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He read widely, and joined Jim Cannon’s Socialist Workers Party, the Trotskyist party. Siamese Light is light, though the blind man sees it not. It is a blind man’s question to ask why those things are loved are beautiful. German A blow from a frying pan, though it may not hurt, sullies.I knew most of his fellow felons growing up as a little boy. Spanish A blow with a pestle will make no impression on one to whom a wink is of no effect. English The bones before being thrown into the street were on the master’s table. had intercourse before marriage.) French If borrowed trousers be not too slack towards the ankle, they make a tight fit around the calves.The Minneapolis 17 who were convicted had taken the lead in organizing the Teamsters Union and the great Minneapolis General Strike of the mid-1930s.(The story is told in Charles Rumford Walker’s .) Minnesota’s governor, Floyd B.(Gavin was expelled for being a bit too attentive to what we learned.) Unfortunately, this collection somehow got lost in Dad’s move down to Florida when he retired from his position as editor of . Arabian It is not easy to know your butter in another man’s cabbage. Bantu He must have iron nails that scratches a bear. English If you don’t give the beggar anything, don’t tear his bag. English When a bird sleeps with a rook, it will caw like a rook. Semitic If you bring things to the buyer you sell them at half-price. Bantu All the buzzards in the settlement will come to the grey mule’s funeral. I don’t repeat my tale.) Irish You cackle often, but never lay an egg. Scottish The greatest calf is not the sweetest veal. German In the primitive church there were chalices of wood and priests of gold; in the modern church there are chalices of gold and priests of wood.He had edited Traffic World, but the FBI came around to his boss and asked why they had hired a Marxist. Danish Another man’s horse and your own whip can do a great deal. A coconut-shell full of water is an ocean to an ant. Russian You will not believe he’s bald till you see his brains. Italian When the purchase has been made it is too late to bargain. English All know the bear, but the bear knows nobody. Danish A man without a beard is like a loaf that has no crust. Italian They came to shoe the Pasha’s horses, and the beetle stretched out his leg. Irish The beggar of crumbs gets more than the beggar of loaves. English Never stand begging for what you have the power to take. Negro Two “anons” and a “by-and-by” are an hour and a half. English It is not known what calf the cow will have. English When the house is built the carpenter is forgotten. English He’s not the best carpenter that makes the most chips. German In the city where you wish to sell flowers, do not kick up the dust.
These proverbs were collected by my father, Carlos Hudson, during the time he was jailed under the Smith Act in 1941, ostensibly for “Advocating the overthrow of the government by force and violence,” It was called the “gag act” because it put a gag on what one could read or say.
My father said that his year in jail was the happiest year of his life. Kaffir Advice given in the midst of a crowd is loathsome. German Good advice is no better than bad advice unless it is taken at the right time. Failing to obtain a lovely woman, affection is lavished on animals. German Who lives by the altar must serve the altar. Sudanic He that boasts of his ancestors confesses he has no virtue of his own. Italian A young branch takes on all the bends that one gives it. Spanish A heavy burden does not kill on the day it is carried. English He who has burnt his mouth with milk blows on ice cream. don’t express preference without trying an alternative.) Bantu A child that asks questions is not stupid.
(He wasn’t much of a “people person.”) He was assigned to the library, where he collected the proverbs in this collection. For the sake of one good action a hundred evil ones should be forgotten. Sanskrit The afternoon knows what the morning never suspected. Mules make a great fuss about their ancestors having been asses. Philippine He that is slow to anger is of great understanding. Turkish He to whom nature hasn’t given horns shouldn’t butt. Sudanic The illegitimate child was hidden in a bottle, and he put forth a finger. the secret could not be suppressed.) Bantu If with the right hand you flog the child, with the left draw him unto your breast.
Other members of the Minneapolis 17 who moved to Chicago was the group’s lawyer, Al Goldman, who spent much of his life trying to track down who killed his two German colleagues Emma Goldman and Karl Liebknecht. Dad’s former cellmates helped me acclimatize when I moved to New York in 1960. Chinese While the boy is small, you can see the man. German Make your head into a cart and your feet into wheels and you’ll get bread. Georgian None knows the weight of another’s burden. Portuguese When the character of a man is not clear to you, look at his friends. English If you buy meat cheap, when it boils you will smell what you have saved. ill health is costly.) Czech Take the chestnuts out of the fire with the cat’s paw. Sudanic If the child does not cry, the mother does not understand it. (Said by soldiers to their wives.) Russian A child regards his father’s guest as a slave.
So here, as in statist Russia, prisons were indeed the University of the Revolution. Danish Adversity comes with instruction in its hand. Spanish He who will not take advice gets knowledge when trouble overtakes him. French Affectation is a greater enemy to the face than small-pox. Turkish An amiable person is never good-for-nothing. Chinese The ugliest things are a poor braggart and a rich thief. Italian Everyone gives himself credit for more brains than he has. It is not the burden, but the over-burden, that kills the beast. Italian To burn one’s house to get rid of the mice. Arabic It is well worth while letting oneself be cheated sometime. Sudanic The sucking child says, “Mother is the best cook.” (i.e.As a teenager, my friend Gavin Mac Fadyen and I used to sit down in the basement (where the banned books and pamphlets were kept in the 1950s) and pore over the index cards with these maxims. Italian Who sees with the eye of another is as blind as a mole. Italian The buyer needs a hundred eyes, the seller not one. Who will not feed the cats, must feed the mice and rats. Basque Bells call each other to church, but go not themselves. French The poorer the church, the purer the church.