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He'll go to law for the wagging of a straw.
dern European languages, and is of four or five hundred years
i Ram Alley, or Merry Tricks, Lond. 1636. Another conjecture is, that some mean husbands, availing themselves
of the beauty of their wives, have turned it to account by prosti. tuting them, obtaining, by this means, the Cornu copiæ, or, in the language of modern gallantry, tipping the horns with gold ! Shakspeare and Ben Jonson seem to have both considered the
Horns in this light: « Well may he sleep in security, for he hath the horn of abundance,
and the lightness of his wife shines through it: and yet he can• not see, though he hath his own lanthorn to light him."
K. Hen. IV. 2nd Part. A. i. Sc. 4. " What! never sigh, Be of good cheer, for thou art a cuckold. 'Tis done, 'tis done! nay, when such flowing store, Plenty itself, falls in my wife's lap, The Cornu Copie will be mine, I know.”
Every Man in his Humour, A. iii. Sc. 6. Another derives the word “horns” from the custom of blowing
horns in the streets, on occasions of extraordinary news or proclamation made by sound of trumpet; and supposes the horns are
only public opinion, spreading abroad the infamy of the husband. He looks as if he had neither won nor lost.' The grey mare is the better borse. Yon measure every one's corn by your own bushel. I can see as far into a mill-stone as another man. To make a mountain of a mole-hill.
It will be a nosegay to him as long as he lives." ...
It will stink in his nostrils. To rip up old sores, The lady in the straw. An expression signifying the lady brought to bed; and, according
to Brand, derived from the circumstance, that all beds were anciently stuffed with straw, so that it is synonimous with saying
“ the lady in bed," or that is confined to her bed. Penny wise, and pound foolish. He is put to bed with a shovel :-i.e. buried. She is like a Waterford heifer, beef to the beels-Irish. You shall ride an inch behind the tail. To rob Peter to pay Pauh .. To have rods in pickle for onė.. Riding Skimmington. A ludicrous procession in ridicule of a man beaten by his wife. It
consists of a man riding behind a woman, with his face to the horse's tail, holding a distaff in his hand, at which he seems to work, the woman all the while beating him with a ladle: a smoek, displayed on a distaff, is carried before them, as an emblematical standard, denoting female superiority: the whole accompanied by the matrimonial musie of bull's horns, fryingpans, marrow-bones and cleavers. Skimmington is the name of an arrant scold, most probably from some one famous in that
line. You gather a rod for your own breech. To row one way and look another. Fair and softly, as lawyers go to heaven. To spare at the spigot and let out at the bung-hole. Abraham-men, or Tom of Bedlam's Men, or Bedlam Beggars. A set of vagabonds who wandered about the country soon after the
dissolution of the religious houses; the provision for the poor
among sailors.--Nares's Glossary.
You must take the fat with the lean.
from the occupation of St. Peter.
used to frighten children.
To cheat him :
great heir.”—May Day. To carry two faces under one hood. To have two strings to one's bow. What wind blew you hither ? God send you more wit, and me more money. To have the wolf by the ear. A man having a doubtful business in hand, which it is equally ha
zardous to pursue or abandon; as it is to hold, or let go, a wolf
we have by the ears. You cannot see wood for trees. She wears the breeches. That is, assumes the place and authority of the husband: “Children rule, old men go to school, women wear the breeches.."
Anatomy of Melancholy. Words may pass, but blows fall heavy. He's Yorkshire. The Italians say, “ E' Spoletino.” He is of Spoleto; he is a cun
SIMILIES AND OLD SAWS. As busy as a bee. As cold as charity. As lazy as Ludlam's dog, that leaned his head against a wall
to bark. As mad as a March hare. As nice as a nun's hen. As: plain as a pike-staff. As seasonable as snow in summer. As deep drinks the goose as the gander. As demure as if butter would not melt in her mouth. As slender in the middle, as a cow in the waist. As spiteful as an old maid. As the wind blows, you must set your saili He stands like Mump-hazard, who was hung for saying no
thing.–Cheshire. Like the parson of Saddleworth, who could read in no bock
but his own.-Cheshire. As lawless as a town bull. As like as two peas. As love thinks no evil,"so envy speaks no good. As nimble as a cow in a cage. As often as we do good, we sacrifice. As often as thou doest wrong, justice has thee on the score. As true as the dial to the sun. As virtue is its own reward, so vice is its own punishment. As wary as a blind horse. As welcome as water in one's shoes, As wilful as a pig that will neither lead nor drive. As a cat loves mustard. As brisk as a bee in a tar pot.
As wise as Waltham's calf, that ran nine miles to suck a bull.
over it with a terrific and malicious grin, as engying, saith
Fuller, man's “ costly devotion.”
As plain as the nose on a man's face. • As poor as Job.
To strut like a crow in a gutter,