it is easier to raise the devil than to lay him

it is easier to raise the devil than to lay him

1655 T. FULLER Church Hist. Britain x. iv. The Boy having gotten a habit of counterfeiting..would not be undeviled by all their Exorcisms, so that the Priests raised up a Spirit which they could not allay.

1725 N. BAILEY tr. Erasmus’ Colloquies 202 ’Tis an old Saying and a true, ’Tis an easier Matter to raise the Devil, than ’tis to lay him.

1845 MACAULAY Works (1898) XII. 136 Did you think, when, to serve your turn, you called the Devil up, that it was as easy to lay him as to raise him?

2003 National Post’s Financial Post & FP Investing (Canada) 5 May FP6 The latest revelation about Qwest wasn’t the only reminder that, as Erasmus once said, it’s easier to raise the devil than to lay him to rest. As a matter of fact, it was a banner week for fresh exposures of transgressions by prominent sinners, corporate and human alike.

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