Solomon Caesar Malan.

Original notes on the Book of Proverbs : according to the Authorized version online

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" The poor useth intreaties," &c. Tsze-ha asked : "Can the
poor be otherwise than cringing, and the rich otherwise than
haughty?" Confucius answered: "They can."^ "Yet," said
he also, "those that are in a high position show no [affec-
tion] condescension : they are courteous, but without any real
respect for others."* For,

"TucTtt yap Kopos v^piv, oTav jroAvs oX)8os Itijtoi""*
" Surfeit produces insolence," says Solon, " when it is accom-
panied by much wealth [well-to-do]." " The thought of poor
people," says Vararuchi, " is to follow you with entreaties."*

" The poor man's words," says the Bengalee proverb, " are
like the tortoise's head — in from fear, out in fear."* Like blind

aXAovs eiraiTu Tov KaO' ripipav jSiof'""
"wandering from place to place, to beg his daily food from

" IIpos vvv BtZv, 111 ^tive, firj p. drt/iacrgf
ToidvS' oAjJtjji', <5i' <t( TTpoirrpiirut <j>pd<Tai'

" Nay, O stranger, by the gods, do not slight me, a poor wan-
dering beggar; but listen to my prayer." "It is, indeed,
difficult for a poor man not to complain ; but it is easy for a
rich one not to be proud," say the Mandchus.* " But," say
the Chinese, "when you are poor and miserable, do not give
way to complaining and angry words."'

" Begging and slavery to the low, destroys self-respect and
dignity in .a man." '* " Begging is contemptible (or despised)." "

' Shang-Lun, i. ij. * Id. ibid. iii. 25. » Solon, frgm. xi.

* Nava R. 7. * Beng. pr. • CEdip. Col. 1364. ' Id. ibid. 49.

• Ming h. dsi. 74. • Dr. Medh. Dial. p. 164. " Banaraya-
staka, 4. " Nava R. 2.

xviii. 23]



Although a poor man is courteous in his language and
humble in his demeanour, yet they will not open theif mouth
to h.m but in harsh or cruel words; while he is crouching
under the man possessed of wealth. Assuredly this sea-girt
world ,s full of [bile] choler or madness." "A beggar's life
departs m his entreaties."* [Begging destroys life, makes it
not worth living.] "Therefore in doing good to those that
are worthy, do not wait until they beg of thee," say the

"The prayer of the oppressed is, that which reaches nearest
heaven : but that which is farthest from everything is, the eye
of the covetous," say the Rabbis.* "If, however, thou hast
but httle to give to the poor, do it with a smiling countenance.
Better that than a stalled ox given with frowns."* "Let the
k>ng," says Kamandaki. "always gladden the world with
moderate [measured] and affable speech. For rough [cruel]
speech, even from a liberal man, scares people. If he be
pamed at heart ever so much, let not a wise man ever utter
such language."'

.. 1^^ '' ?^^ ^'°"' ^ '^P"''^ ^^° ^^^' ^ "'e^c'"f"l -"an ;" but
^^ Woe to the poor at the hands of miserly (or covetous) men."^

For by the time the rich [and covetous] man has opened his
gram-basket, the life of the poor man has departed." says the
proverb." " For the way is bitter ['amaru'] for the poor-
say the Cingalese. " But the poor," says Confucius. " should
be without flattery [agreeing with everything one says]; and
the rich also, without haughtiness." *"

"Then seek to bear other people's buixlens, without ill-
humour [freely, readily]. Thy name will be celebrated there-
by, ' says Attar." " For a poor family does not long remain
silent."" And, according to Rabbi Joshua, "the poor man

. En^fTi"'""'- "■ . *Cural,.o7o. « Akhlaq nass. 4.

•Ep.Lod.6s7. Md.262. •Ni,iSara.ii.23. te

Nawab.93.87. 'Telugupr. • Athitha w. d. p. 39 >o Mint

s.n p. k. vn. n Pe„d i A., xi. » Ming-sin p k. c. vii. '

5 so


[xviii. 23

does more good by receiving alms, than the householder by
giving it " [the poor being the cause of the other's charity].*
" The poor beggar begs of the rich one, and the money this
one will not give remains useless, and comes at last into the
possession of worthless men."*

" I have tasted the bitterness of many things ; but none is
so bitter as begging,"* says a Rabbi. " For the want of neces-
saries is better than having to beg for them;"* "although
there is no comparison between him who has bread in his
basket, and him that has none." " El dar es honor, y el pedir
dolor:"* "It is an honour to give," say the Spaniards, "but
to beg is painful." " It is easy," say the Mandchus, " to go
into the mountains to catch a tiger ; but it is hard [difficult]
to open one's mouth in order to beg of others."*

" Money begged for meekly, is given reluctantly," say the
Chinese ; " but when taken by force or unjustly, it is spared
with a good heart."" "As to giving [charity], I cannot give,"
says the churl ; " but as to fines, I will pay them."* " The fool,
if he has money, browbeats the wise and learned man ; while
the poor man's word, true though it be, is accounted a lie."*

urn * \ / I \ < \ ' '."10

1*11' yap TTtvrfTiitv euriv ot Aoyoi Ktvoi

" For the words of the poor are empty," say the Greeks.

" If a poor man does not beg, milk is milk ; if he begs for a
drop of milk, tell him it is water," says the Hindoo proverb."
" Dear Somadatta," said Laludaye to his son, " he that asks
[for anything] runs a two-fold risk ; either to get nothing, or
to add to what he has. This is the rule as regards asking.""

" I would rather drink poison," said Chirandev, " than ask
for money of a great man ; for in giving he will make faces,
and draw up his nose and eyebrows.""

' Mldrash Rab. in Gen. M. S.
Pen. B. Fl. * Ibid.

h. dsi. 96. ' Chin. pr.

10 fyu/i. iiov. " Hindoost. pr.

Pach. vii.

' Veman.i, iii. 30. ' Mifkliar

* Ibid. ; Span. pr. * Ming

' Telug. pr. 1 1 50. • Bcng. pr.

'* Soniadat. Jataka. " Baital

xviii. 23]



" AiSws 8' ovK ayaOfi Ktxprjitivov avSpa Mn'i^ti,
Aifiois ^t' okS/jos fiiya (rivtrat i}8' di/tVijo-c. '

Ai'Suis Tot vphi dvoXpij], Odpcroi Si wpoi ok/iif-"^
" False shame brings the poor man to thy door ; shame that
injures some men and helps others ; shame in poverty, inso-
lence in the rich," says Hesiod.

"There is no humility where there are riches,"* say the
Rabbis. " Who is he that does not feel angry when asked
frequently? And who is there that does not grow proud
through riches?"" asks Vishnu Sarma. "That, however, is
real prosperity that does not make a man mad [out of his
mind]; and he is happy who is free from covetousness."*
" For the avarice of the rich is his punishment,"* say the Arabs.
" For the rich are close-fisted [grasping]," say the Rabbis.*

" One day a poor man told his circumstances to a rich one,
who paid no attention to it. He repeated it once or twice.
' What a headache thou givest me !' said the rich man. ' Thou
art the head,' said the poor man ; • whither shall I carry my
pain ?' The rich man was pleased with his answer, and granted
him his wish. ' Thou hast raised thy head in prosperity ; sup-
port a man with kindness [grace, favour] ; God has given thee
whatever comes to thy hand ; take thou the hand of the

"A gift made in secret [without ostentation]; hospitality
without grudging ; silence as to one's good (or agreeable)
deeds ; never speaking in society of one's own help to others ;
absence of pride in good fortune ; speaking of others without
detraction, all this is the path of good men beset with swords.
But trodden by whom?"* "For who is there that is not
proud when become rich?"» "Wealth makes one proud,"
says the proverb ; '• but the doorstep is slippery."" " Wealth,

' Has. I. K. i). 315.
• Id. ibid. 139.
' Akhlaq i. m. xv.
" Tam. pr. 3441.

' Baba Metz. B. Fl.
' Nuthar ell. 121.
' Nitishat. 54.

* Hitop. ii. 173.

• Chulin, 46, M. S.

* Pancha Ratna, 2.



[xviii. 33

however, is a cause of pride [haughtiness] only to a mean man ;
but to a good man it is a source of gentleness."'

" In the time of wealth a man does not see others by reason
of his pride ; but in the day of need he has nothing whatever
left of his own. What time, then, is there free from [the risks
of] wealth and poverty?" asks Vema.* "So then," says
Minerva to Ulysses [seeing "how easily the gods can change
a man's estate, and how short-lived are riches"'], "beware
lest thou speak boastfully in the hearing of the gods ;"
" /«j8' oyKov apu firiStv , ti rtfos irkiov
^ \npl PpiOtK ij /laKpov wkovTOv jSatftt*"*

" nor be stuck up in any way, if thou happenest to have more
in hand, or greater riches, than others."

For "where there is a little wealth within, there is an out-
ward sign of it in pride. When clouds are full of water, then
it is they begin to thunder," say the Tibetans.* " When low
people become rich," says Sofian, "they become proud [lit.
stretch, lengthen themselves out]; and if they return to poverty,
they become humble. But the noble-minded [generous, ' el-ke-
ram'] when rich are humble, and if they come to poverty, they
bear it haughtily [nobly, manfully]."*

" Why should this man turn his back from thee ? His origin,
conceited upstart as he is, comes from the mud, like a potter's
vessel."^ " His nose is up to heaven, while he sits in water."
" They squat proudly on the earth, with their nose up in arro-
gance to the stars. Wonderful to behold !" says Eldjadi.*
" What learned or wise man," said Aswast'hana, " would be
proud of acquired riches, like some vulgar meat-seller ?"» "A
wise [learned] man without pride, a hero at rest, and a rich
man who opens his door liberally [to the poor], arc very much
praised in the world," said Vararuchi."

• Legs par b. p. 135. ' Vetnana, i. 38. ' Hesiod. I r. ij. 523.

« Soph. Aj. 127. * Legs par b. p. 209, • Eth-Theal. 198.

' El Nawab. 179. * Id. 200. » Maha Bh. Virat P. 1563.
" Varar. 73f Schiefn.

xviii. 23]



"He," say the Mongols, "who wishes to be liberal [kind-
hearted, pitiful] cannot be such while he is rich ; neither will
a man ever be rich who is liberal [kind-hearted]."* "Where
there are great riches," say the Mandchus, " words are great
[haughty] ; as when there is too much strength, there is also
oppression." « "Good men, however, use their power to pro-
mote the good of others ; but mean men only oppress others
if they are strong enough to do it."» " When favours from
the prince [or from Heaven] increase, then haughtiness is
extreme," say the Japanese.* "And a man," add the Rabbis,
" is haughty and oppressive towards the small, but not towards
the great."'

"Who is he," asks Vararuchi, "whom fortune does not
render proud?"* So that "Giving, accompanied with kind
words ; knowledge without pride ; valour with patience [for-
bearing, long-suffering] ; and wealth with liberality— are four
good things hard to find."' " Poor and liberal ; rich and
stingy."8 "Aggrieve not a beggar by passing him by" [with-
out giving].* "The cloud gives rain after thunder ;" that is,
"A man of generous disposition, if once he has spoken harshly]
when opportunity off'ers he gives way [makes up for it by
apology or by gift]."" "For the heart of him who has no
pity [compassion] is harder than iron," say the Tamils."

" Delay in giving, on the part of the rich, is [oppression]
violence, injury to the poor," say the Arabs." " For what-
ever be the measure of wealth or of rank a man has, the
[moon] time of begging should be easy [he should be easily
entreated] by the poor.""

" He," said Vidura to Dhritarashtra, " who never wears a
dress from pride (or vanity), who does not ridicule others from
feeling stronger than they, and who never speaks cutting

' Nutsidai ugh. 11. > Ming h. dsi. 21. » Id. ibid. 117.

« Gun den s. mon. 709. ' Pesach. R. Bl. 507. • Shad Ratna, 5.

' Ratnamalika, 64 ; Hitop. i. 173. » Eng. pr. » Nitimala, ill. 51.

'• Id. ibid. ii. " Tam. pr. 986. " Meid. Ar. pr. " Lokapak. 210.



[xviii. 23

words to others from haughtiness — that never sets as does the
sun " [he shines for ever].*

" If thou art rich and powerful," says Ptah-hotep, " place
the fear of thee [cause the respect for thee to rest] in [thy]
knowledge and pleasing [sensible intercourse]. As it is said
in the first writing : A sensible man never likes to introduce
himself with [curses] high words. Let not thy heart be high
[haughty] nor low [mean] in thy speech ; but order [train] thy
gait [step or walk] and thy answer ; and thrust away from
thee [hot] harsh words towards others."*

" When rich, forget not the poor, for many who were rich in
the beginning became poor in the end," say the Japanese.*
And in spite of the common saying, " E il ricco oro di fuori,
di dentro, ferro,"* that " the rich man is gold without, but iron
within," "riches," say the Rabbis, "are greatly adorned (or
enhanced) by a proper use of them, as is understanding by
assigning to everything its proper place."*

"A man," says the Japanese Dr. Desima, " whose ancestors
were poor, when he is become rich and prosperous, ought not
to live in excess, nor squander his property ; but carry on his
business truly [carefully]. He ought not to despise the poor,
nor yet be familiar with men high in office."" " Thus, then,"
says he also, " having tested my own circumstances, am I not
wise [is there not profit] in avoiding the rich and the great ?"^
For "disagreement among relations and kindred often comes
from the rich being very miserly [niggard, ' lin '] and not prac-
tising the virtue of liberality ; or it also comes from the poor
requiring too much, and in despair, being importunate in
their demands," says Yung-ching.*

"Courtesy is commendable in all," says Tiruvalluvar ; "but
in the rich it forms the beauty of their riches."* But "better

Maha Bh. Udyog. P. 1082. * Pap. Pr. xi. 12, 13, xii. i.

' Jits go kiyo. * Ual. pr. » Ep. Lod. 852. • Shi-tei-£un, p. 17.
' Waga-tsuye, ii. p. i. * Shin yu, 2nd max. p. 11. • Cural,

xiii. 125.

xviii. 23]



is a fire kindled with the breath of a man destitute of wealth,
than a churlish and avaricious man when asked for anything,"
says Vishnu Sarma.' " For every man who lives in prosperity,
is intoxicated (or befooled) by it," said the serpent to Yud-

"A disposition to sin," says the Buddhist Catechism, "shows
itself in sinning by roughness of temper ; whereas a disposi-
tion to commit no fault, shows itself in avoiding to sin through
roughness of temper."* " High [haughty] words are hard to
chew," say the Mongols ; " and the rich are proud."* But
"boast not of your wealth," says Avveyar;* "and be cour-
teous." Gan-tsze says : " If those who are above are not
polite (or courteous) towards their inferiors, they cannot order
them ; and if these are not also polite, they cannot attach
their superiors to them."'

" It is but just and the part of the great to listen to the
cause of the weak and needy, and not to return a rough answer.
For one of the [ties] badges proper to great men, is not to be
ashamed to speak to the weak and poor, and to hold inter-
course with little ones [despised and miserable]."^ " But when
a poor man," says Gagnradr, "comes to a rich one, let him
speak profitable words, or else hold his peace."*

"His state is known even in death. A soft voice when
begging, a covered mind [concealed intention], and a body
trembling with fear — when these signs appear in death, that
man was a beggar,"' say the Hindoos. "He who having
amassed wealth, learning, and power, is not proud (or elated),
is a 'pandit' [wise, superior man]," said Vidura to Dhrita-
rashtra.'* " Therefore, be thankful to God for His favours," said
Nebi Efifendi to his son, " and look upon the poor with pity.
Speak not roughly to them, but practise humility.""

' Hitop. i. 142. ' Maha Uh. Vana P. 12518. ' Putsha pagien.

Q. 458. * Mong. mor. max. R. ' Athithi S. 5. ' Ming-sin

p. k. c. xvi. ' Akiaq i in. xv. * Vafthrudnismdl, lulh max.

• Kobitamr. 44. " Maha Bh. Udyog. P. loio. " Khair nam. p. 16.



[xviii. 24

" For only wicked men speak roughly," says the proverb.*

" The covetous can be taken only with a present ; and the

haughty with cringing to them ;"* " who deny alms to a poor

man, but make presents to the rich and great," say the Rabbis.'

And Horace :

" Meae (contendere noli)
Stultitiam patiuntur opes ; tibi parvola res est :
Arta decet sanum comitem toga, desine mecum

" My riches," says he, " give me the right to make a fool of
myself; don't contradict me. But thou, poor fellow, who hast
next to nothing, wear the fustian, and don't bother me."

24 A man that hath friends must shewr himself
friendly : and there is a friend that sticketh closer than
a brother.

The first portion of this verse seems to have been generally mis-
understood, owing to the apparent affinity of ^TTS and S^.yiior', as
if they both were from the same root ; whereas this can only be from
yTl, or rather from SS'p, most likely, as Schultens, Gesenius, Umbreit,
and others think, who render this first hemistich, ' A roan has many
friends (or companions, associates or acquaintances) for his ruin,'
they may do him more harm than good ; ' but one who really loves
him, will stick to him closer than a brother.' LXX. and Arab,
ignore this verse, and Vulg. renders it, ' Vir amabilis ad societatem,
magis amicus erit quam frater.' Chald. and Syr. 'There are compa-
nions that meet together,' &c.; and Arm. 'A man gets defiled by vile
associates.' The notes here given are on the rendering of A. V.

"A man tliat hath friends" &c. "A father is a friend and
a mother is a friend ; both are friends by nature. But others
become friendly-disposed through circumstances."* "The
man who stands by us in prosperity and in adversity, in
famine and in tumults, at the palace-gate and at the funeral-
pile, is indeed our relation."* "A stranger who is friendly-

• Tarn. pr.
xviii. 21.

* Lokaniti, 76.
* Hitop. i. 38.

' Ep. Lod. 1 501. * Epist.

• Id. i. 74-

xviii. 24]



disposed is a friend, whereas a friend who is not so disposed
is a stranger. A disease engendered in the body is unfriendly;
but a herb from the wood often is salutary."*

The poor Drona claiming an old friendship with Drupada,
since made king, went to him. But Drupada said : " Thou
makest a mistake, O brahman, in saying so glibly, ' I am thy
friend.' It is true that formerly there existed a friendship
between us founded on equality. But the man who does not
keep a carriage is no friend of him who keeps one. Friend-
ship comes from equality. It never springs from inequality.
Moreover, in this world, undecaying friendship on the part of
any one is a thing not known. Time wastes it away, and
anger takes it away. Therefore do not reckon much on our
old friendship ; it is old and worn out. There was of old a
friendship between us ; but want or interest was the bond
thereof. I have no recollection of a promise to share the
throne with thee. But, O brahman, if it can please thee, I
will give thee board and lodging for one night." ^

Poor Drona might have taken Chilon's advice :

" Etti to Sciirfa twi' <f>LX.ii>v PpaSewi troptvov, iirl ras dTw;^ias raj^eus'"

" Be in no hurry to go to the feasts given by thy friends ; but
hasten to help them in difficulty." " One ought not to expect
too much from friends," said the tortoise to the monkey.
" When the calf sucks more than is meet, it annoys its mother,
who drives it away."*

" Difficilis, facilis, jucundus, acerbus es idem
Nee tecum possum vivere, nee sine te :"'

" Thou art the same difficult, easy, agreeable, and sour indivi-
dual ; I can live neither with nor without thee."

"A mere acquaintance is but a handful of money " [to be
spent], say the Telugus.® " The whole village is full of rela-

' Hitop. iii. loi.
' Sept. Sap. p. 24.
• Tel. pr.

* Maha Bh. Adi P. 5195—5204, and 6342.
* Sr€^ (c. 'Ixv. p. 320. ' Mart. Epigr. xii. 47.



[xviii. 24

tions ; yet there is not room In it for me to hang my sling,"
says the proverb.' "II faut se dire beaucoup d'amis, et s'en
croire peu,"* say the French truly. At the same time, " the
fastidious has not a friend," say the Arabs.* For " too much
of fault-finding makes a breach in friendship," says Ebu Medin.*
" Friendship, like a cord, may be mended and joined afresh ;
but there remains in it the knot of fastening," said by Timur
to Althon about his domestic feuds.* Another Arab, how-
ever, thinks this reunion of a broken friendship "is not so
rough or disagreeable as to be hateful."'

" Have patience with a friend, but do not lose him," says
the proverb.^ For " if the water is too clear, there are no fish
in it. If a man is too particular, he can have no friends."*
On the other hand, "Amigo de todos y de ninguno, todo cs
uno:"* "Friend of all and friend of none, comes to the same
thing," say the Spaniards.

" MtjS* TToXv^iivov, /atijS' a^tiyov (caAeto-tfoi'""

"Neither have too many guests, nor none," says Hesiod.
" Let no man have too many intimate friends in his house,"
says Rabbi Chia.'* " But attach thyself to one man," say the
Tamils, " and dwell in one house." "

Still, " those who have no guests have not tasted full domes-
tic happiness."'* Yet, "Where it is brother! brother I it is
also place ! place !" [live apart, short, or also interested friend-
ship], say the Bengalees.'* "A friend," says Sulkhan Orbe-
lian, " is not easily found ; he will not be met on the road, and
cannot be bought cheap. A friend is a castle with a moat, a
high wall, an inaccessible height. A friend is a banquet ; is a
table adorned with dainties. A friend is the light of the

' Telug. pr. ' Fr. pr. ' Ar. pr. * Ebu Med. 93.

* Ahmed. V. Tim. c 39. • Hariri, ii. p. 252. ' Pers. pr.

• Mong. mor. max. R. • Span. pr. '• Hes. i. <■ »;■ 713.
" Berach, 31, M. S. " Tarn. pr. 1858. " Aw. Kondreiv. 83.
■* Beng. pr.

xviii. 24]



heart and the light of the eyes. He is the strength of one's
arms, the dread [lit. shiver away] of foes, and the hope of
friends. He is a support in trouble, a healer in sickness, and
devoted in death."'

" In five ways are friends and acquaintances, O Gahapati,
treated by a well-bred man: (i) by presents; (2) by kind
speech ; (3) by watching over his interests ; (4) by treating
them as equals ; (s) by never deceiving them. In return, he
is treated by them thus : (i) he is protected when carelessly
exposed to danger ; (2) his property is taken care of in a like
case ; (3) in fear, they are his refuge ; (4) he is not forsaken in
adversity ; and (5) his belongings [relations, people] are held
in honour by those friends.""

" He who does not injure his friends, has plenty to eat, go
where he will ; he is respected everywhere. Thieves do not
rob him. He overcomes all enemies. He is the best of all
relatives. He respects others and is respected by them. He
enjoys a growing reputation, and he shines like fire. His kinc
multiply ; his crops flourish. He enjoys the number of chil-
dren ; and whether he fall from a rock or from a tree, he
alights on his feet [gets a standing]."*

" The three-fold advantage of having friends is virtue, profit,
and companionship. Where these three do not exist, let not
the wise man look for friendship,"* says Kamandaki. " The
bird calls to its mate, and shall not man seek friends for life ?
The spirits hearken to him, and in the end give him harmony,
right, and peace."* "A man is a friend by giving pleasure, a
companion by fellowship ; and after a month he is a kinsman ;
beyond that, he becomes another self."*

"An intimate friend is the chest or casket of a man ; he
shares in his intimate friend's and master's counsels and
secrets."^ "The wise man, who knows what he is about,

' Sibrzne Sitsr. cxxix. p. 168. ' Sigal. V. S. fol. no. ' Mett-

ani samsam, i— 10. * Kamand. Niti S. iv. 72. ' She-King,

iv. I, 5. • Kalakan. Jat. p. 365. ' Abu Ubeid, c. 2.



[xviii. 24

cleaves to a friend who helps him ; who is the same in pros-
perity and in adversity ; who gives good advice, and feels for
him, entirely and constantly, as a mother does for her own
child."' Very good ; but "O good man, thou shalt find few
of thy fellows true, to thee in difHculties," says Theognis ;
" ot Ttves &v roXiUf(v, 6ito<f>pova Ovfihv i\ovTK,
tmv tSv ayadiSv tiSv T€ kokuv fitrixttv'"

" men who will be brave enough to befriend thee alike in weal
and in woe."*

"OuK fa-riv ovSiv Kpturcrov ij ^tXos <ra0^$'

Online LibrarySolomon Caesar MalanOriginal notes on the Book of Proverbs : according to the Authorized version → online text (page 46 of 60)