in Latin, you need to acquire a copy of the book Groupfrom! What I am providing here in the blog are notes to help people who are making their way through the book either in a Latin class or on their own. You can find more help at the wiki website.

Group 141

1818. He can't see the water in the high tide. (You can find this saying in Ovid.)

1819. From the pure source streams pure water. (Compare the fabulous story in the Gesta Romanorum about the stream of water pouring forth from the dog's head.)

1820. A small bird does not lay big eggs. (I have to confess I find this proverb extremely funny and, metaphorically, most suggestive!)

1821. Nature has a stronger tug than seven oxen. (The English proverb goes to greater extremes: "Nature draws more than ten oxen" or even "Nature draws more than ten teams.")

1822. The cat's absence makes the mouse grow bold. (As in the English proverb, "when the cat's away, the mice play.")

1823. Long-lasting hunger drives the starving wolves into the fields. (Compare the similar saying: Fames pellit lupum e silvis, "hunger drives the wolf from the woods.")

1824. One thief knows another, and wolf knows wolf. (A fuller form includes the jackdaw: Graculus a graculo, fur a fure cognoscitur, lupus a lupo, "birds of a feather," so to speak.)

1825. He has the face of a sheep but the heart of a wolf. (This is a great variation on the notion of the "wolf in sheep's clothing.")

1826. The bird-catcher falls into his own snares. (This saying is adapted from Ovid.)

1827. The sweet-sounding whistle tricks the reckless birds. (You will find this medieval saying in Tosi, 527.)

1828. A smart man does not piss into the wind. (I always think about that great Jim Croce song, "You Don't Mess Around With Jim" with the lines, "You don't tug on Superman's cape, you don't spit into the wind, you don't pull the mask off that ol' Lone Ranger, and you don't mess around with Jim." This saying circulates widely on the Internet in Latin but I am not sure if it has a classical source of any kind.)

This blog post is part of an evolving online guide for users of the book Latin Via Proverbs.

Keep up with the latest posts... Subscribe by Email. I also post a daily round-up of all the Bestiaria Latina blogs: fables, proverbs, crosswords, and audio.

No comments: