Home  »  Familiar Quotations  »  Thomas &agrave Kempis 1379 or 1380-1471 John Bartlett

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

Thomas &agrave Kempis 1379 or 1380-1471 John Bartlett

    Man proposes, but God disposes. 1
          Imitation of Christ. Book i. Chap. 19.
    And when he is out of sight, quickly also is he out of mind. 2
          Imitation of Christ. Book i. Chap. 23.
    Of two evils, the less is always to be chosen. 3
          Imitation of Christ. Book iii. Chap. 12.
Note 1.
This expression is of much greater antiquity. It appears in the Chronicle of Battel Abbey, p. 27 (Lower’s translation), and in The Vision of Piers Ploughman, line 13994. ed. 1550.

A man’s heart deviseth his way; but the Lord directeth his steps.—Proverbs xvi. 9. [back]
Note 2.
Out of syght, out of mynd.—Googe: Eglogs. 1563.

And out of mind as soon as out of sight.
Lord Brooke: Sonnet lvi.

Fer from eze, fer from herte,
Quoth Hendyng.
Hendyng: Proverbs, MSS. Circa 1320.

I do perceive that the old proverbis be not alwaies trew, for I do finde that the absence of my Nath. doth breede in me the more continuall remembrance of him.—Anne Lady Bacon to Jane Lady Cornwallis, 1613.

On page 19 of The Private Correspondence of Lady Cornwallis, Sir Nathaniel Bacon speaks of the owlde proverbe, “Out of sighte, out of mynde.” [back]
Note 3.
See Chaucer, Quotation 43. [back]