صور الصفحة
النشر الإلكتروني

with them. Boots and legs he carried to a byre, where he slept that night. In the morning he managed to get the legs out of the boots; and when the people who owned the byre came to milk their cow, they found no piper but only a pair of legs, and naturally supposed the cow had eaten the piper and his pipes.”—J. D. White in the Kilkenny Moderator.

A raven that brings fire to its nest. (Hebrew).

This saying takes its origin from the fable of the

raven that sought to warm its young by bringing fire to the nest and so burned them all. It is applied to those who injure others in their efforts

to do them good. As the day raises itself, so the sick man raises himself.

There is an old legend that Abraham wore sus-

pended about his neck a precious stone that had
healing qualities. Whoever looked upon it was
restored of whatever malady he had. On the
death of the patriarch God removed the healing
virtue from the stone and gave it to the sun's
rays so that thereafter those who suffered from
any illness found the day more restful and freer

from pain than the night. Be a dog rather than a younger brother. (Persian).

This proverb comes from a story of a man who had

three sons. The youngest was always considered to be subservient to the others. One cold winter night when there was much snow some friends of the man came by his invitation to spend the evening with him. While he and his two elder sons conversed with the visitors, the youngest son was compelled to minister to their needs and furnish all necessary entertainment. Noticing the boy's plight, one of the guests asked him to sit down with him and rest, whereupon he sighed

and uttered the above adage. Be deliberate! Be deliberate! 'Tis worth four hundred

(Hebrew). “The proverb originated under the following cir

cumstances: R. Ida, the son of Ahaba, once pulled


He was


a kind of head covering only worn by non-Jewish
women from the head of a woman under the
supposition that she was a Jewess.
mistaken and was fined four hundred zuz.
asking the woman her name, she replied that it
was Methun, which also means 'Be deliberate';
'Be not hasty.' There is a further play on the
word, for it closely resembles another with the
meaning Two hundred.' Note that the word is
repeated, bringing the total to ‘Four hundred,'
the amount paid as a fine. Ibu Gabirol likewise
says: 'Reflection insures safety, but rashness is
followed by regrets.'"-A. Cohen in Ancient
Jewish Proverbs.

Carry an old man with you in a sack. (Marathi).

“Consult with the old and fence with the young.

(German). “Old men for counsel, young, men for war," (English). “The aged in council, the young, in action,

(Danish). The old effect more by counsel than the young by action."

(German). There are a number of stories about intelligent

young men who were about to set out on a journey alone but who were finally induced to take an old man with them, who in turn compensated them for their consideration by giving them wise counsel by the way. One of the stories tells of the old man consenting to be tied and carried in a sack so as not to wound the pride of the young


Does a weaver know how to cut barley? (Behar).

See under this section: “The weaver lost his way

in a linseed field," and under Retorting Proverbs:

“Like the wabster stealing through the world." “This proverb refers to a story that a weaver,

unable to pay his debt, was set to cut barley by his creditors, who thought to repay himself in

But instead of reaping, the stupid fellow kept trying to untwist the tangled barley

stems.”-G. A. Grierson. “A weaver jointly with another man sowed sugar

When the crop was ripe, on being asked whether he would have the top or the stem, said,

this way.


'Of course the top. When reproached by his wife for his stupidity, he said he would never again make such a mistake. The next crop they sowed was Indian corn. When the time for gathering came round he told his friends that he was not to be made a fool of this time and would have the lower part. His friend gave him what he wanted."- John Christian.

Fight like Kilkenny cats, that ate one another except their

tails. (Irish).
"Like the Kilkenny cats, who fought and left

nothing but their tails. (English).
“It is said that when the Hessians were quartered

in Kilkenny, they used to amuse themselves by
tying two cats' tails together, and throwing
them over a line to fight. Their officer heard of
this and ordered that there should be no more
cat-fights. Still on a certain day there were two
cats on the line when the officer was heard coming,
and one of the troopers cut them down, leaving
only the tails on the line. The officer asked,
“Where are the cats ?' when one of the troopers
explained that they fought so furiously that they
had eaten one another up except their tails.”—

J. D. White in the Kilkenny Moderator.
Brewer says regarding the tale: “Whatever the

true story, it is certain that the municipalities of
Kilkenny and Irishtown contended so stoutly
about their respective boundaries and rights to
the end of the seventeenth century, that they
mutually impoverished each other, leaving little

else than 'two tails' behind."
“There were two cats at Kilkenny;
Each thought there was one too many;
So they quarrelled and fit,
They scratched and they bit,
Till, excepting their nails
And the tips of their tails,
Instead of two cats, there wasn't any."

Old Rhyme. Fool, keep the corn farther off. (Modern Greek).

Sometimes rendered, “Clown, you should have

given the corn sooner."

An avaricious muleteer sought to save money by

starving his mule. This so weakened the animal that one day, under a heavy load, it fell to the ground. The muleteer removed the load from the animal's back and tried to make it rise. Failing, he took some corn in his hand and held it a short distance from its mouth, but it was in vain; the mule was too weak to get on its feet. While the muleteer was engaged in thus coaxing his beast a neighbour passed, and knowing the man's avaricious nature taunted him in the words of the

proverb. For the bleating we have lost the neighing. (Modern

“Penny wise and pound foolish”; “Save at the

spigot and let out at the bunghole”; “Save at

the tap and waste at the bunghole. (English). A dishonest peasant, desiring a sheep that belonged

to a shepherd, determined to steal it, so mounted his horse and drove to the pen where it was kept. Tying his horse to a bush he entered, but the shepherd's dog, hearing him, barked and he fled, leaving his horse behind him. On returning to his home his wife asked him why he walked and what had become of his horse. Instead of telling her the story of his misfortune he answered by imitating the baaing of the sheep and neighing of the horse; then he explained the circumstances of his trip. The incident becoming known, the

proverb came into use. God gives bread but we must creep along ourselves also.

(Modern Greek).
“God helps them that help themselves,” (English

and Scotch); “Help thyself and God will help
thee,” (Scotch); “Who guards himself God will
guard him”; God helps him who amends him-
self,” (Spanish); “God is a good worker, but he
loves to be helped,” (Basque); “God sends the
thread to cloth which is begun, (French);
“God gives food but does not cook it and put it
in the mouth,” (Telugu); “God gives birds their
food but they must fy for it, (Dutch); “God
gives every bird its food but does not throw it
into the nest,” (Danish).

[ocr errors]

There are many proverbs of similar import.
A certain man, on hearing that God would care for

those who relinquished all their possessions, left
his home and retired to the desert where he gave
himself to fasting and prayer. On the third day
of his retirement he observed many horses laden
with baskets of bread passing over a distant
highway. Seeing a loaf fall from one of the
baskets, he waited and then cautiously dragged
himself over the ground to the spot. Seizing
the bread he began to eat. As he did so he re-
peated to himself: “Yes, it is true, God gives
bread, but we must creep along ourselves to get

God has His hosts, amongst them honey. (Arabic).

It is a tradition among the Arabs that this proverb

was first used by Moawiah, the Emperor, who when he received the news that Aschtar, his enemy, had died from eating honey made from poisonous herbs exclaimed in pious satisfaction,

*God has His hosts, amongst them honey." Gomă Geneśa and a brass gate. (Marathi).

In a time of political upheaval a man by the name

of Gomā Geneśa went, without authority from the government, to the “Brass Gate of the town where he lived and exacted toll of those who passed through. To make the procedure seem valid he gave a receipt on which were stamped the words of the proverb. This practice he kept up for years and accumulated much money. When the fraud was discovered the government, instead of punishing him for it, rewarded him for his shrewdness.

Has she a right to say, " There is ” or “ There is not"?

A proverb used to indicate that, amongst the

Telugu people, the authority of a daughter-in-
law is not recognized. Its origin is found in the

following story: A woman told a beggar to go to her house for

assistance. The man proceeded at once and was met by the woman's daughter-in-law who refused

« السابقةمتابعة »