Monday, June 30, 2008

Latin Via Proverbs 176

I hope these notes will help you tackle this group of proverbs in Latin Via Proverbs. This group includes present active indicative forms of the verb velle.

Please note: to read the proverbs in Latin, you need to acquire a copy of the book from! 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 Study Guide material at the wiki website.

Group 176

2276. What the gods want happens quickly. (You can find this saying in Petronius.)

2277. Everyone wants to have knowledge; few want to pursue their studies. (Compare Juvenal: nosse volunt omnes, mercedem solvere nemo.)

2278. Everyone wants to know everything but they don't want to learn. (Compare this variant form: Multi sunt qui scire volunt, sed discere nolunt.)

2279. The necks of old dogs don't want to wear leashes. (Compare this variant form: Colla canum veterum durum est adsuescere loris.)

2280. The things we want we are also quick to believe. (The full form of the saying in Caesar is Quae volumus et credimus libenter, et quae sentimus ipsi, reliquos sentire speramus, "The things we want, we are also quick to believe, and what we ourselves perceive, we hope that others feel too.")

2281. It is one thing to want something, another to be able to do it. (Note the correlative use of aliud in Latin, which is equivalent to the English structure, "one thing... another thing...")

2282. I want, but have not the strength. (I cannot figure out a way to catch the play on words in Latin with volo and valeo.)

2283. I don't want last place; I can't reach first place; I am at rest. (This was the motto of Bishop Joseph Hall.)

2284. I prefer to be first in this place than to be second at Rome. (The saying is attributed in Plutarch to Julius Caesar.)

2285. I prefer what I have to that which I wish for. (You can find this saying in Augustine's commentary on the Psalms.)

2286. I prefer to rise to a bell than to the blare of a trumpet. (Note how the phrase ad tubae clangorem wraps around the infinitive.)

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Bob Hinton said...

Help. Can you translate this for me?

Lacerta es reptiles quisnam mos non exsisto accuso nusquam

It's driving me potty. Many thanks

Bob Hinton said...

Sorry forgot my email address:

Laura Gibbs said...

It's probably driving you potty because it's not Latin; I would guess it is the result of someone who doesn't know Latin trying to translate something into Latin. Literally it says:
Lacerta - lizard
es - you are
reptiles - creeping things
quisnam - who?
mos - habit
non exsisto - I do not appear
accuso - I accuse
nusquam - never

The reason I suspect this was put together by someone who doesn't know Latin is that all the words are the dictionary form - but Latin is an inflected language, meaning the words change their form based on the way they are used in the sentence. When someone who doesn't know that looks up words in a Latin dictionary, they often think you can just take the word from the dictionary and use it in a sentence, as we do in English. That is not how Latin works.