Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Scala 42 (2051-2100)

<== Go back to Scala 41 (2001-2050)

2051. Canities festina venit.

[canities: white, gray hair, old age] Here there is an adjective modifying the subject of the verb, but we would be more likely in English to express that with an adverb instead: Grey hairs (old age) comes on quickly.

2052. Canitiei non semper virtus comes.

Note the nice alliteration: canitiei... comes.

2053. In medio stat virtus.

[sto: stand, remain, persist, be] In other words: virtue does not go to extremes!

2054. In medio stat veritas.

Compare the English saying, "The truth lies somewhere in the middle."

2055. Hora fugit; stat ius.

The theme of fleeing time is very common; here it is paired with a sense that there is something which stands unmoving: ius.

2056. Sol stat, sed terra movetur.

Be careful with the movetur: in Latin, the passive form is used to express what would be in English an intransitive verb, "the earth moves."

2057. Domus divisa contra se non stabit.

The words are from the Gospel of Matthew, 12.

2058. Stet fortuna domus!

Careful with domus here: it is the genitive singular, so fortuna domus means "the good fortune of this house." Note also the subjunctive: stet.

2059. Stet.

The Latin word "stet" is used in English editorial practice, meaning to "let it stand" or "let it be," as opposed to correcting or revising per the suggestion of the editor or proofreader.

2060. Si stas, vide ne cadas.

You can also see this saying in a third-person form: Qui stat, videat ne cadat.

2061. Bene qui stat, non moveatur.

Note the subjunctive here, non moveatur - "let him not move," "he should not move," etc. (Remember also: the passive forms of movere can be the equivalent of the English intransitive use of "move" - I move, you move, etc.)

2062. Stat sua cuique dies.

This is another one of those "cuique suus" type of sayings. Note that the day referred to here is the final day of life, the day of death; here is the context in Vergil's Aeneid, 10: stat sua cuique dies, breve et inreparabile tempus / omnibus est vitae.

2063. Nec invideamus altius stantibus.

[invideo: envy, be jealous, begrudge] Note the subjunctive: nec invideamus, "and let us not envy." Note also the comparative adjective, altius, in the neuter, which is used adverbially here: altius stantibus, "those standing higher (than ourselves)."

2064. Vicinus invidet vicino.

[vicinus: nearby, neighboring, neighbor] As you can see here, the verb invidere takes a dative complement. The root idea is that of the "evil eye," looking at (in-videre) another person's good fortune and being jealous of it.

2065. Maiorque videtur et melior vicina seges.

Compare the English saying, "The grass is always greener on the other side of the fence."

2066. Vicinum habere malum magnum est malum.

Note that the infinitive is being used as a noun here, "vicinum habere malum" which is the subject of the verb. Note also how the object of the infinitive is wrapped around the infinitive, while the predicate noun phrase (magnum...malum) is wrapped around the verb. Very elegant!

2067. Vicina saepe vitia sunt virtutibus.

[saepe: often] Here the predicate adjectival phrase, "vicina...virtutibus," wraps around the subject and verb.

2068. Virtutem saepe laudamus, raro colimus.

Note the parallel structure: saepe/raro and laudamus/colimus, with virtutem as the object of both verbs.

2069. Beneficium saepe dare, docere est reddere.

This is another saying collected by Publilius Syrus. Here is how those infinitive phrases fit together: "beneficium saepe dare" is the subject while "docere reddere" is the predicate: "To do favors often is to teach how to return (a favor)."

2070. Saepe malum petitur; saepe bonum fugitur.

This is also a parallel proverb: malum/bonum and petitur/fugitur. Note also that the adjectives are being used substantively, "(the) evil (thing)" and "(the) good (thing)."

2071. Decipiuntur aves per cantus saepe suaves.

The rhyme, aves-suaves, reveals the medieval provenance of this saying. Also, note that cantus must be accusative plural: it is the complement of the preposition per, and the adjective suaves is in agreement: per cantūs suaves.

2072. Saepe nihil inimicius homini quam sibi ipse.

The indeclinable nihil is treated as a neuter noun, as you can see from the adjective, inimicius (neuter comparative form of inimicus).

2073. Quae pro parte nocent, plurima saepe docent.

Another rhyming medieval saying: nocent-docent.

2074. Audentes saepe sorsque Venusque iuvant.

Note that the -que...-que is like the construction, equivalent to "both...and..." in English. Although at first you cannot be sure whether audentes is nominative or accusative, that ambiguity is resolve as soon as you reach the noun phrase "sorsque Venusque," which can only be nominative.

2075. Saepe, premente deo, fert deus alter opem.

The phrase "premente deo" is an ablative absolute. The words are from Ovid's Tristia, 3.2.

2076. Optima saepe despecta.

[despicio: look down on, despise] As often, the verb is implied but not expressed: Optima saepe despecta (sunt).

2077. Neminem despexeris.

Here the perfect subjunctive is being used to express a negative command; the ne- in neminem (ne + homo = nemo) is what conveys the negative force.

2078. Aude despicere divitias.

The words are from Vergil's Aeneid, VIII.

2079. Qui despicit proximum suum, peccat.

[pecco: err, make a mistake, sin] The words are from the Biblical book of Proverbs, 14.

2080. Noli peccare; Deus videt.

Compare this secular saying which conveys a similar idea: Sic fac omnia, tamquam spectet aliquis, "Do all things in such a way as if somebody were watching."

2081. Non est homo qui non peccet.

Note the subjunctive in the relative clause, peccet, which generalizes the statement to a hypothetical generalization, "no man at all."

2082. Artes discuntur peccando.

Note the gerund in the ablative case, peccando, "by means of making mistakes."

2083. Sola caritas non peccat.

The words are from Saint Augustine. He also wrote: Caritas sola bene operatur, "Love alone works rightly."

2084. Non peccent oculi, si oculis animus imperet.

Note the subjunctives, peccent and imperet, which make this a speculative hypothetical situation: if (only) the mind could rule the eyes...

2085. Sapientissimus et peccat.

Note the adverbial use of "et" here, meaning something like "even" or "also." So "et peccat" here would mean something like "also makes mistakes."

2086. Etiam prudentissimus peccat.

[prudens: aware, sensible, wise] Compare a similar saying: Etiam prudentissimus falli potest, "Even the most careful person can be fooled."

2087. Aetate prudentiores reddimur.

Here prudentiores is a predicate adjective: prudentiores reddimur, we are made more wise.

2088. Prudentior cedit.

For an illustration of this moral, see the Aesop's fable about the reed and the tree.

2089. Occasionem rapere prudentis est.

The genitive with an infinitive means something like "it is the role of (someone) to (do something," which you can render more simply in English with "is able to…" - The wise man is able to seize the opportunity.

2090. Estote prudentes.

This is a second-person plural future imperative, estote (the singular is esto).

2091. Post mala, prudentior.

The idea is that you become wiser, prudentior, after suffering setbacks, post mala.

2092. Non est abbas prudentior quam qui monachus fuit.

[abbas: abbot] The idea is that the abbot is no wiser (non est prudentior) than the man he was as a monk, when he was a monk, etc.

2093. Post acerba, prudentior.

[acerbus: bitter, harsh, grievous] Compare the saying you saw earlier: Post mala, prudentior.

2094. Post acerba, prudenter.

Here instead of an adjective (prudentior, more wise), you have an adverb, prudenter, which implies a verb: After harsh experiences, (you will act) wisely.

2095. Fratrum irae acerbissimae.

For an example, you need look no further than the first brothers in the Biblical book of Genesis, Cain and Abel.

2096. Acerba sunt bella fratrum.

The previous saying was about the angry feelings, irae, between brothers, but now those feelings have become metaphorical wars: bella.

2097. Frater est amicus quem donat natura.

[dono: give as a gift, bestow] As often, proverbs are often diametrically opposed to one another: brothers can be the worst of enemies (e.g., Fratrum irae acerbissimae, as you just read) or natural friends, as here.

2098. Genus et formam regina pecunia donat.

The words are from one of Horace's verse epistles, 1.6. Note that regina and pecunia are in apposition, "Queen Money" as we might say in English. Genus is ambiguous, in that it could be nominative or accusative, but formam lets you know that it must be accusative.

2099. Cum donant, petunt.

Although cum is often used to introduce clauses with subjunctive verbs, it can also be used for a clause that is purely and simply about "time when," with an indicative verb, as you see here: cum donant.

2100. Donare est perdere.

This is a Latin legal maxim which refers to the idea that no one can be presumed to have given something away freely unless that has been formally agreed; since giving away something is a loss (donare est perdere), the assumption is that a person expects something in return for whatever they donate.

Scala 43 (2101-2150)

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