Quotes About Folly

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Quotes About Folly

Wisdom at times is found in folly.
— Horace —

All the evidence of history suggests that man is indeed a rational animal, but with a near infinite capacity for folly ... He draws blueprints for Utopia, but never quite gets it built. In the end he plugs away obstinately with the only building material really ever at hand
his own part comic, part tragic, part cussed, but part glorious nature.

— Robert S. McNamara

Thus through the folly of a single hot-headed general, whose offensive spirit was not balanced by judgment, the Empire suffered a blow from which it never recovered-although it had sufficient power of endurance to survive, in a diminished form, for a further four hundred years.

— B.H. Liddell Hart

One does not simply tell an archangel they have devoted their life to a folly.

— C.J. Anderson

Away with that folly that her rights would be detrimental to her character - that if she were recognized as the equal to a man she would cease to be a woman!

— Ernestine Rose

Confident that cast-iron walls separate our nature and situation from theirs, comfortable in the well-broken-in saddle of our high horse, we have exchanged our capacity to be tolerant for detachment and derision.
It is the tragedian's task, then, to force us to confront an almost unbearable truth: every folly or myopia of which any human being in history has been guilty may be traced back to some aspect of our collective nature. Because we each bear within ourselves the whole of the human condition, in its worst and best aspects, any one of us might be capable of doing anything at all, or nothing, under the right-or rather the most horribly wrong-conditions.

— Alain De Botton

In Montaigne's redrawn portrait of the adequate, semi-rational human being, it is possible to speak no Greek, fart, change one's mind after a meal, get bored with books, know none of the ancient philosophers and mistake Scipios. A virtuous, ordinary life, striving for wisdom but never far from folly, is achievement enough.

— Alain De Botton

The folly of war is that it can have no natural end except in the extinction an entire people.

— Joyce Carol Oates

SILVIUS: How many actions most ridiculous/Hast thou been drawn to by thy fantasy?
CORIN: Into a thousand that I have forgotten.
SILVIUS: O, thou didst then ne'er love so heartily!/If thou remember'st not the slightest folly/That ever love did make thee run into,/Thou hast not loved:/Or if thou hast not sat as I do now,/Wearying thy hearer in thy mistress' praise,/Thou hast not loved ...

— William Shakespeare

I expect nothing of man, and disown the race. The only folly is expecting what is never attained; man is most contemptible when compared with his own pretensions. It is better to laugh at man from outside the universe, than to weep for him within.

— H.P. Lovecraft

His folly has not fellow Beneath the blue of day That gives to man or woman His heart and soul away.

— A.E. Housman

The fool sees naught but folly; and the madman only madness. Yesterday I asked a foolish man to count the fools among us. He laughed and said, "This is too hard a thing to do, and it will take too long. Were it not better to count only the wise?"

— Khalil Gibran

Among the many inconsistencies which folly produces or infirmity suffers in the human mind, there has often been observed a manifest and striking contrariety between the life of an author and his writings ... Those whom the appearance of virtue or the evidence of genius has tempted to a nearer knowledge of the writer, in whose performances they may be found, have indeed had frequent reason to repent their curiosity.

— Samuel Johnson

It is the folly of weak-minded people, to imagine they are what flattery or conceit represents them; and that it is useless for them to be what they are not, since they seem already to have acquired the reputation of it.

— Norm MacDonald

Our rulers will best promote the improvement of the nation by strictly confining themselves to their own legitimate duties, by leaving capital to find its most lucrative course, commodities their fair price, industry and intelligence their natural reward, idleness and folly their natural punishment, by maintaining peace, by defending property, by diminishing the price of law, and by observing strict economy in every department of the state. Let the Government do this: the People will assuredly do the rest.

— Thomas B. Macaulay

Weakness has its hidden resources, as well as strength. There is a degree of folly and meanness which we cannot calculate upon, and by which we are as much liable to be foiled as by the greatest ability or courage.

— William Hazlitt

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