Publi(li)us Series; part III

OK, the third part of a series, on quotes of the guy that went from Publius to Publilius Syrus in a century, after having been forgotten [Oh! How unduly! How unfortunate! Hence this series] for a century or fifteen. As they’re handily numbered already and in fitting English (not too modern i.e. simplified, dumbed down), but quite a few may be enhanced by some frills of mine, I’ll take mine from an 1856 translation. Series 255-450 today:

255. The master is a slave when he fears those whom he rules.
No end to pointing at the politicians who overshout their fears on this one.

262. You should hammer your iron when it is glowing hot.
Ah. This is a proverb still in the low lands. Elsewhere, too ..?

266. Confidence, like life, never returns to him whom she has once left.
A word to the wise; and to youth in their inexperienced (due to total shielding off society by tiger mom/dad upbringing) happy-go-lucky ‘disruption’ maturing..?

271. Fortune makes a fool of him whom she favors too much.
Politicians again. Very much so. And Fortune’s wheel will turn!

284. It is a fraud to receive the trust which you cannot return.
Accountant, beware.

293. A noble steed is not annoyed by the barking of dogs.
Agree. The (mental) rabble shall not concern me.

294. The gladiator lays his plans after he enters the arena.
There you go again, you analysis paralysis project planners! “Even the best planned-out strategies crumble at first contact with the enemy” © Field Marshall von Moltke the Elder.

304. The anger of a righteous man is the anger most to be dreaded.
Which is to be understood in the ethics of a fully grown mature man (of that time), where there is a distinction between anger and evil; the anger is justified due to being aimed at a character flaw of the receiver. Not of the sender. To correct out of virtue, not to do harm for its own sake.

328. Honors are soiled when they invest the unworthy.
As we see when those utterly inproductive to society (certainly after deduction of incomes received oft not earned!) get the medals where the true society serving are neglected. The medal becomes a blemish.

331. To submit to necessity involves no disgrace.
To be sure, the necessity should not be made up as it often is. But, true, as necessity trumps character.

332. Honors adorn the worthy; they are a stigma to the undeserving.
But then, see 328. above.

338. When two do the same thing, it is not the same thing after all.
… A deep one, with many inroads into latter-day Disruption culture (wide sense).

351. A laugh at the unfortunate is a wrong done him.
This should be taken to heart by the 1% that looks down on the unfortunate that tried (really) but were unlucky. Oh … “heart … 1%” …

357. A cock has great influence over its own dung-hill.
Take that, those of you in charge!

358. Anyone can hold the helm, when the sea is calm.
Oh how all the boastful CEOs failed / fail, when the wind (of change) picked up!

369. A truly noble nature cannot be insulted.
Try me. Errrmmm…

371. A noble soul has no ear for unjust reproaches.
Smells like 293 and 369 to me. And, guard against the many tactics.

377. However humble your enemy, it is wise to fear him.
Yes indeed. Accidents sit in the smallest of corners. Disregards grow their anger (exponentially).

394. Crimes are encouraged by petty offences.
The basic tenet of fraud prevention. But, society cannot function if no petty offence is overlooked. But indeed, leads to the biggest of accountancy scams – though the most heinous of crimes being having bad character(s) at the helm, is the start of those.

404. Every excellence continues unknown, which fame does not blaze abroad.
An intelligent way of saying that no preacher is followed in his home town. Are there any of you who notice the Syrus numbering in a sense says the same? ‘404 Excellence Not Found’ here.

414. Libertinage and moral worth never go together.
So, when one’s off well enough to live a life of Liberal Arts (liberal read as ‘free’ of labor requirements, for income), these should be directed to the public good, not to alleviating one’s own idleness only. Remember Kevin Spacey’s “When life has been good to you, we have a duty to send the elevator back down.”

416. When vice is approved, it will soon become intolerable.
Bureacrats take note – your totalitarian process focus is the former.

425. When the lion is dead, even puppies can bite him.
Memento mori, you haughty; this reflects on careers also!

426. He who chases two hares will catch neither.
Good business advice. If the hare chased, isn’t efficiency because that is not an ulterior motive.

430. Dignities heaped on the undeserving, are a badge of disgrace.
A combination of 328 and 332 above ..?

437. The greater our strength, the less we know of the power of misfortune.
After Machiavelli, still valid! Because the strength of a man is not his worldly powers but his character.

442. Mighty rivers may easily be leaped at their source.
So… When negotiating or reconciling, by all means do go back to the underlying values, and dig deeper, and deeper, until you hit common ground. Build from there.

443. Excessive indignation is sometimes evidence of a great crime.
FIFA, anyone ..? True. Because bad character shines through, as mirror to 371 above.

To close it all off, for now!
[Yes air ducts could be designed boring, but why not like this? Paris La Défense]

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