Have you ever heard of this author? I never had, but somehow I ended up at this page at Bartleby.com:
The page is an excerpt from Bartlett’s Familiar Quotations; it’s just a list of common sayings and proverbs collected by Heywood back in his pre-industrial era. I was surprised to see how many of those proverbs are still commonly used, both vocally and in print. A few examples:
Haste maketh waste.
The fat is in the fire.
When the sunne shineth, make hay.
While betweene two stooles my taile goe to the ground.
When the steede is stolne, shut the stable durre.
As you can readily see, Heywood was writing before English spelling had been standardised! To me, the archaic spelling gives his aphorisms a certain antique charm.
William Shakespeare was familiar with Heywood’s collection, which was a best-seller in its time.
John Heywood was also a playwright. I got a kick out of this quatrain from his play Be Merry Friends:
Let the world slide, let the world go; A fig for care, and a fig for woe! If I can’t pay, why I can owe, And death makes equal the high and low.