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W.C. Hazlitt, comp. English Proverbs and Proverbial Phrases. 1907.

That horse to The deeper

That horse is troubled with corns.

That is a breast to blow out a candle. Ralph Roister Doister.

That is a lie made out of the whole stuff. E. Anglia.

That is a wise delay which makes the road safe.

That is as likely as to see a hog fly.

That is as true as that the cat crew, and the cock rocked the cradle.

That is but an empty purse that is full of other men’s money.

That is gold that is worth gold. H.

That is good sport that fills the belly.

That is not always good in the maw that is sweet in the mouth.
Savoury dishes often sit ill upon the stomach.—R.

That is not good language which all understand not. H.

That is the bird that I would catch.

That is the old tune upon the bagpipe.

That is well done that is done soon enough. B. OF M. R.
Heywood has this somewhat differently.

That is well spoken that is well taken. CL.

That little is good which fills the trencher.

That man is well bought who costs but a salutation.

That man sins charitably who damns none but himself.

That measure loveth, and skill, / oft hath his will.
How the Goode Wif, ut infra.

That one will not, another will [or may]. HE.
There is a modern supplement to this sentence: So are all maidens married.

That patient is not like to recover who makes the doctor his heir.

That penny is well spent that saveth a groat. C.
Bonne la maille qui sauve le denier. Fr. Quien come y condesa, dos veces pone mesa. Span.—R.

That shall be, shall be. HE.*
Che sera, sera. Ital.

That sick man is not to be pitied who hath his cure in his sleeve.

That suit is best that best fits me.

That tavern haunteth his thrift forsaketh.
How the Goode Wif, &c., in Hazlitt’s Popular Poetry, i. Here, under Government patronage and surveillance, tavern-keepers still sell, as it has been truly said, madness by the bottle.

That that comes of a hen will scrape.

That that comes of a cat will scrape.

That that comes of a hen will catch mice.

That that comes of a cat will catch mice.
Chi di gallina nasce convien che rozole. Chi da gatta nasce sorici pigla. Ital.—R.

  • That we spent we had;
  • that we left we lost;
  • that we gave we have.
  • England’s Gazetteer, 1751, v. Tiverton, there given as part of the inscription on a monument of Edward Courtenay, Earl of Devon, and his wife, but the lines read like a proverbial sentence borrowed from an earlier source. There is at least one other version.

    That which cannot be said may be sung.
    This is especially true of the words to many sacred and secular compositions, which are mere trash, but, with the aid of musical cadence, fall agreeably on the ear.

    That which covers thee discovers thee.

    That which God kills is better than that killed by man.
    Yet we eat beasts which we kill ourselves, and refuse those which die.

    That which has its value from fancy is not very valuable.

    That which is easily done is soon believed.

    That which is evil is soon learnt.

    That which is good for the back is bad for the head.
    Omnis commoditas sua fert incommoda secum.—R.

    That which is sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander.
    “This,” observes Ray, “is a woman’s proverb.”

    That which is well done is twice done.

    That which makes wise men modest makes fools unmannerly.

    That which may fall out at any time may fall out to-day.

    That which one least anticipates soonest comes to pass.

  • “Quid quisque vitet, nunquam homini satis
  • Cautum est in horas.”—Hor., Od. 11. xiii. 13.
  • That which proves too much proves nothing.

    That which two will takes effect. H.

    That which was bitter to endure may be sweet to remember.

    That which we may live without we need not much covet.

    That which will not be butter must be made into cheese.

    That which will not be spun, let it not come between the spindle and the distaff. H.

    That which will not make a pot may make a pot-lid.

  • That’s a lie with a latchet:
  • all the dogs in the town cannot match it.
  • Or, with a witness. Carr (Dialect of Craven, 1828), gives two other versions:
  • “That’s a lee wi’ a latchet,
  • You may shut the door and catch it;” or,
  • “That’s a lee wi’ a lid on,
  • And a brass handle to tak ho’d on.”
  • There are still others. See Halliwell’s Pop. Rhymes, 1849, p. 182.

    That’s a loud one.

    That’s about my barrow. North Midland.
    Within my ability.

    That’s as true as I am his uncle.

    That’s counsel; and two may keep it, if one be away.
    Heywood’s Edward IV., 1600.

    That’s extra, as the old woman said when she saw Kerton.
    i.e., Crediton. See Maclean’s Life of Sir Peter Carew, Kt. p. 51.

    That’s flat.
    Nobody and Somebody (1606), sign. B. In Ram Alley, 1611 (Hazlitt’s Dodsley, x. 294), William Smallshanks says: “It shall be so; I’ll cheat him, that’s flat.”

    That’s for that, as butter’s for fish.

    That’s my good that does me good.

    That’s never good which begins in God’s name. CL.
    In God’s name, or in the name of God, appears to have been formerly used in the sense of an emphatical assurance. So, in the Narrative of Edward Underhill, written in the time of Elizabeth (about 1560), we have:—
    “… To morrow [said the Sheriff] I will bring you unto them at the Tower.” “In the name of God,” said I: and so we went with him, requiring, if I might understand the cause.”—Arber’s Garner, iv. 73. But all old wills used to have such an exordium.

    That’s the best gown that goes up and down the house. H.

    That’s the cheese.
    i.e., the cheez, an Anglo Indian saying, cheez being Hindustani for thing, i.q. Fr. Chose.

    That’s the cream of the jest.

    That’s the stuff for trousers.
    Said, where a plate of food was offered. The sense seems to have been lost.

    The absent party is still faulty. H.
    Les absens ont toujours tort. Fr.

    The abundance of things engendereth disdainfulness. B. OF M. R.

  • The after thought
  • is good for nought,
  • except it be
  • to catch blind horses wi’. S. Devon.
  • The aler’s as bad as the staler. Cornwall, &c.
    i.e., The concealer is as bad as the stealer. [Greek].—Phocyl. “The motto which was inserted under the arms of William Prince of Orange, on his accession to the English crown, was ‘Non rapui sed recepi’ [I did not steal it, but I received it]. This being shown to Dean Swift, he said, with a sarcastic smile, ‘The receiver is as bad as the thief.’”—The Jest Book, by Mark Lemon, 1864.

    The anvil fears no blows.

    The ape kills her young with kindness. CL.

    The army that comes off best loses some.

    The ass brays when he pleases.

    The ass singeth therefore ill-favouredly, because he taketh his note too high. HE.

    The ass that brays most eats least.

    The ass that carrieth wine drinketh water.

    The axe goes to the wood whence it borrowed its helve.
    This appears to be a Hebrew proverb. See Carpenter’s Old English and Hebrew Proverbs, 1826, No. 4.

    The back-door robs the house. H.
    This is particularly true of country-houses, where the residents are unable to keep watch over the movements of the kitchen folks.
    Compare A fair wife, &c.

    The Bailiff of Bedford is coming.
    The Ouse or Bedford river is so called in Cambridgeshire, because when swollen with rain, &c., in the winter time, it arrests the Isle of Ely with an inundation, bringing down suddenly abundance of water. By this saying persons were warned to drive off their cattle, lest they should be impounded by the Bailiff of Bedford, or the river Ouse. Fuller (1662).—R.

    The Bailiff of Royston.

  • “And for to somoun alle them to this feste,
  • The baily of Roston therto is the beste.”
  • Colyn Blobols Testament (Hazlitt’s Pop. Poetry, i. 103).
  • Doubtless Royston, near Cambridge.

    The bait hides the hook.

    The baker’s vantage.
    ? the thirteenth in the dozen. The Three Ladies of London, 1584, edit. 1851, p. 198. Taylor, in his Shilling, published about 1620, shews—

  • “How bakers thirteene penny loaues doe giue,
  • All for a shilling, and thriue well, and liue.”
  • And the Duchess of Newcastle, in her Nature’s Picture drawn by Fancy’s Pencil, 1656, remarks: “In this volume there are several feigned stories; also, there are some Morals, and some Dialogues; but they are as the advantage loaf of bread in the baker’s dozen.”
    “This point of knavery has been a man in his days, and the best of the parish: fourteen of them go to a baker’s dozen.”—Randolph’s Conceited Pedler, 1630 (Works, by Hazlitt, p. 41).

    The balance distinguished not between gold and lead. H.

    The barleycorn is the heart’s key.

    The bear in the belly.
    i.e., the colic. See Heywood’s Golden Age, 1611, repr. 11.

    The bear wants a tail, and cannot be lion. Warwickshire.
    Robert Dudley, Earl of Leicester, derived his pedigree from the ancient Earls of Warwick, on which title he gave their crest, the bear and ragged staff. And when he was governor of the Low Countries, with the high title of his Excellency, disusing his own coat of the green lion, with two tails, he signed all instruments with the crest of the bear and ragged staff. He was then suspected by many of his jealous adversaries to hatch an ambitious design to make himself absolute commander (as the lion is king of beasts) over the Low Countries; whereupon some foes to his faction and friends to Dutch freedom, wrote under his crest, set up in public places: Ursa caret cauda, non queat esse leo. The bear he never can prevail: To lion it, for want of tail. Nor is ursa, in the feminine, merely placed to make the vein: but because naturalists observe in bears that the female is always strongest.—Fuller’s Worthies, 1662.
    This proverb is applied to such as, not content with their condition, aspire to what is above their worth to deserve or power to achieve. The saying refers, of course, to the Dudleys, but some of the circumstances connected with its origin are of too suspicious an aspect to justify us in crediting them too implicitly.

    The beard will pay for the shaving. E. Anglia.
    The work will pay for itself.

    The beast that goes always never wants blows. H.

  • The bee doth love the sweetest flower,
  • so doth the blossom the April shower.
  • The beggar is never out of his way.

    The beggar may sing before the thief. HE.

  • “Beggars maye singe before theves,
  • And wepe before trewe men lamenting there greves.” HE.*
  • “No more than the English of that old Latin verse,
  • Cantabit vacuus coram latrone viator.’”—R.
  • The beggars of Bath.
    Many in that place; some natives there, others repairing thither from all parts of the land; the poor for alms, the pained for ease.—R.

    The belly hates a long sermon.

    The belly hath no ears.
    Browne’s Britannia’s Pastorals (1614), ed. Hazlitt, i. 182. Dr. Trench (On the Lessons in Proverbs, 1853, p. 28) considers that the English saying is anterior to the leonine verse, Jejunus venter non audit verba libenter, and that the latter has been formed out of it. But the elder Cato used the figure of speech in reference to the Corn question at Rome in his day. “Venter non habet aures. Ventre affamé n’a point d’oreilles.—Fr. Discourse to or call upon hungry persons, they will not mind you, or leave their meat to attend. Or, as Erasmus, Ubi de pastu agitur, non attenduntur honestæ rationes. Nothing makes the vulgar more untractable, fierce, and seditious, than scarcity and hunger. Nescit plebs jejuna timere. There is some reason the belly should have no ears, because words will not fill it. El vientre ayuno, no oye à ninguno. Span.”—Ray.

    The belly is not filled with fair words.
    New Help to Discourse, 1721, p. 134.

    The belly teaches all arts.

    The belly that’s full may well fast.

    The belly thinks the throat is cut. C.

    The best cart may overthrow. HE.

    The best cloth may have a moth in it.

    The best colt needs breaking.

    The best dog leaps the stile first.
    i.e., Let the worthiest person take place.—Ray.

    The best fish swim near the bottom.

    The best go first, the bad remain to mend.

    The best ground’s the dirtiest. CL.

    The best is best cheap. HE.
    “Lo barato es caro.—Span. For it doth the buyer more credit and service.”—Ray. Compare Light cheap, &c., supra.

    The best mirror is an old friend. H.

    The best must crave their aces of allowance. WALKER.

    The best of the sport is to do the deed and say nothing.

  • The best or worst thing to man for his life
  • is good or ill choosing his good or ill wife. HE.*
  • The best part is still behind.
    Randolph introduces this proverb in a jocular sense in his Conceited Pedler, at the end of his Aristippus, 1630.

    The best patch is off the same cloth.

    The best physicians are Dr. Diet, Dr. Quiet, and Dr. Merryman.
    A Display of Dvtie, by Leonard Wright, 1589, edit. 1614, p. 13. “This if nothing but that distich of the Schola Salernitana translated:—

  • Si tibi deficiant medici tibi fiant
  • Hæc tria: mens læta, requies, moderata diæta.”—Ray.
  • The best remedy against an ill man is much ground between both.

    The best things are worst to come by. WALKER.
    New Help to Discourse, 1721, p. 134. “Difficilia quæ pulchra: [Greek]—R.

    The best throw of the dice is to throw them away.

    The better day the better deed. WALKER.
    A bon jour bonne œuvre. Fr. Dicenda bonâ sunt bona verba die.—R. This proverb is cited in Middleton’s Michaelmas Term, 1608, iii. 1.

    The better-natured, the sooner undone.

    The better part of valour is discretion.

    The better thou be, the more careful must thou be, quoth Hendyng.
    P. of H. (Reliq. Antiq., i. 113). So, I conclude, ought to be rendered the original: “The bet the be, the bet the by-se.”

    The better workman, the worse husband.
    The French say, Bon poète, mauvais homme.—R. Both sayings allude to the fact that busy men have less leisure to attend to their houses.

    The bigger eateth the bean. HE.
    XII. Mery Jests of the Widow Edyth, 1525 (in my Old English Jest-Books, 111).

    The biggest horses are not the best travellers.

    The bird.
    i.e., the goose, from its hissing habit. This is dramatic slang or phraseology.

    The bird loves her nest. H.

    The bird that can sing, and won’t sing, must be made to sing.

    The birds are flown. HE.

    The bishop has set his foot in it.
    Tyndale’s Obedience of a Cristen Man, 1528; Tusser’s Husbandry, 1580, edit. 1878, p. 282. “This is a saying in the North, used for milk [or anything else] that is burnt in boiling. Formerly, in days of superstition, whenever a bishop passed through a town or village, all the inhabitants ran out to receive his blessing; this frequently caused the milk on the fire to be left till burnt to the vessel, and gave origin to the above allusion.”—Grose’s Provincial Glossary, quoted by Brady (Var. of Lit., 1826). But compare Brockett’s. N. C. Glossary, 1825, p. 16, and Baker’s Northamptonsh. Do., 1854, p. 51.

    The bitch that I mean is not a dog.

    The biter is sometimes bit.

    The black hen layeth a white egg.
    Neyr geline ponne blank oef.—Early Collection of French Proverbs in a MS. in C. C. C. Cambridge, quoted in Wright’s Essays, 1846, i. 145.

    The black ox hath not trod on his foot. HE.*
    Heywood’s Works, 1562, cap. 7; Lyly’s Euphues, 1579, repr. Arber, p. 55; Wine, Beere, Ale, and Tobacco, &c., 1630, repr. Halliwell, 192. “Venus waxeth old; and then she was a pretie wench, when Juno was a yong wife; now the crowes foote is on her eye, and the black ox hath trod on her foot.”—Lyly’s Sapho and Phao, 1584 (Works, 1858, i. 199). Mr. George Vere Irving (Notes and Queries, 3rd S., xii. 468) remarks that this expression “is at this day applied frequently in Scotland to an unfeeling person, and means that he has never experienced misfortune.”
    Tusser; in his Dialogue of Wiving and Thriving (Points of Husbandry, 1580, D. S. edit., p. 153), seems to apply the phrase to one who has not experienced the troubles of a married life:

  • “Why then do folke this prouerbe put,
  • The blacke oxe neere trod on thy foot,
  • If that way [marrying] were to thrive?”
  • The blackest month in all the year / is the month of Janiveer.

    The blind eat many flies. HE.
    Skelton’s Works, i. 213; Parlament of Byrdes (circa 1550), in Hazlitt’s Pop. Poetry, iii. 178; The Schole-house of Women, 1541 (ibid. iv. 118); there is a lost drama by Tho. Heywood, performed in 1602, with a similar title. “Age. The blinde eateth many a flie, and seeth it not.”—Northbrooke’s Treatise against Dauncing, &c. (1577), ed. 1843, p. 117.

    The blind horse is the hardiest.

    The blind lead the blind, and both fall into the ditch. HE.

  • “She hath hem in such wise daunted,
  • That they were, as who saith, enchaunted,
  • And as the blinde an other ledeth,
  • And till they falle nothing dredeth.”
  • Gower’s Confessio Amantis, lib. iii.
  • See also the Gude and Godlie Ballates, 1578, repr. Laing, p. 178:
  • “The Paip, that Pagane full of pryde,
  • He hes vs blindit lang:
  • For quhair the blind the blind dois gyde,
  • Na wonder thay ga wrang.”
  • Si el ciego guia el ciego, ambos van á peligro da caer en el boyo.—Span.

    The blind man sometimes hits a crow.
    Loveday’s Letters, 1662, p. 219. But the saying was evidently well known in Heywood’s time. That writer, in his Dialogue (1546), says:

  • “Ye cast and coniecture this muche like in show,
  • As the blind man casts his staffe, or shootes the crow.”
  • The borrowed days.
    See Hazlitt’s Faiths and Folklore, 1905, p. 64, and Chambers’ Domestic Annals of Scotland, i. 553.

    The boughs that bear most hang lowest.

    The brain that sows not corn plants thistles.

    The brains don’t lie in the beard.

    The bride goes to her marriage-bed, but knows not what shall happen to her.
    See Carpenter’s Old Hebrew Proverbs, 1826, No. 13.

    The Bristol hogs have built a sty, but cannot find their way into it.
    A Journey through England, A.D. 1752, edited by Hazlitt, 1869, p. 144. This was said of the merchants of Bristol, who had never been used to an exchange, and who, when one was built in the middle of the last century, were some time before they accustomed themselves to make use of it. There is, of course, a play of words—Bristol quasi Bristle.

    The brother had rather see the sister rich than make her so.

    The burnt child fire dreadeth, quoth Hendyng.
    Proverbs of Hendyng (Reliq. Antiq., i. 113); Paradyce of Daynty Devyses, 1578, repr. 60; and Timon, a play, ed. Dyce, p. 89.

  • “For evermore gladly, as I rede,
  • Brent child of fier hath mych drede.”
  • Romaunt of the Rose, l. 1820.
  • “A burnt child feareth the fire, and a beaten dogge escheweth the whippe.”—Wilson’s Arte of Rhetorique, edit. 1584, sign. A v. “Children brent still after drede the fire.”—Barclay’s Eglogs, edit. 1570, sign. B ij verso. “Almost all languages afford us sayings and proverbs to this purpose: such are [Greek].—Hesiod. [Greek].—Homer. Piscator ictus sapit; struck by the scorpion fish or pastinaca, whose prickles are esteemed venomous.”—R.

    The butcher looked for his knife, and ’twas in his mouth.

    The butcher looked for the candle, and ’twas in ’s hat. CL.

    The butler’s box.
    “But stay, my friend; let it be first manifest that my Father left Land, and then we wil rather agree at home, then suffer the Butlers Boxe to winne all.”—Wybarne’s New Age of Old Names, 1609, p. 12.

  • “Throat.’Tis well, I am glad, keep your money, for law
  • Is like a butler’s box; while you two strive,
  • That picks up all your money.”
  • —Barry’s Ram Alley, 1611, ap. Dodsley, 1825. v. 391. See also Return from Parnassus, 1606 (Hazlitt’s Dodsley, ix. 103).
    Prynne in his Histriomastix, 1633, dedic. complains of the addiction of the Inns of Court to dicing, turning them into a Christmas Dice-house “to enrich the Butlers.” John Cooke, of Gray’s Inn, in his Poor Man’s Case, 1648, p. 48, speaking of usury, likens it to the “Butler’s Box, that gaines all insensibly which the Gamsters never think of—”

  • The calf, the goose, the bee:
  • The world is ruled by these three.
  • See Antiquary, 1887, p. 152.

    The calf with the white face.
    Day’s Blind Beggar of Bednal Green, 1659, repr. 39; part of the title of a tract printed in 1649 (Bibl. Collections and Notes, 1876, p. 451).

    The calmest husbands make the stormiest wives.

    The camel, going to seek horns, lost his ears.

    The cart before the horse.
    “Ye haue another manner of disordered speech, when ye misplace your wordes or clauses, and set that before which should be behind, & e conuerso, we call it in English prouerbe, the cart before the horse, the Greeks call it Histeron Proteron [Greek].” Puttenham’s Arte of English Poesie, 1589, sign. v. The more ancient, and perhaps original, form of this saying is to be found in the French 15th century adage: La Charette devant les bœufs.

    The case is altered, quoth Plowden.
    Heywood’s Second Part of Queen Elizabeth’s Troubles, 1606, repr. 131. Edmund Plowden was an eminent common lawyer in Queen Elizabeth’s time, born at Plowden, in Shropshire, of whom Camden (in his Elizabeth, Ann. 1584) gives this character: Vitæ integritate inter homines suæ professionis nulli secundus. And Sir Edward Cooke calls him the Oracle of the Common Law. This proverb is usually applied to such lawyers, or others, as being corrupted with larger fees, shift sides, and pretend the case is altered: such as have bovem in lingua. Some make this the occasion of the proverb:—Plowden, being asked by a neighbour of his what remedy there was in law against his neighbour for some hogs that had trespassed his ground, answered, he might have very good remedy; but the other replying that they were his hogs, Nay then, neighbour, (quoth he), the case is altered. Others, with more probability, make this the original of it: Plowden, being a Roman Catholic, some neighbours of his who bare him no good will, intending to entrap him, and bring him under the lash of the law, had taken care to dress up an altar in a certain place, and provided a layman in a priest’s habit, who should say mass there at such a time. And withal, notice thereof was given privately to Mr. Plowden, who thereupon went and was present at the mass. For this he was presently accused, and indicted. He at first stands upon his defence, and would not acknowledge the thing. Witnesses are produced, and, among the rest, one who deposed that he himself performed the mass, and saw Mr. Plowden there. Saith Plowden to him, Art thou a priest, then? The fellow replied, No. Why then, gentlemen (quoth he), the case is altered: No priest, no mass; which came to be a proverb, and continues still in Shropshire, with this addition: The case is altered (quoth Plowden), No priest, no mass.—R. This saying is made to form part of the title of a tract printed in 1656. See my Bibliogr. Coll. and Notes, 2nd Series, p. 679.

    The cask savours of the first fill.
    See a note by Weber in Dyce’s Beaumont and Fletcher, iv. 462. The following apposite passage from Horace is quoted ibidem:

  • “Quô semel est imbuta recens servabit odorem
  • Testa diu.”
  • La caque sent toujours le hareng. Fr.

    The cat and the dog may kiss, yet are none the better friends.

    The cat hath eaten her count.
    It is spoken of women with child that go beyond their reckoning.—R.

    The cat invites the mouse to a feast.

    The cat is hungry when a crust contents her.

    The cat is in the cream-pot.

    The cat knows whose beard he licks.

  • “Li vilains reproche du chat
  • Qu’il set bien qui barbes il lecha.”
  • French fabliau (Montaiglon, i. 1711).
  • The cat sees not the mouse ever. H.

  • The Cat, the Rat, and Lovell the dog
  • rule all England under the hog.
  • A Myrrovr for Magistrates, edit. 1563, fol. 143. See Ellis’s Orig. Letters, 2nd S., ii. 161. This couplet is a satire on Richard III. (who carried a boar in his escutcheon) and his myrmidons, Catesby, Ratcliffe and Lovell.

    The cat would eat fish, and would not wet her feet. HE.
    MS. of the 16th cent. in Rel. Antiq., i. 207, and Camden’s Rem., 1614, p. 312 (with a slight variation). Or in rhyme, thus:

  • Fain would the cat fish eat,
  • But she’s loth to wet her feet.
  • Le chat aime le poisson, mais il n’aime pas à meuiller la patte. Fr.—R. Catus amat pisces, sed non vult tingere plantam. Mediæval Latin. Dr. Trench has pointed out the allusion to this saying in Macbeth, where Lady Macbeth speaks of her husband as a man:
  • Letting, I dare not, wait upon, I would,
  • Like the poor cat i’ the adage.
  • The charitable give out at the door, and God puts in at the window.

    The chicken crams the capon. Somerset.

    The chicken is the country’s, but the city eats it. H.

    The child hath a red tongue like its father.

    The child says nothing but what it heard of the sire. H.

    The child that’s born must be kept.
    The Schoole of Slovenrie, by R. F., 1605, Preface.

    The church is full of his acquaintances: the pulpit would hold his friends. S. Devon.

    The church is out of temper, when charity waxeth cold and zeal hot.

    The clock goes as it pleaseth the clerk.

    The cloud with the silver lining.
    Mr. Pickford, M.A., quotes a passage in Notes and Queries, from Milton’s Comus, 1637, v. 221 et seqq., illustrative of this expression:—

  • “Was I deceived, or did a sable cloud
  • Turn forth her silver lining on the night?
  • I did not err; there does a sable cloud
  • Turn forth her silver lining on the night,
  • And casts a gleam over this tufted grove.”
  • The coaches won’t run over him.
    i.e., He is in jail.—R.

    The cock crows / and the hen goes.

  • The cock does crow / to let us know,
  • if we be wise, / ’tis time to rise.
  • The cock hath lowë shoon.
    Lydgate’s Minor Poems, 1840, p. 150. Communicated to me by Dr. Furnivall. Lydgate terms it “an olde proverbe grounded on sapience.” I fail to discern its meaning. It serves as a sort of refrain to a copy of verses “against Tittle-Tattlers.”

    The coin most current is flattery.

    The colt foaled of an acorn.
    The wooden horse formerly used as a military punishment, and so termed by Scott in “Old Mortality.”

    The comforter’s head never aches. N.

    The command of custom is great. H.

    The common people / look at the steeple. CL.

    The conquered is never called wise, nor the conqueror rash.

    The constable of Oppenshaw sets beggars in stocks at Manchester.
    “This may mean that when the constable of Oppenshaw found Manchester sparks enjoying themselves too freely in his district, he could follow them home, and then have them placed in the stocks.”—Lancashire Legends, 1873, p. 207.

    The corn hides itself in the snow, like an old man in furs. H.

    The counsel thou would’st have another keep, first keep thyself. HE.

  • The country is best for the bider,
  • that is most cumbersome to the rider. HE.*
  • A rich heavy soil, good for arable purposes, but inconvenient for traffic.

    The course of true love never did run smooth.
    A Midsummer Night’s Dream, 1600, act i. sc. 1.

    The court hath no almanac. H.

    The cow knows not what her tail is worth till she has lost it.

    The cow little giveth, / that hardly liveth.

    The cow that’s first up gets the first o’ the dew.

    The cow with the iron tail.
    The pump, in allusion to the practice of watering milk. When he cries mi-eau on his rounds, the milkman little suspects the meaning of the word in French.

    The coward often dies, the brave but once.

  • The crab of the wood is sauce very good
  • for the crab of the sea;
  • but the wood of the crab is sauce for a drab
  • that will not her husband obey.
  • The crane suckled the ass.

    The credit got by a lie lasts only till the truth comes out.

    The cross on his breast and the devil in his heart.

    The crow bewails the sheep, and then eats it. H.

    The crow thinketh her own birds the fairest in the wood. HE.
    Lupton’s All for Money, 1578, repr. 120. In Robinson’s translation (1551) of More’s Utopia (1516), the saying occurs with a difference: So both the Rauen and the Ape thincke their owne younge ones fairest. “Asinus asino, sus sui pulcher, et suum cuique pulchrum. So the Ethiopians are said to paint the devil white. A tous oiseaux leur nids sont beaux. Fr. A ogni grolla paion’ belli i suoi grollatini. Ital.”

    The crutch of time does more than the club of Hercules.

    The cuckold is the last that knows of it. C.

  • The cuckoo comes in April, / and stays the month of May;
  • sings a song at Midsummer, /and then goes away. Wilts.
  • Compare In April, &c.

    The cuckoo goes to Beaulieu Fair to buy him a greatcoat. New Forest.
    Beaulieu fair day is the 15th April. It is called cuckoo-day.

    The cuckoo singeth all the year.
    A figure for the alleged perpetuity of cuckoldom. See Old English Jest-Books, Add. Notes, iii. 7–8.

    The cure may be worse than the disease.

    The dainty thing would have a dainty bit. WALKER.
    “The hare longs for venison; more sauce than pig.”—Wodroephe.

    The dam of that was a wisker.

    The darkest [and coldest] hour is nearest the dawn. D.

    The dasnel daw-cock sits amongst the doctors. CL.
    Graculus inter Musas.—Clarke.

    The day after the fair.
    Said of anything too late.

    The day has eyes, the night has ears.

    The day is short, and the work is much.

  • The day of St. Thomas, the blessed divine,
  • is good for brewing, baking, and killing fat swine. D.
  • The day that you do a good thing there will be seven new moons.

    The dead man’s part.
    The third part of a man’s estate, which, after payment of debts, &c., goes to the younger children, the other two belonging to the widow and to the eldest son. This is the custom of London.

    The dead only should do nothing.

    The death of wives and the loss of sheep make men rich.

    The death of your first wife made such a hole in your heart that all the rest slip through.

    The deeper the sweeter. CL.
    “The deeper is the sweeter.”—Ram Alley, by L. Barry, 1611 (Dodsley, 1825, v. 377). It is also in Rowley’s Match at Midnight, 1633 (Hazlitt’s Dodsley, xiii. 44), and elsewhere.