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

What tutor to When you ride

What tutor shall we find for a child of sixty years old?

What was good the friar never loved.

What will not money do? WALKER (1672).

What wind blew you hither?

What would you have? a buttered faggot?

What! would you have an ass chop logic?

What your glass told you will not be told by counsel. H.

Whatever is given to the poor is laid out of the reach of fortune.

What’s a crab in a cow’s mouth?

What’s a gentleman but his pleasure?

What’s freer than a gift?

What’s my wife’s is mine: what’s mine, is my own.

What’s none of my profit shall be none of my peril.

What’s the good of a sun-dial in the shade?

Wheat always lies best in wet sheets. East Anglia.
Forby’s Vocab. of East Anglia, 1830, p. 417.

Wheat is not gathered in the blade, but in the ear.

Wheat well-sown is half-grown.

Wheat will not have two praises.

Wheelwright’s (a) dog is a carpenter’s uncle. East Anglia.
“A bad wheelwright makes a good carpenter.”—Forby.

  • When a couple are newly married,
  • the first month is honeymoon or smick-smack;
  • the second is hither and thither; / the third is thwick-thwack;
  • the fourth, The devil take them that brought thee and I together.
  • When a dog is drowning, every one offers him drink. H.
    Quand un chien se noye / chacun lui offre a boire. Fr.

    When a ewe’s drowned, she’s dead.

    When a fool finds a horseshoe, / he thinks aye the like to do.
    The discovery of a horseshoe was considered a good omen, and indeed much virtue has been thought to reside in the presence of one outside a house. See my Faiths and Folklore, 1905, p. 330. A larger number of horseshoes are nailed up outside Rockingham Castle, Uppingham. They have been put there by visitors from time to time, and are of all sizes and patterns. My friend Mr. H. Stopes had one over one of the doors of his offices in the Borough. It was cast by a cab-horse, while he was in the vehicle, and he jumped out, and picked it up for luck.

    When a fool hath bethought himself, the market’s over.

    When a friend asks, there is no to-morrow. H.

    When a goose dances and a fool versifies, there is sport.

    When a knave is in a plum-tree, he hath neither friend nor kin. H.

    When a man grows angry, his reason rides out.

  • When a musician hath forgot his note,
  • he makes as though a crumb stuck in his throat.
  • [Greek]. When a singing man or musician is out or at a loss, to conceal it he coughs. [Greek].—R.

    When a wise man errs, he errs with a vengeance.

  • When Adam dolve and Eve span,
  • who was then the gentleman?
  • A more modern version adds two more lines:
  • Upstart a churl, and gathered good,
  • And thence did spring our gentle blood.
  • But the proverb itself occurs in an older and slightly varied form in MS. Sloane, 2593 (Wright’s Songs and Carols, 1856, p. 2).
  • Now bething the, gentilman,
  • How Adam dalf, and Eve span.
  • The German is more like the form given in the text:
  • So Adam reutte, and Eva span,
  • Wer was da ein eddleman?
  • The parent-phrase appears to be the 14th century Latin couplet in Harl. MS., 3362, fol. 7:
  • Cum vangâ quadam tellurem foderit Adam,
  • Et Eva neus fuerat, quis generosus erat?
  • When ale is in, wit is out. HE.

  • When all England is aloft,
  • weel are they that are in Christ’s Croft;
  • and where should Christ’s Croft be,
  • but between Ribble and Mersey?
  • Mr. Higson’s MSS. Coll. for Droylsden, &c. Christ’s Croft was the name given to the lands granted by the Conqueror to Roger de Poictou, “inter Ripam et Mersham.” See Harland and Wilkinson’s Lancashire Legends, 1873, p. 184–5. Another version is:
  • “When all the world shall be aloft,
  • then Hallamshire shall be God’s Croft.”
  • When all fruit fails, welcome haws!

  • When all is gone, and nothing laft,
  • what good does the dagger with the dudgeon haft. CL.
  • See Nares’ Glossary, 1859, art. Dudgeon, and Moor’s Suffolk Words, 1823, 159–60.

    When all men say you are an ass, it is time to bray.

    When all sins grow old, covetousness is young. H.

    When an ass climbs a ladder, we may find wisdom in women.

    When an old man will not drink, go to see him in another world.

    When April blows his horn, / it’s good for hay and corn.
    That is, when it thunders in April; for thunder is usually accompanied with rain.—R.

    When bale is hext, / boot is next, / quoth Hendyng.
    Reliq. Antiq., i. 112; “When bale is att hyest, boott is at next.”—Sir Aldingar. “When the bale is in hest, thenne is the bote nest.” “When bale is greatest, then is bote a nie bore.”—The Testament of Love (Chaucer’s Works, 1602, fol. 288 verso). When things are come to the worst, they’ll mend. Cùm duplicantur, lateres venit Moses. When the tale of bricks is doubled, then comes Moses.—Mediæval.

    When bees are old they yield no honey.

  • When Bredon-hill puts on his hat,
  • ye men of the vale, beware of that.
  • Bredon-hill is in Worcestershire; the “hat” is of course, as in two other proverbs of the same tenor (infra), the heavy cloud which covers the apex of the hill previously to heavy rain or a thunder-storm. (Mr. Higson’s MSS. Coll.). The hill is remarkable for its height and also for the magnitude of its base. Squire Rudge, who used to own the Abbey manor and other property here, made himself unpopular by his exactions as a landlord, and a toast among the farmers is said to have been: “Here’s the Squire! wish him in Hell, with Bredon Hill at the door.”

  • When Candlemas day is come and gone,
  • the snow won’t lie on a hot stone.
  • When candles be out all cats be grey. HE.
    [Greek]. A nuit tous les chats sont gris.—Fr. De noche todos los gatos son pardos. Span.—R.

  • When caught by the tempest, wherever it be,
  • if it lightens and thunders, beware of a tree. D.
  • When Cheviot ye see put on his cap,
  • of rain ye’ll have a wee bit drap.
  • Higson’s MSS. Coll.

    When children stand quiet, they have done some harm.

  • When clouds appear like rocks and towers,
  • the earth’s refreshed with frequent showers. D.
  • This proverb is sufficiently homely, yet the first line reminds us of the description of the clouds in Antony and Cleopatra, act iv. sc. 2; but the commonest observer must have seen the “tower’d citadel” and the “pendant rock.”—Halliwell.

    When clubs are trumps, Aldermaston house shakes.
    Lysons (Berkshire, 1230–1) does not refer to this tradition, nor does Pettigrew in his paper on Amy Robsart, 1859. In England’s Gazetteer, 1751, the name is spelled Aldermarston. The house was almost rebuilt in 1636 by Sir Humphrey Forster, but the family seems to have been settled there at least as early as 1472. Aldermarston overlooks the river Kennet, and is three miles from Alchester, eight from Reading. The property subsequently passed to the Stawells and the Congreves. In 1712 the Ledbetters were in possession.
    The Forsters are more popularly celebrated in connection with the other residence which they had at Cumnor Place, near Abingdon, the scene of Amy Robsart’s death.

    When Dighton is pulled down.

    Hull shall become a great town. Yorkshire.
    This is rather a prophecy than a proverb [or more properly speaking, it may be said to be one of those proverbs which turn upon a prophecy (seldom, by the by, fulfilled)]. Dighton is a small town, not a mile distant from Hull, and was in the time of the late war for the most part pulled down. Let Hull make the best they can of it.—R. 1670.

  • When dotterel do first appear, it shews that frost is very near;
  • But when that dotterel do go, then you may look for heavy snow.
  • When Dudman and Ramhead meet. Cornwall.
    “These are two forelands, well known to sailors, nigh twenty miles asunder; and the proverb passeth for the periphrasis of an impossibility.”—R.

  • When Easter-day falls on Our Lady’s Lap,
  • then let England beware a rap.
  • Easter fell on March 25th, the day alluded to, in 1459, when Henry VI. was deposed and murdered; in 1638, when the Scotish troubles began, on which ensued the great rebellion in 1640–9, when Charles the First was beheaded.—Current Notes, January, 1853, p. 3. It did so again in 1883, 1894 and will in 1951. Easter Day appears also to have fallen on March 25 in 1663, 1674, 1731 and 1742.

    When every one gets his own, you’ll get the gallows.

    When every one takes care of himself, care is taken of all.

    When flatterers meet, the devil goes to dinner.

    When fools throw stools, wise men must take heed of their shins.
    Rice Boye, Just Defence of the Importunate Beggers Importunity, 1636, p. 12.

    When fortune smiles on thee, take advantage.
    New Help to Discourse, 1721, p. 134.

  • When foxes-brewings go to Cocking,
  • foxes-brewings come back dropping.
  • Allusive to Cocking in Sussex and a misty exhalation observed on the escarpment of the Downs in unsettled weather among the beech foliage. See Lower’s Compend. Hist. of Sussex, 1870, p. 119.

    When foxes preach, beware your geese.
    “Yet whiles I preache, beware the Geese, for so it shall behoue.”—The Foxe to the Huntesman in the Noble Art of Venerie, 1575, Gascoigne’s Works, by Hazlitt, i. 414, ii. 318. Le renard preche aux poules. Fr.

    When friends meet, hearts warm.

    When God will, no wind but brings rain. H.
    Deus undecunque juvat modò propitius.—Eras. La ou Dieu veut, il pleut. Fr.

    When gold speaks, you may hold your tongue.
    The Italians say, Dove l’oro parla, ogni lingua tace.

    When good cheer is lacking, / our friends will be packing. CL.
    El pan comido la compaña deshecha. Span.—R.

    When Halden hath a hat, / Kenton may beware a skat.
    This often-quoted [Devonshire] saying is curiously illustrated by a passage from the romance of Sir Gawayn and the Grene Knicht (Madden’s Sir Gawayn, p. 77):

  • “Mist muged on the mor, malt on the mountes,
  • Uch hille had a hatte, a myst-hakel huge.”
  • There is no lack of similar sayings.

    When he dies for age, ye may quake for fear.

    When he should work, every finger is a thumb.

  • When Heytor rock wears a hood,
  • Manxton folk may expect no good. S. Devon.
  • When honour grew mercenary, money grew honourable.

    When I am dead, make me a caudle.
    Observations on L’Estrange’s Comment on Æsop, 1700, p. 87–8.

  • When I did well, I heard it never;
  • when I did ill, I heard it ever.
  • When I have thatched his house, he would throw me down.
    [Greek]. I have taught thee to dive, and thou seekest to drown me.—R.

    When I lent, I was a friend: / when I asked, I was unkind.
    MS. of the 16th cent., in Rel. Antiq., i. 208.

    When ill-luck falls asleep, let nobody wake her.

    When it gangs up i’ sops, / it’ll fau down i’ drops.
    A North Country proverb, the sops being the small detached clouds hanging on the sides of a mountain.—Halliwell.

    When it pleaseth not God, the saint can do little.

    When it rains pottage, you must hold up your dish.

  • When it rains with the wind in the east,
  • it rains for twenty-four hours at least. East Anglia.
  • Forby’s Vocab., 417.

    When it thunders, the thief becomes honest. H.

    When it’s dark at Dover, / it is dark all the world over.
    Skeat’s ed. of Pegge’s Kenticisms, 88.

    When love is in the case, the doctor’s an ass.

    When Luna lowers, / then April showers.
    Taylor’s Shilling, or the Travailes of Twelve Pence [1622].

  • When Lundy is high, it will be dry;
  • When Lundy is plain, it will be rain;
  • When Lundy is low, it will be snow.
  • A weather proverb referring to Lundy Island and its aspect from the Cornish coast.

    When maidens sue, men live like gods.

    When many strike on an anvil, they must strike by measure.

    When meat is in anger is out. CL.

    When millers toll not with a golden thumb.
    Gascoigne’s Works, by Hazlitt, ii. 211.

  • When mist doth rise from Belvoir Hole,
  • O, then be sure the weather’s foul.
  • When my head’s down, my house is theekit.

    When my house burns, ’tis not good playing at chess. H.

    When my ship comes home.
    i.e., When I get some money. This expression is still (1906) very common, and appears to have come down to us from the time when merchant adventure was one of the characteristics of the age, and when the arrival of a single ship with a rich cargo was perhaps sufficient to lay the foundation of a moderate fortune. But many persons still depend for their living on their interest as sharers in a ship or ships.

    When old age is evil, youth can learn no good.

    When one biddeth thee, it is no sin to drink.
    MS. of the 15th cent., ap. Retr. Rev., 3rd. S., ii. 309.

    When Oxford draws knife, England is soon at strife.
    Green, Hist. of Engl. People, 1881, i. 202. In reference to the early tumultuous struggles on religious matters at Oxford.

    When passion entereth at the foregate, wisdom goeth out of the postern.

  • When Plymouth was a vuzzy down,
  • Plympton was a borough-town. Devonshire.
  • From a letter addressed by William Hawkins (brother of the sailor) to Sir W. Cecil, Jan. 22, 1568–9, it appears that at that time Plymouth was a very poor place, though no longer “a vuzzy down.”

    When prayers are done, my lady is ready. H.

    When pride rides, shame lacqueys.

    When riches increase, the body decreaseth.
    “For,” observes Ray, “most men grow old before they grow rich.”

  • When Rosebery Topping wears a cap,
  • let Cleveland then beware of a clap. C.
  • Cotton MS. Julius, F. C., 455, printed in Antiq. Repert., ed. 1807, vol. iii. p. 307, in an old account of Gisborough, co. York. The writer observes on this saying: “Towards the west [of Gisborough] there stands a highe hill called Rosberry toppinge, which is a marke to the seamen and an almanac to the Vale, for they have thys oulde ryme common,” &c. “[Roseberry is] a lofty conical-shaped hill in the North Riding of the county of York. The rap [clap] alluded to is, in plain language, a thunderstorm.”—D. The proverb is in Leigh’s England Described, 1659, p. 233.

  • When round the moon there is a brugh,
  • the weather will be cold and rough. D.
  • Brugh = halo.—D.

    When sharpers prey upon one another, there’s no game abroad.

  • When Sheffield Park is ploughed and sown,
  • then, little England, hold thine own.
  • It had been ploughed and sown even in Ray’s time.

    When the age is in, the wit is out.
    Much Ado about Nothing, iii. v.

  • When the aspen leaves are no bigger than your nail,
  • is the time to look out for truff and peel.
  • Notes and Queries, 1st S., ii. 511.

    When the barn’s full, you may thresh before the door.

    When the bell begins to toll, / Lord have mercy on the soul.

    When the belly is full the bones would be at rest. C.

    When the cat is away, / the mice may play. CL.
    The Batchellors Banquet, 1603, ed. 1677, sign. B 2. Heywood’s Woman Kilde with Kindnesse, 1607, repr. 141. “Les rats se promenent à l’aise, là ou il n’y a point de chats. Fr. Quando la gatta non è in casa, i sorici ballano. Ital. Vanse los gatos, y estiendense los ratos. Span.”—R.

    When the Charleses wear a cap, the clouds weep. Sussex.
    See Lower’s History of Sussex, 1870, i. 39, 40.

    When the child’s christened, you may have godfathers enough.
    New Help to Discourse, 1721, p. 135.

  • When the clouds are on the hills,
  • they’ll come down by the mills.
  • When the clouds of the morn to the west fly away,
  • You may safely rely on a settled fair day.
  • When the corn is in the shock,
  • the fish are on the rock. Cornwall.
  • An allusion to the correspondence of the fishing season with the harvest—more especially the pilchard fishery.

    When the crow flees, her tail follows.

    When the crow’s feet grow under her eyes.
    Gascoigne’s Works, by Hazlitt, ii. 65.—A metaphrase for advancing years.

  • When the cuckoo comes to the bare thorn,
  • sell your cow and buy your corn:
  • but when she comes to the full bit,
  • sell your corn and buy you sheep.
  • When the cuckoo picks up the dirt.
    i.e., In April. A metaphor for the arrival of spring and fair weather.

    When the cup is fullest, bear yourself most moderately, quoth Hendyng.
    P. of H. (Reliq. Antiq., i. 112). “When the coppe is follest, thenne ber hire feyrest, quoth Hendyng,” i.e., be moderate in prosperity.

    When the daughter is stolen, shut Pepper Gate. Chester.
    See Strutt’s Sports and Pastimes, ed. Hone, 95. “Pepper gate, says Grose, was a postern on the east side of the city of Chester. The mayor of the city having his daughter stolen away by a young man through that gate, whilst she was playing at ball with the other maidens, his worship, out of revenge, caused it to be closed up.”—R. Comp. When the steed, &c.,—the later form, which is in Heywood. And see Lysons, M. B. Cheshire, 613. Pepper Gate was also known as Woolffield or Woolf Gate, and led to Pepper Street.

    When the devil is blind. WALKER.

    When the devil prays, he has a booty in his eye.

    When the devil’s a hog, you shall eat bacon.

    When the devil’s a vicar, thou shalt be his clerk.

    When the devil’s dead, there is a wife for Humphrey.

    When the dog is beaten out of the room, where will they lay their stink?

    When the drink goes in, the wit goes out.

  • “Als de vien in der man,
  • Dan is de wieshied in de kan.”
  • —Dutch saying.
  • When the elder is white, brew and bake a peck;
  • when the elder is black, brew and bake a sack. D.
  • When the fern begins to look red,
  • then milk is good with brown bread:
  • when the fern is as high as a ladle,
  • you may sleep as long as you’re able:
  • when the fern is as high as a spoon,
  • you may sleep an hour at noon.
  • The custom of sleeping after dinner in the summer-time is general in Italy and other hot countries, so that from one to three or four of the clock in the afternoon you scarce see any one stirring about the streets of their cities. The Schola Salernitana condemns this practice. Sit brevis aut nullus tibi somnus meridianus: Febris, pigrities, capitis dolor, atque Catarrhus: hæc tibi proveniunt ex somno meridiano. But it may be this advice was intended for us English (to whose king this book was dedicated) rather than the Italians, or other inhabitants of hot countries, who in the summer would have enough to do to keep themselves awake after dinner. The best way for us in colder climates is to abstain; but if we must needs sleep (as the Italian physicians advise), either to take a nod sitting in a chair, or, if we lie down, strip off our clothes as at night, and go into bed, as the present Duke of Tuscany himself practises, and advises his subjects to do, but by no means lie down upon a bed in our clothes.
    It is observed by good housewives that milk is thicker in the autumn than in the summer, notwithstanding the grass must be more hearty, the juice of it being better concocted by the heat of the sun in summer-time. I conceive the reason to be, because the cattle drink water abundantly by reason of their heat in summer, which doth much dilute their milk.—R. 1670.

    When the fox is full, he pulleth geese.
    MS. of the 15th cent. cited in Retrosp. Rev., ii. 309 (3rd S.)

    When the friar’s beaten, then comes James. CL.
    Walker’s Parœmiologia, 1672. p. 10. [Greek].

    When the frog and mouse would take up the quarrel, the kite decided it.

    When the good man is from home, the good wife’s table is soon spread.

    When the head acheth, all the body is the worse. HE.

  • Dum caput infestat
  • Labor, omnia membra molestat.—R.
  • When the head is hot, the hand is ready.

    When the heart is afire, some sparks will fly out of the mouth.

    When the horse is starved, you bring him oats.

    When the house is burnt down, you bring water.

    When the husband drinks to the wife, all would be well; when the wife drinks to the husband, all is well.

    When the husband is fire and the wife tow, the devil easily sets them in a flame.

    When the iron is hot, strike. HE.*

    When the maggot bites.
    On the spur of the moment.

    When the maid leaves the door open, the cat’s in fault.

    When the mare hath a bald face, the filly will have a blaze.

  • When the mist comes from the hill,
  • then good weather it doth spill:
  • when the mist comes from the sea,
  • then good weather it will be. D.
  • When the moon’s in the fall, then wit’s in the wane. D.

  • When the musician hath forgot his note,
  • he makes as though a crumb had stuck in his throat. CL.
  • When the oat puts on his gosling gray,
  • ’tis time to sow barley night and day. D.
  • When the old dog barks, he giveth counsel.

    When the old hen hatched such eggs, the devil was in the cockscomb.
    Pappe with an Hatchet, 1589, sign. C 2 verso.

    When the ox falls, there are many that will help to kill him.

    When the pig is proffered, hold up the poke. HE.
    Quando te dieren la vaquilla, acude con la soguilla. Span. Never refuse a good offer.—R.

  • When the pigeons go a benting,
  • then the farmers lie lamenting. East Anglia.
  • Forty’s Vocab., p. 417.

    When the pot boils over, it cooleth itself.

    When the psalm is ended, we then sing the Gloria.

  • When the rain raineth and the goose winketh,
  • little wots the gosling what the goose thinketh.
  • Skelton’s Garlande of Lawrell, 1523. Sir W. Vaughan, in his Golden Fleece, 1626, sign. p. verso, substitutes the gander for the gosling. There is another version: When the cat winketh, little wots the mouse what the cat thinketh.

  • When the sand doth feed the clay,
  • England woe and well a day:
  • but when the clay doth feed the sand,
  • then it’s well with Old England.
  • Because there is more clay than sandy ground in England.—R.

    When the shepherd is angry with the sheep, he sends them a blind guide.

    When the sky falleth, we shall have larks. HE.

  • “We shall haue Larkes when the skie doth fall,
  • Then wee shall haue fire to rost them withall.”
  • Davies of Heref. Sc. of Folly (1611), sign. M 5.
  • Appius and Virginia, 1575, apud Dodsley, xii. 353; Day’s Ile of Gvls, 1606, sign. H 4 verso. Sir John Harington, in an epigram addressed about 1604 to Mr., afterwards Sir John Davies, says to him in allusion to the perils attendant on dancing with pretty women (Sir J. D. had published his Poem on Dancing in 1596):
  • “Then bear with me, though yet to you a stranger,
  • To warn you of the like, nay greater, danger,
  • For though none fear the falling of these sparks;
  • (And when they fall, ’twill be good catching larks),
  • And this may fall—”
  • Harington had the present proverb in his mind; but its meaning here is rather obscure. It is also cited in Randolph’s Hey for Honesty, 1651 (Works, by Hazlitt, 1875, p. 451). At the time when the quails migrate into Europe, they arrive on the Bosphorus and adjacent localities in such extraordinary numbers, that it is said to rain quails.

  • When the sloe-tree is as white as a sheet,
  • sow your barley, whether it be dry or wet.
  • When the smoke goes west, / good weather is past:
  • When the smoke goes east, / good weather comes neist [next.] D.
  • When the steed is stolen, shut the stable-door.
    Marriage of Wit and Wisdom, circa 1570. Sh. Soc. ed. 55. “Now the horse is stolen, I shut the stable door.”—Fulwell’s Like Will to Like, 1568. “Serrar la stalla quando s’han perduti i buovi. Ital. A tort ferme l’om l’estable, quant le cheval est perduz” O. Fr. Despues de ydo el conejo, tomamos el consejo. Span. Quandoquidem accepto claudenda est ianua damno.—Juv. Sat., 13. Sero elypeum post vulnera sumo.—Ovid. [Greek].—Lucian.”—R. Compare When the daughter, &c.

    When the sun is highest, he casts the least shadow.

  • When the sun sets bright and clear,
  • an easterly wind you need not fear. D.
  • When the sun sets in a bank,
  • a westerly wind we shall not want. D.
  • When the sun shineth make hay. HE.
    Noctes Templariæ, 1599 (Manning’s Mem. of Sir B. Ruddyerd).

  • “Whan the sunne shinth, make hay, whiche is to say,
  • Take time whan time comth, lest time steale away.”—Heywood.
  • When the wares be gone, shut up the shop-windows.

  • When the weasel and the cat make a marriage,
  • it is a very ill presage.
  • When the weirling shrieks at night,
  • sow the seed with the morning light;
  • but ware when the cuckoo swells its throat,
  • harvest flies from the mooncall’s note.
  • See N. and Q., 4th S., i. p. 614. The writer says: “I have little doubt that the cuckoo and mooncall are the same;” but this is doubted by another correspondent (ii. 22). The saying does not seem, certainly, to be peculiar to East Anglia, as it has been met with in Yorkshire, &c. Forby (Vocab. of E. Anglia, 1830) does not refer to it, however, at all.

  • When the winds in the east,
  • ’tis neither good for man nor beast;
  • The east wind with us is commonly very sharp, because it comes off the Continent. Midland countries of the same latitude are generally colder than maritime, and continents than islands; and it is observed in England that near the seaside, as in the county of Cornwall, &c., the snow seldom lies three days.—R.
  • when the wind’s in the north,
  • the skilful fisher goes not forth:
  • when the wind’s in the south,
  • it blows the bait in the fishes’ mouth;
  • This is an observation that holds true all over Europe, and I believe in a great part of Asia, too. For Italy and Greece the ancient Latin and Greek poets witness; as Ovid, Madidis notus evolat alis: and speaking of the south, Metamorph. 1, he saith, Contraria tellus nubibus assiduis pluvioque madescit ab Austro. Homer calls the north wind [Greek]. Pliny saith, In totum venti omnes à Septentrione sicciores quàm à meridie (lib. ii., cap. 47). For Judæa, in Asia, the Scripture gives testimony, Prov. xxv. 23. The north wind drives away rain. Wherefore, by the rule of contraries, the south wind must bring it. The reason of this, with the ingenious philosopher Des Cartes, I conceive to be, because those countries which lie under and near to the course of the sun, being sufficiently heated by his almost perpendicular beams, send up a multitude of vapours into the air, which, being kept in constant agitation by the same heat that raised them, require a great space to perform their motions in; and now still ascending, they must needs be cast off part to the south and part to the north of the sun’s course; so that were there no winds, the parts of the earth towards the north and south poles would be most full of clouds and vapours. Now, the north wind blowing, keeps back those vapours, and causes clear weather in these Northern parts: but the south wind brings store of them along with it, which by the cold of the air are here condensed into clouds and fall down in rain. Which account is confirmed by what Pliny reports of Africa, loc. cit.: Permutant et duo naturam cum situ: Auster Africæ serenus, Aquilo nubilus. The reason is, because Africa being under or near the course of the sun, the south wind carries away the vapours there ascending; but the north wind detains them; and so partly by compressing, partly by cooling them, causes them to condense and descend in showers.—R.
  • when the wind’s in the west,
  • then ’tis at the very best.
  • When the wind’s in the east on Candlemas Day,
  • there it will stick till the second of May.
  • Notes and Queries, 1st S., v. 462; vi. 238, 334, 421.
    If the wind is in the east on the 21st March, when the sun crosses the line, it is said that it will continue there a long time. But this is not so.

    When the wine is run out, you’d stop the leak.

  • When thou dost hear a toll or knell,
  • then think upon thy passing bell.
  • When three daws are seen on St. Peter’s vane together,
  • then we are sure to have bad weather.
  • i.e., St. Peter’s, Norwich. Mr. Higson’s MSS. Coll. for Droylsden, &c.

  • When thrift and you fell first at a fray,
  • you played the man, and thrift ran away. HE.*
  • When thrift’s in the town, then some are in the field. DS.

    When thy neighbour’s house doth burn, be careful of thine own.
    Tua res agitur paries cum proximus ardet.—R. The saying, a little varied, occurs in a News Letter of 1641.

    When Tom’s pitcher is broken I shall have the sheards.
    Kindness after others are done with it, the refuse.—R.

  • When Tottenham wood is all on fire,
  • then Tottenham street is but mire.
  • Bedwell’s Description of Tottenham, 1631, ch. 3. That is, when Tottenham wood, standing on a high hill at the west end of the parish, hath a foggy mist hanging over it in manner of a smoke, then generally foul weather followeth. Tottenham wood, it is said, supplied formerly a part of London with fuel.—R.

    When trading fails, to turn tippler. CL.

    When two friends have a common purse, one sings and the other weeps.

    When two Sundays come together.
    Haughton’s Englishmen for my Money, written about 1598 (Hazlitt’s Dodsley, x. 502).

  • When Watchet is all washed down,
  • Williton shall be a sea-port town. Somerset.
  • There is a play of course on Watchet and Washed.

    When we do ill, the devil tempteth us; when we do nothing, we tempt him.

    When we have gold, we are in fear; when we have none, we are in danger.

    When whins are out of bloom, kissing is out of fashion. D.
    Whins are never out of bloom. The same may be said of groundsel.—D. And of furze or gorse.

    When wine sinks, words swim.

  • When, with panniers astride, / a packhorse can ride
  • through St. Levan’s stone, / the world will be done.
  • St. Levan’s stone is a great rock in the churchyard of St. Levan, co. Cornwall.—Halliwell.

    When you are all agreed upon the time, quoth the Vicar, I’ll make it rain.
    This is a good satire on those (fools or hypocrites, or both?) who command prayers for wet or dry weather.

  • When you are an anvil, hold you still;
  • when you are a hammer, strike your fill. H.
  • When you are at Rome, do as Rome does.

    When you die, your trumpeter will be buried.

    When you go to dance, take heed whom you take by the hand.

    When you have no observers, be afraid of yourself.

    When you ride a colt, see your saddle be girt.
    New Help to Discourse, 1721, p. 134.