it is a wise child that knows its own father

it is a wise child that knows its own father

1584 J. WITHALS Dict. (rev. ed.) L4 Wise sonnes they be in very deede, That knowe their Parents who did them breede.

1589 R. GREENE Menaphon VI. 92 Wise are the Children in these dayes that know their owne fathers, especially if they be begotten in Dogge daies [the heat of summer], when their mothers are frantick with love.

1596 SHAKESPEARE Merchant of Venice II. ii. 69 It is a wise father that knows his own child.

1613 G. WITHER Abuses I. ii. Is’t not hence this common Prouerbe growes, ’Tis a wise child that his owne father knowes?

1762 GOLDSMITH Mystery Revealed 21 She called her father John instead of Thomas..but perhaps she was willing to verify the old proverb, that It is a wise child that knows its own father.

1823 SCOTT Peveril III. x. I only laughed because you said you were Sir Geoffrey’s son. But no matter—’tis a wise child that knows his own father.

1983 R. DAVIES High Spirits 119 It’s a wise child that knows its own father. How wise does a child have to be to know its own great-great-grandfather?


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