Lie can go around the world . . . (1854)

Bonnie Taylor-Blake taylor-blake at NC.RR.COM
Tue May 10 23:10:47 UTC 2005

Here's a follow-up to Barry's earlier contribution regarding "A lie can go
around the world and back while the truth is lacing up its boots" (1854),

>From the EARLY AMERICAN NEWSPAPERS database (1690-1876):

[An excerpt from "Manslaughter," The Boston Commercial Gazette; 7 September
1820; Vol. 55; Issue 19; Pg. 2; Reprinted from The Portland Gazette, 5

The public mind has been too much inflamed in this transaction, by
misrepresentations -- these the examination have materially corrected, but
the influence of the corrective, does not extend as far as the injury of the
falsehood:  "for falsehood will fly from Maine to Georgia, while truth is
pulling her boots on."


Perhaps the "truth/boots" version derives from the following still earlier

-- Bonnie Taylor-Blake

>From the EARLY AMERICAN NEWSPAPERS database (1690-1876):

[From The Farmer's Cabinet; 2 February 1808; Vol. VI; Issue 14; Pg. 4.]

"Falsehood," says one, "flies and truth comes limping after it."  If a lie
be believed sometimes only for an hour, it has accomplished its purpose, and
there is no further occasion for it.

[From "Quere," The Commercial Advertiser, 16 March 1804; Issue 1995; Pg. 3.]

A few bold lies may have effected their purpose, before truth can overtake
and defeat them.  Falsehood always flies, but truth frequently goes with a
limping gait.


[From Jonathan Swift's "The Examiner," No. 14, Thursday, 9 November 1710.]

Falsehood flies, and the truth comes limping after it; so that when men come
to be undeceived, it is too late; the jest is over, and the tale has had its
effect:  Like a man, who has the thought of a good repartee, when the
discourse is changed, or the company parted; or like a physician, who hath
found out an infallible medicine, after the patient is dead.

[On Pg. 15 of _The Works of Jonathan Swift, D.D: D.S.P.D. with notes
historical and critical_, by J. Hawkesworth, L.L.D. and others_.  Edinburgh,
1778. 448 pp. Vol. 3 of 18 (18 vols.).]

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