Proverb: A Friend to all, is a Friend to none.

ADSGarson O'Toole adsgarsonotoole at GMAIL.COM
Tue Oct 1 19:31:01 UTC 2013

A book editor asked me about the saying "A friend to all is a friend
to none" which is dubiously attributed to Aristotle by brainyquote,
thinkexist, goodreads, and other websites packed with imaginative

Google Books seems to have cites in 1658 and 1732. Any suggestions for
discovering more about this saying?

Year: 1658
Title: Ta diapheronta, or, Divine characters: in two parts : acutely
distinguishing the more secret and undiscerned differences between 1.
the hypocrite in his best dresse of seeming virtues and formal duties,
and the true Christian in his real graces and sincere obedience ...,
2. the blackest weeds of ...
Authors: C.B. and W.G.
Printed for Adonir am Byfeild at the three Bibles in Corn-hill, London
Chapter: XXV
Page: 343

[Begin excerpt]
But he that is a friend to all men, is a friend to no man, and least
of all to himself. For he must promise so much, that he cannot
performe withall: and so breaking promise with some, he is trusted at
length by none.
[End excerpt]

Year: 1732   M.DCC.XXXII
Title: Gnomologia: Adagies and Proverbs; Wise Sentences and Witty
Sayings, Ancient and Modern, Foreign and British
Colected by Thomas Fuller
Quote Page 5
Printed for B. Barker, A. Bettesworth and C. Hitch, London

[Begin excerpt]
A Friend to all, is a Friend to none.
[End excerpt]

Thanks for your help,

The American Dialect Society -

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