Aesopic Proverbs 21-30: Dry Fountains, Gouty Feet, and Dubious Wisdom


“Let the fountain from which I do not drink run dry.”


“Let common things which Fortune metes out remain. But if wealth is not held in common, let no one enjoy luxury.”

Πηγῆς ἐξ ἦς οὐ πίνω ξηρανθείη.


Μενέτω κοινά, ἅπερ ἡ Τύχη νέμει·

Εἰ δ’ οὐ κοινὸς ὁ πλοῦτος, μηδεὶς τρυφάτω.



“You have feet, so expect gout.”


“Suffering always succeeds pleasure if Fortune is not your ally.”

Πόδας ἔχων <σὺ> καὶ ποδάγρας ἔλπιζε.


῞Επεται πάντως τοῖς τερπνοῖς τὰ λυπηρά,

Εἰ μή που Τύχη σύμμαχος παραστατεῖ.



“Habit is a second nature.”


“Habit is formed by time, and imitates nature in an incredible way.”

Δευτέρα φύσις συνήθεια.


Εἰργάσατό τι τῷ χρόνῳ συνήθεια

Μιμησαμένη παραδόξως τὴν φύσιν.



“Get yourself a doctor as a friend, so that you do not wholly feel the need of one.”


“When you place wise doctors above every friend, pray that you never have need of their art.”

᾿Ιατρὸν κτῶ φίλον, χρείαν δὲ αὐτοῦ μηδ’ ὅλως ἔχῃς.


Παντὸς φίλου προτάττων ἰατροὺς σοφοὺς

Εὔχου τῆς τέχνης <—> χρῄζειν μηδέποτε.



“A snail [doesn’t] murmur when it’s roasted.”


“The ways of evildoers will rouse to anger both seemly men and those who are excessively soft.”

Κοχλίας, ἐὰν ὀπτηθῇ, [οὐ] τρύζει.


Τοὺς ἐπιεικεῖς ἄνδρας καὶ λίαν πράους

᾿Εγείρουσιν εἰς ὀργὴν κακούργων τρόποι.



“A comic opens his mouth but doesn’t bite.”


“The poor only rail at the rich, but they have neither power nor reason on their side.”

Κωμῳδὸς χαίνων καὶ μὴ δάκνων.


Λοιδοροῦσι πένητες πλουτοῦντας μόνον,

Δύναμιν οὐκ ἔχοντες ἀλλ’ ἢ τοὺς λόγους.



“If you are ever doing well, remember the lentils.”


“Even if you become rich and famous, remember the poverty of your fellow human.”

Κἂν εὐτυχήσας τῆς φακῆς μνημόνευε.


Κἂν πλούσιος γέγονας καὶ περίβλεπτος,

Πενίας μνημόνευε τῆς σῆς συντρόφου.



“Let’s close the door and speak the truth.”


“Hold within the scorn of your enemies, whenever the time summons you to speak the truth.”

Κλείσωμεν τὴν θύραν, τὴν δὲ ἀλήθειαν εἴπωμεν.


῎Ενδον ἔχε τὰς μέμψεις τῶν σῶν ἐχθίστων,

῞Οταν καλῇ καιρός σε τἀληθῆ λέγειν.



“Even the treasure goes to the flock.”


“They say that it bites deep into the heart of the wise man that the foolish live in ungrudging luxury.”


Καὶ τὰ κειμήλια εἰς πρόβατον.


Δάκνει πάντως τοῦ σοφοῦ τὴν φρένα, φασί,

Τὸ τοὺς ἐναντίους ἀφθόνως <ἐν>τρυφᾶν.



“Evil does not seize upon evil.”


“The friend to bad men who loves wandering ways does not ward off someone of similar ways.”

Κακὸν κακοῦ οὐχ ἅπτεται.


᾿Αγαπῶν τὴν πλάνην φιλοπόνηρος ἀνὴρ

Τὸν ὅμοιον τοῖς τρόποις οὐκ ἀμύνεται.

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