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Fools

  • People are never so near playing the Fool as when they think themselves wise.

  • People do not wish to appear foolish; to avoid the appearance of foolishness, they were willing to remain actually fools.

    • Alice Walker,
    • "One Child of One's Own," In Search of Our Mothers' Gardens ()
  • ... the greatest fools, when active, may blunder into the right sometimes ...

  • The fool shouts loudly, thinking to impress the world.

    • Marie de France,
    • 12th cent., in Jeanette Beer, trans., Medieval Fables of Marie de France ()
  • Only those are unwise who have never dared to be fools.

  • You will do foolish things, but do them with enthusiasm.

    • Colette,
    • in New York World-Telegram & Sun ()
  • When he said we were trying to make a fool of him, I could only murmur that the Creator had beaten us to it.

    • Ilka Chase,
    • in Jilly Cooper and Tom Hartman, eds., Violets and Vinegar ()
  • Fools are more to be feared than the wicked.

    • Queen Christina,
    • 1680, in Mrs. Jameson, Memoirs of Celebrated Female Sovereigns ()
  • Even a fool can deceive a man — if he be a bigger fool than himself.

  • It's sensible people who do the most foolish things.

  • I'm not afraid to look like a fool — and I think when you're not afraid, you never do.

  • ... the fool is the one true cosmopolite — the one character common to all nationalities.

  • A man may be as much a fool from the want of sensibility as the want of sense.

    • Anna Jameson,
    • "Detached Thoughts," Studies, Stories, and Memoirs ()
  • There is no greater fool than the man who thinks himself wise; no one is wiser than he who suspects he is a fool.

    • Marguerite de Valois,
    • in J. De Finod, ed., A Thousand Flashes of French Wit, Wisdom, and Wickedness ()
  • One's conscience reproaches one much more stingingly for one's follies than one's crimes.

    • Geraldine Jewsbury,
    • 1842, in Mrs. Alexander Ireland, ed., Selections From the Letters of Geraldine Endsor Jewsbury to Jane Welsh Carlyle ()
  • It is not our failures that distress us so much as our idiocies.

  • To find his own salvation, a man must first find the fool locked inside himself and set it free.

  • We may admire people for being wise, but we like them best when they are foolish.

    • Mary Russell Mitford,
    • 1818, in the Reverend A.G. L'Estrange, ed., The Life of Mary Russell Mitford, vol. 2 ()