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Posted by Masakim on November 28, 2002

In Reply to: Pavement posted by R. Berg on November 28, 2002

: : Back in 1942 I read something by William James where he wrote "The road to hell is paved with good intentions"

: : I can't varify where the phrase originated. Lots of Hells being paved with good intentions but not the road there!

: : Who can help?

: The "road" version has been around a long time as a proverb. Apparently its origin is unknown.

[Hell is full of good desires. (E. Hellowes, tr., _Guevara's Epistles_, 1574)]
[Do not troubled by St. bernard's saying that hell is full of good intentions and desires. (St. Francis de Sales' letter to Madame de Chantal, 1605)]
[It is a saying among Divines, that Hell is full of good Intentions, and Meanings. (R. Whitelock, _Zootomia_, 1654)]
[It is a true saying, "Hell is paved with good intentions." (John Wesley, _Journal_, July 10, 1736)]
[No saint . was more sensible of the unhappy failure of pious resolves than Johnson. He said one day, talking to an acquaintance on this subject, "Sir, Hell is paved with good intentions." (Boswell, _Life of Samuel Johnson_, 1791 [April 14, 1775])]
[I shall have nothing to hand in, except intentions, -- what they say the road to the wrong place is paved with. (J.A. Froude, _Shadows of the Clouds_, 1847)]

The road to hell is paved with good intentions. (H.G. Bohn, _Hand-Book of Proverbs_, 1855)

You recollect what pavement is said to be made of good intentions. (Dickens, _Mutual Friends_, 1865)
Their best intentions merely make the road smooth for them. . You can't pave the bottomless pit; but you may the road to it. (John Ruskin, _Ethics of Dust_, 1866)
His first marriage . was the result of my interference. Good intentions do pave the way to hell. (E.X. Giroux, _Death for Adonis_, 1986)