Great Throughts Treasury

This site is dedicated to the memory of Dr. Alan William Smolowe who gave birth to the creation of this database.

English Proverbs


"Knowledge in youth is wisdom in age."

"A guilty conscience needs no accuser."

"Habits are first cobwebs; at last, chains."

"Sloth is the parent of poverty."

"Piss not against the wind."

"The church is an anvil that has worn out many hammers."

"Idle men are dead all their life long."

"Life is full of hazards, which experience neither bought nor taught will always enable us to foresee."

"The passions are like fire and water, good servants but bad masters."

"We never do anything well, unless we love it for its own sake."

"Who thinks to live must live to think, else mind and body lose their link."

"You are never too old to learn."

"Zeal without knowledge is the sister of folly."

"Things are not always what they seem."

"Wisdom rides upon the ruins of folly."

"A candle lights others and consumes itself."

"A good names keeps its luster in the dark."

"A pennyweight of love is worth a pound of law."

"A nod from an honest man is enough."

"Affectation is a greater enemy to the face than smallpox."

"Anger dies quickly with a good man."

"Be just before you are generous."

"All good things must come to an end."

"Be not deceived with the first appearance of things, for show is not substance."

"Confine your tongue, lest it confine you."

"Custom without reason is but ancient error."

"Despair gives courage to a coward."

"Better untaught than ill-taught."

"Discretion is the better part of valor"

"Children are a poor man's riches."

"Eagles fly alone."

"Fools rush in where angels fear to tread."

"Experience is the mother of knowledge."

"Honesty is the best policy."

"Good that comes late is good for nothing."

"Lavishness is not generosity."

"It is hard to be high and humble."

"Looks are one thing and facts another."

"He dies like a beast who has done no good while he lived."

"He is rich enough that needs neither to flatter nor borrow"

"Lost time is never found."

"Never put off till tomorrow what may be done today."

"Never trouble trouble ‘till trouble troubles you."

"Passion will master you if you do not master passion."

"Plenty know good ale but don't know much after that."

"Riches serve a wise man but command a fool."

"There is no hell like a troubled conscience."

"The longest day must have an end."

"Submit to the rule you laid down."

"Prosperity lets go the bridle."