Thus a proverb, by its verbal pungency and rhythm, becomes more memorable than the event it first described would ever have been if not translated into an epigram and rendered, so to speak, applicable to new cases; for by that translation the event has become an idea. To turn events into ideas is the function of literature.
The proverb truly says, 'He who does good to one who deserves it not, is always ill rewarded." "Do not lose time," interrupted the genie; "all thy chattering shall not divert me from my purpose; make haste, and tell me what kind of death thou preferrest?" Necessity is the mother of invention. The fisherman bethought himself of a stratagem.
He had made a vow that he would never take a blow without returning it; and having, like other heroes of antiquity, descended to the infernal regions, he received a cuff from the Arch-fiend who presided there, which he instantly returned, using the expression in the text. Sometimes the proverb is worded thus 'Claw for claw, and the devil take the shortest nails, as Conan said to the devil.
"Yes, my young friend," answered the Doctor, gravely, "as many others have been with whom I have acted; but only because they did not follow my advice implicitly. You never heard that I was hanged myself?" "The time may come, Doctor," said Albert; "The pitcher goes oft to the well. The proverb, as my father would say, is somewhat musty.
When you see his verses hanged up in tobacco-shops, you may say, in defiance of the proverb, "that the weakest does not always go to the wall;" for 'tis well known the lines are strong enough, and in that sense may justly take the wall of any that have been written in our language.
It will be sufficient to add, that to the most favourable accounts that have been written of them, I fully and most heartily subscribe; and that personal intercourse and free communication have bred within me, not the result predicted in the very doubtful proverb, but increased admiration and respect."
I am convinced of sin; I am converted; I have the right frames, and the right feelings, and the right experiences. Oh, of all the cunning snares of the devil, that I think is the cunningest. Well says the old proverb 'The devil is old, and therefore he knows many things.
She had passed into a proverb in the family, and when anybody was observed to be peculiarly distressing, he was known as a regular 'Juley. The habit of her mind would have killed anybody but a Forsyte at forty; but she was seventy-two, and had never looked better. And one felt that there were capacities for enjoyment about her which might yet come out.
But what the proverb says of gold, may be said of mirth; it may be bought too dear. If a young man finds that what he fancies is a good joke may possibly offend God, hurt his neighbor, afflict his parent, or make a modest girl blush, let him then be assured it is not fun, but wickedness, and he had better let it alone.
It was a proverb which read thus: "So let the little angels sing: This child is safe beneath our wing." This proverb reminded him so much of his grandmother; he didn't know why, but it seemed to him as if she had prayed exactly like this over his bed. The tears came to his eyes, and yet it seemed so good, just as if he had found his home again.