Thursday, May 21, 2009

Death and Taxes

Most people (in the UK anyway) who hear these two words together think of Benjamin Franklin (1706-90) who is usually credited with saying:
"In this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes."
This was apparently written in a letter to Jean-Baptiste Leroy, 1789, which was re-printed in The Works of Benjamin Franklin, 1817.

Before that however Daniel Defoe used a similar phrase in The Political History of the Devil, 1726:
"Things as certain as death and taxes, can be more firmly believed."
And much more recently Margaret Mitchell says the following in her book Gone With the Wind, 1936:
"Death, taxes and childbirth! There's never any convenient time for any of them."
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