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

Page 171

Francis Bacon. (1561–1626) (continued)
    Like the strawberry wives, that laid two or three great strawberries at the mouth of their pot, and all the rest were little ones. 1
          Apothegms. No. 54.
    Sir Henry Wotton used to say that critics are like brushers of noblemen’s clothes.
          Apothegms. No. 64.
    Sir Amice Pawlet, when he saw too much haste made in any matter, was wont to say, “Stay a while, that we may make an end the sooner.”
          Apothegms. No. 76.
    Alonso of Aragon was wont to say in commendation of age, that age appears to be best in four things,—old wood best to burn, old wine to drink, old friends to trust, and old authors to read. 2
          Apothegms. No. 97.
    Pyrrhus, when his friends congratulated to him his victory over the Romans under Fabricius, but with great slaughter of his own side, said to them, “Yes; but if we have such another victory, we are undone.” 3
          Apothegms. No. 193.
    Cosmus, Duke of Florence, was wont to say of perfidious friends, that “We read that we ought to forgive our enemies; but we do not read that we ought to forgive our friends.”
          Apothegms. No. 206.
    Cato said the best way to keep good acts in memory was to refresh them with new.
          Apothegms. No. 247.
Note 1.
The custom is not altogether obsolete in the U. S. A. [back]
Note 2.
Is not old wine wholesomest, old pippins toothsomest, old wood burns brightest, old linen wash whitest? Old soldiers, sweetheart, are surest, and old lovers are soundest.—John Webster: Westward Hoe, act ii. sc. 2.

Old friends are best. King James used to call for his old shoes; they were easiest for his feet.—Selden: Table Talk. Friends.

Old wood to burn! Old wine to drink! Old friends to trust! Old authors to read!—Alonso of Aragon was wont to say in commendation of age, that age appeared to be best in these four things.—Melchior: Floresta Española de Apothegmas o sentencias, etc., ii. 1, 20.

What find you better or more honourable than age? Take the preheminence of it in everything,—in an old friend, in old wine, in an old pedigree.—Shakerley Marmion (1602–1639): The Antiquary.

I love everything that ’s old,—old friends, old times, old manners, old books, old wine.—Oliver Goldsmith: She Stoops to Conquer, act i. [back]
Note 3.
There are some defeats more triumphant than victories.—Montaigne: Of Cannibals, chap. xxx. [back]