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S.A. Bent, comp. Familiar Short Sayings of Great Men. 1887.

Earl of Angus

  • [Archibald Douglas, fifth earl, sometimes called the “Great Earl of Angus,” lord chancellor of Scotland about the end of the fifteenth century; a powerful, ambitious, and lawless subject; died about 1527.]
  • Heed it not, I’ll bell the cat.

  • To the Scotch nobles in 1482, who were conspiring against Cochran, Earl of Mar, favorite of James III. An allusion to the fable of the mice who wished to put a bell on the cat’s neck to warn them of her approach: the plan was a good one, only no one was found willing to bell the cat.