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VI.-Bengáli Proverbs, translated and illustrated.
What is the mountain breeze from the south to the bambu?
Said of such as, from native rudeness or ignorance, pay no regard to advice or exhortation. The reference is to the Sandal Wood growing on the Malaya (Malabar) mountains, or Western Ghats, whence the wind blows soft, and impregnated with sweet odours; but from which the naturally inodorous bambu imbibes no scent.
80. ঢাকের কাছে টিটিমি।
'Tis the beat of a little tabor beside the great drum !
Uttered on occasions of unequal comparison, or competitorship between persons of different attainments, rank or importance. The little have no honor with or beside the great, nor the ignorant in the company of the learned and intelligent. Modestly said by one who declines expressing his knowledge, views or opinions in presence of a much wiser individual. A louder sound will drown a small one, so will high attainments eclipse inferior.
81. পাখিমারার ঘরে চটুয়ার বাসা।
'Tis the swallow nestling in the fowler's house.
Applied to hazardous experiments and procedure, contest with a powerful antagonist, &c.
82. না বিইয়ে কানায়ের মা।
Becoming Krishna's mother without the pains of labour !
Applied to the case of one who profits by what he has not laboured in, nor in any wise contributed to effect.
83. ইদুর বড় সারাল তার পোদে খুদের পরো।
A jeer upon one who
The rat is a famous swimmer, he would carry a bag of rice on his tail! attempts what he cannot possibly accomplish, or another what he is unable to effect for himself. আপনি ভাল তো জগৎ ভাল ৷
who promises to do for
Be just thyself, and the world will also be just.
A hint to one who complains of ill treatment or slight, suggesting that it has not been quite unmerited on his part.
কানার হাতের নড়ী ।
'Tis a blind man's staff!
Said of one's sole comfort, or only means of support, &c.
86. যার হাতে খাই নাই সে বড় রাদুনী ।
She calls herself a skilful cook, at whose hands I have never eaten. A sarcastic expression, intended of such as boast of their qualifications before those who can have no knowledge of their real merits; or ironically spoken, when their little merit is well understood. So the similar saying.
যার সঙ্গে বাস করি নাই সে বড় ভাজনী ।
She is an excellent woman, with whom I have never lived, (so as to become acquainted with her real qualities.)
How often does the blind man lose his staff!
(Meaning that he will hold it fast after once experiencing the evil of its loss.) The address of one who insinuates that, having been once deceived by a person, he will not easily fall again into his snares. ৪৪. কুড়ে গরু অমাবস্যা খোজে।
A lazy or looks for the new moon (holidays). Directed against indolent persons who shy their work. 89. ধোবা বসে কি কর রে দিগম্বরের গায় ।
What are you about, friend washerman, taking up your abode in a gymnosophist village?
Referring to vain expectations, or to enterprizes in which there is little or no probability of success or gain.
90. কুঁড়ে ঘরে হাতি ঢুকান ।
Making an elephant enter a straw hut!
Applied to attempting absolute impossibilities and absurd enterprizes. fe catro átfo cotta
The weaver was drowned through over-covetousness.
(Referring to the story of a weaver who turned mariner, with a view of greater gain, but perished in his attempt.) A dissuasion from the inordinate love of gain, and the indulgence of heedless cupidity.
92. দাদার যত বল তা বউকে ছাপি নাই ।
There is no hiding a brother's strength from one's own wife— (who, from family intercourse, must be acquainted with it.) Spoken of vain attempts to disguise inefficiency from such as cannot fail to perceive it.
A king's plough may work even in heaven (where no work is done). Insinuating that wealth and power may accomplish any thing they will, and effect every purpose, however difficult or even impossible of attain ment to those in whom they are wanting.
94. কানার হাতের দর্পণ ।
Like a looking glass in a blind man's hand! (who cannot use it). So are books and opportunities of acquirement to a foolish person. 95. বানরের হাতে ঝুন নারিকেল ।
Like a ripe (hard) cocoanut in an ape's paw, (who cannot break it). So is he who is either incapable of profiting by his advantages and opportunities, or incompetent to fulfil the obligations of his station and office. 96. কুকুরের পেটে ঘি সয় না ।
A dog's stomach will not bear ghee, (which he sickens at and rejects.) (Ghee, or clarified butter, is essential to good living with a Hindu, and an ingredient in all savoury dishes.) A sneer upon such as refuse or are averse to what is generally valued and approved: hinting their inability to appreciate its excellence.
What! a load borne on a wizard's shoulders!
(From which he ought to be expected to relieve himself by his art, but which he yet carries for a subsistence.) Similar in application to our Physician heal thyself," &c.
98. মাছি মারিতে নরাজের ঘা or কামানের ঘা ৷
Employing a weaver's beam (or a cannon shot) to strike a fly!
A reflexion upon great preparations to a trifling end, or undue exertions in a matter of easy execution.
ভাত ছড়ালে কাকের অভাব ।
Will crows be wanting when one scatters rice?
Intimating, that there will never be a deficiency of application wherever there is any gain to be acquired, nor a paucity of candidates for a profitable office or employment.
What necessity for pummeling the wife of one's bosom ? (who is wholly in one's power).
A just reproof of anger and ill-temper directed against the weak, or those subject to one's rule; and shewing that where resistance is impossible, it is unnecessary and ungenerous to abuse authority over others, so as to injure, pain, or distress them.
101. মরার উপর খাড়ার ঘা –or কাটা ঘায়ে নোণের ছিটে। A blow of an ax on a dead carcase !—or, Sprinkling salt on a fresh wound!
Both proverbs expressive of accumulated griefs or of unnecessary expression of displeasure, &c. when its object can no longer resist. Also to a demand of money, &c. from a poor man.
102. পৃথক্ অন্নে ৰাপ পড়সী।
A father is but a neighbour if he eat apart (from his son). Meaning, that companionship in food, &c. is necessary to good-will, and to attachment in families or among friends-social intimacy and confidential intercourse bind affection and esteem.
চেটার পো কি চেটায় থাকে।
Will the infant now on the mat abide always upon it ?
Shewing, that it is natural for young persons, when arrived at sufficient years and ability, to wish for greater liberty and independance than parents are always willing to allow them: greater latitude must be permitted with advancing years, as well from policy and necessity as from good-will. 104. মনের আগুন জলে নিবায় না ।
A fire in the heart is not extinguishable with water.
Applied to fruitless attempts at soothing, by common-place remark, a grave and serious sorrow, or at allaying hot resentment by irrelevant observation.
105. বানর চুল হলে বাঁধিতে জানে না ৷
Though an ape have long hair, he knows not how to braid it.
A jeer upon a low person enriched, yet incapable of employing his wealth suitably; or upon one in any other similar case, who has not the ability to profit by his advantages.
If I speak, my mother gets a beating-if I hold my peace, my father must eat orts, (her paramour's leavings.)
Applied to cases of dilemma, in which either alternative is attended with inconvenience; or in which favour with one will ensure ill-will with another.
107. লোহা শস্তা হলে শিয়ালে টাঙ্গি বয় ।
When iron is cheap, jackals carry axes.
Spoken seriously in seasons of cheapness and plenty, when every thing is within every body's reach; or else, sarcastically, in reference to exorbitant expectations, and impossible hopes: so we say, when the sky falls we shall catch larks.'
108. গায়ক বড় তার দুহাতে মন্দিরা
A great singer indeed, with a cymbal in each hand!
A jeer upon one who unskilfully attempts to do what he is incompetent to perform, or who assumes or overacts a part which he is not qualified to sustain. N. B.—The native cymbal is single and beaten with the other hand.
109. সমুদ্রেতে শ্যা যার। শিশিরে কি করে তার ।।
What harm will the dew do him, who sleeps on the ocean? or thus:
Applied to signify that one who has borne heavier griefs, may sustain a slighter sorrow. So the weather-beaten sailor easily bears exposure to the dews of night.
Shewing that pressing evils may demand violent remedies; as when a magistrate is severe where rogues are numerous and daring.
111. জন্মে না দেখে ভাতার, পরকে জানান সুউও।
She who never sees her husband, yet declares herself to others, his best beloved; (though, from dislike, he never visits her.)
A sneer upon false and boastful assertions of one's acceptance and intimacy with others, with whom one has in truth no friendship or society. 112. সুধু হাত মুখে উঠে না ।
The empty hand rises not to the mouth!
A reply to demands of service, &c. without wages or recompence. No man will serve for nought, as no man lifts the hand to his mouth unreplenished with rice or other food.
113. যদি ভাগ ভেঙ্গে যায়। দুর্বা বনে বাঘে খায় ।
If fate be adverse, a tiger shall devour one even on a grass-plot. Said when mischance arises, where it was both unlikely and unlooked for; intimating that no places or circumstances are exempt from danger and the possibility of affliction. The Hindus attribute every thing to an unavoid able fatality that will work its end, whatever precautions be employed by human fear or prudence.
114. যদি খাবে পরের কড়া। আগে ভাঙ্গ পোঁদের হাড়া । If you will have another's money, you must first break your own back-bone ; (i. e. with toil and exertion.)
Said of vain expectations from others, and dependance on their good will, when unpurchased by advantage to themselves. Since nothing is to be expected from another's generosity, unless you have laboured in his service. 115. পোঁদ টিপিলে শূল থাকে না ।
Though the man who is going to be impaled should stiffen his body, (to resist,)-yet the stake stops not (from entering.)
Insinuating the inability to resist unavoidable evils, those which no cunning or effort or hesitation may avert or delay.
116. দশ কৰ্ম্মে যেমন তেমন ফলারে আইট বড়।
Very so so at most things, but of great effort at a banquet! A reproachful expression used of one who, though remiss in his duties, is keen after his pay; slow at work but ready at meals.
117. দেনার সময় দিবে না। নেবার সময় লিবে।
At paying time he gives not, but at receiving time he takes ! Applied somewhat similarly with the last, to reprove the selfishness, that is slack in duty, or in payment of others, but eager after one's own gains, wages or other objects.
ফতো লোচ্চার থর চটক ।
A poor spark's ornament is his hair circle.
(i. e. The hair left on the crown of the head, the lower parts being shaved away all round, as practised by the Hindus; which in this case, the fellow being destitute of dress, is the sole mode of personal decoration his poverty allows.) Applied to absurd attempts at display which one has not the means to support with credit.
119. আকালের ভাত যুগের খোটা।
The food one has bestowed in a famine becomes his reproach for an age. (i. e. is thrown in his teeth for the smallest failure in respect, &c.) Spoken when favours once conferred are made the ground of unreasonable exaction of respect, duty, &c. or if refused, of accusation.
120. দুগ্ধের সাধ কি ঘোলে মিটে।
Is the wish for milk to be gratified with whey?
Referring to small offers or bestowment where much was expressed or requested, and intimating, that it is not easy to cheat desire of its object, or to satisfy large expectations with slender supplies.
121. যেমন গর্ভ তেমন ঋণ ৷
As are the births so the debts.
(i. e. debts contracted, increase with the increase of one's family; or perhaps, debt is like the growing foetus, the commencement entailing its continual augmentation.)
Said when expenditure keeps pace with one's income, which, as it advances, is absorbed by the growing demands upon it.