Reference > Quotations > W.C. Hazlitt, comp. > English Proverbs and Proverbial Phrases
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W.C. Hazlitt, comp.  English Proverbs and Proverbial Phrases.  1907.
 
The wit of you  to  They keep
 
The wit of you, and the wool of a blue dog, will make a good medley.  8599
The wolf and fox are both privateers.  8600
The wolf doth something every week that keeps him from church on Sunday.  8601
The wolf eateth often the sheep that have been sold. CL.  8602
The wolf knows what the ill beast thinks.  8603
The wolf must die in his own skin. H.  8604
The women of Wem and a few musketeers
beat Lord Capel and all his cavaliers.
  Higson’s MSS. Coll., No. 124.
  8605
The wooden horse.
  i.e., the gallows. In A Pore Help (circa 1540), in Hazlitt’s Pop. Poetry, iii. 261, the expression is, “the wooden nagge.” The more modern phrase was, the three-legged mare.
  8606
The wooing was a day after the wedding.  8607
The world is a ladder for some to go up and some down.  8608
The world is a long journey.
        “Proverb.  The world is a long journey.
Cross.  Not so; the Sunne goes it every day.”
Breton’s Crossing of Proverbs, 1616.    
  8609
The world is but a day’s walk.
  “For the sun goes about it in 24 houres.”—Gainsford’s Rich Cabinet, &c., 1616, fol. 160 verso.
  8610
The world is too narrow for two fools a-quarrelling.  8611
The world is well amended with him.  8612
The world runs on wheels. HE.
  Title of a lost comedy by George Chapman, 1599, his receipt of £3 on account of which is (or was very lately) extant, and of a tract by Taylor the Water-poet, 1623.
  8613
The world was never so dull, / as if one won’t, another will.  8614
The world would perish, were all men learned.  8615
The world’s busy man is the grand impertinent.  8616
The worse for the rider, / the better for the bider.  8617
The worse luck now the better another time.  8618
The worse the passage, the more welcome the port.  8619
The worst dog that is waggeth his tail. DS.  8620
The worst of law is, that one suit breeds twenty.  8621
The worst pig often gets the best pear.  8622
The worst proves true.
  See Digby’s Elvira, 1667 (Hazlitt’s Dodsley, xv. 9). Yet the sub-title of the drama is, The worst not always true.
  8623
The worst store is a maid unbestowed.  8624
The worst wheel of a cart creaks most.  8625
The worth of a thing is best known by the want of it.
  Bien perdu bien connu; or, Chose perdue est lors connue. Fr.—R.
  8626
The worth of a thing is what it will bring.  8627
The year doth nothing but open and shut. H.  8628
The young are not always with their bow bent.  8629
The young cock croweth as he the old heareth. HE.  8630
The younger brother hath the more wit.  8631
The younger brother is the ancienter gentleman.
  “The younger brother the better gentleman.”—Dyke’s English Proverbs, 1709, p. 131. This maxim, or whatever it be, may hold good in Borough-English.
  8632
Then I’ll thatch Groby Pool with pancakes. Leicestershire.
  Said when that which is impossible is promised or undertaken.—R. Compare For his death there is, &c.
  8633
Then the town-bull is a bachelor.  8634
There are more maids than Malkin. HE., C. and CL.
  i.e., Little Mal or Mary.—R. Heywood refers to it again: “Tushe, there was no mo maydes but malkyn tho.” In some recent collections is the addition: “and men than Michael.”
  8635
There are more mares in the wood than Grisell.  8636
There are more men threatened than stricken. H.  8637
There are more places than the parish church. Cornw.  8638
There are more saints in Cornwall than in heaven.
  “The process of creation is continued even at the present day: I lately in a Cornish paper met with Saint Newlyn.”—Writer in Notes and Queries, 3rd S., v. 275. But Barnsby Rich, in his New Description of Ireland, 1610, ch. 3, says, in reference to the Irish, more especially the Kearne: “then they haue other Vigiles, and such Saint-Eeues, as I neuer heard of but in Ireland, nor I thinke be knowne in any other place—” Elsewhere he remarks:—“And as Ireland is full of strange Miracles, so I thinke there are more Saints known in that Countrey, then ever was heard of in Heauen, or were euer registred in the Popes Golden Legend … and they say there are some few Saintes of a later edition: as Saint Bedloe, Saint Brown, & there is great hope that if Tyrone bee not already in the Popes Kalender that he shall not be long out.”
  8639
There are more ways to kill a dog than hanging.  8640
There are more ways to the wood than one. HE.
  Lingua, 1607, Hazlitt’s Dodsley, ix. 352.
  8641
There are more whores in Hose than honest women in Long Clawton.  8642
There are never the fewer maids for her.
  Spoken of a woman that hath maiden children.—R.
  8643
There are three ways: the universities, the sea, the court. H.  8644
There belongs more than whistling to going to plough.  8645
There can be no friendship where there is no freedom.  8646
There can be no play without a fool in it.
  Nevile’s Newes from the New Exchange, 1650, p. 8.
  8647
There can come out of a sack but what is in it. W.  8648
There could be no great ones, were there no little ones.  8649
There goes some reason to the roasting of eggs.  8650
There goes the wedge, where the beetle drives it.  8651
There I caught a knave in a purse-net.  8652
There is a deal of difference between Go and Gow. E. Anglia.
  Between ordering a thing to be done, and seeing it done.
  8653
There is a devil in every berry of the grape.  8654
There is a different fame goes about of every man.  8655
There is a fault in the house, but would you have it built without any?  8656
There is a good steward abroad when there is a wind-frost. E. Anglia.
  Your men will work to keep themselves warm.
  8657
There is a great difference atween market-days.  8658
There is a knack of showing we understand the matter when we hold our peace.  8659
There is a measure in all things.  8660
There is a medium betwixt all fool and all philosopher.  8661
There is a remedy for all dolours but death. B. OF M. R.  8662
There is a remedy for everything, could we but hit upon it.  8663
There is a scarcity of friendship, but none of friends.  8664
There is a special providence in the fall of a sparrow.  8665
There is a time to wink, as well as to see.  8666
There is a witness everywhere.  8667
There is always a first time.  8668
There is as much hold of his words as of a wet eel by the tail.  8669
There is but bad choice where the whole stock is bad.  8670
There is chance in the cock’s spur.  8671
There is craft in daubing. C.
  Or, There is more craft in daubing than throwing dirt on the wall. There is a mystery in the meanest trade.—R. The saying is in the interlude of Hickscorner (circa 1520), in Hazlitt’s Dodsley, i. 159, and in Paston Letters under 1454. But a good dauber, according to Forby (Vocab. in voce), was in his time (before 1830) a difficult man to meet with.
  8672
There is difference between living long and suffering long.  8673
There is difference between staring and stark blind.
  Or mad. This proverb may have a double sense. If you read it stark mad, it signifies that we ought to distinguish, and not presently pronounce him stark mad that stares a little, or him a rank fool who is a little impertinent sometimes, &c. If you read it stark blind, then it hath the same sense with that of Horace,
        Est inter Tanaim quiddam socerumque Viselli:
and is a reprehension to those who put no difference between extremes, as perfect blindness and Lynceus’s sight.—R.
  8674
There is falsehood in friendship. C.
  Falsehood in Friendship is the title of a volume printed in 1605.
  8675
There is God’s poor and the devil’s poor.
  The first from Providence, the other from vice.
  8676
There is good ale / at St. James Chignele.
  Lottery of 1567 (Kempe’s Loseley MSS., 1836).
  8677
There is good land where there is foul way.
  Andrews’ Eighteenth Century, 1856, p. 160.
  8678
There is great force hidden in a sweet command. H.  8679
There is little for the rake after the besom.  8680
There is little sap in dry pea-hools.  8681
There is little to sew / when tailors are true.  8682
There is luck in leisure.  8683
There is many a good wife that can’t sing and dance well.  8684
There is many a slip / ’twixt the cup and the lip.
  See a learned account of the classic antiquity of this saying in Current Notes for June, 1856, p. 53.
        “As he was lifting up the bowl, to show
That twixt the cup and lip much ill may grow.”
—Chapman’s Homer’s Odyssey, Book 22, line 13–14.
  “Though men determine the gods doo dispose, and oft times many things fall out betweene the cup and the lip.”—Greene’s Perimedes, 1588, repr. 61.
  Multa cadunt inter calicem supremaque labra. [Greek]. Citantur ab A. Gellio. De la main à la bouche se perd souvent la soupe. Entre la bouche et la cueillier advient souvent grand destourbier. Cotgr. (1611).—R.
  8685
There is more good victuals in England than in seven other kingdoms. CL.  8686
There is more money got by ill means than by good acts.  8687
There is more pleasure in loving than in being beloved.  8688
There is more talk than trouble. H.  8689
There is more than one yew-bow in Chester. R.  8690
There is no art that can make a fool wise.  8691
There is no bite to the old snake.
  The just censure and reproofe of Martin Junior (1589), by John Penri and Job Throckmorton.
  8692
There is no cake, / but there is the like of the same make.  8693
There is no companion like the penny.  8694
There is no deceit in a brimmer.  8695
There is no difference of bloods in a bason.  8696
There is no fence against a flail. E. Anglia.
  “You cannot guard against the attacks of a person who utters blunt, unwelcome truths, without any restraint from good manners.”—Forby.
  8697
There is no going to heaven in a sedan.  8698
There is no good accord / where every man would be a lord. HE.*  8699
There is no good mother-in-law but she that wears a green gown.
  i.e., Lies in the churchyard. The New Forest folks say, There is but one good mother-in-law, and she is dead.
  8700
There is no grace in a benefit that sticks to the fingers.  8701
There is no hair so small but hath its shadow.  8702
There is no haste to hang true men.
  Porter’s Two Angrie Women of Abington, 1599, edit. Dyce, p. 41.
  8703
There is no mischief done, / but a woman is one.
  Cherchez la femme. Fr.
  8704
There is no more hold of a new friend than of a new fashion.  8705
There is no need of a ferret to catch a harlot.  8706
There is no quenching of fire with tow.  8707
There is no redemption from Hell.
  There is a place partly under and partly by the Exchequer Chamber, commonly called Hell (I could wish it had another name, seeing it is ill jesting with edged tools), formerly appointed a prison for the King’s debtors, who never were freed thence until they had paid their utmost due.—R. 1670. See Recollections of Sir William Waller, ad finem Poems of Anna Matilda, 1788, 8vo.
  8708
There is no relying on a starry sky.  8709
There is no royal road to learning.  8710
There is no service to the king[’s,] nor fishing to the sea.
  Speeches and Honourable Entertainment given to the Queenes Majestie in Progresse at Cowdray in Sussex, 1591. It is here called “an olde saying.” It occurs also in the Lottery of 1601, by Sir J. Davies, printed in the Poetical Rapsodie, 1611. Breton’s Court and Country, 1618 (repr. Roxb. Lib., 190).
  8711
There is no short cut of a way without some ill way.  8712
There is no such flatterer as a man’s self.  8713
There is no woe like to want.  8714
There is no wool so white but a dyer can make it black.  8715
There is none so simple but can give counsel.  8716
There is not always good cheer where the chimney smokes.  8717
There is not so much comfort in having children as there is sorrow in parting with them.  8718
There is not the thickness of a sixpence between good and evil.  8719
There is nothing new except what has been forgotten.  8720
There is nothing so bad in which there is not something of good.  8721
There is one good wife in the country, and every man thinks he hath wed her. CL.  8722
There is skill in gruel-making.  8723
There is small choice in rotten apples.  8724
There is small difference in being nought and being thought so.  8725
There is some difference between Peter and Peter.  8726
There is the door and there is the way. HE.  8727
There is winter enough for the snipe and woodcock too.  8728
There may be blue and better blue.  8729
There may be such things as old fools and young counsellors.  8730
There needs a long apprenticeship to understand the mystery of the world’s trade.  8731
There needs a long time to know the world’s pulse.  8732
There never was a Paston poor, a Heydon a coward, nor a Cornwallis a fool.  8733
There or thereabouts, as Parson Smith says.
  Proverbial about Dunmow in Essex.—R.
  8734
There spake an angel.
  An intimation of approval of a proposition. Comp. Nares’ Glossary 1859, v. Angel.
  8735
There was a wife that kept her supper for her breakfast, and she was dead before day.  8736
There was never fair prison, nor love with foul face. DS.  8737
There went but a pair of shears between them.
  A figure of speech for similarity. See Nares, 787.
  8738
There were no ill language if it were not ill taken. H.  8739
There will be many a dry cheek after him. Irish.
  Said of an unpopular individual.—Hardman.
  8740
There will be no butter cleave to my head. HE.*  8741
There will be sleeping enough in the grave.
  Poor Richard Improved, by Benjamin Franklin, 1758, inserted in Arber’s Garner, iv. 1579. This is akin to the remark of the man who was in no hurry to die as he would remain dead so long.
  8742
Thereby hangs a tale. M. W. of Windsor.  8743
There’s a daily cost, / and all of it lost.  8744
There’s a hill again a slack all Craven through.
  A slack = hollow or depression. See N. and Q., Jan. 5, 1884.
  8745
There’s a salve for every sore but death.
  Ad ogni cosa è rimedio fuor ch’ alla morte.—Torriano. But as the old leonine verse has it: Contra malum mortis / non est medicamen in hortis.
  8746
There’s a thing in’t, quoth the fellow, when he drank the dish-clout. CL.  8747
There’s but an hour in the day between a good housewife and a bad.
  With a little more pains, she that slatters might do things neatly.—R.
  8748
There’s great stirring in the North when old wives ride scout.  8749
There’s lightning lightly before thunder.  8750
There’s love in a budget.  8751
There’s more flies caught with honey than alegar. Lanc.
  Alegar is sour ale or beer.
  8752
There’s more old in you than fourpenny.
  Fourpenny ale. Spoken of a person who is supposed to be crafty or keen.
  8753
There’s ne’er a best among them, as the fellow said by the fox cubs.  8754
There’s never enough where nought leaves.
  This is an Italian proverb: Non vi è à bastanza se niente avvanza.—R.
  8755
There’s no deceit in a bag-pudding.  8756
There’s no great banquet but some fares ill. H.  8757
There’s no joy / without alloy.  8758
There’s no rule without an exception.  8759
There’s no spick nor crick. South Devon.
  i.e., There is no flaw.
  8760
There’s no summer but it has a winter. D.  8761
There’s no tree but bears some fruit.  8762
There’s no virtue that poverty destroyeth not. B. OF M. R.  8763
There’s no weather ill / when the wind is still. C.  8764
There’s not so bad a Jill, but there’s as bad a Will.  8765
There’s struction of honey, quoth Dunkinly, when he lick’d up the dung.  8766
There’s the rub.
  A phrase borrowed from the game of bowls. See Hazlitt’s Handbook, 1867, v. Freeman and the note. In describing an assault on Rhinberck in 1638–9 the writer observes: Heere only was the rub which stayed the race of their conquest, the draw-bridge was up, and that being wanting stopt them in their full carreer.”—Diatelesma, Part v., 1639, p. 3.
  8767
These Knights will hack. M. W. of Windsor, ii. 1.
  Title of a ballad of later date (James I.) when Knighthood had become more common, and was mainly a question of Court favour or of price.
  8768
They agree like bells; they want nothing but hanging.  8769
They agree like cats and dogs. W.  8770
They agree like harp and harrow.  8771
They agree like London clocks. F.
  I find this among both French and Italian proverbs for an instance of disagreement.—R.
  8772
They agree like pickpockets in a fair.
  Il canchero e d’accordo col morbo. Ital.—R.
  8773
They agree like two cats in a gutter. HE.  8774
They are at daggers drawing. CL.  8775
They are clove and orange.  8776
They are finger and thumb.  8777
They are hand and glove. F.  8778
They are like a ha’porth of soap in a wash-tub.  8779
They are like bells; every one in a several note.  8780
They are little to be feared whose tongues are their swords.  8781
They are not all saints that use holy water.  8782
They are not cater-cousins.  8783
They are rich who have true friends.  8784
They are scarce of horseflesh where two ride on a dog.  8785
They are so like that they are the worse for it.  8786
They are welcome that bring.  8787
They are wise in other men’s matters and fools in their own.
  Walker’s Parœm., 1672, p. 31. This is often true of solicitors.
  8788
They both put their hands in one glove.  8789
They cannot set their horses together.  8790
They cleave together like burrs. HE.  8791
They follow each other like ducks in a gutter.  8792
They had thought to have put others into a sleeve, and they are put in themselves.  8793
They hardly can run, that cannot go. C.  8794
They have need of a besom that sweep the house with a turf.  8795
They have need of a blessing who kneel to a thistle.  8796
They hold together, as the men of Marsham when they lost their common. Norfolk.
  The copyholders of a manor have been often cajoled by the lord or some other interested party into agreeing to sell their rights of common for some trifling consideration, and it is perhaps to this treacherous sort of harmony or union that the saying refers.
  8797
They keep Christmas all the year. WALKER.  8798
 

 
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