Page images

He that suites his nose, and hath it not, forfeits his face to

the king.

A man can do no more than he can. 'Tis an ill guest that never drinks to his host. Eat thy meat, and drink thy drink, and stand thy ground,

old Harry. He toils like a dog in a wheel, who roasts meat for other

people's eating Run tap, run tapster.

This is said of a tapster that drinks so much himself, and is so free of his drink to others, that he is fain to run away. He hath got the fiddle, but not the stick.

i. e. The books, but not the learning, to make use of them, or the ike. That's the way to catch the old one on the nest. This must be if we brew,

That is, if we undertake mean and sordid or lucrative employments, we must be content with some trouble, inconvenience, affronts, disturbance, &c. All friends round the Wrekin, not forgetting the trunk-maker

and his son Tom.
A proverbial expression, common in Essex.


He's disguised. He has got a piece of bread and cheese in his head. He has drunk more than he has bled. He has been in the sun. He has a jag or load. He has got a dish. He has got a cup too much. He is one and thirty. He is dagg'd. He has cut his leg. He is afflicted. He is topheavy. The malt is above the water. As drunk as a wheelbarrow. He makes indentures with his legs. He's well to live. He's about to cast up his reckoning or accounts. He has made an example. He is concerned. He is as drunk as David's sow.

He has stolen a manchet out of the brewer's basket. He's raddled. He is very weary. He drank till he gave up his half-penny, i. e. vomited.



LICK your dish. Wind up your bottom.

Play off

your dust. Hold up your dagger hand. Make a pearl on your nail. To bang the pitcher. There's no deceit in a primmer. Sup, Simon, the best is at the bottom. Ale that would make a cat to speak. Fill what you will, and drink what you fill. She's not a good housewife that will not wind up her bottom. i. e. take off her drink. He has shot the cat.


He deserves the whetstone. He'll not let any body lie by him. He shall have the king's horse. He's a long-bow man. He lies as fast as a dog can trot.



THAT was laid on with a trowel. That's a loud one. That's a lie with a witness. A lie with a latchet. That sticks in his throat. If a lie could have choked him, that would have done it. The dam of that was a wisker.


HE's all to pieces.

He's blown up. He has shut up his shop windows. He dares not show his head. He hath swallowed a spider. He hath shewed them a fair pair of heels. He is marched off. He goes on his last legs. He is run off

his legs.


SAE's like a cat, she'll play with her tail. She's as right as my leg. A light-skirts. A kind-hearted soul. She's loose in the hilts. A lady of pleasure. A cockatrice. A leman. She's as common as a barber's chair. As common as the highway. She lies backward, and lets out her fore-rooms. She is neither wife, widow, nor maid. She is one of us.

She's a wagtail.

A COVETOUS PERSON. His money comes from him like drops of blood. He'll flay a flint. He'll not lose the droppings of his nose.

He serves the

poor with a thump on the back with a stone. He'll dress an egg and give the offal to the poor. He's like a swine, never good until he come to the knife. Avarus nisi cum moritur nið rocte facit. Lat. His purse is made of toad's skin.


The smith hath always a spark in his throat. The smith and his penny are both black. Nine tailors make a man. Cobbler's law; he that takes money must pay the shot. To brew in a bottle, and bake in a bag. The devil would have been a weaver but for the Temples. The gentle craft. Sir Hugh's bones. A hangman is a good trade, he doth his work by day-light. It is good to be sure. Toll it again, quotb the miller. Any tooth, good barber. A horse-doctor, i. e. a far

A rier. He should be a baker, by his bow-legs. Take all, and

He drives a subtle trade.

pay the baker.


CABLE TO HUMAN FOLLIES, ABSURDITIES, OR PURSUITS. He ploughs the air. He washes the Ethiopian.

He measures a twig. He opens the door with an axe. He demands tribute of the dead. He holds the serpent by the tail. He takes the bull by the horns. He is making clothes for fishes. He is teaching an old woman to dance. He is teaching a pig to play on a flute. He catches the wind with a net. He changes a fly into an elephant. He takes the spring from the year. He is making ropes of sand. He sprinkles incense on a dunghill. He is ploughing a rock. He is sowing on the sand. He takes oil to extinguish the fire. He chastises the dead. He seeks water in the sea. He puts a rope to the eye of a needle. He is washing the crow.

He draws water with a sieve.

He gives straw to his dog, and bones to his ass. Ke numbers the waves. He


the meadow. He paints the dead. He seeks wool on an ass. He digs the well at the river. He puts a hat on a hen. He runs against the point of a spear. He is erecting broken ports. He fans with a feather. He strikes with a straw. He cleaves the clouds. He takes a spear to kill a fly. He brings his machines after the war is

He washes his sheep with scalding water. He speaks of things more ancient than chaos. He roasts snow in a fure He holds a looking-glass to a mole. He is teaching

a iron to swim. He is building a bridge over the sea.






[ocr errors]

A. Long absent, soon forgotten.

Parallel to this are, Out of sight out of mind, and Seldom 860, soon forte gotten : and not much different those Greek ones, Tnloũ valovtes pilo. ουκ εισί φίλοι. Friends dwelling afar of are not friends. And Πολλάς φιλιας απροσηγορία διέλυσε. Forbearance of conversation dissolves friendship. There is no accord where every man would be a lord. Adversity makes a man wise, not rich.

The French say, Vent au visage rend un homme sage. The wind in a man's face makes him wise. If to be good be the greatest wisdom, certainly affliction and adversity make men better. Vexatio dat intellectum. He that's afraid of every grass must not p-s in a meadow.

Chi ha paura d'ogni urtica non pisci in herba.-Ital. He that's afraid of every nettle musi not p-s in the grass. He that's afraid of leaves must not come in a wood.

This is a French proverb Englished. Qui a peur des feuilles ne doit pas aller au bois. The Italians say, Non entri tra ròcca e fuso, che non vuoi esser filato. He that's afraid of the wagging of feathers, must keep from among

wild fowl. Mr. Cotgrave, in his French Dictionary, produces this as an Engiish proverb, parallel to the preceding. He that's afraid of wounds must not come nigh a battle.

These four proverbs have all one and the same sense, viz. That timorous persons must keep as far off from danger as they can. They import also, that causeless fear works men unnecessary disquiet, puts them upon absurd and foolish practices, and renders them ridiculous. He is never likely to have a good thing cheap that is afraid to

ask the price. Il n'aura jamais bon marché qui ne le demande


Agree, for the law is costly.

This is good counsel backed with a good reason, the charges of a suiu many times exceeding the value of the thing contended for. The Italians say, Meglio è magro accordo che grassa sentenza. A lean agreement is better than a fat sentence. A man cannot live by the air. Good ale is meat, drink, and cloth.

Fair chieve good ale, it makes many folks speak as they think.

Fair chieve is used in the same sense here as Well-fare sometimes is in the south, that is, good speed, good success have it, I commend it. It shall have my good wish, or good word. In vino veritas. We shall lie all alike in our graves.

Æqua tellus pauperi recluditur regúmque pueris.Horat. Mors sceptra ligonibus æquat. No occupa mas pies de tierra el cuerpo del papa que el del sacristan, aunque sea mas alto el uno que el otro, que al entrar en el hoyo todas nos agustamos y encojernos, ò nos hacen ajustar y encoger, mal que nos pese, a buenas noches.-Span. No living man all things can.

Non omnia possumus omnes. —Virgil. See many sentences to this purpose in Erasmus's Adages. Almost was never hanged. Almost and very nigh saves many a life.

The signification of this word almost having some latitude, men are apt to stretch it to cover untruths. Anger is short-lived in a good man. Angry (or hasty) men seldom want woe.

Hasty, in our language, is but a more gentle word for angry. Anger, indeed, makes men hasty, and inconsiderate in their actions. Furor iraqru mentem præcipitant. Oila que mucho yerve, sabor pierde.—Span. He that is angry without a cause, must be pleased without

Two anons and a bye and bye is an hour and a half.
Scald not your lips in another man's pottage.

Parallel hereto is that place, Prov. xxxvi. 17.
The higher the ape goes, the more he shows his tail.

The higher beggars or base-bred persons are advanced, the more they discover the lowness and baseness of their spirits and tempers : for as the Scripture saith, Prov. xxxvi. i. “Honour is unseemly for a fool.” Tu fai come la simia, chi piu va in alto piu mostra il culo.-Ital. The Italians, I find, draw this proverb to a different sense to signify one, who, the more he speaks the more sport he makes, and the more ridiculous he renders himself. Argus at home, but a mole abroad. In casa argo, di fuori talpa.

A man should be scrupulously attentive to what is going forward in bir own house, but blind to what passes in another's. Stretch your arm no further than your sleeve will reach.

Metiri se quemque modulo suo ac pede verum est. An artful fellow is the devil in a doublet.

« PreviousContinue »