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twig is bent, so is the tree inclined, as the

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Proverbial saying, early 18th century; meaning that early influences have a permanent effect. There is a related comment of the mid 16th century, ‘a man may bend a wand while it is green and make it straight though it be never so crooked,’ but the current form comes originally from Alexander Pope's Epistles to Several Persons (1732): ‘'Tis education forms the common mind, Just as the twig is bent the tree's inclined.’

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