One beats the bush, but another has the hare, i.e. one does the work, but another reaps the profit. The Latins said, Sic vos non vobis. The allusion is to beating the bush to start game. (See Beating.)
The proverb is Latin, and shows that the Romans introduced the custom into Europe. “Vino vendibili hedera non opus est” (Columella). It was also common to France. “Au vin qui se vend bien, il ne faut point de lierre.”
“If it be true that good wine needs no bush, `tis true that a good play needs no prologue.”Shakespeare: As You Like It (Epilogue).
“Everything being much cheaper in Toronto than away in the bush.” —Geikie: Life in the Woods.
Source: Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, E. Cobham Brewer, 1894