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καὶ ἡ παροιμία δέ] This δέ, introduced after καί—always (except in Epic poetry, Il. Ψ 80, καὶ δέ σοι αὐτῷ μοῖρα, Odys. π́ 418) with a word or more intervening—is inserted as something additional to the preceding, which it enforces or emphasizes, and has in these, as in all other cases, a reference to μέν expressed or implied. A first implies a second, and a second a first. Of μέν implied in δέ, see some instances in Herm., note on Soph. Phil. 86, and the reverse case, δέ in μέν, Don. New Crat. § 154, where the origin and derivation of the two particles is made out. The δέ here may be readily explained as in correlation to a suppressed μέν after ταῦτα, ‘these first, and secondly the proverb’; or ‘these on the one hand, on the other the proverb’. It may be rendered ‘too’, ‘also’, or from the emphasis that it conveys, ‘in fact’, or any thing similar. This special usage, like the other senses of δέ, is derived from the primary meaning of μέν and δέ, ‘one’ and ‘two’; and so, as conjunctions, in the sense of ‘firstly’ and ‘secondly’. See Jelf, Gr. Gr. § 769, 2, where a few examples are cited. Others are given in Paley's note on Prom. Vinct. 994 (from Aeschylus): in Arnold's note on Thucyd. II 36, 6 (from Thucydides, Herodotus, and Xenophon): Plat. Rep. IX 573 B (ed. Tur.), καὶ μανίας δέ. It is found in all Greek writers, but is more common in Aristotle than elsewhere: Rhet. I 7. 18, 19, 20; 9. 29, 30; II 3. 12; 11. 11, καὶ ἀρχὴ δέ: Eth. N. V 5, 1130 b 21, καὶ τὸ δίκαιον δέ: Polit. VI (IV), 13, 1297 b 10, καὶ εἰώθασι δέ: and again V 16, καὶ ἡ πρώτη δὲ πολιτεία, de Anim. A 4, linit. καὶ ἄλλη δέ: c. 5, 411 a 7, καὶ ἐν τῷ ὅλῳ δέ, B 3, 415 a 6, καὶ τῶν αἰσθητικῶν δέ, et passim. [‘Maxime in Ethicorum libro quarto octavo nono decimo.’ Eucken, de Arist. dicendi ratione I p. 32. S.] The same meaning is much more frequently expressed by these particles in the inverted order, δὲ καί. The proverb, τὸ ἐπὶ θύραις τὴν ὑδρίαν, ‘to drop1 or break the pitcher at the door’, after you have carried it home from the distant well with much toil and trouble, expresses the general conception of ‘lost labour’, ‘labour thrown away’. Erasmus, Adagia, p. 350, in foribus urceum, misinterprets the proverb as expressing something vile and contemptible, not worth the trouble of taking up. Another more common corresponding proverb is πλύνειν πλίνθον, laterem lavare (Terent. Phorm. I 4, 9) ‘to try to make a red brick white by washing it’. Theocr. Id. XVI 62, ἢ ὕδατι νίζειν θολερὰν ἰοειδέϊ πλίνθον2, and answering to our ‘washing a blackamoor white’. Compare also Eur. Iph. Taur. 116, οὔτοι μακρὸν μὲν ἤλθομεν κώπῃ πόρον, ἐκ τερμάτων δὲ νόστον ἀροῦμεν πάλιν. περιμάχητον φαινόμενον] ‘apparently, manifestly, conspicuously (with φαίνεσθαι in this sense, comp. II 2, 1, bis) an object of contention’. τοῦτ᾽ ἀγαθὸν ἦν] ‘this is, as was said’, i. e. in § 2. This use of the imperfect, referring to a past transaction or statement referred to in present time, is so common both in Plato and Aristotle as to require no illustration. οἱ δὲ πολλοὶ...φαίνονται] The acts and opinions of the great body of people, the most of those that you know or have heard of, are as convincing to the popular audience to which Rhetoric is addressed, as those of all mankind if they could be ascertained. The fact therefore that the possession of anything is much contested and coveted, implying that a great many people seek after it and care for it, is as sufficient a proof to them that it is a good, as if it could be shewn, as it ought by the rules, § 2, that it is the universal object of human aims: the sanction of ‘the many’ is as good as an universal admission.
1 In the endeavour to represent these English words by precisely corresponding Greek terms, no difficulty is found in the case of break: if καταγνύναι λύραν (Pl. Phaed. 85 A) is to break a lyre, it is equally applicable to a pitcher. But when we try to render ‘to drop’ by a word exactly corresponding (ἀντίστροφος in its primary sense), the language seems to fail us. I examined all the analogous Greek words (that I could think of), βάλλειν, ῥίπτειν, ἐᾶν (‘to let go’, but intentionally), χεῖν, and a dozen others, with their compounds, and found them all infected with the same vice, in respect of the representation of the word ‘to drop’, viz. that they all express a voluntary and conscious action, whereas drop is applied to an accidental and unintentional relaxation of the muscles, which cannot properly be called an action at all. The notion may no doubt be expressed by a circumlocution, of which the Homeric ἔκπεσε, or ἔκφυγε, χειρός (said however of the object, not the subject), comp. Lat. fugere, is a frequent example. We might also say (of the subject) περιορᾷν τι πίπτον or πίπτειν, or (of the object) λανθάνειν πεσόν. But these are not single words. And I am brought to the conclusion that the Greek language has no single word to express the notion exactly; which is the less surprising, inasmuch as the French language labours under the same deficiency; the periphrasis laisser tomber being made to supply the place of ‘to drop’. ἐκχεῖν, Soph. Phil. 13, might seem to come nearest to the literal representation of it, were it not for Arist. Ran. 855, where the word undoubtedly expresses a conscious and intentional act. ὁ λόγος...ἐκπεσὼν οἰχήσεται, Plat. Phileb. 13 B.
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