little strokes fell great oaks

little strokes fell great oaks
Cf. ERASMUS Adages I. viii. multis ictibus deiicitur quercus, the oak is felled by many blows.

c 1400 Romaunt of Rose l. 3688 For no man at the firste strok Ne may nat felle down an ok.

1539 R. TAVERNER tr. Erasmus’ Adages 26v Wyth many strokes is an oke ouerthrowen. Nothyng is so stronge but that lyttell and lyttell maye be brought downe.

1591 SHAKESPEARE Henry VI, Pt. 3 II. i. 54 And many strokes, though with a little axe, Hews down and fells the hardest-timber’d oak. By many hands your father was subdu’d.

1757 B. FRANKLIN Poor Richard Improved: 1758 (Mar.) Stick to it steadily and you will see great Effects; for..Little Strokes fell great Oaks.

1869 C. H. SPURGEON John Ploughman’s Talk xxii. ‘By little strokes Men fell great oaks.’ By a spadeful at a time the navvies digged..the embankment.

1981 Family Circle Feb. 57 From the cradle to the grave we are reminded that..great oaks are only felled by a repetition of little strokes.

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  • little strokes fell great oaks — Meaning: even though something may seem impossible, if you break it up into small parts and take one step at a time, you will succeed …   The small dictionary of idiomes

  • great — see a great book is a great evil great minds think alike great oaks from little acorns grow death is the great leveller little strokes fell great oaks little thieves are hanged, but great ones escape …   Proverbs new dictionary

  • little — adjective see there is no little enemy little fish are sweet a little knowledge is a dangerous thing little leaks sink the ship little pitchers have large ears a little pot is soon hot …   Proverbs new dictionary

  • fell — see little strokes fell great oaks …   Proverbs new dictionary

  • Oxford Dictionary of Proverbs, Thematic Index — absence absence makes the heart grow fonder he who is absent is always in the wrong the best of friends must part blue are the hills that are far away distance lends enchantment to the view out of sight, out of mind …   Proverbs new dictionary

  • oak — see when the oak is before the ash, then you will only get a splash; when the ash is before the oak, then you may expect a soak beware of an oak, it draws the stroke; avoid an ash, it counts the flash; creep under the thorn, it can save you from… …   Proverbs new dictionary

  • stroke — see different strokes for different folks little strokes fell great oaks beware of an oak, it draws the stroke; avoid an ash, it counts the flash; creep under the thorn, it can save you from harm …   Proverbs new dictionary

  • resolution — I (New American Roget s College Thesaurus) Determination Nouns 1. resolution, resoluteness, determination, will, decision, strength of mind, resolve, firmness, steadfastness, energy, pluck, grit, backbone, morale, gumption, courage, devotion,… …   English dictionary for students

  • Epigram — An epigram is a short poem, often with a clever twist at the end or a concise and witty statement. Derived from the Greek epi gramma , or written upon , the literary device has been employed for over two millennia.The Greek tradition of epigrams… …   Wikipedia

  • за один раз дерева не срубишь — Ср. Viele Streiche fällen die Eiche. Little strokes fell great oaks. Ср. Au premier coup ne tombe pas l arbre. Ср. Al premier cop arbres nie chiet. Li livres de Cristal et de Clarie. Manuscr. XIII s. Ср. Ad primos ictus non corruit ardua quercus …   Большой толково-фразеологический словарь Михельсона

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