As I continue researching my novel concerning the Idaho gold rush, I wade though promising volumes of background material. One particular book centered on the right area of Idaho, yet proved to be about lumberjacks in the 1930s instead of gold miners of the 1800s. Since it arrived in my batch of research finds I decided to glance through it in hopes of finding a nugget (yes, an intended pun). I found a dandy story about a circus elephant and a lost poker bet, but not much else I could use. I did find these pithy bon mots of philosophy at the back of the book. Perhaps I will have various characters spout them at appropriate moments.
From Tales of the Clearwater by Sam Swayne:
1. Life is too short to shave with a dull razor.
2. Half of success is trying, and if you half try, you will succeed.
3. Too many men think that when they bite off more than they chew, they can wash it down with alcohol.
4. A dog that has been to the carcass doesn’t need to confess to his master where he has been.
5. A lean man lives long; a hog on a diet is the last to market.
6. The most conspicuous guest is usually the most unwelcome; a pole cat though long remembered is not invited to return.
7. Some wives are like varoom motors on tricycles. Lots of noise up front, but no help on the push.
8. Them that have nothing is them that don’t take care of what they have.
9. A whipped rooster runs from a rabbit, but the cock of the hen yard will fight the bull (which goes, I presume, with this last one):
10. He who is head of the house will go twice as far as the man who is shoved by his spouse.
Now I’m not saying I agree with the sayings; I’m thinking they catch the flavor of the setting invoked: both lumber camps and miner camps functioned without the company of women ( at least the marrying kind).
Any of these sayings still applicable to today?