Books: Dark Sayings

THE OXFORD DICTIONARY OF ENGLISH PROVERBS—William George Smith and Janet E. Heseltine—Oxford University Press ($6.50).

To give subtillty to the simple, to the young man knowledge and discretion . . . ; the words of the wise and their dark sayings.

Proverbs date from prehistory, and the old ones are all anonymous. Time was when they were the necessary salt for meaty speech; nowadays they are a condiment sparingly used. "Our economists of today theorize about the 'inevitability of gradualness.' Our ancestors of the less cerebral 15th Century meant much the same thing,...

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