(Anglo-Saxon drif-an.) To drive a good bargain. To exact more than is quite equable.
“Heaven would no bargain for its blessings drive.” Dryden: Astræa Redux, i 137.
To drive a roaring trade. To be doing a brisk business. The allusion is to a coachman who drives so fast that his horses pant and roar for breath.
To drive the swine through the hanks of yarn. To spoil what has been painfully done, to squander thrift. In Scotland, the yarn wrought in the winter (called the gude-wife's thrift) is laid down by the burn-side to bleach, and is peculiarly exposed to damage from passing animals. Sometimes a herd of pigs driven along the road will run over the hanks, and sometimes they will stray over them from some neighbouring farm-yard and do a vast amount of harm.
Source: Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, E. Cobham Brewer, 1894