Monday, January 23, 2006


An Old Trick

Erasmus, Adagia 1.6.63:
A cough for a fart: Accustomed to be said whenever someone in a sticky situation pretends that one thing is another. As if someone caught in the house of an adulteress were to pretend that he came there to buy or sell something. A metaphor from those who conceal a fart with a loud cough -- people of this type even now are often caught in the act, with much laughter.

Βὴξ ἀντὶ πορδῆς, tussis pro crepitu. Dici solitum, quoties aliquis perplexus, aliud pro alio simulat. Veluti, si quis, in adulterae domo deprehensus, fingeret se quippiam mercatum venisse. Translatum ab iis, qui crepitum clara tussi dissimulant, quod genus homines etiam hoc tempore non raro magno cum risu deprehenduntur.

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