Better a handful of dry dates and content therewith than to own the Gate of Peacocks and be kicked in the eye by a broody camel.
October 27, 2001 9:17 AM   Subscribe

Some of these seem awfully *unhealthy*

"One is better off seated than standing. lying than seated, asleep than awake, and dead than alive. "

Maybe something got lost in the translation?
posted by andnbsp at 9:54 AM on October 27, 2001

a broody camel? it's just not getting any clearer.
posted by ggggarret at 10:13 AM on October 27, 2001

I did some googling and didn't find anything conclusive, but I'm sure I've heard of the Gate of Peacocks before. I believe "to own the gate of peacocks" is a reference to daydreaming of impossible riches.

So this is my interpretation: it's better to have a few good things and be happy than spend all your time wishing for the impossible while getting screwed in the life you're ignoring.

(Broody is possibly a translation artifact from a word meaning something along the lines of sullen/stubborn/ornery.)

The quote "if I were to sell winding cloths, no one would die" is a similar case, though less removed from our frame of reference. Winding cloths are, of course, what the dead are wrapped in, but if you didn't know that the quote would make no sense.
posted by Nothing at 11:53 AM on October 27, 2001

ah, a drunken diogenes said this to someone who said this to Cicero. it is a recipe for a melancholia hair tonic.
posted by clavdivs at 12:33 PM on October 27, 2001

Some of these seem awfully *unhealthy*

Not so much unhealthy as maybe spoken from a perspective of more years than yours:

Living is a sickness to which sleep provides relief every sixteen hours. Itis a palliative. The remedy is death.

Sebastien-Roch Nicolas De Chamfort

posted by y2karl at 1:17 PM on October 27, 2001

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