he who is absent is always in the wrong

Cf. Fr. les absents ont toujours tort; c 1440 J. LYDGATE Fall of Princes (EETS) III. 1. 3927 For princis ofte..Wil cachche a qu[a]rel..Ageyn folk absent.

1640 G. HERBERT Outlandish Proverbs no. 318 The absent partie is still faultie.

1710 S. PALMER Proverbs xxi. The absent party is always to blame.

1736 B. FRANKLIN Poor Richard’s Almanack (July) The absent are never without fault, nor the present without excuse.

1912 ‘SAKI’ Unbearable Bassington iv. The absent may be always wrong, but they are seldom in a position to be inconsiderate.

1981 A. PRICE Soldier no More 57 I will quote first that fine old French saying—which covers any claim Charlie may or may not have on that cake—‘he who is absent is always in the wrong.’

Proverbs new dictionary.

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