Gothic, goth (god); German, gott. (See
Alla, Adonist, Elohistic, etc.) It was Hiero, Tyrant of Syracuse, who
asked Simonides the poet, “What is God?” Simonides asked to have a day
to consider the question. Being asked the same question the next day he
desired two more days for reflection. Every time he appeared before
Hiero he doubled the length of time for the consideration of his
answer. Hiero, greatly astonished, asked the philosopher why he did so,
and Simonides made answer, “The longer I think on the subject, the
farther I seem from making it out.”
It was Voltaire who said, “Si Dieu n'existait pas, il faudrait
God and the saints.
“Il vaux mieux s'adresser à Dieu qu'à ses
saints.” “Il vaut mieux se tenir au tronc qu'aux branches.
” Better go to the master than to his steward or foreman.
God bless the Duke of Argyle.
It is said that the Duke of Argyle erected a row of posts to mark
his property, and these posts were used by the cattle to rub against. (Hotten: Slang Dictionary.)
God helps those who help themselves.
In French, “Aide-toi, le ciel t'aidera. ” “A toile
ourdie Dieu donne le fil” (You make the warp and God will make the
God made the country, and man made the town.
Cowper in The Task (The Sofa). Varro says in his De Re
Rustica, “Divina Natura agros dedit; Ars humana ædificavit
“God save the king. ” It is said by some that both the words
and music of this anthem were composed by Dr. John Bull (1563-1622),
organist at Antwerp cathedral, where the original MS. is still
preserved. Others attribute them to Henry Carey, author of Sally in
our Alley. The words, “Send him victorious,” etc., look like a
Jacobin song, and Sir John Sinclair tells us he saw that verse cut in
an old glass tankard, the property of P. Murray Threipland, of Fingask
Castle, whose predecessors were staunch Jacobites.
No doubt the words of the anthem have often been altered. The air
and words were probably first suggested to John Bull by the Domine
Salvum of the Catholic Church. In 1605 the lines, “Frustrate their
knavish tricks,” etc., were added in reference to Gunpowder Plot. In
1715 some Jacobin added the words, “Send him [the Pretender]
victorious,” etc. And in 1740 Henry Carey reset both words and music
for the Mercers' Company on the birthday of George II.
God sides with the strongest.
Julius Civiles. Napoleon I. said, “Le bon Dieu est toujours du
côté des gros bataillons. ” God helps those that help themselves.
The fable of Hercules and the Carter.
God tempers the wind to the shorn lamb.
Sterne (Maria, in the Sentimental Journey). In French, “A
brebis tondue Dieu lui mesure le vent; ” “Dieu mesure le froid à
la brebis tondue. ” “Dieu donne le froid selon la robbe.”
Sheep are shorn when the cold north-east winds have given way to
Full of the god
inspired, mænadic. (Latin, Dei plenus.)
Source: Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, E. Cobham Brewer, 1894
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