death pays all debts

Cf. 1597–8 SHAKESPEARE Henry IV, Pt. 1 III. ii. 157 The end of life cancels all bands [bonds].

1611 SHAKESPEARE Tempest III. ii. 126 He that dies pays all debts.

1827 SCOTT Two Drovers in Chronicles of Canongate I. xiv. ‘It must be sorely answered.’.. ‘Never you mind that—Death pays all debts; it will pay that too.’

1979 K. BONFIGLIONI After You xvi. I have no particular objection to death as such; it pays all bills.

1991 G. KEILLOR WLT: Radio Romance xli. I am not responsible anymore. Death pays all debts. Fix the damn furnace yourself.


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