Reference > Quotations > W.C. Hazlitt, comp. > English Proverbs and Proverbial Phrases
W.C. Hazlitt, comp.  English Proverbs and Proverbial Phrases.  1907.
He that loves  to  He wants
He that loves glass without a G, / take away L, and that is he.  4199
He that loves noise must buy a pig.
  Quien quiere ruido, compro un cochino. Span.—R.
He that loves the tree, loves the branch. H.  4201
He that makes himself an ass, must not take it ill if men ride him.  4202
He that makes himself a sheep shall be eaten by the wolf. CL.
  Chi pecora si fa il lupo la mangia. Ital. Qui se fait brebis le loup le mange. Fr. He that is gentle, and puts up with affronts and injuries, shall be sure to be loaden. Veterem ferendo injuriam invitas novam.—Terent. Post folia cadunt arbores.—Plaut. The Spaniards say, Hazéos miel, y comeros han moscas.—R.
He that makes his bed ill, lies there. H.  4204
He that makes one basket may make a hundred.  4205
He that makes the shoe can’t tan the leather.  4206
He that maketh a fire of straw hath much smoke, and but little warmth.  4207
He that maketh at Christmas a dog his larder,
and in March a sow his gardiner,
and in May a fool a keeper of wise counsel,
he shall never have good larder, fair garden, nor well-kept counsel.
  MS. Lansd. 702, temp. Hen. V., in Reliq. Antiq., i. 223.
He that marries a widow and three children marries four thieves.
  New Help to Discourse, 1721, p. 133. This appears to be Spanish.
He that marries ere he be wise, will die ere he thrive.  4210
He that may, and will not,
he then that would shall not:
he that would and cannot,
may repent, and sigh not.
  Rhodes’ Boke of Nurture, ed. 1577, repr. Furnivall, p. 107. See Gower’s Confessio Amantis, ed. 1857, ii. 52:—
        But what maiden, &c.
In The Baffled Knight, &c. (Percy’s Rel., 1812, ii. 280), we have:
        A flower there is, that shineth bright,
  Some call it mary-gold-a;
He that wold not, when he might,
  He shall not, when he wold-a.
He that measureth not himself, is measured. H.  4212
He that measureth oil shall anoint his fingers.
  Qui mesure l’huile il s’enoint les mains. Fr.—R.
He that mischief hatcheth, mischief catcheth. C.  4214
He that much hath, much behoveth.
  Dives and Pauper, 1493, cap. 4, p. 94.
He that never climbed, never fell. HE.  4216
He that nothing questioneth nothing learneth.  4217
He that once deceives is ever suspected. H.  4218
He that once hits is ever bending. H.  4219
He that overfeeds his senses feasteth his enemies.  4220
He that owes nothing, if he makes not mouths at us, is courteous. H.  4221
He that passeth a judgment as he runs, overtaketh repentance.  4222
He that passeth a winter’s day, escapes an enemy.  4223
He that payeth beforehand shall have his work ill done.  4224
He that pays last never pays twice.  4225
He that pities another remembers himself. H.  4226
He that plants trees loves others besides himself.  4227
He that plays for more than he sees, forfeits his eyes to the king. C. AND CL.
  Another form is: He that wipeth his nose, and hath it not, forfeits his face to the king.
He that plays his money ought not to value it. H.  4229
He that praiseth bestows a favour; he that detracts commits a robbery.  4230
He that praiseth publicly will slander privately.  4231
He that preacheth up war, when it might well be avoided, is the devil’s chaplain.  4232
He that prepares for ill, gives the blow a meeting, and breaks its stroke.  4233
He that pryeth into the clouds may be struck with a thunder-bolt.  4234
He that reckons without his host, must reckon again.  4235
He that regards not a penny will lavish a pound.  4236
He that repairs not a part builds all. H.  4237
He that requites a benefit pays a great debt.  4238
He that resolves to deal with none but honest men, must leave off dealing.  4239
He that returns a good for evil obtains the victory.  4240
He that rewards flattery, begs it.  4241
He that rides ere he be ready wants some o’ his gear.  4242
He that rideth into the Hundred of Hoo,
besides pilfering seamen, shall find dirt enou’.
  Skeat’s ed. of Pegge’s Kenticisms, 92, 3.
He that riseth first is first dressed. H.  4244
He that riseth late must trot all day.
  Poor Richard Improved, 1758, by B. Franklin, apud Arber’s Garner, iv. 579.
He that runs fast will not run long.  4246
He that runs fastest gets most ground.  4247
He that runs fastest gets the ring. SHAKESPEARE.  4248
He that runs in the dark may well stumble.  4249
He that scoffs at the crooked had need go very upright himself.  4250
He that seeks mots, gets mots.  4251
He that seeks to beguile is overtaken in his will.  4252
He that seeks trouble never misses. H.  4253
He that sends a fool expects one. H.  4254
He that sends a fool means to follow him. H.  4255
He that serves everybody is paid by nobody.  4256
He that shames let him be shent.  4257
He that showeth his wealth to a thief is the cause of his own pillage.  4258
He that shows a passion, tells his enemy where he may hit him.  4259
He that shows his purse, longs to be rid of it.  4260
He that shoots always right forfeits his arrow.  4261
He that shoots oft, at last shall hit the mark.
  More’s Utopia, 1516, transl. by R. Robinson, 1551, ed. Arber, p. 52.
He that sings on Friday will weep on Sunday. H.  4263
He that sits to work in the market-place shall have many teachers.  4264
He that sitteth well thinketh ill. B. OF M. R.  4265
He that sleepeth, biteth nobody.
  Mery Tales and Quick Answers, No. 36.
He that soon deemeth, soon shall repent.
  This is called “a common proverb” in a MS. treating of the subject (14th century), in a private library. But it seems to be little more than a translation from the Latin.
He that sows in the highway tires his oxen and loseth his corn.  4268
He that sows thistles shall reap prickles.  4269
He that sows trusts in God. H.  4270
He that spares when he is young, may spend when he is old.  4271
He that speaks lavishly, shall hear as knavishly.
  Qui pergit ea quæ vult dicere, ca quæ non vult audiet. Terent.—R.
He that speaks me fair and loves me not,
I’ll speak him fair and trust him not.
He that speaks me fairer than his wont was to,
hath done me harm, or means for to do.
  Puttenham (Arte of English Poesie, 1589, sign. 11 3 verso) renders in this certainly rather doggrel fashion the Italian distich:
        Che me fa meglio che non suole
Tradito me ha o tradir me vuole;
which is more literally translated in the Booke of Meery Riddles, 1629, No. 12.
He that speaks without care, shall remember with sorrow.  4275
He that spends much, and getteth nought,
and oweth much and hath nought,
and looks in his purse, and finds nought,
he may be sorry, though he say nought.
  MS. of the 15th cent. in Rel. Antiq., i. 316; Rhodes, Boke of Nurture, edit. 1577 (Babees Book, 1868, p. 107.)
He that spends without regard shall want without pity.  4277
He that stays does the business. H.  4278
He that stays in the valley shall never get over the hill.  4279
He that steals can hide.  4280
He that strikes my dog, would strike me if he durst.  4281
He that strikes with his tongue must ward with his head. H.  4282
He that striketh with the sword shall be stricken with the scabbard. HE.  4283
He that studies his content, wants it.  4284
He that stumbles and falls not, mends his pace. H.  4285
He that sups upon salad goes not to bed fasting.  4286
He that swallowed a gudgeon.
  He that swore desperately, viz., to that which there is a great presumption is false: swalloweth a false oath.—R.
He that sweareth falsely, denieth God.  4288
He that sweareth till no man trust him,
he that lieth till no man believe him,
he that borroweth till no man will lend him,
let him go where no man knoweth him.
  Rhodes, Boke of Nurture, 1577, ed. Furnivall, p. 108.
He that takes not up a pin slights his wife. H.  4290
He that takes pet at a feast loses it all.  4291
He that takes the devil into his boat must carry him over the sound.  4292
He that takes too great a leap falls into the ditch.  4293
He that talks much of his happiness summons grief. H.  4294
He that talks to himself talks to a fool.  4295
He that tells a lie buffeteth himself.  4296
He that tells a secret is another’s servant. H.  4297
He that tells his wife news is but lately married.  4298
He that thatches his house with dung shall have more teachers than reachers.  4299
He that thinks his business below him will always be above his business.  4300
He that thinks too much of his virtues, bids others think of his vices.  4301
He that toucheth pitch shall be defiled.
  Lyly’s Euphues, 1579. repr. 1868, p. 111. “Who that toucheth Pitch shall be filed with it.”—Wilson’s Art of Rhetorique, 1553, edit. 1584, sign. A v verso.
He that travels far knows much.  4303
He that trusts to borrowed ploughs will have his land lie fallow.  4304
He that useth to lie is not always believed when he says true. CL.  4305
He that [or who] waits for dead men’s shoes shall go long bare-foot. HE.
  A tongue corde tire qui d’autrui mort desire. Fr. Porter’s Two Angrie Women of Abington, 1599, edit. Dyce, p. 42.
He that waits upon another’s trencher makes many a late dinner.  4307
He that walketh much i’ th’ sun will be tann’d at last. CL.  4308
He that walketh with the virtuous is one of them.  4309
He that wants hope is the poorest man alive.  4310
He that wants money is accounted among those that want wit.  4311
He that was born under a three-halfpenny planet shall never be worth twopence.  4312
He that washeth an ass’s head shall lose both his lye and his labour. CL.  4313
He that wears black, / must hang a brush at his back.  4314
He that weighs the wind must have a steady hand.  4315
He that will be his own master will have a fool for his scholar.
  Qui so sibi magistratum constituit, stulto se discipulum subdit.—St. Bernard, Epist. 83, quoted in N. and Q., 3rd S., xi. 192.
He that will conquer must fight.  4317
He that will deceive the fox must rise betimes. H.
  Quien el diablo lia de enganar, de manana so ha de levantar. Span.
He that will eat the kernel must crack the nut.
  Qui é nuce nuclum esse vult, nucem frangit.—Plaut. Cure. I. i. 55. Il faut casser la noix pour manger le noyau. Fr.—R.
He that will enter Paradise must have a good key. H.  4320
He that will England win, / must with Scotland first begin.
  Hall’s Chronicle, 1548; Holinshed’s Chronicle, 1577; Famous Victories of Henry V., 1598, apud Hazlitt’s Shakespear’s Library, v. 350, whore it is quoted as “the old saying.” The perturbed and weak state of Scotland at the time of the Protector Somerset’s expedition into that then independent kingdom, probably occasioned this proverbial expression. It was afterward altered to suit circumstances existing in Ireland, not similar in their character, of course, but supposed to be so in their bearing on English affairs.
He that will have a cake out of the wheat, must needs tarry the grinding. TROILUS AND CRESSIDA, 1609.  4322
He that will have a hare to breakfast must hunt over-night. C.  4323
He that will have all loseth all. B. OF M. R.  4324
He that will in court dwell, / must needs curry favell.
  i.e., must flatter. See Douce’s Illustr. of Shakespeare, 1807, i. 475.
He that will in East Cheap eat a goose so fat,
with harp, pipe, and song,
he must sleep in Newgate on a mat,
be the night never so long.
  From an early naval song printed in Reliquiæ Antiquæ. It is equal to Skelton’s “He dyned with delyte, with Poverte he must sup” (Works, ed. Dyce, i. 290). Eastcheap seems to have been celebrated as a place for dining; see the interlude of the World and the Child, 1522 (Dodsley’s O. P., by Hazlitt, i. 265), and compare Lydgate’s ballad of London Lickpenny at the end of “A Chronicle of London,” 1827, p. 263:—
        “Then I hied me into Est Chepe:
One cries ribbs of befe, and many a pie
Pewtar potts they clatteryd on a heape,
Ther was harpe, pipe, and sawtry.”
He that will learn to pray, let him go to sea. H.  4327
He that will make a door of gold must knock in a nail every day.  4328
He that will meddle with all things must go shoo the goslings.
  Skelton asks,
        “What hath lay men to do.
The gray gose for to sho?”
  C’e da faro per tutto, dicera colui che farrava l’occa. Ital.—R.
He that will not be counselled cannot be helped.  4330
He that will not be ruled by his own dame, shall be ruled by his stepdame. HE.  4331
He that will not be saved needs no sermon.  4332
He that will not bear the itch must endure the smart.  4333
He that will not endure labour in this world had better not be born. B. OF M. R.  4334
He that will not go over the stile must be thrust through the gate.  4335
He that will not live long,
let him dwell at Muston, Tenham, or Tong.
  Skeat’s ed. of Pegge’s Kenticisms, 93.
He that will not sail till all dangers are over, must never put to sea.  4337
He that will not sail till he have a full fair wind will lose many a voyage.  4338
He that will not stoop for a pin will never be worth a pound. PEPYS.
  The Diarist under January 2, 1667–8, makes Sir W. Coventry use it to Charles II.
He that will not suffer evil must never think of a preferment. HE.  4340
He that will not when he may,
when he would, he shall have nay.
        “If ye wil not now, when ye would ye shal have nay.”
Preston’s Cambyses (1570), apud Hawkins, i. 269.    
He that will not work must want. CL.  4342
He that will steal a pin, / will steal a better thing.  4343
He that will steal an egg will steal an ox. CL.  4344
He that will swear will lie.
  Taylor’s Wit and Mirth, 1629.
He that will take the bird must not scare it. H.  4346
He that will throw a stone at every dog that barketh, hath need of a great satchel.
  Gascoigne’s Posies, 1575 (Works, by Hazlitt, i. 5).
He that will wed a widow must come day and night;
he that will win a maid must seldom come in her sight. CL.
He that will win a Lancashire lass,
  at any time or tide,
Must bait his hook with a good egg-pie,
  and an apple with a red side.
  Wit and Drollery, 1682, p. 94.
He that winketh with one eye, and looketh with the other,
I would not trust him, if he were my brother. C.
He that woos a maid must feign, lie, and flatter,
but he that woos a widow must down with his breeches and at her.
  This proverb being somewhat immodest, I should have not inserted it, but that I met with it in a little book entitled, “The Quaker’s Spiritual Court Proclaimed,” written by Nathaniel Smith, Student in Physic; wherein the author mentions it as counsel given him by one Hilkiah Bedford, an eminent Quaker in London, who would have had him to have married a rich widow, in whose house, in case he could get her, this Nathaniel Smith had promised Hilkiah a chamber gratis. The whole narrative is very well worth the reading.—R. “Do, but dally not: that’s the widow’s phrase.”—Barrey’s Ram Alley, 1611 (Dodsley, by Hazlitt, x. 306).
        No crafty widows shall approach my bed;
These are too wise for bachelors to wed:
As subtle clerks by many schools are made,
Twice-married dames are mistresses i’ the trade;
But young and tender virgins, rul’d with ease,
We form like wax, and mould them as we please.
Pope’s January and May.    
He that worketh wickedness by another is wicked himself.
  On the principle of the legal aphorism, Qui facit per alium, facit per se.
He that works journey-work with the devil shall never want work.  4353
He [or who] that worst may, shall hold the candle. HE.
  Scogin’s Jests, ed. 1626 (Old Engl. Jest-Books, ii.); Camden’s Remaines, 1614, p. 307. In A C. Mery Talys (1525), No. 65, “to eat the candle” is used as a phrase indicative of defeat and humiliation.
He that would an old wife wed,
must eat an apple before he goes to bed.
He that would be a head let him be a bridge.  4356
He that would be well need not go from his own house. H.  4357
He that would be well old must be old betimes. H.  4358
He that would be well served must know when to change his servants.  4359
He that would do no ill, / must do all good, or sit still.  4360
He that would eat a buttered faggot, let him go to Northampton.
  I have heard that King James should speak this of Newmarket; but I am sure it may better be applied to this town, the dearest in England for fuel, where no coals can come by water, and little wood doth grow on land.—R.
He that would eat a good dinner, let him eat a good breakfast.  4362
He that would England win, / must with Ireland first begin.
  Fynes Moryson’s Itinerary, 1617. This proverb probably had its rise in the popular discontent felt in Ireland at the system of plantation, which was carried into force there during the reign of James I. See Conditions to be Observed by the Adventurers, &c., 1609. But the saying itself (with a difference) is nearly a century older. Vide supra.
He that would hang his dog gives out first that he is mad.
  Quien â su pérro quiere matar, rabia le ha de levantar. Span. He that is about to do anything disingenuous, unworthy, or of evil fame, first bethinks himself of some plausible pretence.—R. This seems, in fact, to be a various reading of the old “Quos deus vult perdere, prius dementat.”
He that would have a bad morning may walk out in a fog after a frost.  4365
He that would have good luck in horses, must kiss the parson’s wife.
  This seems to have a satirical import, and merely to be a laugh at the expense of those who listen to absurd suggestions for attaining success in an object.
He that would have his fold full,
must keep an old tup and a young bull. Lanc.
  Tup = sheep.
He that would have the fruit must climb the tree.  4368
He that would know what shall be, must consider what hath been.  4369
He that would live for aye, / must eat sage in May.
  That sage was by our ancestors esteemed a very wholesome herb, and much conducing to longevity, appears by that verse in the Schola Salernitana:
        Cur moriatur homo cui salvia crescit in horto?—R.
He that would live in peace and rest
must hear, and see, and say the least.
  Oy, voy, et te tais, si tu veux vivre en paix. Fr. Ode, vede, tace, se vuoi viver in pace. Ital. Quanto sabes no dirás, quanto vées, no juzgaras, si quieres vivir en paz. Span.—R. Compare Audi, vide, &c.
He that would rightly understand a man, must read his whole story.  4372
He that would take a Lancashire man at any time or tide,
must bait his hook with a good egg pie, or an apple with a red side.
  This is given with a slight variation in Wit and Drollery, 1661, p. 250. “He that will fish for,” &c. It occurs in what is called “The Lancasire Song,” apparently a mere string of whimsical scraps, but in W. and D., 1686, p. 94, a Lancashire lass is substituted. Fynes Moryson, in his Itinerary, 1617, refers to the saying as current in his time—about 1598, and seems to speak of Lancashire folk as “egg-pies.”
He that would the daughter win,
must with the mother first begin.
He that would thrive by law must see his enemy’s counsel as well as his own.  4375
He that will thrive,
must rise at five:
he that hath thriven,
may lie till seven,
    (So far only in Clarke’s Parœm., 1639, p. 93.)
and he that will never thrive, / may lie till eleven.
  Countryman’s New Commonwealth, 1647. In Halliwell’s N. R. of E., 6th edit., p. 72, the verses conclude with these two lines instead of those which I have given:
        And he that by the plough would thrive,
Himself must either hold or drive.
He that’s afraid of leaves must not come in a wood.  4377
He that’s afraid of the wagging of feathers, must keep from among wild fowl. COTGRAVE.  4378
He that’s afraid of wounds must not come nigh a battle.  4379
He that’s afraid to do good would do ill if he durst.  4380
He that’s carried down the stream needs not row.  4381
He that’s down, down with him, cries the world.  4382
He that’s ill to himself will be good to nobody.  4383
He that’s sick of a fever lurden, must be cured by the hazel gelding.
  The fever lurden is idleness: the hazel gelding, the rod or stick, with which it shall be chastised.
He thinks every bush a boggard.
  i.e., a boggart, or Barguest, the dog-fiend, whose existence was a current superstition in Lancashire and Yorkshire, and also in North Britain. See Lancashire Folk-lore, 1867, p. 91, and my Faiths and Folklore, 1905, p. 27.
He thinks his penny good silver.
  Perhaps this saying arose, when the old silver coin had gone out of use.
He thinks not well that thinks not again. H.  4387
He thought to have turned iron into gold, and he turned gold into iron.  4388
He threatens many that is injurious to one.  4389
He toils like a dog in a wheel, who roasts meat for other people’s eating.
  This refers to the time when the turnspit was employed to turn the jack.
He took him napping, &c.
  Compare Napping, &c.
He touched it as warily as a cat doth a coal of fire.  4392
He travelled with Mandeville. F.
  We now say Munchausen.
He useth the rake more than the fork.  4394
He waiteth for moonshine in the water. HE.  4395
He wants nothing now, but the itch, to scratch.  4396


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