phrases, sayings, idioms and expressions at

Phrases, Sayings and Idioms Home > Discussion Forum

Re: If at first you don't succeed...

Posted by Lou on June 09, 2000

In Reply to: If at first you don't succeed... posted by ESC on June 08, 2000

: "IF AT FIRST YOU DON'T SUCCEED, TRY, TRY AGAIN. Don't give up too easily; persistence pays off in the end. The proverb has been traced back to 'Teacher's Manual' by American educator Thomas H. Palmer and 'The Children of the New Forest' by English novelist Frederick Maryat (1792-1848). Originally a maxim used to encourage American schoolchildren to do their homework. Palmer (1782-1861) wrote in his 'Teacher's Manual': 'Tis a lesson you should heed, try, try again. If at first you don't succeed, try, try again.' The saying was popularized by Edward Hickson (1803-70) in his 'Moral Song' and is now applicable to any kind of activity." From "Random House Dictionary of Popular Proverbs and Sayings" by Gregory Y. Titelman (Random House, New York, 1996, Page 154).

I could be wrong but I rember reading somewhere [at school] that it was first attributed to Robert the Bruce. Hiding from the English [probably] after some battle or other and on the verge of jacking it all in, he spied a spider. The spider was trying to spin a web or climb up a wall or something and despite continual knockbacks kept trying. Inspiring The Bruce to renew his battle etc.

Could be a load of Bollocks but I definitely heard it somwhere. Can anyone verify?