Reference > Quotations > Robert Christy, comp. > Proverbs, Maxims and Phrases of All Ages
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Robert Christy, comp.  Proverbs, Maxims and Phrases of All Ages.  1887.
 
Devil
 
A customary railer is the devil’s bagpipe.  1
As good eat the devil as the broth he is boiled in.  2
At the end of the play the devil waits.  German.  3
Away goes the devil when he finds the door shut against him.  4
Call not the devil, he will come fast enough unbidden.  Danish.  5
Cast a bone in the devil’s teeth and it will save you.  6
Devils must be driven out with devils.  German.  7
Devil’s play and wine will together.  German.  8
Do not make two devils of one.  French.  9
Don’t mention the cross to the devil.  Italian.  10
Don’t tell the devil too much of your mind.  11
Even the devil has rights.  German.  12
From a closed door the devil turns away.  Portuguese.  13
Give even the devil his due.  14
Give the devil a finger and he’ll take the whole hand.  15
Give the devil rope enough and he’ll hang himself.  16
Great cry and little wool, quoth the devil when he sheared his hogs.  17
He had need of a long spoon that supped with the devil.  18
He is good as long as he is pleased and so is the devil.  19
He is not so much of a devil as he is black.  French.  20
He knows one point more than the devil.  21
He knows where the devil carries his tail.  Italian.  22
He must be a clever host that would take the devil into his hostelry.  Danish.  23
He must be ill favored who scares the devil.  Danish.  24
He must cry loud who would scare the devil.  Danish.  25
He must have iron fingers who would flay the devil.  Danish.  26
He must needs go whom the devil drives.  27
He needs a long spoon that would eat out of the same dish with the devil.  Danish.  28
He that has swallowed the devil may swallow his horns.  Italian.  29
He that hath the devil on his neck must find him work.  Dutch.  30
He that is afraid of the devil does not grow rich.  Italian.  31
He that is embarked with the devil must sail with him.  Dutch.  32
He that shippeth the devil must make the best of him.  33
He that takes the devil in his boat must carry him over the sound.  34
He that the devil drives, feels no lead at his heels.  35
He that worketh journey-work with the devil shall never want work.  36
He who has once invited the devil into his house will never be rid of him.  German.  37
Ill doth the devil preserve his servants.  38
It costs the devil little trouble to catch a lazy man.  German.  39
It is a sin to belie the devil.  40
It is an ill battle where the devil carries the colors.  41
It is an ill procession where the devil holds the candle.  42
It is easy to bid the devil be your guest, but difficult to get rid of him.  Danish.  43
It is good sometimes to hold a candle to the devil.  44
It is not for nothing the devil lays down in the ditch.  Danish.  45
Let the devil get into the church and he will mount the altar.  German.  46
Let the devil never find you unoccupied.  Latin.  47
Make not even the devil blacker than he is.  48
Needs must when the devil drives.  49
Never was hood so holy, but the devil could get his head in it.  Dutch.  50
 
 
One devil does not make hell.  Italian.  51
One devil drives out another.  Italian.  52
One devil knows another.  53
One may understand like an angel and yet be a devil.  54
One must sometimes hold a candle to the devil.  Dutch.  55
Open not your door when the devil knocks.  56
Pulling the devil by the tail does not lead far young or old.  French.  57
Raise no more devils than you can lay.  German.  58
Renounce the devil and thou shalt wear a shabby cloak.  Spanish.  59
Resist the devil and he will flee from thee.  New Testament.  60
Satan finds some mischief still
For idle hands to do.  Watts.
  61
Satan now is wiser than before,
And tempts by making rich, not making poor.  Pope.
  62
Satan’s friendship reaches to the prison door.  Turkish.  63
Seldom lies the devil dead in a ditch.  64
Talk of the devil and you hear his bones rattle.  Dutch.  65
Talk of the devil and his imp appears.  66
Talk of the devil and he’ll either send or come.  67
Tell everybody your business and the devil will do it for you.  Italian.  68
Tell the truth and shame the devil.  69
The devil alone can cheat the Hebrew.  Polish.  70
The devil always leaves a stink behind.  71
The devil can cite Scripture for his purpose.  Shakespeare.  72
The devil cannot receive a guest more worthy of him than a slanderer.  Fielding.  73
The devil catches most souls in a golden net.  German.  74
The devil divides the world between atheism and superstition.  75
The devil entangles youth with beauty, the miser with gold, the ambitious with power, the learned with false doctrine.  76
The devil gathers up curses and obscenities.  German.  77
The devil gets into the belfry on the vicar’s skirts.  Spanish.  78
The devil goes shares in gaming.  79
The devil has his martyrs among men.  Dutch.  80
The devil had no goats yet he sold cheese.  Modern Greek.  81
The devil hath not in all his quiver’s choice,
An arrow for the heart like a sweet voice.  Byron.
  82
The devil hath power to assume a pleasing shape.  Shakespeare.  83
The devil is a busy bishop in his own diocese.  84
The devil is a most bad master.  85
The devil is always ready at hand when called for.  Fielding.  86
The devil is bad because he is old.  Italian.  87
The devil is civil when he is flattered.  German.  88
The devil is fond of his own.  Gallician.  89
The devil is good to some.  90
The devil is good when he is pleased.  91
The devil is in the dice.  92
The devil is master of all arts.  German.  93
The devil is never nearer than when we are talking of him.  94
The devil is not always at a poor man’s door.  French.  95
The devil is not always at one door.  96
The devil is not in the quality of the wine but in the excess.  Turkish Spy.  97
The devil is not so black (or ugly) as he is painted.  Italian, German, Portuguese, Dutch.  98
The devil is so fond of his son that he put out his eyes.  Spanish.  99
The devil is subtle yet weaves a coarse web.  Italian.  100
The devil leads him by the nose, who the dice too often throws.  French.  101
The devil lies brooding in the miser’s chest.  102
The devil likes to souse what is already wet.  German.  103
The devil lurks (or sits) behind the cross.  French, German, Spanish, Dutch.  104
The devil may die without my inheriting his horns.  French.  105
The devil often carries the standard of the living God.  Ancient saying.  106
The devil rebukes sin.  107
The devil sleeps in my pocket: I have no cross to drive him from it.  Massinger.  108
The devil take the hindmost.  Spectator.  109
The devil tempts all, but the idle man tempts the devil.  Italian.  110
The devil turns away from a closed door.  Italian, Spanish.  111
The devil was handsome when he was young.  French.  112
The devil was sick, the devil a monk would be,
The devil was well, the devil a monk was he.
  113
The devil when he grows poor becomes an excise man.  Modern Greek.  114
The devil will not come into Cornwall (England) for fear of being put into a pie.  115
The devil will play at small games rather than none at all.  116
The devil will tempt Lucifer.  Italian.  117
The devil would have been a weaver but for the temple.  118
The devil’s behind the glass.  119
The devil’s children have the devil’s luck.  120
“The devil’s in the cards” said Sam, “four aces and not a single trump.”  121
The devil’s meal turns half to bran.  French, German.  122
There is no head so holy that the devil does not make a nest in it.  German.  123
They have begun a dispute which the devil will not let them end.  124
They run fast whom the devil drives.  125
They were both equally bad and the devil put them together.  126
’Tis an ill procession where the devil carries the cross.  127
To crow well and scrape ill is the devil’s trade.  128
What is gotten over the devil’s back is spent under his belly.  129
What the wind gathers, the devil scatters. (Ill come goods never stay.)  Modern Greek.  130
When every man gets his own the devil gets nothing.  Danish.  131
When the devil finds the door shut he goes away.  French, Spanish.  132
When the devil gets into the church, he seats himself on the altar.  Dutch.  133
When the devil grows old he turns hermit.  French, Italian.  134
When the devil says his pater noster, he means to cheat you.  French, Spanish.  135
When the devil was sick he thought to become a monk.  German.  136
When your devil was born mine was going to school.  Italian.  137
Where none else will, the devil himself must bear the cross.  138
Where the devil cannot put his head he puts his tail.  Italian.  139
Where the devil cannot go himself, he sends an old woman.  German.  140
Who serves God is the devil’s master.  German.  141
You pious rogue, said the devil to the hermit.  German.  142
You would be little for God, if the devil were dead.  143
 
 
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