„No Man is so much a Fool as not to have Wit enough sometimes to be a Knave; nor any so cunning a Knave, as not to have the Weakness sometimes to play the Fool.“

Political, Moral, and Miscellaneous Reflections (1750), Moral Thoughts and Reflections

Obtido da Wikiquote. Última atualização 3 de Junho de 2021. História

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Samuel Butler (poet) photo

„There are more fools than knaves in the world, else the knaves would not have enough to live upon.“

—  Samuel Butler (poet) poet and satirist 1612 - 1680

The Genuine Remains in Verse and Prose of Mr. Samuel Butler (1759), edited by Robert Thyer

Miguel de Cervantes photo

„More knave than fool.“

—  Miguel de Cervantes Spanish novelist, poet, and playwright 1547 - 1616

Fonte: Don Quixote de la Mancha (1605–1615), Part I, Book IV, Ch. 4.

Thomas Fuller (writer) photo

„2144. He that has no Fools, Knaves nor Beggars in his Family, was begot by a Flash of Lightning.“

—  Thomas Fuller (writer) British physician, preacher, and intellectual 1654 - 1734

Introductio ad prudentiam: Part II (1727), Gnomologia (1732)

Karl G. Maeser photo

„He that cheats another is a knave; but he that cheats himself is a fool.“

—  Karl G. Maeser prominent Utah educator and a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints 1828 - 1901

Sentence-Sermons from Brigham Young University Quarterly quoted in The Latter-Day Saints' Millenial Star, Vol. 70 https://books.google.com/books?id=eItJAAAAYAAJ&pg=PA452&lpg=PA452&dq=He+that+cheats+another+is+a+knave;+but+he+that+cheats+himself+is+a+fool.&source=bl&ots=WBAQiPjQX6&sig=WLEdKN2_kXPXj8jZALKCp2dguaQ&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjXmNeF_7HMAhUH42MKHdySDgsQ6AEILzAE#v=onepage&q=fool&f=false

William Cowper photo
Edward Young photo
John Dryden photo

„How easie is it to call Rogue and Villain, and that wittily! But how hard to make a Man appear a Fool, a Blockhead, or a Knave, without using any of those opprobrious terms!“

—  John Dryden English poet and playwright of the XVIIth century 1631 - 1700

A Discourse concerning the Original and Progress of Satire (1693).
Contexto: How easie is it to call Rogue and Villain, and that wittily! But how hard to make a Man appear a Fool, a Blockhead, or a Knave, without using any of those opprobrious terms! To spare the grossness of the Names, and to do the thing yet more severely, is to draw a full Face, and to make the Nose and Cheeks stand out, and yet not to employ any depth of Shadowing. This is the Mystery of that Noble Trade, which yet no Master can teach to his Apprentice: He may give the Rules, but the Scholar is never the nearer in his practice. Neither is it true, that this fineness of Raillery is offensive. A witty Man is tickl'd while he is hurt in this manner, and a Fool feels it not. The occasion of an Offence may possibly be given, but he cannot take it. If it be granted that in effect this way does more Mischief; that a Man is secretly wounded, and though he be not sensible himself, yet the malicious World will find it for him: yet there is still a vast difference betwixt the slovenly Butchering of a Man, and the fineness of a stroke that separates the Head from the Body, and leaves it standing in its place.

Abraham Lincoln photo

„Negro equality! Fudge!! How long, in the government of a God, great enough to make and maintain this Universe, shall there continue to be knaves to vend, and fools to gulp, so low a piece of demagougeism as this?“

—  Abraham Lincoln 16th President of the United States 1809 - 1865

Fragments: Notes for Speeches, September 1859, The Collected Works of Abraham Lincoln (1953) Vol. III; No transcripts or reports exist indicating that he ever actually used this expression in any of his speeches.
1850s

Giacomo Casanova photo

„You will be amused when you see that I have more than once deceived without the slightest qualm of conscience, both knaves and fools.“

—  Giacomo Casanova Italian adventurer and author from the Republic of Venice 1725 - 1798

Memoirs of J. Casanova de Seingalt (1894)
Contexto: In spite of a good foundation of sound morals, the natural offspring of the Divine principles which had been early rooted in my heart, I have been throughout my life the victim of my senses; I have found delight in losing the right path, I have constantly lived in the midst of error, with no consolation but the consciousness of my being mistaken. Therefore, dear reader, I trust that, far from attaching to my history the character of impudent boasting, you will find in my Memoirs only the characteristic proper to a general confession, and that my narratory style will be the manner neither of a repenting sinner, nor of a man ashamed to acknowledge his frolics. They are the follies inherent to youth; I make sport of them, and, if you are kind, you will not yourself refuse them a good-natured smile. You will be amused when you see that I have more than once deceived without the slightest qualm of conscience, both knaves and fools. As to the deceit perpetrated upon women, let it pass, for, when love is in the way, men and women as a general rule dupe each other. But on the score of fools it is a very different matter. I always feel the greatest bliss when I recollect those I have caught in my snares, for they generally are insolent, and so self-conceited that they challenge wit. We avenge intellect when we dupe a fool, and it is a victory not to be despised for a fool is covered with steel and it is often very hard to find his vulnerable part. In fact, to gull a fool seems to me an exploit worthy of a witty man. I have felt in my very blood, ever since I was born, a most unconquerable hatred towards the whole tribe of fools, and it arises from the fact that I feel myself a blockhead whenever I am in their company. I am very far from placing them in the same class with those men whom we call stupid, for the latter are stupid only from deficient education, and I rather like them. I have met with some of them — very honest fellows, who, with all their stupidity, had a kind of intelligence and an upright good sense, which cannot be the characteristics of fools. They are like eyes veiled with the cataract, which, if the disease could be removed, would be very beautiful.

George Villiers, 2nd Duke of Buckingham photo

„The world is made up, for the most part, of fools and knaves, both irreconcileable foes to truth.“

—  George Villiers, 2nd Duke of Buckingham English statesman and poet 1628 - 1687

"Letter to Mr. Clifford, on his Human Reason"; cited from The Works of His Grace, George Villiers, the Duke of Buckingham (London: T. Evans, 1770) vol. 2, p. 105.
Variant (modernized spelling): The world is made up, for the most part, of fools and knaves, both irreconcilable foes to truth.

Ambrose Bierce photo
Thomas Fuller photo

„Their heads sometimes so little that there is no room for wit; sometimes so long that there is no wit for so much room.“

—  Thomas Fuller English churchman and historian 1608 - 1661

Of Natural Fools.
The Holy State and the Profane State (1642)

Ralph Waldo Emerson photo

„Our instinct uses "more" and "less" in application to man, of the presence of the soul, and not of its absence; the brave man is greater than the coward; the true, the benevolent, the wise, is more a man, and not less, than the fool and knave.“

—  Ralph Waldo Emerson American philosopher, essayist, and poet 1803 - 1882

1840s, Essays: First Series (1841), Compensation
Contexto: We feel defrauded of the retribution due to evil acts, because the criminal adheres to his vice and contumacy, and does not come to a crisis or judgment anywhere in visible nature. There is no stunning confutation of his nonsense before men and angels. Has he therefore outwitted the law? Inasmuch as he carries the malignity and the lie with him, he so far deceases from nature. In some manner there will be a demonstration of the wrong to the understanding also; but should we not see it, this deadly deduction makes square the eternal account.
Neither can it be said, on the other hand, that the gain of rectitude must be bought by any loss. There is no penalty to virtue; no penalty to wisdom; they are proper additions of being. In a virtuous action, I properly am; in a virtuous act, I add to the world; I plant into deserts conquered from Chaos and Nothing, and see the darkness receding on the limits of the horizon. There can be no excess to love; none to knowledge; none to beauty, when these attributes are considered in the purest sense. The soul refuses limits, and always affirms an Optimism, never a Pessimism.
His life is a progress, and not a station. His instinct is trust. Our instinct uses "more" and "less" in application to man, of the presence of the soul, and not of its absence; the brave man is greater than the coward; the true, the benevolent, the wise, is more a man, and not less, than the fool and knave. There is no tax on the good of virtue; for that is the incoming of God himself, or absolute existence, without any comparative. Material good has its tax, and if it came without desert or sweat, has no root in me, and the next wind will blow it away. But all the good of nature is the soul's, and may be had, if paid for in nature's lawful coin, that is, by labor which the heart and the head allow. I no longer wish to meet a good I do not earn, for example, to find a pot of buried gold, knowing that it brings with it new burdens. I do not wish more external goods, — neither possessions, nor honors, nor powers, nor persons. The gain is apparent; the tax is certain. But there is no tax on the knowledge that the compensation exists, and that it is not desirable to dig up treasure. Herein I rejoice with a serene eternal peace. I contract the boundaries of possible mischief. I learn the wisdom of St. Bernard, — "Nothing can work me damage except myself; the harm that I sustain I carry about with me, and never am a real sufferer but by my own fault."

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