W.C. Hazlitt, comp. English Proverbs and Proverbial Phrases. 1907.
He looks as to He that drinks
He looks as angry as if he were vexed.
He looks as if he had neither won nor lost.
He stands as if he were moped, in a brown study, unconcerned.—R.
He looks as if he lived on Tewkesbury mustard. Gloucest.
Tewkesbury is a fair market-town in this county [Gloucestershire], noted for the mustard-balls made there, and sent into other parts. This is spoken partly of such who always have a sad, severe, and terrific countenance. Si ecastor hic homo sinapi victitet, non censeam tam tristem esse posse. Plant. in Trucul. Partly of such as are snappish, captious, and prone to take exceptions.—R.
He looks as though he had sucked his dam through a hurdle.
He looks like a dog under a door.
He looks like a Lochaber axe.
He looks like a sow saddled.
He looks like a tooth-drawer.
i.e., very thin and meagre.—R. Dentists, in the reign of Elizabeth (according to Chettle’s account) did not enjoy a particularly good character. Kind Harts Dreame (1592), Percy Soc. repr. 28.
See a note in my Dodsley, xii. 139.
He looks like a wild cat out of a bush.
He looks not well to himself that looks not ever.
He looks one way and rows another.
He loses his thanks who promiseth and delayeth.
Gratia ab officio, quod mora tardat, abest.—R.
He loses many a good bit that strives with his betters.
He loseth indeed that loseth at last.
He loves bacon well that licks the sow.
He loves mutton well, that dips his bread in the wool.
He loves not at all that knows when to make an end.
Ford’s Virtus Rediviva, &c., 1661, sign. K 8 verso.
He loves roast meat well that licks the spit.
He loves you as a ferret does a rabbit.
He loveth well sheep’s flesh that wets his bread in the wool.
He makes a feint at the lungs, but lays his stroke on the head.
He makes a rod for his own breech.
He makes an ill song who has ne’er a tongue.
He makes arrows of all sorts of wood.
He makes Dun draw.
He may be heard where he is not seen.
He may be trusted with a house full of millstones.
He may e’en go write to his friends.
We say it of a man when all his hopes are gone.—R. Il est reduit aux abois. Fr.
He may find fault, but let him mend it if he can.
He may freely receive courtesies that knows how to requite them.
He may go hang himself in his own garters.
He may go well afoot, who holds his horse in his hand.
He may hope for the best that’s prepared for the worst.
He may ill run that cannot go.
He may make a will upon his nail.
He may remove Mort-stone. Devonshire.
There is a bay in this county called Mort Bay; but the harbour in the entrance thereof is stopped with a huge rock, called Mortstone; and the people merrily say, none can remove it but such as are masters of their wives. Fuller (1662).—R.
He may whet his knife on the threshold of the Fleet.
The Fleet is a place notoriously known for a prison, so called from Fleetbrook running by it, to which many are committed for their contempts, and more for their debts. The proverb is applicable to such who never owed ought: or having run into debt, have crept out of it, so that now they may triumphare in hostico, defy danger and arrest, &c.—R.
He measures a twig.
He must be a sad fellow that nobody can please.
He must go to Tiverton and ask Mr. Able.
The meaning I take to be that at some former time a gull was sent to Tiverton by some wag to get a piece of impossible information from whomever he might find there able to give it to him.
He must have iron nails that scratcheth with a bear.
He must have leave to speak who cannot hold his tongue.
He must needs go whom the devil doth drive.
Triall of Treasure, 1567, edit. 1849, p. 41; Autobiography of Sir John Bramston, Camd. Soc., p. 359.
He must needs swim that is held up by the chin.
Scogin’s Jests, 1626 (Old Engl. Jest-Books, ii.) “Celui peut hardiment nager à qui l’on soûtient le menton. Fr.”—R.
He must stoop that hath a low door.
He must take a house in Turnagain Lane.
This, in old records, is called Wind-again Lane, and lieth in the parish of St. Sepulchre’s [St. Pulcher] going down to Fleet-ditch, having no exit at one end. It is spoken of and to those who take prodigal or other vicious and destructive courses—R. 1670.
He must tell you a tale and find you ears.
He needs little advice that is lucky.
He never broke his hour that kept his day.
He never lies but when the holly’s green.
He never was good, neither egg nor bird.
He numbers the waves.
He opens the door with an axe.
He paints the dead.
He paves the meadows.
He pays him with pen-powder.
Calamoboas.—Clarke’s Parœm., 1639, p. 58.
He pins his faith upon another man’s sleeve.
He plays well that wins.
He plays you as fair as if he picked your pocket.
He ploughs the air.
He prates like a parrot.
He prates like an apothecary.
He preaches well that lives well.
He preacheth patience that never knew pain.
He promiseth like a merchant, but pays like a man of war.
He promiseth mountains and performeth molehills.
He pulls with a long rope that waits for another’s death.
He put a fine feather in his cap.
i.e., “Honour without profit,” notes Ray; but at present we use the phrase, To have, or put, a feather in one’s cap, as a metaphor for gaining credit or laurels by anything, rather than in the sense of empty honour.
He puts a hat on an hen.
He puts a rope to the eye of a needle.
He quits his place well that leaves his friend there.
He refuseth the bribe, but putteth forth his hand.
He remembers his ancestors, but forgets to feed his children.
He repents as much as the mare, who killed the dog.
Said to have originated in the Welsh legend of Beddgelert.
He rises o’er early that is hanged ere noon.
He roars like the great Tregeagle. East Cornwall.
Said of a screaming child. See Hazlitt’s Faiths and Folklore, 1905, p. 596.
He roasts snow in a furnace.
He rode sure indeed that never caught a fall.
He runneth far that never turneth again.
He says anything but his prayers, and those he whistles.
He scaped hemp, but deserved a wooden halter.
He scratches his head with one finger.
He seeks water in the sea.
He seeks wool on an ass.
He seemeth wise with whom all things thrive.
He sees an inch afore his nose.
He sendeth to the East Indies for Kentish pippins.
He serves the poor with a thump on the back with a stone.
He set my house on fire only to roast his eggs.
He sets the fox to keep his geese.
Dyke’s English Proverbs (1709), p. 45.
He shall be presented at Halagaver court. Cornw.
This is a jocular and imaginary court, wherewith men make merriment to themselves, resenting such persons who go slovenly in their attire; where judgment in formal terms is given against them, and executed more to the scorn than hurt of the persons.—R.
He shall have enough to do who studies to please fools.
He shall have the king’s horse.
He shoots like a crow-keeper.
Forby (Vocab. 1830, in voce) says: “A boy employed to scare crows from new-sown land. Lear, in his madness, says, ‘That fellow handles his bow like a crow-keeper.’ Besides lustily whooping, he carries an old gun, from which he cracks a little powder, and sometimes puts in a few stones, but seldom hits, and still seldomer kills a crow. In Shakespeare’s time, it seems, that the crow-keeper carried a bow, and doubtless handled it with as much awkwardness and as little success as the modern boy manages his gun. Heywood has a pleasantry in his Epigrams, 1562, at the expense of the name itself, which conveys precisely what the crow-keeper is not. I may add the following passage from Certain Discourses written by Sir John Smythe, Knight, concerning the formes and effects of diuers sorts of weapons, 1590, sign. G 2: “—such quick and hastie Harquebuziers doo worke no other effect but spend powder, match & shot, and heate their peeces oftentimes to their owne mischiefes: and therefore (in troth) are more meete to scare Crowes in a corne field.” In the Privy Purse Expenses of Henry VII. under Oct. 1, 1494, occurs: “To the crow-taker, and for saying of two masses,…2/-” an odd juxtaposition. Again, on the 20th May, 1505, “To hym, that waches the crowes, 3/4.”
He should be a baker by his bow-legs.
He should wear iron shoon that bides his neighbour’s death.
He shows all his wit at once.
He shrinks in the wetting.
He signifies no more than a blind cat in a barn.
He sits not sure that sits too high.
He sits up by moonshine, and lies abed in sunshine.
He skips like hail on a pack-saddle.
He sleeps as dogs do when wives sift meal.
He smelleth best that doth of nothing smell.
Lingua, 1607, iv. 3.
He sneaks as if he would creep into his mouth.
He speaks bear-garden.
That is, such rude and uncivil, or sordid and dirty, language, as the rabble that frequent those sports are wont to use.—R. 1670.
He speaks of things more ancient than chaos.
He speaks one word nonsense, and two that have nothing in them.
He spent Michaelmas rent in Midsummer moon.
He spills unspoken to.
He spits out secrets like hot custard.
He spoke of a fox; but, when all came to all, it was but a fern-brake.
He sprinkles incense on a dunghill.
He stands in great need that borrows the cat’s dish.
He stands like Mumphazard, who was hanged for saying nothing. Cheshire.
He stands not surely that never slips.
He stinks like a physician.
Nash’s Summers Last Will and Testament, 1600 (Dodsley’s O. P., ed. Hazlitt, viii.)
He stole a goose and stuck down a feather.
He strikes with a straw.
He struck at Tib, and down fell Tom.
He sups ill who eats up all at dinner.
He takes a spear to kill a fly.
He takes in good counsel like cold porridge.
He takes oil to extinguish the fire.
He takes the bull by the horns.
He takes the spring from the year.
He teaches me to be good that does me good.
He teacheth ill that teacheth all.
He tells me my way and don’t know his own.
He that all men will please / shall never find ease.
He that always complains is never pitied.
He that always fears dangers always feels it.
He that any good would win, / at his mouth must first begin.
He that asketh a courtesy promiseth a kindness.
He that asketh faintly beggeth a denial.
Qui timidç rogat, negare docet.
He that banquets every day never makes a good meal.
He that beareth a torch shadoweth himself to give light to others.
He that bestoweth but a bone on thee would not have thee die.
He that bites on every weed may light on poison.
He that blames would buy.
He that blows in the dust fills his eyes with it.
He that boasteth of himself affronteth his company.
He that borrows must pay again with shame or loss.
Shame, if he returns not as much as he borrowed; loss, if more; and it is very hard to cut the hair.—R.
He that bringeth a present findeth the door open.
He that brings good news knocks hard.
He that brings up his son to nothing breeds a thief.
He that builds a house by the highway side, it is either too high or too low.
Chi fabrica la casa in piazza, ô che è troppo alta ô troppo bassa. Ital.—R.
He that builds castles in the air will soon have no land.
He that burns his house warms himself for once.
He that burns most shines most.
He that buyeth dear, and taketh up on credit, shall ever sell to his loss.
He that buyeth magistracy must sell justice.
He that buys and lies shall feel it in his purse.
He that buys and sells is called a merchant.
He that can make a fire well can end a quarrel.
He that can quietly endure overcometh.
B. of M. R., 1629, No. 28. Vincit qui patitur.
He that can reply calmly to an angry man is too hard for him.
He that can stay, obtains.
He that cannot abide a bad market deserves not a good one.
He that cannot beat his horse beats the saddle.
He that cannot pay, / let him pray.
He that can’t ride a gentle horse must not attempt to back a mad colt.
He that casteth all doubts shall never be resolved.
He that chastiseth one amendeth many.
He that cheateth in small things is a fool, but in great things is a rogue.
He that comes after, sees with more eyes than his own.
He that comes of a hen must scrape.
He that cometh last maketh all fast.
Le dernier ferme la porte, on la laisse ouverte. Fr.—R.
He that cometh last to the pot is soonest wrath.
He that commandeth well shall be obeyed well.
He that commits a fault thinks every one speaks of it.
He that contemplates on his bed hath a day without a night.
He that crabs without cause shall meat without mends.
He that dallies with his enemy gives him leave to kill him.
He that dares not venture must not complain of ill luck.
He that deals in the world needs four sieves.
He that desires but little has no need of much.
He that despises shame wants a bridle.
He that died half a year ago is as dead as Adam.
He that dies pays all debts.
He that does anything for the public is accounted to do it for nobody.
He that does not love a woman sucked a sow.
He that does not speak truth to me does not believe me when I speak truth.
He that does what he should not shall feel what he would not.
He that does you a very ill turn will never forgive you.
Odisse quem læseris.
He that doeth his own business hurteth not his hand.
He that doth amiss may do well.
He that doth good for praise only meriteth but a puff of wind.
He that doth lend / doth lose his friend.
See the very curious ballad, “I had both Monie and a Friend,” printed by Dr. Rimbault, in his Little Book of Songs and Ballads, 1851, p. 42. “Qui prete aux amis perd an double. Fr. He that lends to his friend loseth double; i.e., both money and friend.”—R.
He that doth most at once, doth least.
He that doth not rob makes not a robe or garment.
He that doth nothing doth ever amiss.
He that doth well wearieth not himself.
He that doth what he will, doth not what he ought.
He that drinks not wine after salad is in danger of being sick.