no man can serve two masters

no man can serve two masters
With allusion to MATTHEW vi. 24 (AV) No man can serve two masters (the verse which concludes you cannot serve God and Mammon).

c 1330 in T. Wright Political Songs (1839) 325 No man may wel serve tweie lordes to queme [please].

c 1477 CAXTON Jason (EETS) 57 No man may wel serve two maistres, for that one corumpeth that other.

1642 D. ROGERS Naaman vi. You cannot have your will..and Christ too; no man can serve two masters.

1853 R. C. TRENCH On Lessons in Proverbs v. Our lord..has said: ‘No man can serve two masters.’.. So the Spanish proverb: He who has to serve two masters, has to lie to one.

1979 ‘C. AIRD’ Some die Eloquent v. The Coroner’s Officer existed in a sort of leaderless no-man’s-land. Hostilities had broken out over this more than once... No man can serve two masters.


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  • Serve — Serve, v. t. [imp. & p. p. {Served}; p. pr. & vb. n. {Serving}.] [OE. serven, servien, OF. & F. servir, fr. L. servire; akin to servus a servant or slave, servare to protect, preserve, observe; cf. Zend har to protect, haurva protecting. Cf.… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • man — see man cannot live by bread alone whatever man has done, man may do a man is as old as he feels, and a woman as old as she looks man is the measure of all things man proposes, God disposes man’s extremity is …   Proverbs new dictionary

  • two — see two blacks don’t make a white while two dogs are fighting for a bone, a third runs away with it two heads are better than one two is company, but three is none two of a trade never agree if two ride on a …   Proverbs new dictionary

  • serve — see you cannot serve God and Mammon no man can serve two masters if you would be well served, serve yourself first come, first served pay beforehand was never well served youth must be served …   Proverbs new dictionary

  • To serve a process — Serve Serve, v. t. [imp. & p. p. {Served}; p. pr. & vb. n. {Serving}.] [OE. serven, servien, OF. & F. servir, fr. L. servire; akin to servus a servant or slave, servare to protect, preserve, observe; cf. Zend har to protect, haurva protecting. Cf …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • To serve a warrant — Serve Serve, v. t. [imp. & p. p. {Served}; p. pr. & vb. n. {Serving}.] [OE. serven, servien, OF. & F. servir, fr. L. servire; akin to servus a servant or slave, servare to protect, preserve, observe; cf. Zend har to protect, haurva protecting. Cf …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • To serve a writ — Serve Serve, v. t. [imp. & p. p. {Served}; p. pr. & vb. n. {Serving}.] [OE. serven, servien, OF. & F. servir, fr. L. servire; akin to servus a servant or slave, servare to protect, preserve, observe; cf. Zend har to protect, haurva protecting. Cf …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • To serve a writ of attachment — Serve Serve, v. t. [imp. & p. p. {Served}; p. pr. & vb. n. {Serving}.] [OE. serven, servien, OF. & F. servir, fr. L. servire; akin to servus a servant or slave, servare to protect, preserve, observe; cf. Zend har to protect, haurva protecting. Cf …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • To serve an attachment — Serve Serve, v. t. [imp. & p. p. {Served}; p. pr. & vb. n. {Serving}.] [OE. serven, servien, OF. & F. servir, fr. L. servire; akin to servus a servant or slave, servare to protect, preserve, observe; cf. Zend har to protect, haurva protecting. Cf …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • To serve an execution — Serve Serve, v. t. [imp. & p. p. {Served}; p. pr. & vb. n. {Serving}.] [OE. serven, servien, OF. & F. servir, fr. L. servire; akin to servus a servant or slave, servare to protect, preserve, observe; cf. Zend har to protect, haurva protecting. Cf …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

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