Home  »  English Proverbs and Proverbial Phrases  »  He that eats to He that loseth

W.C. Hazlitt, comp. English Proverbs and Proverbial Phrases. 1907.

He that eats to He that loseth

He that eats and leaves, covers his table twice. MS. Ashmole, 1153.

He that eats most porridge shall have most meat.

He that eats the hard must eat the ripe. H.

He that eats the king’s goose shall be choked with the feathers. R. 1670.

He that eats till he is sick must fast till he is well.

He that eats well and drinks well should do his duty well.

He that eats with the devil hath need of a long spoon.
Quoted by Chaucer in the Squieres Tale, by Marlowe in the Rich Jew of Malta, and by Shakespeare in the Tempest, act ii. sc. 2, where Stephano says of Calibran, “This is a devil and no monster; I will leave him: I have no long spoon.” It also occurs in the Comedy of Errors and in Kempe’s Nine Daies Wonder, 1600. “Who dips with the devil, he had need of a long spoon.”—Appius and Virginia, 1575, Dodsley, 1825, xii. 348. In Overbury’s Characters, appended to the Wife, edit. 1628, sign. O 3 verso, a Jesuit is said to be “a larger Spoone for a Traytour to feed with the Deuill, then any other Order.”

He that endureth is not overcome. H.

He that falls into the dirt, the longer he stays there the fouler he is. H.

He that falls to-day may be up again to-morrow.

He that feareth every bush must never go a birding.

He that fears danger in time seldom feels it.

He that feasteth a flatterer and a slanderer dineth with two devils.

He that feeds upon charity has a cold dinner and no supper.

He that fights and runs away may live to fight another day.
Compare, He fights well, &c.

He that flings dirt at another dirtieth himself most.

He that follows nature is never out of his way.

He that follows truth too near the heels shall have dirt thrown in his face. WALKER.

He that forsakes measure, measure forsakes him.

  • He that for the new way leaveth the old way,
  • is oftentimes found to go astray. B. Of M. R.
  • He that gapeth until he be fed,
  • well may he gape until he be dead. CL.
  • Nay, he that gapeth till he be fed,
  • Maie fortune to fast and famishe for honger.
  • Heywood, 1562.
  • C’est folie de beer contre mi four. Fr.—R.

    He that gets an estate will probably never spend it.

    He that gets forgets, but he that wants thinks on.

  • He that gets money before he gets wit,
  • will be but a short while master of it.
  • He that gets out of debt grows rich. H.

    He that gives himself leave to play with his neighbour’s fame may soon play it away.

  • He that gives his goods before he be dead,
  • take up a mallet and knock him on the head.
  • This is illustrated by a story in Mery Tales and Quicke Answeres (circa 1540), No. 103.
    A tablet attached to the outer wall in the centre of the almshouses built at Leominster for four widows by Mrs. Hester Clark in 1735 is a figure of a man wearing a cocked hat, and originally holding in his right hand a hatchet. The hatchet is now suspended from the wall, the hand having fallen away. Beneath is a distich slightly varying from the one given in the text:—
  • “He that gives away all before he is dead
  • Let ’em take this hatchet and knock him on ye head.”
  • Possibly we have here a memorial of some forgotten local episode.

    He that gives his heart will not deny his money.

    He that gives thee a capon, give him the leg and the wing. H.

    He that gives time to resolve, gives time to deny, and warning to prevent.

    He that gives to a grateful man puts out to usury.

    He that gives to be seen will relieve none in the dark.

    He that giveth customarily to the vulgar buyeth trouble.

    He that giveth me a little doeth by me well, quoth Hendyng.
    Reliq. Antiq., i. 112.

    He that giveth to a good man selleth well.

    He that goes a borrowing / goes a sorrowing.

    He that goes a great way for a wife is either cheated or means to cheat.

    He that goes and comes maketh a good voyage. B. OF M. R.

    He that goes barefoot must not plant thorns. H.
    This is the same as the Italian: Che semina spine non vada discalzo.

    He that goes softly goes safely. WALKER.

    He that goes the contrary way must go over it twice.

    He that goes to bed thirsty rises healthy.
    I look upon this as a very good observation, and should advise all persons not to go to bed with their stomachs full of wine, beer, or any other liquor. For (as the ingenious Doctor Lower observes) nothing can be more injurious to the brain; of which he gives a most rational and true account, which take in his words. “Cum enim propter proclivem corporis situm urina à renibus secreta non ità facilè & promptè uti cùm erecti sumus in vesicam per ureteres delabatur. Cùmque vesicæ cervix ex proclivi situ urinæ pondere non adeò gravetur; atque spiritibus per somnum in cerebrum aggregatis & quiescentibus, vesica oneris ejus sensum non ità percipiat, sed officii quasi oblita ca copià urinæ aliquando distenditur, ut majori recipiendæ spatium vix detur inde fit ut propter impeditum per renes & ureteres urinæ decursum in totum corpus regurgitet, & nisi diarrhœa proximo mane succedat, aut nocturno sudore evacuetur, in cerebrum deponi debet.” Tract. de Corde, co. ii. p. 141. Qui couche avec la soif se leve avec la santè.—R. But it is merely a weak form of our Early to bed, &c.

    He that goes to church with an ill intention goes to God’s house on the devil’s errand.

    He that goes to marry likes to know whether he shall have a chimney to his house. Cornw.
    He does not know whether his future wife will be in a position to bear him children. In early French facetious literature a chimney stands for a woman’s private part.

  • He that goeth out with often loss,
  • at last comes home by weeping cross. R.
  • This is quoted in Gosson’s Schoole of Abuse, 1579. It also occurs in Randolph’s Hey for Honesty, 1651, Argument. “He [the impious man] has this Paradoxical custome to repair to, a Hot-house in the midst of summer (as if he would practise Hell here on Earth), and that not to heat him, but quench his Flames; but alas it often proves too hot for him, and he is Scorcht, and by a Hellish fire, too, and comes home by Weeping Crosse.”—Juvenilia Sacra, by P. B., 1664, p. 46.
    I>Weeping Cross here meant in a figurative sense. See my Faiths and Folklore, 1905, p. 627. But a place so called is in Staffordshire the seat of the Salt family: and the term doubtless originated in the wayside crosses erected in so many places for devotional purposes.

    He that grasps at too much holds nothing fast.

    He that gropes in the dark finds what he would not.

    He that handles a nettle tenderly is soonest stung.
    If you grasp one firmly, it is less likely to sting you.

    He that handles pitch shall foul his fingers.

    He that handles thorns shall prick his fingers.
    See He that goes, &c.

    He that has a great nose thinks everybody is speaking of it.

    He that has a store of bread may beg his milk merrily.

    He that has an hundred and one, and owes an hundred and two, the Lord have mercy upon him.

    He that has but four and spends five, has no need of a purse.

    He that has but one eye must take heed how he lose it. CL.

    He that has but one eye sees the better for it.
    Better than he would do without it: a ridiculous saying.—R.

    He that has but one hog makes him fat, and he that has but one son makes him a fool.

    He that has led a wicked life is afraid of his own memory.

    He that has lost his credit is dead to the world.

    He that has most time has none to lose.

    He that has neither horse nor cart cannot always load. W.

    He that has no children knows not what is love.

    He that has no fools, knaves, or beggars in his family was begot by a flash of lightning.

    He that has no head needs no hat.
    Qui n’a point de tête n’a que faire de chaperon. Fr.—R.

    He that has no modesty has all the town for his own.

    He that has no silver in his purse should have silver on his tongue.

    He that has nothing is frighted at nothing.

    He that has nothing to spare must not keep a dog.

    He that has patience has fat thrushes for a farthing. H.
    Alaventure tout vient apoint qui peut Atendre.—Motto on an early French printer’s device.

    He that has the worst cause makes the most noise.

    He that hath a fellow-ruler hath an over-ruler.

    He that hath a fox for his mate hath need of a net at his girdle. H.

    He that hath a good harvest may be content with some thistles. CL.

  • He that hath a good master,
  • and cannot keep him;
  • he that hath a good servant,
  • and not content with him;
  • he that hath such conditions,
  • that no man loveth him,
  • may well know others,
  • but few men will know him.
  • Rhodes, Boke of Nurture, 1577, ed. Furnivall, 108.

  • He that hath a good neighbour hath a good morrow;
  • he that hath a shrewd wife hath much sorrow;
  • he that fast spendeth must need borrow,
  • but when he must pay again, then is all the sorrow.
  • MS. of the 15th century in Rel. Antiq., i. 316.

    He that hath a good spear, let him try it. B. OF M. R.

    He that hath a head of wax must not walk in the sun. H.

    He that hath a mouth of his own must not say to another, Blow. H.

    He that hath a trade hath an estate.
    Poor Richard Improved, 1758, by B. Franklin.

    He that hath a white horse and a fair wife never wants trouble.

    He that hath a wife and children must not sit with his fingers in his mouth.

    He that hath a wife and children wants not business. H.

    He that hath an ill name is half hanged. HE.
    The Spaniards say, Quien la fama ha perdida, muerto anda en vida.—R. The Italians have the expression, Huomo assaltato e mezzo preso.

    He that hath been bitten by a serpent is afraid of a rope.

  • He that hath but little, he shall have less:
  • he that hath right nought, right nought shall possess. HE.
  • This is merely, of course, a paraphrase of the familiar Scriptural passage.

    He that hath children, all his morsels are not his own. H.

    He that hath done so much hurt he can do no more, may sit down and rest him. CL.

    He that hath eaten a bear-pie will always smell of the garden.

    He that hath good corn may be content with some thistles.

    He that hath horns in his bosom, let him not put them on his head. H.

  • He that hath it, and will not keep it;
  • He that wants it, and will not seek it;
  • He that drinks, and is not dry,
  • shall want money as well as I.
  • He that hath little is the less dirty. H.

    He that hath love in his breast hath spurs at his heels.

    He that hath many irons in the fire some of them will cool.

    He that hath money in his purse cannot want a head for his shoulders.

    He that hath more smocks than shirts at a bucking had need be a man of good forelooking. CHAUCER.
    More smocks than shirts, i.e., more daughters than sons. Bucking = washing.

    He that hath no children doth bring them up well. B. OF M. R.

    He that hath no head needs no hat.

    He that hath no heart hath legs. B. OF M. R.

    He that hath no honey in his pot, let him have it in his mouth. H.

    He that hath no ill fortune is troubled with good. H.

    He that hath no money needeth no purse.

    He that hath no wife beateth her oft. B. OF M. R.

    He that hath not a house must lie in the yard.
    Lyly’s Endimion, 1591 (Works, 1858, i. 53).

    He that hath not the craft, let him shut up shop. H.

    He that hath nothing is not contented.

    He that hath not served knoweth not how to command. B. OF M. R.

    He that hath once got the fame of an early riser may sleep till noon.
    Howell’s Letters, ed. 1754, 332; letter dated 3 Aug. 1634. There are other versions.

    He that hath one foot in the straw hath another in the spital [hospital]. H.

    He that hath one of his family hanged may not say to his neighbour, Hang up this fish. C.

    He that hath plenty of good shall have more. C.
    The Scriptural maxim.

    He that hath shipped the devil must make the best of him.

    He that hath some land must have some labour.
    No sweet without some sweat; without pains, no gains.—R.

    He that hath the spice may season as he list. H.

    He that hath the world at will seems wise. B. OF M. R.

    He that hath time, and looketh for more, loseth time.

    He that hath time hath life. B. OF M. R.
    Nash’s Have with you to Saffron Walden, 1596, repr. 1869, p. 51. We sometimes find the sentence reversed: He that hath life, &c. Chi ha tempo ha vita. Ital.

  • He that hears much, and speaketh not all,
  • shall be welcome both in bower and hall.
  • Parla poco, ascoltai assai e non fallirai. Ital.—R.

    He that helpeth the evil hurteth the good.

    He that hides can find.

    He that hires one garden eats birds: he that hires more than one will be eaten by the birds.

    He that hires the horse must ride before.

    He that hoardeth up money taketh pains for other men.

    He that hopes no good fears no ill.

    He that hunts two hares oft loseth both. B. OF M. R.

    He that hurts another hurts himself. B. OF M. R.

  • He that hurts robin or wren,
  • will never prosper, boy nor man. Cornw.
  • He that in his purse lacks money,
  • has in his mouth much need of honey.
  • He that in youth no virtue useth,
  • in age all honour him refuseth.
  • Reliquiæ Antiquæ, vol i. p. 92 (from a MS. of the 15th cent.)

    He that is a blab / is a scab.
    A Spanish shrug will sometimes shift off a lie as well as a louse.—R.

    He that is a wise man by day is no fool by night.

    He that is afraid of every grass, must not piss in a meadow. C.

    He that is afraid of the leaves must not come into the wood. CL.

    He that is angry is seldom at ease.

    He that is angry without a cause must be pleased without amends.

    He that is at low ebb at Newgate may soon be afloat at Tyburn.

    He that is born to be hanged shall never be drowned. C.

    He that is busy is tempted but by one devil: he that is idle, by a legion.

    He that is content with his poverty is wonderfully rich. W.

    He that is fallen cannot help him that is down. H.

    He that is fit for the chapel is meet for the field.
    Precise Discipline, therefore, is the ordinarie course of honorable warfare: whereby the Prouerbe (no lesse wise then it is olde) is also profitable, as it is most true.—The Defence of Militarie Profession, by Geffrey Gates, 1579, sign. E 3.

    He that is fit to drink wine must have sugar on his beard, his eyes in his pockets, and his feet in his hands.
    Gratiæ Ludentes. Iests from the Vniversitie. By H. L. 1638, p. 172, where it is cited as a proverb.

    He that is full abhorreth the honeycomb.
    Scot’s Perfite Platforme of a Hoppe Garden, ed. 1576, sign. A 4.

    He that is giddy thinks the world turns round.

    He that is heady is ruled by a fool.

    He that is in poverty is still in suspicion. B. OF M. R.

    He that is innocent may well be confident.

    He that is known to have no money has neither friends nor credit.

    He that is mann’d with boys and horsed with colts, shall have his meat eaten and his work undone. CL.

    He that is master of himself will soon be master of others.

    He that is needy when he is married shall be rich when he is buried.

    He that is not handsome at twenty, nor strong at thirty, nor rich at forty, nor wise at fifty, will never be handsome, strong, rich, or wise. H.

    He that is not sensible of his loss has lost nothing.

    He that is proud of his fine clothes gets his reputation from his tailor.

    He that is silent gathers stones.
    Quien callar piedras spañá. Span. If a man says little, he thinks the more.—R.

    He that is suffered to do more than is fitting will do more than is lawful.

    He that is surety for another is never sure himself.

    He that is thrown would ever wrestle.

    He that is too proud to ask is too good to receive.

    He that is too secure is not safe.

    He that is uneasy at every little pain is never without some ache.

    He that is warm thinks all so. H.

    He that is well sheltered is a fool if he stirs out into the rain.

    He that is won with a nut may be lost with an apple. HE.

    He that keeps another man’s dog shall have nothing left him but the line. CL.
    This is the Greek proverb. [Greek]. The meaning is, that he who bestows a benefit upon an ungrateful person loses his cost. For if a dog break loose, he presently gets him home to his former master, leaving the cord he was tied with.—R.

    He that killeth a man when he is drunk shall be hanged when he is sober. HE.

    He that kills himself with working must be buried under the gallows.

    He that kisseth his wife in the market-place shall have enough to teach him.

    He that knoweth when he hath enough is no fool. HE.

    He that knows little soon repeats it.

    He that knows not how to hold his tongue, knows not how to talk.

    He that knows nothing doubts nothing. H.

    He that labours and thrives spins gold. H.
    Quien ara y cria, oro hila. Span.

    He that laughs alone will be sport in company.

  • He that [or who] leaveth surety, and leaneth unto chance,
  • when fools pipe, he may dance. HE.
  • He that leaves the highway for a short cut commonly goes about.

    He that lets his fish escape, may cast his net often, yet never catch it again.

  • He that lets his horse drink at every lake,
  • and his wife go to every wake,
  • shall never be without a whore and a jade. R.
  • He that lies too long abed, his estate feels it. H.

    He that lies with the dogs riseth with fleas. H.
    Chi con can dorme con pulce si leva. Ital. Qui se couche avec les chiens se leve avec des puces. Fr. Quien con perros se echa, con pulgas se levanta. Span.—R.

    He that lieth upon the ground can fall no lower.

    He that lippens to boden ploughs, his hand will lie ley.

    He that listens for what people say of him shall never have peace.

    He that lives always at home, sees nothing but home.
    Breton’s Court and Country, 1618 (Roxb. Lib., repr. 184).

    He that lives ill, fear follows him. H.

    He that lives longest, must fetch his wood farthest. CL.

    He that lives most, dies most. H.

    He that lives not well one year, sorrows for it seven.

    He that lives on hope has but a slender diet.

    He that lives on hope, will die fasting.
    Poor Richard Improved, 1758, by B. Franklin.

    He that lives well is learned enough. H.

    He that lives well, sees afar off. H.

    He that lives with the Muses shall die in the straw.

    He that liveth in hope danceth without a fiddle.

    He that looks for a requital, serves himself, not me.

    He that looks not before, will find himself behind. H.

    He that loseth his due gets not thanks. H.

    He that loseth his wife and sixpence, hath lost a tester. R. 1670.

    He that loseth is merchant as well as he that gains. H.

  • He is a marchaunt without money or ware;
  • Byd that marchaunt be couerd, he is bare.
  • Heywood, 1562.