take care of the pence and the pounds will take care of themselves

The ‘Mr. Lowndes’ to whom quot. 1750 attributes this saying was William Lowndes (1652–1724).

1750 CHESTERFIELD Letter 5 Feb. (1932) IV. 1500 Old Mr. Lowndes, the famous Secretary of the Treasury,..used to say..Take care of the pence, and the pounds will take care of themselves.

1912 G. B. SHAW Pygmalion II. 132 Take care of the pence and the pounds will take care of themselves is as true of personal habits as of money.

1979 R. CASSILIS Arrow of God IV. xvii. Little things, Master Mally. Look after the pennies, Master Mally, and the pounds will look after themselves.

1999 ‘H. CRANE’ Miss Seeton’s Finest Hour xi. 92 ‘Yes, it sounds on the melodramatic side,’ he said cheerfully, ‘but in wartime you can’t be too careful about the smallest detail. Think of it as along the lines of taking care of the pennies, and the pounds will take care of themselves.’


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  • William Lowndes (British politician) — William Lowndes (1 November 1652 ndash; 20 January 1724) was Secretary to the Treasury of Great Britain under King William III and Queen Anne, and a Member of Parliament under William, Anne and George I. Lowndes was born in Winslow,… …   Wikipedia

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