NAG, nag, nagging, Is very, very fagging.
This may come from either side of the house, and it is equally bad whoever is the first hand at it. It is a weariness to hear it as a visitor; but it mast be horrible to bear it as a partaker in it. We know instances in which the husband is the more guilty of the two; but that makes it none the better. What she proposes, Be it good or bad, He still opposes, Till he drives her mad.
As married people grow old, the tendency to correct each other in every trifling mistake is often developed; and it is so trying that they will be wise to watch against it with the utmost care.
Nail your colors to the mast.
If you carry the flag of truth, never strike your colors, nor sail under false ones. Never be a turncoat or a traitor. Be ready to die, But never deny.
Nails unclinched are unsafe.
Make assurance doubly sure. Do not hang much on a hall which is not surely fastened. We are not saved by faith when dealing with our fellow-men.
Narrowness of waist shows narrowness of mind.
Nobody with a large mind would think of injuring all the delicate organs within the body by wickedly compressing them within unnatural limits. There is neither sense nor beauty in a figure shaped like a wasp or a half-quartern loaf.
Nature abhors a vacuum.
When a man’s head is empty some nonsense or other is sure to get in, and when his stomach is empty it will not be comfortable till it is filled, Empty purses also are very restless things.
Nature needeth nurture, minds want minding. Even as the vine needeth pruning, And the harp still needeth tuning.
Nature, though driven out with a fork, will return.
So said the Latins: nature will assert itself, and have its way.
Near to church should not be late to service.
Yet is it often so. People who can run in so quickly wait till the last moment; till we half think that “ the nearer the church the further from God.”
Necessity cannot stand upon nicety.
It dispenses with decorum, and knows no law.
Necessity is a hard nurse, but she raises strong children. Captain Butler, recounting his hardships in the Great Lone Land, says, “ And yet how easy it all was, and how soundly one slept! simply because one had to do it. That one consideration is the greatest expounder of the possible.”‘ The sons of need are driven to exertion: their muscle is tried and strengthened, and we get a race of sturdy, independent men. Hard work and harder fare Breed men of vigor rare.
Necessity is the mother of invention.
When a want becomes pressing and common, somebody’s mind is exercised to supply it, and a new discovery is the result. The necessity of the masses is great; how can we reach them? Now for a holy invention!
Necessity makes lame men run.
It would cure many a nervous lady if she had to work for her living, and many a dyspeptic man would be well if he lived upon sixpence a day, and earned it. We know not our force till we are forced to know it.
Necessity never made a good bargain.
Because the man wants money so badly that he cannot wait, but must take whatever he can get. This is the reason why poor manufacturers have so bad a market: they must sell, or be sold up.
Necessity sharpens industry.
The call for daily bread sets all the world to work, and rigorous climates tutor men to hardihood of labor. A man driven by dis-, tress will do as much as thirty, at least the Spaniards say so. Adam delved and Eve span; Need allowed no gentleman.
Necessity’s budget is full of schemes.
Kite-flying, speculation, day-dreaming, etc., make up the stock-intrade of men who are hard up for hard cash.
Necks may be bent by the sword, but hearts will only bend to hearts.
So say the Arabs; and they ought to know, for they once set up an empire by force, and they have seen it melt away.
Need is the frying-pan, but debt is the fire.
Whatever trouble it may cause us to bear the want of comforts, we shall gain no comfort by running into debt.
Needles and pins, needles and pins When a man marries his trouble begins.
A Quaker who married a couple said, “Now you are at the end of your troubles.” Some time after, the afflicted husband reminded him of the saying, and charged him with misleading him. “Nay,” said the friend, “I said ye were at the end of your troubles, but I did not say at which end.”
Needles are not sharp at both ends.
We ought not to be all sharpness; we must have an eye as well as a point — judgment as well as courage.
Ne’er let your tongue outrun your wit:
Wise men full oft in silence sit.
Neighbors are good when they are neighborly.
Some say, “No neighbor is best “; but another says, “No one is rich enough to do without his neighbor.” Good neighbors make good neighbors. He that would have good neighbors must show himself neighborly.
Neither break law nor go to law.
Keep law, and keep from law.
Neither color the truth nor the face. “When fair, no color is required ‘ When true, no color is desired.” Neither crow nor croak, Neither of these sounds is becoming in men; leave them to fowls and frogs.
Neither give nor take offense. The world would be happy and peaceful indeed, If all men on this point were always agreed.
Neither seek a secret nor speak a secret.
Don’t want to be told it, and if told it, never tell it again. When any would tell thee a secret, be deaf; but once having heard it, be dumb.
Secrets are useless and dangerous curiosities.
Neither shoot without aim, nor speak without thought.
Or you may do as much mischief by a hasty speech as by a random shot. Sometimes our words Hurt more than swords.
Neither trust nor contend, Nor lay wagers nor lend, And you may depend, You’ll have peace to your end.
That is to say, as much peace as this troublesome world allows of.
Great worries arise out of the four things mentioned; but the old rhyme can only be accepted with a grain of salt.
Nettles are to be boldly dealt with. Tender-handed stroke a nettle, And it stings you for your pains; Grasp it like a man of mettle, And it soft as silk remains. ‘Tis the same with vulgar natures, Use them kindly, they rebel; But be rough as nutmeg graters, And the rogues obey you well.
Never argue for victory, but for verity.
Controversy would wear a very different complexion it this were observed. We ought to fight for truth, not for party.
Never ask pardon before you’re accused.
For those who excuse themselves accuse themselves. To answer an idle rumor is to confirm it in the minds of many. Why go into the dock when you have never been summoned?
Never bark up the wrong tree.
Don’t accuse the wrong man, nor denounce a procedure mistakenly. Be quite sure before you open your month.
Never barter a pearl for a pippin.
You will do this if you lose modesty for pleasure, and still more if you lose your soul to gain the world’s applause.
Never be a dog in a manger to friend or stranger.
Nor to anyone else. Surely, what you do not require should be cheerfully given up to others who can use it. The cur could never eat the hay, And yet he drove the ox away: So some who ne’er a penny made Yet do their best to spoil the trade.
Never bet even a gooseberry.
A friend of mine, who was a great enemy to gambling, once felt so sure of a matter that he incautiously said, “I’ll bet a thousand pounds to a gooseberry that it is so.” His companion cried, “I’ll take you,” and entered the bet in a book. The good man was in some trouble because of the bet, and would have given the thousand pounds to be out of it. As it happened he was right, and his friend in mirthfulness sent him a silver gooseberry as his winnings; but he never used the phrase again, nor ventured on such treacherous ground. In this matter excessive caution is justifiable excess.
Never bite a farthing in two.
Nor split a plum, nor dispute about a casual expression, nor make miserable debates over mere trifles.
Never bite back at back-biters.
If you do so, they have caused you a serious injury of soul by bringing you down to their level. Leave them their miserable trade to themselves. “Bless them that curse you.”
Never boil your rabbit till you’ve got him.
There are many such proverbs, and hence we gather that people are very prone to deal with mere hopes as if they were realities; like the milkmaid with her eggs.
Never bray at an ass.
Let a foolish person have the talk to himself. Do not imitate his folly. Your silence will be quite as melodious as his voice.
Never buy a pig in a poke.
Examine the article before you part with your money. If you do not so, and are taken in, you will have yourself to blame. If the pig in the poke around turn out to be very lean, it will be no wonder. it had been fat, the seller would have allowed you to see it.
Never cackle till your egg is laid.
And you need not do much of it when the bravo deed is done; leave cackling and crowing to feathered fowl.
Never challenge another to do wrong, lost he sin at thy bidding.
And in that case thou Tilt have to share the sin; for thou wilt have acted the part of the tempter.
Never comb a bald head.
Don’t criticize where there is nothing to work upon. Treat a poor helpless man with tenderness. If a man has no religion, don’t dispute with him about its doctrines. When you meet with a person who has no money, don’t ask him for a contribution.
Never commit what you would wish to conceal.
Do only that which will bear the light of day.
Never despise the day of small things.
Whether good or bad, things must begin as littles. Out of small, Cometh all Even the great eagle was once in an egg, and the terrible lion was a playful cub. The mother of mischief is a midge’s egg.
Never dispute about the wool of a cat.
See if there is anything in a question before you discuss it, or you may make much ado about nothing.
Never fall out with your bread and butter.
To find fault with the way in which you earn your living is very absurd. Speak well of the ravens which bring you your bread and flesh, and don’t find fault with the brook of which you drink.
Never find fault with the absent.
It is cowardly. Accuse a man when he can defend himself.
Never fish in troubled waters.
Or you may draw forth trouble for yourself. Yet some read the proverb the other way, and delight in a stir, because troubled waters are best for their sort of fishing.
Never flog the dead.
They cannot be improved by your remarks, neither can they meet your charges. Let them sleep on. When an error is clean dead, do not go on disproving it, lest, like the boy with his top, you set it going again by whipping it.
Never fry a fish till it’s caught.
It will be a waste of fire and butter to attempt it. Yet angry folks threaten loudly what they wilt do when they get us in their power. When?
Never give up the ship.
Stand to your trust. As long as she is above water, never desert the ship; as long as hope remains, do not give up a good undertaking.
Above all, never quit the glorious ship of the church, in which our Lord is captain: she will never go down.
Never grudge a penny for a pennyworth.
Pay a fair price cheerfully, and do not beat down the seller; for he in his turn will have to sweat the workman.
Never grumble nor mumble. Take things as they come, Eat crust as well as crumb.
As for mumbling, when men are making a complaining speech, they generally talk so fast that they eat one-half of their words, and whistle the rest. It would not matter much if they whistled all of them, for they are not worth much.
Never hang a man twice for one offense.
If he has borne his punishment, cease to persecute him. Some accusers can never have done; they would hang a man every morning for the offense of years ago.
Never have an idle hour, or an idle pound.
For these are buried talents, the Lord’s goods wasted.
Never hold a candle to the devil.
Do not aid him in his work, nor pay deference to the powers of evil. “To hold a candle to the devil “ is to abet an evil-doer out of fawning fear. The allusion is to the story of an old woman, who set one wax taper before the image of St. Michael, and another before the devil whom he was trampling under foot. Being reproved for paying such honor to Satan, she naively replied, “‘ Ye see, your honor, it’s quite uncertain which place I shall go to at last, and sure you’ll not blame a poor woman for securing a friend in each.” This policy is the sure way to ruin.
Never is a long day.
Therefore it is well not to vow so indefinitely, for we may change our mind. Moreover, it is wise never to despair, or say that we shall never be happy again; for after a while things will look brighter.
Newer judge a horse by its harness, nor a man or a woman by outward appearances.
Very poor horses may be finely caparisoned, or decked with ribbons at a fair; and the same is true of two-legged creatures.
Never lean on a broken staff.
This you do whenever you trust in man; especially in yourself.
Never leave a certainty for an uncertainty.
Multitudes have quitted a small assured income for “the larger hope” of speculation. They have left rock for sand, and have been swallowed up. The same is specially true in religious matters.
Never leave till afternoon what can be done in the morning.
This the boy quoted as a reason for eating all the cheese for breakfast. In other directions it is a good rule of promptitude. We are informed that this proverb does not apply to lawyers, with whom “Procrastination is the hinge of business.”
Never let plain-dealing’ die. If all the world should twist and twine, Still be thou straight as plummet line.
Never look for a knot in a bulrush.
Don’t look for difficulties where there are none.
Never look for a ram with five feet.
Expect not the abnormal, the monstrous, the singular. Leave “the Derby ram” to those who are in love with penny shows.
Never look for pippins on a crab-tree.
Everything yields according to its nature. Sour yields sour, and it would be folly to look for sweet from it.
Never meet trouble half-way.
It will come soon enough, and then you will meet it where God meant you should meet it, and where he will help you to bear it.
Never mind who was your grandfather: what are you?
The man who has nothing to boast of but his good ancestors, is like a potato: all that is good of him is under ground. So said an author long since under ground himself.
Never mix mirth and malice.
It is a sort of treachery to do so: like Absalom inviting Amnon to a feast to kill him.
Never offer to teach fish to swim.
They know better than you do. It is absurd for young green-horns to set up to instruct experienced persons.
Never overdrive The best horse alive.
He is just the horse you ought to take care of. If he be a weak horse it is cruel to overdrive him, and if he is a willing horse it is unfair to take advantage of him.
Never play with a mad dog.
Or you will soon have cause to repent of your play. Do not sport with sin, or speculate in false doctrine. Keep out of the way when a man is in a savage temper.
Never prophesy till you know.
And then it is too late to foretell. We had better not so despise prophesyings as to think ourselves capable of manufacturing them.
Never put your finger between the anvil and the hammer.
Keep clear of violent opponents when they are in full action, or you may receive upon yourself the force of their blows. Who interferes gets double blow:
It’s not my business, off I go.
Never put your hand into a wasp’s nest.
It will be prudent to respect the quiet of that domestic circle. Josh Billings says, “When I see the tail of a rattlesnake sticking out of a hole, I say to myself, ‘ That hole belongs to that snake, and I am not going to try to take it from him. I believe in respecting the rights of property.’” Even if a man does not regard the rights of others, it may often be wise for him to consider his own peace before he commences to meddle.
Newer raise Your own praise. “Let another man praise thee, and not thine own mouth.” — - Proverbs 27:2.
Never ride a broken-kneed horse.
Trust not the man who has failed you. Moreover, he who has been a bankrupt once is very apt to fail a second time: be cautious. Thou didst deceive: the fault was thine.
A second time it will be mine.
Never roast so as to burn, nor sport so as to sin.
Observe the bounds of righteousness, kindness, and truth.
Never say die!
Up, man, and try!
Despondency does nothing; perseverance works wonders.
Never say die till you’re dead, and then it’s no use.
Bravely hold on, and do not give way to despondency under any circumstances whatever. (Easier said than done.)
Never say of another what you would not have him hear.
This precept would put the extinguisher on many a tattler.
Never sell your customers by selling bad goods.
It will be a rogue’s action, and in the long run you will sell yourself, and be obliged to shut up shop.
Never shirk the hardest work.
Some do so habitually. If they can live on others they will not do a hand’s turn. The age of chivalry is over, but the age of loafers lasts for ever. Let us be of another clan. Two negroes were loading goods into a cart. One of them was disposed to shirk; the other stopped, and looking sharply at the lazy one, said, “ Sam, do you expect to go to heaven?” Yes” “Then take hold and lift.” Never sigh, But send.
Do not long for a thing despondingly, but do your best to get it, if it is to be had, and is really desirable.
Never speak ill of those whose bread you eat.
Even a dog knows who feeds him. If he bites his keeper, he is likely to be hanged, and nobody will pity him.
Never stint soap and water.
The soap-makers seem, to judge by their advertisements, to be doing a thriving business; but we still know a few people who need to patronize them. We do not admire Pharisees, but we should like to see some persons become Pharisaical in one respect, namely, in their objection to eat with unwashen hands.
Never stint the cause of God.
Cut down expenses for self before you diminish offerings to God.
Never swap horses while crossing a stream.
While a difficult business is going on, make as few changes as possible. Abraham Lincoln quoted this with much effect.
Never tell in the parlor what you heard in the kitchen.
Servants’ gossip, if repeated, may make mischief, and it cannot possibly do any good. Carry no slops into the parlor. He that heareth much, and speaks not at all, Shall be welcome both in kitchen and hall.
Never throw a hen’s egg at a sparrow.
That will be an expensive throw. Do not spend a pound in the hope of getting a groat, nor waste great effort on an insignificant object.
Never too old to turn ; never too late to learn.
If not too old to sin, we are not too old to repent.
Never trouble yourself with trouble till trouble troubles you.
Forestalling trouble is like burning yourself at a fire before it is lit.
Mr. S.C. Hall tells of an underwriter at Lloyd’s, an excellent and estimable gentleman, who had all his wealth in ventures on the sea, or thought he had. One night a terrific storm shook the house in which he lived. He awoke frightened, was haunted by a terror that all his ships were wrecked, and that he was ruined; and he was found in the morning under his garden hedge dead, having taken laudanum. It was afterwards ascertained that his losses were trifling Never trust a man who speaks ill of his mother.
He must be base at heart. If he turns on her that bore him, he will turn on you sooner or later.
Never trust a swearer, nor believe a boaster.
A friend once drove me out to a village to preach, and he put up his horse at an inn. When we stopped, the ostler used profane language at some one in the yard. I noticed that my friend did not come in to the service, and on asking him why, he replied: “I stopped in the stable to see my horse eat his feed of corn; for I felt sure that the ostler would steal it. He that will swear will steal.” I admired his wisdom, and I doubt not that his horse profited thereby; for a swearing ostler is likely to be an oat-stealer.
Never trust a wolf with the care of lambs.
And least of all if he offers to do it for nothing. He will take it out in lamb.
Never try to prove what nobody doubts.
This is often done by preachers, and the result is that ever so many are made to doubt who never doubted before. It is like the minister who spent his time in harmonizing the four evangelists, and the old woman said, “Our minister is well set to work to try and make four men agree who never fell out.” There is so much of this useless labor done, that the necessary work of preaching the gospel gets neglected. In Carlyle’s Reminiscences we and an appropriate illustration: “Accidentally, one Sunday evening, I heard the famous Dr. Hall (of Leicester) preach; a flabby, puffy, but massy, earnest, forcible looking man, homme alors celebre! Sermon extempore; text, ‘ God, who cannot lie.’ He proved beyond shadow of doubt, in a really forcible but most superfluous way, that God never lied (had no need to do it, etc.). ‘As good prove that God never fought a duel,’ sniffed Badams on my reporting at home.”
Never use religion as a stalking-horse.
When a man endeavors to take you in by religious talk, he imitates the devil, of whom the French negroes say, that when he wants to get a man into his clutches he talks to him about God. Very hateful is this trying to make gain by the false pretense of superior godliness.
Never wake a sleeping lion.
Rouse not angry man or woman. Don’t stir the fire of strife when it is dying out Never wash sheep in scalding water.
This is done when the faults of good men are rebuked in anger.
They are Christ’s sheep, and must be tended with gentleness akin to that of the Great Shepherd of souls. We have heard it said of certain hot-tempered church members, that they must have been baptized in boiling water. The fewer of such the better.
Never wear mourning before the dead man is in his coffin.
This is a Creole warning against anticipating evil for others. It may not come, and then malicious forecasts will prove wicked folly.
Never write what you dare not sign.
An anonymous letter-writer is a sort of assassin, who wears a mask, and stabs in the dark. Such a man is a fiend with a pen. If discovered, the wretch will be steeped in the blackest infamy.
New bread is a waster, but mouldy is worse; Day old suits the stomach, and also the purse.
Housekeepers will endorse this, and perhaps be glad to quote it to those who grumble for new bread.
New breeches shame an old coat.
Partial reformations only make old faults the more glaring. When we morally improve, we need a new suit from top to toe.
New churches and new taverns are seldom empty.
People rush to see the dew place; like children Who are eager to play with a new toy.
New corn grows in old fields.
There can be no need to run off to the fresh fields of new theology: the old land of promise bears food ever new.
New hearts are more needful than new hats.
Those who are so particular about their go-to-meeting clothes should take good note of this.
New things are fine to look at.
But whether they will be as fine in the using remains to be seen; or, quite as likely, not to be seen. Fine new rubbish is common.
Newspapers are the Bibles of worldlings.
How diligently they read them! Here they find their law and profits, their judges and chronicles, their epistles and revelations.
Next to no wife a good wife is best.
This must have been the grunt of some spiteful old bachelor, or of a bad husband who never deserved a wife. Solomon says, “He that findeth a wife findeth a good thing.”
Nick-names are stick-names.
There is no shaking them off. Therefore let us not be guilty of affixing them to anyone. Call every man by his proper name.
Nightingales wilt not sing in a cage.
Liberty is essential to the full development of talent.
Nine tailors cannot make a man.
Nor ninety of them. Yet some think so, and dote upon the fashions.
One tailor can make a masher, but that is not a man.
No answer is also an answer.
And it will be wise in many cases to accept it as such.
No Autumn fruit without Spring blossoms.
There must be the hopeful beginning of repentance and faith, or there will be no enduring piety.
No bees, no honey; No work, no money.
No carrion will poison a crow.
It is used to the filthiness. So, no immorality disgusts a man of debauched habits, and no error will be too flagrant for one who hates truth.
No cloth is too fine for moth to devour.
No estate is too honorable to be touched by decay; no man too great to die; no character too established to be injured.
No cross, no crown.
No conflict, no conquest.
No cure, no pay.
A fair principle, but it might be carried still further with advantage.
Kien Long, Emperor of China, enquirer of Sir G. Staunton the manner in which physicians were paid in England. When, with some difficulty, his majesty was made to comprehend the manner of paying physicians in England for the time that the patients were sick, he exclaimed: “Is any man well in England who can afford to be ill? Now I will inform you how I manage my physicians! I have four, to whom the care of my health is committed; a certain weekly salary is allowed them; but the moment I am ill, the salary stops till I am well again. I need not inform you that my illnesses are very short.”
No fishing like fishing in the sea.
There you have plenty of room, and the largest sort of fish. A man naturally desires scope for his endeavors, whether he is engaged in business, in literary pursuits, or in religious work.
No feel was ever so foolish but some one thought him clever.
Let us hope that his wife and children think him a fine fellow: they will, if they love him; for love is blind.
No frost can freeze providence.
Despite all weathers, the river of God flows on. In the very worst of times God’s providence is to the believer an ample heritage.
No gains without pains.
At least, none to be relied upon: windfalls are generally rotted apples; the sea of chance mostly washes up empty shells. In all labor there is profit; but labor withheld withholds the gains on which men live. “No gold is found beneath the ground By idleness or shirking; The noblest brains have labor pains, And live by honest working.” No gift on earth pure water can excel; Nature’s the brewer, and she brews it well. “Not in the simmering still, over smoking fires, choked with poisonous gases, and surrounded with the stench of sickening odors and rank corruption, doth your Father in heaven prepare the precious essence of life, pure, cold water; but in the green glade and grassy dell, where the red deer wanders, and the child loves to play. There God himself brews it, and down, low down in the deepest valleys, where the fountains murmur and the rills sing; and high upon the mountain-tops, where the naked granite glitters like gold in the sun; where the hurricane howls music; where big waves roar the chorus, ‘sweeping the march of God’ — there he brews it, that beverage of life, health-giving water!”
No grave-digger can bury the truth.
Or if he did, it would have a resurrection.
No greater promisers than those who have nothing to give, They are lavish with a generosity which cannot cost them anything; but it is all wind. Here is another application of the proverb: “All this will I give thee,” said Satan; but out of all the kingdoms of the world not one of them was really his to give. Satan owns nothing but sin; and he is so great a liar that he will not own to that.
No horse so bold as the blind mare.
She sees no danger, and therefore knows no fear. No men are more reckless than the utterly stupid, who have not sense enough to know the perils which surround them.
No house without mouse; no throne without thorn.
Both great and little people have their troubles, Thorns grow at Windsor as well as at Whitechapel.
No joy without alloy. No gain on earth without its loss; No back of man without its cross; No pleasure here without its pain:
This earth and earthly things are vain.
No land without stones, No meat without bones.
Some measure of loss and discomfort attends all earthly affairs, and there is no use hoping to find perfection in an imperfect world.
No man can call again yesterday.
He may call, but it will not come. It is “ with the years beyond the flood.” Take time in time.
No man can make a good coat with bad cloth; Nor fashion a pure life on bad principles, nor form a good government with bad men, nor a holy church with unregenerate persons.
No man hath a velvet cross.
Neither hath he an iron one, though it may be painted with iron colors. Each man has a real burden to bear.
No man is always wise except a fool.
The man who makes no mistakes usually makes nothing. The fool’s abiding wisdom is the invention of his own folly. We have all blundered. “If every one who’s played the fool Had died and turned to clay, How many people would be left Alive and well today?” No man is bound to snuff the moon.
We cannot alter the laws of nature, nor mend that which is of necessity beyond our reach.
No man is made top-heavy by a pull at the pump.
He may empty the bucket, but he will not take a drop too much, so as to make him half-seas over.
No man is the worse for knowing the worst of himself.
He will be the more humble and cautious. So tar to know the worst helps towards the best. The celebrated Abernethy often gave this advice to the students of his hospital class: “Gentlemen, probe always to the bottom; find out the worst; and then act.”
No man should live in this world who has nothing to do in it. He who will not live by toil Has no right on English soil.
No mill, no meal; no, sweat, no sweet.
No need to be a cripple because crutches are cheap.
We must not be feeble in grace because help will come, nor fall. into sin because repentance, is accepted, nor limp with despondency because there are gracious consolations.
No news is good news; For if there were an evil to tell, it would have been told you. It is the wisest course to hope that when no complaint reaches you, all is going well: it is generally so.
No one eats gold fish: riches yield small comfort.
In the life of the Revelation W. Harness it is said, “that when at Deepdene the tone of conversation amused him much, as when Rothschild observed to Hope that a mart must be a poor scoundrel who could not afford to lose two millions, or replied to a nobleman who said he must be a supremely happy man; ‘ I happy! when only this morning I received a letter from a man to say, that if I did not send him £500, he would blow out my brains.”\parTHE SENTENCES WHICH FOLLOW ARE THE SAYINGS OF CATWG THE WISE:— No one is discreet but he that perceives himself to be simple:
No one is knowing but he that knows himself:
No one is mighty but he that conquers himself:
No one is sensible but he that is aware of his misconception:
No one is wise but he that understands his ignorance:
No one is watchful but he that watches over himself:
No one is wary but he that avoids what his desire craves for:
No one is blind but he that sees not his own fault:
No one is discerning but he that discerns his own failing:
No one is strong but he that overcomes his weakness.
No one is so poor as he was when he came into the world.
We brought nothing with us when we came hither. “Look,” said one, “at that man: he is rich, and yet he is a nobody; for he came into this parish without a second shirt.” “Well, well,” said one who stood by, “you were born here, and so you came into the parish without even one shirt.”
No one knows the weight of another’s burden.
Hence the lack of sympathy. It is said that “other people’s trials are easy to bear.” Nay, some go the length of saying that “the misfortunes of our friends are not altogether painful to us.” This last, it is to be hoped, is a calumny.
No one likes to bell the cat.
The mice all say, “Let a bell be fastened to the cat’s neck,” but no one mouse will accept the task himself. Here and there a brave soul cries, “I’ll bell the cat.” Bravo! In words to draw a pretty plan Is easy work for any man; To execute the scheme designed, The proper mall is hard to find.
No one man All things can.
It would be a pity he should, for then there would be nothing for the rest of us to work at.
No one pays God, but all should praise God.
Praise is our peppercorn of rent to the great Owner of all things; and it is such a joy to pay it, that he who robs God of praise robs himself of pleasure.
No pain, no palm.
We must endure the foil and the suffering, or we may not expect the reward. The winner must first be a runner.
No piper can please all ears.
Nor can any preacher do so. Two aged women of a village where John Foster preached gratuitously, were greatly divided in opinion respecting him — one setting him down for “a perfect fool,” the other “longing to hear that good man all the winter.”
No road is good if it leads to a bad end.
Pleasant it may seem, but not to those who see the dreadful end.
No Rome Rule for England or Ireland.
No sauce like appetite.
This is the “Chef Sauce.” This puts a flavor into dry bread.
No sense so uncommon as common sense.
Old John Brown, of Haddington, used to address his students of the first year to this effect: — “ Gentlemen, ye need three things to make ye good ministers; ye need learning, and grace, and common sense. As for the learning, I’ll try to set ye in the way of it; as for the grace, ye must always pray for it; but if ye havena brought the common sense with ye, ye may go about your business.”
No shine but hath its shade. “All sun,” say the Arabs, “makes the desert.”
No showers, no flowers, nor summer bowers. “God sendeth sun, He sendeth shower; Alike they’re needful for the flower; And joys and tears alike are sent To give the soul fit nourishment: As comes to me or cloud or sun, Father, Thy will, not mine,,, be done.”
No two things can agree much worse Than notions high and beggar’s purse.
They irritate their owner. His tastes call for a large expenditure, but his purse forbids it, and so he is dragged to and fro by opposing forces. He must lower his notions, or he will be an unhappy man.
No whip cuts so sharply as the lash of conscience.
Those under conviction of sin are in more pain than a felon at the whipping-post. Flesh-pain is terrible, but soul-pain drives the man to madness.
No wonder if he breaks his shins that walks in the dark.
Of course he stumbles, for he cannot see his way. When we quit the light of God’s Word we are on the way to many a blunder, stumble and fall.
No wool is so white that the dye cannot make it black.
The best character will be injured by society. The cleanest reputation can be darkened by slander.
No word is ill spoken if it be not ill taken.
Really unkind words have been made to lose their sting by being left unnoticed. If we won’t be offended, nobody can offend us.
No work is worse than overwork.
Nobility without ability, is like a pudding without suet.
A noble nobody is a poor peer, a barren baron, a benighted knight, a count of no account.
Nobody calls himself rogue. ‘Tis not likely he would; and yet when he calls himself he calls a rogue.
Nobody can live longer in peace than his neighbor pleases.
That neighbor can pick a quarrel if he pleases; and the less cause he has for it, the more fiercely will he contend.
Nobody can repeat it if it is not said.
Nobody may quarrel in my house except the cat and dog.
And they are so friendly that to me a cat-and-dog life seems a most desirable one.
None are so credulous as the incredulous.
No one is so readily duped as the skeptic.
Nobody thinks he knows so much as the man who calls himself an agnostic, or knows nothing.
None are so well shod but they may slip.
Therefore let no man presume that he can never fall.
None but fools and knaves lay wagers. When thou art sager, Thou’lt lay no wager.
None can tell what’s in the husk until it’s shelled.
Many matters must be left for time to reveal.
None so blind as those who will not see.
Prejudice makes a man resolve that he will not see, and he becomes blind indeed. No blinkers are like those of conceit. If a man will shut his eyes because he knows enough already, how can we make him see?
None so busy as those who do nothing.
None think the great unhappy but the great.
Nonsense is not sense.
Not a long day, but a good heart, gets through work.
The longest day is not long enough for some to do their work in, for they are not in love with it. Of the slothful man Solomon says: “His hands refuse to work.” We know the breed. An officer, seeing a man professedly employed in breaking stones for the road, doing his work as if he were half asleep, said, “Take care, my man, you will break that stone.” “Oh, no, your honor,” was the reply, “I knows too wall for that.”
Not all the strongest live the longest.
It was said of Henry Jenkins, who was older than Old Parr: He lived longer than men who were stronger, And was too old to live any longer.
Not every light is the sun.
Why praise up a farthing candle as if it were the orb of day? Some are greatly given to such laudations.
Not every parish priest can wear Martin Luther’s shoes.
Yet he probably thinks he can. If some men could but see themselves once they would never look again. Possibly a little conceit may help some poor souls to do more than they otherwise would have the courage to attempt.
Not everything which fair doth show, When proof is made will turn out so.
Not race, nor place, but grace makes a man.
Such was the argument of the young lady whom Philip Henry desired to marry. She belonged to an old and wealthy family, and her father opposed the match. Mr. Henry, he admitted, was a scholar and gentleman of no ordinary type, but, “ we do not know where he comes from.” “Perhaps so,” replied his daughter; “but we know where he is going, and I should like to go with him.”
Not that which is much is well, but that which is well is much.
The apparent quantity vanishes when the quality is found to be inferior. There is not so much in a pound of copper as in an ounce of gold. Truth is the test. Nothing can be great which is not right. A little which is consistent with righteousness has more in it than the great thing which is questionable.
Not to break is better than to mend.
Prevention is better than cure. A dish well riveted is not so good as one which was never cracked.
Not to wish to recover is a mortal symptom.
He who does not desire to reform gives evidence of desperate sinfulness.
Nothing comes amiss to a hungry man.
To him, even bitter things are sweet. Be it cold, or be it hot, Hungry man refuses not.
Nothing endeavored, nothing discovered.
If we do not try we shall never find out the way. Without effort we shall stick in the mud, and never get further.
Nothing is a man’s truly, But what he came by duly.
That which we gain wrongfully can never be rightfully ours. Be ashamed to harbor stolen goods.
Nothing is cheap if you don’t want it.
A great bargain is a pick-purse. If merely bought because the price was low, and not because we needed it, it is dear.
Nothing is clean to a carrion crow.
Its eye searches out rottenness, and sees nothing else; and thus men of vile character believe others to be vile, spy out all their faults, and shut their eyes to their virtues, and speak evil of the good.
Nothing is safe from fault-finders.
Even Milton’s “Paradise Lost” was censured by a hard-headed Scotchman because, said he, “It proves nothing.” Even proverbs come under the lash of Chesterfields elegance. He says “A man of fashion never has recourse to proverbs and vulgar aphorisms.”
Nothing is so graceful in a woman as grace.
When she is full of grace she is graceful indeed, and all are compelled to see the beauty of her character, whether she has beauty of person or not. Moreover, Grace will last When beauty is past.
Nothing is so strong as gentleness; nothing so gentle as strength.
Nothing sharpens sight like envy.
It spies out the smallest fault, but at the same time refuses to see anything which might excuse it. Was there ever one so holy that envy would not see evil in him Nothing should be done in haste except catching fleas. Nothing stands in need of lying but a lie.
Truth is always consistent with itself, and needs nothing to help it out; it is always near at hand, sits upon our lips, and is ready to drop out before we are aware; a lie is troublesome, and sets a man’s invention upon the rack, and one trick needs a great many more to make it good. It is like building upon a false foundation, which continually stands in need of props to shore it up, and proves at last more chargeable than to have raised a substantial building at first upon a true and solid foundation. — Addison.
Nothing succeeds like success.
Men are apt to aid that which is getting on; the very report of success helps to make itself true. Hence a crafty man recommends another to look like getting on, or he never will get on.
Nothing that is violent is permanent.
The rushing torrent is soon over, and so is it with other things of the same impetuous character. Gently goes far.
Nothing venture, nothing win.
Some measure of risk must attend all trading. We must also venture all, even to life itself for Christ’s cause.
Novels contain little that is novel But, alas! much that is unnatural, and many a time that which is polluting. The lives of many are rendered false by reading false lives. Truth is made sick by fiction.
NOW that I have a hat, others take off theirs to me.
The man has come to be what the world calls “respectable,” and he is respected accordingly, but he ought not to be proud, for the respect is evidently paid to the hat rather than its wearer.
Now that I have got no gun, Rabbits run about like fun.
But why not have had a gun? Opportunities often come to men who are not ready for them. Why are they not ready?
Now the poet’s starved and dead, Raise a stone above his head. ‘Tis the old story of Homer, begging in life, and honored in death.
The man needs bread, and they give him a stone; but not even that till he is gone. Alas, poor world! thy gratitude is as late as it is worthless: after death a stone!
Now the thief is out of sight, The police have come to light.
Hardly fair! In many cases the police have been singularly prompt and courageous.
Now that I have a sheep and a cow everyone bids me good morrow.
So much does even the courtesy of our fellow-men depend upon our possessions. A court of law decided that a man who keeps a gig is respectable, and three acres and a cow are the recognized limit of competence. What is that respect worth which depends on our owning cows and sheep?
Now that I no longer need I can get full many a feed.
People run to grease the fat sow. Who will not give to a prince? Poverty craves in vain, where wealth asks and receives.
Now is now here, but tomorrow’s nowhere.
Now is the only time we have; even when tomorrow comes if it ever comes, it will also be “now.” So Doddridge put it: — “Strength for to-day is all we need, For there never will be a to-morrow; For to-morrow will prove but another to-day, With its measure of joy and of sorrow.” ‘Now” is the watchword of the wise. “Tomorrow” is the devil’s great ally — the very Goliath in whom he trusts for victory: “Now” is the stripling sent forth against him.
A great significance lies in that little word; it marks the point on which life’s battle turns. That spot is the Hougomont of life’s Waterloo; there the victory is lost or won. — Arnot.
Nuts are given us, but we must crack them ourselves.
Providence does not spare us the necessity for exertion, even when it is most favorable. Herein is wisdom. Sayings of a more Spiritual Sort.
SAYINGS OF A MORE SPIRITUAL SORT.
Natural men are spiritual monsters.
The natural man’s heart is where his feet should be, fixed upon earth; his heels are lifted up against heaven, which his heart should be set on. His face is towards hell: his back towards heaven. He loves what he should hate, and hates what he should love; joys in what he ought to mourn for, and mourns for what lie ought to rejoice in; glories in his shame, and is ashamed of his glory; abhors what he should desire, and desires what he should abhor. — Boston.
Neither neglect the means nor rest in the means.
Services and Sacraments are to be humbly used as channels for the water of life, but they are not that life in themselves.
Never dare to despair While God answers prayer.
There is a strange presumption in the wicked act of doubting the goodness of the Lord.
New sinnings call for new repentings. “No answer required.”
This note often accompanies messages sent to man, but of oftener those sent up in prayer to God.
No grace, no glory.
No happiness without holiness.
There is no felicity in what the would adores. That wherein God himself is happy, the holy angels are happy, and in whose defect the devils are unhappy — that dare I call happiness. — Sir Thomas Browne.
No man is necessary.
With this saying of Napoleon, we may compare the sentence on the monument to the two Wesleys, in Westminster Abbey — “ God buries his workmen, but carries on his work,” No pillow so soft as God’s promise.
No skin, no hair; No grace, no prayer.
There can be no hair where there is no skin, and no true prayer where there is no grace. A prayerless soul is a graceless soul.
None can pray well but he who lives well.
Prayer will make us leave off sinning, or sinning will make us leave off praying. — Fuller.
None should wear the name of saints but those who have the nature of saints.
The Seventh General Council which met at Constantinople in under the Iconoclast Emperor Constantine V., decreed, “If any one spend his labor in setting up figures of saints, or lifeless and deaf images, which cannot do any good; and has no care to represent in himself their virtues as he finds them on record in the Scriptures, let him be Anathema.” Equally worthy of condemnation are they who profess to be saints, but have nothing saintly about their character and life.
Not a leaf moves on the trees, Unless the Lord himself doth please.
The wind shall not blow on the earth, nor on the sea, nor on any tree, till the permission of God be given. — Revelation 7:1.
Not more than Christ, but more of Christ.
Not to love God is madness.
It shows a mind disordered by the madness of sin.
Nothing is simpler than faith, and nothing more sublime.
Faith is simple from the human side: it is a childlike trust. But it is sublime from the divine side, since it grasps the Invisible, and has power with the Omnipotent.
Nought can be gained By a Sabbath preferred.