今朝の Voicy で「早起きは三文の得」を推しつつ，その英語版のことわざ The early bird catches the worm を紹介しているのですが，なんと現代では発想を転換させた新しい諺もどき It's the second mouse that gets the cheese. が台頭しつつあるという情報を得ました．たまげつつも，なるほどと納得した次第です．
まずは話しの前提として，古典的な（時間術ならぬ）健康術としての The early bird . . . . について私が語っている今朝の Voicy 放送「#513. 古典的な時間術 --- The early bird catches the worm. 「早起きは三文の得」」をお聴きください．
The Oxford Dictionary of Proverbs より17世紀の初出から現代までの異形や用例を挙げてみましょう．
The EARLY bird catches the worm
The corollary in quot. 2001, it's the second mouse that gets the cheese, is attributed to US comedian Steven Wright (born 1955); it is found particularly in the context of entrepreneurial or technological innovation, where the advantages of being the first (the early bird) may be outweighed by the lower degree of risk faced by a follower or imitator (the second mouse).
□ 1636 W. CAMDEN Remains concerning Britain (ed. 5) 307 The early bird catcheth the worme. 1859 H. KINGSLEY Geoffrey Hamlyn II. xiv. Having worked . . . all the week . . . a man comes into your room at half-past seven . . . and informs you that the 'early bird gets the worm'. 1892 I. ZANGWILL. Big Bow Mystery i. Grodman was not an early bird, now that he had no worms to catch. He could afford to despise proverbs now. 1996 R. POE Return to House of Usher ix. 167 'I got home at midnight last night and I'm here at seven. Where are they? . . . Well, it's the early bird that catches the worm, and no mistake.' 2001 Washington Post 4 Sept. C13 The early bird may catch the worm, but it's the second mouse that gets the cheese. Don't be in a hurry to take a winner. . . .
この英語ことわざ辞典は，英語史を学ぶにも人生訓を学ぶにも最適の読み物です．英語の本で何を読もうかと迷ったら，本当にお勧めです．hellog より proverb の各記事もご一読ください．
・ Speake, Jennifer, ed. The Oxford Dictionary of Proverbs. 6th ed. Oxford: OUP, 2015.
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