Last modified on 2 November 2014, at 04:04

John Heywood

John Heywood (1497–1580) was an English writer known for his plays, poems, and collection of proverbs. He fled England for the Low Countries to avoid persecution as a Catholic.

SourcedEdit

  • The loss of wealth is loss of dirt,
    As sages in all times assert;
    The happy man's without a shirt.
    • Be Merry Friends; reported in Bartlett's Familiar Quotations, 10th ed. (1919).
  • Let the world slide, let the world go;
    A fig for care, and a fig for woe!
    If I can't pay, why I can owe,
    And death makes equal the high and low.
    • Be Merry Friends; reported in Bartlett's Familiar Quotations, 10th ed. (1919).
  • All a green willow, willow,
    All a green willow is my garland.
    • The Green Willow; reported in Bartlett's Familiar Quotations, 10th ed. (1919).

Proverbs (1546)Edit

Heywood did not invent what he calls "our common plaine pithie Proverbs olde." Rather, he collected and contextualized them:

  • … I write for this
    Remembering and considering what the pith is,
    That by remembrance of these proverbs may grow.
    In this tale, erst talked with a friend, I show
    As many of them as we could fitly find
    Falling to purpose, that might fall in mind.
    • Preface

Original orthography from the Spenser Society reprint of the 1562 edition (The Proverbs and Epigrams of John Heywood (A. D. 1562), 1867, Manchester: Charles Simms and Co.)

  • Beware of, Had I wist.
    • Part I, chapter 2.
  • Som thingis that prouoke young men to wed in haste,
    Show after weddyng, that hast maketh waste.
    • Some things that provoke young men to wed in haste,
      Show after wedding, that haste makes waste.
    • Part I, chapter 2.
  • And ones their hastie heate a littell controlde,
    Than perceiue they well, hotte love soone colde.
    And whan hasty witlesse mirth is mated weele,
    Good to be mery and wise, they thinke and feele.
  • And once their hasty heat a little controlled,
    Than perceive they well, hot love soon cold.
    And when hasty witless mirth is mated well,
    Good to be merry and wise, they think and feel.
    • Part I, chapter 2.
  • The more hast the lesse speede.
    • The more haste the less speed.
    • Part I, chapter 2.
  • Beaten with his owne rod.
    • Part I, chapter 2.
  • Looke or ye leape.
    • Look ere ye leap.
    • Look before you leap.
    • Part I, chapter 2.
  • He that will not whan he may,
    Whan he would, he shall haue nay.
    • He that will not when he may,
      When he would, he shall have nay.
    • Part I, chapter 3.
  • Than farewell riches, the fat is in the fire,
    And neuer shall I to like riches aspire.
    • Then farewell riches, the fat is in the fire,
      And never shall I to like riches aspire.
    • Part I, chapter 3.
  • Whan the sunne shinth make hay, whiche is to say,
    Take time whan time comth, lest time steale away.
    • When the sun shines make hay, which is to say,
      Take time when time comes, lest time steal away.
    • Part I, chapter 3.
  • The tide tarrieth no man.
    • Part I, chapter 3.
  • Time is tickell, and out of sight out of minde.
    Than catche and holde while I may, fast binde fast finde.
    • Time is fickle, and out of sight out of mind.
      Than catch and hold while I may, fast bind fast find.
    • Part I, chapter 3.
  • And while I at length debate and beate the bushe,
    There shall steppe in other men, and catche the burdes,
    And by long time lost in many vayne wurdes.
    • And while I at length debate and beat the bush,
      There shall step in other men, and catch the birds,
      And by long time lost in many vain words.
    • Part I, chapter 3.
  • Weddyng is desteny,
    And hangyng likewise.
    • Wedding is destiny,
      And hanging likewise.
    • Part I, chapter 3.
  • When the iron is hot, strike.
    • Part I, chapter 3.
  • While betweene two stooles my taile goe to the ground.
    • Part I, chapter 3.
  • So many heads so many wits.
    • Part I, chapter 3.
  • Happy man, happy dole.
    • Part I, chapter 3.
  • A hard beginnyng makth a good endyng.
    • A hard beginning makes a good ending.
    • Part I, chapter 4.
  • Like will to like.
    • Part I, chapter 4.
  • That muche is my bowe bent to shoote at these marks,
    And kyll feare, when the sky falth we shall haue larks.
    • That much is my bow bent to shoot at these marks,
      And kill fear, when the sky falls we shall have larks.
    • Part I, chapter 4.
  • Who hopeth in Gods helpe, his helpe can not starte:
    Nothing is impossible to a willyng hart,
    And will maie wyn my herte, herein to consent,
    To take all thinges as it cometh, and be content.
    • Who hopes in God's help, his help can not start:
      Nothing is impossible to a willing heart,
      And will may win my heart, herein to consent,
      To take all things as it comes, and be content.
    • Part I, chapter 4.
  • And also I shall to reueng former hurtis,
    Hold their noses to grinstone, and syt on theyr skurtis.
    • And also I shall to revenge former hurts,
      Hold their noses to grindstone, and sit on their skirts.
    • Part I, chapter 5.
  • When all candels be out, all cats be grey,
    All thingis are then of one colour, as who sey.
    And this prouerbe faith, for quenching hot desyre,
    Foul water as soone as fayre, will quenche hot fyre.
    • When all candles are out, all cats are grey,
      All things are then of one color, as who say.
      And this proverb faith, for quenching hot desire,
      Foul water as soon as faire, will quench hot fire.
    • Part I, chapter 5.
  • The nere to the churche, the ferther from God.
    • The nearer to the church, the farther from God.
    • Part I, chapter 9.
  • ... Better is to boow then breake.
    It hurteth not the tounge to geue fayre wurdis.
    The rough net is not the best catcher of Burdis.
    Sense ye can nought wyn, if ye can not please,
    Best is to suffre: For of sufferance comth ease.
    • Better is to bow than break.
      It hurts not the tongue to give faire words.
      The rough net is not the best catcher of Birds.
      Since you can not win, if you can not please,
      Best is to suffer: For of sufferance comes ease.
    • Part I, chapter 9.
  • Two heddis are better then one.
    • Two heads are better than one.
    • Part I, chapter 9.
  • Who waite for dead men shall goe long barefoote.
    • Part I, ch 9.
  • She speaketh as she would créepe into your bosome.
    And when the meale mouth hath woon the bottome
    of your stomake, than will the pickthanke it tell
    To your most enmies, you to bye and fell.
    To tell tales out of schoole, that is hir great lust.
    Looke what she knowth, blab it wist, out it must.
    • She speaks as she would creep into your bosom.
      And when the mealy mouth has won the bottom
      of your stomach, then will the pickthank it tell
      To your most enemies, you to buy and sell.
      To tell tales out of school, that is her great lust.
      Look what she knows, blab it wist, out it must.
    • Part I, chapter 10.
  • To hold with the hare and run with the hound.
    • Part I, chapter 10.
  • Well aunt (quoth Ales) all is well that endes well.
    Ye Ales, of a good begynnyng comth a good end.
    • Well aunt, said Ales, all is well that ends well.
      Yes Ales, of a good beginning comes a good end.
    • Part I, chapter 10.
  • True (quoth Ales) thinges doone can not be vndoone,
    Be they done in due tyme, to late, or to soone,
    But better late than neuer to repent this,
    To late (quoth my aunt) this repentance showd is,
    Whan the stéede is stolne shut the stable durre.
    • True, said Ales, things done can not be undone,
      Be they done in due time, too late, or too soon,
      But better late than never to repent this,
      To late, said my aunt, this repentance shown is,
      When the steed is stolen shut the stable door.
    • Part I, chapter 10
    • "Better late than never" is recorded earlier by Livy as Potius sero quam numquam. (book IV, sec. 23).
  • Ill wéede growth fast.
    • Ill weed grows fast.
    • Part I, chapter 10.
  • ... Be they wynners or loosers,
    … beggers should be no choosers.
    • … Be they winners or loosers,
      beggars should be not choosers.
    • Part I, chapter 10.
  • Lyke a pyckpurs pilgrim, ye prie and ye proule
    At rouers, to rob Peter and paie Poule.
    • Like a pickpurse pilgrim, you pry and you prowl
      At rovers, to rob Peter and pay Paul.
    • Part I, chapter 11.
  • A man maie well bring a horse to the water,
    but he can not make him drinke without he will.
    • A man may well bring a horse to the water,
      but he can not make him drink without he will.
    • Part I, chapter 11.
  • Rome was not built in one daie (quoth he) and yet stood
    Till it was finist, as some say, full faire.
    • Rome was not built in one day, said he, and yet stood
      Till it was finished, as some say, full fair.
    • Part I, chapter 11.
  • Children learne to créepe er they can learne to go.
    • Children learn to creep ere they can learn to go.
    • Part I, chapter 11.
  • Throw no gyft agayne at the geuers head,
    For better is halfe a lofe than no bread.
    • Throw no gift again at the giver's head,
      For better is half a loaf than no bread.
    • Part I, chapter 11.
  • Nought venter nought haue. spare to speake spare to spéede.
    Vnknowne vnkyst. it is loste that is vnsought.
    As good séeke nought (quoth I) as seeke and finde nought.
    • Naught venture naught have. spare to speak spare to speed.
      Unknown unkissed. it is lost that is unsought.
      As good seek nought, said I, as seek and find naught.
    • Part I, chapter 11.
  • Children and fooles can not ly.
    • Children and fools cannot lie.
    • Part I, chapter 11.
  • Who is wurs shod, than the shoemakers wyfe,
    With shops full of shoes all hir lyfe?
    • Who is worse shod, than the shoemakers wife,
      With shops full of shoes all her life?
    • Part I, chapter 11.
  • Ka me, ka the, one good tourne askth an other.
    • Serve me, serve thee, one good turn asks another.
    • Part I, chapter 11.
  • A heare of the dog that bote vs last night.
    • A hair of the dog that bit us last night.
    • Part I, chapter 11.
  • Proue thy fréende er thou haue néede, but in déede
    A fréende is neuer knoen tyll a man haue néede.
    • Prove your friend ere you have need, but in deed
      A friend is never known till a man have need.
    • Part I, chapter 11.
  • All thing is the woorse for the wearing.
    • Part II, chapter 1.
  • A woman hath nyne lyues like a cat.
    • A woman has nine lives like a cat.
    • Part II, chapter 4.
  • A penny for your thought.
    • Part II, chapter 4.
  • Ye can not sée the wood for trées.
    • You cannot see the wood for trees.
    • Part II, chapter 4.
  • Marke ye, how she hitteth me on the thombis (quoth hée)
    And ye taunt me tyt ouer thumb (quoth shée)
    Sens tyt for tat (quoth I) on euen hand is set.
    • Mark you, how she hits me on the thumbs, said he.
      And you taunt me tit over thumb, said she.
      Since tit for tat, said I, on even hand is set.
    • Part II, chapter 4.
  • Thrée maie a kepe counsayle, if two be away.
    • Three may keep counsel, if two be away.
    • Part II, chapter 5.
  • Many handis make light warke.
    • Many hands make light work.
    • Part II, chapter 5.
  • There is no fyre without some smoke.
    • There is no fire without some smoke.
    • Part II, chapter 5.
  • Set the cart before the hors.
    • Set the cart before the horse.
    • Part II, chapter 7.
  • The mo the merier, we all daie here and sée
    Ye, but the fewer the better fare (said hée)
    • The more the merrier, we all day hear and see
      You, but the fewer the better fare, said he.
    • Part II, chapter 7.
  • It is better to be
    An olde mans derlyng, than a yong mans werlyng.
    • It is better to be
      An old man's darling than a young man's warling.
    • Part II, chapter 7.
  • Ye set circumquaques to make me beleue
    Or thinke, that the moone is made of gréene chéese.
    • You set circumstances to make me believe
      Or think, that the moon is made of green cheese.
    • Part II, chapter 7.
  • Yes yes (quoth she) for all those wyse woordis vttred,
    I know on which syde my bread is buttred.
    But there will no butter cleaue on my breade.
    And on my bread any butter to be spreade.
    Euery promise that thou therin dost vtter,
    Is as sure as it were sealed with butter.
    • Yes yes, said she, for all those wise words uttered,
      I know on which side my bread is buttered.
      But there will no butter cleave on my bread.
      And on my bread any butter to be spread.
      Every promise that you therein do utter,
      Is as sure as it were sealed with butter.
    • Part II, chapter 7.
  • What man, loue me, loue me dog.
    • What man love me, love my dog.
    • Part II, chapter 9
  • An yll wynde that blowth no man to good.
    • An ill wind that blows no man to good.
    • Part II, chapter 9.
  • For whan I gaue you an ynche, ye tooke an ell.
    • For when I gave you an inch, you took an ell.
    • Part II, chapter 9.
  • Wolde ye bothe eate your cake, and haue your cake?
    • Would you both eat your cake, and have your cake?
    • Part II, chapter 9.
  • Praie and shifte eche one for him selfe, as he can.
    Euery man for him selfe, and god for us all.
    • Pray and shift each one for himself, as he can.
      Every man for himself, and God for us all.
    • Part II, chapter 9.
  • Though ye loue not to bye the pyg in the poke,
    Yet snatche ye at the poke, that the pyg is in,
    Not for the poke, but the pyg good chepe to wyn.
    • Though you love not to buy the pig in the poke,
      Yet snatch you at the poke, that the pig is in,
      Not for the poke, but the pig good cheap to win.
    • Part II, chapter 9.
  • This hitteth the nayle on the hed.
    • This hits the nail on the head.
    • Part II, chapter 11.

Bartlett's Familiar Quotations, 10th ed. (1919)Edit

Quotes reported in Bartlett's Familiar Quotations, 10th ed. (1919).
  • God never sends th' mouth but he sendeth meat.
    • Part I, chapter 4.
  • More frayd then hurt.
    • Part I, chapter 4.
  • Feare may force a man to cast beyond the moone.
    • Part I, chapter 4.
  • The wise man sayth, store is no sore.
    • Part I, chapter 5.
  • Let the world wagge, and take mine ease in myne Inne.
    • Part I, chapter 5.
  • Rule the rost.
    • Part I, chapter 5.
  • Better to give then to take.
    • Part I, chapter 5.
  • No man ought to looke a given horse in the mouth.
    • Part I, chapter 5.
  • I perfectly feele even at my fingers end.
    • Part I, chapter 6.
  • A sleveless errand.
    • Part I, chapter 7.
  • We both be at our wittes end.
    • Part I, chapter 8.
  • Reckeners without their host must recken twice.
    • Part I, chapter 8.
  • A day after the faire.
    • Part I, chapter 8.
  • Cut my cote after my cloth.
    • Part I, chapter 8.
  • Now for good lucke, cast an old shooe after me.
    • Part I, chapter 9.
  • A short horse is soone currid.
    • Part I, chapter 10.
  • She is nether fish nor flesh, nor good red herring.
    • Part I, chapter 10.
  • Shee had seene far in a milstone.
    • Part I, chapter 10.
  • Better late than never.
    • Part I, chapter 10.
  • When the steede is stolne, shut the stable durre.
    • Part I, chapter 10.
  • Pryde will have a fall;
    For pryde goeth before and shame commeth after.
    • Part I, chapter 10.
  • She looketh as butter would not melt in her mouth.
    • Part I, chapter 10.
  • The still sowe eats up all the draffe.
    • Part I, chapter 10.
  • Ill weede growth fast.
    • Part I, chapter 10.
  • It is a deere collop
    That is cut out of th' owne flesh.
    • Part I, chapter 10.
  • Beggars should be no choosers.
    • Part I, chapter 10.
  • Every cocke is proud on his owne dunghill.
    • Part I, chapter 11.
  • The rolling stone never gathereth mosse.
    • Part I, chapter 11.
  • To robbe Peter and pay Poule.
    • Part I, chapter 11.
  • A man may well bring a horse to the water,
    But he cannot make him drinke without he will.
    • Part I, chapter 11.
  • Men say, kinde will creepe where it may not goe.
    • Part I, chapter 11.
  • The cat would eate fish, and would not wet her feete.
    • Part I, chapter 11.
  • While the grasse groweth the horse starveth.
    • Part I, chapter 11.
  • Better one byrde in hand than ten in the wood.
    • Part I, chapter 11.
  • Rome was not built in one day.
    • Part I, chapter 11.
  • Yee have many strings to your bowe.
    • Part I, chapter 11.
  • Many small make a great.
    • Part I, chapter 11.
  • Children learne to creepe ere they can learne to goe.
    • Part I, chapter 11.
  • Better is halfe a lofe than no bread.
    • Part I, chapter 11.
  • Nought venter nought have.
    • Part I, chapter 11.
  • Children and fooles cannot lye.
    • Part I, chapter 11.
  • Set all at sixe and seven.
    • Part I, chapter 11.
  • All is fish that comth to net.
    • Part I, chapter 11.
  • Who is worse shod than the shoemaker's wife?
    • Part I, chapter 11.
  • One good turne asketh another.
    • Part I, chapter 11.
  • By hooke or crooke.
    • Part I, chapter 11.
  • She frieth in her owne grease.
    • Part I, chapter 11.
  • I pray thee let me and my fellow have
    A haire of the dog that bit us last night.
    • Part I, chapter 11.
  • This wonder (as wonders last) lasted nine daies.
    • Part II, chapter 1.
  • New brome swepth cleene.
    • Part II, chapter 1.
  • Burnt child fire dredth.
    • Part II, chapter 2.
  • All is not Gospell that thou doest speake.
    • Part II, chapter 2.
  • Love me litle, love me long.
    • Part II, chapter 2.
  • A fooles bolt is soone shot.
    • Part II, chapter 3.
  • A woman hath nine lives like a cat.
    • Part II, chapter 4.
  • A peny for your thought.
    • Part II, chapter 4.
  • You stand in your owne light.
    • Part II, chapter 4.
  • Though chaunge be no robbry.
    • Part II, chapter 4.
  • Might have gone further and have fared worse.
    • Part II, chapter 4.
  • The grey mare is the better horse.
    • Part II, chapter 4.
  • Three may keepe counsayle, if two be away.
    • Part II, chapter 5.
  • Small pitchers have wyde eares.
    • Part II, chapter 5.
  • Many hands make light warke.
    • Part II, chapter 5.
  • The greatest Clerkes be not the wisest men.
    • Part II, chapter 5.
  • Out of Gods blessing into the warme Sunne.
    • Part II, chapter 5.
  • There is no fire without some smoke.
    • Part II, chapter 5.
  • One swallow maketh not summer.
    • Part II, chapter 5.
  • Fieldes have eies and woods have eares.
    • Part II, chapter 5.
  • A cat may looke on a King.
    • Part II, chapter 5.
  • It is a foule byrd that fyleth his owne nest.
    • Part II, chapter 5.
  • Have yee him on the hip.
    • Part II, chapter 5.
  • Hee must have a long spoone, shall eat with the devill.
    • Part II, chapter 5.
  • It had need to bee
    A wylie mouse that should breed in the cats eare.
    • Part II, chapter 5.
  • Leape out of the frying pan into the fyre.
    • Part II, chapter 5.
  • Time trieth troth in every doubt.
    • Part II, chapter 5.
  • Mad as a march hare.
    • Part II, chapter 5.
  • Much water goeth by the mill
    That the miller knoweth not of.
    • Part II, chapter 5.
  • He must needes goe whom the devill doth drive.
    • Part II, chapter 7.
  • Set the cart before the horse.
    • Part II, chapter 7.
  • The moe the merrier.
    • Part II, chapter 7.
  • To th' end of a shot and beginning of a fray.
    • Part II, chapter 7.
  • It is better to be
    An old man's derling than a yong man's werling.
    • Part II, chapter 7.
  • Be the day never so long,
    Evermore at last they ring to evensong.
    • Part II, chapter 7.
  • The moone is made of a greene cheese.
    • Part II, chapter 7.
  • I know on which side my bread is buttred.
    • Part II, chapter 7.
  • It will not out of the flesh that is bred in the bone.
    • Part II, chapter 8.
  • Who is so deafe or so blinde as is hee
    That wilfully will neither heare nor see?
    • Part II, chapter 9.
  • The wrong sow by th' eare.
    • Part II, chapter 9.
  • Went in at the tone eare and out at the tother.
    • Part II, chapter 9.
  • Enough is as good as a feast.
    • Part II, chapter 11.

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