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Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 54.djvu/841

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THE MALAY LANGUAGE.

one must leave her now and then." The language is full of such expressions; they are the natural products of the speech of a poetical and Nature-loving folk. Without attempting a classification we give a few of the most characteristic proverbs, drawing largely on a collection made in the Malay Peninsula by W. E. Maxwell, at one time British resident there:

Will the crocodile respect the carcass?
Follow your heart, death; follow your feelings, destruction.
You find grasshoppers where you find a field.
Earth does not become grain.
Don't grind pepper for a bird on the wing.
The flower comes, age comes.
When the father is spotted, the son is spotted.
The plant sprouts before it climbs.
When he can't wring the ear, he pulls the horn.
The creel says the basket is poorly made.
Ask from one who has,
Make vows at a shrine,
Sulk with him who loves you.
When the house is done the chisel finds fault.
As the crow goes back to his nest (no richer, no poorer).
Whoever eats chilies burns his mouth.
Because of the mouth the body comes to harm.
If you are at the river's mouth at nightfall, what's the use of talking of return?
A broken thread may be mended, but charcoal never.
The pea forgets its pod.
As water rolls from a kladi leaf.
A shipwrecked vessel may float again, a heart once broken is broken forever.
It is a project, and the result with God.
He carries a torch in daylight.
A slave who does well is never praised; if he does badly, never forgiven.
It rains gold afar, but stone at home.
What if you sit on a cushion of gold with an uneasy mind!
When money leaves, your friend goes.
If you dip your hand into the fish tub, go to the bottom.
Whoever digs a hole falls into it himself.
If your legs are long, have your blanket long.
Like a frog under a cocoanut shell, he thinks he sees the sky.
If you can't get rattan, bind with roots.
The plantain does not bear twice.
He sits like a cat, but leaps like a tiger.