02 septiembre, 2006

Due proportion

Yesterday the reading of the Mass was about the five wise and five foolish virgins from Mt 25. This evoked in me one of the most unexpected interpretations of this parable, by Fray Hortensio Félix Paravicino y Arteaga, who says thus in his Panegíricos (1641, p. 273):

Las cinco eran prudentes y sábias; locas ò nécias las cinco: Siglo venturoso, en el que discretos y nécios andaban partidos, que ahóra para un discreto hai nécios (que dice nuestra Lengua) à montónes.

(Five were clever and wise; and foolish or stupid the other five. Oh happy century, in which the proportion of the clever and the foolish was so balanced, for now there are, as our language says, mountains of foolish by each clever one.)

And his estimation was deemed so relevant by the editors of the Diccionario de los Autoridades (1722-1727), the first full-fledged encyclopedia of the Spanish language, that this quotation was included right in two entries: both in CINCO (vol. II, p. 353) and in NECIO (vol. IV, p. 657-658).

Since then it has not lost of its actuality, como dice la misma Lengua, ni una migaja.

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