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Part 3: On cageyness, caution, moderation, patience, and prudence


Fáàárí àṣejù, oko olówó ní ḿmú ọmọ lọ.
Intemperate dandyism lands a youth in a creditor's farm as a pawn.
(Squandered resources bring destitution.)

Fẹ̀hìntì kí o rí ìṣe èké; farapamọ́ kí; o gbọ́ bí aṣeni-í ti ńsọ.
Sit back and you will see how a devious person operates; conceal yourself and you will hear how those who seek others' destruction speak.
(One must be cagey in order to learn the truth about unreliable people.)

Fi ẹ̀jẹ̀ sínú, tu itọ́ funfun jáde.
Keep your red blood inside and spit out clear saliva.
(Never show your hand to your enemy; let not your words or action reveal your intentions to your enemy.) [44]

Fi ohun wé ohun, fi ọ̀ràn wé ọ̀ràn;fi ọ̀ràn jì ká yìn ọ́.
Liken one thing to another, liken one matter to another; forgive and forget and earn people's praise.
(Rather than permit an offence to recall earlier ones, one should forgive and forget.)
This is a variant of Àfiohunwé-ohun...

Fi ọ̀ràn sínú pète ẹ̀rín;fi ebi sínú sunkún ayo.
Keep your troubles inside and laugh heartily; keep your hunger hidden and pretend to weep from satiation.
(One should keep one's woes to oneself and show a happy face to the world.)

Fò síhìnín fò sọ́hùnún làkèré fi ńṣẹ́ nítan.
Jump this way, jump that way is the way a frog breaks its thigh.
(Restlessness lands people is trouble.)


44. This proverb is sometimes used as a criticism of deceitful people who appear to be friends but are full of ill will: Ọmọ aráyé fẹ̀jẹ̀ sínú tutọ́ funfun jáde (Human beings keep their blood inside and spit out clear saliva).  [Back to text]