You never see animals going through the absurd and often horrible fooleries of magic and religion. Only man behaves with such gratuitous folly. It is the price he has to pay for being intelligent but now, as yet, intelligent enough.
Aldous Leonard Huxley
François-René de Chateaubriand, a french writer and politician, who lived from 1768 - 1848, and who have a type of steak named after him.
She took me into the ground-floor room that had the papers. I could see a long and narrow garden at the back, where there was one of those follies in the form of a rock pool. They have become quite a fashion.'
'The Lambs of London - A NOVEL' by Peter Acrkroyd
Found by Sarah, and posted under Shakespeare quote. Thank you!
Miguel de Cervantes
Miguel de Cervantes is a spanish author, writer of Don Quixote. Below are two images of the cover of one edition, illustrated by Gustave Dore. One example above.
View of the interior of the Studio at Chartwell. The studio was created in the 1930s and became a favourite refuge for Churchill during those years. Many of his own paintings are hung here.
Churchill’s desk in the Study at Chartwell. It is covered with items including a bronze cast of his mother’s hand, family photographs and two porcelain busts of Napoleon and Nelson.
Text and explanations from the website for Chartwell, the former home of Churchill in Kent, now run by The National Trust.
Image and explanitory notes from Edinburgh University Library website:
Joseph Addison (1672–1719) was an eminent writer and politician of his time.
The Authority of Society and the Individual, On liberty.
John Stuart Mill.
John Stuart Mill T-shirt available from northernsun.com (Products for progressives since 1979).
'Well, then, when he had come to Westminster, very soon there was a day in which the Big-wigs would have a debate, all empty and worthless, upon Hot Air, or the value of nothingness; and the man who took most money there out of the taxes, and his first cousin who sat opposite and to whom he had promised the next wad of public wealth, and his brother-in-law and his parasite and all the rest of the thieves had begun their pompous folly, when great Fuller arose in his place, full of the South, and said that he had not come to the commons house to talk any such balderdash, or to hear it, but contrariwise proposed, then and there to give them a Eulogy upon the County of Sussex, from which he had come and which was the captain ground and head county of the whole world.'
Adds to the thought much strength;
Wisdom and Wit are little seen,
But Folly ’s at full length.
On Beau Nash’s Picture at full length between the Busts of Sir Isaac Newton and Mr. Pope. 1
Note 1. This epigram is generally ascribed to Chesterfield.
She stoops to Conquer, 1. Oliver Goldsmith 1728-1774.
Goldsmith also wrote 'The History of Little Goody Two-Shoes' a children's story; source of the phrase 'goody two shoes'.
Above text taken from the blurb on the back cover of Follies Grottoes and Garden Buildings by Headley and Meulenkamp, Aurem Press, 1999
"Brutes find out where their talents lie;
A bear will not attempt to fly,
A foundered horse will oft debate
Before he tries a five barred gate.
A dog by instinct turns aside
Who sees the ditch too deep and wide,
But man we find the only creature
Who, led by folly, combats nature;
Who, when she loudly cries—Forbear!
With obstinacy fixes there;
And where the genius least inclines,
Absurdly bends his whole designs."
Against stupidity the very gods
Themselves contend in vain. Exalted reason,
Resplendent daughter of the head divine,
Wise foundress of the system of the world,
Guide of the stars, who are thou then, if thou,
Bound to the tail of folly's uncurb'd steed,
Must, vainly shrieking, with the drunken crowd,
Eyes open, plunge down headlong in the abyss."
Friedrich von Schiller
'Johann Christoph Friedrich (later: von) Schiller (November 10, 1759 in Marbach, Germany – May 9, 1805), was a German poet, philosopher, historian, and dramatist. During the last several years of his life (1788–1805), Schiller struck a productive, if complicated, friendship with already famous and influential Johann Wolfgang Goethe, with whom he discussed much on issues concerning aesthetics, encouraging Goethe to finish works he left merely as sketches; this thereby gave way to a period now referred to as Weimar Classicism. They also worked together on Die Xenien (The Xenies), a collection of short but harshly satiric poems in which both Schiller and Goethe verbally attacked those persons they perceived to be enemies of their aesthetic agenda.' Wikipedia
Stevenson, in bed, playing the flageolet. Engraving from a photograph taken in Maderia Cottage, in Vailima, Samoa and published in Scribner's Magazine, May 1896.
Ambrose Bierce (1842 - 1914), The Devil's Dictionary.
Other: CORPORATION, n. An ingenious device for obtaining individual profit without individual responsibility.
ECCENTRICITY, n. A method of distinction so cheap that fools employ it to accentuate their incapacity.
IMAGINATION, n. A warehouse of facts, with poet and liar in joint ownership.
INVENTOR, n. A person who makes an ingenious arrangement of wheels, levers and springs, and believes it civilization.
OPPORTUNITY, n. A favorable occasion for grasping a disappointment.
PLAN, v.t. To bother about the best method of accomplishing an accidental result.
Erasmus, The Praise of Folly
Erasmus by Holbein.
Benjamin Franklin (1706 - 1790)
A slip of the foot you may soon recover, but a slip of the tongue you may never get over.
Interesting Project on Franklin: http://www.english.udel.edu/lemay/franklin/
Francois de La Rochefoucauld (1613 - 1680)
'François VI, duc de La Rochefoucauld, le Prince de Marcillac (September 15, 1613 – March 17, 1680), was a noted French author of maxims and memoirs, as well as an example of the accomplished 17th-century nobleman. He was born in Paris in the Rue des Petits Champs, at a time when the royal court oscillated between aiding the nobility and threatening it. Until 1650, he bore the title of Prince de Marcillac.' Wikipedia.
Also by Rochefoucauld:
Many people despise wealth, but few know how to give it away.
Few things are impracticable in themselves; and it is for want of application, rather than of means, that men fail to succeed.
Thomas H. Huxley. English biologist (1825 - 1895)
He also said:
Sit down before fact as a little child, be prepared to give up every preconceived notion... or you shall learn nothing.
The deepest sin against the human mind is to believe things without evidence.
Izaak Walton (1593 - 1683)
Look now how mortals are blaming the gods, for they say that evils come from us, but in fact they themselves have woes beyond their share because of their own follies.
Homer (800 BC - 700 BC), The Odyssey.
Marble bust of Homer. Roman copy of a lost Hellenistic original of the 2nd c. BC. From Baiae, Italy.
What is life but a series of inspired follies? The difficulty is to find them to do. Never lose a chance: it doesn't come every day.
George Bernard Shaw, Pygmalion, Act 2.
H. L. Mencken
He also once stated:
A poet more than thirty years old is simply an overgrown child.
'Henry Louis Mencken (September 12, 1880 – January 29, 1956), better known as H. L. Mencken, was a twentieth-century journalist, satirist, social critic, cynic, and freethinker, known as the "Sage of Baltimore" and the "American Nietzsche". He is often regarded as one of the most influential American writers of the early 20th century.' Wikipedia.
One entry found for folly.
Main Entry: fol·ly
Inflected Form(s): plural follies
Etymology: Middle English folie, from Anglo-French, from fol fool
1 : lack of good sense or normal prudence and foresight
2 a : criminally or tragically foolish actions or conduct b obsolete : EVIL, WICKEDNESS; especially : lewd behavior
3 : a foolish act or idea
4 : an excessively costly or unprofitable undertaking5 : an often extravagant picturesque building erected to suit a fanciful taste
Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary:
Once again : http://www.heritage.co.uk/follies/ffdef.html
Of The Forbidden Corner - ' . . . a unique labyrinth of tunnels, chambers, follies and surprises created in a four acre garden in the heart of the Yorkshire Dales.'
He had a very human eye. He understood mankind's follies and had a soft spot for them,but his work shows a certain delight in condemning low life.
David Hockney on William Hogarth in an article by George Kent in the spring edition of Readers Digest.
Page 11, Follies, Ed Sir Hugh Casson.
Page 8, Follies, Ed Sir Hugh Casson.
Page 8, Follies, Ed Sir Hugh Casson.
Painting by Paul Brason
Page 8, Follies, Ed Sir Hugh Casson.
Foreword, Follies, Ed Sir Hugh Casson.
Chambers English Dictionary
Page 10, The Emigrants, W.G. Sebald.