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From The Wit and Humor of America, edited by Marshall P. Wilder, Volume IV, New York and London: Funk and Wagnalls and Company, 1911; p. 602.




Once on a Time there was a Man and his Wife who had Different Ideas concerning Family Expenditures.

The Man said: “I am Exceedingly Economical; although I spend Small Sums here and there for Cigars, Wines, Theater Tickets, and Little Dinners, yet I do not buy me a Yacht or a Villa at Newport.”

But even with these Praiseworthy Principles, it soon Came About that the Man was Bankrupt.

Whereupon he Reproached his Wife, who Answered his Accusations with Surprise.

“Me! My dear!” she exclaimed. “Why, I am Exceedingly Economical. True, I Occasionally buy me a Set of Sables or a Diamond Tiara, but I am Scrupulously Careful about Small Sums; I Diligently unknot all Strings that come around Parcels, and Save Them, and I use the Backs of old Envelopes for Scribbling-Paper. Yet, somehow, my Bank-Account is also Exhausted.”


This Fable teaches to Take Care of the Pence and the Pounds will Take Care of Themselves, and that we Should Not be Penny-Wise and Pound-Foolish.

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