: PLACES AND FAMILIES
: Popular Rhymes And Nursery Tales
Lazy Lawrence, let me go,
Don't me hold summer and winter too.
This distich is said by a boy who feels very lazy, yet wishes to exert
himself. Lazy Lawrence is a proverbial expression for an idle person,
and I possess an old chapbook, entitled "the History of Lawrence Lazy,
containing his birth and slothful breeding; how he served the
schoolmaster, his wife, the squire's cook, and the farmer, which,
laws of Lubberland, was accounted high treason." A West country proverb,
relating to a disciple of this hero, runs thus:
Loth to go to bed,
And loth to rise.
March will search, April will try,
May will tell ye if ye'll live or die.
Sow in the sop,
'Twill be heavy a-top.
That is, land in a soppy or wet state is in a favorable condition for
receiving seed; a statement, however, somewhat questionable.
A cat may look at a king,
And surely I may look at an ugly thing.
Said in derision by one child to another, who complains of being stared
He that hath it and will not keep it,
He that wanteth it and will not seek it;
He that drinketh and is not dry,
Shall want money as well as I.
From Howell's English Proverbs, 1659, p. 21.
Gray's Inn for walks,
Lincoln's Inn for a wall;
The Inner-Temple for a garden,
And the Middle for a hall.
A proverb, no doubt, true in former times, but now only partially
In time of prosperity friends will be plenty,
In time of adversity not one amongst twenty.
From Howell's English Proverbs, p. 20. The expression not one amongst
twenty is a generic one for not one out of a large number. It occurs in
Shakespeare's Much Ado About Nothing, v. 2.
Like master like man.
From an old manuscript political treatise, dated 1652, entitled a Cat
may look at a King.
Beer a bumble,
'Twill kill you
Afore 'twill make ye tumble.
A proverbial phrase applied to very small beer, implying that no
quantity of it will cause intoxication.
No stakes, no draw!
A saying by which a person, who has lost a verbal wager, avoids payment
on the plea of no stakes having been deposited.
As foolish as monkeys till twenty and more,
As bold as a lion till forty-and-four;
As cunning as foxes till three score and ten,
We then become asses, and are no more men.
These proverbial lines were obtained from Lancashire. An early version
occurs in Tusser, p. 199.
They that wash on Monday
Have a whole week to dry;
They that wash on Tuesday
Are not so much agye;
They that wash on Wednesday
May get their clothes clean;
They that wash on Thursday
Are not so much to mean;
They that wash on Friday
Wash for their need;
But they that wash on Saturday
Are clarty-paps indeed!
A North country version of these common proverbial lines, given by Mr.
Denham, p. 16. Clarty-paps are dirty sluts.
The children of Holland
Take pleasure in making
What the children of England
Take pleasure in breaking.
Alluding to toys, a great number of which are imported into this country