confess and be hanged

1589 ‘MISOPHONUS’ De Caede Gallorum Regis A2v Confesse and be hangede man In English some saie.

1604 SHAKESPEARE Othello IV. i. 37 Handkerchief—confessions—handkerchief! To confess, and be hanged for his labour.

1672 MARVELL Rehearsal Transprosed 74 After so ample a Confession as he hath made, must he now be hang’d too to make good the Proverb?

1821 SCOTT Pirate III. xii. At the gallows!.. Confess and be hanged is a most reverend proverb.

1951 M. C. BARNES With all my Heart vii. ‘People who commit high treason get hanged.’.. ‘Very well, confess and be hanged!’


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