Wednesday, September 14, 2016


A Property of Proverbs

Erasmus, Adages I vi 1 to I x 100, translated and annotated by R.A.B. Mynors (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1989), p. 196 (I ix 26 Ab impiis egressa est iniquitas = Wickedness proceedeth from the wicked):
For it is a property of most proverbs that they require to be uttered in the language in which they originated, and if they migrate into another tongue, they lose much of their charm. Some wines are like that: they refuse to travel, and do not retain their native qualities except in the regions in which they are grown.
In Latin:
Quandoquidem habent hoc peculiare pleraque prouerbia, vt in ea lingua sonari postulent, in qua nata sunt; quod si in alienum sermonem demigrarint, multum gratiae decedat. Quemadmodum sunt et vina quaedam, quae recusent exportari nec germanam saporis gratiam obtineant, nisi in his locis, in quibus proueniunt.

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