E. Cobham Brewer 18101897. Dictionary of Phrase and Fable. 1898.
Waiters upon Providence.
Those who cling to the prosperous, but fall away from decaying fortunes.
The side of the Puritans was deserted at this period by a numerous class of prudential persons, who never forsook them till they became unfortunate. These sagacious personages were called waiters upon Providence and deemed it a high delinquency towards heaven to afford countenance to any cause longer than it was favoured by fortune.Sir W. Scott: Peveril of the Peak, chap. iv.