- there’s none so blind as those who will not see
- Parallel to there’s none so deaf as those who will not hear. In both proverbs, will not has the force of ‘does not wish to’ or ‘refuses to’.
1546 J. HEYWOOD Dialogue of Proverbs II. ix. K4 Who is so deafe, or so blynde, as is hee, That wilfully will nother here nor see.
1551 CRANMER Answer to Gardiner 58 There is no manne so..blynd as he that will not see, nor so dull as he that wyll not vnderstande.
1659 P. HEYLYN Examen Historicum 145 Which makes me wonder..that having access to those Records..he should declare himself unable to decide the doubt... But none so blind as he that will not see.
1738 SWIFT Polite Conversation iii. 191 You know, there’s none so blind as they that won’t see.
1852 E. FITZGERALD Polonius 58 ‘None so blind as those that won’t see.’.. A single effort of the will was sufficient to exclude from his view whatever he judged hostile to his immediate purpose.
2000 P. LOVESEY Reaper xv. 185 Owen shook his head and picked up his drink. ‘There’s none so blind as those that will not see.’
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there’s none so deaf as those who will not hear — Similar to there’s none so blind as those who will not see. Cf. mid 14th cent. Fr. il n’est si mavais sours que chuis ch’oër ne voeilt, there is no person so deaf as the one who does not wish to hear. 1546 J. HEYWOOD Dialogue of Proverbs II. ix.… … Proverbs new dictionary
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