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John Bartlett (1820–1905). Familiar Quotations, 10th ed. 1919.

30 Geoffrey Chauer 1340-1400 John Bartlett

AUTHOR:Geoffrey Chaucer (c. 1340–1400)
QUOTATION:I hold a mouses wit not worth a leke,
That hath but on hole for to sterten to. 1
ATTRIBUTION:Canterbury Tales. The Wif of Bathes Prologue. Line 6154.
Note 1.
Consider the little mouse, how sagacious an animal it is which never entrusts his life to one hole only.—Plautus: Truculentus, act iv. sc. 4.

The mouse that always trusts to one poor hole
Can never be a mouse of any soul.
Alexander Pope: Paraphrase of the Prologue, line 298. [back]