They Who Are of Opinion that Money Will Do Everything, May Very Well Be Suspected To Do Everything for Money

Benjamin Franklin? George Savile? Apocryphal? Anonymous

Dear Quote Investigator: A popular technique in rhetoric consists of repeating a clause while permuting the words. For example:

  • Money will do everything for you.
  • You will do everything for money.

Apparently, statesman Benjamin Franklin contended that a belief in the first clause led individuals to follow the guidance of the second. Would you please explore this topic?

Quote Investigator: Benjamin Franklin did include a matching statement in one of his famous almanacs, but the saying was already in circulation.

The earliest evidence known to QI appeared in a 1750 volume by the English nobleman George Savile, 1st Marquis of Halifax. The book included a section called “Political, Moral, and Miscellaneous Thoughts and Reflections” that contained items such as the following. The word “everything” was written as two words. Emphasis added to excerpts by QI: 1

If Men considered how many Things there are that Riches cannot buy, they would not be so fond of them.

Money in a Fool’s Hand exposeth him worse than a pyed Coat

They who are of opinion that Money will do every thing, may very well be suspected to do every thing for Money.

Savile had died in 1695 many years before publication. A note at the beginning of the manuscript stated that the original document had been held by Savile’s grand-daughter Dorothy, Countess of Burlington.

Below are additional selected citations in chronological order.

Continue reading They Who Are of Opinion that Money Will Do Everything, May Very Well Be Suspected To Do Everything for Money


  1. 1750, A Character of King Charles the Second: And Political, Moral, and Miscellaneous Thoughts and Reflections by the George Savile, Marquis of Halifax, Section: Of Money, Start Page 145, Quote Page 145 and 146, Printed for J. and R. Tonson and S. Draper, London. (Google Books Full View) link

Education Is What Remains After You Have Forgotten Everything You Learned In School

Albert Einstein? B. F. Skinner? Edouard Herriot? C. F. Thwing? Ralph Waldo Emerson? Agnes F. Perkins? James Bryant Conant? E. F. L. Wood? George Savile? Lord Halifax? Anonymous?

Dear Quote Investigator: My question concerns a provocative aphorism about memory, schooling, and curriculum. Here are four example statements that can be grouped together:

1) Culture is that which remains with an individual when he has forgotten all he learned.

2) Culture is what is left when what you have learned at college has been forgotten.

3) Education is what remains after one has forgotten everything he learned in school.

4) Education is what is left after you have forgotten all you have learned.

It would be possible to split this set into two subgroups: adages for education and adages for culture. But all the statements conform to the same underlying template, and this leads to a natural collection.

The French Prime Minister Edouard Herriot has been linked to the saying about culture. The famous physicist Albert Einstein and the prominent psychologist B. F. Skinner have been connected to sayings about education. Would you please examine this family of expressions?

Quote Investigator: This family of quotations has been evolving for more than one hundred years, and instances were already circulating before linkages were established to any of the persons named by the questioner. Newspapers credited Edouard Herriot with a comparable adage about culture by 1928. Albert Einstein wrote an essay in 1936 that included a commensurate remark about education, but he credited the words to an unnamed “wit”.

In 1942 E. F. L. Wood, 1st Earl of Halifax employed the remark about education during a speech. Later the statement was reassigned to the 17th century figure George Savile, 1st Marquess of Halifax. QI believes that this attribution was constructed because of confusion between names. In 1965 B. F. Skinner included an instance of the saying about education in an article about teaching, but he disclaimed credit. Details for these citations are given further below.

Here are selected citations in chronological order.

Continue reading Education Is What Remains After You Have Forgotten Everything You Learned In School