A beggar may sing before a pickpocket. (In Latin, “Cantabit vacuus coram latrone viator.”) A beggar may sing before a highwayman because he has nothing in his pocket to lose.
Such is the sad effect of wealth- rank pride- Mount but a beggar, how the rogue will ride!
Peter Pindar: Epistle to Lord Lonsdale.
Latin: “Asperius nihil est humili cum surgit in altum.”
French: “Il n'est orgueil que de pauvre enrichi.”
Italian: “Il vilan nobilitado non connosce il parentado” (A beggar ennobled does not know his own kinsmen).
Spanish: “Quando el villano estáen el mulo, non conoze a dios, ni al mundo” (when a beggar is mounted on a mule, he knows neither gods nor men).
Source: Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, E. Cobham Brewer, 1894