June 30, 2018

“Early to bed and early to rise…”

Early to Bed Ben Franklin poster


“Early to bed and early to rise,               
Makes a man healthy, wealthy, and wise.”

       Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790)
       American author, publisher, scientist, diplomat and Founding Father
       One of the proverbial sayings Franklin included in Poor Richard's Almanack, which he published from 1732 to 1758 under the pseudonym Richard Saunders.
       Franklin is sometimes wrongly credited with coining this familiar poetic adage. But, like most of the sayings he used in various editions of his popular almanac, he borrowed it from other sources. He wrote in the 1746 edition: “I know as well as thee, that I am no poet born; and it is a trade I never learnt, nor indeed could learn…Why then should I give my readers bad lines of my own, when good ones of other people’s are so plenty?”
       The “Early to bed...” saying is an old English proverb dating back to at least 1486. Franklin first used it in the 1735 edition of Poor Richard's Almanack.
       (The image at left is the “‘Early To Bed And Early To Rise’ motivational poster” offered on Amazon.)

James Thurber


“Early to rise and early to bed makes a male healthy and wealthy and dead.”
       James Thurber (1894-1961)
       American writer, cartoonist and playwright             
       The moral of his story “The Shrike and the Chipmunks,” originally published in the February 18, 1939 issue of New Yorker magazine, then included in his book Fables for Our Time and Famous Poems Illustrated (1940).             
       Thurber’s fables were humorous versions of Aesop’s Fables. “The Shrike and the Chipmunks” features a male and female chipmunk. The male is a slob who likes to sleep all day and doesn’t go out of their cave until after dark. One evening when the male chipmunk goes outside, a shrike decides to swoop down and try to catch him. But the bird, unnoticed by the chipmunks, “could not see very well on account of the dark, so he batted his head against an alder branch and was killed.” Not long afterward, the female chipmunk berates the male for being lazy. She makes him go outside with her for a walk in the sun to get some exercise — and they are both caught and killed by a different shrike. The story ends with the Aesop-like line: “Moral: Early to rise and early to bed makes a man healthy and wealthy and dead.”



“Remember what Pappy used to say: ‘Early to bed and early to rise is the curse of the working classes.’”
       Bret Maverick (played by actor James Garner)
       Recalling one of the many sayings of his father Beau Maverick, in “The Rivals” episode of the Western TV series Maverick. (First aired January 25, 1959)
       Sayings by Beau "Pappy" Maverick are mentioned many times during the course of the series by Bret and his brothers Bart, played by Jack Garner, and Beau (named after his father), played by Roger Moore. He is finally seen in the September 19, 1959 episode titled “Pappy,” in which he is played by James Garner.

Laurence J. Peter


“Early to bed and early to rise — till you get enough money to do otherwise.”
       Laurence J. Peter (1919-1990)
       Canadian author, educator and hierarchiologist best known to the general public for the formulation of the “Peter Principle” (“In a hierarchy, every employee tends to rise to the level of his incompetence.”)
       This “early to bed…” variation is one of the sayings included in his book Peter's Almanac (1924)

Early to bed - Garfield, June 25, 2018 color


JON: “I like this saying by Benjamin Franklin. ‘Early to bed and early to rise makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise.’
GARFIELD: “And lonely, dateless and boring.”             
       The June 25, 2018 edition of the Garfield comic strip, created by Jim Davis

Early to Bed... From Earl Moran calendar Aug 1950 REV2


“Early to bed
May make you wise,
But staying out late
Will get you more guys.”

       The caption of artist Earl Moran’s “good girl art” illustration for the August page in the 1950 Paramount Oilless Bearing Co. calendar

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