E. Cobham Brewer 18101897. Dictionary of Phrase and Fable. 1898.
Go on all Fours.
Perfect in all points. We say of a pun or riddle, It does not go on all fours, it will not hold good in every way. Lord Macaulay says, It is not easy to make a simile go on all fours. Sir Edward Coke says, Nullum simile quatuor pedibus currit. The metaphor is taken from a horse, which is lame if only one of its legs is injured. All four must be sound in order that it may go.