« PreviousContinue »
The world is well amended with him.
Indignus qui illi matellam porrigat
Dignus es, aut porcos pascere Pirithoi. Martiai.
The Spaniards say, No vale sus orejas llenas de agua. He's not worth his ears full of water.
To send him for yard-wide pack-thread.
To turn one into ridicule. 'Tis year'd.
Spoken of a desperate debt. He is Yorkshire.
The Italians say, B Spoletiro. No's of Spolosts: intimating, he's a cuming blande.
PROVERBIAL SIMILES, IN WHICH THE QUALITY AND
SUBJECT BEGIN WITH THE SAME LETTER.
As bare as a bird's a-, or, as the back of my
hand. As blind as a beetle or hat.
Talpâ cæcior. As blind as a mole: though, indeed, a mole is not ab. solutely blind; but hath perfect eyes, and those not covered with any membrane, as some have reported; but open, and to be found without-side the head, if one search diligently, otherwise they may easily escape one, being very small, and lying hid in the fur. So that it must be granted, that a mole sees but obscurely, yet so much as is sufficient for her manner of living, being most part under ground. Hypsæa cæcior.
This Hypsæa was a woman famous for her blindness. Tiresia cæcior. The fable of Ti. resias, and how he came to be blind, is well known. Leberide cæcior. Est autem Leberis exuviæ sive spolium serpentis, in quo apparent effigies duntaxat oculorum, ac membranula quædam tenuissima qua serpentum oculi preteguntur. A beetle is thought to be blind, because in the evening it will fly with its full force against a man's face, or any thing else which happens to be in its way; which other insects, as bees, hornets, &c. will not do. To blush like a black dog. As bold as blind Bayard. As bold as Beauchamp.
Of this surname there were many earls of Warwick, amongst whom (saith Dr. Fuller) I conceive Thomas, the first of that name, gave chief occasion to this proverb; who in the year 1346, with one squire and six archers, fought in hostile manner with a hundred armed men, at Hogges, in Normandy, and overthrew them, slaying sixty Normans, and giving the whole fleet means to land. As brisk as a bee in a tar-pot. As brisk as a body lovse. As busy as a bee. As clear as crystal. As cold as charity. As common as Coleman hedge. As coy as Croker's mare. As cunning as Craddock, &c. As cunning as Captain Drake. As dead as a door nail. As dull as Dun in the mire. To feed like a farmer, or freeholder As fine as five-pence. As fit as a fiddle.
As flat as a flaun.
i, e. A custard. Northern.
Spoken of a dwarf in derision.
to bark. As mad as a March hare.
Fænum habet in cornu. As merry as the maids. As nice as a nun's hen. As pert as a pearmonger's mare. As plain as a pack-saddle, or a pike-staff. As plump as a partridge. As proud as a peacock. As seasonable as snow in summer. As soft as silk. As true as a turtle to her mate. As warm as wool. As wise as Waltham's calf, that ran nine miles to suck a bill. As wise as a wisp, or woodcock. As welcome as water into a new ship, or into one's shoe s. As weak as water.
Ipse bile amariora.
ink, as soot. As blake (i. e. yellow) as a paigle. Northern. As busy as a hen with one chicken. As busy as a good wife at oven ; and neither meal nor dough
He's like a cat ; fling him which way you will, he'll light on
his legs. She's like a cat, she'll play with her own taii. He claws it as Clayton clawed the pudding, when he eat bag
and all. As clear as a bell.
Spoken principally of a voice or sound without any jarring or harshness As clear as the sun. As comfortable as matrimony. It becomes him as well as a sow doth a cart-saddle. As crowse as a new washen louse.
This is a Scotch and northern proverb. Crowse signifies brisk, ively As dark as pitch.
Blackness is the colour of darkness. As dead as a herring.
A herring is said to die immediately after it is taken out of its element, he water; and that it dies very suddenly myself can witness : so likewise lo pilchards, shads, and the rest of that tribe. As dear as two eggs a penny. Dick is as dapper as a cock wren. As like a dock as a daisy.
That is, very unlike.
This proverb begins now to be disused, and, instead of it, people are
I hope that nation generally deserves not such an imputation ; and could wish that we Englishmen were less partial to ourselves, and censorious of our neighbours. As fair as Lady Done. Chesh.
The Dones were a great family in Cheshire, living at Utkinton, by the Forest side. Nurses use there to call their children so, if girls; if boya, Earls of Derby. As fast as hops. As fat as butter, as a fool, as a hen in the forehead.
To feed like a freeholder of Macclesfield, who hath neither
corn nor hay at Michaelmas. Chesh.
i. e. Crediton spinning. Devon.
This is applicable to such as have servile saleable souls, who for a small reward will lacquey it many miles, being more officious and assiduous in their attendance than their patrons desire. St. Anthony is notoriously known to be the patron of hogs, having a pig for his page in all pictures. I am not so well read in his legend as to give the reason of it; but I dare say there is no good one. As freely as St. Robert
gave This Robert was a Knaresborough saint: and the old women there can still tell you the legend of the cow. As hollow as a gun ; as a kex. A kex is a dried
stalk of hemlock, or of wild cicely.
a cat upon a hot bake-stone.
This George of Green was the famous Pindar of Wakefield, who fought with Robin Hood and little John both together, and got the better of them, as the old ballad tells us. A.s good as goose-skins that never man had enough of. Chesh, As good as ever flew in the air.