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I perfectly feele even at my fingers end.?

Proverbes. Part i. Chap. vi. A sleveless errand.?

Chap. vii. We both be at our wittes end.8

Chap. riii. Reckeners without their host must recken twice. Ibid. A day after the faire.*

Ibid. Cut my cote after my cloth.5

Ibid. The neer to the church, the further from God.

Chap. ix. Now for good lucke, cast an old shooe after me. Ibid. Better is to bow then breake.?

Ibid. It hurteth not the toung to give faire words. 8 Ibid. Two heads are better then one.

Ibid. A short horse is soone currid.

Chap. c. To tell tales out of schoole.

Ibid. To hold with the hare and run with the hound.10 Ibid.

1 RABELAIS: book iv. chup. liv. At my fingers' ends. — SHAKESPEARE : Twelfth Night, act i. sc. 3.

2 The origin of the word “sleveless," in the sense of unprofitable, has defied the most careful research. It is frequently found allied to other substantives. Bishop Hall speaks of the “sleveless tale of transubstanti. ation," and Milton writes of a "sleveless reason." Chaucer uses it in the T'estament of Love. — SHARMAN.

3 At their wit's end. - Psalm cvii. 27.

4 Thomas HeYWOOD: If you know notme, etc., 1605. TARLTON: Jests, 1611.

6 A relic of the Sumptuary Laws. One of the earliest instances occurs, 1530, in the interlude of Godly Queene Hester.

6 Qui est près de l'église est souvent loin de Dieu (He who is near the Church is often far from God). — Les Proverbes Communs. Circa 1500.

7 Rather to bowe than breke is profitable;
Humylite is a thing commendable.
The Morale Proverbs of Cristyne; translated from

the French (1390) by Earl Rivers, and printed

by Caxton in 1478. 8 Fair words never hurt the tongue. — Joxson, CHAPMAN, Marstox . Eastward Ho, act iv. sc 1.

9 FLETCHER : Valentinian, act ii. sc. 1. 10 HUMPHREY Robert: Complaint for Reformation, 1572. LYLY: Euphues, 1579 (Arber's reprint), p. 107.

She is nether fish nor flesh, nor good red herring.'

Proverbes. Part i. Chap. z. All is well that endes well.?



Of a good beginning cometh a good end. 8
Shee had seene far in a milstone."


Better late than never.5


When the steede is stolne, shut the stable durre. Ibid.

Pryde will have a fall; For pryde goeth before and shame commeth after." Ibid. She looketh as butter would not melt in her mouth.8

Ibid. The still sowe eats up all the draffe.o

Ibid. Ill weede growth fast.10


1 Neither fish nor flesh, nor good red herring. - Sir H. SHERES : Satyr on the Sea Officers. Tom BROWN: Æneus Sylvius's Letter. DRYDEN: Epilogue to the Duke of Guise.

2 Si finis bonus est, totum bonum erit (If the end be well, all will be well). - Gestæ Romanorum. Tale lærii.

8 Who that well his warke beginneth,
The rather a good ende he winneth.

Gower: Confessio Amantis. 4 LYLY : Euphues (Arber's reprint), p. 288.

5 TUSSER: Five Hundred Points of Good Husbandry, An Habitation Enforced. BUSYAN: Pilgrim's Progress. MATHEW HENRY: Commentaries, Matthew xxi. MURPHY: The School for Guardians.

Potius sero quam nunquam (Rather late than never). – Live: iv. ii. 11. 6 Quant le cheval est emblé dounke ferme fols l'estable (When the horse has been stolen, the fool shuts the stable). · Les Proverbes del Vilain.

7 Pride goeth before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall. – Proverbs xvi. 18.

Pryde goeth before, and shame cometh behynde. – Treatise of a Gallant. Circa 1510.

8 She looks as if butter would not melt in her mouth. - Swift : Polite Conversation.

9 'Tis old, but true, still swine eat all the draff. - SHAKESPEARE: Merry Wives of Windsor, act iv. 8c. 2. 10 Ewyl weed ys sone y-growe.

- MS. Harleian, circa 1490. An ill weed grows apace.

- CHAPMAN : An Humorous Day's Mirth. Great weeds do grow apace.

SHAKESPEARE: Richard II. act . sc. 4 BEAUMONT AND FLETCHER : The Coxcomb, act iv. sc. 4.


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It is a deere collop That is cut out of th' owne flesh.?

Proverbes. Part i. Chap. 2. Beggars should be no choosers.?

Ibid. Every cocke is proud on his owne dunghill." Chap. ri. The rolling stone never gathereth mosse.

To robbe Peter and pay Poule.

A man may well bring a horse to the water,
But he cannot make him drinke without he will.

Men say, kinde will creepe where it may not goe. Ibid.
The cat would eate fish, and would not wet her feete.?

Ibid. While the grasse groweth the horse starveth.8 Ibid.

1 God knows thou art a collop of my flesh. – SHAKESPEARE : 1 Henry VI. act v. sc. 4.

2 Beggars must be no choosers. - BEAUMONT AND FLETCHER: The Scornful Lady, act v. sc. 3.

8 pet coc is kene on his owne mixenne. - Þe Ancren Riwle. Circa 1250.

4 The stone that is rolling can gather no moss. — TUSSER : Five Hundred Points of Good Husbandry.

A rolling stone gathers no moss. — Publius SYRUS : Maxim 524. Gosson: Ephemerides of Phialo. MARSTON : The Fawn.

Pierre volage ne queult mousse (A rolling stone gathers no moss). — De l'hermite qui se désespéra pour le larron que ala en paradis avant que lui, 13th century.

6 To rob Peter and pay Paul is said to have derived its origin when, in the reign of Edward VI., the lands of St. Peter at Westminster were appropriated to raise money for the repair of St. Paul's in London.

6 You know that love Will creep in service when it cannot go.

SHAKESPEARE : Two Gentlemen of Verona, act

iv. sc. 2. 7 Shakespeare alludes to this proverb in Macbeth :

Letting I dare not wait upon I would,

Like the poor cat i' the adage. Cat lufat visch, ac he nele his feth wete. – MS. Trinity College, Cambridge, circa 1250.

8 Whylst grass doth grow, oft sterves the seely steede. - WHETSTONE: * Promos and Cassandra. 1578.

While the grass grows
The proverb is something musty.

SHAKESPEARE: Hamlet, act iii. sc. 4.

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Better one byrde in hand than ten in the wood."

Proverbes. Part i. Chap. xi. Rome was not built in one day.

Ibid. Yee have many strings to your bowe.?

Ibid. Many small make a great.

Ibid. Children learne to creepe ere they can learne to goe.

Ibid. Better is halfe a lofe than no bread.

Ibid. Nought venter nought have."

Ibid. Children and fooles cannot lye.

Ibid. Set all at sixe and seven..

Ibid. All is fish that comth to net.?

Ibid. Who is worse shod than the shoemaker's wife ? 8 Ibid. One good turne asketh another.

Ibid. By hooke or crooke.


1 An earlier instance occurs in Heywood, in his “Dialogue on Wit and Folly," circa 1530.

2 Two strings to his bow. - HOOKER: Polity, book v. chap. lxxx. CHAPMAN: D'Ambois, acl ii. sc. 3. BUTLER: Hudibras, part iii. canto i. line 1. CHURCHILL: The Ghost, book iv. FIELDING: Love in Several Masques, sc. 13.

8 See Chaucer, page 5.

4 Naught venture naught bave. — TUSSER: Five Hundred Points of Good Ilusbandry. October Abstract.

5 'T is an old saw, Children and fooles speake true. - Lyly: Endymion.

6 Set all on sex and seven. — CHAUCER: Troilus and Cresseide, book iv. line 623; also Towneley Mysteries.

At six and seven. - SHAKESPEARE : Richard II. act ii. sc. 2. 7 All's fish they get that cometh to net. — Tusser: Five flundred Points of Good Husbandry. February Abstract.

Where all is fish that cometh to net. - GASCOIGNE: Steele Glas. 1575. 8 Him that makes shoes go barefoot himself. — BURTON: Anatomy of Melancholy. Democritus to the Reader.

• This phrase derives its origin from the custom of certain manors where tenants are authorized to take fire-bote by hook or by crook; that is, so much of the underwood as may be cut with a crook, and so much of the loose tim. ber as may be collected from the boughs by means of a hook. One of the earliest citations of this proverb occurs in John Wycliffe's Controversial Tracts, circa 1370.– See Skelton, page 8. RABELAIS : book v. chap. xiii. Du BARTAs: The Map of Man. SPENSER : Faerie Queene, book iii. canto i. st. 17. BEAUMONT AND FLETCHER: Women Pleased, act i. sc. 3

She frieth in her owne grease. Proverbes. Part i. Chap. al.
Who waite for dead men shall goe long barefoote. Ibid.
I pray thee let me and my fellow have
A haire of the dog that bit us last night.”


But in deede,
A friend is never knowne till a man have neede.


This wonder (as wonders last) lasted nine daies."

Part ii. Chap. i. New brome swepth cleene.“


All thing is the woorse for the wearing.


Burnt child fire dredth.6

Chap. ii.


All is not Gospell that thou doest speake.
Love me litle, love me long?
A fooles bolt is soone shot.


Chap. iii.

A woman hath nine lives like a cat."

Chap. iv.

A peny for your thought.10


1 See Chaucer, page 3.

2 In old receipt books we find it invariably advised that an inebriate should drink sparingly in the morning some of the same liquor which he had drunk to excess over-night.

8 See Chaucer, page 6.

4 Ah, well I wot that a new broome sweepeth cleane - LYLY: Euphues (Arber's reprint), p. 89.

5 Brend child fur dredth,
Quoth Hendyng.

Proverbs of Hendyng. MSS.
A burnt child dreadeth the fire. — LYLY : Euphues (Arber's reprint),

P. 319.

6 You do not speak gospel. — RABELAIS : book i. chap. xiii.
7 MARLOWE : Jew of Malta, act iv. sc. 6. BACON : Formularies.
8 Sottes bolt is sone shote. - Proverbs of Hendyng. MSS.

9 It has been the Providence of Nature to give this creature nine lives instead of one. – PILPAY: The Greedy and Ambitious Cat, fable iii. B. C. 10 LYLY: Euphues (Arber's reprint), p. 80.

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