Some proverbs for modern day life

by Instant Noodle


I. AN umbrella upon thine arm may make it ache, but should rain come, the umbrella will preserve thy clothes. Choose, betwixt a trifling pain and a tailor’s bill.

II. Other persons were born about the same time as thyself, and have been growing up ever siuce, as well as thou. Therefore be not proud.


III. Preserve few secrets from thy wife; for if she discover them she will grieve, not that thou hast kept from her thy secrets, but thy confidence


IV. Yet confidence may be misplaced, as when thou goest out in thin patent leathern boots, simply because the pavement before thine own door has dried.

V. The girl who is destined to be thy wife, although now unknown to thee, is sure to be living somewhere or other. Hope, therefore, that she is quite well, and otherwise think politely about her.

VI. Educate thy children, lest one of these fine days they educate thee in a school with no vacations.

VII. How good was Nature, that placed great rivers near great towns !

VIII.A traveller, journeying wisely, may learn much. Yet much may also be learned by him who stays at home.

IX. An insane person may lie to thee, and yet be innocent, and thou mayest lie to him, and be praiseworthy. Now all persons are somewhat insane, but do thou beware of lyiug as a general rule.

X. Heat expands things, and therefore in hot weather the days are lengthened. Moral heats sometimes expand thy mind, but they tend not to the lengthening of thy days.

XI. Say not that thou knowest a book until thou hast read it all. Yet some books thou mayest throw aside partially read. Herein thou judgest a criminal unheard. What then?

XII. I do not say to thee, “Marry, for it will exalt thee,” yet was there subtle meaning’ in those whose usage it was to say, “Marry, come up.”

XIII. Cool things are used to cure fever, yet the over-coolness of a friend’s act will throw thee into heat.

XIV. We know nothing, and yet it is knowing something to know that thou knowest nothing.

Ergo, don’t bother learning anything.

XV. By a conceit, a certain red fly hath been called a Ladybird, and bidden to fly away home. The counsel is good, even to her who is neither bird uor fly. There is no place like home.

XVI. He who always holds his tongue will one day have nothing else to hold. Yet it is not good to be over-garrulous.

XVII. The weather-cock, working easily, can tell thee the way of the wind, but if the weather-cock sticks, the course of the wind will not be influenced thereby. Remember this.

XVIII. If thy heart is in the Highlands, it is not here.

XIX. Virtuous love is wholesome. Therefore be virtuous, to make thyself worthy of self-love. Not, of course, that thou art thereby prevented , from loving somebody else.


XX. Talk to thyself, and insist on a reply, yet not before the world, lest it think that nobody else will talk to thee.

Rather puts me in mind of this blog. Although I should have heeded the “yet not before the world” part.

XXI. A cat, even if she be friendly, never approaches thee by a direct course. No more does a truth, friend; but winding round thy stupidities, and rubbing up against thy prejudices, it reaches thee gently and then perhaps scratches.
XXII. A stitch in time saves nine. If therefore thou feelest one in thy side, be thankful, friend.
XXIII. Love the moon, for she shines in the night, to give us light in the dark, whereas the sun only shines in the day time, when there is plenty of light, and his assistance is not wanted. Such is the difference between real and false charity.
XXIV. SOLOMON knew several things, allowing for his age, but I could teach him a few others.

(April 1855)