I just discovered another book treasure in my store inventory. It is the extremely useful and interesting text: “A World Treasury of Proverbs” edited by Henry Davidoff. The editor was kind enough to provide an author index for the different proverbs (when known). Here I’m going to provide a handy reference of twenty-five proverbs from Geoffrey Chaucer’s (1340-1400) writings as an aid for the literature or history student. You will note that the Old English (mis)spellings are preserved.
Habit maketh no monk, ne wearing of gilt spurs maketh no knight.
I hate him that my vices telleth me.
When a thing is sharpen, it shall be.
Every wise man dreadeth his enemy.
Evil shall have that evil well deserves.
Whoso will pray, he must fast and be clean, and fat his soul and make his body lean.
A fool may eke a wiseman often guide.
Fools cannot hold their tongues.
Fortune hath in her honey gall.
My son, keep well thy tongue, and keep thy friend.
Hazard is the very mother of lyings.
He is gentle that doth gentle deeds.
We wedded men live in sorrow and care.
Forever the latter end of joy is woe.
The greatest clerks be not the wisest men.
They do not live but linger. This life is but thoroughfare full of woe, and we but pilgrims passing to and fro.
Love is a thing aye full of busy dread.
Love is blind all day and may not see.
Patience is a virtue.
Patient men win the day.
For pity runneth soon in gentle heart.
If thou be poor, thy brother hateth thee,…
Full wise is he that can himselven know.
For half so boldly can there no man swear and lyen as a woman can.
A man shall win us best with flattery.
Henry Davidoff (editor). A World Treasury of Proverbs