TAKE a horse by his bridle, and a man by his word.
If every man would follow his word as readily as a horse follows his bridle, it would be well; but if a man is not to be led by his word, it is hard to know how to hold him at all. Perhaps the other saying, “A man by his word and a cow by her horns,” hints at a measure of difficulty. A word should be sufficient between man and man; but it is so frequently otherwise, that it is better to have an agreement in black and white.
Take a joke as a joke, and it will not provoke. “When the loud laugh prevails at your expense, All want of temper is but want of sense. Would you disarm the sneerer of his jest, Frown not, but laugh in concert with the rest.”
Take a man’s judgment for what it is worth.
Give it due weight, but not more. All will depend upon who the man is, and what he knows about the matter under consideration.
Take a woman’s first opinion, and not her second.
She is very apt to come to a right, conclusion by a leap of instinct; but when she corrects that instinctive judgment by reasoning, she may possibly be mistaken. This proverb does not always turn out to be correct: second thoughts of women and men are often their best thoughts; indeed, they should be.
Take away fuel, take away flame.
If we say nothing upon which strife can feed, its evil fire must die down. In all disagreements, silence is the friend of peace.
Take care of coppers, and beware of pewters.
Too often the pence are lost in the pewters. Cool pewters at night do not make cool coppers in the morning. Spend no pence to buy regrets.
Take care of the minutes; the hours will take care of themselves.
Economy of time on a large scale will grow out of careful use of the odd five minutes. Many valuable books have been produced by their authors during intervals which others would have wasted. As the watch crieth tick, Each minute flieth quick.
Take care of your lambs, or where will you got your sheep from?
If we do not win the hearts of the young, where shall we get another generation of Christians? Those who speak of them as “a parcel of boys and girls” are not wise. A Highland shepherd, when asked how it was that he took the prizes so frequently at the cattleshows for the best flock, replied, “I look weel to the lambs.”
Take care of your plough, and your plough will take care of you.
Thus you must share with your share. If you keep the plough going, it will keep you going. Those who would have cash must earn it.
Take very great care Of your own grey mare.
Watch lovingly over your wife, who is to you as your own self.
Take heed of speedy friend and slow enemy.
The first is hasty, and may fail you; the other has weighed matters, and is not likely to alter, and, therefore, he is to be feared because of his determination. If your foe is deliberate, so much the worse for you; for he will persevere in his attack till he gets you in his power. Malice in cool blood is the bitterest form of it.
Take heed when thou seest no need of taking heed.
Moments of self-security are moments of great peril. A sleeping devil is dreaming of deadly mischief. Watch most when there seems least cause for it.
Take heed you find not what you do not seek.
Many by their unjust suspicions have made for themselves lifelong sorrows. Why thrust in your hand among burning coals? While poking their noses Into other men’s roses, Paul Prys have been pricked by the thorns:
And no one supposes, That o’er the proboscis Of Pry any one of us mourns.
Take me upon your back, and you’ll know what I weigh.
Carry my sorrows by actively sympathizing with me, and you will then have some idea of the burden of my life. If you wore my boots you would know where they pinch.
Take more time, and you’ll be done the sooner.
No doubt a steady careful mode of working leads to a speedier end than a hurried superficial method, which does nothing thoroughly, but only seems to do it. Punch says, “What is the best thing to do in a hurry? Answer, Nothing.” Go slowly to make haste.
Take no man’s talk out of his mouth.
It is a shame to have to eat your own words, and it is not good to eat another man’s words out of his mouth. It is as great a pleasure to another to speak as it is to you; let him have his turn, and do not forestall him. Let every man say what he meant to have said, Don’t rob him of words any more than of bread.
Take no more on your back than you can carry.
Attempt as much as you can compass, but do not overtax yourself, lest all your work suffer. Undertake only what you can overtake.
Be temperate in business as well as in drink.
Take not a musket to kill a butterfly.
The creature is too insignificant to be thus overwhelmingly assailed.
Adapt the means to the end. Some theories do not deserve to be argued down, a jest may suffice to crush them.
Take not a wife from a wicked household.
Look to her parentage. You cannot expect to find grapes among thorns. If the well-head be foul, the stream will not be pure. Yet this is not always true; for the providence and grace of God have made some of the loveliest characters to grow up in the most degraded families, and it would be a shame to think ill of them because of a parent’s sins.
Take not advice from a man who never takes advice.
If he is not wise enough to know his own need of counsel, he is not wise enough to counsel you. Who will not learn cannot teach.
Take not offense at the arrow, but look to the archer.
A dog bites the stick, and forgets that it could do nothing if it were not in a man’s hand. Quarrel not with the second cause of your sorrow, but humbly cry to the Lord, “Show me wherefore thou contendest with me.”
Take not the baggage for the sake of the bag.
Marry not a good-for-nothing woman to get her goods. If she be base, though she be rich, Keep thyself clear of such a witch.
Take pepper, but do not be peppery.
Very hot-tempered people are hard to live with. Some are as hot as the very strongest black pepper, with which they say hogs can be killed. Your eyes will ache if the smallest grain of them is in the air.
Be not a Hotspur yourself.
Take the bit, and the buffet with it.
Accept a little buffering for the sake of a livelihood. We must all put up with something. When a man intends real kindness, we must not notice the roughness of his manners. Though smitten sorely by thy God, Yet with the covenant take the rod.
Take the chestnuts out of the fire with a cat’s paw.
We do not advise any such mean course of procedure; but it is a very general practice. Monkeys generally imitate men, but in this thing man imitates the monkey, if the fable be fact.
Take the cotton from your ear When the gospel cometh near.
We have read that when Queen Elizabeth compelled all her subjects to attend, the Parish Church, the Romanists put wool in their ears that they might not hear. It is to be feared that Satan does this for many nowadays; but it is an unpardonable thing to go to the place of hearing determined not to hear.
Take the pledge, and leave off pledging.
The temperance pledge, and absence from the pledge-shop, usually go together. It is not the total abstainer that keeps the pawnshop going.
Take the tide, it will not bide.
The tide will not be tied. Take it at flood, or lie high and dry while it ebbs. One to-day is worth a hundred to-morrows.
Take the world as it is, and try to make it what it ought to be.
Use men and things as you find them. Do not despair because they are not so good as they might be and should be; but set to work to improve rather than censure.
Take thou good heed, And thou wilt speed.
At least, it is one of the ways of doing so. Nobody fails through being too careful. Mind, or thou wilt be behind.
Take time by the forelock.
He is said to be bald behind, so that when time is past we can no longer seize upon it, and turn it to account. “Shun delays, they breed remorse; Take thy time while time is lent thee; Creeping snails have weakest force; Fly their fault lest thou repent thee; Good is best when soonest wrought, Ling’ring labors come to nought.” — Southwell.
Take time in turning a corner.
Or you may run into something, or be run into by something. When making a change in the manner of your life, consider all the bearings of it, and be in no haste to wheel about and turn about. When thou a dangerous way dost go, Walk surely, though thy pace be slow.
Take time while time is, for time is flying. “Complete what wisely you’ve begun, Or you may live to rue it; When once you know what should be done, Proceed at once to do it. “Those who with time will sport and play, Find often to their sorrow, The birds that might be caught to-day, Are fled before to-morrow.” Take you care, or care will take you.
And then it will be care indeed, of that black sort, which darkens all the skies of life.
Take your own case in your own hands.
Don’t be for ever making other people into crutches for yourself.
Why come to me? I am neither your father-in-law, nor your mother-in-law, nor your brother-in-law, nor your dear old aunt. “I’ve traveled about a bit in my time, And of troubles I’ve seen a few; But found it better in every clime To paddle my own canoe.” Taken to excess, even nectar is poison.
In all human things you must draw a line, and say, “So far is good, and all beyond is evil.” In meats, and drinks, and recreation, this is specially true. Take not more than enough Of the wholesomest stuff.
Talk and tattle Make blows and battle.
Talk is talk; but it takes money to pay bills.
Blandly, with a great show of politeness, the gentleman shows the best of reasons for not being able to settle the little account to-day.
All very fine; but there stands the debt. A little of the precious metal would be better liked than a cart-load of this precious talk.
Talk like Robin Hood when you can shoot with his bow.
But to use big words and swelling phrases, when you have nothing to show for your greatness, is absurd. Frogs may not bellow like the ox, Nor robins crow like farmyard cocks.
Talk much, sin much; pray much, have much.
Talk of what God does for you, not of what you do for God.
For this last is too small a subject; and, indeed, if it were greater, it would all be wisely comprehended under the first head. God works in us what we work for him.
Talk, talk, talk, and it brings in nought; Work, work, work, and the bread is bought.
Thus Thomas Spurgeon describes that perpetual chatter which is so useless and wearisome: “Bibble babble, gibble gabble, rattle, prattle, prate, They jabber, chatter, cackle, clack, at ever such a rate.
Talk about the magpie, the parrot, and the jay, I’m very sure these gossips talk ten times as much as they.
Talk about your talkabouts. — the gift of g, a, b, Loquacity, verbosity, and volubility; The beasts, the birds, the fishes, if all of them could speak, Would say no more in fifty years than these folk in a week.” Talking comes by nature, silence by wisdom.
Talking pays no toll.
If it did, the County Councils would need no help from the Van and Wheel Tax. If only a penny a line could be charged, the Panama Canal could be finished with the money which would have to be paid in less than a week.
Tall trees catch much wind.
Eminent persons are sure to be criticized, envied, and abused. Let no tree aspire to be a poplar, and no man aim to be popular.
Tarry, tarry, tarry, tarry, Think again before you marry.
One might push this tarrying too far, but we seldom meet with such a case. They rush at matrimony like a dog at a piece of meat. A quaint writer says, “I have seen women so delicate that they were afraid to ride, for fear of the horse running away; afraid to sail, for fear the boat might be upset; afraid to walk, for fear they might fall; but I never saw one afraid to be married, which is far more riskful than all the others put together.”
Taste and try before you buy.
This is the costermonger’s invitation. As a piece of advice it applies to many mere things than fruits.
Teach your boy a trade And his fortune’s made.
But a clerkship, or a roving commission, or the genius which can do everything, will leave him in risk of poverty. He that hath a trade hath a settled estate, which no man can take from him.
Teachers’ sins are teachers of sins.
Children, and indeed all sorts of people, follow the examples of their teachers if there is anything wrong about them. Thus faults are reflected and repeated if seen in men of light and leading.
Teaching others teacheth yourself.
A young man at Cambridge spoke to a wise man about taking a tutor to coach him, but the other said, “Rather take a pupil.” To learn, and then to teach, is to engrave one’s learning on the heart and memory.
Tears are powerful orators.
This flowing eloquence melts the heart. Lions’ teeth, and bulls’ horns, are nothing in power to women’s tears.
Tears are liquid eloquence. “Tears have tongues”; and as these appeal to eyes rather than ears, they have greater power than words. Tears are the noble language of the eye; And when true love of words is destitute, The eyes by tears speak while the tongue is mute.
Tease a dog till he bite you, and then blame yourself.
Worry servants or children till they rebel in their anger, and with whom will the fault lie? The same Scripture which bids children obey their parents, also says, “Ye fathers, provoke not your children to anger, lest they be discouraged. “ — Colossians in. 21.
Tell-all is thought a feel, And everybody’s tool.
They pump him for information, serve their own purposes by his tattle, and then laugh at trim. Note this, Mr. Blabs.
Tell me the moon is made of green cheese.
I shall believe that fable quite as much as the silly tale which you are trying to palm upon me.
Tell me with whom thou geese, and I will tell thee what thou art. When I see thy company I will tell thee what thou be.
Tell the truth, and shame the devil.
If, indeed, he can be shamed. Nothing is less his taste than the undiluted truth. His kingdom rests on falsehood.
Tell your affairs in the market-place, and one will call them black, and another white.
Every one will have an opinion. You thought everybody would agree with you, and see your wisdom. Alas! none see with your eyes, and therefore they neither see as you see, nor what you see.
Temperance is the best medicine.
For it is a preventive and a preservative, as well as a cure. Some do not like it any better than physic.
Ten children have eleven dispositions.
This is a Hindoo proverb, and sets forth the variety which can be found in a single household. Should not the training of each child be adapted to its special character?
Ten fingers ought to be able to feed one mouth.
And as a rule they will. Able-bodied persons without families ought not to be dependent upon charity. He who will not work for himself will not work for anyone else. “Far, far before the slave of pelf, Give me the son of labor:
The man who rightly serves himself Will rightly serve his neighbor.” Ten honest “noes” are better than one false “yes.”
Yet people will go on begging of us for a promise when we tell them that it is not in our power to do what they wish. We persist in our “no,” though “yes” would, for the time, be far more pleasant.
Why cannot people take our “No,” and have done?
Ten measures of talk were sent clown from Heaven, and woman took nine.
Shameful statement! It was invented by some horrid man! Was it the same cynical wretch, who, being requested to propose the toast, “To the ladies,” said, “They require no eulogy; they speak for themselves”?
Tenderness matches well with manliness. “Use a woman tenderly, tenderly; From a crooked rib God made her slenderly.
Straight and strong he did not make her, So if you try to bend you’ll break her.” Test the truth, and then testify the truth.
No testimony can equal that of a man who has by personal experience certified his own soul of the truth to which he bears witness. Experience is the best college tutor. It is the sinew of the arm of persuasion, and the marrow of the backbone of confidence.
Thank God that hath so blest thee, And sit down, Robin, and rest thee.
Spend not all your life in getting, and none in enjoying. Some are so eager to get a living that they never live. Surely God meant us sometimes to sit down and enjoy life, and be thankful. “Thank you, pretty pussy,” was the death of my cat.
Compliments and flatteries do us more harm than good.
Thankfulness makes much of little. Be the meal of beans and peas, God be thanked for those and these.
Have we bread or have we fish, All are fragments, from his dish.
Thanksgiving is a good thing, thanks-living is a better.
The one may die in words; the other lives in acts.
That cake came out of my oven.
It is amusing to see on another man’s table some of your own cakes; and so it is to see in a person’s book or sermon a dose of your own thoughts, coolly taken, and never acknowledged.
That cat won’t jump.
You need not try on that trick with me; for I am not to be taken in by it. You can’t lodge here, Mr. Ferguson.
That cruse of oil will not be less That helps a brother in distress.
The widow fed the prophet, and the prophet’s Master fed her.
That fish will soon be caught which nibbles the bait. The fish that nibbles at the bait Is very soon upon the plate.
Toying with temptation is extremely dangerous work.
That head is very sound that has no soft place.
There is a boggy spot on all headlands, and it is well for each man to know where his marshy places lie.
That is a good war in which no blood is shed.
That was of all the very best fight, When never a man was slain:
They ate their meat, and drank their drink, And then went home again.
That is vain which vanisheth.
Therefore fix thy heart on nothing but that which is eternal.
That is well spoken that is well taken.
Much depends upon the mind and spirit of the audience. That which was accepted as overwhelming eloquence when spoken, may be dull enough when read in cool moments at home. In private talk we give offense at one time by that which would have been right enough at another, because our friend is in a bad humor.
That lawyer is honest who has hair on his teeth.
This was in the olden times said of millers who tolled the corn brought to them for grinding. We dare say it was quite as true of the gentlemen of the sack as of the gentlemen of the long robe; or quite as false.
That man is lost indeed who is lost to shame.
There is nothing left to work upon. The creature’s hide is too thick for us to make him feel. We shall have to let him run away, for he has become too hard in the mouth for our bit.
That man is surely badly bred, Who’s strong in the arm, but weak in the head.
Of this bad breed there are many. Giants in muscle, and dwarfs in mind. Men weak in the head are generally head-strong!
That man most justly fool I call, Who takes to scribbling on a wall.
Cutting initials on trees, and writing on public seats, and so forth, is a vulgar habit, against which all decent men should set their faces.
Quote this rhyme till it becomes a common saying, and something will have been done to mitigate the nuisance.
That quite alters the case.
When it is yourself or a relative that is concerned, you are apt to alter your opinion upon the business. Morton, in his “Bengali and Sanscrit Proverbs,” gives the following: — “Said a clown to a Brahmin, ‘Sir, tell me, I pray, For crushing a spider, what fine must I pay? ‘Why, friend,’ he replied, ‘ ‘tis a grievous offense, And demands an atonement of serious expense.’ ‘Indeed — then, alas! with deep sorrow I’m filled; Your son, sir, a poor little spider has killed.’ ‘Out, fool,’ cries the Brahmin in anger — ‘ away!
For killing a spider there’s nothing to pay!’” That thou mayest injure no man, dove-like be; And serpent-like, that none may injure thee. “When the fellow will not mind your dove,” says one, “set your serpent at him”; but that is hardly the correct thing. Keep your serpent, not for offense, but only for defense.
That tongue which every secret speaks Is like a barrel full of leaks.
There cannot be much in it; but it makes a great mess, and causes great loss. The blab no secret can retain; But what he hears he tells again.
That which a man causes to be done he does himself.
Masters cannot innocently take the profit of that which is done by those they employ in an evil trade. How can you have your barmaids serving out liquors while you yourself are at church?
That which comes with sin goes with sorrow.
Or, if it stays, it brings a curse with it. That which is hatched under the wing of a raven will peck at its owner’s eyes.
That which covers thee discovers thee.
A man is known by his clothes, and a woman still more.
That which humbles us is always for our good.
That which is born of a hen will take to scratching.
Everything is according to the birth. That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and nothing better in the best of cases.
That which is evil is soon learnt.
And when learned, it so suits the disposition of the learner that he never forgets it. All the scholars in the school of sin are quick in getting hold of their lessons.
That which is got over the devil’s back is usually spent under the devil’s belly.
It goes as badly as it came, and usually in some form of worship of the belly god. Nathaniel Bailey’s explanation of this proverb is, that “it is used of such covetous persons, who have, by unjust, fraudulent, and oppressive methods, amassed to themselves worldly riches. It intimates that such ill-gotten wealth is commonly wasted by a profuse heir, in riot and luxury, and seldom descends to the third generation.”
That which is learned early is remembered late.
In our last days our memory is stronger concerning the facts of childhood than in reference to the events of yesterday.
That which is sharp is generally short.
This is comfortable to remember when in pain, or under slander, or in a thunder-storm, or when buffeted by a passionate man.
That which looks like a mountain may melt like a mist.
Have courage, and press forward; for tremendous difficulties will vanish as you advance.
That which lowers itself is beginning to fall.
When a man inclines to low company and questionable ways, he is likely to go into gross faults. When a tradesman stoops to trickery, he is probably on the road to bankruptcy.
That which will not be butter must be made into cheese.
If a thing cannot be used in one way, we must use it in another, and suffer no waste. We must also make ourselves of use to the good cause by ingenuity of earnestness. In some way or other, help, if you please:
If you can’t be butter you must be cheese.
That you may be loved, be lovable.
Else you cannot expect people to love you, nor should you even desire them to act in so unreasonable a way as to love that which is not worthy of love. Love, and be loved: being loved, love.
That’s my good which does me good.
That’s not good language that all understand not.
The proverb refers to the language of preachers of the gospel; they must not speak in an unknown tongue, but use market language. Old Cobbett said, “I not only speak so that I can be understood, but so that I cannot be misunderstood.”
Thaw reveals what has been hidden by snow.
So, changes in nations and families bring many things to light.
Injured reputations are often thus restored. On the other hand, when a man’s riches melt away, many dirty things are seen which his wealth concealed.
The accomplice is as bad as the thief.
Sometimes he is worse. Jonathan Wild was a worse black than Jack Shepherd and the rest of the gang whom he protected, fleeced, and betrayed.
The account is correct but not a sixpence appears.
Accuracy of accounts is most commendable; but when there is no income, no correctness of accounts can fill up the vacuum.
However good the account, the estate is of no account when there is nothing to be counted. However, even if the balance is on the wrong side, keep the books correct to a farthing.
The adviser is not the payer.
That is to say, he who gives advice, as a general rule, has nothing to lose in the matter. Be chary of the counsel of one who carefully keeps on shore, but exhorts you to go to sea.
The ale jug is a great waster.
Toby Fill-pot fills his own pot, but he often empties the tea from the teapot, and the flour from the kneading trough. A drunkard’s purse is a bottle, and everything runs out of it.
The ancients have run away with all our new ideas. “I pine to be original, But this I cannot be; For ev’ry one’s done ev’ry thing In long advance of me.
I’ve come into the world too late — I fear it must be so:
Oh, could I but be born afresh, A thousand years ago!” The anvil fears not the hammer. In patience it stands still and bears, Till all the hammers it outwears.
The arm is the stronger, but the tongue is the longer.
When the strong arm is weary, the nimble tongue still runs its race.
The more’s the pity.
The ass that brays most, eats least.
Moral: — If you would be largely fed, Keep a still tongue in your head.
The back door is the one that robs the house.
There is an unknown leakage going on out of sight. Little lots of goods go off to other houses. Back doors for going out, and back stairs for going up, are of little use to honest men.
The beadle of the parish is always of the vicar’s opinion.
Of course. Would you have the good man quarrel with his beans and bacon? He is bound to order himself lowly and reverently to his spiritual pastor and master.
The bear is not so bearish as folks make him.
Often when we come to know a man who has a reputation for roughness, we and hint quite amiable: he “roars like a sucking dove.” If you are not a bear, why wear a bear’s skin?
The beaten road is the safest.
Keep to it, and let foolish speculators go over hedge and ditch, and meet with tumbles, and thieves, if so it pleases them.
The beginning prophesies the end.
So Christiana sings of her setting out upon the spiritual life: — “Our tears to joy, our fears to faith, Are turned, as we see; Thus our beginning, as one saith, Shows what our end will be.” The bell does not go to service, and yet it calls everyone to it.
This is very right in the bell, but it should not be told of a belle, or any other of man or woman kind. Where we bid others go, we should lead the way, lest the following rhyme be applicable to us: The sign-post duly points the way, Yet standeth still front day to day.
The best cause requires a good pleader.
Such a cause as that of the Savior and his cross deserves our best efforts; and so long as men are desperately set on mischief, we shall need to plead with them on truth’s behalf, as for our lives.
The best colt needs breaking in.
Your own delightful son requires it as much as other people’s much inferior offspring. Perhaps if you knew all you would attend a little more to this very needful business. He that cockers his child makes a rod for his own back.
The best dog leaps the stile first.
All the pack will follow, but one hound leads the way, and, of course, he is the strongest and most daring. Those who aspire to leadership should take the first place in danger and in self-sacrifice.
The holiest man will be first in protesting against evil.
The best eyes look inwards and upwards.
The best fish swim near the bottom.
Go deep into truth. Be not content with the surface of it; for in the depths lie the most precious thoughts. In soul-winning deal with the very worst, and you may bring to light, in many an instance, originality, force, fervor, and intense gratitude.
The best go first, the bad remain to mend:
Let bad beware, for patience, hath an end.
Spared by long-suffering, we must improve, or else the God who has taken his saints home will send us to our own place.
The best ground bears weeds as well as flowers.
The best families have their “aunt-eaters and uncle-suckers.”
The best harvest is the longest in being reached. Archbishop Whateley said: “The man who is in a hurry to see the full effects of his own tillage, must cultivate annuals, and not forest trees.” Only children will be in such foolish haste.
The best is the cheapest.
Because it lasts oat so many of the sweater’s good-for-nothing goods. Cheap is dear, and dear is cheap. We ought not to beat down the prices of first-rate articles: it is grinding down the workman, and forcing down the quality of the goods.
The best knowledge is to know God.
The best merchants never best each other.
They do not take each other in, but they deal fairly. If a man cannot become eminent by fair dealing, he had better keep in the background. Only small and mean traders look out for opportunities of taking undue advantage; and such people never prosper.
The best of all acids is assiduity.
Use this wonderful chemical. It will eat its way through every difficulty. A great reduction upon taking a quantity.
The best of cloth May harbor moth.
The moth is no respecter of qualities. Sin assails the purest of men, and win work them mischief if it can.
The best of days for mending your ways.
This very day is the best. Every moment you remain in sin you sin again. Till your debt is paid, your debt increases.
The best laid schemes o’ mice and men gang aft a-gley.
Because neither mice nor men can foresee all contingencies, and something happens which puts them out in their calculations. We do not wonder that mice fail: are men at all surer of success?
The best of men are but men at the best When trial comes it is seen to be so. What fault one man commits another may commit. Those are not the best of men who forget that they are only men.
The best physic is fresh air; The best pill is plain fare.
It is well to remember this, for else we may fly continually to medicine, and end like the man who put on his tomb, “I was well, I wanted to be better, took physic, and died.”
The best surgeon is he that has been well hacked about himself.
He knows how to sympathize, for he has felt the smart. What a physician we have for our souls in the Man of Sorrows!
The best swimmer is often the first to drown.
Because he is venturesome, while others avoid the water, since they know they cannot swim. Another proverb says, “The strongest swimmer was drowned at last.” Nevertheless let us all learn to swim.
The best throw of the dice is to throw them away.
The better thou be, the more careful must thou be.
The proverb books add, “quoth Hendyng.” Whoever that worthy may have been, he spoke sound truth. It is hard to live up to a noble character: it is like keeping up a great house where the expenditure is large.
The Bible is the book which has no errata in it.
Neither in matters historical nor scientific does it blunder, any more than in matters theological. The worst mistake is with the man who thinks the Holy Spirit can be mistaken.
The big fish eat the little ones.
This is the mischief of it, for then one fish devours quite a number of small fry. Now, if the little fish ate the big fish, one of them might satisfy the hunger of hundreds. It is not an economical system, but so it is. Please, don’t eat me up as yet.
The biggest horses are not the best travelers.
In fact, the little ones have the reputation of keeping on long after the big horses are knocked up.
The biggest ox may do least work; Yet little ones know how to shirk.
The biggest pears are not the best.
On the contrary, those fruits which exceed in size generally fail in flavor, and a big pear when eaten reminds one of a turnip.
The bird that can sing, and won’t sing, must be made to sing.
The birds see the bait, but not the net.
So men see the present pleasure of sin, but not its fatal result.
The black ox treads on all our toes, And every man his burden knows.
Care and trouble come to all. We should be glued to this world if this were not the case.
The blade oft used no rusting frets:
The running stream no filth begets.
Activity is health to the mind as well as to the body. Neither for our holiness nor our happiness is idleness helpful.
The blind lead the blind, and both fall into the ditch.
Our old-fashioned fathers were wont to sing: — “The Pope, that pagan full of pride, He hath us blinded long; For where the blind the blind do guide, No wonder they go wrong.” The blind mall sees his neighbor’s faults.
The blood of the martyrs is the seed of the church.
From the ashes of the martyrs springs a new race of confessors.
The policy of cruelty has failed altogether. The church of Christ is like a camomile bed:
The more it is trodden, the more it will spread.
The “Blue Boar” is a great devourer.
Romeo would never have asked, “What’s in a name?” if he had but lived to take a tour in England, and become acquainted with the nomenclature of some of our inns. To us there is hardly a sign in the kingdom which is not thoroughly significant; and any traveler, we should think, who has his mental eyes about him, may see at a glance outside the way in which he will be taken in. Who, for instance, would expect to enter the jaws or doors of a Lion without being bitten, or to get away from an Eagle without considerable bleeding? A little matured, the Lamb becomes decidedly indicative of fleecing; while every Bear, we know, is naturally prone to squeeze as many as he ecru lay his paws on. Roguery in the Fox is what everybody looks for, and plucking and roasting are, of course, inseparable from a Goose and Gridiron. Nor is the Blue -Boar an exception to the rule, for it most aptly symbolizes your complexion when you leave it; and no one, we should think, would enter a Green Man, when reminded, on the threshold of his verdancy in doing so. Of all our signs, however, perhaps there is none more suggestive than the Magpie and Stump, which anyone may see is merely a contraction for the far more significant Magpie and Stump Up. — Punch (more than twenty-five years ago).
The board slays more than the sword.
The boaster counts his penny silver.
As for himself, he is a wonder. If you would but believe it, he is the greatest man that ever honored the race by being born into it. Of all speculations the market holds forth, The best that I know for a lover of pelf, Were to buy up our John at the price he is worth, And sell him — at that which he sets on himself.
The body has two eyes, the soul must have one only.
A single eye to the glory of God is essential to a holy life.
The bone of contention is the jaw-bone.
The bottle and the glass make many cry “Alas!” “The bottomless pit is in Chancery Lane”; So said a man; and he spake very plain.
Law is not good news, its agents are not angels, and it does not lead to bliss. The place where the legalities abound is not, likened to the highest heaven. It’s an ill chance which leads to Chancery.
The boughs that bear bountifully bow low. “Trees are bowed down. with weight of fruit, Clouds big with rain hang low; So good men humbly bear success, Nor overweening grow.” The bow must not be always bent.
When life’s all labor, and has no intermission, it becomes slavery.
Work without rest is like an unstuffed saddle, and cuts the rider to the bone.
The brain is ever sowing corn or cockle.
It cannot be still. If you want to keep out bad thoughts, fill up the mind with good considerations.
The brains don’t lie in the beard.
Age goes before honesty, but not always after wisdom.
The bread of idleness should never be eaten. Judge Haliburton says, “The bread of idleness in a general way is apt to be stale, and sometimes I conceit it is a little sour.” None but the meanest of the mean will eat a crumb of it. It ferments within a man, and breeds vice, roguery, and lechery.
The butcher looked for his candle; and ‘twas stuck in his hat.
He could not have seen except by that candle’s light; and by that light he looked for the light! So, many are carefully looking for the grace of God in their hearts, though they would never have a desire to possess it unless grace had wrought that desire.
The cask is sure to smell of the wine it has held.
Habits leave their impress upon the mind, even after they are given up. You cannot pour sin into the soul and out again without a taste remaining. The ill savor abides, though the sin is forgiven “The cat did it”; but the puss had only two legs.
Alluding to the general explanation of breakages. There is a eat in every catastrophe of a domestic kind.
The cat invites the mouse to a feast.
So the strange woman solicits the unwary youth. “Will you walk into my parlor? said the spider to the fly, ‘Tis the prettiest little parlor that ever you did spy.” The cat knows more than the kitten.
The cat settled the dispute between the birds.
By eating them both up. Does this differ a straw From the action of law?
It is thus described: — “Then take, says Justice, each of you a shell; We live at Westminster on folks like you. ‘Twas a fat oyster. Live in peace. Adieu!” The cat that killed the rat is the cat for me, Whatever color that cat may chance to be.
Utility is in many matters the test of value. Whether a cat be white or cherry-colored, that is to say, black, if she catches mice, she is worth her milk.
The cat thinks one thing, and the mouse another.
The mouse plays, but the cat preys. The mouse seeks the corn, but the cat seeks the mouse. Hence:- The cat’s advice Is bad for mice.
The cats that drive away the mice are as good as those that catch them.
The one object is to save the corn, and the way in which this is done is not material. The policeman who keeps thieves away is quite as useful as another who arrests them.
The chamber of sickness should be the chapel of devotion.
But devotion should not be confined thereto. It would be a pity that a man should need to be sickly to be saintly, and that the best promoter of devotion should be disease.
The chapter of accidents is the Bible of the feel.
He directs his course by his circumstances, and estimates the pleasure or anger of God by the incidents of Providence: this is a grave error. He believes a statement because others profess to believe it, but the Word of the Lord has no weight with him.
The charitable give out at the back-door, and God puts in at the window.
They give in secret, but receive in public. The rich are trustees for the poor, and if they execute their trust faithfully, the Lord often sees fit to put more into their hands; or, on the other hand, when he judges that their trust is fully discharged, he may see it best to release them from further worry and responsibility by allowing them to retire contented with a little.
The chicken is fed in the country, but eaten in the city.
One man has the labor, and another the enjoyment: let us hope that both are satisfied. One feeds the bullock, and another feeds on the beef: let us hope that neither of them finds it tough work.
The child is sure to hate the man unwise, Who gives him everything for which he cries.
He has spoiled the child, and in due time his child will spoil him.
The child of the rabbit soon learns to burrow.
In all cases the offspring takes after the parents. How can we greatly blame our children for being faulty like ourselves?
The child says what he heard his mother say.
Of course he speaks his mother tongue. Let his mother mind what she says, or her talk will be her bairn’s bane. A gracious mother writes: “Something having annoyed me one day, I said impatiently, ‘botheration,’ when immediately I heard the child-voice repeat dearly, ‘ bo-ther-a-tion.’ I was greatly shocked, so dreadful did it sound on his little lips, that I felt as though I had thus heedlessly dropped into his soul the possible seedling of future blasphemy” Oh that all mothers were thus conscientious!
The chimney catches fire from within.
It would be hard to set it alight front the outside; but when the soot has accumulated, it is apt to burn. So temptation front without would be a very small danger to us if it were not for the soot within. Our corruptions are a greater danger than our temptations.
How wise to keep the chimney well swept!
The cleaner the linen, the plainer the spot.
Or, “The fairer the damask the worse the stain.” The faults of very good men are more noticeable than those of persons of inferior morals. Keep thy snow-white garments clean, For stains on such are quickly seen.
The coaches won’t run over him.
He has got into jail, and is quite beyond fear o£ the accidents of the road. He has more to do with the turnkey than the turnpike. The wheel will not go over him, for he is over the wheel.
The coalheaver is king in his own cot.
So he ought to be. Shall we call him Old King Coal? Take no liberties in his majesty’s dominions, but treat him with due respect, lest the coalheaver heave you out of the house. “In England every man’s cottage is held to be his castle, Which he is authorized to defend, even against the assaults of the king; but it may be doubted whether the same privilege extends to Ireland. ‘ My client,’ said an Irish advocate, pleading before Lord Norbury, in an action of trespass, ‘ is a poor man; he lives in a hovel, and this miserable dwelling is in a forlorn and dilapidated state; but still, thank God! the laborer’s cottage, however ruinous its plight, is his sanctuary and his castle. Yes, the winds may enter it, and the rains may enter it, but the king cannot enter it.’ ‘ What! not the reigning king?’ asked the joke-loving judge.” — The Tin Trumpet.
The cobbler’s wife is badly shod.
Usually those who sell an article are ill supplied themselves. They say the doctor’s wife takes no physic. It is bad when ministers’ families are the worst brought up in the parish; and when the teacher of other people’s children spoils his own.
The cock doth crow to let us know, If we be wise, ‘tis time to rise.
If we went to bed earlier, and then rose at cock-crowing, we should enjoy the best part of the day, which now we never see.
The cock shuts his eyes when he crows, because he knows it by heart.
Many a preacher might do the same; but; probably he does enough of eye-shutting upon other people.
The coddled child is the sickly child.
Mother is afraid the wind should blow on her darling, and so she keeps the fresh air away from him. Poor dear! “Do him up in lavender.” Take care that you do not soon have to do him up in elm! Who killed poor Sam?
His Ma called him “lamb”; and with treacle and jam, She killed poor Sam.
The common people Look at the steeple; But the joy of the place Is the gospel of grace.
What is architecture compared with the glad tidings from heaven?
A fine church without the gospel is like a silver cover and no beef under it, or a golden pump without a drop of water.
The constant drop will wear the hardest stone.
Let it keep on long enough, and even the most despised of holy influences will tell upon the most stubborn mind.
The course of true love never did run smooth.
It is, Like new-laid pavement, rather rough; Like trade, exposed to losses; Or like a Highland plaid, all staff, And very full of crosses.
The cow in the meadow would like to be on the common.
The cow on the common would like to be in the meadow.
We are never content with our position, whether we be cows or men. The ins would be out, and the outs would be in. Apprentices would be journeymen, and journeymen would be masters. The unmarried would like to be wedded, and some of the married wish they were single.
The cow little giveth that hard liveth.
We must feed her well if we expect much milk. Nothing comes out which is not first put in. Even Ayrshire cows can’t live on air, and short-horns will not thrive on short commons.
The crop will show how the field was tilled.
The crow calls the rook black.
He looks at his friend’s blackness, and quite forgets his own.
The cut that is worst Of a leg is the first.
This alludes to a leg of mutton, where the first cut is simply a great gaping gash. He who is content with the first cut of a shoulder of mutton has no appetite. In trade the first cut is nothing: most men lose at first. It must be all out-going at the beginning, and for some little while after; the next cut is better, The darker the day, the more we must pray.
The darker the days, the more we should praise.
The daughter of a good mother will be the mother of a good daughter.
If she meets with a good husband. There is a great deal more in the stock from which a child comes than some suppose. Marry a daughter of a good daughter, and hope to have a good daughter.
The day hath eyes, and the night hath ears.
Thus we are always under observation, and must not dare to sin.
The day is short, and the work is long; To waste a moment would be wrong.
The day may be foggy; You need not be groggy.
The day you do not clean the house some special friend will call.
Mind this, Mrs. McTorker. It is always so, that when things are awkward, folks most respected, but quite unexpected, drop in.
The dead all slumber in the same bed. “Cover his head with turf or stone, It is all one; it is all one.” The dead, and only they, should do nothing.
While there’s life in us let us live to purpose. He who has nothing to do may as well die.
The devil can cite Scripture to suit his purpose.
But it is always with a twist of omission or addition. He cannot really support lies with truth; but the language of truth makes falsehood go down with the unwary.
The devil comes to us across the fields.
Just when and where we think he cannot get at us, his temptations are sure to find us out. The devil will be where we think he’s not; Security’s vale is his favorite spot.
The devil does most when men are doing least.
Idleness gives the evil one a great advantage: he gets into the train while it waits at a station. The Turks say, “A busy man is plagued with one devil, but an idle man with a thousand.”
The devil entangles the youthful with beauty, the miser with gold, the ambitious with power, the learned with false doctrine.
He has his peculiarly adapted temptations. How true it is that the learned are specially inclined to heresy! You cannot get up a false doctrine without a D.D. to doctor the gospel for you. This is the case when their knowledge puffeth up, and they have not the love which buildeth up.
The devil falls in when saints fall out.
Times of contention are great opportunities for Satan. He is the spirit of hate, and feels much at home where ill-will is rampant. Yet when saints fall out with error and worldliness, the evil one has his nest disturbed, and he likes it not.
The devil first plays the fox, afterwards the lion.
First deceives, and then destroys. Thus error first pleads for liberty, and then lords it over truth, and rages at those whom at first it flattered.
The devil in a sheep’s-skin is a devil indeed.
His deceitful nature thus finds a fit incarnation, and he riots among those whom he delights to worry, and desires to devour. Oh, what may man within him hide, Though angel on the outward side!
The devil is a bad master, and he has bad servants.
Yet his bad servants are obedient to him, zealous in his cause, and obstinate in following his ways. This evil master and his servants grow more and more alike the longer they are together.
The devil is a busy bishop in his diocese.
Nobody can ever complain that he does not hold Visitations and Confirmations. He is all over his diocese, and puts forth all his energy. Hugh Latimer has a pithy piece upon this “most diligent bishop and prelate in all England.”
The devil is neither dead nor lame.
Of Mr. Haynes, the colored preacher, it is said that, some time after the publication of his sermon, on the text, “Ye shall not surely die,” two reckless young men, having agreed together to try his wit, one of them said, “Father Haynes, have you heard the good news?” “No,” said Mr. Haynes, “what is it?” “It is great news indeed,” said the other, “and if true, your business is done.” “What is it?” again endured Mr. Haynes. “Why,” said the first, “the devil is dead.” In a moment the old gentleman replied, lifting up his hands, and placing them on the heads of the young men, and in a tone of solemn concern, “O poor fatherless children! What will become of you?”
The devil is old, but not infirm.
On the contrary, his age has sharpened his cunning to an intense degree. Thousands of years he has been tempting men, and who can hope to be a match for him?
The devil leads him by the nose, Who the dice so often throws.
Gambling is so silly a vice, that it is fair to say that its votary is led by the nose; and it is so ruinous, that surely Satan must have a special hand in it, The ancients say, “The devil goes shares in gaming”; and yet again, “Play hath the devil at the bottom of it.”
Yet the devil does not demean himself to play.
The devil likes to souse what is already wet.
Where evil is already abundant, he sees good soil for the growth of more. The worse a man is, the worse he may become; and therefore Satan attends carefully to his education in immorals. Evil is not evil enough for him; he would increase it without measure. Every sin is excess, but he would make it more excessive.
The devil takes ill-care of his own servants.
For a while, he seems to reward them, but it is to mock them. What is called “the devil’s luck” is only disguised ruin. Satan has no gratitude; but those who serve him best are the greatest sufferers in the long run.
The devil was sick — the devil a monk would be; The devil was well — the devil a monk was he.
Sick-bed repentance is generally sickly repentance, and dies as the man recovers.
The devil will not drive out the devil.
Else would his kingdom fall. Anger is not the way to drive evil out of your wife or your servant. Those who beat children unmercifully may drive one devil out, but they drive ten devils in.
The devil’s apple has a bitter core.
Beware of his tempting fruit. When lie says “Ave,” think you hear wisdom saying” Cave.” Every child of Eve should sicken at the sight of the serpent’s apple.
The devil’s journeymen never want work.
He makes work for them, and makes them work for him.
The devil’s meal is all bran.
His gains and profits are not what they seem, but dwindle down to the small end of nothing.
The dew of the morning sparkles with health.
Those who have it often on their brows speak highly in its favor. Wash thy face in morning dew; Thou wilt thus thy health renew.
The difficult thing is to get your foot in the stirrup.
To begin is the difficult matter. Once mounted, riding will be simple enough. To get some men really into the stirrups is the hard matter: they hesitate and remain undecided. To get a livelihood, it is a great thing for a young man to get his foot on the ladder, even if it be the lowest rung.
The dog does not get bread every time he wags his tail.
He would be far too fat if lie did. We must not expect to have all our wishes granted us. Children ought not to have every whim gratified, or they will be ruined.
The dog is a better friend to man, than man to the dog.
It should never be so. He is a cruel cur indeed who is cruel to his dog. They say, “Love me, love my dog”; but in some cases the difficulty would not be to love the dog, but the brute that owns him. “Is thy servant a dog?” No, he is nothing half so noble.
The dog that minds not your whistle is good for nothing.
Without obedience what is the value of the creature you keep?
From the dog up to the servant and the child, the master has a right to expect attention all round.
The donkey’s gallop is short.
Some say, “short and sweet.” Many men are soon over with their little game. They take up work fast enough; but they drop it quite as fast. There is no depending on them for half-an-hour.
The double-shuffle is the devil’s dance.
He practices, inspires, and admires the arts of deceit.
The dove hates the least feather of the hawk.
Every pure-minded man wilt hate even the appearance of evil.
The drunken man’s joy is the sober man’s sorrow.
He wastes the substance of the family, and degrades its name; and for this, father, brother, and specially wife, have grey hairs on heads which should not so soon be thus whitened.
The ducks fare well in the Thames.
Where there is plenty of room, and an ever-flowing stream. They are not alarmed by the fear of Cookham or Eton; but they disport themselves in the green and peaceful streams, and nobody hears of their being injured by the abundance of water. Where there is “enough and to spare” is the place for me also.
The Dutch have taken Holland.
Wonderful! And an ass has eaten thistles! A dog has gnawed a bone! A “modern thought” apostle has denied the gospel.
The ear tires sooner titan the tongue.
Few are tired of talking, but very many are wearied with hearing.
And well they may be when we think of what they have to hear.
Many sermons exercise the patience of the saints.
The emperor rules the empire, but the empress rules the emperor.
Oftentimes some favorite son rules the empress, and then the land is unhappy, for it is really governed by a child. It is wonderful with how little wisdom kingdoms are governed.
The empty cask sounds most.
It is a common remark that men talk most who think least. When knowledge comes, chatter stops, just as frogs cease their croaking when a light is brought to the water’s side.
The envious die, but envy lives.
The eye of charity should be open, as wall as its hand.
To give indiscriminately may be almost as mischievous as not to give at all. Charity must never be blind; but it may see too much, and therefore close its hand. Keep the middle way.
The eye of the master does more than both his hands.
He may do but little manual labor, but his oversight of the work gets it done in quicker and better style than if he were away. The more servants a man has, the more will he need to stay at home and look after them.
The farmer’s care makes fields to bear, Yet God, we know, makes harvests grow.
How the omnipotence of God works through the labor of man we know, for we see it before us every day. We work as if we aid all; but we trust in God, knowing that all power belongs to him.
The farther from Rome, the nearer to God.
And it even seems as if there were less Popery in Rome than thousands of miles away from the Vatican. Even the imitation of religion does not flourish in that harlot city. They truly say the Pope of Rome Is little thought of nearest home.
The farther in, the deeper.
The more we press into the center of true godliness, the deeper shall we find its mystery, its power, its joy. Those who are up to the ankles in the river of life should go farther in till they reach “waters to swim in.” The feet are slow when the head wears snow.
Old age must be content to leave running to youth and middle age.
The fewer to stare, the better the fare.
It is, to some of us, impossible to eat at banquets. We feel like the wild-beasts, whose feeding is a thing for the public to stare at.
The finest diamond must be cut.
Because it is so precious it must undergo this ordeal. God tries the heart he values. The more dear we are to him, the more shall we be chastened. Pebbles lie undisturbed, but jewels do not, The fire that burneth taketh the heat out of a burn.
It is so on homoeopathic principles. That grace which burns us with conviction of sin taking the fire out of the burns of sin, We are judged in conscience that we may not be judged.
The first dish pleaseth all.
In the beginning, appetite is not satiated: everyone is prepared to start fair. The first speaker at a meeting is borne with because the people are not yet wearied.
The first hour of the market for me.
When I am fresh, and my customers have not yet spent all their money. When the goods are fresh and I eau have the pick of them as a purchaser.
The first three men in the world were a gardener, a ploughman, and a grazier.
Honorable employment’s these! Let no man think little of the various forms of husbandry. They are the most healthful and enjoyable of callings. Being made of the earth, we are earthy, and thrive best in those employments which take us back to the ground whence we were taken.
The first to end a fray Is the best man, I say.
He who is the least to blame is the first to desire reconciliation.
The first who speaks of a suit at law is not therefore in the right.
No, he is frequently a bully, who wants to frighten his opponent. “I’ll bring an action ‘“ is his frequent threat. “I don’t care a fraction” is the answer which usually silences him for the time.
The fish which we did not catch is a very large one.
That which gave us a nibble was immense! That which ran away with the hook was simply enormous! Thus do we make capital out of our failures. What might we not have done if — —!
The flawed pot lasts longest.
When things are a little cracked it is wonderful how long they last, and the like long continuance is proverbial in sickly people. And yet if ever a dish is broken it was cracked before; and that wicked Mr.
Nobody did it, or possibly the cat.
The flesh is master when the mind is idle.
An awful tyrant it is. O sleeping mind, wake up and claim thy proper sovereignty!
The fly that playeth with the candle singeth her wings.
How many do so until they perish! We know many moths and flies in the shape of young men and women who are already feeling the flame. Fly away, poor creatures!
The feel is fond of writing his name where it should not be. When I see a person’s name Scratched upon the glass, I know he owns a diamond, And his father owns an ass.
The feel saith, “Who would have thought it?”
When the reply might be, “Who would not have thought it?” When simple souls run into evil, they may be surprised at the consequence, but no one else is.
The foolish alchemist sought to make gold of iron, and made iron of gold.
So it is with those who deal with outside brokers, and go in for “cover, and options,” and so forth. They were going to turn their little savings into a fortune, and instead thereof they turned them into smoke. Keep out of the stocks, or you will lose your stock.
The foolish and perverse, Fill the lawyer’s purse. There be many people so given to strife, That they’ll go to law for a twopenny knife.
The fools do more hurt in this world than the rascals.
So it would seem. Our own worries come not so much from rite wicked as from the weak. A defense of you by a fool may do you more harm than a slander. Save us from a fool’s enthusiasm!
The fowler catches old birds as well as young ones.
The fox barks not when he would steal the chickens.
No, he is as cautious and silent as a modern theologian who is scheming to mislead an orthodox church.
The fox of Ballybotheram was caught at last.
He worried both dogs and men, led them a fine dance, and got away every time: but the hounds devoured him at length.
The fox praiseth the cheese out of the crow’s mouth.
Let the crow suspect the praise, which is not given for her own sake, but for her cheese sake. You know the fable: it is the picture of that which happens every day.
The friend of the table Is very variable.
So say the French, and many English have proved it to be true. He is a wooden friend who owes his friendship to your mahogany. The friend who serves for feasts and gain, And follows but for form, Will pack when it begins to rain, And leave thee in the storm.
The full man does not believe in hunger.
The game is not worth the candle.
The Hindoos speak of a leaf falling into a well, and seven men failing in while looking for it. It is a mad world, and exhibits many instances of hunting mud rabbits with golden hounds. For a homely instance, let us note that when a woman went out to work and earned a shilling, but left her children to do and suffer ten shillings’ worth of damage, her game was not worth the candle.
The getting out of doors is the greatest part of the journey.
With some it seems the hardest thing to start. Once off, they go well enough. It is a task indeed to get them into going order.
Nothing will ever be attempted if all possible objections have first to be overcome; and with many timorous people this is very much the case. They will get on if they get off.
The girl with a settlement will soon be settled. That opposite effects may flow From the same cause, ‘tis clear’s no hum; For money makes the mare to go, And also makes the men to come.
The girl with a sneer Shall never be my dear.
I should think not. What if she should sneer at me after I had courted her? She might, but she shan’t.
The glutton’s temple is the kitchen, and his belly is his god.
His sacrifice is his health. His reward is early death. Gluttony kills more than war. The epicure heaps suppers upon dinners, and breakfasts upon suppers, and lunches upon breakfasts, without intermission, till it costs him more to choke up his interior titan it would to keep a dozen healthy men and women. The following lines were written by Lord Francis Hervey in a pastrycook’s shop: “Be sure that when you’ve had your fill, You beat a swift retreat; For Satan finds some dainties still For idle mouths to eat.” The good are better made by ill, As odors crushed are sweeter still.
The good-man is the last who knows what’s amiss at home.
He must be a singularly absent-minded husband who would allow everybody else to see what he cannot see himself. No doubt it is sometimes so: the man is long-sighted outside in the world, but sees not that which is just under his nose.
The goodness of news half lies in the hearer’s ear.
When people are anxious, and longing for tidings, they think every word precious.
The grace of God is gear enough.
He that hath grace shall have all other things added to him. “Man wants but little here below”; grace will secure us that little, and much more. This is a good wish for a friend — A little health, a little wealth, A little house, and freedom; And in the end a little friend, And little cause to need him.
The great ship has also great dangers.
The greatest art is to conceal art.
It is well to do a thing so naturally that no one would dream that you had followed any rule, or had even taken thought.
The greatest learning is to be seen in the greatest plainness.
This is so with a preacher. If a man cannot make you understand what he is saying, he probably does not understand the matter himself. Ignorance conceals itself behind hard words: true learning expresses itself with careful clearness.
The greatest man must be put to bed with a shovel.
From the graves of the cemetery comes this voice: — Princes, this clay must be your bed, In spite of all your towers; The tall, the wise, the reverend head Must lie as low as ours.
The greatest of all faults is to be conscious of none.
For this will prevent all hope of mending by making a man think that he is perfect That must be the greatest of faults which protects all the rest.
The greatest things are done by the help of small ones. The hand that gives gathers.
May God make it so to every generous giver! Giving is sowing.
The hard man gives no more than he that hath nothing.
Miserly persons, if they have wealth, are more looked after than beggars; and yet they are not worth a penny more to anybody.
The hard-hearted man is the first to complain of unkindness.
He feels for himself because he feels for nobody else.
The hasty angler losers the fish.
He must have patience, and bide his time, and let his fish have a run, or else he will go home with a bare basket. Let him go, that he may not be gone. Let him pull out, that you may pull him in. Humor men and women in much the same way.
The head grey, and no brains yet!
This expression of wonder might apply to a very large number.
Better not let them hear it, or a part of their head may grow red. Dr. Chatfield has the following: — “I wish to consult you upon a little project I have formed,” said a noodle to his friend. “I have an idea in my head “ — “Have you? “interposed the friend, with a look of great surprise, “ then you shall have my opinion at once: keep it there! — it may be some time before you get another.”
The heart of a fool is in his mouth; but the mouth of a wise man is in his heart.
When the heart is in the mouth, too much comes up; but when the heart controls the mouth, communications will be wise.
The heart that trusts for ever sings, And feels as light as it had wings.
That is to say, when the trust is rested upon God alone the rest which comes of it is true and gladsome.
The hen that laid the egg ought to hatch it.
Those who commence a scheme should see to its development, and other people should defer to them, and give them the option of working out their own methods. The “ought” in this proverb may mean either duty or privilege, or both.
The herbs in our own garden will not do for medicine.
No, we must fetch plants from India. Herbs are not prophets in their own country. Our own mineral springs are just as good as those in Germany, but no one drinks such common and vulgar waters! To German bads our sick ones roam:
Our water’s quite as bad at home.
The higher the fool, the greater the fall.
Fall he will, sooner or later; and what a smash there will be!
The higher the head, the humbler the heart.
It should be so; but very often the opposite is the case.
The highest branch is not the safest roost. For there the bird is soonest seen, And shot at by some sportsman keen.
The hog that is filthy tries to make others so.
He hastens to rut against his fellows, and foul them with his own mud. Bad fellows cannot bear to see innocence. By example or by slander they will either make others wicked, or cause them to appear so. By all means keep clear of swinish men.
The home may soon be full of gear, If you will learn to save the beer.
The beer-money looks little enough as you drink it away; but when it is saved it is wonderful how rich you seem, and how much you can buy. Going without the beer maims all the difference.
The horseshoe that clatters is a nail short.
The clatter of the tongue in many a head indicates the same melancholy shortness with regard to the mind; only we generally say, “there’s a button short,” or “a slate loose.” The worst of it is, that you cannot keep a cracked bell still.
The hour of idleness is the hour of temptation.
The house gives the wife a character.
According to its cleanliness and order she will be esteemed. An illkept house will damage her good name, and make the neighbors speak lightly of her.
The improvident fight against providence.
They may say what they please about their faith; but as a provident man is not pleased with improvident children, so our Father in heaven loves not prodigality. Those fly in the teeth of providence who squander the provisions of God’s bounty.
The jawbone does the mischief.
Whether by too much talking or by too much eating. Much jaw much jeopardy, and much meat much malady.
The joking of wits, like the playing of puppies, often ends in snarling.
The King of Terrors is a terror to kings.
Hence Louis XIV. built his palace at Versailles, since he could not endure that of St. Germains, because from the terrace he could see the tower of the abbey of St. Denis, where the French kings are buried. Death is a dreadful leveler. What cares he for crowns?
The king may bestow offices, but cannot bestow wit to manage them.
To the misery of the parties concerned, this has been proved true in sadly many cases. Desire to be fit for a post before you desire the post itself. If you cannot ride, why seek a horse?
The king must wait while his pudding’s boiling.
Or some say, “while his beer is drawing.” Like other mortals, he must have patience, for he cannot eat pudding till it is cooked. The Queen herself cannot drink tea till the water is made hot. She who is waited on must wait. Should not we wait also?
The knot you knit Think well on it.
Before you make the thing binding, consider and reconsider.
The last drop makes the cup run over.
Just as the last ounce breaks the camel’s back, and the last cruel word breaks the heart. We receive many good things as a matter of course, though we ought not to do so; but some little extra blessing makes us pour out our hearts in gratitude.
The latest fashion is often the latest folly.
The law of love is better than the love of law.
The lawyer grows fat, but his client is lean. “A country carter, driving his team, upon a time, along the highway, the foremost horse, it seems, was in very good case, and the rest could hardly crawl after him without the crack of the whip. ‘Why, how now, honest man,’ cries a counselor, ‘how comes it that your first horse is so fat and the others so lean?’ ‘He, sir,’ says he smartly enough, ‘ the leader is a lawyer’s horse, and those that follow him are but his clients.’” The lazy begin to be busy when it’s time to go to bed.
Just When the season is over, he proposes to work; and just as he might prosper, he dies. Many a man has gone to the grave when he expected his great baking of bread to come out of the oven, The lazy man is the beggar’s brother.
Even the beggar is by no means proud of him, but bids him go and sing for his supper, like the rest of the gang.
The lazy man’s dessert — roast nothing and no turnips.
Scant is the table of sloth, and scant it ought to be.
The leanest pig squeaks most.
Generally. If there is one man worth less than another, he is the fellow to agitate for more wages, or shorter hours.
The least said the soonest mended.
Every ill-word makes a breakage. If there has been no tittle tattle, matters can soon be set right.
The less men think, the more they talk.
The less brain, the more jaw. It was said of one verbose preacher — “Ten thousand thousand are his words, But all his thoughts are one.” The less the fire, the greater the smoke.
Frequently it is so: a little smothered fire makes huge volumes of smoke, where a vehement flame scarcely makes a puff. The less grace the more boast. The less solidity the more pretense.
The less the temptation, the greater the sin.
For it is the more wanted, deliberate, and personal. If we run after sin, and are not drawn into it, we show great depravity of heart.
Adam’s offense had a great aggravation in it, since he did not sin by depravity, or habit, or example, or from poverty, or persuasion, or force of fashion.
The less wit a man has, the less he knows his want of it.
In fact, where there is very little wit, the man sets up for a sage, and out of his empty skull brings forth oracles of wisdom.
The less you have of goods, the more you need of God.
But it is equally true, “The more you have of goods, the more you need of God.” Viewed from different points, positions of poverty or wealth are equally perilous, unless unusual grace be granted us.
We may be poor and envious, or rich and proud. From each of these may grace deliver us!
The life of love is better than the love of life.
The love of life is natural, the life of heavenly love is supernatural, and is created in us by him whose name is Love.
The longest life is a lingering death.
This is a pessimist’s view of things. A man with a bad liver made this estimate: the worth of the life depends on the liver.
The loosest spoke in the wheel rattles most.
Those who are quietly doing their duty make no fuss, but the blameworthy are always in evidence.
The loudest are not the wisest.
But, on the contrary, the louder the bray, the bigger the ass.
The loudest bummer’s not the best bee.
In fact, he is no true bee at all, but only a bumble-bee.
The loudest to threaten are the last to thrash.
The love of money is worse than the lack of money.
One can go to heaven without gold in the purse, but one cannot get there at all with gold in the heart. Not money, but the love of it, is the root of all evil. South says, “Mammon has enriched his thousands, but damned his ten thousands.”
The love of the wicked is more dangerous than their hatred.
They can flatter to evil, where their frown would have no effect.
The lowliest Christian is the loveliest Christian.
No virtue adds such grace to a fair character as humbleness of mind. The lily of the valley is a lovely flower.
The mad dog bites his master.
He is often the very first person he flies at. When persons are out of their minds, they often hate those most wheat once they loved best.
It is a token of great folly and wickedness when a man turns round upon the person who was his benefactor and his leader.
The man is what his wife makes him. The man who weds a loving wife, Whate’er betideth him in life, Shall bear up under all; But he that finds an evil mate, No, good can come within his gate, His cup is filled with gall.
The man of courage knows not when he is beaten.
Like the English drummer-boy, he does not know how to beat a retreat. He may be crushed down, but never crushed out. The good man, like a bounding ball, Springs ever upward from his fall.
The man of loose life Shan’t have me for a wife.
Sensible woman! Mind you stick to that resolution. If you do not, you will have yourself to blame when misery comes upon you.
The man that once did sell the lion’s skin While the beast lived, was killed with hunting him.
He made too sure of destroying the enemy, and so became himself the prey. Also: never sell what you have not got.
The man who does not trust his own judgment is a man of good judgment.
No man but a feel is always right. A wise man knows this, and fearing that he may err he is willing to be advised. On the other hand, the first degree of folly is to think one’s self wise, the next to tell others so, and the third to despise all counsel.
The man who is everything is nothing.
He resembles the mart whom Dryden describes as — “Stiff in opinions, always in the wrong, Was everything by starts, and nothing long; But in the course of one revolving moon, Was chemist, fiddler, statesman, and buffoon.” The man who knows most, knows most his own ignorance.
When one ventured a compliment to the great philosopher and naturalist, Louis Agassiz, upon the extent and variety of his investigations into the secrets of nature, the Professor’s ready and modest reply was, “My dear sir, the longer I live, the more I find I know nothing.”
All things I thought I knew; but now confess The more I know, I know I know the less.
The master’s eye puts flesh on the horse’s bones. “A fat man riding once along the road, upon a starved and bony jade, was asked, in a banter, why he himself was so jolly and goodlike, and his pad so scragged and lean? He replied very pat to the purpose, ‘ Why, I feed myself, you must know; but my servant looks to my horse.’” The master’s presence is the field’s profit.
His foot fattens the soil. When things are well looked over they are not overlooked. Who lives in his business will live by his business.
The meanest reptiles crawl up the highest pillars.
You cannot, therefore, judge of a man by his position in society.
The meekness of Hoses is better than the strength of Samson.
Moses conquered himself, which Samson could not do.
The middle course is usually safest.
Not that which lies between truth and error, or right and wrong; but that which lies between violent extremes. Desire neither riches nor poverty; be neither skeptical nor credulous; spend neither with prodigality nor with meanness. Follow the golden mean.
The mill goes click, click; but where’s the meal?
Plenty of resolving to do, and boasting of what is doing; but what really comes of it all?
The mill will never grind with the water that is past. “Listen to the water-mill Through the livelong day How the clicking of its wheel Wears the weary hours away.
And a proverb haunts my mind, And as a spell is cast: ‘The mill will never grind With the water that is past.’” The mistress’s eye keeps kitchens clean.
Let her leave the maids to themselves, and she will soon see more dirt than there is dust in March, or rain in April.
The more a donkey grows, the more of a donkey he is.
Even growth in knowledge does not remove the folly of a fool. We have heard of a man who went to two colleges, but he was likened to a calf which sucked two cows, and the more it sucked, the bigger a calf it grew.
The more a feel has, the more a feel he is.
He has the more opportunity of developing and displaying his folly.
He is able to spend money on his whims, and so he multiplies and magnifies them. Who does not remember a “Smith’s Folly,” or a “Robinson’s Blunder” The more coin, the more care.
Yet most men will run that risk; for they hold, on the other hand, that To have no coin, Is more annoying.
The more cooks, the worse custards.
Indeed, it is possible that you may get none at all. One would not be surprised to learn that one had left it to the other, and the other to a third, and so the custard was forgotten altogether, or that mustard was sent to table instead.
The more froth, the less beer.
Those who foam, and fume, and fuss, have so much the less of real worth in them.
The more haste, the worse speed.
Four things only are well done in haste: flying from the plague, escaping quarrels, catching fleas, and forsaking sin.
The more laws, the more offenses This statement is true upon the face of it; and it illustrates the Scriptural doctrine, that the commandment, however good, works sin in our corrupt nature, exciting desire by its prohibition.
The more noble, the more humble.
It is usually so. A proud man has nothing to be proud of; with the lowly is wisdom, and wisdom makes a man noble.
The more one has, the more one wants.
Sad truth, that in many cases the wolfish hunger of covetousness increases with the quantity which it has devoured.
The more servants, the less service.
Rather a petulant declaration, like that other saying, “the more servants the more plagues.” Yet was a man ever better served than when he had one “gyp” to do everything for him?
The more the good tree grows, the more shade does it afford.
When a good man’s estate increases, he diffuses the grateful shadow of comfort all around him.
The more the merrier, the fewer the better cheer.
This is at a feast. The generous like to see many guests; but those who are hankering after a great feed for themselves, calculate that the fewer the eaters, the more will remain for each one.
The more thou doest, the more thou canst do.
And the more thou wilt have to do; for in this world willing workers are driven most mercilessly. If thou wilt thou shalt.
The more understanding, the fewer words.
When a man knows his subject well he is able to give a brief description of it. A great preacher desired more time in which to study his sermon, that he might make it shorter. A few drops of otto of rose are worth a ton of leaves.
The morning hour has golden minutes.
All the day is the richer for a man’s beginning it in good time.
Another proverb says: “The morning hour has gold in its mouth.” Up at five all alive — That’s the way to live and thrive.
Up at nine, the day is gone, Will not do to think upon.
The most positive are often the most mistaken.
Cromwell, writing to the Presbyterian ministers of Scotland, once said, “I beseech you, dear brethren, think it possible that you may be wrong.” But we are too wrong to think we are wrong.
The mouth is the door of mischief.
Both for entrance and exit. Mischief goes into the mouth in the form of strong drinks, and comes out in the shape of weak words.
He was wise who prayed, “Set a watch, O Lord, before my mouth; keep the door of my lips.”‘ — Psalm 141:3.
The myrtle among brambles is still a myrtle.
Even as the lily among thorns is a lily still. Where there is the grace of God in the heart, the necessary associations of this evil world shall not destroy the beauty of the divine creation The nearer the church, the further from God.
It is sad when this is the case. It is worst of all when those who serve in the temple are themselves ungodly, and when ministers’ children are children of the devil. Yet it is too often so, that those who are almost in the church are yet leagues away from it, and nobody thinks of looking after them. The cobbler’s wife, and blacksmith’s mare, Among the barest go most bare.
The new-made knights Have great delights To hear the people call them “Sirs,” And mark the jingle of their spurs.
The novelty of their promotion pleases the little men, as new toys charm little children. The new-made D.D. grows so vain that some think him M.D., with an A. between.
The north wind finds out the cracks in the house.
Affliction tests our religion, and lets us see our failures of faith, patience, and temper. Blame not the wind, but the wall.
The old gospel is the only gospel As there is but one God, one Savior, and one Spirit, so there is but one gospel.
The older the crabtree, the more crabs it bears.
Does it? Well, we fear it is so with human crabtrees. Age does not temper some tempers.
The only way to have a friend is to be one yourself.
And this is the way to keep a friend when you have him. This reminds us of an old country health, which a farmer gave at the house of a neighbor who had helped him to get in his crops: — Here’s health to you and yours, Likewise to us and ours; And if ever you and yours Need help that’s in our powers, We’ll do as much for you and yours, As you have done for us and ours.
The other man is to blame.
He is in the country now, and not to be got at. Jack says “Harry did it”; and Harry says “‘Twas Jack.”
The other side of the road always looks cleanest.
Who has not noticed this? So we think that others are free from trouble, when it is possible that they are even worse off than we are. “It is common,” says Tacitus, “to esteem most what is most unknown.”
The owl of ignorance lays the egg of pride.
A very fine egg, but of coarse flavor.
The owl thinks all her young ones beauties.
And so don’t we! How often parents are the only admirers of their own offspring! Happy partiality! “A beetle is a beauty to its mother.” Where was ever seen the mother, Would change her booby for another?
The ox ate the corn, and they beat the donkey for it.
Certain persons seem ordained, to be the scape-goats for oglers.
One boy does the wrong, but sneaks out of it; and another seems always to be caught in the act, and yet is innocent.
The ox ploughs the field, but the man eats the grain; One does the work, and another gets the gain.
This comes from the Chinese, and shows that there is injustice everywhere; and where there is none, there is still grumbling.
The paleness of the pilot is a sign of a storm.
The parings of a pippin are better than the whole of a crab.
Yes, a few cheery words from a genial friend are far better than an hour’s scolding from a churl.
The parson’s pig is as hard to drive as mine.
The lot of the very best is not free from crooks.
The penny in the purse is sometimes handier than the pound in the bank.
For immediate purposes, a little ready knowledge may be more serviceable than a mass of learning which cannot be used.
The perverting of words is the subverting of peace.
Because misunderstandings are thus created. The man whose words are twisted is aggrieved; and so are those against whom those words are supposed to have been uttered, The philosopher’s stone is “Pay as you go.”
It does not turn all things into gold, but it is the best way of preserving what gold you have. Do as little as possible with borrowed money. Even in building a house remember the lines: — The man who builds and wants wherewith to pay, Provides a home front which to run away.
The pink of gentility is often the poppy of pride. The place to spend a happy day — Home! The pleasure of love is in loving.
Not altogether: one is pleased to be loved in return.
The plough goes ill when one ox pulls one way, and the other another.
When husband and wife are not of one mind, family arrangements are disarranged, and specially when there is a difference about religious matters. “Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers,” is a wise precept, which should in no case be disregarded.
The poor man fasts because he has no meat, The rich mart fasts because he cannot eat.
The poor man no one kens; The rich have many friends.
The poor man’s budget is full of schemes.
His plans are wonderful, but they end in plans.
The poor man’s hand is Christ’s treasury.
The poorest truth is better than the richest lie.
The pot boils best on its own hearth.
The writer cannot study well except in his own den. Men are cleverest in their own sphere. Home has a developing power; for when men are at their ease, they are able to bring forth things new and old. The proverb is a good reason for declining either to lend or borrow a pot, or kettle. Your own goods are best at home.
The price of mercy is to prize it, The prodigal robs his heir, the miser robs himself.
It would be hard to say which is the bigger fool of the two, but surely the second in order is not second in degree.
The proof of the pudding is not in chewing the bag.
No: nor does the proof of soundness in the faith lie in using the phrases of orthodoxy, and harping on mere words.
The proud man has no God; The envious man has no neighbor; The angry man has not himself.
The proudest nettle grows on a midden.
That which grows out of a dunghill is apt to smell of pride. The lower the extraction, the more offensive the exaltation. He who has gained his wealth by unsavory means seems all the more conceited because of his money-bags.
The quarrels of professors are the reproach of their profession.
Let us contend for nothing but the faith once for all delivered to the saints. All other contention should end at conversion.
The quart pot helpeth not.
Yet it is a notion with many that they cannot work till they have seen the bottom of it.
The thatcher said unto his man, “Let’s raise this ladder, if we can.” “Nay,” said the man, “but first let’s drink, And then mayhap we can, I think.”
The receiver is as bad as the thiever.
Often he is the cause of the theft; for few would steal if they had no “fence” to conceal the goods. Some men can be both thieves and receivers. We heard of one concerning whose honesty it was said, “It would not be safe to leave him in an empty house if there were any soot in the chimney.” What can be blacker?
The reward of one duty is the power to do another.
He that carries out one work well, shall be entrusted with another.
Even heaven is after this order: “Thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things.” — Matt, 25:21. It is so in nations: the general who won in Asia shall fight in Africa.
The rich and ignorant are sheep with golden wool.
But they are sheep and nothing more, however much their fleece may fetch. Yet a prize sheep attracts attention.
The right way leads to the right place.
Wrong roads can never do this, however much they may appear to do so. Beware of the green lanes which lead to destruction, The road to ruin is as smooth as a bowling-green. Hence the traveling along it is very rapid. When ready-money horses the coach, the prodigal makes a very rapid journey; and the old rhyme is scarcely an exaggeration: — Tom Goodfellow came to his fortune on Sunday, And friends came to see him in dozens on Monday!
On Tuesday were with him to dinner and sup; On Wednesday in honor of Tom kept it up!
On Thursday his friends set the dice-box afloat!
This game pretty soon strips a man to his coat.
On Friday, by some means, Tom lost his last guinea, And Saturday — Saturday ended the ninny.
The rougher March the fairer May.
Of this we are not sure as a matter of weather: but, as a rule, after a period of trial comes a season of repose.
The rule of the road is a paradox quite, In riding or driving along; If you go to the left you are sure to be right; If you go to the right you are wrong.
But the rule of the footway is clear as the light, And none can its reason withstand; On each side of the way you must keep to the right, And leave those you meet the left hand.
Or — But in walking the streets ‘tis a different case, To the right it is right you should bear; To the left should be left quite enough of free space For the persons you chance to meet there.
The saddest dog sometimes wags his tail.
Poor Tray! We will not portray his grief, but let us be glad that even he has his day, and when that day comes he rejoices, or, at least, his tail does. It is an exemplary trait in Tray’s character that he freely gives you a wag of his tail.
The sea, great as it is, grows calm.
So say the Italians. Why should not we little folk be at rest? What good can come of our storms?
The seeds of great things are often small.
The serpent’s eye is an ornament when placed in the dove’s head.
The wisdom and sharp-sightedness of the serpent make a fine blend with the tenderness and modesty of the dove.
The sheep look not at the hedge, but at the turnips.
Not the arrangement of the sermon, but the spiritual food in it is what hearers care about. “What is a hedge,” said a rustic philosopher, “but that which joins one field to another?” Such are the divisions of a discourse.
The ship does not go without the boat.
The great carry the small with them. The glorious Lord bears with him his poor people.
The shorter the tongue the sweeter the speech.
Especially when the speaker is in a bad temper. So those have said who have been subjected to the wifely discipline of the curtain lecture. No doubt, many husbands deserve it, but none, of them like it. One of them wrote: — “That marriage is an enterprise, Experience doth show; But scolding is an exercise That married men do know.” The shortest day is too long to waste.
The shovel makes game of the poker.
But why? They stand in the same fender, work about the same fire, and are very nearly related. Why does one worker make game of another?
The silent cat catches the mouse.
If she were always mewing, her little game would be up and away.
The silver arrow hits the white.
It is too true that a tip is the tip-top way to succeed where even justice fails: hence one says — Fight thou with shafts of silver and o’ercome, When no force else can get the masterdom.
The slowest insects have most legs.
Those men often do the least who seem to have most abilities and opportunities. They are all leg, and have no heart.
The slut forgets to mend the slits.
Therefore they grow bigger, and her dress comes very soon into the rag-bag. It is slovenly to allow little faults to grow.
The smaller the house, the sooner cleaned.
The smallest boy often carries the biggest fiddle.
Little men aspire to big works; and they always try to carry the big fiddle, even if they cannot play it.
The smallest fishes bite the fastest.
Little minds take up with the last absurdity. Many are waiting to be taken in, and would be unhappy if some new nonsense were not dangled before them. This proves the littleness of their minds.
The smith and his penny are both black.
So are the sinner and his righteousness.
The smith’s dog sleeps while the sparks are flying.
Use is second nature. Our hearers learn to sleep while the law is hammering and the sparks of wrath are flying in their faces.
The smoke of my own house is better than the fire of another’s.
Not always true. Only a home-bird will say quite so much. And yet most assuredly I would sooner see my own chimney smoking than see another man’s house on fire. My home with houseleek on the thatch, Against a palace I will match.
The son of an ass is sure to bray.
Should he not follow his father? Do some people wonder that their offspring talk foolishly? What other style of talk do they hear? Alas! certain sons of wise fathers exhibit a folly which is not hereditary.
Rehoboam was the son of Solomon.
The sooner the better; Delay is a fetter.
In all good things, promptitude is a valuable element. If hard today, a holy act will be harder to-morrow.
The soul lives where it loves.
A religious man who does not love religion is irreligious. Life is where the heart is; and when the heart is in heaven, our life is in heaven. Life without love is day without the sun.
The sourer the gooseberries the more need of sugar.
Bad tempered people must be treated with great kindness. When you have a sharp thing to say, mix much love with it.
The south wind brings wet weather, The north wet and cold together; The west wind always brings us rain, The east wind blows it back again.
So that, according to this venerable saw, it must always be raining.
We think this saw is rusty through too much wet, and needs resetting.
Yet some years it does seem as if the weather, like the Queen, was always reigning, or say, raining. Still, we do have dry days even in England.
The spur won’t hurt where the hide is thick.
We know persons who have a thin skin, and we have pitied them; but, having lately come across persons with no sense of honor or shame, we have altered our mind. Give us the grace to be sensitive rather than the coarse nature which feels nothing. They say, where there’s sense there’s feeling; and certainly men who have no feeling have seldom much sense.
The stone is hard, and the drop is small, But a hole is made by the constant fall.
The stone that lieth not in your way need not offend you.
Don’t go out of your road to find something to stumble at. What is the good of looking out for a grievance?
The string slips where the knot’s loose: tie tight.
The sun moves on, whoever hides its light.
It were great folly should it stop. What end would it serve? Its answer to dark bodies is to shine on them. My son, imitate the sun.
The superfine gentleman is nobody’s money. “The son of toil will gain the spoil, While delicacy lingers:
That man’s unwise, whoe’er he is, Who fears to soil his fingers.”
The surety is sure to be sued. “He that is surety for a stranger shall smart for it” (Proverbs 11:15).
Mark this, and save yourself many a mark.
The sweet and the sour, The nettle and flower, The thorn and the rose, Our life-time compose.
Like the year, life has its changeful seasons. It wears a Joseph’s coat of many colors. He that knoweth it through age and experience, may say of it, “I will sing of mercy and judgment; unto thee, O Lord, will I sing.” — Psalm 101:1.
The tailor that makes not a knot loseth a stitch.
The time that we take to make, our work sure and lasting is by no means lost: in fact, it is an economy of time to do things thoroughly well. Yet in these days, such is the evil force of competition for cheapness, that tailors would not only sew with a red-hot needle and a burnt thread if they could, but they would prefer to throw the pieces of cloth together, and let them hold on by their edges as best they could.
The tale-hearer is as bad as the tale-bearer.
A witty divine once said that the tale-bearer should be hung up by a nail through his tongue, and the tale-hearer by nails through his ears. So, too, those who tell you stories, will tell stories of you. The dog that fetches is of the same breed as the dog that carries: they are much of a muchness, and would both be the better for being muzzled.
The tallest trees Feel most the breeze.
Don’t grow up aloft, for there you feel the full force of the hurricane. Wisdom would suggest that we keep near the ground, and run to fruit rather than to wood.
The tankard robs more than the thief.
It steals a man’s senses, character, and hopes: in fact, it steals the man himself, and robs him both of the happiness of this life, and the eternal felicities of the life to come. All his life was cankered, Since he ever hankered For the flowing tankard.
The tears of the oppressed plead hard with God.
Those pence earned by ill-paid labor, with tears, and sweat, and life-blood, are memorials before the Lord which he will not forget: the sweater shall find another sort of sweat upon his brow when God deals with him.
The thief can steal in a moment, but the watchman must watch all night.
Temptation calls for constant watchfulness: sin may undo in an unguarded second the character which needed years to form.
The thief comes when the candies are out.
Darkness suits all ill designs. Ignorance is the worst of darkness, and spiritual ignorance the worst of ignorance. Let us light up many a candle in our own beloved land, and drive the thieves away. Does not the proverb remind you of certain altars with unlighted candles on them? It would be well to carry light there also, not to light the candles, but to enlighten the men.
The thin end of the wedge is to be feared.
The big end cannot do mischief till the thin end has made way for it.
Avoid the beginnings of evil. Alas! the many take no heed to minor errors, and so invite the greater heresies.
The thorn serves well to guard the rose.
The thread breaks, where it is thinnest.
We fail where we are weakest: but where are we not weak?
The times be good when men are good betimes.
To the like effect is the other sentence, “The times would mend if men would mend betimes.” Some are always crying out for “the good old times”; but these are the “old times,” for time was never older than now, and the times would be good enough if we were so. Sydney Smith used to say: “The god of other times let others state:
I think it lucky I was born so late.” The tongue bites sharper than the teeth.
The tongue cuts where the teeth cannot bite. The teeth cannot get at the heart, but the tongue can. Moreover, the tongue bites miles away, and the teeth must be near. What awful wounds a cruel tongue can inflict! and yet who can protect himself from it?
The tongue does more mischief than all the other members.
For its range is wider, and its power is more penetrating than that of hand or foot. It is a world of evil when it is evil.
The tongue is in a wet place, and easily slips.
Slips of the tongue may be as harmful as slips of the foot: we must guard well the movements of that powerful little member.
The tongue is not steel, but it cuts.
And its worst wounds are not with its edge, but with its back.
The tongue of idle persons is never idle.
Yet is it always idle: idly making a noise, and doing damage. Peraldus reckons up fear-and-twenty different sins of the tongue; one for every hour of day and night.
The tongue turns to an aching tooth.
Sympathy moves it. Thus should all Christians feel for each other, and instinctively render what relief they can to those who suffer; for we are members one of another. Yet, I pray thee, Mr. Talkative, turn not thy tongue to me, however much I ache.
The tongue which slanders is worse than the hand which strikes.
Knock me down if you will, but don’t injure my character. I can rise after a blow, but who can restore a blighted name? “What shall be done unto thee, thou false tongue?” — Psalm 120:3.
The tools to him who can use them.
And if he cannot use them he ought not to take them to play with them and spoil them. Books, pulpits, seats in parliament, pens and ink, and so forth, should only be trusted to those who can use them to good purpose.
The tree is sure to be pruned before it reaches the skies.
No man will always rise. Something will occur to keep him within due limits. Envy will gnaw his root if nothing else happens.
The tree of knowledge has often flourished where the tree of life never grew.
One may have all knowledge, but without grace what a vain thing it is! Alas, if knowledge bring not good, how it works evil!
The truly great man would not trample on a worm, nor tremble before an Emperor.
He is neither crouching nor crushing.
The very name “husband,” what does it say?
Of wife and of household, the band and the stay.
The vicar of Bray will be vicar of Bray still.
Amid the changes of religion in different reigns, from Popish to Protestant, and back again, this ecclesiastic still held his post; for his doctrine was expressed in the chorus of the old ballad: And this is law, I will maintain, Until my dying day, sir, That whatso’ever king may reign, I’ll be the vicar of Bray, sir.
The vulgar count not your hits, but your misses.
This is only fair after all; for you yourself will record your hits, but not your misses, and thus a complete chronicle becomes possible.
The wagon must go whither the horses draw it.
So will national affairs, parish matters, ecclesiastical policies, and domestic arrangements, go in the way in which the most energy is displayed. It is a sad pity when the horses are headstrong, and take to the wrong road.
The waster delayeth, and lets the debt lie; The prudent man payeth, the cheaper to buy.
Doubtless prompt payment gives a man great advantage in the market. The small tradesman cannot afford to be in debt.
The way to be safe is to take nothing for granted.
See it right yourself, with your own eyes.
The Welshman keeps nothing till he has lost it.
Surely this is Irish! We suppose the Welshman is impulsive and generous, and only learns economy when he perceives that he has given more than he could afford.
The whole truth is wholesome.
But a part of the truth may mislead, and cause us to make as great errors as if we had believed a falsehood. Half the truth is a lie; or say, “a half-truth may be a falsehood.” Therefore, let us endeavor to have a fair full-faced view of matters.
The wife can throw away more with a spoon than the husband can bring in with a shovel.
Little wastes can prevent the accumulation of large earnings. Still, the greatest danger is not from the wife’s spoon, but from the husband’s cup.
The wife must prepare what the husband provides. “John’s wife and John were tete-a-tete; She witty was, industrious he.
Says John, ‘ I’ve earn’d the bread we’ve ate.’ ‘And I,’ says she, ‘ have urn’d the tea.’” The wife that loves the looking-glass hates the saucepan.
Not always true; yet the fear is that the folly which shows itself in dress and self-admiration should lead to neglect of household duties. Blessed is the wife that can cook well, for she shall have her husband home to dinner. Well was she commended of whom it was said: “Tell me a thing she cannot dress:
Soups, hashes, pickles, puddings, pies, Nought comes amiss, she is so wise.” The wind in one’s face makes one wise.
We wish it did. Still we know what the proverb means: it is by opposition and trim that we learn. There is an old saying that “The Tracys always have the wind in their faces”: we don’t know the gentlemen, but we heartily rejoice with them, for nothing is more refreshing than a bracing breeze.
The window opened more and more Would keep the doctor from the door.
How long will it be before people will believe in fresh air?
The wing with the liver To him who’s the giver.
Let him have the best part of the fowl, since he placed it on our table. Let anyone who has fowls to give away try us, and see if we will not carve him the liver-wing.
The willow will buy a horse before the oak will pay for a saddle.
Willow branches are quick in growth, and bring in more by far than the slow-growing oak. Men of small parts may do more by speed and perseverance than greater men who are slow.
The wise man gets learning from those who have none themselves.
Therein showing what a wise man he is. Wise men learn more from fools than fools learn from wise men.
The wise man keeps on good terms with his wife, his conscience, and his stomach.
Either of these three can make his life a misery to him, and therefore he would keep them all in good humor.
The wise man knows the fool, but the fool doth not know the wise man.
Yet he must be a very wise man who thoroughly knows a fool, for the ways of folly are inscrutable. The proverb is true in its own sense; but, like others, it needs a pinch of salt.
The wise with a tick, The fool with a kick.
A wink is enough to make the sensible understand, but the stupid need more impressive instruction. So some think. We kick no one: it wears out our boots.
The wisest are not always wise.
The wisest man does not think himself so.
A famous Eastern judge, on one occasion, after a very patient investigation of facts, declared that his knowledge was not competent to decide upon the case before him. “Pray, do you expect,” said a pert courtier, who heard his declaration, “that the Caliph is to pay your ignorance?” “I do not,” was the mild reply; “the Caliph pays me, and well, for what I do know. If he were to attempt to pay me for what I do not know, the treasures of his empire would not suffice.”
The wisest mouse keeps farthest from the trap.
The most prudent man is most careful to avoid temptation, and the sin which comes of it.
The wittiest man laughs least.
Because he has a high standard of wit, and is not affected by much which pretends to be facetious. Wit is not always grinning.
The wolf does not weep over the death of the dog.
No, for he has now more liberty to prey on the sheep. A faithful minister’s death is joy to the heretic, and his leader, the devil.
The wolf loses his teeth, but not his inclinations.
Old age leaves him still a wolf. He retains his taste for mutton, though he cannot now leap into the fold to help himself thereto. Apply the proverb to wicked old men.
The wolf offered to watch the flock for nothing.
But he meant to pay himself in mutton. Always suspect that those who offer to do work for nothing intend to do it for something.
Errorists are seemingly generous till their ends are served.
The workman makes the work, but the work also makes the workman.
This reminds us of William of Wyckham’s inscription upon a building erected for the king.THIS WORK MADE WILLIAM DE WYCKHAM. When the royal owner objected to it, he explained it to mean, not that he made the work, but that the work made him.
Both readings were true.
The world at its best is a handful of shadows.
No, not even a handful; it fills nothing: it is altogether emptiness.
The world’s ALL is nothing at all.
The world is governed, with little brains.
History often forces this reflection from its readers. It would even seem as if madness had been more common in rulers than in the governed. Many a crown has no head beneath it.
The world is too narrow for two fools quarreling.
If they could shove each other over the edge of the universe, society would not suffer much. For two such big men an extra world or two would be convenient, that they might swing their Big swords, and fulfill their terrible threats without harm to others.
The world over, crows are black.
Meaning that men are sinful everywhere.
The world owes me a living, providing I earn it.
Those last words are a qualifying clause, which many forget. What right can we have to live on other people’s earnings? Yet many fancy that all the worm is in debt to a lazy fellow who puts nothing into the public purse.
The world was not made in a minute.
London was not built in a day: great things are not accomplished in a hurry. We must learn to labor and to wait.
The world would be better if you were.
The world is as you take it; It will be what you make it.
The worse the carpenter, the more the chips.
He who does his work well, makes little fuss about it; but the incapable workman buries himself under the rubbish he creates.
The worse the passage, the more welcome the port. “Then are they glad because they be quiet.” What music is made when the ship is in the harbor, and the chain of the anchor runs out!
He that was most sick is the gladdest to land.
The worst argument is an ill-name. Bishop Horne says, “It is too frequent a custom to give ill names to those who differ from us in opinion.” Dr. Hammond mentions a humorous instance of it, that when a Dutchman’s horse did not go as he would have him, he, in a great rage, called him an “Arminian.”
The worst wheel rattles most.
Always. Those complain most against whom most complaints could be laid.
Their fears are most who know not what they fear.
Belshazzar saw only a hand writing on the wall, and this mystery appalled him. The unknown is the terrible. Ungodly men flee when no man pursueth, for at bottom they are superstitious. The wicked walk in fear of bush and brake, Yea, oftentimes their shadow makes them quake.
Then’s then, but now’s now.
Then let your now be now. What you resolve to do one day do this day. To-day is the day.
There are calumnies against which even innocence loses courage.
Slanders may be too foul to be met except with tears; or, they may be told with such an appearance of truth that they gain instant belief. When a man is so stunned by a wicked charge that he cannot contain himself, or make a reply, it is an argument for his innocence. The Lord save us from the arrow which flieth by day!
There are forty men of wit to one of sense.
Without sense men can talk nonsense. Smart witty people ax far more common than thoroughly sensible persons.
There are good dogs of all sizes.
Condemn not this dog for being too large, nor that for being too small. If you know where to look for them, you may find good little men, and even good great men.
There are many things much in use, which are not of much use.
Such as the excrescences of fashion in dress, and so forth.
There are more ways of killing a dog than hanging him.
If a fellow cannot be overcome in one way, he may be ruined in another. Let the poor dog look out and sharpen his teeth, or his enemy will compass his death one way or another.
There are no fans in hell.
So say the Arabs. It is a terrible proverb; but how true! Misery without mitigation is of the essence, of future punishment.
There are other thieves besides those who are locked up.
A worthy divine was robbed of his portmanteau hi which were a number of his discourses. Some one wrote for him as follows: — “The thief who stole my sermons, On which I set such store, May safely bring them back again; They were stolen long before.” Another version of this story is more circumstantial, and savors more of slang. The Rector of Kingston-by-Sea, on his parsonage being entered and robbed, is credited with the following: “They came and prigg’d my stockings, and my linen, and my store; But they could not prig my sermons, for they were prigg’d before.” There are toys for all ages, For fools and for sages.
The man’s toys are the most expensive, and the sage’s are the most mischievous. There are the Evolution humming-top, and the New Theology penny whistle, and a number of other childish things.
There are wedges for all woods.
If we will use our wits, we can conquer all difficulties, even as all logs cart be split if we get the right beetle and wedge.
No man may grow carnally secure; for God knows how to bring him down. Who can stand before his wrath? The proverb may also mean that there are temptations for all men, and if they do not yield to one they may to another.
There is a devil in every berry of the grape.
So says the Koran. It is a striking way of setting forth the evils of intoxicating drink. It will not frighten English wine-bibbers, for their stuff does not flow from grapes.
There is a religious way to perdition.
And it is none the less sure because smoothly rolled with ceremonies and professions.
There is a remedy for all evils but death.
I have known two persons who boasted that they would never die; but I hope they are dead, for I am sure they are buried.
There is a salve for every sore. The thing’s to find the ointment out, And that you should be quick about.
There is a snake in the grass;.
Where? Well, just where you do not think there is one. Who is he?
Well, he is one whom you could not suspect; therefore don’t suspect anybody. The “he” may be a “she.” There is a special providence in the fall of a sparrow.
The same law governs the small as well as the great. This is noticeable in all the laws by which the Lord governs nature and providence; they affect the minute as well as the magnificent. The very law which moulds a tear, And bids it trickle from its source, That law preserves the earth a sphere, And guides the planets in their course.
There is a time to fish, and a time to dry nets.
Happy is he who knows when his hour is come, and does the work appropriate for that hour. To rest when rest is due is as wise as to labor when the hour arrives.
There is a time to wink as well as to see.
Some things are best unseen, especially personal signs, There is a world of meaning in a little text.
One who tried to expound a passage said: “There’s a wonderful deal in it, my friends, if I could only get it out.”
There is more bitterness in beer than comes from the hop.
Don’t try it to see. Ask the publican; or, better still, see some of his work taken home, or carefully laid by in the police cell.
There is more disputing about the shell than the kernel.
Controversy often concerns minor points; it seldom touches vital matters; but when it does, it is serious work.
There is no banquet, but some dislike something in it.
For it is said, “There is no feast without a fool at it.” It is said that one, at least, goes away unfed from every feast. The only exception is the Lord’s festival of grace.
There is no benefit in a gift that sticks to the fingers.
If you give grudgingly, or taunt a man with it afterwards, the grace of the gift has gone like smoke. He gives as if his blood he shed; Indeed, he would be sooner bled.
There is no better patch than one off the same cloth.
The deceased wife’s sister will often supply the place of the deceased wife better than anyone else, unless she is a cross patch.
It is a pity that bishops have no deceased wives’ sisters. They would then see beyond their sees, and read Leviticus with clearer eyes.
There is no corn without some chaff.
Nothing is absolutely free from imperfection. Wisdom is mixed with folly, truth with error, holiness with imperfection.
There is no going from Delilah’s lap to Abraham’s bosom.
Shorn locks, blinded eyes, imprisoned lives, and cruel shame come from the lap of the strange woman. Even a Samson is vanquished there. The young man must, above all things, keep himself clear of all wantonness if he would lead a happy life here and hereafter.
There is no larder but may have its mice.
However large or small, it needs watching; for where the cheese is, thither will the mice be gathered together.
There is no law but has a hole in it for those who can find it out.
You can drive a coach and four through any Act of Parliament. A keen lawyer can find a way through every law but Mortmain.
There is no stripping a naked man. lie that has nothing cannot be fined or robbed. But if he can’t be stripped he can be whipped. He that cannot pay with his tin must pay with his skin.
There is no such flatterer as a man’s self.
How delicately he pleases his customer! He hates flattery; he is so humble! The dear old stupid, how he drinks it in, and leaves no heel-taps in the cup!
There is no use in blowing a fire that burns well.
Exhorting those to liberality and industry who are already doing their best, is not the wisest way of using one’s oratory.
There is no use in preaching to the hungry.
Give them a dinner of at least one course, and then give them a discourse. Theology is cold stuff on an empty stomach. The belly hath no ears when it hungers.
There is nothing so like a good shilling as a bad one.
Except it is another good shilling. Of course, hypocrites imitate true believers as far as they can, or they would get no gain by their hypocrisy. No wonder that we are deceived! Yet the existence of hypocrites does not prove the non-existence of true believers, any more than bad sovereigns prove that there are no good trees. The proof is all the other way.
There never was a five-pound note but there was a ten-pound road for it.
One never has money without having ways of spending twice as much. It may not be so with millionaires, but so we find it. How doth our little careful wife, And children all alive, Demand our money all through life, And soon devour a five!
There never was a looking-glass that told a woman site was ugly.
It was never plain to a woman that she was plain. In fact, from some point of view, every woman has her beauties, and she has the art of seeing herself from that stand-point. Bless the dear mirrors of perfection; no wonder they admire themselves. It shows their good taste and ours also.
There will be no Mondays in heaven.
No weary Mondays for pastors; no wicked Mondays for drunkards; no worldly Mondays for the outwardly religious.
There would be fewer open mouths if there were fewer open ears.
Just so. If there were not a market for scandal, nobody would be a scandal-monger. Where there are heads on one side, there will be tails, or rather tales, on the other.
There’s a way to heaven from the gates of hell.
The worst of sinners may be saved.
There’s a way to hell from the gates of heaven.
The proudest professor may be lost.
There’s always room at the top.
The best men are always wanted, and there’s always a scarcity of them. One could find ten thousand middling workmen; but where shall we look for a first-class hand?
There’s always water where a calf is drowned.
One would think so. If there is sufficient of anything to do mischief, there must be enough for a better purpose. The man who has wit enough to be a thief, might earn a good living.
There’s crust and crumb in every loaf.
We must take them together. The rough and the smooth, the soft and the hard, make up life, and there’s no use hoping to see it altered. The best bred are not all upper crust.
There’s gold in quartz, I hear:
Mine’s gone in quarts of beer.
This confession is seldom heard, but in many instances it is true as the Confession of Faith.
There’s little roast Where braggarts boast.
There’s little tale-bearing on the right side.
A good deed in common life gets no corner in the newspaper, and no gossip busies herself with informing her neighbors of it. Yet surely it should pay as well to hawk sweet fish as stinking ones.
There’s mischief brewing when the wolf licks the, lamb.
Extraordinary displays of affection have their motive — a motive which means no good to the victim of their effusive love. Young women should note this proverb. Affectionate wolves are common. Whose manner is so over-sweet, Has cheated or intends to cheat.
There’s more room without than within.
A young preacher,, once told me that he had a great congregation, and, he added, “There were more people outside than in.” I answered, that I fully believed it.’ He saw my drift. Old houses had the chimney built outside the house; was this because there is more room outside than inside? There is more liberty outside of some societies than you can expect within. “There’s ne’er a best among them,” as the fellow said by the fox cubs.
Among certain sets of men all are so bad that the question is, “Which is the worst?” and never, “‘Which is the best?” There’s never any cake But there’s some of like make.
Nobody is so odd, or so bad, or so good, but what there are others to match, if you know where to look for them.
There’s no evil, but it might be worse.
There’s no flying without wings.
Trading on credit, preaching without ability, and the like, are vain attempts. They all end in a downfall.
There’s no garden without weeds.
No character without faults; no church without false professors; no family without troubles. Weeds come without inviting. In the garden much more grows, Than the busiest gardener sows.
There’s no getting oil out of a mill-stone.
Nor wine out of a wall, nor money out of an outside broker.
Extracting feeling from some men is quite as difficult as getting blood from a turnip. To get money out of misers is about as hard as getting butter out of a dog’s mouth.
There’s no happiness where there’s no occupation.
Want of something to do is downright misery. It is long since some of us could complain of that affliction. The want of occupation is not rest, A mind quite vacant is a mind distressed.
There’s no making omelets without breaking eggs.
We must go to some expense to effect our purpose.
There’s no mother like my mother.
No, not even the Prince of Wales’s mother! “No, sir,” said a child when he heard a visitor quote Pope’s familiar line, “An honest man’s the noblest work of God.” “No, sir, my mother is the noblest work of God.”
There’s no need to fasten a bell to a fool; everybody will know where he is.
If his tongue wags he will not need to be looked for.
There’s no need to grease a fat sow.
Yet many are eager to do it: everybody helps the man who does not need it. Somewhat bitterly one writes — By all observers it is known, And daily seen on every hand; The prosperous in life alone Have proffer’d service at command.
There’s no place like home.
It is a great pity when either husband or wife is forced to answer, “I’m glad there isn’t.”
There’s no piety where there’s no morality.
He that has not the pence of morality cannot possess the pounds of godliness. Sir. J. Lubbock says of the aborigines of Australia, They do not believe in a supreme Deity, or in the immortality of the soul; nor is morality in any way connected with their religion.” Alas, that this should be true of so many nearer home!
There’s no profit in teaching’ a pig to play the flute.
Even if the pupil could learn, others would do the business better.
There are persons who have no capacity for learning a certain art, and teaching it to them would be lost labor.
There’s no reaping where there’s no sowing. Thou canst not gather what thou dost not sow:
As thou dost plant the tree, so will it grow.
There’s no remedy for consumption of the purse.
Why not? Brace the economical system by pulling the strings tighter. Administer an elixir of extra earnings. Try thrift.
There’s no riding to heaven on a feather bed.
There’s no security where there’s a Committee of Safety.
Though in the multitude of councilors there is safety, it lies in the direction of their never doing too much — if they ever do anything.
A committee is like armor, an excellent device to preserve a society from harm, and to prevent its doing much of either harm or good.
There’s no taking snakes with sugar-tongs.
Hitting them over the head is far more effectual. Had Luther handled error daintily, the Reformation would never have come off.
Some bad things need vigor and rigor rather than daintiness. Luther threw an ink-bottle at the devil’s head, whereas another preacher, when Satan tempted him to doubt, set a chair for him, and bade him sit down ad have it out: a rash experiment.
There’s nothing impossible to perseverance.
We copy the following front Aunt Rachel’s Advice to her Niece: — “Mr. Medhurst, who was formerly a missionary in China, gives in his book a curious story — which reads more like a fable, than a fact — of a woman, whom he saw one day rubbing a small iron crow. bar on a stone, at which she had been engaged for a very king time. And when he asked what she was doing it for, he was informed that she wanted a needle, and not being able to meet with one, she was grinding the crowbar down to the proper size; a singular instance, if true, of energy and perseverance.”
There’s nothing like leather.
Pardon me, good sir; that beef-steak upon which I wearied my teeth the other day was extremely like it. Every man cries up his own wares, and hence the tanner cries “Nothing like leather.”
There’s poor profit in flaying flints.
Don’t attempt to get money from the very poor. Some people seem to live upon what they can extract from the dregs of poverty: it must be a wretched business. The miserly are, however, worse to deal with than the very poorest: they are flints of the hardest kind, and are neither to be flayed nor chipped.
There’s time enough where there’s will enough.
At any rate, good sir, you have all the time there is; and when you have made up your mind to use it, there will be more. “I have no time” should frequently be interpreted “I have no will.”
There’s too much weighing meat about it.
Spoken of trades and transactions in which there are a great many things upon which a loss will be sustained. It comes from the former habit of butchers, when setting prime joints, to throw in a bit of an inferior part, or perhaps a bone, under the idea that nobody could expect to have all the best of the meat, and none of the rougher portions.
These evil days bring sorry jokes To simple men like Johnny Nokes. “John a Nokes was driving his cart toward Croydon, and by the way fell asleep therein. Meantime, a fellow came by and stole away his two horses, and went fair away with them. In the end, John, awaking and missing them, said, ‘ Either I am John a Nokes, or I am not John a Nokes. If I am John a Nokes, then have I lost two horses; and if I be not John a Nokes, then have I found a cart.”
Simple persons need a friend to look after them, or they will be sorely troubled.
They are like a ha’p’orth of soap in a wash-tub.
Or like a chip in the porridge: of no great consequence: too little to be of use. Like the gospel in certain modern sermons.
They love but little who can tell how much they love.
In no case can love be subjected to either the rod or the scale. It is too ethereal for inches, and ounces. No real lover of the Lord can measure his love; but he wishes it were far more.
They may point at a star, but they cannot pull it down.
Evil persons may ridicule a truly good man, but they cannot pluck him from the position wherein providence has placed him.
They never wrought a good day’s work who went grumbling about it.
No one can work well when his heart is not in his labor: he is sure to fail in quantity or in quality. Give me the man who works with a will, and is not always looking for six o’clock. “They say so,” is half a lie.
Because it may be that we lead people to think that it is the universal opinion, when, perhaps, “they” means only myself and another fool. If thou wouldst tidings understand, Take them not at second-hand.
They say there is a skeleton in every house.
I have added “they say” to this proverb, because otherwise it is far from true. There are Christian homes which have nothing to conceal, no shameful secret, no Blue-beard cupboard. “They say, they say,” and donkeys bray.
Common talk is really no more to be regarded than the braying of asses. The theoretical talk of infidel scientists may be lout in the same category. Think of this as taught by science: — Man was an ape in the days that came early; Centuries after his hair became curly:
Centuries more gave a thumb to his wrist, Then he became man add a Positivist.
They should be more thankful that give an alms, than they that receive it.
Certainly they are the more favored of the two, and most indebted to the goodness of God. A worthy Quaker would hear nothing of thanks for money given by him to charitable objects. His reply to those who thanked him was: “Friend, I am much obliged to thee for thy trouble in applying this money to good use.”
They that hide can find.
As a rule this is a truism. But he that hides his religion may one day find that he has none to hide.
They that walk much in the sun will be tanned at last.
Exposure to evil influences tells upon the character, and before long the result is visible in the conduct.
They that wash on Monday have all the week to dry; They that wash on Tuesday are not much awry; They that wash on Wednesday there’s no need to blame; They that wash on Thursday wash for shame; They that wash on Friday wash for need; They that wash on Saturday — oh, they are sluts indeed!
These rude lines are a warning against putting off things to the very last day. The habit of delay begins with some when children, and then they are assailed with — “Dilly, Dilly, dollar, Ten o’clock scholar.” This continues through life, and leads to Saturday washing and general tardiness. If those who “first come are first served,” dilatory persons are served right when never served at all.
They who cannot have what they like should learn to like what they have, A tough lesson, but well worth learning.
They who have money are troubled about it, And they who have none are troubled without it.
So that neither poverty nor riches will ensure perfect repose.
They who will not be counseled cannot be helped.
Refusing to be guided, they must even “gang their ain gate.” It is said, “If you have your own way you won’t die in a pet”; but on the other hand, such are very likely to fall into the pit.
They wonder at the cedar when it is fallen.
They had no idea that the man was so good and great until he was dead; and then they knew the miss of him, and regretted that they had allowed him to be among them, add to be so little esteemed.
They wrangle about an egg, and let the hens fly away.
Too often in disputes between master and men, trade is ruined, and so the hen flies away. In controversies over trifles, the spirit of love is driven away from a church, and the main thing is thus lost.
They wrong themselves, that wrong others.
At some time or other the evil done falls upon the doer of it. The ball thrown against the wall comes back into the sender’s hand. He that watereth a path with vitriol to kill the grass, is pretty sure to burn his own boots.
Thick sown and thin come up.
In some places the gospel has been faithfully preached by many ministers, and yet few are converted. On some men much teaching has been expended, but they know nothing. Their fathers spent much money upon them at college, but they are forced to cry, “We put gold into the fire, and there came out this calf.”
Things forbidden have a secret charm.
This is sadly true. “I had not known lust, except the law had said, Thou shalt rot covet.” Adam might not have cared for the fruit of that one tree had it not been forbidden. In a smaller way, this is the cause of smuggling, poaching, and many other offenses.
Think and thank.
There is only a letter of difference between the two words. Surely we should never do much thinking without rising to thanking.
Think kindly of the poor When it’s cold out of door.
But let your thoughts be practical. A hundred thoughts will not warm them half so much as half-a-hundred of coals.
Think not, the husband gained, that all is done — The prize of happiness must still be won; And oft the careless find it to their cost, The lover in the husband may be lost.
What a pity it is when people leave off their courting manners as soon as they are married! Should they not take more pains to be agreeable when they see each other all day, than they did when they had only occasional meetings?
Think of ease, but work on.
So long as there is any life in the old ox, let it keep to the plough. It is more easy to think of ease, than to make yourself easy with nothing to do. Work for amusement if not for emolument.
Think thrice before you marry once.
Let the thinking be on both sides. Then the verse we are about to quote may come true. Abel wants to marry Mabel; Well, that’s very wise of Abel.
But Mabel won’t at all have Abel; Well, that’s wiser still of Mabel.
Think twice before you speak once.
Then you will speak twice as well, or possibly you will do better, and not speak at all. Wise men reflect before they speak, Fools speak, and then think after.
Wise men’s words are full of light, But fools’ are full of laughter.
Think twice over a great bargain, and then leave it.
For in what seems a great bargain the chances are that we are taken in, or else we are making a market out of some poor man’s pressing necessities. Beware of painfully cheap purchases.
Think well before you tie what, you cannot untie.
Enter upon marriage with courage, but with caution. Yet no one would go so far as the old bachelor of Elizabeth’s days, who said — If that a bachelor thou be, Thou wilt keep so if ruled by me, Lest that repentance all too late, Reward thee with a broken pate.
Think well of a man As long as you can.
Frequently the rule would seem to be — Think ill of each man, The, first time you can.
Think well of men if you would mend them.
Nobody will let you suggest an improvement in his conduct if you begin by abusing him, or if he can see that you despise him.
Think when you speak, but speak not all you think:
Drink when you thirst, but thirst not after drink.
Some are troubled with a constant running at the mouth; others with a constant drought in the same place. Of the latter, Livingstone wrote: — “The Ptolemaic map defines people according to their, food — the Elephantophagi, the Struthiophagi, the Ichthyo-phagi, and the Anthropophagi. If we followed the same sort of classification, our definition would be by their drink, thus: the stout-guzzlers, the roaring potheen-fuddlers, the whisky-fishoid drinkers, the vin-ordinaire bibbers, the lager-beer swillers, and an outlying tribe of the brandy-cocktail persuasion.”
Thirst grows by that it feeds on.
The more drink, the thirstier is the drinker. The mouth is never satisfied with liquids. One glass makes room for another. Some soak in beer, some swim in wine, some splash in spirits; and all of them are art to complain of being very dry. Some men are mere funnels. According to this kind of taste Did he indulge his drouth; And being fond of port, he made A port-hole of his mouth.
Thirty clays hath September, April, June, and November, February has twenty-eight alone; All the rest have thirty-one, Except in leap-year, then’s the time, February’s days are twenty-nine.
By this rhyme John Ploughman has been able always to know the length of the month. He recommends it to Sam Straw, and Hob Carter, and other country gentlemen.
This gift is small, but love is all.
This line is a posy for a ring. Another is, “Love the giver”; and another, “Not the gift, but the giver.”
Thistles and thorns prick sore, But evil tongues prick more.
Many hearts have been pierced, and lives rendered wretched, by the cruel words of slanderers. He that will stab a man with his pen would stab him with his penknife, if he dared.
Thistles would never become roses, even should you plant them in Paradise.
Position will not change disposition. A thistle in a garden is only so much the bigger by the richness of the soil in which it is planted.
Bad men in high places become all the worse.
Those are very poor whom nothing will satisfy.
For their poverty is in their soul rather than in their pocket, and there is no filling such a great gulf. When want is in ourselves begun, Then whither from it can we run?
Those beans won’t boil in my pot.
So say the Telugus. They mean much the same as when we say, “That cock won’t fight,” or “That game won’t pay,” or “You can’t come over me.”
Those on whom you most rely, Can do you greatest injury.
In this respect we need to be saved from our friends even more than from our enemies. The mall whom we fear and suspect for a cheat Can hardly delude us with art and deceit; But he in whose faith we sincerely confide, May come round with impunity on our blind side.
Those who are hot-headed should keep in the shade.
Yet they generally put themselves very forward, and threaten to set every business on a blaze with their heat.
Those who are in the same boat should row together.
If they don’t, they will be likely to be upset, or the boat will turn round and round, and make no progress, People who do not row together are very apt to row together.
Those who are past caring are past curing.
Those who are soon hot are soon cold.
Those who are soon wound up soon run down.
Yet among speakers, those who prepare least usually keep on longest. In other matters, the man who would do everything on a sudden, has done his everything quite as suddenly.
Those who do ill, dread ill.
Very naturally they do so. Judging others by themselves, they expect to be lashed with their own whip. They expect that when their dogs come home they will eat their masters.
Those who do nothing will soon do worse.
The preparatory school for rascals is idleness; and well they bring the youngsters on in that academy.
Those who do well themselves think well of others.
Familiarity with good work makes them expect to see it in other men’s shops. They are so busy in keeping their own work up to the mark, that they have no time in which to pick holes in others, but take it for granted that others are doing their level best.
Those who eat most are not always the fattest. so those who read most have not always the most knowledge; they may even overload their minds with ideas, as men may fill their stomachs too full of food; and this may lead to mental dullness, as, in the case of the body, it causes indigestion.
Those who expect what in reason they cannot expect, may expect.
They have liberty to range the world in their idle fancies, but their dreams will never be realized. This is a poor way of deceiving one’s self.
Those who fry in words often freeze in deeds.
Those who itch to know will ache to tell.
Curiosity has talkativeness for its vis-a-vis.
Those who know nothing are generally very knowing people.
It is disagreeable to see the airs of superiority they give themselves.
The blind man said, “Stand back: let me see!”
Those who learn much should teach much.
Else they will be mere hoarders of information, and before long their heaps of knowledge wilt ferment, and be good for nothing.
So, too, we may say that those who teach much must learn rancid, or their teaching will soon be lean as a gridiron.
Those who love you for little may hate you for nothing.
We flatter ourselves by forgetting this evident fact, and hence we are surrounded by a set of flies whose affection for us is really nil, but their buzzing around us is incessant while the warm weather lasts. That love which blazes soon, like straw, is very apt to die out as the fire of straw does.
Those who love you for silver may leave you for gold. When once the sordid motive enters in, Such friendship is not worth a headless pin.
Those who paint you before will black you behind.
Those who flatter will slander.
Those who promise mountains perform molehills.
Those who shift often, will often be put to shifts.
Changing so often they cannot get on. Moving costs them as much as their goods are worth. The time wasted in learning a little of a new trade would have made them perfect in their old business.
Those who take offense, usually make offense.
Those who talk always, think seldom.
Those who think to catch are often caught.
Those who thunder in preaching, should lighten in living.
None of us must say, “Do as I say, but not as I do.” The real force lies in the man’s personal character; apart from this, his words are only words; and words are wind.
Those who will not hear reason have no reason.
Thou must get thee some pelf by fifty and three, Or reckon thyself a drudge for to be.
By fifty-three a man. should have something, or he may conclude that he will finish his days in poverty.
Though a lie have seven-leagued boots, truth will overtake it.
Not always soon enough to undo all its mischief, but in time to expose it to the contempt of those whom it has duped.
Though an ass shakes his head, his ears don’t come off.
He does not lose his donkey characteristics by shaking his head after the manner of learned divines. “Ah!” said one, “how wisely he shakes his head!” “Yes,” said another, “he may shake his head as long as he likes, but there’s nothing in it.”
Though I’m down in the dust, Yet in God I will trust.
Though old and wise, yet still advise.
Though one grain fills not the sack, it helps.
Though the cat winks, she is not blind.
We can see more than they think we see; and very impertinent mice should remember that even when the cat sleeps she has one eye open. Presume not upon the incapacity of your superiors.
Though the heavens be glorious, yet they are not all stars.
In the happiest life there are special days of bliss. Among the best of men some are peculiarly holy. Even in the Scriptures certain passages convey to us more gracious instructions than others.
Though the serpent has little eyes, he sees very well.
The small eyes of the envious are terribly piercing. Craft, also, is like a weasel for penetrating into secrets.
Though the speaker be a fool, let the listener be wise.
The rampant orator may say what he likes, but you must sift it, and be all the more judicious because of the wildness of his talk. Many open their mouths and shut their eyes, and swallow all that is put before them. No wonder their minds are poisoned.
Though the sun shines, don’t give away your coat.
You will need it yet. Do not in a hurry part with your business, or other source of income, because you are very flush of cash.
Though thy hands be rough, let thy manners be gentle.
Courtesy will raise the poorest to the he highest rank. The king returned the bow of the sweep, rightly observing, “Would you have a sweep more polite than a king?” “My boy,” said a father to his son, “treat everybody with politeness, even those who are rude to you. For remember, that you show courtesy to others, not because they are gentlemen, but because you are one.”
Though you dip in the sea, you take up only as much as your vessel will hold.
Great as the gospel is, we can but grasp a part of its fullness.
Though you’ve lost the ring, you have the finger.
The garnishing may be gone, but the essential member is left. We sorrow if we lose our estates, but this is little if our souls are saved.
We add another consolation — ‘Tis this — a line that does not need a verse; Nought is so bad but that it might be worse.
Three helping each other are as good as six.
They double their results by division of labor and mutual support.
Christian workers pulling together accomplish far more than if they were mere units.
Three removes are as bad as a fire.
So much damage is done in the removal both to the business and. the furniture. Poor Richard says: — . “I never saw an oft-removed tree.
Nor yet an oft-removed family, That throve so well as those that settled be.” Through being too knowing the fox lost his tail.
Throw a stone into mud, and it will splash your face.
Of course it will. Why not let the mud alone? If people must needs interfere they will get bespattered.
Throw no stones at thine own window.
Thy friend has a friend, and thy friend’s friend has a friend: be quiet.
Thy secret is safe with thyself, but not with thy friend, and his friend, and his friend’s friend’s friend ad infinitum Thy hand is never the worse for doing thy own work. “In London no man thinks of blacking his own boots,” said a haughty Briton once to the late Mr. Lincoln, whom he found polishing his calfskin gaiters. “Whose boots does he black?” quietly responded Uncle Abe.
Thyself accuse; thy friend excuse.
A great preacher said, “Every excuse a man makes for himself is something taken from his manhood; and every excuse he makes for his fellow-men is something added to his manhood.”
Thyself know, that thou mayest know others.
Time and patience turn mulberry leaves to satin.
In time the mulberry leaf becomes a silk gown, and a silk gown becomes a lady.
Time and trouble try the truth.
Whether a man is really good or not is discovered by his perseverance in a good way. It is easy to run well just for a spurt, but to keep up the pace for years is the difficulty.
Long journeys prove a horse’s strength; And life is tested by its length.
Time and words can never be recalled.
Therefore be careful of them. Be wise at once, and lose no time.
Play not so late that thou hast to go to bed in the dark. Thou canst not recall a lost moment, much less a lost life. Time is but a part of eternity; live so in time as thou wilt wish to live in eternity. As to words, speak advisedly; for thou canst as soon call back a bullet which has been shot from a gun, as a word uttered from thy mouth.
Time covers and discovers everything.
We need not have everything decided in the next five minutes. If we can wait a little, the hidden truth will come to light.
Time enough is little enough, He that lives longest has no time to spare. No one has more than the present hour. Time flieth away Without delay.
Time is a the which works without sound.
Shakespeare makes one say, “I wasted time, and now doth time waste me.” It works away at our bones, and undermines our constitutions. The tell-tale of its doings is frequently seen upon the head. One facetiously said: “My hair and I are quits, d’ ye see; I first cut it; it now cuts me.” Time is a ship that never anchors.
Time is long enough for him who has grace enough. Time is quite long enough, for all useful ends; He who labors for God, its limits extends.
Time is not tied to a post, like a horse To a manger.
Time. is not wasted in sharpening the scythe.
Time moves slowly to him whose employment is to watch its flight.
Time is too long for the doing of nothing, and too short for the doing of something: but to sit and watch it dribble front an hourglass is dreary work indeed. As good have no time as have nothing but time.
Time passes slowly when sorrow presses heavily. “How. like the fleeting wind, away Whole years of joy depart!
But, oh! how slowly does the day Move to the mournful heart!’ Time, tide, and train, for no man will remain. Pursue thy work without delay, For the short hours run fast away.
Time trieth truth, but truth outliveth time.
Time will bring the roses, Though cold bites our noses.
Have patience: the snows will soon be thawing, and the cuckoo will be back again. Sorrow endeth, joy cometh.
Tin plates don’t mind. dropping on the floor.
A man prepared for rough usage puts up with a great many things which would break other people in pieces.
Tired men are quarrelsome.
Tried men tread hard, and tried men feel hard. ‘Tis a good fish if it were but caught.
Many a scheme is first-class, but it is not practicable. ‘Tis a good knife; it will cut butter when ‘tis melted.
What must a bad knife be? Some people fix their standard of good knives and good men very low indeed. ‘Tis a good penny that earns a groat. ‘Tis a thriftless thing to be sad.
Because it mends nothing, and does not bring in a penny piece. ‘Tis a very good world to live in, To spend, or to lend, or to give in; But to beg, or to borrow, or get back your own, ‘Tis the very worst world that ever was known.
This is the witness of many; and we have heard it given with savage emphasis. It is a pity that it should be so sadly true. “Tis better to buy love than law.
But how is it to be done? Here, you sir, let me have equivalent to this five-and four-pence in downright love, and you may give the law to the dogs. ‘Tis better to sit with a wise man in prison than with feel in paradise. ‘Tis education forms the youthful mind; Just as the twig is bent, the tree’s inclined. “Spare me a little longer,” said the young vine to the gardener, as he laid hold of one of her tender branches, to guide it to the prop he had provided. “I’ll grow any way you like next year, if you’ll only let me have my own way now.”
But the gardener shook his head. “Why not?” murmured the vine; “it’s hard I may not have my freedom a little longer; it will be time enough, when I are older, to be guided and trained.” “Ah!” said the gardener, “ that only shows how little you know about it. Each year your branches will grow harder and less flexible, and where one nail will hold you now, it would take a dozen in a twelvemonth’s time.” ‘Tis good buying wit with another man’s money.
How is it good to be mean? Some learn nothing from anybody. ‘Tis good to be merry and wise; ‘Tis good to be honest and true; ‘Tis good to be off’. with the old love Before you be on with the new.
None of our readers will, we hope, need this warning. Very, very awkward it is to hang one’s hat on two pegs at once, or to have two bombers on your peg. Breaches of promise are bad, but a pair of breeches of this sort will prove very ugly wear. ‘Tis good going on foot when you lead a horse by its bridle.
You don’t mind walking when you know that you can ride when you like. We are willing to do without a luxury if we feel that we could have it if we very much wanted ‘Tis grievous to be poor in purse, But poor in love is greatly worse. ‘Tis hard to sail over the sea in an egg-shell.
To speculate without capital is very unwise. To attempt to reach heaven by our own works and unaided strength is a notable instance of full-blown folly. ‘Tis harder to unlearn than to learn.
How difficult to forget evil! How well-nigh impossible to be rid of an ingrained habit! To pick up Parisian French is rendered hard by the French of the school of Stratford-at-Bow, which was drilled into us in youth. Better learn nothing than learn wrongly. Blank paper suits an author; but to write over old manuscript is very unpleasant and unsatisfactory. ‘Tis merry in. hall when beards wag all.
When they are all eating and drinking, and otherwise agitating the lower jaw, and so causing the beard to move, of course, the whole of the jesters are in a merry cue. It was not quite so merry When black-jacks all drained, Each other they brained. ‘Tis not all saved that’s put in the purse.
It may be the occasion of loss, especially to men in trade; for as the Chinese say, “If a little cash does not go out, much cash will not come in.” I knew a farmer who did not cultivate his fields because he thus saved the wages. His farm soon saw him saved all further trouble in husbandry. ‘Tis not every question that deserves an answer.
We heard one say to an inquisitive person, “I move the previous question.” The interrogator said, “And what is that?” “Well,” replied the other, “the previous question is, ‘Ought you to ask such a question?’” ‘Tis not the food, but the content, That makes the table’s merriment. ‘Tis said, that from the twelfth of May To twelfth of July all is day.
The light never quite ceases during that time. ‘Tis skill, not strength, that governs the ship.
Rule skillfully rather than willfully. Tact is master.
Tittle-tattle, give the goose more hay.
That is, say and do any silly thing, those of you who are given to frivolous talk. We do not endorse this sarcasm: still, one is provoked to make some such remark when. small talk annoys. Pretty little damsels, how they chat!
All about their sweethearts, and all that, And chit-chat, tittle-tattled-tat.
To Adam, Paradise was home; to us, home is Paradise.
And this, we boldly assert, is usually the case with Christian people, notwithstanding the trials of our lives, and the faults of our characters. We do not believe the old satire — “Ah, madam! cease to be mistaken, Few married fowl peck Dunmow Bacon!” To advise a feel is to throw water on a goose.
Still we, would say as much as this to him: You have no right to make a feel of yourself so long as you have a mother or a sister to be put to the blush about you.
To angle all day, and catch a gudgeon at night.
Some don’t even catch that. This gives point to the definition of an angler — “ a long pole, with a worm at one end and a feel at the other.” Such a feel have I been, and would like to he again.
To all give ear, but do not all believe, For some there be who would a saint deceive.
To all good wives we wish long lives.
At home each happy husband sings: “God bless my gracious Queen, Long live my noble queen!” To and fro, come and go; All our earthly life is so. “Here we have no continuing city, but we seek one to come.” — Hebrews 13:14.
To be angry with an angry man makes two angry men.
To be good among the bad is commendable; To be good among the good is pleasurable; To be bad among the bad is horrible; To be bad among the good is abominable.
Of course a man’s character must be measured in connection with his difficulties or advantages. There is more virtue in some men’s being a little good than in others being greatly so.
To be hale in October drink no October ale.
To be idle is to be evil: diligence nourishes delight To be proud of your learning is to show your ignorance. To be secure never be security.
To be washed white and to be white-washed are very different things.
One longs for the first, but loathes the second. When washed white, we are alive unto God but the white-washed are sepulchers full of corruption.
To believe a business impossible, is the way to make it so.
If a thing is right, the word “impossible” must not be in our dictionary. Believe that it can be done, and it will be done.
To boiling pot flies come not.
When a man is busy and earnest, he takes no notice of trifles. This is much the same in meaning as “Running dogs feel no fleas.”
To bowl down hill is easy.
I heard of one who threw a stone half-a-mile, but the reason was that he stood on a hilt where there was a continuous descent, and nothing to stop a falling object. One might easily throw a stone five miles if he east it over a boat’s side into the depths of the ocean.
To brew in a bottle, and bake in a bag.
Very little brewers and bakers these! They are emblems of little minds, which do everything on the very smallest scale, and are quite content to have it so. One convert in a century delights them.
To build high, dig deep.
Nothing is like a good foundation. In religion, deep repentances contribute largely to stability and elevation of character.
To catch a Tartar.
This is a bad thing in matrimony. You look for a Celestial to make your tea, and find a Tartar to make you a pickle. Better be a lonely martyr Than be married to a Tartar.
To change and to mend are two different things.
We read of King Saul, that he had “another heart”; but what he needed was a new one Some men when converted are like fair weather, when it changes for the worse.
To come out of “the shires.”
This is how eastern counties people commonly talk of those poor folk who come from other parts of the country. They emerge from those barbarous and uncivilized regions called “the shires.” Essex, Suffolk, Kent, and so forth, are real counties, of considerable account; but East Anglia seems to think it sheer folly to expect much from those divisions of the country which are merely “shires.”
To covet more, Makes rich men poor.
It is easy to be really rich! Do you think me trifling with you? B contented, and you have it.
To cry with one eye, and laugh with the other.
This is a queer condition; yet have we been in it. The comic side of the terrible, and the awful side of the mirthful, will sometimes turn up, and the mind cannot tell to which to yield.
To-day man lives in pleasure, wealth, and pride, To-morrow poor — .or life itself denied.
To-day married, to-morrow harried.
Of course yea shall have trouble in the flesh. Does not Scripture say so? At the same time, one does not want trouble in a wife: no one wishes for nettles in his bed.
To do good, one must first be good. “A corrupt tree cannot bring forth good fruit.” — Matthew 7:19.
To every bird its nest seems fair, My home’s a palace rich and rare.
To fall in love and to be wise are very different things.
An old writer, under the heading lover, says, “See lunatic. A lover is a man who in his anxiety to possess another, has lost possession of himself.” This is rather too bad.
To follow crowds but death I deem:
The live fish swims against the stream.
Drifting with the multitude down the broad way is commonly chosen; but to go singly along the narrow road, and push. aside all obstacles, is the gracious choice of the gracious man To feel the world tell the truth.
So accustomed are men to chicanery, that plain honesty appears to them to be the subtlest form of deceit. Bismarck has the credit of this proverb; and it shows his shrewdness.
To forget a wrong is the best revenge. Lord, teach us to forgive: to learn of thee!
How very little to forgive have we!
To fry in his own grease.
By no means an elegant expression. Did not the Prussian speak of “Paris stewing in its own juice”? No bad man can have a worse doom than to be left altogether to himself.
To get by a thing, as Dickson did by his distress.
We must surely know this Dickson. He made quite a fortune out of the decease of a venerable horse. By petitions and begging letters, he gathered in enough to horse the Brighton coach. We must set the Charity Organization Society upon Dickson.
To give is honor, To ask is dolor.
He who gives has abundantly mere cause for gratitude than he who receives. He who refuses to give ought to come to begging.
To give one a mouthful of moonshine.
A very common thing. Attend a lecture upon a scientific fad, listen to a political schemer, or hear a “modern thought” divine, and you will have a clear idea of a mouthful of moonshine.
To give to the poor increases our store.
Others say, “To give to the poor will bless your store.” Both proverbs have truth in them. None of us can afford to cease giving.
The rich should give that they may remain rich, and the poor that they may not be poorer. Want of generosity is unthrifty.
To go rabbit hunting with a dead ferret.
Working with useless tools or lazy servants, is a dreadful business.
To have a friend to help you who is quite useless, is like working with a broken arm. Better alone than with an inefficient partner.
To go to law is to go to sea.
When will you come to shore again? You will soon be sick of it.
When you see the sharks around your estate, you will wish yourself on land again.
To grin like a Cheshire cat chewing gravel.
I have never seen the domestic pet in this condition. I know how one stone in my teeth serves me, and a cat chewing gravel may very well grin if her sensations are like mine.
To harbor enmities is to plant miseries.
This is from the Chinese. Put it in your tea, and drink it.
To have a wolf by the ears. “When a man hath a doubtful business in hand, which it is equally hazardous to pursue or to give over, as it is to hold or let go a wolf which one hath by the ears.” — Ray.
To have an in under your girdle.
To treat a person with proper respect, to call him Master so-andso.
People forget to do this. There is a Creole proverb, “Behind dog’s back, it is ‘ Dog ‘; but before dog, it is ‘ Master dog.’” To have slanders forgotten by others, forget them yourself.
If you remember them, and continue to advertise them by answering them, they wilt live for years. Let them die a natural death.
To hear as hogs do in harvest.
That is, not at all. They are in fine feeding order, and they do not wish to hear the orders to quit the field They have on their harvest ears, and can hear nothing.
To keep the sea back with a pitchfork.
A very absurd enterprise: yet not more so than attempting to stop the will of the people by the use of force.
To kill little birds is to multiply caterpillars.
No doubt; and yet farmers, both there and in America, are of opinion that there may be too many sparrows. One would think that even these must be better than worms and grubs.
To kill two birds with one stone.
Occasionally a person is able to accomplish two objects by one act.
One would rather like the proverb to run, “To feed two birds with one hand,” or, “To move two stones in ore barrow.”
To know little is bad; not to wish to know more is worse. Bishop Ames was once presiding over a certain conference in the West, when a member began a tirade against universities, education, etc., and thanked God that he had never been corrupted by contact with a college. After proceeding thus for a few minutes, the Bishop interrupted him with the question, “Do I understand that the brother thanks God for his ignorance?” “Well, yes,” was the answer, “you. can put it that way if you want to. “ Well, all I have to say,” said the bishop, in his sweet musical tones, “is, that the brother has a great deal to thank God for.”
To know right, and to do right, are different things.
As different as a menu and a dinner.
To live in peace, hear, see, and say nothing.
Another form of it is: “To live in peace, we had need be blind, and deaf, and dumb.” We do not go all this length; but, certainly, one can be too quick of observation, and fall into bickerings thereby. To prevent shying, wear blinkers.
To look for a needle in a bottle of hay.
Rather hopeless work. “Bottle” is the old word for bundle. A needle in a haystack would be hard to find.
To mad words turn a clear ear.
To marry a woman for her looks, is like eating a bird for its song.
Since you do not marry her to look at, but to have as a companion and help-meet, observe the formation of her mind as well as the features of her face. “To-morrow” — the day on which idle men work.
But it never comes. The work they are going to do is wonderful.
These gentlemen take three weeks’ holiday every fortnight, and work hard in the time which remains.
To nought it goes that comes from nought. “Sir James Macintosh had no fewer than sixteen proofs of one of his works before he would allow it to go to press. The biographer of John Foster shows us through what agonies the perfection of style in his essays was attained. They say that Tennyson has spent days in the composition of a single line of poetry. A great musician was asked why he insisted on devoting so much time to the preparation of an apparently simple piece. He replied that, without such care, nothing whatever could be expected to live.” To publish another’s obligations, is to discharge him from them.
This is not the rule with good and greatful men; but it is the rule of the world, and there is a rough justice in it. When a man twits me with what he has done for me, he withdraws his claim upon my gratitude.
To John I owed great obligation:
But John unhappily thought fit To publish it to all the nation:
Sure, John and I are more than quit.
To read without reflecting, is to eat without digesting.
It is one good point in this book that it would be hard to read page after page of it mechanically. But, perhaps, someone has already done so, as another read the Dictionary, and observed that it was a very nice book, but he could not quite see the connection.
To revenge a wrong, is to do a wrong. How hardly man the lesson learns, To smile, and bless the hand that spurns:
To see tire blow, to feel the pain, And render only love again!
To rob Saint Peter to pay Saint Paul Is shameful work for man to do; But surely it is worst of all To rob both Paul and Peter too Yet we know fellows who neither pay Peter nor Paul nor anybody else, but rob all saints and all sinners alike. As they have opportunity, they do harm unto all men.
To scare a bird is not the way to catch it.
Fierce, threatening preaching will not win men for Jesus.
To search for truth is commendable, but to enjoy truth is more comfortable.
One said that he loved the search for truth better than the finding of it: there is no accounting for tastes. We suspect that he was not over-fond of truth, but loved it best at a distance.
To see the sun rise is good for the eyes.
It is to be feared that many Londoners have never tried this golden ointment. Even lie-a-beds commend early rising.
To set up shop on Goodwin Sands.
Does it mean that the shop-keeper is to win good as the sands of time run out? Or, does it mean that a certain person has so little capital that he builds his trade on the sand, and will be shipwrecked by being shop-wrecked?
To speak to purpose, one must speak with a purpose.
To spin a yarn to fill up space is ‘wretched work. He that speaks against time will find time speaking against Him.
To spend and spend Brings cash to end.
Stop spending, then, if your purse is getting low. But what is the use of money if it is not spent? It is the circulating medium, and was meant to flow out as well as in.
To stop the tongue of slander, stop your own.
We greatly question whether slander will ever cease till the last gossip is in her grave, or say, in his grave; but if anything will quiet it, it will be the silence of the person assailed. If on the spark you do not blow, Out, of itself, it soon will go.
To stroke with one hand, and stab with the other.
Often done by cruel dissemblers. They praise the gospel and undermine it. They call you “fine gentleman,” and cut your throat.
This is what is done by strong drink; in fact, some drinkers, when they have wished the bottle passed, have cried, “Stab yourself, and pass the dagger!” Significant, is it not?
To subdue the passions is hard: to satisfy them impossible.
To swallow an ox, and be choked with the tail.
This is done when men commit a great crime, and stickle ever details; or when they embrace a huge error, and boggle at a word.
To sweeten your morsel, share it.
Selfishness turns sugar into sickly lusciousness; but generosity changes the qnartern of bread into a sugar-loaf.
To take the wrong sow by tire ear.
Don’t do that: better let the right sow escape you. Charges must be accurately laid, or not at all.
To talk without thinking, is to shoot without aiming.
To the wasp say, “Neither your sting nor your honey.”
Half measures will not answer with malicious minds.
To think is well, but to know is better.
To wash an ass’s head is waste of soap.
And it wins a chance of feeling the ass’s heels. To correct some men is labor in vain, for it only provokes them.
To win a cat you lose a cow:
It may be wise; I see not how.
To risk a great deal to gain little is the height of folly.
Tom Timid was drowned in a teacup.
He went in as a spoon, made a little stir, and was never heard of more: he is generally supposed to have sunk in matrimony.
Tongue breaketh bone, And herself hath none, Quoth Hendyng.
Some make no bones about telling lies: in many cases there is nothing solid about what is said, but all is oily, slippery, worthless. I have heard that a well-dressed tongue needs five hours boiling: I would like to see what half-an-hour would do with some tongues I wot of. They make my blood boil often.
Tongues are the best and worst meat in the world.. So AEsop taught. We add a selection of proverbs referring to the tongue. “The boneless tongue, so small and weak, Can crush and kill,” declared the Greek. “The tongue destroys a greater horde,” The Turk asserts, “than does the sword.”
The Persian proverb wisely saith, “A lengthy tongue — an early death”; Or sometimes takes this form instead, “Don’t let your tongue cut off your head.” “The tongue can speak a word whose speed,” Say the Chinese, “outstrips the steed.”
While Arab sages this impart, “The tongue’s great storehouse is the heart.”
From Hebrew wit the maxim sprung, “Though feet shouter slip, ne’er let the tongue.”
The sacred, writer crowns the whole “Who keeps the tongue doth keep his soul.” Tongues run all the faster when they carry little.
Like every other machine, what the tongue gains in speed it loses in power. Great talkers not only de, the least, but they even say the least, if their words are weighed instead of being counted. Talkative tongues are like the plague of frogs in Egypt: those creatures did not bite, but they wearied by their endless croaking.
Tongues seldom ache through lying still. Paul Chatfield tells us of a chatterbox who said, “I talk a good deal, but then I talk well.” “Half of that is true,” said one who knew him. When a man has learned, to keep silence he loves it.
Too far East:is West.
Your nice man ‘is nasty, your severely righteous man is unfair, your ultra-democrat is a tyrant, and your liberal thinker is a bigot.
Too late to sphere when all is spent.
Too little for one, may be too much for another.
Too many cooks spoil the broth.
Or spill the broth; or forget to make any.
Too many “night-caps” make a man’s head ache.
The night-caps we refer to are of a spirituous kind.
Too much breaks the bag.
Too much courtesy, too much craft.
Too much may be said on the best of subjects.
Let “Finally” stand within measurable distance.
Too much of a good thing is not a good thing.
Too much of one thing, too little of another. Sam Slick wisely said: “Them that have more than their share of one thing, commonly have less of another. Where there is great strength, there ain’t apt; to be much gumption. A handsome man, in a general way, ain’t much of a man. A beautiful bird seldom sings.
Them that has genius have no common-sense.”
Too much oil puts out the lamp; too much wood puts out the fire.
Too much book-learning puts out the man himself. he has no room for his mind to turn in, for he has blocked up the space with books.
Too much fluency may be the death of eloquence.
Too much palaver, too little, honesty.
You know the gentleman — all smiles and blarney; and as a dentist extracts your teeth under gas, so has he extracted your sovereigns by his empty puffers.
Too much pudding will choke a dog.
So, one may be lectured till he cannot endure it. Is it not so, Mr.
Caudle? And one may be dunned with the same subject till you wish yourself deaf. The proverb is rather a currish one, and may have been started by some young dog who had been over-done with stick-jaw pudding at Dotheboys Hall.
Too much sail suits not a small boat.
Too much sugar may spoil the pie.
A man who is all molasses, and “dearie, dearie,” is a little too too, and we get sick of him.
Too much taking counsel ends in doing nothing.
The Committee sat, and sat, and sat, till every sensible plan was crushed as fiat as a pancake, Too soon is easy mended; Too late can’t be defended.
If a person gets to an appointment before his time, a little waiting puts him right; but if he comes after the hour, he is unjust to the person whom he promised to meet.
Too too will in two.
Don’t test the fabric with too. hard a pull, and don’t select too tender a material. Don’t test friendship too severely, or it may fail, Don’t try temper too often, or it may give way.
Touch a galled horse and he’ll kick.
See how certain people lash out when you touch on a point about which their conscience is tender. Touch me not on my sore heel.
Do not remind me of an unpleasant fact.
Touchwood! Touchwood! Mind the fire.
Touchwood soon takes fire. Where there is peculiar susceptibility to a sin, there should be a careful avoidance of all that leads to it.
Don’t put your cat in the pigeon-house, nor your dog among young rabbits; and don’t put yourself into the kind of company which has aforetime led you astray.
Tough meat needs a sharp knife.
When fellows will not attend, sharp words become needful.
Towers are measured by their shadows, and great men by those that are envious of them.
Tradesmen may be like bad eggs, which look very ‘well till they break.
But when the breaking comes, the tradesman is not in good odor, and his composition is not much admired.
Train up a child in the way you should have gone yourself.
Tread on the ball, live to spend all; Tread on the heel, spewed a great deal; Tread where you may, money won’t stay.
The wearing out of shoes by wearing them most in this place or in that, causes a portion of those expenses by which we are kept up, anal our savings are kept down. In olden times men changed their shoes from day to day from foot to foot, to secure an equal wearing of them in every part. An old gentleman of our acquaintance, having a gouty foot, was ordered by his doctor to cut the shoe, and he did so. The next morning he was found with the uncut shoe on the sore foot, and nothing could induce him to forego the long habit of changing the shoes. So both. had to be cut. Dear old Tory!
Trials are the ballast of life.
The burdened vessel may sail slowly, but she sails safely. Without the ballast of trial men are apt to blow over.. Ballast yourself with sympathy, if you have no trials of your own.
Trickery is a dog which comes back to its master.
Dishonesty comes home to men. The knave outwits himself before long, and gets tarred with his own brush.
Trifles are only trifles to triflers. Think nought a trifle, though it small appears:
Sands make the mountains; moments make the years; Anal trifles, life. Your care to trifles give, Else you may die ere you have learned to live.
Trifling with truth is like fooling with fire.
No one can guess what mischief may come of it.
Trinkets and trash run away with the cash.
Boys and girls had better leave flash jewelry to fops and flirts.
Trouble is soon enough when it comes.
Do not go forth to meet it by timorous apprehensions of its coming.
Believe that with the trim sufficient grace will come.
Trouble often shows the man. Until the steel the flint shall smite, It will afford her heat nor light.
True blue will keep its hue..
True blue will never stain.
The colors of pretense soon fade in shower and sun, but faithful honesty defies all circumstances and oppositions. What is ayes in the grain Will not run in the rain.
True fame is neither sold nor bought; She sometimes follows where she is not sought.
A man’s reputation is like his shadow: if it follows him, he will never leave it behind him; if it goes before him, he will never go beyond it. It is best to take no note of it, but to be what you would be thought to be.
True friendship’s laws are in this line expressed, — Welcome the coming, speed the parting guest.
True hospitality is meant. Be as particular to see your guest off in good time, as you were to receive him; and do not importune him to stay when:he has once said that he must needs go.
True love never grows old.
Trust in God, and keep your powder dry.
This Cromwellian sentence has grand common-sense in it.
Trust is dead: bad pay killed him.
This is a sentence which I have seen written up in shops where the poor are wont to deal. Willis in his “Current Notes,” says that he saw in a public house, at Chichester, the following verse: — “Since man to man is so unjust, No. man can tell what man to trust.
I’ve trusted many to my sorrow:
Pay to-day, take trust to-morrow.” Trust no fox with the care of your young ducks.
Send not your boys to a school taught by Father Roman, nor your girls to a parson who has a confessional. Trust not your young lambs to the care of the wolf, unless you really want them destroyed. Leave no gambler to play with your boys.
Trust not a boy with a sword.
Sooner or later he will hurt himself, or somebody else. High offices and mysterious discussions are dangerous in the hands of inexperience and incompetence.
Trust not a horse’s heel, a dog’s tooth, or a gossip’s tongue.
Trust the last least. Mad dogs and kicking horses are better than slanderous tongues.
Trust not a smooth sea, nor a smiling world.
Few men in the world can he relied upon. “Put not your trust in princes.” The sea has its sharks, hut the land has its deceivers. To safe-guard man from wrongs, there nothing must Be truer to him than a wise distrust; And to thyself be best this sentence known, HEAR all men speak, but credit few or none.
Yet, at the same time, suspicion is but a cowardly virtue.
Trust not the man who promises ‘with an oath.
He swears too glibly for his oath to be worth anything.
Trust not the ship to one rope.
Divide the risk, and have more than one earthly confidence. Good riding at two anchors men have told; for if one break, the other still, may hold.
Trust self, and lose all; trust God, and win all. Man who on himself Dareth to rely, Is like a frail reed When the wind passes by.
Trust to Providence, but lock the stable door.
This reminds us of Mahomet’s observation, when one of his followers said that he would turn his camel loose, and trust it to Providence. “Nay,” said Mahomet “tie it up as best you can, and then trust it to Providence.”
Trust when you can; but know your man.
Men nowadays want a deal of knowing: when you think you are at the bottom of them, a trap-door opens. When man is practiced in disguise, He cheats the most discerning eyes.
Trust your eyes rather than your ears.
See for yourself your ears have to trust to other men’s eyes, and tongues also: you will do well to put your own optics to work.
Truth always comes by the lame messenger.
After bars have told their tale, in comes honest truth to their confusion. Yet truth’s messenger in another sense is by no means lame. His feet are beautiful upon the mountains.
Truth and time against the world.
Philip of Spain used to say, “I and time against any two.” The man who defends God’s truth can afford to wait; for both time and eternity are on his side. God and his truth have great leisure, Truth cannot be bound nor drowned, Truth may go down But will not drown.
This challenge, then, be boldly hurled, “The truth alone against the world.” Truth ands few that love her People will look about and calculate the consequences. Faithful men not only seek no gain by truth, but are willing to lose all for her sake. Yet are these the greatest gainers.
Truth gives a short answer; lies go round about Truth needs not many words, but a false tale needs a large preamble, Some in their roundaboutness make us feel that there is some bamboozlement intended. Yet to certain minds the curvilinear mode appears to be as natural as the straight line is to others. There is a tale in Kashmir about a man who was once asked where his nose was. He did not reply by at once putting his finger on that organ, and saying, “Here it is.”; but he palled up the right sleeve of his long cloak, and passing his right hand around, his head, eventually and with great difficulty, reached his nose with it. We .know more than one friend who must have been a pupil of this Kashmiri gentleman.
Truth never grows old.
In the sense of decaying, or being out of date.
Truth in faith works holiness in life. Errors in the life breed errors in the brain, And these,:reciprocally, those again.
Truth is beautiful, but men scratch her face.
Truth seldom goes without a scratched face, for men love her not.
Truth is the best buckler.
Carry it with you, on you, within you.
Truth is truth till time shall end.
Truth lies at the bottom of a well. Douglas Jerrold said, “I’ve heard people say, ‘truth lives in a well,’; if so, I’d advise you to take an early dip in the bucket.” A very good verse has been written on this saying of the Latins. “Truth’s in a well!” To get it out You’ll find there’s this impediment, That if you, blundering, probe about, ‘You’ll stir up doubt — the sediment.
Truth, like oil, comes to the surface.
Truth may be blamed, but can never be shamed.
Yet some would blame it because it. blames them. They are like the lady in the American story. Eli Perkins tells of an old maid with her face covered with wrinkles, turning from the mirror, saying, “Mirrors nowadays are very faulty. They don’t make such mirrors as they used to when I was young.”
Truth may come out of the devil’s mouth.
And then it is truth still; but he puts it in such a fashion that he means it to support a lie, or look like a lie..
Truth needs nothing to help it out.
Truth oft oppressed we may see; But quite suppress’d it cannot be..
A modern form of putting the same cheering sentiment is found in W. C. Bryant’s verse: “Truth, crushed to earth, shall rise again — The eternal years of God are hers; But error, wounded, writhes with pain, And dies among his worshippers.” Truth seeks no corners, and:fears no scorners.
Truth should not swim in the brain, but sink into the heart.
Truth will in the end prevail, Though it creepeth like a snail.
Its slow progress in a false world is not wonderful; but God is with it, and its victory is sure. It is not a snail, but a mighty angel of God.
Truth will sometimes break: out in unlooked-for places.
As it did in the monastery with Luther.
Truths, like roses., have thorns about them.
Hence one says, “Follow not truth too near dash out your teeth”; but this is evil advice. When the thorns of truth prick a man, they act as salutary lancets, and he may be thankful for the wholesome pain they bring. Try and Trust will move mountains.
Say raider — God will move the mountains if we truly trust him.
Try before you trust. “Take no man to your’ heart at sight, But prove his friendship strong; The man who often says you’re right, May oftenest think you wrong.” Try to suffer with such patience, that those around you not suffer.
As they will certainly do if you grow peevish and exacting. This precept is not so easy as it looks. It is well to be ill well.
Turn away from sin before sin turns you away from God.
Say to its pleasure, “Gentle Eve, I will have none of your apple.”
To hesitate is to yield; to yield is to go into bondage.
Turn over your store, and give to the poor.
Turn stumbling-blocks into stepping-stones.
Turn the cake in the ran.
Cook one side as well as the other. Attend to the whole of your business. Change the topic of conversation. Don’t keep always in one strain. As for yourself, be not as Ephraim, whom the prophet calls “a cake not trained.” Be gracious in all ways.
Turn your tongue seven times before speaking.
Two blacks don’t make a white.
If the other party is wrong it ‘will not make your wrong right. Mind this, and don’t defend yourself by defaming others.
Two cannot quarrel if one won’t.
A colored man related to a friend his plan for avoiding family jars in the following words: “I telled Betty, when we was wed, dat, if she saw me getting angry like, she must go to the bucket, and fill her mouth wid water; and if I saw her getting out of herself, I’d go to the bucket, and fill my mouth wid water. So we never had any quarrels, for one can’t quarrel alone, and anoder can’t quarrel wid you when his mouth’s full of water.”
Two cats and one mouse, Two women in one house, Two dogs to one bone:
These I let alone.
We don’t believe in this old saw, except in a special sense: and in that sense no good man would wish to have two women in one house. “No man can serve two masters.”
Two cocks on one dunghill will not long agree.
So that males as well as females fall out. Two big crowing men are best apart, for they are sure to fight. It would be well if they ceased from being so high and mighty, and then they might agree.
Two eyes are not sufficient to choose a wife by.
Not even if the ears and heart co-operate. We have need to con-suit the sacred oracle, and use our coolest judgment.
Two eyes, two ears, only one mouth.
See and hear twice, and speak but once.
Two fools in one family are two too many.
Two glasses of grog are two too many.
If you can stand them, you can stand better without them.
Two halves do not always make one.
A half and a better half ought to make one, but they do not. The fight is at times which one it shall be, and then things go to pieces.
Two heads are better than one, even if they are only sheep’s heads.
Two feeble minds may keep right by mutual advice where one strong-minded person hurries into folly. Speaking of sheep’s head reminds us of Douglas Jerrold. At a supper of sheepheads an enthusiast cried out. “Sheep’s heads for ever,” and the wag replied, “What egotism!”
Two of a trade seldom agree.
Competition is too apt to breed contention; but it must not be so among Christians.. Paul dwelt with brethren of his trade, “for they were tent-makers?
Two strings to your bow, and you’ll miss the target.
Have two strings to your belle, or two belles to your string, and you will not very readily get so far as the ring; though you are far more likely to get wrung by some indignant father or brother.
Two to one in all things against an angry man.
We do not insert this as a bet, but as a fact. He is too hot to be of cool judgment: his temper will lose him friends.
SAYINGS OF A MORE SPIRITUAL SORT.
Tears of repentance are good for the eyes.
But more certainly good for the heart. The tears of saints more. sweet by far Than all the songs of sinners are.
Tell thy God thy wish and care:
Turn thy sorrow into prayer.
So shall every want and wish become a way of approach to God, or at least a motive for communing with him. The supply of those wants will also be a way in which thy Lord will come to thee.
Temptations, like foul weather, come before we send for them.
Therefore, we should pray, “Lead us not into temptation”; and as that petition will not be universally and absolutely answered, we must acid, “But deliver us from. evil.”
That garment which ‘was worn to shreds on Adam’s back will never make a complete covering for mine.
Human righteousness soon dropped to shreds on the back of one whose nature was unfallen; therefore it will never suit us who are already sinful, and dwell in a sinful world.
That is best for us which is best for our souls.
For our souls are the best part of us.
The ark of God always pays for its entertainment, wheresoever it dwells.
Every Obed-edom will bear witness to this. Lot let angels in, and the angels led him out.
The armor-bearer of sin is self-confidence.
The best way to live in world is to live above it.
Old Romish pictures represent saints in prayer as lifted up from the earth. This is truth spiritually. Prayer and fasting produce an elevated condition of heart; and if this can be maintained, we escape the injurious tendency of our surroundings, and in a sense this corruptible puts on incorruption.
The cross of Christ is the key of Paradise.
The curse of the serpent rests on the seed of the serpent. Leighton writes: “Earthly men are daily partakers of the serpent’s curse; they go on their belly, and eat the dust.”
The death of carnal hope is. the beginning of spiritual life.
The death of Jesus is the ground of the believer’s life.
Let him stand upon it, and upon it only. If he shifts his ground, and relies upon his own experience, it goes ill with him.
The dew falls in due season.
Let us pray the Lord to send it on all holy ministries. “If not full showers of rain, yet, Lord, A little pearly dew afford; A little, if it come from thee, Will be of great avail to me.” — Christopher Harvey.
The earth will hide Bright eyes and pride.
The excellent of the earth can see no excellence in the earth. “My soul, what’s lighter than a feather? Wind.
Than wind? The fire. And what, than fire?
The mind. What’s lighter than the mind? A thought. Than thought?
This bubble world. What, than this bubble? Nought.” Quarles.
The fear of man weakens; the fear of God strengthens.
The gem cannot be polished without friction, nor man perfected without trial.
The gospel breaks hard hearts and heals broken hearts. The gospel is sweet music in a sinner’s ears.
Well it may be, for it brings life for death, pardon for guilt, peace for terror, and heaven instead of hell.
The great God sees even a little good.
His mercy makes him interpret hopefully every sign of grace. He spies out the first spark of desire, and fans it. If there be only a sigh of sorrow for sin it will ‘be heard in heaven.
The heart must be broken for sin and from sin.
There is a beautiful Persian aphorism to this effect: “Nothing that is broken bears any value; except the heart, which becomes more valuable the more it is broken.”
The hope of the hopeless is Jesus our hope.
Blessed be his name! We do well to put into his mouth, those words: — “The foolish, the feeble, the weak, are my care; The hopeless, the helpless,! hear their sad prayer.” The key of prayer can open any lock, and deliver any Peter from prison.
Four fours of soldiers cannot keep the man whom God sets free in answer to prayer; nor could four armies succeed any better. The iron gate opens of its own accord when prayer opens the hand of God. It is harder for us to pray than for God to answer.
The least sin should make us humble, but the greatest sin should not make us despair.
The less of man, the more of God. “None of self” is sweetly joined with “all of thee.” God uses weak instruments, that we may the better see his power.
The life of sin is the death of the sinner. “In South America there is a creeper which climbs, and enfolds and hangs in pendant festoons about certain trees, poisoning as it goes; it drinks the sap, sheds its destructive seeds, and multiplies its power of injury and death. It is called ‘ The Murderer,’ for its wellknown and fatal qualities. We cannot fail to think of the destroying power of sinful habits, how they commence in little things, yet creep and grow, spreading and hanging about character and life, drinking the strength, and poisoning vital energies.” M’ Michael.
The Lord will never help us to catch fish with dirty nets.
He will have his work done in a Cleanly style. “Be ye clean, that bear the vessels of the Lord.” — Isaiah 52:11.
The Lord’s-day is the lord of days.
Regard it as a right royal day. The head of seven is crowned from heaven. The day of the Lord is the lord of days.
The loss of gold is great, the loss of health is more; But the loss of Christ is such a loss as no man can restore.
A good verse to be printed ,on a card, and put into the hand of the careless.
The minister’s life is the life o£ his ministry.
People will not mind his words unless there is a holy life at the back of them. We must burn in our acts, and shine in our sermons.
The ministry is the best calling, but the worst trade.
To preach for a living is wretched hypocrisy; to preach for the living God is noble service. A prostituted pulpit is an awful sight.
The more you draw from God’s Word, the more you will find in it. “I see the oil of thy word will never leave increasing ‘whilst any bring an empty barrel. The Old Testament will still be a New Testament to him who comes with a fresh desire of information.” T Fuller.
The only way to keep our crowns is to cast them down at Christ’s feet.
The prayer of the heart is the heart of the prayer.
The language of the heart cannot be imitated. Talma, the famous actor, hearing of the death of his father, uttered a loud cry of distress. Soon after he murmured.. “Oh, that I could cry like that on the stage!” Too many prayers are but stage performances; the voice of the heart is not heard in them.
The promises, like a well-drawn picture, look on all that look on them with an eye of faith.
The reading of the Scriptures is the terror of devils. “It is written” is a weapon which the prince of devils dreads ; but a man cannot readily quote or use what he never reads.. “What’s wrang wi’ ye noo? I ‘thocht ye were a’ riehl,” said a ragged boy, himself rejoicing in the Savior, to another, who a few’ nights before professed to be able to trust Jesus, but who had again. begun to doubt. “What’s wrang wi’ ye noo?” “Man, I’m no richt yet,” replied the other, “for Satan’s aye tempting me.” “And what dae ye then?” asked his friend. “I try,” said he, “to sing a hymn.” “And does that no’ send him away?”” “No; I am as bad as ever.” “Weel,” said the other, “when he tempts ye again, try him wi’ a text; he canna staun that.”
The same sun that melts wax, hardens clay.
The holy influences which accompany the gospel produce in some greater hardness of heart. As the man is, such is the influence of preaching upon him, till the Spirit comes with power.
The sermon is not done till the hearer does it.
Coming home from the kirk a little sooner than usual, the good wife was asked by her husband, “What! is the sermon all done?”
She wisely answered, “No, Donald, it is all said, but it has not begun to be done yet.” Many sermons are done with, but not done.
The Son of God makes us sons of God.
This is the true sonship. That universal fatherhood which is so much cried up gives the lie to the great doctrines of adoption and regeneration, and it is itself a lie of the first magnitude.
The soul is the life of the body.
Faith is the life of the soul.
Christ is the life of faith.
The strongest objection to the Bible is a bad life.
The tear of repentance beautifies the eye of faith.
The tears of the congregation are the hope of the minister.
But they are disappointing, Men weep at the theater at the sight of a tragedy, or at a funeral in the presence of death,, but they wipe their eyes and forget all. It is much the same under sermons.
Broken hearts are better than flowing eyes.
The thorough Christian is the true Christian.
A man ‘who was in the habit of saying that although he was not what he should be, still., upon the whole, he was a good average kind of Christian, had given orders to a Christian man to construct a fence around his property. Meeting this man some days afterwards, he asked him if he had made a good fence. “Well,” was the reply “the ‘fence is not as it should be it is not very strong in certain parts, and there are gaps here and there; but it is a good average kind of fence.” The man at once, with great indignation, said, “What do you mean? Why, a fence of that kind is useless!” “Quite true,” was the answer,” and the man who is only a ,good average kind of Christian is not very much use either.”
The true Sabbath is to rest in Christ, His is that finished work which brings us endless rest. In him we ease from our own works as God did from his.
The water without the ship may toss it; but it is the water within the ship which sinks it.
Therefore, let not care leak into your soul. “Let not your heart be troubled,” even though your house may be.
The way to Canaan is through the wilderness.
Where there is no way God leads his people by a right ‘way.
The way to heaven is by Weeping-Cross. Repentance, with her clear wet eyes, Leads her children to the skies.
The will is no more free than it is made free by grace.
The free-will of a man who is under sin is sheer slavery; he that doth the will of God from the heart is free indeed.
The worst want is want of faith.
Faith will supply ever other want, but what shall we do should faith cease to draw from God All-sufficient?
There is an infidel in every man’s bosom An honest doubter is rare enough; but we are all born doubters of God, and of that holy truth which troubles us in our sins.
There is no reason for grace but grace.
God’s motive for mercy lies within herself. He loved his people because he would love them.
There is no water till God strikes the rock.
Often all is dry as the desert till the Lord encloses in his prevalence, and then he turns the thirsty land into a pool. So, too, there are no streams of repentance till the touch of grace creates a fountain in the heart of stone.
There’s a mountain of matter in every line of Scripture.
The moderns will not believe it; but the spiritual know that it is so.
One of the fathers rightly said, “I adore the infinity of Holy Scripture.” There is little fear nowadays that men will make too much of the Bible: the most of them make too little of it.
They are well. kept whom God keeps.
They that feel themselves lost are soon found.
This is one of the earliest signs of a work of grace in the soul.
Nothing can be truly found which was not first lost. Christ himself does not go after those sheep which have never gone astray.
They who sin the sin must bear the shame.
They who trust Christ’s death must copy his life.
We may not divide Christ. “Not a bone; of him shall be broken.” He must be our Exemplar, or he will not be our Savior.
Those who are alive to God’s glory are dead to vainglory.
Thus to seek earnestly the glory of God is the best preservative against pride and self-seeking.
Those who believe are those who receive.
Those who deal with God must deal upon trust.
Those who have heaven in their hopes should have heaven in their lives.
Those who love God love God’s Word.
Those who seek God, find him; and those who find him, seek him.
Those who think much of themselves, think little of Christ.
Those who welcome Christ may welcome death.
Those who wish to cross the seas Must not lose the favoring breeze.
Those who would enter heaven must use the blessed influences of the Holy Spirit. He bloweth when and where he pleases, and we must not neglect a single favorable opportunity.
Those who would get to heaven must get to Christ.
Though God may frown in the providence, he always smiles in the promise.
Though love will perfect fear remove, Yet most I fear when most I love.
This is not that slavish fear which has torment; but filial fear, which grows out of love, and is no enemy to joy.
To ask amiss is to ask and miss.
To be much like Christ, be much with Christ.
A painter in Rome was forbidden to copy a famous picture.
Determined not to be balked, he sat down in front of the painting and looked closely and steadfastly at it for half an hour every morning, He then hurried home and transferred one line or feature to his canvas. So he attained his object. If we would spend but half an hour each day in contemplating the grace and. beauty of our Divine Redeemer, by a spiritual process there would be a transference of those lines of grace and beauty into our characters.
To broken hearts Christ brings unbroken peace.
To die in the Lord, we must live to the Lord.
To God keep near throughout the year.
To have a portion in this world is mercy; but to have the world for our portion is misery.
To look upon a promise without a precept is the high road to presumption; to look upon a precept without a promise is ‘the high road to desperation.
To see the King is better than to see a thousand of his servants.
Make it your desire, in going to the house of God, that you may behold the beauty of the Lord while you inquire in his temple.
To win Christ is the greatest gain. TOO LATE is written on the gates of hell.
Trifling with sin is no trifling sin.
Trust not in the ordinances of God, but in the God of ordinances.
Trust God where you cannot trace him.
Especially leave the unknown future in his hands. What is the use of fretting beforehand? If evils come not, then our fears are vain, And if they come, our fears augment the pain.