Home  »  English Proverbs and Proverbial Phrases  »  Where a man to Wild and stout

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

Where a man to Wild and stout

Where a man lives well, there is his country.
Tragedie of Solyman and Perseda, 1599, apud Hawkins, ii. 261. Ubi bene, ibi patria. Where men are well used, they will resort. Illa mihi patria est, ubi pascor, non ubi nascor.

Where a man’s heart is, there is his God.
Booke in Meeter of Robin Conscience (circa 1550), in Hazlitt’s Pop. Poetry, iii. 231.

Where bad’s the best, nought must be the choice.

Where bees are there is honey.
Where there are industrious persons there is wealth; for the hand of the diligent maketh rich. This we see verified in our neighbours the Hollanders.—R. 1670.

Where chickens feather, foxes will gather.

Where coin’s not common, common must be scant.

Where content is, there is a feast.

Where every hand fleeceth, the sheep goes naked. CL.

Where God helps, nought harms.
Ther God wile helpen, nouth ne dereth.—Havelok the Dane, ed. Skeat, l. 148.

Where had the devil the friar?
Taylor’s Sculler, 1612. “Where had the Devil the friar, but where he was?”—Davenport’s New Trick to Cheat the Divell, 1639, G 4.

Where honour ceaseth, there knowledge decreaseth.
Honos alit artes. Quis enim virtutem amplectitur ipsam præmia si tollas? On the other side:

  • Sint Mecænates, non deerunt, Flacce, Marones:
  • Virgiliumque tibi vel tua rura dabunt.—R.
  • Where ignorance is bliss, ’tis folly to be wise.

    Where it’s weakest, there the thread breaketh.

    Where love fails we espy all faults.

    Where many geese be, be many turds.
    Schole-house of Women, 1541 (Hazlitt’s P. P., iv. 123).

    Where no fault is, there needs no pardon.

    Where none else will, the devil himself must bear the cross.
    Lyly’s Euphues, 1579, edit. Arber, p. 53.

    Where nothing is, a little thing doth ease. HE.

    Where nothing is nothing can be had.

  • “There is nought,
  • Nought may be cought—”
  • Boke of Mayd Emlyn, l. 194.
  • Where nought is to be had the king must lose his right. HE.
    A legal aphorism, rather than a proverb, however. Inops audacia tuta est. Petronius.

    Where nought is to wed with, wise men flee the clog. HE.

    Where one is wise two are happy.

  • Where saddles lack,
  • better ride on a pad than on the horse bareback. HE.
  • Where shall a man have a worse friend than he brings from home? C. Somerset.

    Where something is found, there look again.

    Where the bee sucks honey, the spider sucks poison.

    Where the carcase is, the ravens will gather.

    Where the dam leaps over, the kid follows.

    Where the deer is slain, there will some of his blood lie.

    Where the heart is past hope, the face is past shame.

    Where the hedge is lowest, men may soonest over. HE.
    “Where hedge is lowe, there euery man treads downe.”—Gascoigne’s Works, by Hazlitt, i. 409.

    Where the horse lieth down, there some hairs will be found. Cornwall.
    Fuller’s Worthies, quoted by R., 1670.

    Where the knot is loose the string slippeth.

  • Where the scythe cuts and the plough rives,
  • no more fairies and bee-bikes. D.
  • Bikes = nests.

    Where the Turk’s horse once treads the grass never grows.

    Where the water is shallow, no vessel will ride.

    Where there are no receivers, there are no thieves. HE.

    Where there are reeds, there is water.

    Where there is a man, there do not thou shew thyself a man.

    Where there is a store of oatmeal, you may put enough in the crock. Somerset.

    Where there is life there is hope.
    Fin que c’ è fiato v’ è speranza. Ital. “Ægroto dum anima est spes est.”—Tull. ad Attic. [Greek]. When all diseases fled out of Pandora’s box, hope remained there still.—R. Dum spiro spero, was King Charles I.’s motto; and I have seen it employed by one or two other early possessors of books.

    Where there is much love, there is much mistake.

    Where there is no honour, there is no grief. H.

    Where there is no love, all are faults.

    Where there is whispering, there is lying.

    Where there’s a will there’s a way.

    Where two fools meet, the bargain goes off.

    Where vice is, vengeance follows.

  • “Raro antecedentem scelestum
  • Deseruit pede Pœna claudo.”—Horat.—R.
  • Where we least think, there goeth the hare away.
    Heywood and Davies have merely, There goes the hare away. From a passage in the interlude of New Custome, 1573, we are enabled to collect the meaning to be, that in such a direction sets the tide of opinion, of thither is the general throng:

  • “For where as al these came, Perverse Doctrine, Avarice, Ignorance and Creweltie,
  • There goeth the hare away.”
  • But compare Kyd’s Spanish Tragedy (1592), Hazlitt’s Dodsley, v. 108, and Lady Alimony, 1659, ibid., xiv. 321.

    Where wealth, there friends.

    Where wine is not common, commons must be sent. C.

    Where you see a jester, a fool is not far off.

    Where you think there is bacon, there is no chimney. H.

    Where your will is ready, your feet are light. H.

    Wheresoever you see your kindred, make much of your friends.

    Wherever a man dwell, he shall be sure to have a thorn-bush near his door. CL.
    No place, no condition, is exempt from all trouble. Nihil est ab omni parte beatum. In medio Tybride Sardinia est. I think it is true of the thorn-bush in a literal sense. Few places in England where a man can live in but he shall have one near him.—R.

    Wherever an ass falleth, there will he never fall again.

    Wherever you see your friend, trust unto yourself.

    Whether you boil snow or pound it, you can have but water of it. H.

    Which way to London? a poke full of plums. CL.
    “Alia Menecles, alia Porcellus loquitur.”—Erasmus.

    While men go after a leech, the body is buried.
    The Testament of Love (Chaucer’s Works, 1602, fol. 299 verso).

    While the discreet advise, the fool doth his business. H.

    While the dog gnaweth, the cat would eat.
    MS. 15th cent., ap. Retr. Rev., 3rd S., ii. 309.

    While the dust is on your feet, sell what you have bought.

    While the grass groweth, the seely horse starveth. HE.

  • “To whom of old this prouerbe well it serues,
  • While grasse dooth grow, the selly horse he sterues.”
  • Paradyce of Daynty Devyses, 1578, repr. 1867, p. 26. Bel caval non morire, che l’herba fresca de venire. Ital. In Hamlet, iii. 2, Shakespeare calls this somewhat musty.

  • While the hound gnaweth bone,
  • companion would he have none.
  • MS. in C.C.C. Cambridge (apud Wright’s Essays, i. 149):
  • “Wil do hund gna[char.]h bon,
  • I-fere neld he non.”
  • “Dum canis se rodit, sociari pluribus odit”
  • Leonine verse of the 12th century, in MS. Trin. Coll. Camb. (ibid.) “Chen en cosyn compaignie ne desire.” Old Fr.

    While the leg warmeth / the boot harmeth. HE.

    While the tall maid is stooping, the little one hath swept the house.

    While thy shoe is on thy foot, tread upon the thorns.

    While you trust to the dog, the wolf slips into the sheepfold.

    Whip and whurre / never made good furwe.
    Ralph Roister Doister (1566), Hazlitt’s Dodsley, iii. 70. This appears to be an agricultural saying, and furwe is the old form of furrow.

    Whist! and catch a mouse.

    Whist, whist! I smell a bird’s nest.

    White Easter brings green Christmas.

    White silver draws black lines.

    White son.
    A favourite. Edward Underhill’s Narrative, 1553, in Arber’s Garner, iv. 81. Again, in Ralph Roister Doister (Hazlitt’s Dodsley, iii. 59) we have: “Hold by his yea and nay, be his nown white son.”

    Whither goest, grief? Where I am wont. H.

    Whither shall the ox go where he shall not labour? H.

    Whittington’s College.
    A cant term for the school of cheating at cards, dice, &c. Notable Discovery of Cosenage, 1591, Preface. Comp. He has studied, &c.

    Who are you for? I am for him whom I get most by.
    This sage maxim may be regarded as of kin to that couplet, which was the guiding principle of a late London tradesman:

  • Best please and serve those
  • That best does and least owes.
  • At a modern election a countryman was asked, for whom he was going to vote, and he said, “For Mr. Most.”

    Who boils his pot with chips makes his broth smell of smoke.

    Who bulls the cow must keep the calf.
    Mr. Howell saith that this is a law proverb.—R. “Let him that got the calfe keep the cow.”—Day’s Ile of Gvls, 1606, repr. 98.

  • Who buys / hath need of an hundred eyes;
  • who sells, / hath enough of one.
  • New Help to Discourse, 1721, p. 135. A chi compra bisogna haver cent’ occhi, a chi vende, ne basta d’ uno. Ital. Caveat emptor. Let the buyer look to himself; the seller knows both the worth and price of his commodity.—R. Henry Parrot quaintly puts this motto on the title-poge of his Laquei Ridiculosi, or Springes for Woodcocks, 1613.

    Who can help sickness? quoth the drunken wife when she lay in the gutter.

    Who can hold that will away? HE.*

    Who can hold what they have not in their hand?

  • Who can sing so merry a note
  • as may he that cannot change a groat? HE.
  • “Who lyue so mery, and make such sporte, as they that be of the poorest sort?” is the title of a ballad licensed in 1557–8. See Rimbault’s Little Book of Songs and Ballads, 1851, p. 83.

    Who cometh first to the mill, first must grind.
    Paston Letters, iii. 133 (1475).

    Who dainties love shall beggars prove.

    Who depends upon another man’s table often dines late.
    Chi per man d’ altri s’ imbocca tardi satolla. Ital.—R.

    Who does a service, and holds his peace, demands enough.
    This is tantamount to the Italian: “Che serve é tace assai domanda.”

  • Who doffs his coat on a winter’s day,
  • will gladly put it on in May.
  • Allusively, of course, to the chronically cold weather incidental to the month, and said to be healthier than warmth.

    Who doth his own business fouls not his hands. H.

    Who draws his sword against his prince must throw away the scabbard.

    Who draws others into ill-courses is the devil’s factor.

  • Who drives an ass and leads a whore,
  • hath pain and sorrow evermore.
  • The Italians add, ’E corre in arena. The French say, Qui femme croit et âne mene, son corps ne sera jamais sans peine.

    Who eats his cock alone must saddle his horse alone. H.
    Quien solo còme su gallo, solo ensille su caballo. Span.

    Who gives to all, denies all. H.

    Who goes to bed supperless, all night tumbles and tosses.
    This is an Italian proverb: Chi va a letto senza cena, tutta notte si dimena. That is, if a man go to bed hungry; otherwise, he that eats a plentiful dinner may well afford to go to bed supperless, unless he hath used some strong bodily labour or exercise. Certainly it is not good to go to one’s rest till the stomach be well emptied; that is, if we eat suppers, till two hours at least after supper. For (as the old physicians tell us) though the second and third concoctions be best performed in sleep, yet the first is rather disturbed and perverted. If it be objected, that labouring people do not observe such rule, but do both go to bed presently after supper and to work after dinner, yet who more healthful than they? I answer, that the case is different; for though by such practice they do turn the meat out of their stomachs before full and perfect concoction, and so multiply crude humours, yet they work and sweat them out again, which students and sedentary persons do not. Indeed, some men, who have a speedy concoction and hot brains, must, to procure sleep, eat something at night which may send up gentle vapours into the head, and compose the spirits. Chi ben cena ben dorme. Ital. The Portuguese, on the contrary, say, Se queres enfermar, cea, & varte deitar. If you would be ill, sup, and then go to sleep.—R.

    Who had what he hath not, would do that he doth do. HE.*

    Who has land has war.
    Qui habet multum terræ, habet multum guerræ.

    Who has not a good tongue ought to have good hands.

    Who hath a fair wife needs more than two eyes. R.

    Who hath a good trade, / through all waters may wade.

    Who hath a scold hath sorrow to his sops.

    Who hath a wolf for his mate needs a dog for his man. H.

    Who hath aching teeth hath ill tenants.

    Who hath bitter in his mouth spits not all sweet. H.

    Who hath horns in his bosom, let him not put them on his head.
    Let a man hide his shame, not publish it.—R. 1670.

    Who hath many peas may put the more in the pot. H.

    Who hath no more bread than need must not keep a dog. H.

    Who hath none to still him may weep out his eyes. H.

    Who hath spice enough may season his meat as he pleaseth.

  • Who in January sows oats, / gets gold and groats:
  • who sows in May, / gets little that way.
  • Who is a cuckold, and conceals it, carries coals in his bosom.
    Quien es cornudo, y calla, en el corazon trat un ascua. Span.

    Who is born to be hanged shall never be drowned.
    New Help to Discourse, 1721, p. 135.

    Who keeps company with a wolf will learn to howl.

    Who knows who’s a good maid?

    Who lacketh a stock, his gain is not worth a chip. C.

    Who likes not his business, his business likes not him.

  • “Qui n’aime son mestier,
  • Ne son mestier lui,
  • Ce dit li vilains—”
  • Proverbs of the Count of Bretagne (Wright’s Essays, 1846, i. p. 140).

    Who lives well sees afar off.

    Who looks not before finds himself behind.

    Who loseth his due getteth no thanks.

    Who marries between the sickle and the scythe, will never thrive.

    Who marries for love without money, hath good nights and sorry days.

    Who may hold that will away? HE.

    Who meddleth in all things may shoo the gosling. HE.
    Compare To shoo the goose.

  • “He that medleth with all thyng, may shooe the goslyng:
  • If all such medlers were set to goose shoyng,
  • No goose neede go barfoote betweene this and Greese,
  • For so we should haue as many goose shooers as geese.”—Heywood.
  • Who more busy than they that have least to do?

  • Who more than he is worth doth spend,
  • he makes a rope his life to end.
  • Who nothing have shall nothing save.

  • Who on the Sabbath pares his horn,
  • it were better for him he had never been born.
  • Horn, i.e., nails. At toto Thori die hominibus ungues secare minimè licuit.—Finn Magnusen, Lex Edd., s. v. Thor, quoted in Notes and Queries, 1st S., ii. p. 511.
    In an account of a Mission to the Euphrates, 1828, the reputed writer, (Judkin), mentions a rhyme, of which he had a recollection, from its having been impressed on his youthful fancy:
  • “On Friday hair shorn,
  • On Sunday pare horn;
  • Better the child had never been born.”
  • This book is a skit on Judson’s Narrative of an American Baptist Mission, 1825, and was written, I believe, by Thomas Landseer, under the pseudonym of Judkin. Landseer also wrote, I understand from my relative Mr. C. W. Reynell, The Theological Vampire Exposed, 8vo, 1833.

    Who remove stones, bruise their fingers. H.

    Who robs a scholar, robs twenty men.
    “For,” explains Ray, “commonly he borrows a cloak of one, a sword of another, a pair of boots of another, a hat of a fourth,” &c.

    Who shall hang the bell about the cat’s neck? HE.
    Skelton’s Colyn Cloute. The same writer has, in a similar sense, the inquiry:

  • “— Lat se, who that dare
  • Sho the mockysshe mare?—”
  • “Who shall ty the bell about the cat’s necke low?
  • Not I (quoth the mouse) for a thing that I know.”—Heywood.
  • Appicar chi vuol’ il sonaglio alla gatta? Ital. The mice, at a consultation held how to secure themselves from the cat, resolved upon hanging a bell about her neck, to give warning when she was near; but when this was resolved, they were as far to seek; for who would do it?—R.

    Who shall keep the keepers?
    Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?

    Who sits too well thinks ill too oft. DS.

    Who so bold as blind Bayard? HE.

    Who so deaf as he that will not hear?

  • “Who is so deafe, or so blynde, as is hee
  • That wilfully will nother here nor see?”—Heywood.
  • Il n’est pas de pire sourd que celui qui ne veut croire. Fr.—R.

    Who so merry as he that hath nought to lose?
    Walker (1672). Compare Who can sing, &c.

    Who speaks of the wolf sees his tail. W.

    Who spends before he thrives, will beg before he thinks.

  • Who spends more than he should,
  • shall not have to spend when he would. F.
  • Who spits against heaven, it falls in his face. H.

  • Who that buildeth his house all of sallows,
  • and pricks his blind horse over the fallows,
  • and suffereth his wife to go seek hallows,
  • is worthy to be hanged on the gallows.
  • Chaucer’s Wif of Bathes Prologe; MS. Lansd. 762, temp. Hen. V. in Rel. Ant., i. 233. See also Herbert’s Ames, p. 129.

    Who the devil will change a rabbit for a rat? HE.

    Who was killed by a cannon-bullet was cursed in his mother’s belly.

    Who weddeth ere he be wise shall die ere he thrive. HE.

  • Who will in time present [from] pleasure refrain,
  • shall in time to come the more pleasure attain. HE.*
  • Who will not keep a penny shall never have many. CL.

    Who will sell the cow must say the word. H.

    Who would be a gentleman, let him storm a town.

    Who would borrow when he hath not, let him borrow when he hath.

    Who would do ill ne’er wants occasion. H.

  • Who would hold his house very clean,
  • ought lodge no priest nor pigeon therein. W.
  • Who’d keep a cow, when he may have a pottle of milk for a penny. R. 1670.

    Whom God loves, his bitch brings forth pigs.

    Whom God loves, his house is savoury to him.

    Whom we love best, to them we can say least.

  • Whom weal pricks,
  • Sorrow comes after, and licks. C.
  • Whoredom and grace / ne’er dwelt in one place.

    Whores and thieves go by the clock.

  • Whose conscience is cumbered and standeth not clean,
  • of another’s man’s deeds the worse will he deem.
  • Rel. Antiq., i. 205 (from a MS. 15th cent.).

    Whose house is of glass must not throw stones at another. H.

    Whoso first cometh to the mill, first grist.
    Chaucer’s Works, ubi infra. Qui premier vient au moulin, premier doit mouidre. Fr.

    Whoso hath but a mouth, / shall ne’er in England suffer drouth.
    For if he doth but open, it is a chance but it will rain in. True it is, we seldom suffer for want of rain: and if there be any fault in the temper of our air, it is its over-moistness, which inclines us to the scurvy and consumptions; diseases the one scarce known, the other but rare, in hotter countries.—R.

    Whoso heweth over-high, / the chips will fall in his eye.
    Parlament of Byrdes (circa 1550). “For an olde Prouerbe it is ledged: He that heweth to hie, with chippes he may lese his sight.”—The Testament of Love (Chaucer’s Works, 1602, fol. 279 verso). “In the choyce of a wife, sundry men are of sundry mindes; one looketh high, as one yt feareth no chips.”—Lyly’s Euph. and his England, 1580, repr. Arber, p. 467. Howell and Ray afford different but inferior versions.

  • Whoso in youth no virtue useth,
  • in age all honour him refuseth.
  • MS. Rawlinson, C. 86, fol. 31, quoted by Mr. Furnivall in his Babees Book, &c., 1868.

  • Whoso is hungry and lists well to eat,
  • let him come to Sprotborough for his meat;
  • and for a night, and for a day,
  • his horse shall have both corn and hay,
  • and no man shall ask him when he goeth away.
  • Sprotborough, three and a half miles S.W. of Doncaster (Higson’s MSS. Coll., No. 22).

    Whoso lacketh a stock, his gain’s not worth a chip.

    Whoso learneth young, forgets not when he is old, quoth Hendyng.
    Proverbs of Hendyng (Reliq. Antiq., i. 110).

  • Whoso of wealth taketh no heed,
  • he shall find [his] fault in time of need.
  • Proverbs attached to Lydgate’s Stans Puer ad Mensam, ed. Caxton.

    Whoso roweth against the flood, of sorrow he shall drink.
    Wright’s Political Songs, 1839, p. 254.

    Whoso stretcheth his foot further than the whitel, shall stretch it in the straw.
    “Whoso streket his fot forthere than the whitel, he schal streken in the straw.”—Book of Husbandry, attributed to Robert Grosseteste, Bishop of Lincoln, quoted in Riley’s Memorials of London, p. 8. “It alludes to the straw bed, loosely covered with a whitel or blanket. It is quoted by Langland in the C. text of Piers Plowman.”—Note by the Rev. W. W. Skeat.

    Whoso will no evil do, shall do nothing that belongeth thereto.
    Whitford’s Werke for Housholders, edit. 1533, sign. E 3. Northbrooke (Treatise against Dicing, &c., 1577, repr. 1843, p. 173).

    Whosoever is king, thou’lt be his man.

    Who’s the fool now?
    This seems to have been understood proverbially. In Day’s Ile of Gvls, 1606, sign. H 4, one of the characters says: “Doe you know these? Who are the fools now?” And in a song in Deuteromelia, 1609, reprinted in Rimbault’s Songs and Ballads, 1851, p. 115, we have:

  • “Martin said to his man,
  • Fie! man, fie!
  • Oh, Martin said to his man,
  • Who’s the foole now?”
  • Wicked as the witch of Wokey. Somersetshire.
    Wokey Hole is a cavern in this county, supposed to have been the haunt of a witch who was transformed into stone.

    Wickedness with beauty is the devil’s hook baited.

    Widdecombe hills are picking their geese faster, faster, faster. Devonshire.
    Notes and Queries, 1st S., ii. 511. This is an allusion, I apprehend, to the fall of snow on these hills, and this sentence is probably just such another children’s cry as that noticed in the Dialect of Leeds, 1862, p. 259:

  • “Snaw, snaw, faster;
  • Bull, bull, faster;
  • Owd women picking geese,
  • Sending feathers down to Leeds.”
  • But the similitude of snowflakes to people picking geese is very general and familiar.
    “It was a warm sunny day in the fall, as I said; yet as we drew near the Ghetto, we noticed in the air many white, straggling flakes of snow. These were afterwards found to be the down of multitudes of geese, which are for ever plucked by the whole apparent force of the populace.”—Venetian Life, by W. D. Howells, 1883, i. 48.

    Wide at the bow-hand.
    i.e., the left hand. As we should now say, Wide of the mark. “Viola. You’re wide a’ t’h’ bow-hand still, brother: my longings are not wanton, but wayward.”—The Honest Whore, 1604 (Middleton’s Works, 1840, iii. 14).

    Wide, quoth Bolton, when his bolt flew back.

    Wide, quoth Wallis, when his —— was in the bed-straw.
    Hero and Leander, A Mock Poem, 1651, p. 6.

    Wide, quoth Wilson.

    Wide will wear, / but narrow will tear.

    Wider ears and a shorter tongue.

    Wife and children are bills of charges.

    Wild and stout never want a staff.