kings have long arms

Cf. Gr. μακραὶ τυράννων χεῖρες, rulers’ hands reach a long way; OVID Heroides xvii. an nescis longas regibus esse manus? know you not that kings have far-reaching hands?

1539 R. TAVERNER tr. Erasmus’ Adages A4v Kynges haue longe handes. They can brynge in men, they can pluck in thinges, though they be a great weye of.

1578 LYLY Euphues I. 221 Knowest thou not Euphues that kinges haue long armes, and rulers large reches?

1752 B. FRANKLIN Poor Richard’s Almanack (Jan.) Kings haue long Arms, but misfortune longer.

1927 P. B. NOYES Pallid Giant iii. ‘How will you insure Markham’s safety if he takes refuge here?’.. ‘Governments, proverbially, have long arms.’

1975 D. DUNNETT Checkmate V. x. 536 ‘I would ask you to be very your doings when you return to Scotland. I have a long arm.’ ‘Monseigneur: you have no arm at all,’ Lymond said, ‘unless England allows you a sleeve for it.’

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