phrases, sayings, idioms and expressions at

Mills of the god

Posted by ESC on May 29, 2004

In Reply to: Phrase origin posted by Danna on May 29, 2004

: "The wheels of the gods grind slowly yet exceedingly fine". I was thinking that this is from either a Shakespeare tragedy or a greek tragedy but I cannot find reference for it anywhere. Any ideas?

THE MILLS OF GOD (THE GODS) GRIND SLOWLY - "At some point a sinner will be punished; many decisions or events that are important in one's life take time in coming. Some 1,600 years ago the Greek philosopher Sextus Empiricus wrote: 'The mills of the gods grind slowly, but they grind small.' One of Longfellow's translations was a 17th century poem, 'Retribution,' by Friedrich Von Logau:

Though the mills of God grind slowly, yet they grind exceeding small;
Though with patience he stands waiting, with exactness grinds he all.

From "The Dictionary of Cliches" by James Rogers (Wings Books, Originally New York: Facts on File Publications, 1985).