The Proverbs Of John Heywood "One Good Turn Deserves Another"

John Heywood

"One Good Turn Deserves Another"

(Magill's Quotations in Context)

Context: The author is recounting the troubles of a young man who married too soon and against the wishes of his aunt and uncle. When the young husband returned to his foster parents, the uncle said that since the fellow had acted in haste, he could repent in leisure, and so saying chased him away from his former home. Traveling with a companion, the young husband decides to try his luck at the homes of some of his other kinsmen. But when he and his companion come to the home of one of them, the companion is greeted warmly, but the young husband is coolly received. The master of the house says that he has heard of the younger man's "matter," and he wants nothing to do with him:

And by'r lady, friend! nought lay down, nought take up;
Ka me, ka thee; one good turn asketh another;
Nought won by the tone, nought won by the tother.
To put me to cost, thou camest half a score miles
Out of thine own nest, to seek me in these out isles:
Where thou wilt not step over a straw, I think,
To win me the worth of one draught of drink,
No more than I have won of all thy whole stock.