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

The offspring to The wise men

The offspring of them that are very old or very young lasteth not.

The old horse must die in somebody’s keeping.

The old withy tree would have a new gate hung at it.

The old wives’ paternoster.
What this was does not appear; but it was apparently an oath; in the account of the Quarrel between Arthur Hall of Grantham and Melchisdech Mallerie, printed in 1580, it is said of Hall, “he, plucking his hatte about his eares, mumbling the old wives Pater noster, departed.”

The older the Welshman, the more madman.

The orange that is too hard squeezed yields a bitter juice.

The owl is not accounted the wiser for living retiredly.

The owl is the king of the night. CL.

The owl thinks all her young ones beauties.

The owl was a baker’s daughter.
“Oph.Well, God ’ield you! They say the owl was a baker’s daughter.”—Hamlet, 1604, iv. 5. See Mr. Halliwell’s Ancient Inventories of Plate, Tapestry, &c., 1854, p. 157. The saying is referred by Douce to a tradition connected with our Saviour, who is said to have turned into an owl the daughter of a certain baker: but the story is almost beneath criticism. Mr. Hunter (New Illustr. of Shakespeare, ii. 258), quotes a passage from Braithwaite’s Nature’s Embassie, 1621, for the varying legend that this bird was a king’s daughter, transformed for her pride. This is more in the spirit of the classical mythology, and, as Mr. Hunter himself remarks, would give higher effect to the passage cited from Hamlet. There is no mention of such a metamorphosis in any of the Apocryphal Gospels. Compare Mr. Dyce’s Glossary to his 2nd edit. of Shakesp., 1868, in v.

The ox when weariest treads surest.
Bos lassus fortiùs figit pedem. Those that are slow are sure. El buey quando se causa, firme sienta la pata. Span.—R.

  • The oyster is a gentle thing,
  • and will not come unless you sing.
  • This saying seems to be connected with the ancient creed in the power of song over all the operations of the household, the milk of the cow, the produce of the hen roost, the prosperity of the churn, &c. See Mr. Gomme’s Presidential Address to Folk-Lore Society, 1894, p. 67. But many descriptions of animals are attracted by sound without understanding its nature, just as they are by any conspicuous object. See Couch’s Illustrations of Instinct, 1847, p. 412.

    The paleness of the pilot is sign of a storm.

    The parings of a pippin are better than a whole crab.
    The crab here referred to is a small apple so called. It is of about the size of a cherry, not suitable for eating, but excellent as a preserve. There are many varieties.

    The parson gets the children.
    Killigrew’s Parson’s Wedding, 1664, p. 92. He has nothing else to do.

    The parson’s side.
    “Lucilla … shaped him an aunswere which pleased Ferardo but a lyttle, and pinched Philautus on the persons syde.”—Lyly’s Euphues, 1579, repr. Arber, 87.

    The peach will have wine, the fig water. B. OF M. R.

    The peacock cries before the rain.
    This is a generally accepted weather-saw among gardeners. I hear that it is also current in Scotland. But at Barn Elms, near which I live, I hear the peacocks in all weathers.

  • The people are poor / at Hatherleigh moor,
  • and so they have been / for ever and ever. Devonshire.
  • The people will worship a calf if it be a golden one.

    The persuasion of the fortunate sways the doubtful.

  • The pigeon never knoweth woe,
  • but when she doth a benting go.
  • Bent, the seedstack of grass.—Sir G. C. Lewis’s Herefordshire Glossary, 1839, in v. Browne, the Devonshire poet, uses it in the sense of a chaplet formed of short grass. See his Works, ed. Hazlitt, i. Notes in voce. In Wiltshire, according to Akerman (Glossary, 1842, p. 5), they say bennething instead of benting, which may thus be a corruption, or at least a contracted form. Moor (Suffolk Words, 1823, p. 25), gives Bent, Bents, Benten, Bentles, as forms of this word. The proverb is also known in that county, with a slight variation:
  • “The dow [dove] she dew no sorrow know,
  • Until she dew a benten go.”
  • The pig’s language.
    French is so called in Englishmen for my Money, 1616 (Hazlitt’s Dodsley, x. 502).

    The pine wishes herself a shrub when the axe is at her root.

    The plough goes not well if the ploughman holds it not.

    The plough goeth before the oxen. W.

    The poet, of all sorts of artificers, is the fondest of his works.

    The poor man pays for all.

    The poor man throws away what the rich man puts in his pocket.
    This is said to be a Lancashire saying. It is allusive to the same practice, of which Montaigne speaks in one of his Essays, where he tells us that a French gentleman of his acquaintance considered the use of the pocket-handkerchief uncleanlier than the popular method of blowing the nose.

    The poor man turns his cake, and another comes and takes it away.

    The poor man’s labour is the rich man’s wealth. D.

    The poor man’s shilling is but a penny.

    The poorer the Church, the purer the Church.

    The postern door / makes the thief and whore. HE.* and C.

    The pot calls the kettle black.
    Dijo la sarten á la caldera, quitate allá ojinegra.—Span.

    The praise of fools is censure in disguise.

    The pretty dancers. Scotish.
    The Aurora Borealis.

  • “The Scots, among us, seem’d delighted,
  • To see their Southern friends so frighted
  • At Nature’s Sportings, that arise
  • So frequent in the Northern skies,
  • And when they brandish in the air,
  • Are stil’d, the Pritty Dancers, there.”
  • British Wonders, 1717, p. 32.
  • The prick of a pin is enough to make an empire insipid.

    The pride of Truro. Cornw.
    Notes and Queries, 3rd S., v. 275.

    The priest forgetteth that ever he hath been holy water clerk. HE.

  • “The priest when he begins the mass
  • Forgets that ever clerk he was.”
  • Crowne-Garland of Goulden Roses, 1612, by R. Johnson. See Porter’s Two Angry Women of Abington, 1599, edit. Dyce, p. 33.

    The prince that is feared of many must fear many.

    The privilege of Martin Hundred.
    See A Myrrovr for Magistrates, 1563, fol. 19.

    The prodigal robs his heir, the miser himself.

    The proof of a pudding is in the eating. HE. and CL.
    In one of Martin Parker’s ballads (circa 1650).

    The properer man, the worse luck.

    The proudest vice is ashamed to wear its own face long.

    The purest gold is the most ductile.

    The purse-strings are the most common ties of friendship.

    The race is got by running.

  • The rainbow in the morning / is the shepherd’s warning;
  • the rainbow at night / is the shepherd’s delight.
  • The Germans have nearly the same dictum. See N. and Q., 1st S., i. 413, where a Wiltshire version of our English adage is given.

    The raven chides blackness.

    The raven said to the rook, Stand away, black-coat.

    The ready way to Romford.
    Musarum Deliciæ, 1656, ed. 1817, p. 16:

  • “There is a proverb to thy comfort
  • Known, as the ‘ready way to Rumford.’”
  • The red is wise, the brown trusty,
  • the pale envious, the black lusty.
  • Varchi’s Blazon of Jealousie, transl. by R. Tofte, 1615, p. 21. Compare To a red man, &c.

    The revenge of an idiot is without mercy.

    The reverend are ever before. H.

    The reward of love is jealousy.

    The rich follow wealth, and the poor the rich.

    The rich need not beg a welcome.

    The rich widow cries with one eye and laughs with the other.

    The river passed and God forgotten. H.

  • The robin and the wren / are God’s cock and hen:
  • the martin and the swallow / are God’s mate and marrow.
  • Wilbraham’s Cheshire Glossary, p. 105 (ed. 1826). Another version of the last line is, Are God Almighty’s birds to hollow (= to hallow, to keep holy).

    The rolling stone never gathereth moss. HE.
    Tottels Miscellany, 1557, repr. 119; Marriage of Wit and Wisdom (circa 1570), Sh. Soc., ed. 46.

    The rose called by any other name, would smell as sweet. SHAKESPEARE.
    This phrase, not originally proverbial, or in its nature or even in the poet’s intention so, has acquired that character by long custom, and it seemed to be impossible to omit a sentence with which everybody is familiar, and which is constantly cited in a proverbial sense.

    The rotten apple (or tooth) injures its neighbour.

    The rough net is not the best catcher of birds. HE.

    The rusty sword and empty purse plead performance of covenants.

    The sack is known by the sample.

    The same again, quoth Mark of Belgrave. Leicestershire.
    This proverb alludes to a story told of a militia officer in the time of Queen Elizabeth, who, exercising his men before the Lord-Lieutenant, was so abashed, that after giving the first word of command, his memory failing him, he repeatedly ordered his men to do the same again.—R.

    The same knife cuts both bread and the finger. CL.

    The scalded dog [or cat] fears cold water. H.
    Can scottato d’ acqua calda ha paura poi della fredda. Ital. Chat eschaudé craint l’eau froide. Fr. Gato escaldado de agoa fria he medo. Port. Qui semel est læsus fallaci piscis ab hamo.—R.

    The scholar may war the master.

    The Scotch ordinary.
    i.e., the house of office.—R.

    The sea complains it wants water.

    The sea refuses no river.

    The second blow makes the fray.

    The second vice is lying, the first is owing money.

    The self-edge makes show of the cloth.

    The servant of a king is a king.

    The sexton is a fatal musician. CL.

    The shoe will hold with the sole. HE.
    La suola tien con la scarpa. Ital. i.e., The sole holds with the shoe.—R.

    The short and the long.
    M. W. of Windsor.

    The shortest answer is doing. H.

    The sick man is not to complain, who has his cure in his sleeve. Montaigne.

  • The sickle and the scythe, / that love I not to see:
  • but the good ale tankard, / happy might it be. CL.
  • The sign invites you in, but your money must get you out.

    The singing man keeps his shop in his throat.

    The slothful is the servant of the counters. H.

    The sluggard makes his night till noon.

    The sluggard must be clad in rags. C.

  • The smaller the peas, the more to the pot;
  • the fairer the woman, the more the giglot.
  • MS. Sloane, 1210 (15th cent.), in Reliquiæ Antiquæ, ii. 40. Giglot = slut, giddy-heels; the same, I suppose, as the provincial phrase jig.

    The smallest axe may fell the hugest oak.
    Misfortunes of Arthur, &c., 1587, repr. 1828, p. 36.

    The smallness of the kitchen makes the house the bigger.
    This seems to be an echo of the well-known anecdote of Elizabeth’s minister, who excused or defended his domestic frugality as the means by which he kept a good house.

    The smell of garlic takes away the smell of dunghills.
    Melton’s Six-Folde Politician, 1609, sign. D 2.

    The smith and his penny both are black. H.

    The smith hath always a spark in his throat.

    The smith’s mare and the cobbler’s wife are always the worst shod.

  • “But who is wurs shod than the shoemaker’s wyfe?
  • With shops full of newe shoes all hir lyfe?”—Heywood.
  • “Who is woorse shod then is the shoemaker’s wyfe?
  • The deuyls wyfe: she was neuer shod in hir lyfe.”—Ibid. (Epigr.)
  • The smoke of a man’s own house is better than the fire of another. Draxe.

    The snail slides up the tower at last, though the swallow mounteth it not.

    The soul is not where it lives, but where it loves.

  • The south wind brings wet weather,
  • the north wind wet and cold together:
  • the west wind always brings us rain:
  • the east wind blows it back again. D.
  • The sparrow builds in the martin’s nest.

    The spider lost her distaff, and is ever since forced to draw her thread through her tail.

    The stillest humours are always the worst.

    The stone that lieth not in your way need not offend you.

  • The stoutest beggar that goes by the way,
  • can’t beg through Long on a midsummer’s day.
  • Higson’s MSS. Coll., 131. Longden, co. Salop, is the place meant.

    The stream can never rise above the spring-head.

    The sun can be seen by nothing but its own light.

    The sun may do its duty, though your grapes are not ripe.

    The sun [or moon] is never the worse for shining on a dunghill.
    Diogenes Laertius (Lives, ed. 1696, i. 430) ascribes this saying to Diogenes the Cynic. The same idea is in Daniel Pratt’s Life of St. Agnes, 1677, p. 89, and in the observation which Coleridge made respecting Charles Lamb. See my Mary and Charles Lamb, 1874, p. 15, and the Note.

    The swan sings when death comes.
    “Ad vada Meandri concinit albus olor.”—Ovid.

    The sweat of Adam’s brow hath streamed down ours ever since.

    The sweetest wine makes the sharpest vinegar.
    Lyly’s Euphues, 1579, repr. Arber, p. 39. Vinegar, i.e., vin aigre. Forte e l’ aceto di vin dolce.—Ital. Corruptio optimi est pessima.—R.

    The table robs more than the thief.

    The tail doth often catch the fox. DS.

    The tailor must cut three sleeves to every woman’s gown.

  • “The weaver and the taylor,
  • Cozens they be sure,
  • They cannot work but they must steal,
  • To keep their hands in ure;
  • For it is a common proverb
  • thorowout the town,
  • The taylor he must cut three sleeves
  • to every woman’s gown.”
  • The Common Cries of London, 1662 (Roxb. Ball. ed. Collier, 209).
  • The tailor of Bicester has but one eye,
  • he cannot cut a pair of green galagaskins if he were to die.
  • Bisseter, or Bicester, Oxfordshire, is, of course, the place referred to. Aubrey’s Remains of Gentilism and Judaism, circa 1670, Folk-Lore Soc., ed. p. 45. In Day’s Blind-Beggar of Bednal Green, 1659, Tom Strowd speaks of “old Simson’s son of Showdam Thorp that wears his great gall gaskins o’ the Swash fashion, with 8 or 10 gold laces of a side.” I am not satisfied with any of the explanations of the origin of this word. I formerly thought that I saw a consanguinity between the gale of farthingale and the gall of galligaskins. In an entry cited by Brayley and Britton (Surrey, iii. 25), we have the form gally-glasses. The date is 1571.

    The tailor that makes not a knot loseth a stitch.

    The tailor’s wife is worst clad.

    The tale runs as it pleases the teller.

    The tapster is undone by chalk.
    i.e., credit, from the old practice of chalking up the current scores. This phrase seems to be introduced proverbially into An Excellent Medley, a ballad, printed about 1630 (Mr. Collier’s Ballads, 1868, p. 122).

  • “That taverns drain (for ivy is the sign
  • Of all such sack shop wits, as well as wine);
  • And make their verses dance on either hand
  • With numerous feet, whilst they want feet to stand;
  • That score up jests for every glass or cup,
  • And the total sum behind the door cast up.”
  • Verses prefixed to Randolph’s Poems, 1638.
  • In Italy they used very lately, if they do not still, in out-of-the-way places to make out the account on the table itself with a bit of chalk. In Brittany I found the same practice.

    The taste of the kitchen is better than the smell.

    The tattler’s tongue is ever dancing a silly jig.

    The tears of a whore and the oaths of a bully may be put in the same bottle.

    The tears of the tankard.

    The ten commandments.
    i.e., the ten fingers.

  • “Could I come neare your daintie vissage with my nayles,
  • Ide set my ten commandments in your face.”
  • First Part of the Contention between Lancaster and York, 1594.
  • Where a doubtful customer is in a shop, the word of warning goes round: “Two upon Ten.”

    The thief is sorry he is to be hanged, not that he is a thief.

    The thing which men do propose, God doth dispose.
    Scogin’s Jests, 1565, ed. 1626. Compare Man proposes, &c.

    The third of April comes with the cuckoo and the nightingale.

    The third pays for all. SHAKESPEARE.
    This saying is not obsolete; its purport is that a third stroke often succeeds, and repays us for our previous labour. I remember that it was used in this way in the modern burlesque of the Enchanted Wood, an adaptation from the tale of The Three Sisters, by Musäus.

    The thorn comes forth with his point forward. H.

    The thought has good legs, and the quill a good tongue. H.

    The Three Hundreds of Essex.
    i.e., Barnstable Hundred, Rochford Hundred, and Dengy Hundred. See Tour through the Whole Island of Great Britain, ed. 1761, i. 11, where it is said: At this place [Colchester] may be said to end what we call the Three Hundreds of Essex, which include the marshy country. In the table of contents I notice that these Three Hundreds are noted as “fatal to wives”; this seems to have been because the men in the low lands fetched their wives from the up-country, and the latter were soon killed by the humidity of the soil and air.

    The three-legged mare.
    i.e., the gallows. The phrase, “the colt foaled of an acorn” is also applied in this sense.

    The thrush, avoiding the trap, fell into birdlime.

    The thunderbolt hath but its clap.

    The tide tarrieth no man. HE.
    Title of George Wapull’s Drama, 1576; Udall’s Ralph Roister Doister, (1566). In the latter, the phrase conforms to modern usage; “The tide tarrieth for no man.” We commonly say, Time and tide wait for nobody.
    In Piers of Fullham, written about 1350 (Hazlitt’s Popular Poetry, ii. 11), line 251, we have:

  • “The tyde taryeth no lenger then hym lyste—”
  • In Lyly’s Endimion, 1591, there is a little piece of pleasantry on this proverb:
  • “Epi.A pose of all false proverbs, and were a proverb a page, I would have him by the eares.
  • “Sam.Why art thou angry?
  • “Epi.Why? you know it is said, the tyde tarrieth no man.
  • “Sam.True.
  • “Epi.A monstrous lie; for I was tide two houres, and tarried for one to unloose me.”
  • The tongue ever turns to the aching tooth.

    The tongue is not steel, yet it cuts.

    The tongue is the rudder of our ship.

    The tongue of a fool carves a piece of his heart to all that sit near him.

    The tongue of idle persons is never idle.

    The tongue talks at the head’s cost. H.

    The tongue walks where the teeth speed not. H.

  • The Tracys
  • have always the wind in their faces. Gloucestershire or Devonshire.
  • “This is founded on a fond and false tradition, which reports that ever since Sir William Tracy was most active among the four knights which killed Thomas Becket, it is imposed on the Tracys for miraculous penance, that, whether they go by land or by water, the wind is ever in their faces.”—Fuller (1662).

    The tree falls not at the first stroke.

    The tree is no sooner down, but every one runs for his hatchet.

    The tree that grows slowly keeps itself for another. H.

  • The tricks a colt gets at his breaking,
  • will, whilst he lives, ne’er be lacking.
  • The Tylers’ law.
    See N. and Q., Oct. 28, 1882. “I have found it in a Royalist letter, written in 1648, referring to the leaders of the opposite party: ‘Men that have fomented all the uproar of Christendom maye by the Tylers lawe be paide in their owne kinde.’”

    The unlikeliest places are often likelier than those which are likeliest. Cheshire.

    The unsonsy fish gets the unlucky bait.

    The used key is always bright.

    The usefullest truths are the plainest.

    The usual forms of civility oblige no man.

    The Vale of Holms-dale / never won, never shall.
    Lambarde, who is copied by Weever (Eun. Man., 1631, 345). See a long note in Skeat’s ed. of Pegge’s Kenticisms, 91–2.

    The vicar of Bray will be vicar of Bray still.
    “Bray is a village well known in Barkshire; the vivacious vicar whereof, living under King Henry the Eighth, King Edward the Sixth, Queen Mary, and Queen Elizabeth, was first a papist, then a protestant, then a papist, then a protestant again. This vicar being taxed by one for being a turncoat, Not so (said he), for I always kept my principle, which is this, to live and die Vicar of Bray.”—R. “Such are men now-a-days, who, though they cannot turn the wind, they turn their mills, and set them so, that wheresoever it bloweth, their grist should certainly be grinded.”—Fuller. But I am told that the saying is really referrable not to this Bray, but to Bray, near Dublin. A statement which I take to have originated in the ballad. Fuller and Lysons, as well as the author of England’s Gazetteer, 1751, support Bray in Berkshire. There is no reasonable doubt that it is so. See Aubrey’s Letters, &c., 1813, ii. 100, where it is stated that the name of this celebrity was Simon Aleyn or Allen, and that he held the living from about 1540 to 1588. See M. A. Lower’s Comp. Hist. of Sussex, 1862, where the same thing is related of Richard Carpenter, Vicar of Poling, in that county. But the story is equally true as to the broad fact of the first Marquis of Winchester. There were of course many of these turncoats, among whom Dr. Andrew Perne, Master of Peterhouse, 1554–80, occupies a distinguished position. He was unsparingly satirized. Pernare was said to be Latin for “to change one’s opinion.” See Clark’s Cambridge, 1890, p. 42.

    The vicar of fools is his ghostly father.

    The vicar of Twe.

    The vintner fears false measure. DS.

    The visible church [Harrow-on-the-Hill].
    This phrase is ascribed to Charles II. See my Four Generations of a Literary Family, 1897, ii. 90.

    The vulgar keep no account of your hits, but of your misses.

    The water that comes from the same spring cannot be both fresh and salt.

    The way the wind blows.
    i.e., The tendency of an event or of things. Vox Populi, Vox Dei (circa 1547), in Hazlitt’s Pop. Poetry, iii. 280. In the Merie Tales of Skelton (1567), we have, Is the winde at that doore? in the same sense, and also in Tarleton’s Jests, 1638 (Old Engl. J. B., ii. 241), where in is put for at. We say with a similar meaning, Which way the cat jumps.

    The way to Babylon will never bring you to Jerusalem.

    The way to be gone is not to stay here.

    The way to be safe is never to feel secure.

    The way to live much is to live well betimes.

    The ways of Savoy, the owls of Athens, the pears of Calabria, and the quails of Delos.
    Coryat (Crudities, 1611, ed. 1776, i. 83) refers to the roads in Savoy in summer as the worst he had seen in England in midwinter, and thinks them worthy to be proverbially classed with the other three; but Athens was celebrated for the abundance of its owls. Comp. Noctuas Athenas.

    The weaker goeth to the pot. HE.

    The weaker hath the worse. HE.

    The weakest goeth to the wall.
    Title of a play printed in 1600 and 1618. But in Scogin’s Jests, first published about 1540, the phrase is, Ever the weakest is thrust to the wall. Les mal vetus devers le vent. Fr. El hilo por lo mas delgado, quiébra. Span.—R. Tuvill, in his Essays Morall and Theologicall, 1609, p. 187, speaks of this as That common Prouerbe of our owne.

  • “Sampson.I will take the wall of any man or maide of Mountagues.
  • “Gregorie.That shewes thee a weake slaue, for the weakest goes to the wall.”—Romeo and Juliet, edit. 1599, sign. A 3.
  • The weather-eye.
    “To keep the weather eye open,” to be on the alert.

    The weeds o’ergrow the corn.

  • The Welshman had rather see his dam on the bier,
  • than to see a fair Februeer.
  • The Welshman keeps nothing till he has lost it.

    The whip with the six strings.
    The bye-name for the Act of the Six Articles passed in 1539 to abolish diversity in religious opinions.

    The whole ocean is made up of single drops.

    The wholesomest meat is at another man’s cost.

    The wicked heart never fears God but when it thunders.

    The wicked of Water Millock. Sussex.
    At a little distance from the chapel is a hill commonly known by the name of the Priest’s Crag. It was formerly covered with wood of different kind, and was, some years ago, the common resort of the country people for hunting, gathering nuts, and other diversions; these they put in practice on the Sunday, to the great disturbance of the congregation, as their shouting, swearing, and squalling were distinctly heard in the chapel. This roused the pious wrath of the minister, Mr. Dawson, who accordingly, one Sunday, reproved and threatened them in these words: “O ye wicked of Water-Millock, and ye perverse of New Kirk, ye go a whoring, a hunting, a roaring, and a nutting on the Sabbath-day; but on my soul if you go any more, I’ll go with you.” The parson was a keen hunter, and his expression of “I’ll go with you” (which in the dialect of the country is a mere threatening phrase), striking some of the more waggish of his hearers in a double sense, the sermon and its author made such a noise, that it came to the ears of the bishop of the diocese. The bishop upon this, with the concurrence of the Duke of Norfolk, ordered the wood to be cut down. This put an end to the profanations there carried on; but the appellation of the “wicked of Water-Millock” sticks to the inhabitants of that place to his day.”—Monthly Mirror, 1799, quoted by Brady (Var. of Lit., 1826).

    The widow’s phrase.
    “Do, but dally not; that’s the widow’s phrase.”—Barrey’s Ram Alley, 1611 (Hazlitt’s Dodsley, x. 306); and see xi. 142.

    The wife and the sword may be shewed, but not lent. C.

    The wife is the key of the house.

    The wife may be showed, but not lent. HE.*

  • The wife that expects to have a good name,
  • is always at home as if she were lame;
  • and the maid that is honest, her chiefest delight,
  • is still to be doing from morning to night.
  • The willow will buy a horse before the oak will pay for a saddle. D.
    An allusion to their different rates of growth.

    The Winchester goose.
    Shakespeare’s First Part of Henry VI., i. 3; Taylor’s Goose, 1621; Cotgrave’s Dict., edit. 1650, art. Poulain. The Winchester Goose is simply the venereal disease; so called from the ancient jurisdiction of the Bishops of Winchester over the stews in Southwark. The saying elsewhere reported might be true here; So we have the chink we’ll bear the stink. In the Vpcheringe of the Messe (about 1550) the same thing is called the Winchester Gosling.

    The wind in one’s face makes one wise. H.

    The wind is not in your debt, though it fills not your sail.

    The wind keeps not always in one quarter.

    The wind that blows out candles kindles the fire.

    The wine in the bottle doth not quench thirst. H.

    The wine is the master’s, the goodness is the drawer’s. CL.

    The wise and the fool have their fellows.

    The wise hand doth not all that the foolish tongue speaks. H.

    The wise make jests, and fools repeat them.

    The wise man draws more advantage from his enemies than a fool from his friends.

    The wise man, even when he holds his tongue, says more than the fool when he speaks.

    The wise man must carry the fool on his shoulders. W.

    The wise men of Cogshall.
    My friend, Mr. George Greenhill, of Emmanuel, Cambridge, communicated to me the following story:—“The people of Coggeshall were dissatisfied with the position of their church, so three of their wise men one fine day determined to move the church. They placed their coats on the ground, and going round the other side of the church, pushed it for a long time. When they came to look for their coats, they could not find them, so, concluding they had pushed the church over their coats, they went away well pleased with their day’s work.”

    The wise men of Gotham.
    A satirical series of stories attributed to Andrew Borde, and by some supposed to refer to Gotham, near Pevensey, a seat of the Dacres of the South. The earliest allusion to the Fools of Gotham appears to be in the Townley Mysteries (15th century). See Mr. A. Stapleton’s volume, 1900, p. 42. The printed collection does not include all the stories extant. See Huth Cat. v. Wybarne, and Old English Jest-Books, 1864.