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Thanks to Adam Cuerden who sent in the following correction to a ‘quote’ attributed to Benjamin Franklin. Here’s the scoop:

  1. Um… that first isn’t Benjamin Franklin. That’s W.S. Gilbert, Utopia Limited, Act I Finale:

    Princess Zara:
    A complicated gentleman allow to present,
    Of all the arts and faculties the terse embodiment,
    He’s a great arithmetician who can demonstrate with ease
    That two and two are three or five or anything you please;
    An eminent Logician who can make it clear to you
    That black is white–when looked at from the proper point of view;
    A marvelous Philologist who’ll undertake to show
    That “yes” is but another and a neater form of “no.”

    Sir Bailey:
    Yes–yes–yes–
    “Yes” is but another and a neater form of “no.”
    All preconceived ideas on any subject I can scout,
    And demonstrate beyond all possibility of doubt,
    That whether you’re an honest man or whether you’re a thief
    Depends on whose solicitor has given me my brief.

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