p.41 ]

Elderly lady reading proverbs to child


ST Swithin's day, if thou dost rain,
For forty days it will remain :
St. Swithin's day, if thou be fair,
For forty days 'twill rain na mair.

TO make your candles last for a',
     You wives and maids give ear-o !
To put 'em out's the only way,
     Says honest John Boldero.

p.42 /

[The following is quoted in Miege's 'Great French Dictionary,' fol. Lond. 1687, 2d part.]
A SWARM of bees in May
Is worth a load of hay ;
A swarm of bees in June
Is worth a silver spoon ;
A swarm of bees in July
Is not worth a fly.

THEY that wash on Monday
     Have all the week to dry ;
They that wash on Tuesday
     Are not so much awry ;
They that wash on Wednesday
     Are not so much to blame ;
They that wash on Thursday,
     Wash for shame ;
They that wash on Friday,
     Wash in need ;
And they that wash on Saturday,
     Oh ! they're sluts indeed.

NEEDLES and pins, needles and pins,
When a man marries his trouble begins.

p.43 /

   [One version of the following song, which I believe to be the genuine one, is written on the last leaf of MS. Harl. 6580, between the lines of a fragment of an old charter, originally used for binding the book, in a hand of the end of the seventeenth century, but unfortunately it is scarcely adapted for the "ears polite" of modern days.]
A MAN of words and not of deeds
Is like a garden full of weeds ;
And when the weeds begin to grow,
It's like a garden full of snow ;
And when the snow begins to fall,
It's like a bird upon the wall ;
And when the bird away does fly,
It's like an eagle in the sky ;
And when the sky begins to roar,
It's like a lion at the door ;
And when the door begins to crack,
It's like a stick across your back ;
And when your back begins to smart,
It's like a penknife in your heart ;
And when your heart begins to bleed,
You're dead, and dead, and dead, indeed.

HE that would thrive
Must rise at five ;
He that hath thriven
May lie till seven ;
And he that by the plough would thrive,
Himself must either hold or drive.

p.44 /

SEE a pin and pick it up,
All the day you'll have good luck ;
See a pin and let it lay,
Bad luck you'll have all the day !

GO to bed first, a golden purse ;
Go to bed second, a golden pheasant ;
Go to bed third, a golden bird !

WHEN the wind is in the east,
'Tis neither good for man nor beast ;
When the wind is in the north,
The skilful fisher goes not forth ;
When the wind is in the south,
It blows the bait in the fishes' mouth ;
When the wind is in the west,
Then 'tis at the very best.

    [The following proverb is alluded to in Clarke's 'Phraseologia Puerilis,' 12mo, Lond. 1655, p.21. See also Brand's 'Popular Antiquities,' vol i, p.266, and the 'Archæologist,' p.182.]
BOUNCE BUCKRAM, velvet's dear ;
Christmas comes but once a year.