never bid the devil good morrow until you meet him

1873 J. MORRIS Wanderings of Vagabond ii. 19 The firm of Giles & Morris never looked ahead to meet trouble, but were firm believers in an old Irish adage, which affirms that, ‘It’s time enough to bid the devil good morning when you meet him.’

1905 A. CARNEGIE James Watt iv. 77 Roebuck, on the contrary, continued hopeful and energetic, and often rallied his pessimistic partner on his propensity to look upon the dark side. He was one of those who adhered to the axiom, ‘Never bid the devil good-morning till you meet him.’

1923 Seanad Eireann 14 June (electronic ed.) MR. LINEHAN: Have you any indication as to whether the National Health Insurance Bill will be certified as a Money Bill? It looks very like the Unemployment Insurance Bill. AN CATHAOIRLEACH: It may be, but never bid the devil good morrow until you meet him. MR. LINEHAN: It may be too late then.

1929 F. D. GRIERSON Green Diamond Mystery vi. 66 By the time they reached Calais Kit had wisely resolved, in the classic phrase, not to bid the Devil good-morrow till he met him; in other words, to wait until he saw June, and then be guided by her reception of him.

1998 Beloit Daily News 19 Mar. (electronic ed.) Over the weekend, Ryan responded to hypothetical questions about having Fitzgerald on the ticket by saying ‘We should never bid the devil good morning until we meet him.’


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