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.
 
Where a man  to  Wild and stout
 
Where a man lives well, there is his country.
  Tragedie of Solyman and Perseda, 1599, apud Hawkins, ii. 261. Ubi bene, ibi patria. Where men are well used, they will resort. Illa mihi patria est, ubi pascor, non ubi nascor.
  10213
Where a man’s heart is, there is his God.
  Booke in Meeter of Robin Conscience (circa 1550), in Hazlitt’s Pop. Poetry, iii. 231.
  10214
Where bad’s the best, nought must be the choice.  10215
Where bees are there is honey.
  Where there are industrious persons there is wealth; for the hand of the diligent maketh rich. This we see verified in our neighbours the Hollanders.—R. 1670.
  10216
Where chickens feather, foxes will gather.  10217
Where coin’s not common, common must be scant.  10218
Where content is, there is a feast.  10219
Where every hand fleeceth, the sheep goes naked. CL.  10220
Where God helps, nought harms.
  Ther God wile helpen, nouth ne dereth.—Havelok the Dane, ed. Skeat, l. 148.
  10221
Where had the devil the friar?
  Taylor’s Sculler, 1612. “Where had the Devil the friar, but where he was?”—Davenport’s New Trick to Cheat the Divell, 1639, G 4.
  10222
Where honour ceaseth, there knowledge decreaseth.
  Honos alit artes. Quis enim virtutem amplectitur ipsam præmia si tollas? On the other side:
        Sint Mecænates, non deerunt, Flacce, Marones:
  Virgiliumque tibi vel tua rura dabunt.—R.
  10223
Where ignorance is bliss, ’tis folly to be wise.  10224
Where it’s weakest, there the thread breaketh.  10225
Where love fails we espy all faults.  10226
Where many geese be, be many turds.
  Schole-house of Women, 1541 (Hazlitt’s P. P., iv. 123).
  10227
Where no fault is, there needs no pardon.  10228
Where none else will, the devil himself must bear the cross.
  Lyly’s Euphues, 1579, edit. Arber, p. 53.
  10229
Where nothing is, a little thing doth ease. HE.  10230
Where nothing is nothing can be had.
        “There is nought,
Nought may be cought—”
Boke of Mayd Emlyn, l. 194.    
  10231
Where nought is to be had the king must lose his right. HE.
  A legal aphorism, rather than a proverb, however. Inops audacia tuta est. Petronius.
  10232
Where nought is to wed with, wise men flee the clog. HE.  10233
Where one is wise two are happy.  10234
Where saddles lack,
better ride on a pad than on the horse bareback. HE.
  10235
Where shall a man have a worse friend than he brings from home? C. Somerset.  10236
Where something is found, there look again.  10237
Where the bee sucks honey, the spider sucks poison.  10238
Where the carcase is, the ravens will gather.  10239
Where the dam leaps over, the kid follows.  10240
Where the deer is slain, there will some of his blood lie.  10241
Where the heart is past hope, the face is past shame.  10242
Where the hedge is lowest, men may soonest over. HE.
  “Where hedge is lowe, there euery man treads downe.”—Gascoigne’s Works, by Hazlitt, i. 409.
  10243
Where the horse lieth down, there some hairs will be found. Cornwall.
  Fuller’s Worthies, quoted by R., 1670.
  10244
Where the knot is loose the string slippeth.  10245
Where the scythe cuts and the plough rives,
no more fairies and bee-bikes. D.
  Bikes = nests.
  10246
Where the Turk’s horse once treads the grass never grows.  10247
Where the water is shallow, no vessel will ride.  10248
Where there are no receivers, there are no thieves. HE.  10249
Where there are reeds, there is water.  10250
Where there is a man, there do not thou shew thyself a man.  10251
Where there is a store of oatmeal, you may put enough in the crock. Somerset.  10252
Where there is life there is hope.
  Fin que c’ è fiato v’ è speranza. Ital. “Ægroto dum anima est spes est.”—Tull. ad Attic. [Greek]. When all diseases fled out of Pandora’s box, hope remained there still.—R. Dum spiro spero, was King Charles I.’s motto; and I have seen it employed by one or two other early possessors of books.
  10253
Where there is much love, there is much mistake.  10254
Where there is no honour, there is no grief. H.  10255
Where there is no love, all are faults.  10256
Where there is whispering, there is lying.  10257
Where there’s a will there’s a way.  10258
Where two fools meet, the bargain goes off.  10259
Where vice is, vengeance follows.
        “Raro antecedentem scelestum
Deseruit pede Pœna claudo.”—Horat.—R.
  10260
Where we least think, there goeth the hare away.
  Heywood and Davies have merely, There goes the hare away. From a passage in the interlude of New Custome, 1573, we are enabled to collect the meaning to be, that in such a direction sets the tide of opinion, of thither is the general throng:
        “For where as al these came, Perverse Doctrine, Avarice, Ignorance and Creweltie,
There goeth the hare away.”
But compare Kyd’s Spanish Tragedy (1592), Hazlitt’s Dodsley, v. 108, and Lady Alimony, 1659, ibid., xiv. 321.
  10261
Where wealth, there friends.  10262
Where wine is not common, commons must be sent. C.  10263
Where you see a jester, a fool is not far off.  10264
Where you think there is bacon, there is no chimney. H.  10265
Where your will is ready, your feet are light. H.  10266
Wheresoever you see your kindred, make much of your friends.  10267
Wherever a man dwell, he shall be sure to have a thorn-bush near his door. CL.
  No place, no condition, is exempt from all trouble. Nihil est ab omni parte beatum. In medio Tybride Sardinia est. I think it is true of the thorn-bush in a literal sense. Few places in England where a man can live in but he shall have one near him.—R.
  10268
Wherever an ass falleth, there will he never fall again.  10269
Wherever you see your friend, trust unto yourself.  10270
Whether you boil snow or pound it, you can have but water of it. H.  10271
Which way to London? a poke full of plums. CL.
  “Alia Menecles, alia Porcellus loquitur.”—Erasmus.
  10272
While men go after a leech, the body is buried.
  The Testament of Love (Chaucer’s Works, 1602, fol. 299 verso).
  10273
While the discreet advise, the fool doth his business. H.  10274
While the dog gnaweth, the cat would eat.
  MS. 15th cent., ap. Retr. Rev., 3rd S., ii. 309.
  10275
While the dust is on your feet, sell what you have bought.  10276
While the grass groweth, the seely horse starveth. HE.
        “To whom of old this prouerbe well it serues,
While grasse dooth grow, the selly horse he sterues.”
Paradyce of Daynty Devyses, 1578, repr. 1867, p. 26. Bel caval non morire, che l’herba fresca de venire. Ital. In Hamlet, iii. 2, Shakespeare calls this somewhat musty.
  10277
While the hound gnaweth bone,
companion would he have none.
  MS. in C.C.C. Cambridge (apud Wright’s Essays, i. 149):
                    “Wil do hund gna[char.]h bon,
            I-fere neld he non.”
        “Dum canis se rodit, sociari pluribus odit”
Leonine verse of the 12th century, in MS. Trin. Coll. Camb. (ibid.) “Chen en cosyn compaignie ne desire.” Old Fr.
  10278
While the leg warmeth / the boot harmeth. HE.  10279
While the tall maid is stooping, the little one hath swept the house.  10280
While thy shoe is on thy foot, tread upon the thorns.  10281
While you trust to the dog, the wolf slips into the sheepfold.  10282
Whip and whurre / never made good furwe.
  Ralph Roister Doister (1566), Hazlitt’s Dodsley, iii. 70. This appears to be an agricultural saying, and furwe is the old form of furrow.
  10283
Whist! and catch a mouse.  10284
Whist, whist! I smell a bird’s nest.  10285
White Easter brings green Christmas.  10286
White silver draws black lines.  10287
White son.
  A favourite. Edward Underhill’s Narrative, 1553, in Arber’s Garner, iv. 81. Again, in Ralph Roister Doister (Hazlitt’s Dodsley, iii. 59) we have: “Hold by his yea and nay, be his nown white son.”
  10288
Whither goest, grief? Where I am wont. H.  10289
Whither shall the ox go where he shall not labour? H.  10290
Whittington’s College.
  A cant term for the school of cheating at cards, dice, &c. Notable Discovery of Cosenage, 1591, Preface. Comp. He has studied, &c.
  10291
Who are you for? I am for him whom I get most by.
  This sage maxim may be regarded as of kin to that couplet, which was the guiding principle of a late London tradesman:
        Best please and serve those
That best does and least owes.
  At a modern election a countryman was asked, for whom he was going to vote, and he said, “For Mr. Most.”
  10292
Who boils his pot with chips makes his broth smell of smoke.  10293
Who bulls the cow must keep the calf.
  Mr. Howell saith that this is a law proverb.—R. “Let him that got the calfe keep the cow.”—Day’s Ile of Gvls, 1606, repr. 98.
  10294
Who buys / hath need of an hundred eyes;
who sells, / hath enough of one.
  New Help to Discourse, 1721, p. 135. A chi compra bisogna haver cent’ occhi, a chi vende, ne basta d’ uno. Ital. Caveat emptor. Let the buyer look to himself; the seller knows both the worth and price of his commodity.—R. Henry Parrot quaintly puts this motto on the title-poge of his Laquei Ridiculosi, or Springes for Woodcocks, 1613.
  10295
Who can help sickness? quoth the drunken wife when she lay in the gutter.  10296
Who can hold that will away? HE.*  10297
Who can hold what they have not in their hand?  10298
Who can sing so merry a note
as may he that cannot change a groat? HE.
  “Who lyue so mery, and make such sporte, as they that be of the poorest sort?” is the title of a ballad licensed in 1557–8. See Rimbault’s Little Book of Songs and Ballads, 1851, p. 83.
  10299
Who cometh first to the mill, first must grind.
  Paston Letters, iii. 133 (1475).
  10300
Who dainties love shall beggars prove.  10301
Who depends upon another man’s table often dines late.
  Chi per man d’ altri s’ imbocca tardi satolla. Ital.—R.
  10302
Who does a service, and holds his peace, demands enough.
  This is tantamount to the Italian: “Che serve é tace assai domanda.”
  10303
Who doffs his coat on a winter’s day,
will gladly put it on in May.
  Allusively, of course, to the chronically cold weather incidental to the month, and said to be healthier than warmth.
  10304
Who doth his own business fouls not his hands. H.  10305
Who draws his sword against his prince must throw away the scabbard.  10306
Who draws others into ill-courses is the devil’s factor.  10307
Who drives an ass and leads a whore,
hath pain and sorrow evermore.
  The Italians add, ’E corre in arena. The French say, Qui femme croit et âne mene, son corps ne sera jamais sans peine.
  10308
Who eats his cock alone must saddle his horse alone. H.
  Quien solo còme su gallo, solo ensille su caballo. Span.
  10309
Who gives to all, denies all. H.  10310
Who goes to bed supperless, all night tumbles and tosses.
  This is an Italian proverb: Chi va a letto senza cena, tutta notte si dimena. That is, if a man go to bed hungry; otherwise, he that eats a plentiful dinner may well afford to go to bed supperless, unless he hath used some strong bodily labour or exercise. Certainly it is not good to go to one’s rest till the stomach be well emptied; that is, if we eat suppers, till two hours at least after supper. For (as the old physicians tell us) though the second and third concoctions be best performed in sleep, yet the first is rather disturbed and perverted. If it be objected, that labouring people do not observe such rule, but do both go to bed presently after supper and to work after dinner, yet who more healthful than they? I answer, that the case is different; for though by such practice they do turn the meat out of their stomachs before full and perfect concoction, and so multiply crude humours, yet they work and sweat them out again, which students and sedentary persons do not. Indeed, some men, who have a speedy concoction and hot brains, must, to procure sleep, eat something at night which may send up gentle vapours into the head, and compose the spirits. Chi ben cena ben dorme. Ital. The Portuguese, on the contrary, say, Se queres enfermar, cea, & varte deitar. If you would be ill, sup, and then go to sleep.—R.
  10311
Who had what he hath not, would do that he doth do. HE.*  10312
Who has land has war.
  Qui habet multum terræ, habet multum guerræ.
  10313
Who has not a good tongue ought to have good hands.  10314
Who hath a fair wife needs more than two eyes. R.  10315
Who hath a good trade, / through all waters may wade.  10316
Who hath a scold hath sorrow to his sops.  10317
Who hath a wolf for his mate needs a dog for his man. H.  10318
Who hath aching teeth hath ill tenants.  10319
Who hath bitter in his mouth spits not all sweet. H.  10320
Who hath horns in his bosom, let him not put them on his head.
  Let a man hide his shame, not publish it.—R. 1670.
  10321
Who hath many peas may put the more in the pot. H.  10322
Who hath no more bread than need must not keep a dog. H.  10323
Who hath none to still him may weep out his eyes. H.  10324
Who hath spice enough may season his meat as he pleaseth.  10325
Who in January sows oats, / gets gold and groats:
who sows in May, / gets little that way.
  10326
Who is a cuckold, and conceals it, carries coals in his bosom.
  Quien es cornudo, y calla, en el corazon trat un ascua. Span.
  10327
Who is born to be hanged shall never be drowned.
  New Help to Discourse, 1721, p. 135.
  10328
Who keeps company with a wolf will learn to howl.  10329
Who knows who’s a good maid?  10330
Who lacketh a stock, his gain is not worth a chip. C.  10331
Who likes not his business, his business likes not him.
        “Qui n’aime son mestier,
Ne son mestier lui,
        Ce dit li vilains—”
Proverbs of the Count of Bretagne (Wright’s Essays, 1846, i. p. 140).
  10332
Who lives well sees afar off.  10333
Who looks not before finds himself behind.  10334
Who loseth his due getteth no thanks.  10335
Who marries between the sickle and the scythe, will never thrive.  10336
Who marries for love without money, hath good nights and sorry days.  10337
Who may hold that will away? HE.  10338
Who meddleth in all things may shoo the gosling. HE.
  Compare To shoo the goose.
        “He that medleth with all thyng, may shooe the goslyng:
If all such medlers were set to goose shoyng,
No goose neede go barfoote betweene this and Greese,
For so we should haue as many goose shooers as geese.”—Heywood.
  10339
Who more busy than they that have least to do?  10340
Who more than he is worth doth spend,
he makes a rope his life to end.
  10341
Who nothing have shall nothing save.  10342
Who on the Sabbath pares his horn,
it were better for him he had never been born.
  Horn, i.e., nails. At toto Thori die hominibus ungues secare minimè licuit.—Finn Magnusen, Lex Edd., s. v. Thor, quoted in Notes and Queries, 1st S., ii. p. 511.
  In an account of a Mission to the Euphrates, 1828, the reputed writer, (Judkin), mentions a rhyme, of which he had a recollection, from its having been impressed on his youthful fancy:
        “On Friday hair shorn,
On Sunday pare horn;
Better the child had never been born.”
This book is a skit on Judson’s Narrative of an American Baptist Mission, 1825, and was written, I believe, by Thomas Landseer, under the pseudonym of Judkin. Landseer also wrote, I understand from my relative Mr. C. W. Reynell, The Theological Vampire Exposed, 8vo, 1833.
  10343
Who remove stones, bruise their fingers. H.  10344
Who robs a scholar, robs twenty men.
  “For,” explains Ray, “commonly he borrows a cloak of one, a sword of another, a pair of boots of another, a hat of a fourth,” &c.
  10345
Who shall hang the bell about the cat’s neck? HE.
  Skelton’s Colyn Cloute. The same writer has, in a similar sense, the inquiry:
        “— Lat se, who that dare
Sho the mockysshe mare?—”
        “Who shall ty the bell about the cat’s necke low?
Not I (quoth the mouse) for a thing that I know.”—Heywood.
Appicar chi vuol’ il sonaglio alla gatta? Ital. The mice, at a consultation held how to secure themselves from the cat, resolved upon hanging a bell about her neck, to give warning when she was near; but when this was resolved, they were as far to seek; for who would do it?—R.
  10346
Who shall keep the keepers?
  Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?
  10347
Who sits too well thinks ill too oft. DS.  10348
Who so bold as blind Bayard? HE.  10349
Who so deaf as he that will not hear?
        “Who is so deafe, or so blynde, as is hee
That wilfully will nother here nor see?”—Heywood.
  Il n’est pas de pire sourd que celui qui ne veut croire. Fr.—R.
  10350
Who so merry as he that hath nought to lose?
  Walker (1672). Compare Who can sing, &c.
  10351
Who speaks of the wolf sees his tail. W.  10352
Who spends before he thrives, will beg before he thinks.  10353
Who spends more than he should,
shall not have to spend when he would. F.
  10354
Who spits against heaven, it falls in his face. H.  10355
Who that buildeth his house all of sallows,
and pricks his blind horse over the fallows,
and suffereth his wife to go seek hallows,
is worthy to be hanged on the gallows.
  Chaucer’s Wif of Bathes Prologe; MS. Lansd. 762, temp. Hen. V. in Rel. Ant., i. 233. See also Herbert’s Ames, p. 129.
  10356
Who the devil will change a rabbit for a rat? HE.  10357
Who was killed by a cannon-bullet was cursed in his mother’s belly.  10358
Who weddeth ere he be wise shall die ere he thrive. HE.  10359
Who will in time present [from] pleasure refrain,
shall in time to come the more pleasure attain. HE.*
  10360
Who will not keep a penny shall never have many. CL.  10361
Who will sell the cow must say the word. H.  10362
Who would be a gentleman, let him storm a town.  10363
Who would borrow when he hath not, let him borrow when he hath.  10364
Who would do ill ne’er wants occasion. H.  10365
Who would hold his house very clean,
ought lodge no priest nor pigeon therein. W.
  10366
Who’d keep a cow, when he may have a pottle of milk for a penny. R. 1670.  10367
Whom God loves, his bitch brings forth pigs.  10368
Whom God loves, his house is savoury to him.  10369
Whom we love best, to them we can say least.  10370
Whom weal pricks,
Sorrow comes after, and licks. C.
  10371
Whoredom and grace / ne’er dwelt in one place.  10372
Whores and thieves go by the clock.  10373
Whose conscience is cumbered and standeth not clean,
of another’s man’s deeds the worse will he deem.
  Rel. Antiq., i. 205 (from a MS. 15th cent.).
  10374
Whose house is of glass must not throw stones at another. H.  10375
Whoso first cometh to the mill, first grist.
  Chaucer’s Works, ubi infra. Qui premier vient au moulin, premier doit mouidre. Fr.
  10376
Whoso hath but a mouth, / shall ne’er in England suffer drouth.
  For if he doth but open, it is a chance but it will rain in. True it is, we seldom suffer for want of rain: and if there be any fault in the temper of our air, it is its over-moistness, which inclines us to the scurvy and consumptions; diseases the one scarce known, the other but rare, in hotter countries.—R.
  10377
Whoso heweth over-high, / the chips will fall in his eye.
  Parlament of Byrdes (circa 1550). “For an olde Prouerbe it is ledged: He that heweth to hie, with chippes he may lese his sight.”—The Testament of Love (Chaucer’s Works, 1602, fol. 279 verso). “In the choyce of a wife, sundry men are of sundry mindes; one looketh high, as one yt feareth no chips.”—Lyly’s Euph. and his England, 1580, repr. Arber, p. 467. Howell and Ray afford different but inferior versions.
  10378
Whoso in youth no virtue useth,
in age all honour him refuseth.
  MS. Rawlinson, C. 86, fol. 31, quoted by Mr. Furnivall in his Babees Book, &c., 1868.
  10379
Whoso is hungry and lists well to eat,
let him come to Sprotborough for his meat;
and for a night, and for a day,
his horse shall have both corn and hay,
and no man shall ask him when he goeth away.
  Sprotborough, three and a half miles S.W. of Doncaster (Higson’s MSS. Coll., No. 22).
  10380
Whoso lacketh a stock, his gain’s not worth a chip.  10381
Whoso learneth young, forgets not when he is old, quoth Hendyng.
  Proverbs of Hendyng (Reliq. Antiq., i. 110).
  10382
Whoso of wealth taketh no heed,
he shall find [his] fault in time of need.
  Proverbs attached to Lydgate’s Stans Puer ad Mensam, ed. Caxton.
  10383
Whoso roweth against the flood, of sorrow he shall drink.
  Wright’s Political Songs, 1839, p. 254.
  10384
Whoso stretcheth his foot further than the whitel, shall stretch it in the straw.
  “Whoso streket his fot forthere than the whitel, he schal streken in the straw.”—Book of Husbandry, attributed to Robert Grosseteste, Bishop of Lincoln, quoted in Riley’s Memorials of London, p. 8. “It alludes to the straw bed, loosely covered with a whitel or blanket. It is quoted by Langland in the C. text of Piers Plowman.”—Note by the Rev. W. W. Skeat.
  10385
Whoso will no evil do, shall do nothing that belongeth thereto.
  Whitford’s Werke for Housholders, edit. 1533, sign. E 3. Northbrooke (Treatise against Dicing, &c., 1577, repr. 1843, p. 173).
  10386
Whosoever is king, thou’lt be his man.  10387
Who’s the fool now?
  This seems to have been understood proverbially. In Day’s Ile of Gvls, 1606, sign. H 4, one of the characters says: “Doe you know these? Who are the fools now?” And in a song in Deuteromelia, 1609, reprinted in Rimbault’s Songs and Ballads, 1851, p. 115, we have:
        “Martin said to his man,
            Fie! man, fie!
Oh, Martin said to his man,
            Who’s the foole now?”
  10388
Wicked as the witch of Wokey. Somersetshire.
  Wokey Hole is a cavern in this county, supposed to have been the haunt of a witch who was transformed into stone.
  10389
Wickedness with beauty is the devil’s hook baited.  10390
Widdecombe hills are picking their geese faster, faster, faster. Devonshire.
  Notes and Queries, 1st S., ii. 511. This is an allusion, I apprehend, to the fall of snow on these hills, and this sentence is probably just such another children’s cry as that noticed in the Dialect of Leeds, 1862, p. 259:
        “Snaw, snaw, faster;
Bull, bull, faster;
Owd women picking geese,
Sending feathers down to Leeds.”
But the similitude of snowflakes to people picking geese is very general and familiar.
  “It was a warm sunny day in the fall, as I said; yet as we drew near the Ghetto, we noticed in the air many white, straggling flakes of snow. These were afterwards found to be the down of multitudes of geese, which are for ever plucked by the whole apparent force of the populace.”—Venetian Life, by W. D. Howells, 1883, i. 48.
  10391
Wide at the bow-hand.
  i.e., the left hand. As we should now say, Wide of the mark. “Viola. You’re wide a’ t’h’ bow-hand still, brother: my longings are not wanton, but wayward.”—The Honest Whore, 1604 (Middleton’s Works, 1840, iii. 14).
  10392
Wide, quoth Bolton, when his bolt flew back.  10393
Wide, quoth Wallis, when his —— was in the bed-straw.
  Hero and Leander, A Mock Poem, 1651, p. 6.
  10394
Wide, quoth Wilson.  10395
Wide will wear, / but narrow will tear.  10396
Wider ears and a shorter tongue.  10397
Wife and children are bills of charges.  10398
Wild and stout never want a staff.  10399
 

 
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