Oignez vilain, il vous poindra: Poignez vilain, il vous oindra.

[An old saying used by the French nobles during the middle ages, and found in a collection of proverbs of the thirteenth century.--Rab., i, 21. The Duc de Bourbon, in speaking before the États-Généraux in 1484, said: “Je connais le caractère des vilains. S'ils ne sont opprimés, il faut qu'ils oppriment.”

Comp. “Tender-handed stroke a nettle, And it stings you for your pains; Grasp it like a man of mettle, And it soft as silk remains.” --AARON HILL, Verses written on a window in Scotland.]