Grocott & Ward, comps. Grocott’s Familiar Quotations, 6th ed. 189-?.


Playing the mouse, in absence of the cat.
Shakespeare.—King Henry V., Act I. Scene 2. (Westmoreland.)

When the cat’s away, the mice will play.
[An old Swedish saw which is literally “When the cat is away the rats dance on the table.” Anderson.—Okavango River, Chap. 17.]