Reference > Quotations > W.C. Hazlitt, comp. > English Proverbs and Proverbial Phrases
W.C. Hazlitt, comp.  English Proverbs and Proverbial Phrases.  1907.
It is for  to  Justices
It is for want of thinking that most men are undone.  5412
It is good enough for the parson, unless the parish was better.
  It is here supposed, that if the parish be very bad, the parson must be in some fault; and therefore anything is good enough for that parson whose parishioners are bad, either by reason of his ill example, or the neglect of his duty.—R.
It is good fasting when the table is covered with fish.  5414
It is good fishing in troubled waters. C.
  Il n’y a pesche qu’en eau troublé. Fr. In troubled waters; that is, in a time of public calamity, when all things are in confusion.—R.
It is good pride to desire to be the best of men.  5416
It is good sheltering under an old hedge.
  In 1674, appeared a tract, entitled, Learne to Lye Warm; or, An Apology for that Proverb, ’Tis good sheltering under an old Hedge.
It is good sleeping in a whole skin. HE.
  The title of a lost drama by W. Wager, probably produced about 1550. See Gothamite Tales, ed. 1630, No. 9; and Field’s A Woman is a Weathercock, 1612, repr. 1828, p. 37. “This naughtie broode therefore of counterfetes, of al other not tollerable in a common weale, are speciallye to be loked to in theire beginnynge, leaste their euill example by long sufferaunce growe to such a president at the laste, that the common saying, Good to slepe in a whole skinne, beinge espied to escape without daunger or reprehension, bee taken vp for a pollicye.”—Historie of Wyates Rebellion, by John Proctor, 1555, 8vo. One of the Merie Tales of Skelton, first printed about 1567, is headed, “Howe the cobler tolde Maister Skelton, it is good sleeping in a whole skinne.”
It is good still to hold the ass by the bridle. DS.  5419
It is good to be in good time; you know not how long it will last.  5420
It is good to be merry at meat.  5421
It is good to be near of kin to an estate.  5422
It is good to be sure: toll it again, quoth the miller. R.
  Millers were not fond of giving over-measure.
It is good to cut the briars in the sear-month.
  i.e., in August. Aubrey’s Rem. of Gentilism and Judaism (circa 1670).
It is good to fear the worst, the best can save itself.  5425
It is good to have a hatch before the door. HE.
  Compare the Three Ladies of London, 1584, in Hazlitt’s Dodsley, vi. 343.
It is good to keep one head for the reckoning.
  New Custome, 1573, act iii. sc. 1. Said originally, perhaps, of a festive party.
It is good to learn at other men’s cost.  5428
It is good to set a candle before the devil.
  Interlude of Thersites, about 1550, edit. 1848, p. 84.
It is good to strike the serpent’s head with your enemy’s hand.  5430
It is got into dry cock.
  i.e., Out of harm’s way.—Walker’s Parœm., p. 13.
It is hard for an empty bag to stand upright.  5432
It is hard striving against the stream. C.  5433
It is hard to be high and humble.  5434
It is hard to break an old hog of an ill custom.  5435
It is hard to get on, harder to get honour, hardest to get honest.
  I had this from Miss Augusta Huth.—W. C. H.
It is hard to make a good web of a bottle of hay.  5437
It is hard to make an old dog stoop low. HE.  5438
It is hard to make fast that will break ere it bow;
a promise once passed is hard to be revoked;
a serious maiden all wise men do allow;
a sweet lamb is better than a rotten kid;
a wife that is unchaste is like a filthy sow;
an old man a lecher nothing to be more hated;
a woman unshamefast, a child unchastised,
is worse than gall, where poison is under hid.
  Communicated from an early MS. to Current Notes for Dec. 1853. I have modernised the spelling, but keep the string of proverbial maxims in its original stanza form. A second series may be found infra—“None lives in quiet,” &c.
It is hard to suffer wrong and pay for it too.  5440
It is hard to turn tack upon a narrow bridge.  5441
It is ill coming to the end of a shot [feast] and the beginning of a fray. HE.
  To pay the shot is to pay the reckoning; but here Heywood seems to employ shot rather in the sense of the entertainment itself.
        “He that goeth to a fray at the bgynnyg,
And to a good meale at the latter endyng,
Shall haue a —— for his good attendyng.”
Jyl of Braynefords Testament (circa 1530), repr. Furnivall, p. 4.    
It is ill fishing before the net. HE.  5443
It is ill healing of an old sore. HE.  5444
It is ill killing a crow with an empty sling.  5445
It is ill putting a naked sword in a madman’s hand. HE.  5446
It is ill to drive black hogs in the dark.  5447
It is ill to put spurs to a flying horse. C.  5448
It is ill to wake a biting bandog.
  Defence of Priests Mariages (about 1560), fol. 109.
It is impossible to stop the tide at London Bridge.
  “What! stop the tide at London Bridge? It contradicts a proverb! It is impossible!”—Sharp’s Address to the Corporation of London on the Importance and Utility of Canals, 1773, p. 9.
It is in vain to cast your net when there is no fish.  5451
It is like nuts to an ape.  5452
It is lost labour to sow where there’s no soil.  5453
It is merry in the hall / when beards wag all. C.
  Life of Alexander, 1312, wrongly attributed to Adam Davie. There the line runs:
        “Swithe mury hit is in halle,
When burdes wawen alle.”
  It is quoted in the Merie Tales of Shelton (1567). “When all are eating, feasting, or making good cheer. By the way, we may not that this word cheer, which is particularly with us applied to meats and drinks, seems to be derived from the Greek word [Greek], signifying joy: As it doth also with us in those words cheerly and cheerful.”—R.
It is merry when knaves meet. HE.
  Three Lords and Three Ladies of London, 1590, edit. 1851, p. 277. Title of a satirical tract by S. Rowlands, published in 1600 or 1601.
It is misery enough to have once been happy. CL.  5456
It is money makes the mare to go.
  [Greek], &c. I danari fan correre i cavalli. Ital. Un asno cargado de oro sube ligero por una montana. Span.—R.
It is much folly to run to the foot that may go to the head. HE.*  5458
It is much like a blacksmith with a white silk apron.  5459
It is my own fault if I am deceived by the same man twice.  5460
It is natural to a greyhound to have a long tail.  5461
It is needless to pour water on a drowned mouse.  5462
It is never too late to learn [or mend].
  Nunquam sera est, &c.—R.
It is no advantage for a man in a fever to change his bed.  5464
It is no good hen that cackles in your house and lays in another’s.  5465
It is no jesting with edge tools.
  Ballad printed before 1600 (Anc. Ballads and Broadsides, 1867, p. 374); True Tragedie of Richard III., 1594, repr. 17. This proverb also occurs in the Honest Man’s Fortune, 1613 (Dyce’s B. and P., iii. 375), and in many other places.
It is no more to him than a crab in a cow’s mouth.  5467
It is no shame to yield to him that we must not oppose.  5468
It is nonsense [or no sense] to set a louse on a steel, to bark at a tailor. Craven.  5469
It is not a chargeable thing to salute civilly.  5470
It is not a sign of humility to declaim against pride.  5471
It is not a sin to sell dear, but it is to make ill measure.  5472
It is not all butter that the cow shites. C.  5473
It is not alone for calf that cow loweth,
but it is for the green grass that in mead groweth.
        “Hit nis noht al for the calf that kow louweth,
Ac hit is for the grene gras that in the medewe grouweth.”
Wright’s Political Songs, 1839, p. 332.    
It is not as thy mother says, but as thy neighbours say.  5475
It is not every one that can pickle well.  5476
It is not good to have an oar in every one’s boat. C.  5477
It is not good to scald one’s lips in other men’s pottage.
  Health to the Gentlemanly Profession of Seruingmen, 1598, by J. M. (Three Ined. Tracts, Roxb. Lib., p. 99).
It is not lost that comes at last.  5479
It is not the beast, but the mind, that is the sacrifice.  5480
It is not the gay coat that makes the gentleman. CL.  5481
It is not want, but abundance, that makes avarice.  5482
It is of no use laying sorrow to your heart, when others only lay it to their heels.  5483
It is possible for a ram to kill a butcher.  5484
It is possible to sin against charity, when we do not sin against truth.  5485
It is pride, not nature, that craves much.  5486
It is safe taking a shive of a cut loaf.  5487
It is safer to commend the dead than the living.  5488
It is safer to hear and take counsel than to give it.  5489
It is shaven against the wool. C.  5490
It is short while since the louse bore the langell.  5491
It is soon espied when the thorn pricketh,
and well wots the cat whose beard she licketh.
  Skelton’s Garlande of Laurell, 1523. Comp. Well Wots the Cat, &c.
It is sooner said than done.  5493
It is the bridle and spur that makes a good horse.  5494
It is the clerk makes the justice.  5495
It is the ordinary way of the world to keep folly at the helm, and wisdom under the hatches.  5496
It is the property of fools to be always judging.  5497
It is time enough to cry oh! when you are hurt.  5498
It is time to set when the oven comes to the dough.
  “i.e., Time to marry when the maid wooes the man.”—R. The next has the same meaning.
It is time to yoke when the cart comes to the caples. Cheshire.  5500
It is to no more purpose than to carry water in a riddle.
  Walker’s Parœm., p. 13.
It is too late to grieve, when the chance is past. C.  5502
It is too late to spare / when the bottom is bare.  5503
It is true that all men say. C.  5504
It is wise not to seek a secret, and honest not to reveal it.  5505
It is wit to pick a lock and steal a horse, but wisdom to let it alone.  5506
It is working that makes a workman.  5507
It is written upon a wall in Rome,
Ribchester was as rich as any town in Christendom. Lancashire.
  Some monumental wall, whereon the names of the principal places were inscribed then subject to the Roman empire. And probably this Ribchester was anciently some eminent colony; as by pieces of coins and columns there daily digged out doth appear. However, at this day it is not so much as a market-town; but whether decayed by age, or destroyed by accident, is uncertain. It is called Ribchester, because situated on the river Ribble.—R. See England’s Gazetteer, 1751, v. Ribchester.
It looks as well as a diamond necklace about a sow’s neck.  5509
It matters not what religion an ill man is of.  5510
It may be a slander, but it is no lie. HE.*  5511
It melts like butter in a sow’s tail, or works like soap, &c.  5512
[It must be] a wily mouse that should breed in the cat’s ear. HE.
  This, or some similar saying, is referred to in the Demaundes Joyous, 1511:—“At the last he [Callimachus], lyghted on a little caue, where thrusting in his head more bolde then wise, hee espyed an olde man cladde all in gray, with a head as white as Alablaster, his hoarie beard hanging downe well neere to his knees, with him no earthly creature, sauing onelye a Mouse sleeping in a Cattes eare.”—Lyly’s Euphues and his England, 1580, repr. 1868, p. 233. This anecdote rather tells against our proverb, for the writer goes on to say how the mouse came out of the cat’s ear, and they dined together like a modern Happy Family. “But that which was moste of all to bee considered and noted, the Mouse and the Catte fell to their victualles, beeing such reliques as the olde manne had left, yea and that so louingly, as one woulde haue thoght them both married, iudging the Mouse to be verye wilde, or the cat very tame.”
It must needs be true that every man saith. HE.  5514
It ought to be a good tale that is twice told.  5515
It pricketh betimes that will be a good thorn. HE.  5516
It rains by planets.
  This the country people use when it rains in one place, and not in another: meaning that the showers are governed by the planets, which, being erratic in their own motions, cause such uncertain wandering of clouds and falls of rain. Or that the fall of showers is as uncertain as the motions of the planets are imagined to be.—R. The country people in these days, much less in Ray’s, know nothing of planetary influence on the weather, and probably Ray did not know much.
It rains like Old Boots.
  i.e., like the devil.
It shall be at the wife’s will if the husband thrive.
  The Tale of the Basyn, in Hazlitt’s Popular Poetry, iii. 45.
        “Hit is an olde seid saw, I swere be seynt Tyue;
Hit shal be at the wyves will if the husbonde thryue.”
Herbert says, “He that will thrive must ask leave of his wife.” “It is an antient English proverb, that if a man will thrive, he must ask leave of his wife, and thrift is a matter of no small consideration in Oeconomy. If, therefore, choyce be made of a wife, let him use as well his ear as his eye, that is, let him rather trust to his discretion according to what he hears, than to his affection kindled by sight.”—Observations and Advices Oeconomical, by Francis Dudley, fourth Lord North, 1669, p. 4.
It shall be done when the king cometh to Wogan. Worcestershire.
  i.e., never.
It shines like Holmeby. Northamptonshire.
  A comparison that may have originated in the glittering appearance which Holmeby House presented, when gilded with the rays of the sun.—Miss Baker.
It signifies nothing to play well if you lose.  5522
It were better to hear the lark sing than the mouse cheep.  5523
It will be a feather out o’ your wing.  5524
It will be a forward cock that croweth in the shell.
  I rather imagine that this is a phrase of Lyly’s own invention; it occurs in his Endimion, 1591 (Works, 1858, i. 22), and I do not remember to have met with it elsewhere.
It will be a nosegay to him as long as he lives.
  It will stink in his nostrils. Spoken of any bad matter a man hath been engaged in.—R.
It will be all the same a hundred years hence.
  Said by any one to express an indifference to the result of some immediate matter.
It will be an ill web to bleach.  5528
It will be fair weather when all shrews have dined.  5529
It will be long enough ere you wish your skin full of oilet holes. F.  5530
It will do, in spite of the Devil and Dick Senhouse. Cumberland.
  They were a constant family of gamesters, and the country people were wont to say, the Senhouses learnt to play at cards in their mother’s belly. The doctor playing with a stranger, he tipped the die so pat, that the other exclaimed—Surely it is either the Devil or Dick Senhouse. A common saying,—It will do, in spite of the Devil and Dick Senhouse. This was Richard Senhouse, made Bishop of Carlisle in 1624.
  When he was a scholar at Cambridge, coming into the country to see his friends, his horse happened to cast a shoe, and having no money to pay the smith withal, “Well, well,” says the smith, “go your ways, and when you come to be Bishop of Carlisle you’ll pay me;” which he did in abundance of gratuity, and was a religious and honest pastor.—Hutchinson’s History of Cumberland, 1794, quoted by Brady. See also Lysons’ Cumberland, p. 54, where an interesting account of this ancient family may be found.
It will do with an onion.  5532
It will not always be honeymoon. CL.  5533
It would make a beggar beat his bag.  5534
It would make a dog doff his doublet.  5535
It would make a man scratch where it doth not itch,
to see a man live poor to die rich.
        “Est furor haud dubius simul et manifesta phrenesis,
Ut locuples moriaris egenti vivere fato.”—Juvenal.
It would vex a dog to see a pudding creep.  5537
It’s a bad cause that none dare speak in.
  New Help to Discourse, 1721, p. 135.
It’s a foolish sheep, that makes the wolf his confessor.  5539
It’s a shame to steal, but a worse to carry home.  5540
It’s all Dover with me.
  i.e., it is all sixes and sevens, all up with me. One of my servants, who is a Cornish woman, frequently uses this expression; but I suspect its derivation from the disorderly proceedings at Dover Court in Essex.—W. C. H.
It’s as hard to please a knave as a knight. R. (1670).  5542
It’s better to be a cold than a cuckold.  5543
It’s better to be stung by a nettle, than pricked by a rose.  5544
It’s but a copy of his countenance.  5545
It’s easy to bowl down hill.  5546
It’s gone over Borough Hill after Jackson’s pig. Northamptonshire.
  A common phrase in the neighbourhood [of Daventry] when anything is lost.—Miss Baker. Borough Hill, as the same authority points out, is an ancient Roman encampment near Daventry.
It’s good to have company in trouble. R.
  Solamen miseris socios habuisse doloris.—R.
It’s good to have some friends both in heaven and hell. R. (1670).
  Byron remarked that one should doff one’s cap to the statue of Jupiter, in case he returned to power.
It’s hard to split the hair,
that nothing is wanted and nothing to spare.
It’s height makes Grantham steeple stand awry.
  Thoresby’s Diary; Taylor’s Wit and Mirth, 1629; Braithwaite’s Barnabæ Itinerarium (1638), sign. R.
        “Benausus.  And ’cause there be such swarms of Heresies rising:
I’le have an artist frame two wonderous weathercocks
Of Gold, to set on Pauls and Grantam Steeple,
To show to all the kingdom what fashion new
The wind of humor hither means to blow.
—Randolph’s Muses Looking-glass, 1638, act iii. sc. 1.    
  I confess that Grantham steeple did not strike me much in respect either to its altitude or obliquity. W. C. H.
It’s no sure rule to fish with a crossbow. H.  5552
Itch and ease / can no man please. HE.  5553
Itch is more intolerable than smart.  5554
I’ve got a touch of old Lawrence to-day.
  Cooper’s Sussex Vocabulary, 1833. The sense is, I feel rather lazy.
Jack at a pinch.  5556
Jack Drum’s entertainment.
  A thrashing.—Three Ladies of London, by R. W., 1584 (Hazlitt’s Dodsley, vi. 324), and the title of a drama printed in 1601. Comp. Stafford’s Law, &c.
Jack in a box.
  Chettle’s Kind Harts Dreame (1592), repr. 45, or sign. F 3 of orig. edit., title of a tract by Lawrence Price, 12mo, 1657.
  Decker, in his Lanthorne and Candlelight, 1608, chap. 11, gives an account of a common form of swindling at that time by a sharper whom he names Jack in a box.
Jack in office.
  A vulgar, officious person.
Jack in office is a great man.
        “The patient man hath over praise,
  The proud doth reape disdaine:
And Iacke will be a Gentleman,
  If office he obtaine.”
A Garden of Spirituall Flowers, 1638, part 2, dated 1632, p. 303. This work was first printed, I believe, in 1609. I have seen it in 1612, 1620 and 1622.
Jack in the cellar.
  Nares’ Glossary, ed. 1859, art. Hans in Kelder, and Davis, Suppl. Glossary, 1881, in v.
  In Cornwall, this is the popular name of the common heart’s-ease.
Jack Nicker.
  The goldfinch is so called in Cheshire. Mr. Wilbraham (Cheshire Glossary, 1820, p. 39) was not able to learn the origin of the phrase.
Jack Nokes and Tom Stiles.  5564
  The London Chanticleers, 1659 (Hazlitt’s Dodsley, xii. 347); Mayne’s City Match, 1639 (ibid. xiii. 240). We often say, “Jack of all trades, and master of none.” Thomas Nash speaks contemptuously of “a sort of shifting companions that run through every art and thrive by none.”
Jack of all trades is of no trade.  5566
Jack of Dover.
  An old popular name for a sole from the supposed excellence of those found thereabout. Some, however, prefer those of Harwich.
  Otherwise called Will-o-Wisp or Joan in the Wad. See my Faiths and Folklore, 1905, p. 635. It is now generally allowed that this is a mere physical phenomenon.
Jack on [or of] both sides.
  That is, a trimmer. [Greek]. A turncoat, a weathercock.—R. This expression occurs on the title of Bishop Wigand’s De Neutralibus et Mediis, in Engl., 8vo, 1562. “Jack of both sides” is an interlocutor in A Dialogue, wherein is plainlie layd open the Tyrannicall Dealing of Lord Bishops against Gods Children (1589), edit. 1640. “And as for Nevters, or as they may wel be englished, Jackes on both sides, wee haue innumerable remayning vs, whiche lyke cunnyng Tennies Players, can finely play with both handes, to and fro: forwarde and backward: hye and low: Or as our English Prouerbe is vsed: can holde w the Hare and runne with the Hounde.”—Humphrey Roberts’s Complaynt for Reformation, 1572, sign. A 3.
  On the 13th May, 1606, was licensed “A picture called Jacke on both sides.”—Arber’s Transcript, iii. 139. Comp. Davis, Suppl. Glossary, 1881, p. 710.
Jack out of office. HE.
  “Heere to day and gone to morow. In good credite with his maister at noone, and Jacke out of office before night.”—A Health to the Gentl. Prof. of Servingmen, 1598, repr. Roxb. Lib. 166.
Jack roast beef.  5571
Jack Sprat teacheth his grandame. CL.
  Ante barbam doces senes. The French say, Les oisons menent paitre les oies. The goslings lead the geese.—R.
Jack Straw.
  This seems to have been used as a cant term. See Reliquiæ Antiquæ, i. 84.
Jack West [a stye in the eye]. Hants.  5574
Jack will be a gentleman.
  Hazlitt’s Dodsley, xii. 456.
Jack will eat no fat, and Jill will eat no lean,
yet betwixt them both they lick the dishes clean. CL.
  Jack Sprat is another form.
Jack with the bush.
        “If thou calle for aught by worde, signe or becke,
Then Jacke with the bush shal taunt thee with a chek.”
Barclay’s Eglogs, 1570, sign. B iv. recto, col. i.    
Jack would be a gentleman if he could but speak French. HE.
  This was a proverb when the gentry brought up their children to speak French. After the Conquest, the first kings endeavoured to abolish the English language and introduce the French.—R. Not the French which we know, but the language of Normandy.
Jack would wipe his nose if he had it.  5579
Jack’s alive at our house.
  An old phrase, where festivities were proceeding anywhere.
Jackasses never can sing well, because they pitch their notes too high.  5581
Janiverr, / freeze the pot upon the fier.  5582
Jape with me, but hurt me not:
sport with me, but shame me not.
  Puttenham (Arte of English Poesie, 1589, sign, E e 4 verso) calls this “a common Prouerbe,” and speaks of it as a sentence to be addressed by a lady to one of the other sex.
Jeerers must be content to taste of their own broth.  5584
Jeering Coggeshall. Essex.
  This is no proverb; but an ignominious epithet, fastened on this place by their neighbours, which, as I hope they do not glory in, so I believe they are not guilty of. Other towns in this county have had the like abusive epithets. I remember a rhyme which was in common use formerly of some towns not far distant the one from the other. Fuller (1662).—R. Compare Braintree for the pure, &c.
Jest with an ass, and he will flap you in the face with his tail.  5586
Jesters do oft prove prophets.  5587
Jesting lies bring serious sorrows.  5588
Jests are never good till they’re broken.  5589
Jests, like sweetmeats, have often sour sauce.  5590
Jetsam and Flotsam.
  The right to what comes from a ship-wreck or otherwise, and is found cast on the shore or floating on the water. In Cornouaille in Brittany it is known as the Droit de Bris.
Joan Blunt.
  Current formerly in Northamptonshire for a plain-spoken person. Miss Baker was unable to trace the origin of the expression; but surely it is pretty obvious.
Jockey’s a gentleman.
  Rowley’s Woman never Vext, 1632 (Dilke, v. 298).
Johannes factotum.
  A term of contempt for a Jack of all trades. Greene applies the term to Shakespeare in his Groatsworth of Wit, 1592. Comp. Magister Factotum infra, and see my Shakespear: Himself and his Work, 1903, pp. 14, 115.
John a’Dreams.
  Hamlet, ii. 2. A dreamy, wool-gathering fellow.
John Bull.  5596
John Doe and Richard Roe.
  A familiar piece of legal phraseology. In Radcliffe’s Ramble, 1682, we find:
        “Give way great Shakespeare, and immortal Ben,
To Doe and Roe, John Den, and Richard Fenn.”
John Drawlatch. HE.
  i.e., a sneak.
        “Why will ye (quoth he), I shall folow her will;
To make me Iohn Drawlache, or such a snekebill.”
John Lively, Vicar of Kelloe,
had seven daughters and never a fellow.
  There are other versions. By fellow should we not understand mate or wife, rather than (with Mr. Halliwell) son? See his Popular Rhymes, 1849, p. 202.
John Tomson’s man.
  A henpecked husband, whose wife rules the roost. The phrase is used by Dunbar, who died in or about 1515, and who, in one of his petitions to his sovereign (James IV.) for preferment, quaintly wishes the king might be John Tomson’s man for once, the Queen being favourable to the poet’s suit. Who John Tomson was, is more than I know. See also Notices of Popular English Histories, by Halliwell, p. 91, and Laing’s ed. of Dunbar, ii. 297, where a note by Pinkerton suggests that the original saying was Joan Tomson’s man. But comp. Mackay’s Ballads of Scotland, 1861, p. 198.
Johnny Crapaud.
  The French as a nation. Equivalent to our John Bull. See N. and Q., 1st S., v. 439. But the truth seems to be that this byname is improperly and unjustly applied, since Frenchmen, as a rule, do not eat frogs. It is only or chiefly in the South that the green or edible variety is made an article of merchandise and food. Moreover, Crapaud does not stand for a frog, but for a toad, one of the symbols in the ancient arms of France. See N. and Q., January 3, 1885.
Johnny tuth’ Bellas daft was thy poll,
when thou changed Bellas for Henknoll.
  We can only account, says Mr. Halliwell (Popular Rhymes, 1849, p. 200–1), for the proverb by supposing that, at a former period, Bellasyse had been exchanged for lands, but not the manor of Henknoll. See his remarks, and account of the tradition on which the saying is alleged to be founded.
Jone’s ale is new.
        “Ale.  It onely pleades for mee: who hath not heard
            of the old ale of England?
Beere.  Old ale; oh! there ’tis growne to a prouerbe:
            Jones ale is new.”
Wine, Beere, Ale, and Tobacco, &c., 1630.    
Jone’s as good as my lady [in the dark].
  [Greek]. Erasmus draws this to another sense, viz., There is no woman chaste where there is no witness; but I think he mistakes the intent of it, which is the same with ours.—R. This was the title of a lost drama by Thomas Heywood and is the subject of Herrick’s epigram, “No difference i’ the dark,” Hesperides, 1648, Hazlitt’s 2nd edit., 1892, ii. 114.
Judge’s wigs.
  The names given in Sussex to the rain clouds seen in the distance among the hills. They are often mentioned by Cobbett.
Just as Jerman’s [German] lips. HE.
  An Answere to Maister Smyth (1540), a broadside in Hazlitt’s Fugitive Tracts, 4to, 1875, st. 9. In apparent allusion to the firm compression habitual among the Germans.
Justice Nine-holes. Kent.
  Skeat’s ed. of Pegge’s Kenticisms, 98. This phrase refers to an actual incident in the last year of Queen Mary (1558).
Justice pleaseth few in their own house. H.  5608
Justices’ justice.
  A satirical saying which has originated in the tyrannical and ignorant policy of the unpaid county magistrates. These are often composed of parsons, who are, as a class, the most narrow-minded, arbitrary, and intolerant of mankind.


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