Reference > Brewer’s Dictionary > Hair by Hair.

 Hair StaneHair devoted to Proserpine. 
E. Cobham Brewer 1810–1897. Dictionary of Phrase and Fable. 1898.
Hair by Hair.
Hair by hair you will pull out the horse’s tail. Plutarch says that Serto’rius, in order to teach his soldiers that perseverance and wit are better than brute force, had two horses brought before them, and set two men to pull out their tails. One of the men was a burly Herculs, who tugged and tugged, but all to no purpose; the other was a sharp, weasen-faced tailor, who plucked one hair at a time, amidst roars of laughter, and soon left the tail quite bare.   1

 Hair StaneHair devoted to Proserpine. 


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