Adages, Volume 1. Front Cover. Desiderius Erasmus. University of Toronto Press , Volume 31 of Collected Works of Erasmus · Works, Desiderius Erasmus. Erasmus was fascinated by proverbs and prepared a collection of more than of them, accompanying each with his comments, sometimes in a few lines and. Full text of “Proverbs, chiefly taken from the Adagia of Erasmus, with explanations ; and further illustrated by corresponding examples from the Spanish, Italian.

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Death to the eagle

It was, there- fore, only suitable to the circumstances of the rich to visit a place so dissipated and expen- sive. All articles with adagse statements Articles with unsourced adabes from April Losing both oil and labour, which those were said to do, who had employed much time, labour, study, and expense, in endea- vouring to attain an object, without being able to effect their purpose.

Over eighty proverb essays are presented here.

Oh, he is a wise man, you may see it by his beard, may be applied ironically to persons of grave and serious manners, who wish to pass themselves off for men of more learning, or knowledge, than they really possess. Rabelais had perhaps an eye to this adage, when he made Panurge take the advice of a fool on the subject of his marriage. It might not have been difficult, perhaps, had that been thought ex- pedient, to have considerably increased the number ; but short as this collection may ap- pear, there will be found in it, under various heads, observations applying to all the ordi- nary occurrences and situations in life; which will be the more readily listened to, it may be expected, as they contain the sentiments transmitted clown to us from the earliest ages of the most celebrated sages and philosophers.

Ne quicquam sapit, qui sibi non sapit. Hence we are admonished, ” to take Time by the forelock.

Entertain no one as a friend who seeks only his own advantage by the intimacy he solicits. I dreamt, that buried in my native clay, Close by a common beggar’s side I lay: That containing the errors of our neighbours, hangs to our breasts, but that filled with our own, rests on our backs. Alexander and Caesar had no descendants. You know the temper of the man, be careful that you give him no handle, no ground for cavilling, though that may be difficult, as a man so disposed, will make a handle of any thing.

Taurum toilet qui vitulum sustulerit, or tollere Taurum, Qua tulerit Vitulum, ilia potest. Erasmus was fascinated by proverbs and prepared a collection of more than 4, of them, accompanying each with his comments, sometimes in a few lines and sometimes in full-scale essays. In short, to be a friend it is necessary that a man should shew him- self to be a reasonable and a good moral man, fulfilling his duty to God, to his country, and to himself.

The same sentiment is contained in Units Unus Fir, nullus Vir. Persons in a very advanced age become feeble and impotent, their legs tremble, oblig- ing them to support themselves with a stick ; their hands shake, so that they are unable to cut their food, and at length of even adagess it to their mouths.


To open a wound afresh, which had qdages but lately skinned over, and is therefore very susceptible of injury ; metaphorically, to re- mind any one of a past misfortune. Arctum Aniilum ne gestato. Eraasmus adage is supposed to have taken its rise from the per- formers on the stage attempting to represent, by gesticulation, the sense of the part recited, in the manner, perhaps, of our pantomime.

Take not a swallow under your roof, he only pays his visit in the spring, but when winter, the time of difficulty and hardships, approaches, he is gone. Among the earliest we find tables of wood made smooth, and covered with wax, as has been noted above. This exciting the industry of some artists in the court of Eumenes, they con- trived a method of preparing the skins of sheep for the purpose, and it was called vellum, from vellus a skin, and parchment, from Pergamus, the place where the art of pre- paring it was discovered, or if not discovered, it was there improved, and first brought into general use.

It is not known who was the Author of this enigmatical sentence, erasmhs to eat what has a black tail ; that which is sweet to the taste, but leaves a sense of bitterness when swallowed. Fontes ipsi sit hint.

The adage is applicable to persons, who, meditating mischief to others, find the evil recoil upon themselves with redoubled force. Therefore the proverb says, “Take care of your pence, your shillings and your pounds will take care of themselves. Ne Ne cumis Dextram injeceris. Considering that he had plenty of examples to choose from, some of them uncomfortably close to home, this was brave and principled. In popular assemblies among the ancients, adagex persons who had a right to vote, had a white and a black stone given them.

Many of the proverbs have passed into modern usage ‘Know thyself’To give someone the finger’ ‘Well begun is half done’some even retaining their Latin form ‘Deus ex machina’. To be possessed of friends, is doubt- less valuable, as they may stand us in stead in our troubles ; but in the ordinary occur- rences of life, money may be depended on with more certainty, as it will purchase us both 69 both conveniences and friends.

The adage is applied to persons, who do not see the advan- tage of any measure or precaution until it is too late to adopt it, and is similar to, ” when the steed is stolen, we shut the stable door,” and to the following of the Italians, and the French, ” Serrar la stalla quando s’ ban per- duti i buovi. They are dull, heavy, stupid, void of ingenuity or sagacity.

Go shake some other tree, you have reaped sufficient profit, or taken fruit enough from this. When a vessel, in sailing, inclines too much to one side, the passengers usually crowd to the other, where seems to be the greatest safety, and when fortune ceases to smile on any one, or he is found to be sinking, it is then that his friends usually leave him, and fly to others who are more successful.


Came down, imagined by the Deity ; Oh! There is something curious in pursuing thjs simple, moral observation into real history. This should en- courage us to perseverance in industry, to which few things are impossible. This was said of persons who were extremely fortunate; who were successful in whatever they undertook; ” who were born,” as we say, ” with a silver spoon in their mouth.

His massive compendium, characterized by his wit, his elegance, his bursts of satire alternating with serious views, was among the most learned and widely circulated of Renaissance books. A horse-shoe nailed on the threshold of the door, was supposed by the common people in this country, to preserve the house from the effects of witchcraft, and it is still in repute among our sailors, who nail a horse-shoe to the mast, with a view of preserving the vessel from such evil influence.

Truth begets hatred, familiarity con- tempt, and success envy. As the philosophers rarely sought after, and therefore seldom acquired wealth, they were frequent in admonishing the great men of the world of this truth, ” that death levels all distinctions,” and that ” Pobreza no es vileza,” poverty is no disgrace.

But though they have by this means been introduced into this, and other countries, and many of them so incorporated, as to be in as frequent use, as those that arfe natives, yet they are no where, as far as I know, ac- companied with commentaries, or explanations, similar to those given by Erasmus, although such explanations seem necessary to make them generally understood.

Neque Mel, neque Apes. Be contented with your own skin. In Ezra, we read, ” we are salted with the salt of the palace,” meaning, we are there nourished and supported ; and our Saviour calls his disciples ” the salt of the earth,” sent to preserve it, or to cure men of their corruption.

The word “prior” erasmis the adage, is used in the sense of potior, or melior, better.

Adages – Desiderius Erasmus – Google Books

Asinum sub frceno currere doces. Satius est Initiis mederi quam F’mi. Where there are friends, there is wealth, or, in the usual acceptation of the proverb, It is better to have friends without money, than money without friends. A complete annotated translation into English. His Praise of Folly, still a masterpiece aages slyly subversive wit, was in a sense the first bestseller, read covertly under desks and sniggered over by countless trainee monks rrasmus priests.