E. Cobham Brewer 18101897. Dictionary of Phrase and Fable. 1898.
Southamptons Wise Sons.
In the early part of the present century, the people of Southampton cut a ditch for barges between Southampton and Redbridge; but as barges could go without paying dues through the Southampton Water, the ditch or canal was never used. This wise scheme was compared to that of the man who cut two holes through the wallone for the great cat and the other for its kitten.