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Glass Houses

Those who live in glass houses should not throw stones. When, on the union of the two crowns, London was inundated with Scotchmen, Buckingham was a chief instigator of the movement against them, and parties used nightly to go about breaking their windows. In retaliation, a party of Scotchmen smashed the windows of the Duke's mansion, which stood in St. Martin's Fields, and had so many windows that it went by the name of the “Glass-house.” The court favourite appealed to the king, and the British Solomon replied, “Steenie, Steenie, those wha live in glass housen should be carefu' how they fling stanes.”

This was not an original remark of the English Solomon, but only the application of an existing proverb: “El que tiene tejados de vidro, no tire piedras al de su vezino.” (Nunez de Guzman: Proverbios.) ( See also Chaucer's Troylus, ii.)

Qui a sa maison de verre,
Sur le voisin ne jette pierre.

Proverbes en Rimes (1664).

Source: Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, E. Cobham Brewer, 1894
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