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Aliquid mali propter vicinum

Misfortune caused by a bad neighbour


Raptabat torrens ollas, quarum una metallo,
Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [g2r p99 ]Altera erat figuli terrea facta manu.
Hanc igitur rogat illa, velit sibi proxima ferri,
Iuncta ut praecipites utraque sistat aquas:
Cui lutea, Haud nobis tua sunt commercia curae,
Ne mihi proximitas haec mala multa ferat.
Nam seu te nobis, seu nos tibi conferat unda,
Ipsa ego te fragilis sospite sola terar.

A stream was carrying along two pots, one of which was made of metal, the other formed by the potter’s hand of clay. The metal pot asked the clay one whether it would like to float along close beside it, so that each of them, by uniting with the other, could resist the rushing waters. The clay pot replied: The arrangement you propose does not appeal to me. I am afraid that such proximity will bring many misfortunes upon me. For whether the wave washes you against me or me against you, I only, being breakable, will be shattered, while you remain unharmed.


Fluvius accrescens rapiebat duas ollas,
quarum una ferrea erat, altera verò lutea, vo-
cabat autem aenea alteram, ut apud se propius
nataret quò simul facilius aquae violentiae re-
sistere possent. Cui terrea respondit, nolo
ego commercium nec vicinitatem tuam, quae
mihi non nisi nociva futura esse & damno-
sa, si enim forte undarum impetus nos colli-
deret, ego misera sola frangerer in frusta,
tu verò nihil omnino mali sentires. Et
hoc Aesopicum est de duobus Ol-
lis. Proverbio autem dicitur,
aliquid mali propter vi-
cinum malum. In


1.  See Avianus, Fables 11; Erasmus, Adagia 32, Aliquid mali propter vicinum malum.

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