two is company, but three is none

two is company, but three is none
The alternative ending is three’s a crowd.

1706 J. STEVENS Spanish & English Dict. s.v. Compañia, A Company consisting of three is worth nothing. It is the Spanish Opinion, who say that to keep a Secret three are too many, and to be Merry they are too few.

1860 T. C. HALIBURTON Season Ticket viii. Three is a very inconvenient limitation, constituting, according to an old adage, ‘no company’.

1869 W. C. HAZLITT English Proverbs 442 Two is company, but three is none.

1944 Modern Language Notes LIX. 517 Two’s company, three’s a crowd.

1979 J. LEASOR Love & Land Beyond viii. Two’s company and three’s none, so one of the three has been taken out of the game.

2002 Washington Post 10 Mar. SC11 (Family Circus comic strip) Two’s company, three’s a crowd. ‘’Specially on a tandem bike.’

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