God tempers the wind to the shorn lamb

God mercifully ensures that misfortune does not overwhelm the weak or helpless. The phrase to temper the wind (to the shorn lamb) is also common. Cf. 1594 H. ESTIENNE Premices 47 ces termes, Dieu mesure le froid á la brebis tondue, sont les propres termes du prouerbe, these terms, God measures the cold to the shorn sheepe, are the correct terms of the proverb.

1640 G. HERBERT Outlandish Proverbs no. 867 To a close shorne sheep, God gives wind by measure.

1768 STERNE Sentimental Journey II. 175 How she had borne it..she could not tell—but God tempers the wind, said Maria, to the shorn lamb.

1933 V. BRITTAIN Testament of Youth I. ii. There is an unduly optimistic proverb which declares that God tempers the wind to the shorn lamb. My subsequent history was hardly to justify such naive faith in the Deity.

1996 American Spectator Mar. 56 But as Laurence Sterne was wont to remind us, the Lord tempers the wind for the shorn lamb. There were bars.


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  • God tempers the wind to the shorn lamb — {literary} A person who is already helpless will not have more trouble; you will not have more trouble than you can bear. * /After Mr. Smith lost his job, the Smith s house caught fire, but the fire was put out before much harm was done. Mr.… …   Dictionary of American idioms

  • God tempers the wind to the shorn lamb — {literary} A person who is already helpless will not have more trouble; you will not have more trouble than you can bear. * /After Mr. Smith lost his job, the Smith s house caught fire, but the fire was put out before much harm was done. Mr.… …   Dictionary of American idioms

  • God\ tempers\ the\ wind\ to\ the\ shorn\ lamb — literary A person who is already helpless will not have more trouble; you will not have more trouble than you can bear. After Mr. Smith lost his job, the Smith s house caught fire, but the fire was put out before much harm was done. Mr. Smith… …   Словарь американских идиом

  • God — see you cannot serve God and Mammon where God builds a church, the devil will build a chapel God helps them that help themselves God is high above, and the tsar is far away God made the country, and man made the town …   Proverbs new dictionary

  • wind — See: GET WIND OF, GOD TEMPERS THE WIND TO THE SHORN LAMB, GONE WITH THE WIND, IN THE WIND, IT S AN ILL WIND THAT BLOWS NOBODY GOOD, SECOND WIND, STRAW IN THE WIND, TAKE THE WIND OUT OF ONE S SAILS, THREE SHEETS IN THE WIND or THREE SHEETS TO THE… …   Dictionary of American idioms

  • wind — See: get wind of, God tempers the wind to the shorn lamb, gone with the wind, in the wind, it s an ill wind that blows nobody good, second wind, straw in the wind, take the wind out of one s sails, three sheets in the wind or three sheets to the… …   Словарь американских идиом

  • wind — see when the wind is in the east, ’tis neither good for man nor beast April showers bring forth May flowers God tempers the wind to the shorn lamb it’s an ill wind that blows nobody any good north wind doth blow, we shall have snow …   Proverbs new dictionary

  • lamb — see the bleating of the kid excites the tiger God tempers the wind to the shorn lamb one might as well be hanged for a sheep as a lamb March comes in like a lion, and goes out like a lamb …   Proverbs new dictionary

  • lamb — See: GOD TEMPERS THE WIND TO THE SHORN LAMB, IN TWO SHAKES OF A LAMB S TAIL …   Dictionary of American idioms

  • lamb — See: God tempers the wind to the shorn lamb, in two shakes of a lamb s tail …   Словарь американских идиом


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