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Adage   Listen
noun
Adage  n.  An old saying, which has obtained credit by long use; a proverb. "Letting "I dare not" wait upon "I would," Like the poor cat i' the adage."
Synonyms: Axiom; maxim; aphorism; proverb; saying; saw; apothegm. See Axiom.






Collaborative International Dictionary of English 0.48








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"Adage" Quotes from Famous Books



... had come to buy up all the mines in the place and must be a man of importance. "Oh," said his mate, "any one could see 'e was a toff—I seed him black 'is boots and brush his teeth." "Yes, and 'e wears a —— collar too." Thus was exemplified the old adage "Fine feathers make ...
— Spinifex and Sand - Five Years' Pioneering and Exploration in Western Australia • David W Carnegie

... in this chapter to have studied the old proverb, fas est ab hoste doceri; but except in the leading political advice of the section, he might have been better employed in following the adage of ...
— A General History and Collection of Voyages and Travels, Vol. 1 • Robert Kerr

... remarkable books, the Pierre et Jean is certainly the most finished and the most agreeable. In Mont-Oriol, a beautiful landscape of Auvergne mountain and bath enshrines a singularly pessimistic rendering of the adage "He loved and he rode away." Few of the author's thoughtful admirers will admit that in Fort comme la Mort he has done justice to his powers. In Notre Coeur he has taken up one of the psychological problems ...
— The works of Guy de Maupassant, Vol. 5 (of 8) - Une Vie and Other Stories • Guy de Maupassant 1850-1893

... waste? There is an old adage that one might adapt, then, 'A wilful waste makes a woful want.' Want is a bad thing, so economy would not be a half-bad idea. Shall we go in to your family now, or will they not think you have ...
— Other Things Being Equal • Emma Wolf

... grievous burdens on the nations, terrible impediments to social progress, but they constitute, unfortunately, our only real insurance against war, justifying yet to-day, after so many long centuries, the truth of the ancient Latin adage—Si vis pacem, para bellum. ...
— My Days of Adventure - The Fall of France, 1870-71 • Ernest Alfred Vizetelly

... all those weeks the news came that nothing was being done. Ethan believed in the old adage that a quiet always preceded a storm, and he held himself in readiness ...
— The Hero of Ticonderoga - or Ethan Allen and his Green Mountain Boys • John de Morgan

... endless folk-lore of proverbs, there is perhaps no adage more true than that which warns young people to beware of a new love until they have done with the old, and as Ronald Surbiton reflected on his position, the old rhyme ran through his head. Ho was strongly attracted by Sybil Brandon, but, at the same time, he still felt that ...
— An American Politician • F. Marion Crawford

... farms at enormous prices, find to their utter discouragement, that they must also buy water for irrigation from monopolists, at ruinous rates, else the soil is worthless. Here as nowhere else is illustrated the truth of the Scriptural adage: "To him that hath shall be given, but from him that hath not shall be taken away even that which ...
— The Gentleman from Everywhere • James Henry Foss

... of the evidence adduced in these volumes, scornfully refuses to acknowledge its relevancy. "Above all," says he, "Lucian should be struck out. I confess I cannot imagine how writers go on citing Lucian as a witness for the Epistles." [12:1] There is, however, an old adage, "Any port in a storm:" and before the close of this discussion it may perhaps be found that Lucian is as good a harbour of refuge as can be furnished for the credit of the Ignatian Epistles in the ...
— The Ignatian Epistles Entirely Spurious • W. D. (William Dool) Killen

... professional stage people, active or retired, enter their young folks in my courses with a view to their ultimately becoming professional stage dancers. They know the emoluments. They know that one daughter on the dancing stage is worth ten in the parlor—financially. They know, too, that old adage "as the twig is bent," and the rest of it, so they start their twigs straight and in fertile soil with faith that in this way their child's future is well and happily provided for. A knowledge of stage dancing is a life insurance policy ...
— The Art of Stage Dancing - The Story of a Beautiful and Profitable Profession • Ned Wayburn

... old adage, worn almost threadbare with continual use, "When poverty looks in at the door, love flies out at the window," and, doubtless, there is an element of truth in the saying; nevertheless, though there were lines of care on Marcus ...
— Doctor Luttrell's First Patient • Rosa Nouchette Carey

... for my opinion, Grenvile, it is that yonder fellow is a slaver that is not too tender of conscience to indulge in a little piracy at times, when the opportunity appears favourable, as it does at present. I have heard that, in contradiction of the adage that 'there is honour among thieves', there are occasionally to be found among the slavers a few that are not above attacking other slavers and stealing their slaves from them. It saves them the bother of a run in on the coast, with its attendant risk of losses by fever, ...
— A Middy in Command - A Tale of the Slave Squadron • Harry Collingwood

... very much exposed to different winds, especially the Mistral, yet perhaps they are necessary, for, according to the adage, "Avenio ventosa, cum vento fastidiosa, sine vento venenosa," the odours from the drains in some of ...
— The South of France—East Half • Charles Bertram Black

... gates of Richmond a grand army of brave and disciplined men, at an enormous cost to his government? Having many qualities of a great commander, he lacked the gaudium certaminis and the daring that assumes the hazard of defeat. In war the adage holds good with emphasis: "Nothing venture, nothing gain." The celebrated generals of all times, confiding in their own skill and the bravery of their soldiers, have been bold even to the degree of seeming rashness. Such was the spirit and conduct of Lee ...
— Reminiscences of a Rebel • Wayland Fuller Dunaway

... grim smile relaxing for a moment the stern lines of his face, "thou art strangely nervous, Guido, that such a thing doth make thee tremble! 'Tis an adage that such vermin as I have disturbed make haste to leave a fatal ship, and, methinks, this Ship of State is very near the rocks. 'Tis a sign from heaven that I shall not fail." Then, turning to the pile of faggots: "So innocent are ye, that even Elinor, with all her gentleness, might bear you ...
— The Fifth of November - A Romance of the Stuarts • Charles S. Bentley

... clad in my dehar, I walked past a little group. To keep up appearances and kill time I drank tea, until the door opened and a rush was made for the train. There is an adage in Germany that three kinds of people—fools, princes, and Americans—travel first class. To continue Russian pretences, and by the advice of a friend, I took a second class ticket, and found the accommodation better than the average of ...
— Overland through Asia; Pictures of Siberian, Chinese, and Tartar - Life • Thomas Wallace Knox

... of the punishment that would be given the treacherous rascals if present; the atmosphere was perfectly sulphurous with the venom spit out against the foul party. Here was a true verification of the old adage, "Set a rogue to catch a rogue." Dejected and crestfallen, we returned to camp, but dared not tell of our misfortune, for fear of the jeers ...
— History of Kershaw's Brigade • D. Augustus Dickert

... from its proper sphere of action. Two boys even invaded Mrs. Derrick's peaceful dwelling, and called down Faith from conquering Peru. These were Reuben Taylor and Joe Deacon; for Joe with a slight variation of the popular adage, considered that 'once a scholar, always a scholar.' Reuben seemed inclined on his part to leave the present business in Joe's hands, but a sharp nudge from that young gentleman's elbow admonished him not only to speak but to speak ...
— Say and Seal, Volume I • Susan Warner

... a shoulder imperceptibly as she noted that another store building was empty. So the tailor had flitted? She recalled the Western adage concerning towns with no Jews in them and smiled faintly. Two doors below, still another shop was vacant. "To Let" signs were not synonymous with prosperity. Hiram Butefish supported his back against the ...
— The Fighting Shepherdess • Caroline Lockhart

... mind is a continual feast". This adage was verified in the person of the old Sakai. An enemy to progress of any kind he logically conformed himself to his surroundings, and limited his desires to what he was ...
— My Friends the Savages - Notes and Observations of a Perak settler (Malay Peninsula) • Giovanni Battista Cerruti

... adage that a chain is just as strong as its weakest link is very apt in this case. A belief in witches is part of the Bible; and if the civilized world rejects that concept, it must reject the Bible, for it is no longer infallible, ...
— The Necessity of Atheism • Dr. D.M. Brooks

... beast? Why she is a perfect beauty!—Beauty and the beast! Ha, ha, ha! I gave two guineas for her last night." (I thought of the old adage.) "Mrs. Moodie, your sister is ...
— Roughing it in the Bush • Susanna Moodie

... number two and twenty. As a proof of the old adage that "doctors do not always agree," we are told by one excellent authority that his D minor concerto, the two polonaises, and his "Legende" will probably never vanish from the violinist's repertoire, and by another ...
— Famous Violinists of To-day and Yesterday • Henry C. Lahee

... put Buondelmonti to death. And although some took into consideration the evils that might ensue upon it, Mosca Lamberti said, that those who talk of many things effect nothing, using that trite and common adage, Cosa fatta capo ha. Thereupon, they appointed to the execution of the murder Mosca himself, Stiatti Uberti, Lambertuccio Amidei, and Oderigo Fifanti, who, on the morning of Easter day, concealed themselves in a house of the Amidei, situate between the ...
— History Of Florence And Of The Affairs Of Italy - From The Earliest Times To The Death Of Lorenzo The Magnificent • Niccolo Machiavelli

... were brought to the ears of Pao-yue and Tai-yue. Neither of them had hitherto heard the adage: "people who are not enemies are not brought together," so when they suddenly got to know the line, it seemed as if they had apprehended abstraction. Both lowered their heads and meditated on the subtle sense of the saying. ...
— Hung Lou Meng, Book II • Cao Xueqin

... daughter's illness was passed, and that she was spared to me. Here ends the chronicle of my misfortunes during the year 1880. It is but a trivial tale, and one that, I fear, will have small interest for the reader, but I have ventured to tell it as an illustration of the adage that troubles never come singly. In the quarter of a century that has elapsed since then I have not had to encounter such a series of misfortunes as came upon me in the first nine months of ...
— Memoirs of Sir Wemyss Reid 1842-1885 • Stuart J. Reid, ed.

... strange conduct, he merely says, "We will proceed no further in this business," showing in true Hamlet fashion how resolution has been "sicklied o'er with the pale cast of thought." In fact, as his wife says to him, he lets "'I dare not' wait upon 'I would' like the poor cat i' the adage." Even when whipped to action by Lady Macbeth's preternatural ...
— The Man Shakespeare • Frank Harris

... running up a scaffolding or a ship's tackling, exposes his most odious features the more as he is allowed to mount the higher. In that idea, there is certainly some truth. "Give him rope enough, and every knave will hang himself"—is an old adage, a useful adage, and often a consolatory one. The objection, in the case before us, is—that our Irish hero had shown himself already, and most redundantly, on occasions notorious to every body, both previously to 1829, (the year of Clare,) and subsequently. ...
— Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine, Volume 54, No. 337, November, 1843 • Various

... would not have amounted to much, but now comes the curious part of the story, showing the truth of the old adage, "Murder will out." It appears that when the waggon was coming down to Pretoria in charge of the interpreter, it was outspanned one day outside the borders of Lo Bengula's country, when some Kafirs—Bechuanas, I think—came up, asked for some tobacco, and fell into conversation with the driver, ...
— Cetywayo and his White Neighbours - Remarks on Recent Events in Zululand, Natal, and the Transvaal • H. Rider Haggard

... authors who have attempted to describe our social habits and manners, is fitly rebuked, even as long ago as 1815, by an anonymous writer, whose trenchant pen reminds our British cousins of the old adage concerning "those who live in ...
— Bundling; Its Origin, Progress and Decline in America • Henry Reed Stiles

... those of the privileged class who do any work at all is on an entirely different basis from that of those who need it. The poor boy is kept on as a clerk, while the rich one is taken into the firm. The old adage says that "Kissing goes by favor"; and favors, financial and otherwise, are given only to those who can offer something in return. The tendency to concentrate power and wealth extends even to the ...
— The "Goldfish" • Arthur Train

... adage, that "when the devil finds a man idle, he sets him to work;" when love finds a heart unoccupied, he soon finds it a tenant, for it always has been, is now, and always will ...
— An Old Sailor's Yarns • Nathaniel Ames

... puffed out something between a whistle and the blowing out of a candle, and ventured to suggest to Furlong he had better wait even a couple of hours, till he had got his allowance of claret. "Remember the adage, sir, 'In vino veritas,' and we'll tell you all our electioneering secrets ...
— Handy Andy, Volume One - A Tale of Irish Life, in Two Volumes • Samuel Lover

... that he oughtn't to do it; he remembered Dr. Gurnet's advice, and it put an edge to his intention. If he couldn't have what he wanted, there would be a minor satisfaction in doing what he oughtn't. The homely adage of cutting off your nose to spite your face had never been questioned by the Staines family. They looked upon a nose as there chiefly for that purpose. It was a last resource to be drawn upon, when the noses of others appeared to be out ...
— The Dark Tower • Phyllis Bottome

... correction, when Burke turned the mistake to advantage. "The noble lord hints that I have erred in the quantity of a principal word in my quotation; I rejoice at it, sir, because it gives me an opportunity of repeating the inestimable adage,—'Magnum vectigal est parsimonia.'" The sentiment, meaning "Thrift is a good income," is well worthy of emphatic ...
— Architects of Fate - or, Steps to Success and Power • Orison Swett Marden

... was assured that public officers have often sold their country at very moderate prices. Thousands sold their happiness for a whim. Gilded chains were in great demand, and purchased with almost any sacrifice. In truth, those who desired, according to the old adage, to sell anything valuable for a song, might find customers all over the Fair; and there were innumerable messes of pottage, piping hot, for such as chose to buy them with their birthrights. A few articles, however, could not be found genuine at Vanity Fair. ...
— Mosses from an Old Manse and Other Stories • Nathaniel Hawthorne

... articles, after having safely crossed the Atlantic, was driven upon one of the islands of St. Peter, and everything was lost. There was no insurance in those days; La Salle did indeed experience the truth of the adage that "sorrows come ...
— The Adventures of the Chevalier De La Salle and His Companions, in Their Explorations of the Prairies, Forests, Lakes, and Rivers, of the New World, and Their Interviews with the Savage Tribes, Two Hu • John S. C. Abbott

... Vandeloup, coolly; 'I know your adage, "dead men tell no tales," but it is a mistake—they do, and to kill him is dangerous. No, if we stun him we can go off with the nugget, and then make our way to Melbourne, where we can get rid of it quietly. As to Madame Midas, if her husband allows her to live— which I think ...
— Madame Midas • Fergus Hume

... a little, it is well enough here to say that the daughter of Coleridge was a woman of remarkable excellence, and if you wish to disprove the adage that genius does not transmit itself she is a good example to bring up—even though there is a difference between fact and truth. James Coleridge was also the father of Mr. Justice Coleridge, himself the father ...
— Little Journeys to the Homes of the Great, Volume 5 (of 14) • Elbert Hubbard

... in an appearance, followed by the "Pyefche," or choristers, all of whom share in the bounty and hospitality of those on whom they call. The priests, of course, come in for the largest share, and, generally speaking, they know the value of the adage, "First come ...
— Russia - As Seen and Described by Famous Writers • Various

... have had me do? Should I have stood here, letting I dare not wait upon I would, like the cat i' the adage, while the oak caught and rushed you off to sea? Too big a broomstick for such ...
— The Atlantic Monthly, Volume 13, No. 80, June, 1864 • Various

... leave off her children's winter clothing until the spring be far advanced: it is far better to be on the safe side, and to allow the winter clothes to be worn until the end of May. The old adage is very good, and should be ...
— Advice to a Mother on the Management of her Children • Pye Henry Chavasse

... seems not half so hideous as he appears to those who have only regarded him on shore, and at a deferential distance. Like many ugly mortals, his features grow less frightful upon acquaintance; and met over often and sociably, the old adage holds true, about familiarity breeding contempt. Thus too with soldiers. Of the quaking recruit, three pitched battles make a grim grenadier; and he who shrank from the muzzle of a cannon, is now ready to yield ...
— Mardi: and A Voyage Thither, Vol. I (of 2) • Herman Melville

... of his property before he is aware that his own may be taken away from him. The lower orders, when first they are invested with political rights, stand in relation to those rights, in the same position as a child does to the whole of nature, and the celebrated adage may then be applied to them, Homo, puer robustus. This truth may even be perceived in America. The states in which the citizens have enjoyed their rights longest are those in which they make the best ...
— American Institutions and Their Influence • Alexis de Tocqueville et al

... respects, as slaves. Nor is it forgotten now, when the claims of the South to "hospitality" are pressed, to object, because they are grounded on the unpaid wages of the laborer—on the robbery of the poor. When "Southern generosity" is mentioned, the old adage, "be just before you are generous," furnishes the reply. It is no proof of generosity (say the objectors) to take the bread of the laborer, to lavish it in banquetings on the rich. When "Southern Chivalry" is the theme of its admirers, the hard-handed, but ...
— The Anti-Slavery Examiner, Omnibus • American Anti-Slavery Society

... which they have been anxiously looking out. So great favourites are they with the fisherman, that they would not knowingly kill an osprey for a boat-load of fish, but regard these bold fishing birds in the light of "professional brethren." In this case the old adage that "two of a trade never agree" is ...
— Popular Adventure Tales • Mayne Reid

... he but followed that impulse which led the men of England, centuries ago, to enact, that "marriage annuls all previous contracts between the parties," and which now leads men in all civilized countries to preserve such statutes. It is an old adage, "All is fair in love as in war," but I thought not of general laws, and ...
— Half a Century • Jane Grey Cannon Swisshelm

... made my farewells over at my mother's house the previous day, dutifully kissing her and all the sisters who happened to be at home, but without much emotion on either side. Blood is thicker than water, the adage runs. Perhaps that is why it flowed so calmly in all our Dutch veins while we said good-by. But here in my adopted home—my true home—my heart quivered and sank at thought ...
— In the Valley • Harold Frederic

... The old adage about a sailor's right to have "a sweetheart in every port" is still cited in these days of boasted advancement in culture, religion, morals; and it is the same old world to-day as that which lauded and bowed ...
— Over the Border: Acadia • Eliza Chase

... that it is almost a proverbial adage that the feeling developed by the beautiful refines manners, and any new proof offered on the subject would appear superfluous. Men base this maxim on daily experience, which shows us almost always clearness of intellect, deli cacy of feeling, liberality and even dignity of conduct, associated ...
— Literary and Philosophical Essays • Various

... discrimination to detect the genuine from the false. This difficulty is greatly increased by the difference of opinion that exists, even among the elect, with regard to the merit of particular jokes. To paraphrase an old adage, what is one man's laughter may be another man's dirge. The Editor desires to make it plain, however, that the responsibility in this particular instance is entirely his own. He has made his selections without consulting any one, knowing that if a consultation of experts ...
— Little Masterpieces of American Wit and Humor - Volume I • Various

... ever to have existed in England. We have, and have always had, ample material for making excellent dishes; but if we desire to turn it to proper account, we have to summon men from a distance to our aid, or to accept the probable alternative—failure. The adage, "God sends meat, and the devil sends cooks," must surely be of native parentage, for of no country is it so true as of our own. Perhaps, had it not been for the influx among us of French and Italian experts, ...
— Old Cookery Books and Ancient Cuisine • William Carew Hazlitt

... antidotes,&c." By the way, we have often thought Buchan's book like the Dead Sea: you cannot fall into the latter without some of its water incrusting on you, and you cannot read Buchan without feeling an ache. Its popularity is founded upon the hackneyed adage "the knowledge of a disease is half its cure." People will pore over its sea of calamities till they almost fall into the fire, or get scalded with the water from a kettle, and then turn to the Index, Scalds, page 326: perhaps this is a good plan to test the practical value of a book, as the ...
— The Mirror of Literature, Amusement, and Instruction - Volume 19, No. 533, Saturday, February 11, 1832. • Various

... pitted against Americans and he knew what that meant. Wise men, both North and South, were prophesying that the war would not last more than ninety days, and foolish ones were bragging of their own powers and questioning the courage of their opponents, quite oblivious of the adage that when Greek meets Greek there comes a tug of war. But Lee did not concern himself with such childish exhibitions ...
— On the Trail of Grant and Lee • Frederick Trevor Hill

... his astuteness in the pursuit of his ordinary business has allowed himself to fall an easy victim to the forger, thus exemplifying the familiar adage that we are easily persuaded to believe what we ...
— The Detection of Forgery • Douglas Blackburn

... whose purpose was to find A world of action; but my heart was cold, My mind supine. Yet I remained with them, And answered to the roll called Honor, Fame! Where were my memories and my ardent prayers? The years stood far behind, their columns graved Deep with the adage which youth names No More. Like one who enters some old storied hall, And down its vista suddenly beholds A banner waving out its old device Of victory—so suddenly I felt My later life a void. I was recalled! ...
— Poems • Elizabeth Stoddard

... hairbreadth escape from disaster there was no danger, he argued, of his repeating the experiment, and was not this the very lesson all punishments sought to instill? If he had achieved this result without bothering his father about the details, why so much the better. Did not the old adage say that "experience is the best teacher"? Certainly in this case ...
— Steve and the Steam Engine • Sara Ware Bassett

... bottle to our successors. It will not hurt them to use it while they are young, and they can commit to memory, at the same time, the maxim which is attached to it. Then if the harmless liquid which it contains, together with the adage and the example of their parents, arouse a craving for truth within them we shall have cared better for them than Doctor ...
— Uarda • Georg Ebers

... Miss Willises, then, settled in our parish thirteen years ago. It is a melancholy reflection that the old adage, 'time and tide wait for no man,' applies with equal force to the fairer portion of the creation; and willingly would we conceal the fact, that even thirteen years ago the Miss Willises were far from juvenile. Our duty as ...
— Sketches by Boz - illustrative of everyday life and every-day people • Charles Dickens

... many a slip between the cup and the lip. The adage was in their case illustrated. But for the mention of Sindo's name, as the captives were being conducted to the place of execution, awakening in the Zooloo's mind a suspicion of treachery, the rescuers would have arrived ...
— The Giraffe Hunters • Mayne Reid

... two at a time, one cutting the other, whence has sprung the adage, "diamond cut diamond." Cutting in facets was thus the natural treatment of this gem. The practise originated in India. Two diamonds rubbing against each other systematically will in time form a facet on each. In 1475 it was discovered by Louis de ...
— Arts and Crafts in the Middle Ages • Julia De Wolf Addison

... laughed quite as heartily as if he had not himself hoped to occupy the position now held by the sprightly Katherine. He was cudgelling his brain to solve the problem represented by the adage "Two is company, three is none." The girls sat together on the settee and gazed out over the brilliantly lighted, animated throng. People were still pouring up the gangways, and the decks were rapidly becoming crowded with a many-colored, ever-shifting galaxy of humanity. ...
— A Rock in the Baltic • Robert Barr

... had accounted themselves the nation favoured by Heaven, chosen for the crushing of the heathen and the heretic, assured of victory. So, for a few years, had the English thought of themselves; but with a difference; for their spirit was that expressed in the later Puritan adage, "Trust in God and keep your powder dry". The Spaniard had neglected to keep his powder dry. The nation which observes both injunctions is tolerably certain to defeat that which observes ...
— England Under the Tudors • Arthur D. Innes

... your other affairs may call you into this county, I shall be extremely glad to show you any civilities in my power, and beg you will make my house your home, where I try to keep up to the good old adage, 'to welcome the coming and to speed the ...
— The History of Dartmouth College • Baxter Perry Smith

... assumption that "like produces like" does not seem to hold good frequently in this breed, but perhaps the elements of uncertainty give an unspeakable charm to the efforts put forth for the production of the dogs which will be a credit to the owner's kennel. The old adage that "there is nothing duller than a puzzle of which the answer is known," can readily be applied here. I shall endeavor to confine my remarks to the laws observed and the lines followed for the production of dogs in our kennels, especially in the attainment of correct color and ...
— The Boston Terrier and All About It - A Practical, Scientific, and Up to Date Guide to the Breeding of the American Dog • Edward Axtell

... farm or any other property we may buy and pay for. The difference, however, between the title to earthly possessions and that to a heavenly estate is that the first is visible to our natural eyes, and the last is not. How justly the old adage, that "a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush," applies to the views and decisions of great numbers of people! They talk of not risking a certainty for an uncertainty,—the very thing they are doing. Such ...
— Life and Labors of Elder John Kline, the Martyr Missionary - Collated from his Diary by Benjamin Funk • John Kline

... for Ecuador than for Ecuadorians. She laid out this beautiful valley for an Elysian field; "de Quito al Cielo" (from Quito to Heaven) is not an empty adage; and it is painful to look upon tottering walls and impassable roads, upon neglected fields and an idle population—poor as poverty in the lap of boundless natural wealth. The only really live man in the republic is the president, Senor G. Garcia Moreno, a man of wide views and great energy, ...
— The Andes and the Amazon - Across the Continent of South America • James Orton

... ye scruple foolishly," advised Lord Clowes. "Remember the old adage, that 'A bad promise, like a good cake, is better ...
— Janice Meredith • Paul Leicester Ford

... contented with this, and the general contempt. Such men, and such social coteries, are few in this country. Fortunately, wealth which is only used as a means of ostentatious display is worthless to communities, and its possessor is contemptible. "Wealth is power" is an adage, and is true where it is used to promote the general good. Without it no people can be prosperous or intelligent, and the prosperity and intelligence of every people is greatest where there is most wealth, and where it is most generally diffused. This is best ...
— The Memories of Fifty Years • William H. Sparks

... one day with the dignitaries of one of the largest cities of France, conversation turned upon the arts. All of the guests spoke of them, and well; but each intrenched himself behind his own personal views, in virtue of the adage "One cannot argue about tastes." I protested in vain against this false principle, saying that it was inadmissible, and that the classic Brillat-Savarin would have been shocked at such blasphemy. Even his name had no weight, and the guests separated gayly, after uttering heresies ...
— Library Of The World's Best Literature, Ancient And Modern, Vol. 5 • Various

... philosophy, the Cartesian, or any other of earlier or later date, as adequate to the purposes of the intellect in this day, or as capable of yielding even a sufficient terminology. Let this last fact decide the question of Kant's vitality. Qui bene distinguit bene docet. This is an old adage. Now, he who imposes new names upon all the acts, the functions, and the objects of the philosophic understanding, must be presumed to have distinguished most sharply, and to have ascertained with most precision, their ...
— The Uncollected Writings of Thomas de Quincey—Vol. 1 - With a Preface and Annotations by James Hogg • Thomas de Quincey

... your naughty companion e'er quarrel with you, You are certain to prove the best man of the two. In the following case this was certainly true; For the lovely Xantippe just pulled off her shoe, And laying about her, all sides at random, The adage was verified—"Nil desperandum." ...
— The Universal Reciter - 81 Choice Pieces of Rare Poetical Gems • Various

... breathed into his nostrils was not atmospheric air; for the air was in his nostrils before Jehovah breathed the breath of life into them, and yet it did not make this body live. Using the term breath in the sense of air that we breathe, the old adage that "men die for the want of breath" is not true; for the body dead is surrounded with the same air as when it was living. When the Creator breathed the breath of life into the newly-formed body, and man became a living soul, he imparted ...
— The Christian Foundation, Or, Scientific and Religious Journal, Volume I, No. 11, November, 1880 • Various

... aliquid novo" never was saying truer! and Damaraland, under the British flag, and with scope given to individual enterprise, may well provide still another striking example of that old adage. ...
— A Rip Van Winkle Of The Kalahari - Seven Tales of South-West Africa • Frederick Cornell

... be made a father by her, and hinted at Lucy's delicious shivers when Richard was again in his rightful place, which she, Bessy Berry, now usurped; and all sorts of amorous sweet things; enough to make one fancy the adage subverted, that stolen fruits are sweetest; she drew such glowing pictures of bliss within the law and the limits of the conscience, till at last, worn out, Lucy murmured "Peepy, dear Berry," and the soft woman gradually ceased ...
— The Shaving of Shagpat • George Meredith

... The horses were only accustomed to the saddle and knew nothing about pulling in harness. Sam was a condemned cavalry horse and Box was a native bronco, and being hitched to a wagon was a new experience to both. The start was unpropitious, but, acting on the old adage that "necessity is the mother of invention," which truth is nowhere better exemplified than on the frontier where conveniences are few and the most must be made of everything, after some delay and considerable maneuvering we finally ...
— Arizona Sketches • Joseph A. Munk

... his children with him, he had no expectation of exposing them to dangers or hardships. He had been thirty years afloat, and had never been wrecked, and he did not suppose that such an occurrence was ever likely to happen to him. He forgot the old adage, that "the pitcher which goes often to the well is liable to be broken at last." He had lost his wife during his previous voyage, and had no one on whom he could rely to take care of his motherless children while he was ...
— The South Sea Whaler • W.H.G. Kingston

... Swept by the vapor-bearing winds and rain-distilling clouds from the Gulf of Mexico, and blessed with an excellent climate, it contains all the physical elements of an empire within itself. Its position makes it the national strong-hold, so that with military men it has grown into an adage, "Whoever is master of the Mississippi is lord of the continent." It is yet but half developed, but no far-seeing mind can form any estimate of its future growth and opulence. "With a varied and splendid ...
— Lippincott's Magazine of Popular Literature and Science, Volume 11, No. 24, March, 1873 • Various

... be so. "Faint heart never won a fair lady," said Archie to himself a dozen times, as he walked down to the Rag. The Rag was his club, and there was a friend there whom he could consult confidentially. No; faint heart never won a fair lady; but they who repeat to themselves that adage, trying thereby to get courage, always have faint hearts for such work. Harry Clavering never thought of the ...
— The Claverings • Anthony Trollope

... up," he said, with an air of false concern. "It's only for a little while, cap'n; you'll soon be back and—you know the old adage?" ...
— Salthaven • W. W. Jacobs

... we admire them, nevertheless. "Handsome is that handsome does," used to say to me an old man, who had marked me out for his not over handsome daughter. 'Please your eye and plague your heart' is an adage that want of beauty invented, I dare say, more than a thousand years ago. These adages would say, if they had but the courage, that beauty is inconsistent with chastity, with sobriety of conduct, and with all the female ...
— Advice to Young Men • William Cobbett

... was a bedstead with exquisitely clean bedding, in another a tiny cooking stove. Vases of flowers, framed pictures and ornamental quicksilver balls had been found place for, this bargewoman's home aptly illustrating Shakespeare's adage—"Order gives all things view." The brisk, weather-beaten mistress now came up, no little gratified by our ...
— East of Paris - Sketches in the Gatinais, Bourbonnais, and Champagne • Matilda Betham-Edwards

... discharged by the superintendent of the line, who behaved most properly throughout, and is to make enquiries at Southampton. In the meanwhile, what was I to do? I left my address and brought the barrel home; but, remembering an old adage, I determined not to open it except in the ...
— The Wrong Box • Robert Louis Stevenson and Lloyd Osbourne

... adage that example is better than precept, his mother taught him at an early age to observe the good and bad qualities of the persons he met. The study of character she justly felt to be most important, and yet it is not one of the subjects ...
— Richard Lovell Edgeworth - A Selection From His Memoir • Richard Lovell Edgeworth

... adage warns us never to buy a "pig in a poke." Equally good advice for the heroines of fiction or drama would be never under any circumstances to marry a bridegroom in a mask. In more cases than I can recall, neglect of this ...
— Punch, or the London Charivari, Vol. 152, February 14, 1917 • Various

... of this year (1694)—soon after his return from an unsuccessful campaign—William suffered an irreparable loss by the death of the queen. The old adage touching an ill wind received a curious exemplification at Queen Mary's death, for although that event sent down the stock of the Bank of England three per cent., it benefited the East India Company by causing a rapid rise in the ...
— London and the Kingdom - Volume II • Reginald R. Sharpe

... Lunison did, and Hunus helped himself to as much as would fill a gallon-measure (vas sextarii mensuram) of the sacred remains. Eginhard's indignation at the "rapine" of this "nequissimus nebulo" is exquisitely droll. It would appear that the adage about the receiver being as bad as the thief was not ...
— Lectures and Essays • Thomas Henry Huxley

... old to learn how to play the piano, violin or any other musical instrument. There are thousands of stenographers who did not take up that profession until they were twenty-five or thirty years of age. They were firm believers in the adage, "It is never too late to learn." 2. Munson's appears to be the most popular system of shorthand. 3. A ten or fifteen minutes' walk in the open air before taking breakfast will do no harm; but indulgence in other forms of exercise ...
— Golden Days for Boys and Girls, Vol. XII, Jan. 3, 1891 • Various

... weapon is more false or deadly. She laughed at qualities she could not comprehend, and underrated what she could not imitate. The Duc de Richelieu, who had been instrumental to her good fortune, and for whom (remembering the old adage: when one hand washes the other both are made clean) she procured the command of the army—this Duke, the triumphant general of Mahon and one of the most distinguished noblemen of France, did not blush to become the secret agent of a depraved meretrix in the conspiracy to blacken the ...
— Marguerite de Navarre - Memoirs of Marguerite de Valois Queen of Navarre • Marguerite de Navarre

... upon the shore, and the tide came in, slowly creeping up the shingle, now bearing away a dry piece of sea-weed and making it look alive and fresh, advancing and retreating, yet ever creeping slowly upward, until one wave almost broke over her feet and reminded her of the old and oft-repeated adage, "Time and ...
— Ruth Arnold - or, the Country Cousin • Lucy Byerley

... adage, "What is one man's meat is another man's poison," comes to mind when we consider with what different eyes different naturalists look upon the hypothesis of the derivative origin of actual specific forms, since Mr. Darwin gave it vogue and ...
— Darwiniana - Essays and Reviews Pertaining to Darwinism • Asa Gray

... the suffrage regulations and a dissolution of the Chamber, followed by a general election. Since that time the parliamentary machinery has worked much more smoothly. The Duma has learned the truth of the old adage that half a loaf is better than no bread, and on many important subjects, such as the preparation of the annual budget, it now co-operates loyally with the Ministers. In this way it gets its half loaf, and the country benefits by ...
— The New York Times Current History: the European War, February, 1915 • Various

... Adage there is a long ridge—very difficult in places. About halfway along the ridge, at the lowest point, lies the top of the Mornstab Pass, which goes through to Barey. Now you know ...
— A Voyage to Arcturus • David Lindsay

... Misfortunes, saith the adage, never come singly. There is little doubt that troubles are exceedingly gregarious in their nature, and flying in flocks, are apt to perch capriciously; crowding on the heads of some poor wights until there is not an inch of room left on their unlucky crowns, and taking no more ...
— Barnaby Rudge • Charles Dickens

... is, it is by far the best in the book. As Mr Patmore advances, there is a marked increase of silliness and affectation in his effusions, which shows how sedulously he has cultivated the art of sinking in poetry; and that the same adage which has been applied to vice, may be applied also to folly, "Nemo repente fuit stultissimus." Never was there a richer offering laid on the shrine of the goddess Stultia than the tale of Sir Hubert, with which the volume concludes. But our business ...
— Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine, Volume 56, Number 347, September, 1844 • Various

... the people. Peoples and governments are correlated and complementary: a fatuous government would be an anomaly among righteous people, just as a corrupt people cannot exist under just rulers and wise laws. Like people, like government, we will say in paraphrase of a popular adage. ...
— The Indolence of the Filipino • Jose Rizal

... hold and escape from this case, or I shall abandon thee to thy doom. But this thing may not be, for I am not safe from falling into some such strait as this thou art in, which, indeed, would be fitting punishment of perfidy. Of a truth the adage saith, 'Faith is fair and faithlessness is foul.'[FN162] So it behoveth thee to trust in me, for I am not ignorant of the haps and mishaps of the world; and delay not to contrive some device for our deliverance, as the case is too close to allow further talk." Replied the wolf, "For all ...
— The Book of the Thousand Nights and a Night, Volume 3 • Richard F. Burton

... spectacle under other conditions; but night was coming on apace, and we needed a camping-place. As we steered north-west, still amid the ice-floes, the 'Dudley Docker' got jammed between two masses while attempting to make a short cut. The old adage about a short cut being the longest way round is often as true in the Antarctic as it is in the peaceful countryside. The 'James Caird' got a line aboard the 'Dudley Docker', and after some hauling the boat was brought clear of the ice again. ...
— South! • Sir Ernest Shackleton

... Filipinos when we discharged our respective offices, were false and in contravention of the rights of the Holy Church, because we only wished to deceive and prejudice the honest inhabitants of the Philippines; for which reason we now suffer what we are suffering, as you see, according to the old adage that "he who owes must pay." And now we inform all you honest Filipinos that we repent for the acts above referred to, which are in contravention of the laws and good customs, and ask ...
— The Philippines: Past and Present (vol. 1 of 2) • Dean C. Worcester

... with the white flour of a blameless life, and I am pottering about with a stick, hating young fellows, and making myself generally disagreeable. Price's second team was driven by his son Mosey, a tight little fellow, whose body was about five-and-twenty, but whose head, according to the ancient adage, had worn out many a good pair ...
— Such is Life • Joseph Furphy

... deliberately commenced building, finishing, and, as fast as he could, furnishing, a comfortable cabin. His wood he gathered and regularly piled in a straight line and perpendicular by the door, convenient as though the old lady had been within to provide his meals. He acted upon the adage, "Never to start till you are ready." Now our hero was ready to commence working his "claim;" and this he did, as he did everything else, steadily ...
— Chambers's Edinburgh Journal, No. 424, New Series, February 14, 1852 • Various

... in high spirits now; "and, what is more, I have astonished Mr. Moss. He said, 'I wish I had your head-piece, my lady.' I could have told him Love sharpens a woman's wits; but I reserved that little adage for you." ...
— A Terrible Temptation - A Story of To-Day • Charles Reade

... time my father had considerable business to attend to in Chicago and was absent from home for days and weeks at a time. You know the old adage, "When the cat's away," etc.? Well, mouse-like, that was the time in which I played my hardest. I played hookey day after day, and though I was often punished for doing so it had but little effect. Run away from school I would, and run away from school I did until ...
— A Ball Player's Career - Being the Personal Experiences and Reminiscensces of Adrian C. Anson • Adrian C. Anson

... Punica fides could formerly have done. Nay, when we consider that the Carthaginians came from the Phoenicians who are supposed to have produced the first mariners, we may probably see the true reason of the adage, and it may open a field of very curious discoveries ...
— Journal of A Voyage to Lisbon • Henry Fielding

... shrewdly suspect we have to thank French artists for this. Let it be thoroughly understood that I do not intend to disparage the beautiful work done for South Kensington by the various gentlemen and artists interested, but I merely point the adage, ...
— Practical Taxidermy • Montagu Browne

... fat," is an old adage; and Sterne tells us, that every time a man laughs, he adds something to his life. An eccentric philosopher, of the last century, used to say, that he liked not only to laugh himself, but to see laughter, and hear laughter. "Laughter, Sir, laughter is good for health; it is ...
— The Mirror of Literature, Amusement, and Instruction, Vol. 13, - Issue 350, January 3, 1829 • Various

... HUNTER next addressed the meeting, and was listened to with deep attention. He impressed upon the young delegates the good old adage of "Look before you leap," and cautioned them against the delusive hope that their condition would be improved by change of measures. In the course of his long life he had experienced measures of every description, and had invariably found that his supplies depended, not on the measure itself; ...
— Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine, No. CCCXXXIX. January, 1844. Vol. LV. • Various

... woman cannot be considered as new, although she may not be old. We therefore adhere to our supposition that this rhyme was composed at the accession of the great Elizabeth. And here we may observe, that the old adage "that a cat may look at the king" is fully corroborated, for pussy says expressly that she has been to see the new queen, pointing out, that as the sun shines upon all alike, so the sun of royalty, in a well-administered government, will equally dispense its smiles upon ...
— Olla Podrida • Frederick Marryat (AKA Captain Marryat)

... Koppelberg, a hill on the confines of the town, which miraculously opened to receive the procession, and only closed again when the last child had passed out of sight. This legend probably originated the adage "to pay the piper." The children were never seen in Hamelin again, and in commemoration of this public calamity all official decrees have since been dated so many years after the ...
— Myths of the Norsemen - From the Eddas and Sagas • H. A. Guerber

... ages ago, simmered down and crystallized into the adage, "Misfortunes never come singly;" and it is here respectfully submitted—that startling episodes, unexpected incidents quite as rarely travel alone. Do surprises gravitate into groups, or ...
— Infelice • Augusta Jane Evans Wilson

... White-fronted is one of the most interesting, is held in high estimation by the sportsman, and even he, if keen of observation, will learn from it many things that will entitle the species to advancement in the mental grade, and prove the truth of a very old adage, that you cannot judge of things by outward appearance. A goose, waddling around the barnyard, may not present a very graceful appearance, nor seem endowed with much intelligence, yet the ungainly creature, when in its natural state, has an ease of motion ...
— Birds Illustrated by Color Photography, Vol. II., No. 5, November 1897 - A Monthly Serial designed to Promote Knowledge of Bird-Life • Various

... the making of their instruments. When, however, they were suddenly called upon to compete on equal terms with a legion of foreign manufacturers, the result was not so much that their ardour was damped, as that they themselves were extinguished, and served as another instance of the truth of the adage that "the good of the many is the bane ...
— The Violin - Its Famous Makers and Their Imitators • George Hart

... vain man! that thou didst precipitate thyself into destruction? Would that the ant might not have the means of flying!—A mean person, when he has got rank and wealth, will bring a storm of blows upon his head. Was not this at last the adage of a philosopher, 'That ant is best disposed of that has no wings.'—The father is a man of much sweetness of disposition, but the son is full of heat and passions:—That Being, God, who would not make thee rich, must have known thy good better ...
— Persian Literature, Volume 2, Comprising The Shah Nameh, The - Rubaiyat, The Divan, and The Gulistan • Anonymous

... startling disparity in the statistics of trade intercourse with our adjoining neighbors, Canada and Mexico, and oversea South America, is obviously the lack of transportation facilities under the American flag; and the adage that "trade follows the flag" has earned more significance than attaches to a mere figure of speech. We pay South America yearly, let it be known, about $120,000,000 for coffee, wool, hides and ...
— East of Suez - Ceylon, India, China and Japan • Frederic Courtland Penfield

... I say it again, that the church was quite good enough for such people as live here, in its original condition, and that you have really spent a great deal of cash on a very needless work! I mustn't be rude, no, no, no!—but you know the old adage: 'Fools and their money!' Ha-ha-ha! But we shan't quarrel. Oh, dear no! It has cost ME nothing, I am glad to say! Ha-ha! Nor anybody else! Now, if Miss Vancourt of Abbot's Manor had been here when you began this restoration business ...
— God's Good Man • Marie Corelli

... have been then, that when I asked him whether he desired to go to this heaven of bread-fruit, cocoanuts, and young ladies, which he had been describing, he answered by saying something equivalent to our old adage—'A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush'?—if he did, Kory-Kory was a discreet and sensible fellow, and I cannot ...
— Typee - A Romance of the South Sea • Herman Melville

... constantly employed by the ordinary sort of persons as provisions to avoid spiritual exertion, artifices to dispose of a matter with the smallest amount of intellectual trouble, as when one ends a controversy with the adage, "Least said, soonest mended." The majority of people desire to get along with the least possible expenditure of thinking. To many a hard-headed laborer, five minutes of girded and continuous thinking are more exhaustive ...
— Atlantic Monthly, Vol. XI., February, 1863, No. LXIV. • Various

... she will grant it," replied her brother, "you are by no means a favorite; with her; however, you can try; perhaps she may. You know the old adage, 'varium et imutabile semper.' Who knows but she ...
— The Emigrants Of Ahadarra - The Works of William Carleton, Volume Two • William Carleton

... of the world I had hitherto been in seemed to me a paradise in comparison of the West Indies. My mind was therefore hourly replete with inventions and thoughts of being freed, and, if possible, by honest and honourable means; for I always remembered the old adage; and I trust it has ever been my ruling principle, that honesty is the best policy; and likewise that other golden precept—to do unto all men as I would they should do unto me. However, as I was from early years a predestinarian, ...
— The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano, Or Gustavus Vassa, The African - Written By Himself • Olaudah Equiano

... of a true learning has not been collected hitherto into writing, to the great derogation of learning, and the professors of learning; for from this proceeds the popular opinion which has passed into an adage, that there is no great concurrence between wisdom and learning. The deficiency here is well nigh total he says: 'but for the wisdom of business, wherein man's life is most conversant, there be no books of it, except some few scattered advertisements, ...
— The Philosophy of the Plays of Shakspere Unfolded • Delia Bacon



Words linked to "Adage" :   byword, expression, saw



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