An (the) iron hand (fist) in a (the) velvet glove
Posted by David FG on November 30, 2004
In Reply to: An (the) iron hand (fist) in a (the) velvet glove posted by Lee on November 30, 2004
: Where does this expression originally come from ?
: [Dead link removed - ed]
Not sure about the original origin (if you will forgive the phrase) but I have always believed it came from the Latin 'Suaviter in modo, fortiter in re', which means (with a certain freedom of translation) something similar.