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In a short essay entitled "The Truth and Myths about Benjamin Franklin" that appeared in the 1990 issue of The Old Farmer's Almanac commemorating the bicentennial of Benjamin Franklin's (1706-1790) death, David Lord repeats the often stated claim that "Franklin coined countless catch phrases of morality and wisdom in his peerless Poor Richard's Almanac".[1] In an accompanying box listing twenty of "Franklin's Famous Phrases" and a few examples of phrases that "Franklin didn't mint", he seriously misleads his readers by this juxtaposition of "true" and "false" Franklin proverbs into believing that this great American printer, writer, publisher, scientist, inventor, businessman, and diplomat was in fact also the originator of numerous new proverbs. Yet nothing could be further from the truth, as Robert Newcomb, in particular, has shown in his seminal study The Sources of Benjamin Franklin's Sayings of Poor Richard (Diss. University of Maryland, 1957). Among Franklin and proverb scholars it is now generally known that this pragmatist of common-sense philosophy relied heavily on various proverb collections for the numerous proverbial texts that he included in his instructive and entertaining Poor Richard's Almanack which he published for twenty-five years from 1733 to 1758.[2] Many of these proverbs he integrated verbatim into the almanacs, but as an acute "proverb stylist" he also reformulated some of them in his own wording. Many of these became current due to the unrivaled popularity of the almanacs, of which about 10,000 copies were sold every year. A very few of his own creations, at most 5% of the total of 1044 proverbial texts that appeared in the almanacs, did become proverbs in their own right, notably "Three removes is as bad as a fire", "Laziness travels so slowly, that poverty soon overtakes it" and "There will be sleeping enough in the grave".[3]

It should, therefore, not be surprising that the extremely popular proverb "Early to bed and early to rise, makes a man healthy wealthy and wise" [sic] which Franklin cites in this precise wording as a bit of proverbial wisdom and advice for the month of October in his Poor Richard's Almanack for the Year 1735 does not stem from him at all.[4] That does not, of course, prevent such popular writers as David Lord from continuing the "myth" that Franklin did originate this Anglo-American favorite saying. On a more official level E. D. Hirsch and his co-compilers of the best-selling Dictionary of Cultural Literacy (1988) claimed with equal conviction at the end of the eighties that this is "a saying of Benjamin Franklin in Poor Richard's Almanack".[5] The same is true for the widely disseminated 15th edition of John Bartlett's Familiar Quotations (1980),[6] whose modern editor Emily Morison Beck should have known better. After all, previous editions including the centennial 13th edition of 1955 referred quite correctly to John Clarke's (d. 1658) Paroemiologia Anglo-Latina [...] or Proverbs English, and Latine (1639) where the proverb is cited almost one hundred years before Franklin used it.[7] It is not at all clear why Beck dropped this extremely important source reference that even includes a very early quite similar variant from 1598 in the 14th and 15th edition of this major reference work. This unfortunate exclusion should certainly be rectified in the next edition.

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Proverbs, Sayings and Popular Wisdom - Audio Proverbs in English and Romance Languages, Proverb Studies, Proverb Collections, International Proverb Bibliographies


De Proverbio – Latin for ‘About the Proverb’ – is a website devoted to proverbs in several languages. It was founded in January 1995 at the University of Tasmania, Australia. De Proverbio was the world’s first refereed electronic journal of international proverb studies. It’s inspiration was Proverbium: Yearbook of International Proverb Scholarship edited by Prof. Wolfgang Mieder at the University of Vermont. The Yearbook continued the tradition of Proverbium: Bulletin d’Information sur les Recherches Parémiologiques, published occasionally from 1965 to 1975 by the Society for Finnish Literature, Helsinki.

Recently, the website has added audio proverbs in six languages, read by native speakers.  Also available for the lovers of languages and their proverbial richess is a page of multilingual proverb crosswords.

Proverbs and Their Definition

From time immemorial proverbs have fascinated people of all ages and from all walks of life. As it happened throughout centuries, common people today still avail themselves of the proverb’s rich oral tradition to convey their culture and values, while scholars collect and study them from a wide range of angles: linguistic, social, psychological, political, historical and so on.

Proverbs by James Chapman - cat
A cat in mittens won’t catch mice

The problem of proverb definition is still open. However, it is broadly accepted that proverbs were born from man’s experience. And that they generally express, in a very succinct way, common-sense truths. They give sound advice and reflect the human condition. But, as we know, human nature is both good and bad and the latter is often mirrored by discriminatory proverbs, be they against women, different nationalities or particular social groups. For a thorough discussion of proverb definition, see Popular Views of the Proverb by Prof. Wolfgang Mieder. Another article which sheds some light on the proverb definition is The Wisdom of Many and the Wit of One by Archer Taylor.

Proverbs and Their Origin

As to the origin of proverbs we tend to assume that they were born in times when human society began to self-impose rules and embrace principles necessary for communal living. Research can trace them back only to the time when language was recorded by means of some type of writing. The Sumerian civilisation of more than five thousand years ago is the oldest known civilisation to have made use of proverbs, some of which have been passed on through its cuneiform inscriptions.

One such proverb, in its Latin version, is Canis festinans caecos parit catulos. It spread to other languages. The English translation is The hasty bitch brings forth blind whelps. In French, it became La chienne dans sa hâte a mis bas des chiots aveugles. In the Italian La gatta frettolosa fece i gattini ciechi, the bitch has been replaced by the cat. The Portuguese version is Cadelas apressadas parem cães tortos, and the Romanian, Căţeaua de pripă îşi naşte căţeii fără ochi.

Proverbs and Their Use

Apart from use on a wide scale in day-to-day speech, there is ample evidence that proverbs were essential tools in teaching and learning. The pedagogical use of proverbs was encountered first in Sumerian society and subsequently this use became widespread throughout Medieval Europe.

Proverbs by James Chapman - book
A book is like a garden carried in the pocket

Proverbs and proverbial expressions are found in religious manuscripts of the first half of the eighth century. The aim of introducing proverbs into religious texts was to help novices to learn Latin, and this practice became widespread by the tenth century.

The use of proverbs in teaching and learning was not circumscribed to England. Relatively new research attests to the use of proverbs in teaching in the eleventh century in Liège, France. In Italy the famous medical School of Salerno of the eleventh century formulated medical precepts which later became proverbs adopted by different cultures. Post prandium stabis, post coenam ambulabis was translated After dinner sit awhile, after supper walk a mile in English. In French became Après dîner repose un peu, après souper promène une mille, while in Italian Dopo pranzo riposar un poco, dopo cena passeggiar un miglio. The Spanish version is Después de yantar reposad un poco, después de cenar pasead una milla and the Portuguese Depois de jantar, dormir; depois de cear, passos mil.

Proverbs and Their Abuse

But from use comes abuse, as a Spanish proverb says.  There is no doubt that the capacity of the proverb to convey universal truths concisely led to their abuse and manipulation.

Hitler and his Nazi regime employed proverbs as emotional slogans for propaganda purposes and encouraged the publication of anti-semitic proverb collections. For a thorough analysis of this phenomenon, please read the fascinating article “ … as if I were the master of situation.” Proverbial Manipulation in Adolf Hitler by Prof. Wolfgang Mieder.

At the opposite end of the political spectrum, communist regimes of the past have not only manipulated proverbs, but also purged popular collections of features which did not reflect their political ends. The former Soviet regime is at the forefront of such actions. One type of manipulation described by Jean Breuillard in Proverbes et pouvoir politique: Le cas de l’U.R.S.S.  (published in “Richesse du proverbe”, Eds. François Suard and Claude Buridant. Lille: Université de Lille, 1984. II, 155-166). It consisted in modifying ancient proverbs like La vérité parcourt le monde (Truth spreads all over the world) into La vérité de Lénine parcourt le monde (Lenin’s truth spreads all over the world). As a result the new creation is unequivocably charged with a specific ideological message.

Manipulation did not stop at individual proverbs, it extended to entire collections. Vladimir Dal’s mid-nineteen century collection of Russian proverbs is such an example. Its first Soviet edition (1957) reduces the proverbs containing the word God from 283 to 7 only. Instead, those which express compassion for human weaknesses, such as alcoholism, disappear altogether. In more recent years, in Ceauşescu’s Romania, Proverbele românilor (published in 1877 by I. C. Hinţescu) suffered the same treatment. More than 150 proverbs were eliminated or changed in order to respond rigidly to the communist ideology.

Proverbs Across Time and Space

The Oxford Dictionary of English Proverbs states that foreign proverbs’ contribution to the English proverbial stock has enriched our language. Many proverbs of foreign origin were quickly absorbed into English life and have a rightful place in an English dictionary. Indeed, a close scrutiny of that dictionary reveals that more than two hundred and fifty proverbs are listed as first existing in Italian.

This is also true for other modern languages, particularly French and Spanish. The translation is not always literal. At times it is adapted to the new language and the resulting proverb is often enriched in its expression. For instance the Latin Homo sine pecunia est imago mortis (A man without money is the image of death) is rather closely translated in Italian as Uomo senza quattrini è un morto che cammina (A man without money is a dead man walking).

However, in other languages the metaphor changes, but not the meaning. In English the proverb becomes A man without money is a bow without an arrow, while in French Un homme sans argent / Est un loup sans dents (A man without money is a wolf without teeth) and an element of rhyme is introduced. The Romanian adaptation is a real poetic gem Omul fără bani e ca pasărea fără aripi; Când dă să zboare / Cade jos şi moare (A man without money is like a bird without wings; When he tries to fly / He falls down and dies). The concept is essentially the same: the man without money lacks something important…

Proverbs Today

Proverbs by James Chapman - egg and hen
The egg thinks it’s smarter than the hen

While proverbs are still used today in a traditional way, that is in speech, literature and teaching, they have found a new ever expanding use in the advertising industry and in the mass media. One example is Here today, gone tomorrow, which became Hair today, gone tomorrow in the hair-removal industry. In the mass media it has a variety of paraphrases such as Hear today, gone tomorrow or Heir today, gone tomorrow. Before the Barcelona Olympic Games the old proverb All roads lead to Rome became All roads lead to… Barcelona in many English language newspapers and magazines. A new phenomenon encountered in many languages nowadays and is undoubtedly a sign of the proverb’s resilience and vitality.

Important writers of the past, among them Goethe and Voltaire, have questioned the traditional wisdom of proverbs. That led to some proverb transformations. Prof. Wolfgang Mieder coined the term anti-proverb for all forms of creative proverb changes. They can be deliberate innovations, alterations, variations, parodies. Anti-proverbs are widely spread today, some living a short time, some even making their way into recent proverb collections. A new broom sweeps clean, but the old one knows the corners and Absence makes the heart grow fonder – for somebody else are considered anti-proverbs.

Proverbs and Their Collection

Apart from studies on individual and multilingual proverbs and proverbial expressions, you will find a few e-books on our website. I will mention a Brazilian collection and a dictionary of equivalent English and Romanian proverbs. Prof. Wolfgang Mieder’s yearly bibliographies are an invaluable tool for students and researchers. Given their widespread use over the millennia, it is no wonder that scholars of the past started assembling proverbs in collections. Aristotle is believed to be among the first paremiographers (collectors of proverbs), but, unfortunately, his collection was lost. In more recent times a great impetus to the collection of proverbs was given by Erasmus. His fame spread from Venice throughout Europe after the publication in 1508 of his Adagiorum Chiliades. This collection contained 3,260 proverbs drawn from classical authors.

The success of the book led to several augmented editions culminating with that of 1536, which contains 4,151 proverbs. Erasmus’ work was translated into several European languages. While it became the model for future proverb collections in those languages, they were widely copied and translated.

One good example of such a practice is the 1591 Italian collection Giardino di Ricreatione, nel quale crescono fronde, fiori e frutti, vaghe, leggiadri e soavi, sotto nome di sei miglia proverbii, e piacevoli riboboli Italiani, colti e scelti da Giovanni Florio. And two decades later appeared in French as Le Jardin de Récréation, au quel croissent rameaux, fleurs et fruits très-beaux, gentils et souefs, soubz le nom de Six mille proverbes et plaisantes rencontres françoises, recueillis et triéez par GOMÈS DE TRIER, non seulement utiles mais délectables pour tous espritz désireux de la très-noble et copieuse langue françoise, nouvellement mis en lumière, à Amsterdam, par PAUL DE RAVESTEYN.

Proverbs and Fun

Proverbs by James Chapman - duck
If the world flooded, it wouldn’t matter to the duck

On the less academic side, you can test your knowledge of languages by solving our bilingual or multilingual crosswords. Or, you can listen to our featured proverbs in 6 languages – English, French, Italian, Portuguese, Romanian and Spanish. Also, enjoy sharing them with your friends. Some were posted on Twitter as comments to political events of the day.

Painters in Renaissance time, from Hieronymus Bosch to Pieter Bruegel, with his famous Netherlandish Proverbs, were attracted by the subject.

Modern artists like James Chapman illustrated recently proverbs from other world languages with hilarious cartoons. See some of his images on this page.

The full text of this article is published in De Proverbio - Issue 1:1995, an electronic book, available from amazon.com and other leading Internet booksellers.

While it is one thing to criticize a scholarly publication as Bartlett's Familiar Quotations, it is quite another matter with the misconception that the general folk might have regarding the origin of this particular proverb. To this day people use such introductory formulas as "Benjamin Franklin said" or even more frequently "as Poor Richard says", a formula which Franklin himself had employed so often in his almanacs. There can be no doubt that Franklin played a major role in spreading and popularizing traditional proverbs among his compatriots. They read them daily in his almanacs, they heard them on Sunday in church, and clearly they used them in all public encounters and at home in the family. People got so used to citing proverbs with reference to the almanacs that proverbs which were long in use in England since the Middle Ages became looked at as American proverbs that originated with Benjamin Franklin. That is still the case at the present time, as field research by folklore students of the University of California at Berkely shows. One of these students reports what her grandfather used to say to her when at the age of seven she wanted to stay up and watch T.V.: "He would say, 'You know what Ben Franklin always said? Early to bed and early to rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy, and wise".[8] Another student recorded that her informant "thinks that this saying originated with Benjamin Franklin",[9] while a third collector quotes his informant to have "remembered that Ben Franklin said this".[10] The informants are not always that certain about Franklin's authorship, one reporting "that it was possibly Benjamin Franklin who first said it"[11] and another stating that "she believes that her father learned it as something that Benjamin Franklin once said. She was not certain that he did state this proverb but she said it is a good example to follow".[12] Whether assertively or with some doubt, many if not most current speakers of the proverb will refer to or think of Benjamin Franklin or his Poor Richard's Almanack when citing this proverb. In the folk's mind this proverb and many others that appear in the almanacs and which continue to be favorites in the United States today were created by Benjamin Franklin when, in fact, he merely stated or slightly restated old proverbs. As a scholar one can point out this discrepancy, but it is part of folklore that these texts are often regarded as Benjamin Franklin's "proverbs".

Nothing could, however, be further from the truth, and it is important to note that Franklin himself tried to rectify this popular error already during his lifetime. As a didactic writer and as a printer and shrewd businessman with the desire of spreading high moral and practical wisdom among his readers he must have been very pleased about the success of his little almanacs that averaged only thirty-six pages per issue. Obviously he was excited to read and hear how people were quoting "his" proverbs in written and oral communication. Yet he knew only too well that most of the proverbs and maxims were not at all his own. In his autobiography he wrote in 1788 that the proverbs he cited in the almanacs "contained the wisdom of many ages and nations".[13] But this was by no means a belated admission on Franklin's part that he had actually been copying the proverbial wisdom from various sources throughout the many years that he acted as the compiler of the alamancs. He had been honest about this fact before, especially at the end of his famous preface to the alamanc of 1758 which he wrote in the summer of 1757 and which became an international best-seller essay with the title "The Way to Wealth". At the end of this masterful treatise on virtue, prosperity, prudence and above all economic and monetary common-sense he openly admitted the following: "[...] my vanity was wonderfully delighted with it [that people quote "his" proverbs by adding the formula "as Poor Richard says"], though I was conscious that not a tenth part of the wisdom was my own, [...], but rather the gleanings that I made of the sense of all ages and nations".[14] There was thus no intentional deception on Franklin's part, but in keeping with the spirit of the time he certainly didn't mind copying proverbs and maxims out of books without citing his sources and taking a bit of credit where he could.

But what is the origin and history of the proverb "Early to bed and early to rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise" for which Benjamin Franklin appears to have been but an intermediate popularizer and at best an apocryphal source? The first recorded reference of this proverb in the English language is an early variant that appeared in A Treatyse of Fysshynge wyth an Angle dating from 1496:

Also who soo woll vse the game of anglynge: he must ryse erly. Whiche thyng is prouffrable to man in this wyse / That is to wyte: moost to the heele of his soule. For it shall cause hym to be hole. Also to the encrease of his goodys. For it shall make hym ryche. As the olde englysshe prouverbe sayth in this wyse. Who soo woll ryse erly shall be holy helthy & zely.[15]

This proverb does not yet talk about "going to bed early" and the triad of "holy helthy & zely" (i.e. happy, fortunate) does not yet completely agree with the proverb as it is cited later, but this variant is clearly a precursor. The statement that early rising will "encrease [...] goodys" already alludes to the later idea of becoming "wealthy". And that the author introduces the text with the introductory formula "as the olde englysshe prouverbe sayth in this wyse" is, of course, of great importance in establishing the fact that the proverb might be considerably older than 1496, dating perhaps from the middle or even the beginning of the 15th century.

The second historical reference stems from The Book of Husbandry (1523) by Anthony Fitzherbert (1470-1538) that contains a half-page paragraph entitled "A shorte lesson for the husbande":

One thinge I wyl aduise the to remembre, and specially in wynter-tyme, whan thou sytteste by the fyre, and hast supped, to consyder in thy mynde, whether the warkes, that thou, thy wyfe, & thy seruauntes shall do, be more auauntage to the tan the fyre, and candell-lyghte, meate and drynke that they shall spende, and if it be more auantage, than syt styll: and if it be not, than go to thy bedde and slepe, and be vppe betyme, and breake thy faste before day, that thou mayste be all the shorte wynters day about thy busynes. At grammer-scole I lerned a verse, that is this, Sanat, sanctificat, et ditat surgere mane. That is to say, Erly rysyng maketh a man hole in body, holer in soule, and rycher in goodes. And this me semeth shuld be sufficient instruction for the husbande to kepe measure.[16]


The full text of this article is published in De Proverbio - Issue 1:1995, an electronic book, available from amazon.com and other leading Internet booksellers.

Mere proverb allusions run the risk of not being understood, even if they refer to very common proverbs. Nevertheless, such lack of communication is rather rare among native speakers, and there certainly was no confusion possible in the case of a short gossipy column by Stanton Delaplane (1907-1988) in the San Francisco Chronicle of March 12, 1980, that mentions only part of the proverb in the title and more of it plus Benjamin Franklin in the text itself:

'And Early to Rise'

"Plough deep while sluggards sleep," said Benjamin Franklin. "Early to bed and early to rise."
Ran into some of Ben's personal history the other night. He was in France doing a little work for the U.S. government. He was quite a dude with the Paris girls. "Early to bed and as often as possible," was Ben's motto.
How he managed to get up early--with the routine he had going--is beyond me. He certainly gave the mademoiselles a vote of confidence. Didn't find out how well he did for the U.S.A.
"Early to bed and early to rise" doesn't give you much leisure time. But some smart fellow has discovered that the "leisure class" no longer exists. The more money you have, the harder you have to work.
I never figured to get out of work and into the leisure class. Now it seems I did the right thing. If I had made it, there's no leisure left.[118]

But it will take time until these changes will in fact be accepted by large numbers of the population in the English speaking world. Most of the parodies cited above, perhaps with the exception of George Ade's "Early to bed and early to rise and you won't meet many prominent people", will certainly not become proverbial in their own right. The fact that such parodies in the form of anti-proverbs[145] exist at all is ample proof that the traditional proverb is still very much present and valid. A wonderful example of how people to this day are surrounded by this proverbial wisdom can be seen from a Häger comic strip from 1985 that presents a number of proverbs that argue for getting up early and then creates a new text in order to avoid rising that early: "'Up and at 'em, Tiger'--'The early bird gets the worm'--'Up sluggard, and waste not life'--'Early to bed and early to rise makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise'--'He who gets up early is a blooming fool'--'I knew if I tried long enough I'd find one I liked'."[146] That last self-rationalizing invented pseudo-proverb won't do the "trick" unfortunately--everybody confronted by this comic strip knows that. There is not much or at least only a temporary chance of escaping the inevitability of proverbs. It is one thing to poke fun of proverbs, to parody them or to argue against them with biting satire, but a complete escape from or utter denunciation of the age-old wisdom expressed in them is simply not possible. Benjamin Franklin knew this only too well when he drew on the traditional proverb stock of the English language to instruct his colonial Americans with their wisdom in his many volumes of Poor Richard's Alamanck. He invented or coined barely any proverbs, but he popularized them to such an extent that some of them, notably the proverb "Early to bed and early to rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise", came to be attached to his name especially in the mind of Americans.[147] Yet even this apocryphal identification of the proverb with Benjamin Franklin is starting to be forgotten as the general level of cultural literacy appears to be declining, and the proverb is once again becoming a piece of true folk wisdom that is attached to no individual person. Benjamin Franklin as "coiner" of the proverb was thus but a mere interlude in the history of this proverb about health, wealth and wisdom. It was, therefore, quite appropriate that a traditional embroidery sampler[148] of the proverb from 1977 did not attach the name of Benjamin Franklin to it but rather let the proverb speak for itself with proper anonymity:

Early to Bed,
Early to Rise,
Makes a Man
Healthy, Wealthy
and Wise.



  1. David Lord, "The Truths and the Myths about Ben Franklin," The Old Farmer's Almanac for the Year 1990, ed. by Robert B. Thomas. Dublin/New Hampshire: Yankee Publishing Inc., 1989, pp. 44-47.
  1. See Thomas Herbert Russell (ed.), The Sayings of Poor Richard. Wit, Wisdom, and Humor of Benjamin Franklin in the Proverbs and Maxims of Poor Richard's Almanacks for 1733 to 1758. Chicago: Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States, 1926; Carl van Doren, Benjamin Franklin. New York: The Viking Press, 1938, esp. pp. 106-115, 149-150 and 266-268; Richard E. Amacher, "'Poor Richard's Almanack'," in R. E. Amacher, Benjamin Franklin. New York: Twayne Publishers, 1962, pp. 51-66; and James A. Sappenfield, "'Poor Richard's Almanac [sic]," in J. A. Sappenfield, A Sweet Instruction. Franklin's Journalism as a Literary Apprenticeship. Carbondale/Illinois: Southern Illinois University Press, 1973, pp. 121-177 and 221-223 (notes).

  2. See F. Edward Hulme, Proverb Lore. London: Elliot Stock, 1902; rpt. Detroit: Gale Research Co., 1968, pp. 62-64; Charles Meister, "Franklin as a Proverb Stylist," American Literature, 24 (1952-1953), 157-166; Frances M. Barbour, A Concordance to the Sayings in Franklin's "Poor Richard". Detroit: Gale Research Co., 1974; and Wolfgang Mieder, "Benjamin Franklin's 'Proverbs'," in W. Mieder, American Proverbs: A Study of Texts and Contexts. Bern: Peter Lang, 1989, pp. 129-142.

  3. The Complete Poor Richard Almanacks published by Benjamin Franklin. Reproduced in facsimile with an introduction by Whitfield J. Bell. Barre/Massachusetts: Imprint Society, 1970, vol. 1, p. 64.

  4. See E. D. Hirsch, Joseph F. Kett, and James Trefil (eds.), The Dictionary of Cultural Literacy. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Co., 1988, p. 49.

  5. See John Bartlett, Familiar Quotations, ed. by Emily Morison Beck. 15h ed. Boston: Little, Brown and Co., 1980, p. 347.

  6. See John Bartlett, Familiar Quotations, no eds. given. 13th ed. Boston: Little, Brown and Co., 1955, p. 330. See also p. 421 of the 14th ed. from 1968, where Emily Morison Beck as editor must have made the decision to drop the significant reference to John Clarke.

  7. The student collector was Lorrie Behrhorst, who remembered her grandafther Paul Schorr making this statement to her in 1967. She recorded it for the Berkeley Folklore Archive on November 13, 1979, in Berkeley, California. I would like to thank Alan Dundes from the University of California at Berkeley for making these archival materials available to me.

  8. Melissa Davis collected this statement from her husband Richard Davis on October 30, 1977, in Albany, California.

  9. Michael Lobo collected the proverb and this comment from Krista Lobo on November 26, 1976, in Oakland, California.

  10. Jane Franklin collected this statement from Susan Belloni on March 8, 1969, in Berkeley, California.

  11. Kathleen Mossi collected the proverb from Kathleen St. John who had heard it spoken by her father on November 7, 1978, in Berkeley, California.

  12. Cited from The Works of Benjamin Franklin, ed. by Jared Sparks. Philadelphia/Pennsylvania: Childs & Peterson, 1840, vol. 2, p. 92.

  13. Ibid., p. 103.

    Wolfgang Mieder
    Department of German and Russian
    University of Vermont
    Burlington, Vermont 05405

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