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She is nether fish nor flesh, nor good red herring.'
Proverbes. Part i. Chap. x. All is well that endes well.?
Of a good beginning cometh a good end.3
Better late than never.5
When the steede is stolne, shut the stable durre.
Pryde will have a fall;
The still sowe eats up all the draffe.
1 Neither fish nor flesh, nor good red herring. – Sir H. Sheres : Satyr on the Sea Officers. Tom Brown: Æneus Sylvius's Letter. DRYDEN: Epilogue to the Duke of Guise.
2 Si finis bonus est, totum bonuin erit (If the end be well, all will be well). - Gestæ Romanorum. Tale lxvii.
3 Who that well his warke beginneth,
Gower: Confessio Amantis. 4 LYLY : Euphues (Arber's reprint), p. 288. 6 Tusser: Five Hundred Points of Good Husbandry, An Iabitation Enforced. BUNYAN : Pilgrim's Progress. Mathew Henry: Commentaries, Matthew rzi. MURPHY: The School for Guardians.
Potius sero quam nunquam (Rather late than never). — Livy: iv. ii. 11. 6 Quant le cheval est emblé dounke ferme fois l'estable (When the horse has been stolen, the fool sluts the stable). – Les Proverbes del Vilain.
? Pride goeth before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall. Proverbs xri. 18.
Pryde goeth before, and shame cometh behynde. — Treatise of a Gallant. Circa 1510.
8 She looks as if butter would not melt in her mouth. - SWIFT : Polite Conrersation. 9 'Tis old, but true, still swine eat all the draff. -- SHAKESPEARE: Merry Wives of Windsor, act iv. sc. 2. 10 Ewyl weed ys sone y-growe.
MS. Harleian, circa 1490. An ill weed grows apace.
CHAPMAN : An Humorous Day's Mirth. Great weeds do grow apace. - SHAKESPEARE: Richard II1. act i. sc. 4. BEAUMONT AND FLETCHER : The Coccomb, act iv. sc. 4.
It is a deere collop That is cut out of th' owne flesh.'
Proverbes. Part i. Chap. x. Beggars should be no choosers.?
Ibid. Every cocke is proud on his owne dunghill. Chap. ai. The rolling stone never gathereth mosse. *
Ibid. To robbe Peter and pay Poule.5
Ibid. A man may well bring a horse to the water, But he cannot make him drinke without he will.
Ibid. Men say, kinde will creepe where it
Ibid. The cat would eate fish, and would not wet her feete.?
Ibid. While the grasse groweth the horse starveth.8
Ibid. 1 God knows thou art a collop of my flesh. SHAKESPEARE: 1 Henry VI, act v. sc. 4.
2 Beggars must be no choosers. – BEAUMONT AND FLETCHER: The Scornful Lady, act v. sc. 3.
3 pet coc is kene on his owne mixenne. — Þe Ancren Risole. Circa 1250.
4 The stone that is rolling can gather no moss. TUSSER: Five Hundred Points of Good Husbandry.
A rolling stone gathers no moss. — · PUBLIUS SYRUS: Maxim 524. Gosson: Ephemerides of Phialo. MARSTON : The Faun.
Pierre volage ne queult mousse (A rolling stone gathers no moss). – De l'hermite qui se désespéra pour le larron que ala en paradis avant que lui, 13th century.
5 To rob Peter and pay Paul is said to have derived its origin when, in the reign of Edward VI., the lands of St. Peter at Westminster were appropriated to raise money for the repair of St. Paul's in London.
6 You know that love Will creep in service when it cannot go.
SHAKESPEARE : T'wo Gentlemen of Verona, act
iv. sc. 2. 7 Shakespeare alludes to this proverb in Macbeth :
Letting I dare not wait upon I would,
Like the poor cat i' the adage. Cat lufat visch, ac he nele his feth wete. - MS. Trinity College, Cambridge, circa 1250.
8 Whylst grass doth grow, oft sterves the seely steede. – WHETSTONE : Promos and Cassandra. 1578.
While the grass grows
SHAKESPEARE: Hamlet, act iii. sc. 4.
Better one byrde in hand than ten in the wood.1
Proverbes. Part i. Chap. xi. Rome was not built in one day.
Ibid. Yee have many strings to your bowe.?
Ibid. Many small make a great.
Ibid. Children learne to creepe ere they can learne to goe.
Ibid. Better is halfe a lofe than no bread.
Ibid. Nought venter nought have.4
Ibid. Children and fooles cannot lye..
Ibid. Set all at sixe and seven.
Ibid. All is fish that comth to net.?
Ibid. Who is worse shod than the shoemaker's wife ? 8 Ibid. One good turne asketh another.
Ibid. By hooke or crooke.
? An earlier instance occurs in Heywood, in his “Dialogue on Wit and Folly," circa 1530.
2 Two strings to his bow. - HOOKER: Polity, book v. chap. lxxx. CHAPMAN : D'Ambois, act ii. sc. 3. BUTLER: Hudibras, part iii, canto i. line 1. CHURCHILL: The Ghost, book iv. FIELDING: Love in Several Masques, sc. 13.
8 See Chaucer, page 5.
4 Naught venture naught have. — Tusser: Five Hundred Points of Good Husbandry. October Abstract.
5 'T is an old saw, Children and fooles speake true. — LYLY: Endymion.
6 Set all on sex and seven. - CHAUCER: Troilus and Cresseide, book iv. line 623; also Towneley Mysteries.
At six and seven. - SHAKESPEARE : Richard II. act ii. sc. 2. 7 All's fish they get that cometh to net. — TUSSER: Five Hundred Points of Good Husbandry. February Abstract.
Where all is fish that cometh to net. GASCOIGNE: Steele Glas. 1575. 8 Him that makes shoes go barefoot himself. — BURTON : Anatomy of Melancholy. Democritus to the Reader.
9 This phrase derives its origin from the custom of certain manors where tenants are authorized to take fire-bote by hook or by crook; that is, so much of the underwood as may be cut with a crook, and so much of the loose timber as may be collected from the boughs by means of a hook. One of the earliest citations of this proverb occurs in John Wycliffe's Controversial Tracts, circa 1370. - See Skelton, page 8. RABELAIS : book v. chap. xiii. DU BARTAs: The Map of Man. SPENSER : Faerie Queene, book iii. canto i. st. 17. BEAUMONT AND FLETCHER: Women Pleased, act i. sc. 3.
She frieth in her owne grease." Proverbes. Part i. Chap. xi.
But in deede,
This wonder (as wonders last) lasted nine daies.
Part ii. Chap. i. New brome swepth cleene.4
Ibid. All thing is the woorse for the wearing.
Burnt child fire dredth.5
All is not Gospell that thou doest speake.
A woman hath nine lives like a cat."
A peny for
1 See Chaucer, page
3. 2 In old receipt books we find it invariably advised that an inebriate should drink sparingly in the morning some of the same liquor which he had drunk to excess over-night.
3 See Chaucer, page 6.
4 Ah, well I wot that a new broome sweepeth cleane - LYLY: Euphues (Arber's reprint), p. 89.
5 Brend child fur dredth,
Prorerbs of Hendyng. MSS.
6 You do not speak gospel. RABELAIS : book i. chap. xiii.
9 It has been the Providence of Nature to give this creature nine lives instead of one. — - PILPAY : The Greedy and Ambitious Cat, fable iii. B. C. 10 LyLy: Euphues (Arber's reprint), p. 80.
You stand in your owne light. Proverbes. Part ii. Chap. ir. Though chaunge be no robbry.
Ibid. Might have gone further and have fared worse.
Ibid. The grey mare is the better horse. 1
Ibid. Three may keepe counsayle, if two be away.” Chap. v. Small pitchers have wyde eares.3
Ibid. Many hands make light warke.
Ibid. The greatest Clerkes be not the wisest men.*
Ibid. Out of Gods blessing into the warme Sunne.5
Ibid. There is no fire without some smoke.
1 Pryde and Abuse of Women, 1550. The Marriage of True Wit and Science. BUTLER : Hudibras, part ii. canto i. line 698. FIELDING : The Grub Street Opera, act ii. sc. 4. PRIOR : Epilogue to Lucius.
Lord Macaulay (History of England, rol. i. chap. iii.) thinks that this proverb originated in the preference generally given to the gray mares of Flanders over the finest coach-horses of England. Macaulay, however, is writing of the latter half of the seventeenth century, while the proverb was used a century earlier. 2 See Chaucer, page 6.
Two may keep counsel when the third 's away. -- SHAKESPEARE : Titus Andronicus, act iv. sc. 2. 3 Pitchers have ears.
SHAKESPEARE: Richard III. act ii. sc. 4. 4 See Chaucer, page 3.
5 Thou shalt come out of a warme sunne into Gods blessing. — LYLY: Euphues.
Thou out of Heaven's benediction comest
SHAKESPEARE : Lear, act ü. sc. 2. 6 Ther can no great smoke arise, but there must be some tire. - LYLY : Euphues (Arber's reprint), p. 153.
7 One swallowe prouveth not that summer is neare. - NORTHBROOKE : Treatise against Dancing. 1577.
8 See Chaucer, page 2.