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

Page 3

Geoffrey Chaucer. (c. 1340–1400) (continued)
    Min be the travaille, and thin be the glorie.
          Canterbury Tales. The Knightes Tale. Line 2408.
    To maken vertue of necessite. 1
          Canterbury Tales. The Knightes Tale. Line 3044.
    And brought of mighty ale a large quart.
          Canterbury Tales. The Milleres Tale. Line 3497.
    Ther n’ is no werkman whatever he be,
That may both werken wel and hastily. 2
This wol be done at leisure parfitly. 3
          Canterbury Tales. The Marchantes Tale. Line 585.
    Yet in our ashen cold is fire yreken. 4
          Canterbury Tales. The Reves Prologue. Line 3880.
    The gretest clerkes ben not the wisest men.
          Canterbury Tales. The Reves Tale. Line 4051.
    So was hire joly whistle wel ywette.
          Canterbury Tales. The Reves Tale. Line 4153.
    In his owen grese I made him frie. 5
          Canterbury Tales. The Reves Tale. Line 6069.
    And for to see, and eek for to be seie. 6
          Canterbury Tales. The Wif of Bathes Prologue. Line 6134.
Note 1.
Also in Troilus and Cresseide, line 1587.

To make a virtue of necessity.—William Shakespeare: Two Gentlemen of Verona, act iv. sc. 2. Mathew Henry: Comm. on Ps. xxxvii. John Dryden: Palamon and Arcite.

In the additions of Hadrianus Julius to the Adages of Erasmus, he remarks, under the head of Necessitatem edere, that a very familiar proverb was current among his countrymen,—“Necessitatem in virtutem commutare” (To make necessity a virtue).

Laudem virtutis necessitati damus (We give to necessity the praise of virtue).—Quintilian: Inst. Orat. i. 8. 14. [back]
Note 2.
Haste makes waste.—John Heywood: Proverbs, part i. chap. ii.

Nothing can be done at once hastily and prudently.—Publius Syrus: Maxim 357. [back]
Note 3.
Ease and speed in doing a thing do not give the work lasting solidity or exactness of beauty.—Plutarch: Life of Pericles. [back]
Note 4.
E’en in our ashes live their wonted fires.—Thomas Gray: Elegy, Stanza 23. [back]
Note 5.
Frieth in her own grease.—John Heywood: Proverbs, part i. chap. xi. [back]
Note 6.
To see and to be seen.—Ben Jonson: Epithalamion, st. iii. line 4. Oliver Goldsmith: Citizen of the World, letter 71.

Spectatum veniunt, veniunt spectentur ut ipsæ (They come to see; they come that they themselves may be seen).—Ovid: The Art of Love, i. 99. [back]