Reference > Brewer’s Dictionary > ¶ Horse.

E. Cobham Brewer 1810–1897. Dictionary of Phrase and Fable. 1898.
¶ Horse.
   A dark horse. A horse whose merits as a racer are not known to the general public.   2
   Flogging the dead horse. (See FLOGGING.)   3
   Riding the wooden horse. A military punishment now discontinued. It was a flogging-stool.   4
   I will win the horse or lose the saddle. Neck or nothing, double or quits. Milton makes Satan say, “Better to reign in hell than serve in heaven.”   5
Latin: “Aut ter sex, aut tres tesseræ.” (See TER SEX.)
“Au Cæsar, aut nullus.”
French: “Tout ou rien.”
“Je veux risquer le tout pour le tout.”
   They cannot draw (or set) horses together. They cannot agree together. The French say, “Nos chiens ne chassent pas ensemble.   6
   ¶ ’Tis a Trojan horse (Latin proverb). A deception, a concealed danger. Thus Cicero says, “Intus, intus, inquam, est equus Troja’nus” (Pro Murna, 78). It was Epos who made the Trojan horse.   7
   ¶ ’Tis a good horse that never stumbles. Everyone has his faults. Every black has its white, and every sweet its sour.   8
Latin: “Quandoque bonus dormitat Homrus.”
Horace: Ars Poetica, 359.
“Humanum est errre.”
French: “Il n’y a bon cheval qui ne bronche.” or
“Il n’est si bon cheval qui ne bronche.”
   To get upon one’s high horse. To give oneself airs. (See HIGH HORSE.)   9
   To set the cart before the horse. (See CART.)   10
   When the horse (or steed) is stolen, lock the stable door. The French say: “Apres la mort, le medicine.” Somewhat similar is: “After beef, mustard.”   11
   Working on the dead horse. (See WORKING.)   12



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