Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Scala 18 (851-900)

<== Go back to Scala 17 (801-850)

851. Beata morte nihil beatius.

The indeclinable nihil is regarded as neuter, hence the comparative neuter form: beatius. The ablative phrase "beata morte" expresses the comparison: Nothing is more happy than a happy death.

852. Nemo ante mortem beatus est.

The idea is cautionary: you don't want to declare someone happy while there might still be some tragedy in life or reversal of fortune yet to come.

853. Beatus est qui vivit ut vult.

Here the word ut, with the indicative, means "as" - qui vivit ut vult, "he who lives as he wants."

854. Vita beatior non fit, si longior.

Note the comparative forms, beatior and longior, agreeing with vita.

855. Beati qui non viderunt, et crediderunt.

You will find these words in the Gospel of John, 20.

856. Beatus qui invenit amicum verum.

Notice that the antecedent of the relative pronoun is implied but not stated: Beatus (est ille), qui...

857. Beatus est qui non cupit quae non habet.

Compare the unfortunate person who suffers from endless desire: Quo plus habent, eo plus cupiunt.

858. Beatus qui non cogitavit, non fecit, non docuit mala.

Notice how mala serves as the object for all three verbs: cogitavit, fecit, and docuit.

859. Beatius est dare quam accipere.

[accipio: take, receive, accept] The infinitives dare and accipere, when used as nouns, are regarded as neuter singular, hence the neuter comparative: beatius.

860. Dare melius est quam accipere.

This expresses the same idea as the previous saying, this time with melius instead of beautius.

861. Quod datur, accipe.

As often, the antecedent of the relative pronoun is not expressed: (Hoc), quod datur, accipe.

862. Qui nihil audet, nihil accipit.

The charm of this proverb depends on its parallel structure: nihil...nihil... Compare the English saying, "Nothing ventured, nothing gained."

863. Petite, et accepietis.

Note the future tense form, accipietis. (Present indicative: accipitis; present subjunctive: accipiatis; future indicative: accipietis.)

864. Qui nimium petit, nihil accipit.

Here the contrast is between nimium (too much) and nihil (nothing at all).

865. Da, si vis accipere.

You can also find this saying with an "ut" clause: Da, ut accipias.

866. Dare Deo accipere est.

This is the one of the sayings collected by the Renaissance scholar Andreas Eborensis (Andrea de Resende).

867. Gratis accepistis; gratis date.

The words are from the Gospel of Matthew, 10.

868. Quae gratis accepimus, gratis demus.

Note the contracted form, gratis - which is a Latin word we have adopted directly into English! The full form is gratiis, and it has the meaning of "out of favor" or "as a kindness," i.e. "at no cost."

869. Gratis dare debemus, quae gratis accepimus.

As often, the antecedent of the relative pronoun is omitted: dare debemus (haec), quae...

870. Accipe quod tuum alterique da suum.

Again, there are some words implied but not stated in the compact Latin: Accipe (hoc), quod tuum (est), alterique da suum. Note that suum refers to the person who is "alter" - give to another what is his (or hers).

871. Simul da, simul accipe.

[simul: at the same time, simultaneously] As often, the charm of the proverb depends on its parallelism: simul...simul... (For another example, see "Simul dictum, simul factum" below.)

872. Non possunt omnia simul.

You can find these words used by Cicero in one of his Letters to Atticus, 15. The idea is that we cannot have everything at once, all things cannot be at the same time (simul).

873. Simul dictum, simul factum.

Compare the English saying, "No sooner said than done."

874. Post factum lauda.

[laudo: praise] The implication, of course, is that you should not offer any praise BEFORE the deed is accomplished!

875. Lauda finem.

This proverb again emphasizes that you should wait until the finish of something before you praise it. Compare the proverb you saw earlier: Nemo ante mortem beatus est.

876. Verbum laudatur, si factum tale sequatur.

Notice the subjunctive, making the "if" statement very hypothetical indeed: si ... sequatur.

877. Sua quisque laudat.

This is a variation on the "cuique suum" idea - here "each person praises what is his (or hers)."

878. Vespere laudatur dies.

[vesper: evening] This is another one of those sayings about waiting until the end of something before passing judgment, as in the proverb you just saw: Lauda finem.

879. Diem vesper commendat.

[commendo: give in trust, recommend, point out] This restates the same idea with vesper now as the subject of the verb.

880. Roma non uno condebatur die.

[condo: store, establish, put together] Compare the famous English saying, "Rome was not built in a day." Here the phrase one day, uno die, wraps elegantly around the verb: uno condebatur die.

881. Roma non fuit una die condita.

This is a variation on the preceding saying, now with "fuit condita" instead of "condebatur." Compare yet another version: Roma sola die non fuerat aedificata.

882. Roma aeterna est.

[aeternus: eternal, everlasting] This provides a nice counterpoint to the preceding proverbs: it is natural that Rome was not completed in a single day, given that it lasted so long!

883. Rex, in aeternum vive!

These words are spoken by Daniel to King Nabuchodonosor in the Bibilcal Book of Daniel, 3.

884. A morte aeterna libera nos, Domine!

These words can be found in the Catholic liturgy.

885. Mors sua quemque manet.

[maneo: remain, stay, await, last] Note that the verb manere takes a direct object: quemque, "Each person's own death awaits him."

886. Omnes una manet nox.

Again, the verb "manere" can take a direct object, omnes: A single night awaits all (of us). Notice also how the phrase una nox wraps elegantly around the verb.

887. Manet sua quemque hora.

Of course, "sua hora" is a euphemism for hora ultima, i.e. death.

888. Tempus neminem manet.

This is an inscription often found on sundials. Sometimes the sundial speaks in the first person: Nemini maneo (so says the sundial).

889. Me meliora manent.

Note the neuter plural here, meliora, "better things."

890. Domi manendum.

Domi is the locative form of the word domus, meaning "(at) home." The gerundive is being used impersonally here with the force of a command: "stay at home."

891. Adhuc difficiliora manent.

[adhuc: thus far, till now, yet, as yet] Note the neuter plural comparative form: difficiliora, more difficult things, things that are more difficult.

892. Domi manere convenit felicibus.

[convenio: come together, meet, fit, suit] This expands on the previous proverb, letting us know just who should stay at home: those who are happy, felicibus. To go out would just be to put your happiness at risk!

893. Difficile est dolori convenire cum patientia.

This is one of the sayings collected by Publilius Syrus.

894. Alia aliis conveniunt.

This is another one of those very succinct alia...aliis type of proverbs: Some things are suitable to some people, other things are suitable to others.

895. Non in omnes omnia conveniunt.

This is another way of expressing the same idea as in the previous proverb: Not all things (omnia) are suitable for all people (omnes).

896. Naturae convenienter vive.

Note the dative here, naturae. The verb convenio takes a dative complement, and so does the adverb formed from its participle: convenienter.

897. Non convenit cum deo contendere.

[contendo: stretch, contend, compete] Here the infinitive (contendere) serves as the subject of the verb: It is not fitting to compete with a god (or, in a Christian context: with God).

898. Ut vincas, contende.

This is the motto of the McMahon house at the Marist College Canberra.

899. Cum diis ne contendas.

This locates the previous proverb in a clearly pagan context: cum diis, "with the gods."

900. Sic dii voluerunt.

[sic: thus, so, in this way] Note the perfect past form of the verb, voluerunt: "Thus have the gods willed" or "Such was the will of the gods."

Scala 19 (901-950)

No comments: