Healthy, Wealthy and Wise
Posted: 13 June 2007 12:41 PM   [ Ignore ]
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Can anyone tell me the origin of this phrase, please?  Thanks!

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Posted: 13 June 2007 01:16 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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It’s from an old proverb “Early to bed and early to rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise.” (The proverb is often attributed to Ben Franklin, but he merely quoted it—without the second comma—in Poor Richard’s Almanack for the Year 1735; see here for details.)

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Posted: 13 June 2007 01:20 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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I believe it originates with the proverb “Early to bed and early to rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy, and wise.” The OED has no earlier (or other) uses of the phrase.  That proverb did not, as I had thought, originate with Ben Franklin, but is cited from a 1639 collection of Latin and English proverbs assembled by one John Clarke.

(pipped by languagehat)

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Posted: 13 June 2007 01:32 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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The Oxford Dictionary of English Proverbs has this:

1523, Fitzherbert, Husbandry. “Erly rysyng maketh a man hole in body, holer in soule and rycher in goodes.”

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Posted: 03 December 2009 06:12 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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Given the colonists great knowledge of Hebrew and the Bible I would suggest an earlier origin. Rashi, the French commentator, comments on the Bible describing Jacob returning “whole” from the home of Laban, where he had gone to escape Esau. He says that Jacob returned whole in riches, whole in health and whole in learning, ie. wealthy, healthy and wise.

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Posted: 04 December 2009 07:55 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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Whiting’s Proverbs, Sentences, and Proverbial Phrases from English Writings Mainly Before 1500 (long title, but Whiting did a number of books on proverbs) has this from the 1496 Book of Hawking:

As the olde englysshe proverbe sayeth in this wise: who soo woll ryse erly shall be holy, helthy, and zely.

(zely = seely, happy, fortunate)

This is taken from the 1810 reproduction of Wynkyn de Worde’s 1496 edition. This book is on Google Books, but I couldn’t find the phrase--evidently it’s in the facsimile portion and the Gothic typeface is throwing off Google’s search.

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