THE SPANISH - HOW THEY SEE THEMSELVES AND HOW OTHERS SEE THEM IN RETURN
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     
I will be adding to these from time to time. This is the date of the latest addition[s]                                                                                                                              10.2.04


Spain is the place where, in my experience, the art of savoir vivre has attained the highest peak of refinement. Or, as the Spaniards themselves never tire of saying: “En España, se vive muy bien” – In Spain, one lives very well. ..... There is a pleasure principle at the heart of the Spanish ethos that the imperatives of the market economy have tried, but failed, to undermine.
                                                                                                                                                                          John Carlin - Spain: The Place to Live

The famous individualism of the people does not apply to economics. The Spanish are essentially anti-capitalist and uncompetitive; they have neither the bad nor the good qualities, neither the attachment to money for its own sake nor the suppleness and perseverance required for success in the modern capitalist world.
                                                                                                                                                                           Gerald Brenan - The Spanish Labyrinth [1941]

Many people would rather die than think. In fact they do.
                                                                                                                                                                            Bertrand Russell, talking [I believe] about Spanish drivers


Every Spaniard's ideal is to carry a statutory letter with a single provision, brief but imperious: "This Spaniard is entitled to do whatever he feels like doing                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               Angel Ganivet

To this day, Spaniards are characterised by a love of local liberties and personal independence.......  In no country in Europe is there so much spontaneity of speech or action, so much dislike of restraint and regimentation

                                                                                                                                                                             Gerald Brenan - The Spanish Labyrinth [1941]                                                                                                                                                                 
Spain, little understood and often privately disliked by patronising Northern peoples ….is frequently held to be a more violent nation that it is.  Isolated by good fortune and by geography from the ‘world game’ of great power rivalry since 1815, it has more lessons to offer peoples than it has to learn: above all, it has grasped more successfully than other nations the art of combining progress with the persistence of tradition.
                                                                                                                 
                                                             Hugh Thomas - The Spanish Civil War [1961]

I defy anyone .. not to be struck by [the Spaniards’] essential decency; above all by their straightforwardness and generosity. …. And beyond this there is generosity in a deeper sense, a real largeness of spirit.
                                                                                                                                                                              George Orwell - Homage to Catalonia [1937]
 

Every foreigner .. spent his first few weeks in learning to love the Spaniards and in being exasperated by certain of their characteristics. ….. All foreigners alike are appalled by their inefficiency, above all by their maddening unpunctuality. …. In Spain, nothing, from a meal to a battle, ever happens at the appointed time.
                                                                                                                                    George Orwell - Homage to Catalonia [1937]

 

If you obey all the rules, you miss all the fun.                                                                                            Katherine Hepburn - Possibly talking about the Spanish                                                                           
 

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          

Some [allegedly] Spanish proverbs

A buxom widow must be either married, buried or shut up in a convent


 
Never advise anyone to go to war or to marry

 

A woman's advice is a poor thing but he is a fool who does not take it

By the street of By and By one arrives at the house of Never

Forgive any sooner than thyself

God comes to see us without a bell

Honour without profit is a ring on the finger    [Marriage??]

If fools didn't go to markets, bad goods wouldn't be sold

Let that which is lost be for God

Many go out for wool and come home shorn

Many things grow in the garden that were never sewn there

There is no friend like the penny     [centimo, now, I guess]

One and none is all the same    [i. e. negligible]

Beware of an ox in front, an ass behind and a monk from all sides

Tell a lie and find the truth

The devil lurks behind the cross

The diligent spinner has a large shift     [= Industry gives comfort, it says here]

The foot on the cradle and the hand on the distaff is the sign of a good housewife      ['distaff' = a cloven staff around which the wool or flax was wound]

There are no birds in last year's nest

Those who live longest will see most

Though the sun shines, don't leave your cloak at home      [Written by a Galician, I imagine]

 

Too much breaks the bag.