believe nothing of what you hear, and only half of what you see

Cf. a 1300 Proverbs of Alfred (1907) 35 Gin thu neuere leuen alle monnis spechen, Ne alle the thinge that thu herest singen; 1770 C. CARROLL Letter 4 Sept. in Maryland Hist. Mag. (1918) XIII. 58 You must not take Everything to be true that is told to you.

1845 E. A. POE in Graham’s Mag. Nov. 194 You are young yet..but the time will arrive when you will learn to judge for yourself... Believe nothing you hear, and only one half that you see.

1933 ‘R. ESSEX’ Slade of Yard xix. It’s a good plan to believe half you see and nothing you hear.

1979 D. KYLE Green River High ii. I listened with the old magician’s warning lively in my mind; believe nothing of what you hear—and only half of what you see!

2002 Washington Times 16 Aug. A19 The Democratic candidates are lined up, and they are making hot and heavy pitches for our votes. But, as the old saying goes, believe half of what you see and none of what you hear.


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