The Age of Fable, by Thomas Bulfinch

Chapter XLIII.

Proverbial Expressions

  1. MATERIEM superabat opus. — Ovid.

    The workmanship surpassed the material.
  2. Facies non omnibus una,
    Nec diversa tamen, qualem decet esse sororum. — Ovid.

    Their faces were not all alike, nor yet unlike, but such as those of sisters ought to be.

  3. Medio tutissimus ibis. — Ovid.

    You will go most safely in the middle.

  4. Hic situs est Phaeton, currus auriga paterni,
    Quem si non tenuit, magnis tamen excidit ausis. — Ovid.

    Here lies Phaeton, the driver of his father’s chariot, which if he failed to manage, yet he fell in a great undertaking.

  5. Imponere Pelio Ossam. — Virgil.

    To pile Ossa upon Pelion.

  6. Timeo Danaos et dona ferentes. — Virgil.

    I fear the Greeks even when they offer gifts.

  7. Non tali auxilio nec defensoribus istis
    Tempus eget. — Virgil.

    Not such aid nor such defenders does the time require.

  8. Incidit in Scyllam, cupiens vitare Charybdim.

    He runs on Scylla, wishing to avoid Charybdis.

  9. Sequitur patrem, non passibus aequis. — Virgil.

    He follows his father with unequal steps.

  10. Monstrum horrendum, informe, ingens, cui lumen ademptum. — Virgil.

    A horrible monster, misshapen, vast, whose only eye had been put out.

  11. Tantaene animis coelestibus irae? — Virgil.

    In heavenly minds can such resentments dwell?

  12. Haud ignara mali, miseris succurrere disco. — Virgil.

    Not unacquainted with distress, I have learned to succour the unfortunate.

  13. Tros, Tyriusve mihi nullo discrimine agetur. — Virgil.

    Whether Trojan or Tyrian shall make no difference to me.

  14. Tu ne cede malis, sed contra audentior ito. — Virgil.

    Yield thou not to adversity, but press on the more bravely.

  15. Facilis descensus Averni;
    Noctes atque dies patet atri janua Ditis;
    Sed revocare gradum, superasque evadere ad auras,
    Hoc opus, hic labor est. — Virgil.

    The descent to Avernus is easy; the gate of Pluto stands open night and day; but to retrace one’s steps and return to the upper air, that is the toil, that the difficulty.

  16. Uno avulso non deficit alter. — Virgil.

    When one is torn away another succeeds.

  17. Quadrupedante putrem sonitu quatit ungula campum. — Virgil.

    Then struck the hoofs of the steeds on the ground with a four-footed trampling.

  18. Sternitur infelix alieno vulnere, coelumque
    Adspicit et moriens dulces reminiseitur Argos. — Virgil.

    He falls, unhappy, by a wound intended for another; looks up to the skies, and dying remembers sweet Argos.

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Last updated Wednesday, March 12, 2014 at 14:53