British History, Culture & Sports, History of Freedom, Heroes, Inventors, Brits at their Best.com, English country scene

Blog Home | All Posts

April fools

'The earliest recorded association between April 1 and foolishness can be found in Chaucer's Canterbury Tales (1392)'. In 1686, John Aubrey referred to the holiday as 'Fooles holy day'. . .On April 1st, 1698, several people were tricked into going to the Tower of London to 'see the Lions washed'. (Wikipedia).

We are all, sometimes, quite silly, as many British writers have observed with exasperated wonder -

Go, teach eternal wisdom how to rule -
Then drop into thyself, and be a fool!
Alexander Pope

Take my word for it, the silliest woman can manage a clever man; but it needs a very clever woman to manage a fool.
Kipling

Lear: Dost thou call me fool, boy?
Fool: All thy other titles thou hast given away; that thou wast born with.
Shakespeare

A fool at forty is a fool indeed.
Edward Young (1683-1765)

A Fool and his words are soon parted; a man of genius and his money.
William Shenstone (1714-1763)

What many men desire! that many may be meant
By the fool multitude, that choose by show,
Not learning more than the fond eye doth teach;
Which pries not to the interior, but, like the martlet,
Builds in the weather on the outward wall,
Even in the force and road of casualty.
I will not choose what many men desire,
Because I will not jump with common spirits
And rank me with the barbarous multitude.
Shakespeare, Merchant of Venice

One fool at least in every married couple.
Henry Fielding

To find a young fellow that is neither a wit in his own eye, nor a fool in the eye of the world, is a very hard task.
Congreve

A fool. . .is a man who never tried an experiment in his life.
Maria Edgeworth (1767-1849)

The learn'd is happy nature to explore,
The fool is happy that he knows no more.
Pope

One of love's April fools.
Congreve

A fool sees not the same tree that the wise man sees.
Blake

There is in human nature generally more of the fool than of the wise.
Francis Bacon (1561-1626)

The haste of a fool is the slowest thing in the world.
Thomas Shadwell (1642-1692)

It is a fine thing to be out on the hills alone. A man can hardly be a beast or a fool alone on a great mountain.
Revd. Francis Kilvert (1840-1879)

He has observ'd the golden rule,
Till he's become the golden fool.
Blake

If the fool would persist in his folly he would become wise.
Blake

At thirty a man suspects himself a fool;
Knows it at forty, and reforms his plan;
At fifty chides his infamous delay,
Pushes his prudent purpose to resolve;
In all the magnanimity of thought
Resolves; and re-resolves. . .
Edward Young

. . .stupendous genius! damned fool.
Lord Byron

But thought's the slave of life, and life, time's fool;
And time, that takes survey of all the world,
Must have a stop.
Shakespeare, Henry IV, Part 2

And so, adieu, from two happy fools.

Comments (1)

jlh:

One more, for citizens of the EU and US:

Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me.

Post a comment

(Please do give us your name or the name you write under in the form below and your URL if you have one. Your comment may take a little time to appear. Thanks for waiting.)

COPYRIGHT