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Carry Fire in one Hand and Water in the other (To)

.

To say one thing and mean another; to flatter, to deceive; to lull suspicion in order the better to work mischief.

“Altera manu fert aquam, altera ignem.

Altera manu fert lapidem, altera panem ostentat.”


Plautus.

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Entry taken from Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, edited by the Rev. E. Cobham Brewer, LL.D. and revised in 1895.

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