#3422. 古英語・中英語のことわざ[proverb][oe][me][hel_education]


 英語ことわざは,古英語期や中英語期にもたくさん記録されている.最古の英語ことわざ集に Proverbs of Alfred (c. 1150--80) と呼ばれるものがあるし,いわゆる文学作品にも聖書由来のものを含めて数々のことわざが収録されてきた.
 13--14世紀のものを中心とした,Skeat 編のことわざ集がある.現代にも受け継がれているものが多いので,中世英語や英語史の学習にうってつけである.以下に,現代語訳をつけていくつか拾い出してみよう.

 ・ Hwa is thet mei thet hors wettrien the him-self nule drinken? (Old English Homilies): "Who is he that may water the horse and not drink himself?"
 ・ Nis nawer nan so wis mon / That me ne mai bi-swiken. (Layamon): "There is nowhere so wise a man that one cannot deceive him."
 ・ Euer so the hul is more and herre, so the wind is more theron. (Ancrene Riwle): "The greater and higher the hill, the greater the wind on it." (方言形 hul について「#1812. 6単語の変異で見る中英語方言」 ([2014-04-13-1]) を参照)
 ・ Wel fight that wel specth --- seide Alvred. (Owl and Nightingale): "He that speaks will, fights well --- said Alfred."
 ・ Strong hit is to rowe ayeyn the see that floweth, So hit is to swynke ayeyn un-ylimpe. (Prov. of Alfred): "As it is hard to row against the sea that flows, so it is to toil against misfortune."
 ・ For qua bigin wil ani thing / He aght to thinc on the ending. (Cursor Mundi): "For he who will begin a thing ought to think how it may end."
 ・ Ther God wile helpen, nouht ne dereth. (Havelok): "Where God will help, nothing does harm."
 ・ More honour is, faire to sterve, Than in servage vyliche to serve. (Kyng Alisaunder): "It is more honour to die fairly than to serve cunningly in servitude."
 ・ Tel thou neuer thy fo that thy fot aketh. (Hending): "Never tell thy foe that thy foot aches."
 ・ The lyf so short, the craft so long to lerne. (Parlement of Foules): "Life is so short, art is so long to learn."
 ・ Hit is not al gold, that glareth. (Hous of Fame): "All is not gold that glitters."
 ・ The nere the cherche, the fyrther fro Gode. (Handlyng Synne): "The nearer to the church, the further from God."
 ・ That that rathest rypeth ・ roteth most saunest. (P. Pl.): "What ripes most quickly, rots earliest."
 ・ A litell stane, as men sayis, / May ger weltir ane mekill wane. (Bruce): "A little stone, as many say, can cause a great waggon to be overturned."
 ・ For spechëles may no man spede. (Confessio Amantis): "For no man can succeed by being speechless."
 ・ It is nought good a sleping hound to wake. (Troilus): "It is not good to wake a sleeping dog."
 ・ Mordre wol out. (Canterbury Tales) (方言形 wol について「#89. one の発音は訛った発音」 ([2009-07-25-1]) を参照)
 ・ Charite schuld bigyne at hem-self. (Wyclif, Works): "Charity should begin at home."

 ・ Skeat, Walter W., ed. Early English Proverbs, Chiefly of the Thirteenth and Fourteenth Centuries, with Illustrative Quotations. Oxford: Clarendon, 1910.

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