We’ve all heard that saying. Most of us have no idea where that saying or quote came from. This a partial quote from Senator George G. Vest, of Missouri. He served in the United States Senate for 24 years. It was a small part of a court trial final argument that he made in a trial that dealt with the death of a mans dog. Old Drum was shot and killed by a neighbor in 1870. Senator Vest said that in part of his final argument speech. Here’s the partial quote:
“Gentlemen of the Jury: The best friend a man has in this world may turn against him and become his enemy. His son or daughter that he has reared with loving care may prove ungrateful. Those who are nearest and dearest to us, those whom we trust with our happiness and our good name, may become traitors to their faith. The money that a man has he may lose. It flies away from him perhaps when he needs it most. A man’s reputation may be sacrificed in a moment of ill-considered action. The people who are prone to fall on their knees to do us honor when success is with us, may be the first to throw the stones of malice when failure settles its cloud upon our heads. The one absolutely unselfish friend that a man can have in this selfish world, the one that never deserts him, the one that never proves ungrateful or treacherous, is his dog.
If you’d like to read the whole final argument, and the history around this, you can find it here: