If you keep a seemingly useless thing for a long enough time, you will probably have some occasion to use it during that time. The proverb does not teach us to keep useless things for exactly seven... Read more →
Absolute monarchies are those in which all power is given to or, as is more often the case, taken by, the monarch. Examples of absolute power corrupting are Roman emperors (who declared themselves... Read more →
Sometimes you cannot get what you want by being careful and polite. Restraint and caution (or ‘pussyfooting’) achieve nothing. This is similar to the French 14th century proverb: chat engaunté... Read more →
People who have a lot to lose have a lot of worries but if you are poor you might sleep better. The rich man contemplating financial disaster or about to take a major risk might quote this out of... Read more →
An intelligent person can readily take a hint. Whoever is speaking to him knows that he does not need a long explanation. The Latin version is verbum sat sapienti, but we usually omit sat (enough)... Read more →
People are judged by what they do. The sources are Matthew, xii, 33 and Luke, vi, 44. Here is the second of these as given in the New English Bible: There is no such thing as a good tree... Read more →
This is a play on words. It means quite simply that some people are wise and others are not. The proverb is originally a quotation from the Scotish post Tobias Smollett in the original from of: Some... Read more →
This proverb teaches prudence on money. If your father promises to give you 500 dollars on your twentieth birthday, which is in six months time, don't borrow money on the strength of it. It is not... Read more →
Love has such power that it will overcome all difficulties.
Dr Brewer wrote of this: 'If you love me you must put up with my faults, my little ways, or (sometimes) my friends. A rather selfish maxim!'