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Posted by Masakim on November 12, 2002

In Reply to: Archived discussion posted by R. Berg on November 11, 2002

: : : : Could someone please tell me the origin (author) of the phrase, "There' s none so blind as those who won't see. ".
: : : : Sincerely,
: : : : Bede Cleary

: : : Jonathan Swift

: : Is the wording correct? I can't find the quote on the usual sources. I seem to remember it as "There's none so blind as he who will not see." which makes a tidy line of iambic pentameter. "... won't see" sounds clunky at the end. (That doesn't mean it isn't correct, of course....)

: The archives have "There are none so blind as those who will not see": bulletin_board 5 messages 1615.html (link below).

Here are some citations arranged chronologically:

Who is so deafe, or so blynde, as is hee, That wilfully will nother hear nor see? (Heywood, _Dialogue of Proverbs_, 1546)
Who is blynder than he yt wyl nat se. (Boorde, _Breviary of Helthe_, 1547)
There is no manne . so blynd as he that will not see, nor so dull as he that wyll not vnderstande. (Cranmer, _Answer to Gardiner_, 1551)
But none so blind as he that will not see. (Heylin, _Examen Historicum_, 1659)
Who so blind as he that will not see? (Ray, _English proverbs_, 1670)
Ther's none so blind As those that will not see. (_Westminster Drollery_, 1671)
You know, there's none so blind as they that won't see. (Swift, _Polite Conversation_, 1738)
"None are so blind as those that won't see," whisper the wicked. (Sala, _Twice Round the Clock_, 1859)

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