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quotations about fools and foolishness



A common mistake that people make when trying to design something completely foolproof is to underestimate the ingenuity of complete fools.
~ ~ ~ Douglas Adams

Illusion is the dust the devil throws in the eyes of the foolish.
~ ~ ~ Minna Antrim "Naked Truth and Veiled Allusions"

A fool without fear is sometimes wiser than an angel with fear.
~ ~ ~ Lady Nancy Astor "My Two Countries"

You don't have to fool all the people all of the time; you just have to fool enough to get elected.
~ ~ ~ Gerald Barzan

The best way to convince a fool that he is wrong is to let him have his own way.
~ ~ ~ Josh Billings

A fool always finds a greater fool to admire him.
~ ~ ~ Nicholas Boileau

Impossible is a word only to be found in the dictionary of fools.
~ ~ ~ Napoleon Bonaparte

The greatest pleasure of a dog is that you may make a fool of yourself with him, and not only will he not scold you, but he will make a fool of himself too.
~ ~ ~ Samuel Butler

You will do foolish things, but do them with enthusiasm.
~ ~ ~ Colette

Bigotry murders religion to frighten fools with her ghost.
~ ~ ~ Charles Caleb Colton

Fools are wise until they speak.
~ ~ ~ Randle Cotgrave

Get the fools on your side and you can be elected to anything.
~ ~ ~ Frank Dane

A man who cannot reason is a fool, a man who will not reason is a bigot, and a man who dare not reason is a slave.
~ ~ ~ William Drummond

The fool of nature stood with stupid eyes And gaping mouth, that testified surprise.
~ ~ ~ John Dryden "Cymon and Iphigenia"

A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds, adored by little statesmen and philosophers and divines.
~ ~ ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson "Self-Reliance"

There is no such thing as bad whiskey. Some whiskeys just happen to be better than others. But a man shouldn't fool with booze until he's fifty; then he's a damn fool if he doesn't.
~ ~ ~ William Faulkner

If a million people believe a foolish thing, it is still a foolish thing.
~ ~ ~ Anatole France

As one grows older, one becomes wiser and more foolish.
~ ~ ~ François, Duc de La Rochefoucauld

Any fool can criticize, condemn, and complain, and most fools do.
~ ~ ~ Benjamin Franklin

The heart of a fool is in his mouth, but the mouth of a wise man is in his heart.
~ ~ ~ Benjamin Franklin

Fools' names, like fools' faces, Are often seen in public places.
~ ~ ~ Thomas Fuller

Zeal is fit only for wise men, but is found mostly in fools.
~ ~ ~ Thomas Fuller

Fools are my theme, let satire be my song.
~ ~ ~ George Gordon, Lord Byron "English Bards and Scotch Reviewers"

A wise man gets more use from his enemies than a fool from his friends.
~ ~ ~ Baltasar Gracian

There are more fools in the world than there are people.
~ ~ ~ Heinrich Heine

We must learn to live together as brothers or perish together as fools.
~ ~ ~ Martin Luther King, Jr.

The silliest woman can manage a clever man; but it needs a very clever woman to manage a fool.
~ ~ ~ Rudyard Kipling "Plain Tales from the Hills"

Neither man nor woman can be worth anything until they have discovered that they are fools. The sooner the discovery is made the better, as there is more time and power for taking advantage of it.
~ ~ ~ William Lamb Melbourne

The gods do not protect fools. Fools are protected by more capable fools.
~ ~ ~ Larry Niven

The only difference between a wise man and a fool is that the wise man knows he's playing.
~ ~ ~ Fritz Peris

The first of April, some do say,
Is set apart for All Fools' Day.
But why the people call it so,
Nor I, nor they themselves do know.
But on this day are people sent
On purpose for pure merriment.
~ ~ ~ Poor Robin's Almanac (1790)

Fools admire, but men of sense approve.
~ ~ ~ Alexander Pope

Nay, fly to altars; there they'll talk you dead; For fools rush in where angels fear to tread.
~ ~ ~ Alexander Pope "An Essay on Criticism"

Sir, I admit your general rule, That every poet is a fool: But you yourself may serve to show it, That every fool is not a poet.
~ ~ ~ Matthew Prior

He who knows not and knows not that he knows not is a fool - avoid him! He who knows and knows not that he knows is asleep - waken him! He who knows not and knows that he knows not wants a beating - beat him! But he who knows and knows that he knows is a wise man - know him.
~ ~ ~ Proverb

The feeble tremble before opinion, the foolish defy it, the wise judge it, the skillful direct it.
~ ~ ~ Jeanne-Marie Roland

First love is only a little foolishness and a lot of curiosity.
~ ~ ~ George Bernard Shaw "John Bull's Other Island"

Power does not corrupt men; fools, however, if they get into a position of power, corrupt power.
~ ~ ~ George Bernard Shaw

A fool and his words are soon parted.
~ ~ ~ William Shenstone

No man really becomes a fool until he stops asking questions.
~ ~ ~ Charles Steinmetz

'T is an old maxim in the schools, That flattery 's the food of fools; Yet now and then your men of wit Will condescend to take a bit.
~ ~ ~ Jonathan Swift "Cadenus and Vanessa"

Without fools the rest of us could not succeed.
~ ~ ~ Mark Twain

Life is one fool thing after another where as love is two fool things after each other.
~ ~ ~ Oscar Wilde

I'm all in favor of keeping dangerous weapons out of the hands of fools. Let's start with typewriters.
~ ~ ~ Frank Lloyd Wright

Be wise with speed; A fool at forty is a fool indeed.
~ ~ ~ Edward Young

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