E. Cobham Brewer 18101897. Dictionary of Phrase and Fable. 1898.
See how the land lies. See what we have to do; see in what state matters are. See in what state the land is that we have to travel or pass over, or in what direction we must go. Joshua sent spies (ii. 1) to view the land before he attempted to pass the Jordan.
Put your blankets down there boys, and turn in. Youll see how the land lies in the morning.Boldrewood: Robbery under Arms, ch. xi.