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What you want to say, say it tomorrow. (Japanese).

“Think before you speak." (English). When a tree is blown down, it shows that the branches are

larger than the roots. (Chinese).
Misfortune shows whether a man is strong in pro-

fession only, or in character.
We live in our roots not in our branches. What is

your soul? Not, what is your talk? What is your quality? Not, what is your pretension or profession? How many men there are who are all branch! What will become of them? Ask the

wind.”—Joseph Parker. When death comes, the dog presses up to the wall of the

mosque. (Osmanli).
When death draws near, men turn toward religion

for comfort and strength. When he was born, Solomon passed by his door and would

not go in. (Spanish).
He might have been a wise man, but he is nothing

but a fool. Applied to people who seem to be

lacking in common sense. With an old kettle one can buy a new one. (Spanish).

An old man with money can marry a young girl if

he wishes to do so.

Within two and a half fingers' breadth of the sky.

His conceit is so great that he acts as though his

head almost reached to the sky.

You may blow till your eyes start out, but if once you offer

to stir your fingers you will be at the end of your lesson. (Gascon).

This saying alludes to one blowing on a reed-pipe. “We can say, Cicero says thus; these were the

manners of Plato; these are the very words of Aristotle. But what do we say ourselves that is our own? What do we do? What do we judge? A parrot could say as much as that."- Michael

de Montaigne.

You will give I know, but you will eat your shoes. (Kash


To “eat your shoe" is to be beaten with a shoe.
You will pay your debt, but not until you are

compelled to do so by a thrashing.



A black beginning mak's aye a black end. (Scotch).

Said to have been first spoken by one, John Scott,

as a comment on the loss of a flock of sheep that perished in Selkirkshire, Scotland, during the winter of 1620. Only one black ewe escaped, but it was afterwards driven into a lake by some boys and so was drowned.

A black goat has no heart. (Behar).

Applied to weak and timid men who have no

courage. Among the natives of Behar, the bile of a black goat

is considered valuable because of its healing

qualities. The following tale indicates the origin of the pro

verb: “Once a tiger, who had grown sick and feeble from

age, and was unable to hunt owing to failing strength, was strongly recommended by his physician to try the liver of a black goat. Thereupon the monarch of the forest ordered his vazir, the jackal, to get him a black goat. The wily Jack' by many false promises managed to inveigle a black goat within reach of his infirm master, who took no time in killing it. The cunning jackal, who was himself eager to eat the liver, having heard of its marvellous powers, suggested to his master a preparatory bath before taking the remedy. The tiger approving of the suggestion went to have a bath. In the meantime Jack' devoured the liver of the black goat. When the tiger came back he was surprised to find that the goat had no liver. Turning to the jackal the tiger asked what was the meaning of this. "Sire,' exclaimed the ‘Jack,' 'I thought your majesty was aware that black goats had no liver; otherwise how could your servant have deceived a black goat into your presence?'"John Christian in Behar Proverbs.

A camel for a farthing and still too dear. (Persian).

Used to indicate poverty so extreme that a farthing

seemed to be a large sum. According to an old Persian story a merchant,

having met with business reverses, was reduced to extreme poverty. When in this condition he happened to be in a place where a man had a camel to sell. The merchant's son went to the camel dealer and inquired the price of the animal. On being told that it could be purchased for a farthing he informed his father, who declared that the price was too high. In time business success returned to the merchant and he became rich. Travelling again with his son, he came to a village where an egg was on sale for a rupee. The young man, hearing what was charged for it, told his father, who at once expressed the opinion that it was very cheap at the price, his changed standards being due not to his knowledge of

value but to his altered circumstances. A goat has only three legs. (Hindustani).

Sometimes it is quoted, “The hare has only three

legs,' or “The fowl has only one leg. The phrase is used in referring to obstinate people who, though they are convicted of error, will not

acknowledge that they are wrong. It is said to have been first used by a man who,

having stolen a leg of a goat, hare, or fowl, sought to prove his innocence by stubbornly insisting that the animal did not possess by nature more

legs than could be seen. Agreement with two people, lamentation with three.


“Two is company, but three is none." (English). The proverb came from the following story: A

certain man ordered a servant to lead his horse to pasture in a near village where there was some good grass and charged him not to mount the animal by the way. After his departure he suspected that his servant might disregard his injunction and he dispatched another servant to see that his directions were carried out. On overtaking the man the messenger found him leading the horse as he was told and the two walked on together. In the course of time they became weary and cat by the roadside to rest. When they arose they agreed that it would be easier to ride than walk and so mounting the animal they pursued their way, The master, still being anxious, sent a third servant who, on overtaking the couple on horseback, remonstrated with them on account of their unfaithfulness and threatened to report them. “Do not do it,” they pleaded, "but come join us in our ride." Yielding to their wishes he mounted the horse and the three men rode on until they came to the pasture land. The next morning the horse died and the unfaithful servants were in great distress lest their actions should come to the knowledge of the master.

A man was once hanged for leaving his drink. (Scotch).

"He will be hanged for leaving his liquor, like the

saddler of Bawtry,” is a parallel proverb upon

which comment is made elsewhere. The proverb is usually applied to men who leave

their drink before they are through, and originated in the action of Balthazar Gérard just before he

murdered the Prince of Orange. As gude may haud the stirrup as he that loups on. (Scotch).

The phrase is said to have originated with Elliot of

Stobbs who, knowing that his stable-boy was the illegitimate son of Elliot of Larriston, was in the habit of remarking, “Better he that holds the stirrup than he that rides, "when hemounted his horse. The young man afterwards succeeded in amassing a fortune and purchased the ancestral estate.


As musical as the cow that ate the piper. (Irish).

Binny Bryan was a famous piper. On his round one day he found a dead Hessian, and tricd to pull off his boots, but pulled off his legs along

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