soon ripe, soon rotten


soon ripe, soon rotten
Cf. L. cito maturum cito putridum, quickly ripe, quickly rotten.

1393 LANGLAND Piers Plowman C. XIII. 233 And that that rathest [earliest] rypeth, roteth most saunest.

1546 J. HEYWOOD Dialogue of Proverbs I. x. C4v In youth she was towarde [promising] and without euill. But soone rype sone rotten.

1642 D. ROGERS Naaman x. Some indeed..are moved to..disdaine by their inferiours forwardnesse, called them hastings, soone ripe, soone rotten.

1887 S. SMILES Life & Labour vi. Very few prize boys and girls stand the test of wear. Prodigies are almost always uncertain; they illustrate the proverb of ‘soon ripe, soon rotten’.

1976 L. ROSTEN O Kaplan! My Kaplan! II. iii. ‘Parkhill,’ Mr. Robinson steelily murmured, ‘we may all profit from the ancient adage: “Presto maturo, presto marcio?!” Yes: “The sooner ripe, the sooner rotten!” That applies to pupils no less than fruit!’


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