Every bean has its black. Nemo sine vitiis nascitur, “everyone has his faults.” The bean has a black eye. (Ogni grano ha la sua semola.)
slang for property, money, is the French biens, goods.
A bean' = a guinea, is in Grose. Like a beane [alms-money] in a monkeshood.
(See Barristers' Gowns.)
Aristotle says the word bean means venery, and that the prohibition to “abstain from beans” was equivalent to “keeping the body chaste.”
The French have the proverb, “If he gives me peas I will give him beans,” S'il me donne des pois, je lui donnerai des fèves, i.e. I will give him tit for tat, a Rowland for an Oliver.
“I was a fool, I was, and didn't know how many beans make five [that is how many beans must be moved to make up five].” —Farjeon.
“Few men better knew how many blue beans it takes to make five.” —Galt.
Blue Beans: “Three blue beans in a blue bladder.” A rattle for children.
F. Hark! does it rattle? S. Yes, like three blue beans in a blue bladder.
Old Fortunatus (Ancient Dramas), iii. p. 128.
“Blue beans” are bullets or shot. Three small bullets or large shot in a bladder would make a very good rattle for a child. (See Blue Beans.)
Source: Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, E. Cobham Brewer, 1894