when thieves fall out, honest men come by their own

when thieves fall out, honest men come by their own

1546 J. HEYWOOD Dialogue of Proverbs II. ix. L1 And olde folke vnderstood, Whan theues fall out, true men come to their good, Which is not alwaie true.

a 1640 DAY & CHETTLE Blind Beggar (1659) IV. G2v Here’s the old Proverb right, When false Theeves fall out, true men come to their own.

1681 S. COLVIL Whigs’ Supplication II. 53 When thieves reckon, it’s oft-times known That honest people get their own.

1838 A. JACKSON Letter 26 Mar. in Correspondence (1931) V. 545 You must recollect the old adage, ‘When rogues fall out, truth is revealed, and honest men get justice.’

1866 C. KINGSLEY Hereward the Wake xv. The rogues have fallen out, and honest men may come by their own.

1980 M. BABSON Queue here for Murder xiii. ‘She’s pretty tied up with that Arab fellow, isn’t she? They seem thick as thieves.’ ‘But thieves fall out.’.. ‘You’re a disgraceful old matchmaker!’


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