The Bolton Ass. This creature is said to have chewed tobacco
and taken snuff. (Dr. Doran.)
Bate me an ace, quoth Bolton.
Give me some advantage. What you say must be qualified, as it is
too strong. Ray says that a collection of proverbs were once presented
to the Virgin Queen, with the assurance that it contained all the
proverbs in the language; but the Queen rebuked the boaster with the
proverb, “Bate me an ace, quoth Bolton,” a proverb omitted in the
compilation. John Bolton was one of the courtiers who used to play
cards and dice with Henry VIII., and flattered the king by asking him
to allow him an ace
or some advantage in the game.
Source: Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, E. Cobham Brewer, 1894
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