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Patelin

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The artful dodger. The French say, Savoir son Patelin (to know how to bamboozle you). Patelin is the name of an artful cheat in a farce of the fifteenth century so called. On one occasion he wanted William Josseaume to sell him cloth on credit, and artfully fell on praising the father of the merchant, winding up his laudation with this ne plus ultra: “He did sell on credit, or even lend to those who wished to borrow.” This farce was reproduced in 1706 by Brueys, under the name of LʹAvocat Patelin.

“Consider, sir, I pray you, how the noble Patelin, having a mind to extol to the third heaven the father of William Josseaume, said no more than this: ‘And he did lend to those who were desirous to borrow of him.ʹ”—Rabelais: Pantagruel, iii. 4.

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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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Passionists
Passover
Passy-measure or Passing-measure
Passy-measure Pavin
Pasteboard
Paston Letters
Pastorale of Pope Gregory
Patavinity
Patch
Patch (To)
Patelin
Patelinage
Patent Rolls
Pater Noster
Pater Patrum
Paternoster Row (London)
Pathfinder
Patience cry the Lepers
Patient (The)
Patient Grisel
Patin