John Wade.

Select proverbs of all nations : wise sayings and maxims of the ancient fathers, and The economy of human life online

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They generally expect to be lavored; and if not, there
arises animosity and ill-i'eeling.


Compliments cost nothing, yet many pay dear
for them.

Dependence is a poor trade.

Despair has ruined some, but presumption

Do as most do, and fewest will speak evil
of thee.

Do not buy of a huckster, nor be negligent
at an inn. Spanish.

Do not all that you can do ; spend not all
that you have; believe not all that you hear;
and tell not all that you know.

Drown not thyself to save a drowning man.

Do not ruin yourself to save a man, from whose character
or situation, there is no hooe of effectually serving.

Drinking water neither makes a man sick, nor
in debt, nor his wife a widow.

Drive thy business ; let not that drive thee.
Draw not thy bow before thy arrow be fixed.

Dirt is dirtiest upon clean white linen.

An imputation on a man of spotless character leaves the
foulest blot.


Do not close a letter without reading, or drink
water without seeing it. Spanish.

Dumb folks get no lands.

Too much diffidence, as well as too forward a disposition,
may impede a man's fortune.

Enough is a feast, to much a vanity.
Every one should sweep before his own door.
Every one must live by his trade.

Every man loves justice at another man's
house ; nobody cares for it at his own.

Every one thinks he hath more than his share
of brains.

Expect nothing from him who promises a great
deal. Italian.

Fancy may bolt bran, and think it flour.

Father, in reclaiming a child, should out-wit
him, and seldom beat him.

Fine dressing, is a fine house swept before the

For mad words, deaf ears.
Forecast is better than work hard.



For want of a nail the shoe is, for want
of a shoe the horse is lost, for want of a horse,
f he rider is lost

Showing how a small neglect sometimes breeds a groat

Flattery sits in the parlor, while plain dealing
_s kicked out of doors.

Fortune can take nothing from us but what
she gave.

Fortune knocks once at least at every man's

Good words cost nothing, but are wortn much.

God send us some money, for they are little
thought of that want it, quoth the Earl of Eg-
linton at prayer. Scotch.

Go not for every grief to the physician, for
every quarrel to the lawyer, nor for every thirst
to the pot. Italian.

God makes ana apparel shapes, but money
makes the man.

Good bargains are pick-pockets.

Grieving for misfortunes is adding gall to


Grandfather's servants are never good.

Give neither counsel nor salt till you are asKed
for it. Italian.

Give a clown your finger and he will take
your whole hand.

Have not the cloak to make when it begins
to rain.

Help hands, for I have no lands.

He may make a will upon his nail for any
thing he has to give.

He who pays well is master of another body's

He who shares has the worst share. Span.
He may find fault that cannot mend Scotch.

He who trust to the landlady at a tavern feels
it at home. Spanish.

He who would catch fish must not mind get-
ting wet. Spanish.

He who rises late neither hears mass nor eats
meat. Spanish.

He is idle that might be better employed.


He that falls in the dirt, the longer he lies
the dirtier he is.

He who will stop every man's mouth, must
have a great deal of meal.

He who works in the market-place has many

teachers. Spanish.

He that hath no silver in his purse, should
have silver on his tongue.

He that lives upon hope has but a slender diet.
He knows not a hawk from a handsaw.
He that died half a year ago is dead as Adam.

He who says what he likes, hears what he
does not like. Spanish.

He is not wise who is not wise for himself.

He that lends to all who will borrow, shows
great good will, but little wisdom.

He sends to the East Indies for Kentish pippins.

He that makes himself an ass, must not take
t ill if men ride him.

He is not drunk for nothing, who pays his
reason for his reckoning.


He has left his purse in his other breeches.

He plays well that wins.

Honors set off merit, as dress handsome per-


He that wears black must hang a brush at
his back.

He hath slept well that remembers not that
he hath slept ill.

He had need rise betimes that would please
every bodv.

He has riches enough, who needs neither bor-
row nor flatter.

He who has a trade may travel every where.

He who buys by the penny, keeps his own
house and other men's too.

He who studies his content wants it most.

He who knows not when to be silent, knows
not when to speak.


He has the Bible in his hand, and the Alco-
ran in his heart.

He scratches his head with one finger.

A Greek proverb, applied to persons of effeminate manners.

He is like a bagpipe ; you never hear him
till his belly is full.

He hath made a good progress in a business,
who hath thought well of it beforehand.

He who has an art has every where a part.

He is miserable once who feels it, but twice
who fears it before it comes.

He that spares when he is young, may spend
when ne is old.

He who promiseth runs in debt. Spanish

He that hears much, and speaks not all, shall
be welcome both in bower and hall.

He that buys a house ready wrought, has
many a pin and nail for nought.

The FRENCH say, ' II faut acheter maison fait, et femme a
faire.' A house ready made and a wife to make

He that laughs when he is alone, will make
sport in company.


He that converses not, knows nothing.

He that fears you present will hate you absent.

He that will thrive must rise at five; he that
hath thriven may lie till seven.

He who serves well, need not to be afraid to
ask his wages.

He is never likely to have a good thing cheap,
that is afraid to ask the price. French.

He who stumbles twice over one stone, it is
no wonder if he break his neck. Spanish.

He that canna mak sport should mar nane.

He that has a great nose thinks every body
is speaking of it.

He is an ill boy that goes like a top, no longer
than it is whipt.

He sneaks as if he would creep into his mouth.

He has ae face to God, anither to the devil.

He that by the plough would thrive, himself
must either hold or drive


Honey in the mouth saves the purse.
Honors change manners.

Hunting, hawking, and love, for one joy have
a hundred griefs. Scotch.

He who converses with nobody, is either a
brute or an angel.

Idle folks have the most labor.

Idle men are dead all their life long.

Idleness is tne greatest prodigality in the world.
I sell nothing on trust till to-morrow.

"Written on the shop doors.

If an ass goes a traveling, he will not come
home a horse.

If you will be Pope, you must think of noth-
ing else.

If you would succeed in any undertaking of importance,
you must devote all your mind and attention to it.

If you will not hear reason, she will surely
rap your knuckles.

Industry is fortune's right hand ; frugality,
her left.


If better -were vnthin, better would come out.

If you liave a loitering servant, place his dinner
before him and send him on an errand. Spanish.

Idle folks have mostly the sharpest appetites, and a bribe,
in the shape of something to eat or drink, puts them
the soonest in motion.

If you wish a thing done, go ; if not, send.

If youth knew what age would crave, it would
both get and save.

If you make money your god, it will plague
you like the devil.

If the counsel be good, no matter who gave it.

It is more easy to praise poverty than to bear
t. Italian.

In affairs of this world, men are caved not by
faith but by the want of it.

If you be not ill, be not ill-like.

If fools went not to market bad ware would
not be sold. Spanish.

It is hard for an empty bag to stand upright.

If you play with a fool at home, he will play
with you abroad. Spanish.


Impudence and wit are vastly different.

It is a pity that those who taught you to talk,
did not also teach you to hold your tongue.

If you would make an enemy, lend a man
money and ask for it again. Portuguese.

It is to late to spare when the bottom is
bare. Scotch.

Jests, like sweetmeats, have often sour sauce.

Keep a thing seven years and you will find
a use for it. Gaelic.

Keep out of a hasty man's way for a while ;
out of a sullen man's, all the days of your life.

Keep your thoughts to yourself; let your mien
be free and open.

Keep something for a sair fit. Scotch.

Keep aloof from quarrels ; be neither a witness
nor a party.

t choler be a common soldier, not a com-

Let us be friends, and put out the devil's eyes.
Little said is soon amended.


Let your letter stay for the post, and not the
post for your letter. Italian.

Loquacity is the fistula of the soul, ever run-
ning and never cured.

Liberality is not in giving largely, but in giving

Lucky men need no counsel.

Lying rides on debt's back.

To put off our creditors we have recourse to subterfuges,
which, if not absolute lying, are a near approach to it.

Long is the arm of the needy. Gaelic.

Many there be that buy nothing with their
money but repentance.

Make hay while the sun shines.
Make a wrong step and down you go.
More nice than wise.

Modest appearance, good humor, and t>ru-
dence, make a gentleman.

Make yourself all honey, and the flies will
devour you. Italian.

Money makes the man perfect.


Many talk like philosophers, and live like fools.

Masters should be sometimes blind and some-
times de af.

Men apt to promise, are apt to forget.

Nothing should oe done in haste but gripping
of fleas. Scotch.

Nature sets every thing for sale to labor.
Neither give to all, nor contend with fools.

Not to oversee workmen is to leave them your
uurse open.

None so old that he hopes not for a year of life.
Never loose a hog for a halfpenny worth of tar.

No sweet without some sweat ; without pains
no gains.

Never sign, a writing till you have read it, nor
drink wine until you have seen it. Spanish.

Neither great poverty, nor great riches, will
hear riches.

Out of debt, out of danger.

Overdoing is doing nothing to the purpose.

160 rn u v . K D u r A L I, _> -i i i u A n .

One that is perfectly idle is perfectly weary
too, and knows not what he would have or do.

Of money, wit, and virtue, believe one fourth
of what you hear.

One barber shaves not so close but another
finds work

Of little meddling comes great ease.
Of saving cometh having.

Owe money to be paid at Easter, and Lent
will seem short to you

One ounce of discretion is worlh a pound of

Pay as vou go and keep from small score.

Pains to get, care to keep, fear to lose

Past labor is pleasant.

Poverty is the mother .of all arts.

Provide for the "Worst, the best will save itself.

Poverty breaks covenants.

Poverty makes a man acquainted with strange
bed- fellows.


Poverty is no baseness, but it is a branch of

"He whom the dread of want ensnares,
With baseness acts, with meanness bears."

Poverty is an evil counsellor.
Poverty breeds strife.

Poverty craves many things, but avarice more

Poverty has no shame.

Purposing without performing, is mere fooling.

Praise without profit, puts little into the pocket

Quality without quantity is little thought of.

Quarreling dogs come halting nome.
Quick landlords make careful tenants.
Quiet persons are welcome every where.
Quick returns make rich merchants. Scotch.

Rise early and you will see ; wake and you
will get wealth. Spanish.

Riches, like manure, do no good till they are



Riches may at any time be left, but not poverty.
Running hares do not need the spur. Italian.

See, listen, and be silent, and you will live in
p e ac e . Italian

Silks and satins put out the kitchen fire, w

So much of passion, so much of nothing to the

Speak well of your friend, of your enemy say

Spare to speak spare to speed.

Some have been thought brave because they
were afraid to run away.

Sit in your place and none can make you rise.

Spend not where you may save ; spare not
where you must spend.

Spend and be free, t> make no waste.

Speak little and to the purpose, and you will
pao 1 * for somebody.

Setdi? down in writing is a lasting memory.
Some 2 re ver^ busy, and yet do nothing.


Take time while time is, for time will way.
Talking pays no toll.

Tell not all you know, nor do all you can.-/ta/.
That which is well done is twice done.
Think of ease but work on.

The stone that lies not in your way, need not
offend you.

The best throw upon the dice is to throw them

The best of the game is, to do one's business
and to talk little of it.

The sweat of Adam's brow has streamed down
ours ever since.

The present fashion is always handsome.

The fox's wiles will never enter into the lion's

The dearer it is, the cheaper it is to me, tor
I shall buy the less.

The head grey, and no brains yet!
The more wit, the less^ courage.


There are no coxcombs so troublesome, as
those that have some wit.

The foolish Alchymist sought to make gold of
iron, and made iron of gold. Italian.

The poor man's wisdom is as useless as a pal-
ace in a wilderness.

The sluggard's guise loth to bed and loth to

The eye of the master doth more than both

The poor do penance for the follies of their
superiors. Italian.

There is a knack of appearing knowing, if
we can only be silent.

The king of good fellows is appointed for the
queen of beggars.

The fool wonders, the wise man travels.
The horse-shoe that clatters wants a nail.-Span.

Applied to those who boast most of their wealth, when
in the greatest difficulties.

The less wit a man has, the less he knows
he wants it.


The abuse of riches is worse than the want
of them.

There are two things men ought to take special care of;
their health and their pockets. If either of these be
indisposed, God help the sufferer. The Italians say,
" Poverty is half a sickness ;" but of the two, I think
the health had better be low than the pocket. In sick-
ness we need little, but in health our wants are like
armed men, and must be satisfied. Bacon says, "Knowl-
edge is power," but the wisdom of a poor man goes a
very little way, while the loquacity of a rich fool carries
every thing before it. Poverty is real slavery bodily
and mental. By all means then we ought to get money;
not to hoard but to spend to procure enjoyment, liberty
independence, and above all, the power of doiug good.

To him that wills, ways are seldom wanting.
The holidays of joy are the vigils of sorrow.
The study of vain things is laborious idleness.
They may know the workmen from his work.

The true art of making gold, is to have a good
estate, and spend little of it.

The poor man's budget is full of schemes. - ^
The more riches a fool nath, the foolisher he is.
The easiest way to dignity is humility.
That is a wise delay which makes the road safe.


Though a coat be ever so fine, which a fool
wears, yet it is but a fool's coat.

Try your friend with a falsehood, and if he
keep it a secret tell him the truth.

The more you court a mean man, the statelier
he grows. Spanish.

To believe a business impossible, is the way
t,o make it so.

That man is cheaply bought who costs but a

The greatest wealth is contentment with a

There is more trouble in having nothing to do,
than in having much to do.

To be proud of an hereditary title is to flaunt
in a dead man's clothes.

True valor is fire; bullying is smoke.

To whom you betray your secret, you give
your liberty.

Too much familiarity breeds contempt.

PLUTARCH observes that, out of three of the best things,
three of the worst arise : from truth, hatred ; from famil-
iarity, contempt ; from happiness, envy.


Trouble not your head about the weather, nor
the government.

Virtue itself without good manners, is laugh-
ed at.

Venture thy opinion, but not thyself for thy

Unbidden guests know not where to sit down
Unexperienced men think all things easy.
Use soft words and hard arguments.
Wealth makes worship.
Wealth is best known by want.

Well to work and make a fire, it doth care
and skill require.

When flatterers meet, the devil goes to dinner.

Who spends more than he should, shall not
have to spend when he would.

We hate delay; yet it makes us wise.

We never know the worth of water till the
well is dry.

wnere necessity pinches, boldness is prudence.


Wit it is folly, unless a wise man has the keep-
ing of it.

Witn foxes we must play the fox.

When necessity comes in, tnrn modesty out.

Wine and youth are fire upon fire.

Who more brag than they that have least to do.

Worth, without wealth, is a good servant out
of place.

W T hat the better is the house for the sluggard
rising early.

Wealth is not his who gets it, but his who
enjoys it.

When a man is not liked, whatever he does
is amiss.

Who will not keep a penny shall never have

Wrinkled purses make wrinkled faces.

When a fool has bethought himself, the mar-
ket is over.

When you have any business with a man,
give him title enough.


When you have bought one thing you must
buy ten more, so that your appearance may be
all of a piece.

When either side grows warm with argument,
the wisest man gives over first.

Weigh right, if you sell dear.

Write down the advice of him who loves you,
though you like it not at present.

W^ould you know the value of money, go and
borrow some. Spanish.

W T hen you meet with a fool, pretend business

to get rid of him.


Who buys has need of a hundred eyes, who
sells has enough of one.

We are bound to be honest, but not to be rich.

When the door is shut the work improves.-^/?.

You are less liable to be interrupted, or have your atten-
tion withdrawn from your business.

What tutor shall we find for a child sixty
years old !

When you obey your superiors, you instruct
jour inferiors.


When a man's coat is threadbare, it is easy
to pick a hole in it.

When a man is unfortunate and reduced in the world, any
one may find fault with his conduct.

When the horse is stolen, you shut the stable

When gold speaks, all tongues are silent. /to/.
Who has nothing in this world is nothing.-/^//.

When your companions get drunk and fight,
ake up your hat and wish them good night.

You must be content sometimes with rough

You may tell an idle fellow if you but see
him at dinner.

You may offer a bribe without fear of having
your throat cut.

You have good manners, but never carry them
about you.

You must cut your coat according to your cloth.

Your looking-glass will tell you what none
of your friends will.

You gazed at the moon and fell in the gutter.



'What is a gentleman without his recreations!" OLD PLAY.

IN the Games and Diversions of a people, we
may trace the distinguishing features of the na-
tional character ; and the rude pastimes of our
ancestors are a practical illustration of the cour-
' age and hardiness for which they were celebra-
ted. Some of the old sports would be incompa-
tible with the refinement of the present day, but
others are of a nature less objectionable, and the
memory of which is worthy of preservation.
Many of the ancient Games and Holidays were
rural festivities, commemorative of the return of
the seasons, and not only innocent in themselves,
but conducive to health and good-fellowship.
Of this description were the May-Games, the
Harvest-supper, the Feast of Sheep Shearing,
Midsummer Eve rejoicings, and the celebration of
the New Year: all these may be traced to the
earliest times ; indeed they are coeval with socie-
ty, and the Feast of the Tabernacle among the
Jews, and the ancient honors paid to Ceres, Bac-
chus, and Saturn by the heathens, were only an-
alogous observances, under a different apella-


A revival of some of the old Sports and Pas-
times would, probably, be an improvement in na-
tional manners ; and the modern attractions of


Rouge ct Noir, French hazard, Roulette, "blue ru-
in," and muddy porter, be beneficially exchanged
for the more healthy recreations of former ages.
"Worse practices within doors," as .S to we re-
marks, "it is to be feared, have succeeded the
more open pastimes of the older time."

The recreations of our Saxon ancestors were
such as were common among the ancient North-
ern nations ; consisting mostly of robust exerci-
ses, as hunting, hawking, leaping, running, wrest-
ling, and casting of darts. They were also much
addicted to gaming; a propensity unfortunately
transmitted, unimpaired, to their descendants of
the present day. Chess was a favorite game with
them, and likewise backgammon, said to have
been invented about the tenth century. The
Normans introduced the chivalrous games of
tournaments and justs. These last became very
prevalent as we learn from a satirical poem of
the thirteenth century, a verse from which has
been thus rendered by STRUTT in his "Snorts and

"If wealth, Sir Knight perchance be thine,
In tournaments you're bound to shine,
Refuse and all the world will swear.
You are not worth a rotten pear."

When the military enthusiasm which charac-
terized the middle ages had subsided, and chiv-


airy was on the decline, a prodigious change took
place in the manners of the people. Violent ex-
ercises grew out of fashion with persons of rank,
and the example of nobility was followed by other
classes. Henry VII. Henry VIII. and James I,
endeavored to revive the ancient military exerci-
ses, but with only ephemeral success.

We learn from Burton, in his "Anatomy of
Melancholy," what were the most prevalent
sports at the end of the sixteenth century.*
Hunting, hawking, running at rings, tilts and tour-
naments, horse-races and wild-goose chases,
were the pastimes of the gentry ; while the low-
er classes recreated themselves at May-Games,
Wakes, Whitson Ales ; by ringing of bells ; bow-
ling, shooting, wrestling, leaping, pitching the
bar, playing with keel pins, coits, tronks, was-
ters, foils, foot-ball, balown, and running at the
quintain. Speaking of the Londoners, Burton
says, 'They take pleasure to see some pageant
or sight go by, as at a cornation wedding, and
such like solemn niceties ; to see an ambassador
or prince received and entertained with masks,

*In his dry way, Old Burton says, cards, dice, hawkes and
hounds, are rocks upon which men lose themselves when they
are improperly handled and beyond their fortunes." Hunting
and hawking, he allows, are honest recreations, and fit for
some gteat men, but not for every base and inferior person,
who, while they maintain their faulkoner, and dogs, and hunting
na^s, their wealth runs away with their hounds, and their far-
tunes fly away with hawkes.''


shows, and fireworks.' The following he con-
siders common amusements, both in town and
country namely, "bull-baitings, and bear-bait-
ings, in which our countrymen and citizens great-
ly delight and frequently use ; dancers on ropes,
jugglers, comedies, tragedies, artillery gardens,
and cock-fighting." The winter recreations con-
sisted of cards, dice, tables, shovelboard, chess,
the philosopher's game, shuttlecock, billiards, mu-
sic, mask, dancing, ule-games, riddles, cross pur-
poses, merry tales of knights errant, thieves,
witches, fairies, and goblins.

In addition to the May-games, morris-dancing,
pageants, and processions, which were common
throughout the kingdom, the Londoners had pe-
culiar privileges of hunting, hawking, and fish-
ing; they had also large portions of ground allot-
ted to them in the vicinity of the city, for the
practice of such pastimes as were not prohibited;
and for those, especially, that were conducive to

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Online LibraryJohn WadeSelect proverbs of all nations : wise sayings and maxims of the ancient fathers, and The economy of human life → online text (page 6 of 17)