Reference > Quotations > W.C. Hazlitt, comp. > English Proverbs and Proverbial Phrases
W.C. Hazlitt, comp.  English Proverbs and Proverbial Phrases.  1907.
He looks as  to  He that drinks
He looks as angry as if he were vexed.  3797
He looks as if he had neither won nor lost.
  He stands as if he were moped, in a brown study, unconcerned.—R.
He looks as if he lived on Tewkesbury mustard. Gloucest.
  Tewkesbury is a fair market-town in this county [Gloucestershire], noted for the mustard-balls made there, and sent into other parts. This is spoken partly of such who always have a sad, severe, and terrific countenance. Si ecastor hic homo sinapi victitet, non censeam tam tristem esse posse. Plant. in Trucul. Partly of such as are snappish, captious, and prone to take exceptions.—R.
He looks as though he had sucked his dam through a hurdle.  3800
He looks like a dog under a door.  3801
He looks like a Lochaber axe.  3802
He looks like a sow saddled.  3803
He looks like a tooth-drawer.
  i.e., very thin and meagre.—R. Dentists, in the reign of Elizabeth (according to Chettle’s account) did not enjoy a particularly good character. Kind Harts Dreame (1592), Percy Soc. repr. 28.
        “Dion.  Here is a fellow has some fire in ’s veins:
The outlandish prince looks like a toothdrawer.”
Philaster, or Love lies a-bleeding, 1620 (Dyce’s Beaum. and Fl., i. 216.)    
  The men who traversed the country in the olden time, selling pills, drawing teeth, &c., enjoyed an indifferent reputation. Even persons of good position resorted to them; for we find in the Private Correspondence of Jane Lady Cornwallis, 1842, p. 99, a letter from Nathaniel Bacon, attributed to 1624, in which he observes: “For this last week I suffered more payne in my teeth then euer, & this night I slept not one hower, & am goinge to the mountebanck at Bury to draw them out.”
  See a note in my Dodsley, xii. 139.
He looks like a wild cat out of a bush.  3805
He looks not well to himself that looks not ever. H.  3806
He looks one way and rows another.  3807
He loses his thanks who promiseth and delayeth. WALKER.
  Gratia ab officio, quod mora tardat, abest.—R.
He loses many a good bit that strives with his betters.  3809
He loseth indeed that loseth at last.  3810
He loves bacon well that licks the sow.  3811
He loves mutton well, that dips his bread in the wool.  3812
He loves not at all that knows when to make an end.
  Ford’s Virtus Rediviva, &c., 1661, sign. K 8 verso.
He loves roast meat well that licks the spit.  3814
He loves you as a ferret does a rabbit.  3815
He loveth well sheep’s flesh that wets his bread in the wool. HE.  3816
He makes a feint at the lungs, but lays his stroke on the head.  3817
He makes a rod for his own breech.  3818
He makes an ill song who has ne’er a tongue.  3819
He makes arrows of all sorts of wood.  3820
He makes Dun draw. CL.  3821
He may be heard where he is not seen.  3822
He may be in my Paternoster indeed,
but be sure he shall never come in my Creed. HE.
He may be trusted with a house full of millstones.  3824
He may e’en go write to his friends.
  We say it of a man when all his hopes are gone.—R. Il est reduit aux abois. Fr.
He may find fault, but let him mend it if he can.  3826
He may freely receive courtesies that knows how to requite them.  3827
He may go hang himself in his own garters.  3828
He may go well afoot, who holds his horse in his hand. MONTAIGNE.  3829
He may hope for the best that’s prepared for the worst.  3830
He may ill run that cannot go. HE.  3831
He may make a will upon his nail.  3832
He may remove Mort-stone. Devonshire.
  There is a bay in this county called Mort Bay; but the harbour in the entrance thereof is stopped with a huge rock, called Mortstone; and the people merrily say, none can remove it but such as are masters of their wives. Fuller (1662).—R.
He may whet his knife on the threshold of the Fleet.
  The Fleet is a place notoriously known for a prison, so called from Fleetbrook running by it, to which many are committed for their contempts, and more for their debts. The proverb is applicable to such who never owed ought: or having run into debt, have crept out of it, so that now they may triumphare in hostico, defy danger and arrest, &c.—R.
He measures a twig.  3835
He must be a sad fellow that nobody can please.  3836
He must go to Tiverton and ask Mr. Able.
  The meaning I take to be that at some former time a gull was sent to Tiverton by some wag to get a piece of impossible information from whomever he might find there able to give it to him.
He must have iron nails that scratcheth with a bear.  3838
He must have leave to speak who cannot hold his tongue.  3839
He must needs go whom the devil doth drive. HE.
  Triall of Treasure, 1567, edit. 1849, p. 41; Autobiography of Sir John Bramston, Camd. Soc., p. 359.
He must needs swim that is held up by the chin.
  Scogin’s Jests, 1626 (Old Engl. Jest-Books, ii.) “Celui peut hardiment nager à qui l’on soûtient le menton. Fr.”—R.
He must stoop that hath a low door.  3842
He must take a house in Turnagain Lane.
  This, in old records, is called Wind-again Lane, and lieth in the parish of St. Sepulchre’s [St. Pulcher] going down to Fleet-ditch, having no exit at one end. It is spoken of and to those who take prodigal or other vicious and destructive courses—R. 1670.
He must tell you a tale and find you ears. HE.  3844
He needs little advice that is lucky.  3845
He never broke his hour that kept his day.  3846
He never lies but when the holly’s green. D.  3847
He never was good, neither egg nor bird.  3848
He numbers the waves.  3849
He opens the door with an axe.  3850
He paints the dead.  3851
He paves the meadows.  3852
He pays him with pen-powder. CL.
  Calamoboas.—Clarke’s Parœm., 1639, p. 58.
He pins his faith upon another man’s sleeve.  3854
He plays well that wins. H.  3855
He plays you as fair as if he picked your pocket.  3856
He ploughs the air.  3857
He prates like a parrot.  3858
He prates like an apothecary. CL.  3859
He preaches well that lives well.  3860
He preacheth patience that never knew pain.  3861
He promiseth like a merchant, but pays like a man of war. CL.  3862
He promiseth mountains and performeth molehills. B. OF M. R.  3863
He pulls with a long rope that waits for another’s death. H.  3864
He put a fine feather in his cap.
  i.e., “Honour without profit,” notes Ray; but at present we use the phrase, To have, or put, a feather in one’s cap, as a metaphor for gaining credit or laurels by anything, rather than in the sense of empty honour.
He puts a hat on an hen.  3866
He puts a rope to the eye of a needle.  3867
He quits his place well that leaves his friend there. H.  3868
He refuseth the bribe, but putteth forth his hand.  3869
He remembers his ancestors, but forgets to feed his children.  3870
He repents as much as the mare, who killed the dog.
  Said to have originated in the Welsh legend of Beddgelert.
He rises o’er early that is hanged ere noon.  3872
He roars like the great Tregeagle. East Cornwall.
  Said of a screaming child. See Hazlitt’s Faiths and Folklore, 1905, p. 596.
He roasts snow in a furnace.  3874
He rode sure indeed that never caught a fall.  3875
He runneth far that never turneth again. HE.  3876
He says anything but his prayers, and those he whistles.  3877
He scaped hemp, but deserved a wooden halter.  3878
He scratches his head with one finger.  3879
He seeks water in the sea.  3880
He seeks wool on an ass.  3881
He seemeth wise with whom all things thrive.  3882
He sees an inch afore his nose.  3883
He sendeth to the East Indies for Kentish pippins.  3884
He serves the poor with a thump on the back with a stone.  3885
He set my house on fire only to roast his eggs.  3886
He sets the fox to keep his geese.
  Dyke’s English Proverbs (1709), p. 45.
He shall be presented at Halagaver court. Cornw.
  This is a jocular and imaginary court, wherewith men make merriment to themselves, resenting such persons who go slovenly in their attire; where judgment in formal terms is given against them, and executed more to the scorn than hurt of the persons.—R.
He shall have enough to do who studies to please fools.  3889
He shall have the king’s horse.  3890
He shoots like a crow-keeper.
  Forby (Vocab. 1830, in voce) says: “A boy employed to scare crows from new-sown land. Lear, in his madness, says, ‘That fellow handles his bow like a crow-keeper.’ Besides lustily whooping, he carries an old gun, from which he cracks a little powder, and sometimes puts in a few stones, but seldom hits, and still seldomer kills a crow. In Shakespeare’s time, it seems, that the crow-keeper carried a bow, and doubtless handled it with as much awkwardness and as little success as the modern boy manages his gun. Heywood has a pleasantry in his Epigrams, 1562, at the expense of the name itself, which conveys precisely what the crow-keeper is not. I may add the following passage from Certain Discourses written by Sir John Smythe, Knight, concerning the formes and effects of diuers sorts of weapons, 1590, sign. G 2: “—such quick and hastie Harquebuziers doo worke no other effect but spend powder, match & shot, and heate their peeces oftentimes to their owne mischiefes: and therefore (in troth) are more meete to scare Crowes in a corne field.” In the Privy Purse Expenses of Henry VII. under Oct. 1, 1494, occurs: “To the crow-taker, and for saying of two masses,…2/-” an odd juxtaposition. Again, on the 20th May, 1505, “To hym, that waches the crowes, 3/4.”
He should be a baker by his bow-legs.  3892
He should wear iron shoon that bides his neighbour’s death.  3893
He shows all his wit at once.  3894
He shrinks in the wetting.  3895
He signifies no more than a blind cat in a barn.  3896
He sits not sure that sits too high.  3897
He sits up by moonshine, and lies abed in sunshine.  3898
He skips like hail on a pack-saddle.  3899
He sleeps as dogs do when wives sift meal.  3900
He smelleth best that doth of nothing smell.
  Lingua, 1607, iv. 3.
He sneaks as if he would creep into his mouth.  3902
He speaks bear-garden.
  That is, such rude and uncivil, or sordid and dirty, language, as the rabble that frequent those sports are wont to use.—R. 1670.
He speaks of things more ancient than chaos.  3904
He speaks one word nonsense, and two that have nothing in them.  3905
He spent Michaelmas rent in Midsummer moon. CL.  3906
He spills unspoken to.  3907
He spits out secrets like hot custard.  3908
He spoke of a fox; but, when all came to all, it was but a fern-brake. CL.  3909
He sprinkles incense on a dunghill.  3910
He stands in great need that borrows the cat’s dish. CL.  3911
He stands like Mumphazard, who was hanged for saying nothing. Cheshire.  3912
He stands not surely that never slips. H.  3913
He stinks like a physician.
  Nash’s Summers Last Will and Testament, 1600 (Dodsley’s O. P., ed. Hazlitt, viii.)
He stole a goose and stuck down a feather. HE.
        Recompensyng former loytryng lyfe loose,
As dyd the pure penytent that stale a goose
And stack downe a fether.—Heywood, 1562.
He strikes with a straw.  3916
He struck at Tib, and down fell Tom. CL.  3917
He sups ill who eats up all at dinner.  3918
He takes a spear to kill a fly.  3919
He takes in good counsel like cold porridge.  3920
He takes oil to extinguish the fire.  3921
He takes the bull by the horns.  3922
He takes the spring from the year.  3923
He teaches me to be good that does me good.  3924
He teacheth ill that teacheth all.  3925
He tells me my way and don’t know his own.  3926
He that all men will please / shall never find ease. CL.  3927
He that always complains is never pitied.  3928
He that always fears dangers always feels it.  3929
He that any good would win, / at his mouth must first begin. CL.  3930
He that asketh a courtesy promiseth a kindness.  3931
He that asketh faintly beggeth a denial.
  Qui timidç rogat, negare docet.
He that banquets every day never makes a good meal.  3933
He that beareth a torch shadoweth himself to give light to others.  3934
He that bestoweth but a bone on thee would not have thee die.  3935
He that bites on every weed may light on poison.  3936
He that blames would buy. H.  3937
He that blows in the dust fills his eyes with it. H.  3938
He that boasteth of himself affronteth his company.  3939
He that borrows must pay again with shame or loss.
  Shame, if he returns not as much as he borrowed; loss, if more; and it is very hard to cut the hair.—R.
He that bringeth a present findeth the door open.  3941
He that brings good news knocks hard. H.  3942
He that brings up his son to nothing breeds a thief.  3943
He that builds a house by the highway side, it is either too high or too low.
  Chi fabrica la casa in piazza, ô che è troppo alta ô troppo bassa. Ital.—R.
He that builds castles in the air will soon have no land.  3945
He that burns his house warms himself for once. H.  3946
He that burns most shines most. H.  3947
He that buyeth dear, and taketh up on credit, shall ever sell to his loss. B. OF M. R.  3948
He that buyeth magistracy must sell justice.  3949
He that buys a house ready-wrought,
hath many a tile and pin for nought. CL.
  Il faut acheter maison faite et femme à faire. Fr.—R.
He that buys and lies shall feel it in his purse.  3951
He that buys and sells is called a merchant.  3952
He that buys land, buys many stones;
he that buys flesh, buys many bones;
he that buys eggs, buys many shells;
but he that buys good ale, buys nothing else.
He that buys lawn before he can fold it,
shall repent him before he hath sold it. CL. and R. 1670.
He that by the plough would thrive
himself must either hold or drive.
He that can make a fire well can end a quarrel. H.  3956
He that can quietly endure overcometh.
  B. of M. R., 1629, No. 28. Vincit qui patitur.
He that can reply calmly to an angry man is too hard for him.  3958
He that can stay, obtains. H.  3959
He that cannot abide a bad market deserves not a good one.  3960
He that cannot beat his horse beats the saddle. B. OF M. R.  3961
He that cannot pay, / let him pray.  3962
He that can’t ride a gentle horse must not attempt to back a mad colt.  3963
He that casteth all doubts shall never be resolved.  3964
He that chastiseth one amendeth many.  3965
He that cheateth in small things is a fool, but in great things is a rogue.  3966
He that comes after, sees with more eyes than his own.  3967
He that comes every day shall have a cocknay,
and he that comes but now and then shall have a fat hen. DS.
He that comes of a hen must scrape. H.  3969
He that cometh last maketh all fast. C.
  Le dernier ferme la porte, on la laisse ouverte. Fr.—R.
He that cometh last to the pot is soonest wrath. HE.  3971
He that commandeth well shall be obeyed well.  3972
He that commits a fault thinks every one speaks of it. H.  3973
He that contemplates on his bed hath a day without a night.  3974
He that could know what would be dear,
need be a merchant but one year. HE.
  Such a merchant was the philosopher Thales, of whom it is reported, that, to make proof that it was in the power of a philosopher to be rich if he pleased, he, foreseeing a future dearth of olives the year following, bought up, at easy rates, all that kind of fruit then in men’s hands.—R.
He that crabs without cause shall meat without mends.  3976
He that dallies with his enemy gives him leave to kill him.  3977
He that dares not venture must not complain of ill luck.  3978
He that deals in the world needs four sieves. H.  3979
He that desires but little has no need of much.  3980
He that despises shame wants a bridle.  3981
He that died half a year ago is as dead as Adam.  3982
He that dies pays all debts.  3983
He that does anything for the public is accounted to do it for nobody.  3984
He that does not love a woman sucked a sow.  3985
He that does not speak truth to me does not believe me when I speak truth.  3986
He that does what he should not shall feel what he would not. H.  3987
He that does you a very ill turn will never forgive you.
  Odisse quem læseris.
He that doeth his own business hurteth not his hand.  3989
He that doth amiss may do well. B. OF M. R.  3990
He that doth good for praise only meriteth but a puff of wind.  3991
He that doth lend / doth lose his friend.
  See the very curious ballad, “I had both Monie and a Friend,” printed by Dr. Rimbault, in his Little Book of Songs and Ballads, 1851, p. 42. “Qui prete aux amis perd an double. Fr. He that lends to his friend loseth double; i.e., both money and friend.”—R.
He that doth most at once, doth least.  3993
He that doth not rob makes not a robe or garment. B. OF M. R.  3994
He that doth not what he ought,
that haps to him which he never thought. B. OF M. R.
He that doth nothing doth ever amiss. B. OF M. R.  3996
He that doth well wearieth not himself.  3997
He that doth what he will, doth not what he ought. H.  3998
He that drinks not wine after salad is in danger of being sick.  3999


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