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

Page 1049

Appendix. (continued)
    Hobson’s choice.
          Tobias Hobson (died 1630) was the first man in England that let out hackney horses. When a man came for a horse he was led into the stable, where there was a great choice, but he obliged him to take the horse which stood next to the stable-door; so that every customer was alike well served according to his chance,—from whence it became a proverb when what ought to be your election was forced upon you, to say, “Hobson’s choice.”—Spectator, No. 509.
Where to elect there is but one,
’T is Hobson’s choice,—take that or none.
    Intolerable in Almighty God to a black beetle.
          Lord Coleridge remarked that Maule told him what he said in the “black beetle” matter: “Creswell, who had been his pupil was on the other side in a case where he was counsel, and was very lofty in his manner. Maule appealed to the court: ‘My lords, we are vertebrate animals, we are mammalia! My learned friend’s manner would he intolerable in Almighty God to a black beetle.’” (Repeated to a member of the legal profession in the United States.)
    It is a far cry to Lochow.
          Lochow and the adjacent districts formed the original seat of the Campbells. The expression of “a far cry to Lochow” was proverbial. (Note to Scott’s “Rob Roy,” chap. xxix.).
    Lucid interval.
          Francis Bacon: Henry VII. Sidney: On Government, vol. i. chap. ii. sect. 24.Thomas Fuller: A Pisgah Sight of Palestine, book iv. chap. ii. South: Sermon, vol. viii. p. 403.John Dryden: MacFlecknoe.Mathew Henry: Commentaries, Psalm lxxxviii.Samuel Johnson: Life of Lyttelton.Edmund Burke: On the French Revolution.
    Nisi suadeat intervallis.
          Bracton: Folio 1243 and folio 420 b. Register Original, 267 a.
    Mince the matter.
          Cervantes: Don Quixote, Author’s Preface.William Shakespeare: Othello, act ii. sc. 3 William King: Ulysses and Teresias.
    Months without an R.
          It is unseasonable and unwholesome in all months that have not an R in their name to eat an oyster.—Samuel Butler: Dyet’s Dry Dinner. (1599.)