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Folly   /fˈɑli/   Listen
Folly

noun
(pl. follies)
1.
The trait of acting stupidly or rashly.  Synonyms: foolishness, unwiseness.
2.
A stupid mistake.  Synonyms: betise, foolishness, imbecility, stupidity.
3.
The quality of being rash and foolish.  Synonyms: craziness, foolishness, madness.  "Adjusting to an insane society is total foolishness"
4.
Foolish or senseless behavior.  Synonyms: craziness, foolery, indulgence, lunacy, tomfoolery.



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"Folly" Quotes from Famous Books



... rather embarrassed. He has sent for the most prudential persons on change to ask their advice concerning this addition, which he considers arrant folly. Another person, very much displeased with this addition, says, that if Amsterdam persists firmly in demanding the strict observance of the treaties, and a perfect neutrality, she can counteract this manoeuvre. Otherwise the servile submission of the nation to the lash of ...
— The Diplomatic Correspondence of the American Revolution, Vol. I • Various

... from fous enchanter's spell, Escape his false Duessa's magic charms, And folly quaid, yclept an hydra fell Receive a beauteous lady to his arms; While bards and minstrels chaunt the soft alarms Of gentle love, unlike his former thrall: Eke should I sing, in courtly cunning terms, The gallant ...
— A History of English Romanticism in the Eighteenth Century • Henry A. Beers

... ready to fall, with a hideous noise like thunder, accompanied with flashes of lightning, and alternate darkness. This terrible noise in a moment dispelled the fumes of my wine, and made me sensible, but too late, of the folly I had committed. "Princess," cried I, "what means all this?" She answered, without any concern for her own misfortune, "Alas! you are undone, if you ...
— The Arabian Nights Entertainments vol. 1 • Anon.

... sixty thousand francs that you pocketed for those that were in your fields down by the Loire, folly?" said Maitre Cruchot, opening his eyes with amazement. "What luck you have had! To cut down your trees at the very time they ran short of white-wood at Nantes, and to sell them at ...
— Eugenie Grandet • Honore de Balzac

... unsteady, archbishop of Spalato, preached his first sermon in 1617, in Italian, before the Archbishop of Canterbury, and a splendid audience; and continued his discourses in the same place several times, after he had embraced our religion; but having the folly to return to his ancient faith, and trust himself among his old friends at Rome, he was shut up in the Castle of St. Angelo, ...
— The Mirror of Literature, Amusement, and Instruction - Vol. 14, Issue 380, July 11, 1829 • Various

... "The folly of these new governors!" Menard strode back and forth. "Oh, it makes one sigh for old Frontenac. He never walked blindfolded into such a trap as this. But go on. You were speaking ...
— The Road to Frontenac • Samuel Merwin

... Clowns, content himself with raising a horse-laugh by contortions and grimaces, but tickles the fancy, and excites the risibility of an audience by devices as varied as they are ingenious. "He uses his folly as a stalking-horse, under cover of which he shoots his wit;" and fully deserves the encomium bestowed upon him by Kemble, who, it is said, pronounced him to be "the best ...
— A History of Pantomime • R. J. Broadbent

... and the pallbearers of Ambrose Bierce. It would be amusing to enumerate the list of those who have assured me (over the sworn secrecy of a table d'hote white wine) that they read the proof-sheets of "Almayer's Folly" in 1895, etc., etc. For my own part, let me be frank. I do not think I ever heard of Mr. Conrad before December 2, 1911. On that date, which was one day short of the seventeenth anniversary of Stevenson's death, a small club of earnest young men was giving a dinner to Sir Sidney Colvin at the Randolph ...
— Shandygaff • Christopher Morley

... people, but which grows in substance and shape, year by year. I want to teach you how to smash the individual capitalist. I want to teach you how to frame laws which will bring the wealth of this country into a new and saner distribution. I want to teach you the folly of the old ideas that because of the wretched conditions in which you live, the better educated man, the man better equipped mentally and physically for his job, must gather to himself the wealth and you must become his slaves. What do you suppose, in the course of three or four generations, produces ...
— A People's Man • E. Phillips Oppenheim

... intermission." But France has learned to its cost how dangerous it is to feed such beasts. The fate of the Romans, Carthaginians, and Syrians, and many other nations and cities, which were both overturned and quite ruined by those standing armies, should make others wiser; and the folly of this maxim of the French appears plainly even from this, that their trained soldiers often find your raw men prove too hard for them, of which I will not say much, lest you may think I flatter the English. Every day's experience shows that the mechanics in the towns or the clowns ...
— Utopia • Thomas More

... this is ordinarily the fate of young heads, so reflection upon the folly of it is as ordinarily the exercise of more years, or of the dear-bought experience of time; and so it was with me now; and yet, so deep had the mistake taken root in my temper, that I could not satisfy myself in my station, but was continually poring upon the means and ...
— The Life and Adventures of Robinson Crusoe (1808) • Daniel Defoe

... officed arbiter of all the winds, To rouse their force or calm them, at his will. He gave me them on board my bark, so bound With silver twine that not a breath escaped, 30 Then order'd gentle Zephyrus to fill Our sails propitious. Order vain, alas! So fatal proved the folly of my friends. Nine days continual, night and day we sail'd, And on the tenth my native land appear'd. Not far remote my Ithacans I saw Fires kindling on the coast; but me with toil Worn, and with watching, gentle sleep subdued; For constant ...
— The Odyssey of Homer • Homer

... complaints yellow substances were recommended. But this fanciful and erroneous notion "led to serious errors in practice," [1] and was occasionally productive of the most fatal results. Although, indeed, Pliny spoke of the folly of the magicians in using the catanance (Greek: katanhankae, compulsion) for love-potions, on account of its shrinking "in drying into the shape of the claws of a dead kite," [2] and so holding the patient fast; yet this primitive idea, after the lapse ...
— The Folk-lore of Plants • T. F. Thiselton-Dyer

... his mother, "I propose that every time you get into a dispute with Amelia, you turn your jacket wrong side out, and wear it so a little while as a symbol of folly." ...
— Gentle Measures in the Management and Training of the Young • Jacob Abbott

... at my leisure, and raising my voice, asked angrily what this folly meant. "Open the door there! Do ...
— From the Memoirs of a Minister of France • Stanley Weyman

... after a couple of hours in the afternoon he was fairly beaten, and had to tell the boss. They sent for the company doctor, and he examined the foot and told Jurgis to go home to bed, adding that he had probably laid himself up for months by his folly. The injury was not one that Durham and Company could be held responsible for, and so that was all there was to it, so far ...
— The Jungle • Upton Sinclair

... the weight was too heavy for his strength of will. Perforce he yielded to alarm for the girl's safety. A great fear was upon him lest it be too late for the warning he had meant to give. He growled a curse on his own folly in not guarding against immediate attack by the outlaw. It was with small hope of finding his apprehensions groundless that he set forth at once, rifle in hand, for the cabin of the Widow Higgins. There, his fears were confirmed. The old ...
— Heart of the Blue Ridge • Waldron Baily

... the cheat and their own mistake, made such a hurly-burly setting out their boats, with their haste they broke some of them, and some of themselves were bruised and bad broken shins also for their prey, and such as went out whole, perceiving the galley so far off; thought it was folly to pursue her any further, they all returned wiser than they came from home. This is, notwithstanding other men's reports, the true and real narration of Glengarrie Younger his progress, of the Kintail men ...
— History Of The Mackenzies • Alexander Mackenzie

... sort of folly is gone quite out of fashion; and a man can lead a silent and quiet life there, just as at other Universities, if he will attend to the DIC, CURHIC? [or know what his real errand is]. In my time their Serene Highnesses, the Nursing-fathers of ...
— History of Friedrich II. of Prussia, Vol. XVI. (of XXI.) - Frederick The Great—The Ten Years of Peace.—1746-1756. • Thomas Carlyle

... counsel and fire the place, or at least to cut the throats of all within it," said the man Nicholas to his guard Ali as they followed with the rest. "If I know aught of these brethren, cross and sword will soon be hard upon our track, and men's lives must pay the price of such soft folly." And he shivered as ...
— The Brethren • H. Rider Haggard

... other people say. Nothing in the least original, I assure you. I see the folly and the inconvenience of that now. I have consulted hoary experience. I have sat reverently at the feet of old nurses. I have talked with mothers in the spirit of a disciple, and I have learnt, ...
— The Daughters of Danaus • Mona Caird

... Limbo" in S. Lorenzo at Florence, and the detestable picture of "Time, Beauty, Love, and Folly," ...
— Renaissance in Italy Vol. 3 - The Fine Arts • John Addington Symonds

... had no answer, no argument for folly such as this, if, indeed, she grasped the woman's meaning; but she did understand that she was still making her moan over matters and things in general, and that in some way she seemed to be blaming her own dear mother. She looked displeased and turned away; ...
— Bessie Bradford's Prize • Joanna H. Mathews

... 'tis too plain. Yet why should he suspect me? I appear the friend of Beverley as well as he. But I am rich it seems: and so I am; thanks to another's folly and my own wisdom. To what use is wisdom, but to take advantage of the weak? This Beverley's my fool: I cheat him, and he calls me friend. But more business must be done yet. His ...
— The Gamester (1753) • Edward Moore

... me. Yes, I kissed him; I have kissed him hundreds of times, always, since before I can remember. And I had been laughing at him to-day, having nothing in my heart but you. All day it had rejoiced me to hear his folly and think of you, and think how little he knew, and how you would come soon. But your folly is worse. Kill me in this house to-night, and I will tell you, dying, that I love you, and that it is you who ...
— Red Men and White • Owen Wister

... met with so much pettiness and folly masquerading as patriotism that it is delightful to welcome such ...
— The Better Germany in War Time - Being some Facts towards Fellowship • Harold Picton

... Hayakuchi, the Yuwase, and the Mochida, and finally forded three branches of my old friend the Yonetsurugawa, with the foam of its hurrying waters whitening the men's shoulders and the horses' packs, and with a hundred Japanese looking on at the "folly" of the foreigner. ...
— Unbeaten Tracks in Japan • Isabella L. Bird

... ejac'lates Abby, liftin' up her hands. 'Does mortal y'ears ever before listen to sech folly! I suppose he takes that gun I has as threats! I'm a onprotected young female, an' nacherally, when I embarks on this yere elopement, I packs one of paw's guns. Besides, this sweetheart of mine might get cold feet, an' try to jump ...
— Wolfville Nights • Alfred Lewis

... The folly and ignorance which reign too often supreme over the sick-room, cannot be better exemplified than by this. While the nurse will leave the patient stewing in a corrupting atmosphere, the best ingredient of which is carbonic acid; she will deny him, on the ...
— Notes on Nursing - What It Is, and What It Is Not • Florence Nightingale

... one who had read them. They were Letters from an Ocean Tramp (1908) and Aliens (1914); the latter has been rewritten since then and issued in a revised edition. It is a very singular experiment in the art of narrative, and a rich commentary on human folly by a man who has made it his hobby to think things out for himself. And the new version is headlighted by a preface which may well take its place among the most interesting literary confessions of this generation, where ...
— Shandygaff • Christopher Morley

... no man knows whence they have appeared. It was not likely that, through fear of any man's will, I would pay Heaven's penalty for their infringement. Die I must, even hadst thou made no proclamation; if I die before my time, I count it all gain. If my act seem folly to thee, maybe it is a foolish judge who counts ...
— Authors of Greece • T. W. Lumb

... futile effort to force their way, but the trunks, though pliant, were unyielding. To attempt to find their way through the labyrinth was folly. ...
— Astounding Stories of Super-Science, June, 1930 • Various

... hastened back to the palace; and I suppose the servants knew not what to make of it when they saw their royal master so carefully bringing home an earthen pitcher of water. But that water, which was to undo all the mischief that his folly had wrought, was more precious to Midas, than an ocean of molten gold could have been. The first thing he did, as you need hardly be told, was to sprinkle it by handfuls over the golden ...
— The Children's Hour, Volume 3 (of 10) • Various

... one wherein our everlasting interests are involved. Surely the writer's object should have been, to convince his readers of their guilt still more than of their ignorance, and to leave them impressed rather with a sense of their danger than of their folly. ...
— A Practical View of the Prevailing Religious System of Professed Christians, in the Middle and Higher Classes in this Country, Contrasted with Real Christianity. • William Wilberforce

... nothing of particular satire in it; for whatsoever may have been pretended by some critics in the town, I may safely and solemnly affirm, that no one character has been drawn from any single man; and that I have known so many of the same humour, in every folly which is here exposed, as may serve to warrant it from a particular reflection. It was printed in my absence from the town, this summer, much against my expectation; otherwise I had over-looked the press, and been yet more careful, that neither my ...
— The Works of John Dryden, Vol. 6 (of 18) - Limberham; Oedipus; Troilus and Cressida; The Spanish Friar • John Dryden

... and uncertainty possess virtue in that they often lead to rashness, sometimes folly. In this case, Mr. Flanders proposed marriage, albeit he couldn't, for the life of him, see how he was going to manage on a salary of twenty-five dollars a week. That was the rashness of it. Miss Colgate attended ...
— Mr. Bingle • George Barr McCutcheon

... enough an Anti-Gallican. I mean, that in his just contempt and detestation of the crimes and follies of the revolutionists, he suffers himself to forget that the revolution itself is a process of the Divine Providence; and that as the folly of men is the wisdom of God, so are their iniquities instruments of ...
— The Life of Samuel Taylor Coleridge - 1838 • James Gillman

... prided himself on its study; and while France owed her fashionable vice to a hundred sources, all England looked up to Chesterfield as the high priest of that shrine, in which time and reputation were equally sacrificed, and in which fame was to be acquired alone by folly. ...
— Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine, No. CCCLXXVI. February, 1847. Vol. LXI. • Various

... in length, then tumbling back again and passing his wife and child along the main branch, he swung down to where the leaping beast could almost reach him. The heavy club he carried gave him an advantage. With a whistling sweep, as the hyena leaped upward in its ravenous folly, came this huge club crashing against the thick skull, a blow so fair and stark and strong that the stunned beast fell backward upon the ground, and then, down, lightly as any monkey, dropped the cave man. The huge stone ax went crashing into the brain of the quivering brute, and ...
— The Story of Ab - A Tale of the Time of the Cave Man • Stanley Waterloo

... by it," continued Couture, taking no notice of the interruption. "Every government that meddles with commerce and cannot leave it free, sets about an expensive piece of folly; State interference ends in a maximum or a monopoly. To my thinking, few things can be more in conformity with the principles of free trade than joint-stock companies. State interference means that you try to regulate the relations ...
— The Firm of Nucingen • Honore de Balzac

... Man's burden— The savage wars of peace— Fill full the mouth of Famine And bid the sickness cease; And when your goal is nearest The end for others sought, Watch Sloth and heathen Folly Bring all your ...
— Kipling Stories and Poems Every Child Should Know, Book II • Rudyard Kipling

... strictness? look upon these cheeks, And thou shalt find the hot and rising blood Unapt for such a vow; no, in this heart There dwels as much desire, and as much will To put that wisht act in practice, as ever yet Was known to woman, and they have been shown Both; but it was the folly of thy youth, To think this beauty (to what Land soe're It shall be call'd) shall stoop to any second. I do enjoy the best, and in that height Have sworn to stand or die: ...
— The Maids Tragedy • Francis Beaumont and John Fletcher

... begins to haunt him as Dante was haunted by the thought of Beatrice alive. Yet, even at this very time, come doubts of the lawfulness of having thus adored (or thought he had adored) a mortal woman; he does not know whether all this may not have been vanity and folly; he tries to turn his thoughts away from Laura and up to God. Perhaps he may be called on to account for having given too much of his life to a mere earthly love. Then, again, Laura reappears beautified in his memory, and is again tremblingly ...
— Euphorion - Being Studies of the Antique and the Mediaeval in the - Renaissance - Vol. II • Vernon Lee

... latter arrangement going to last for ever? We cannot help being contributory to these developments, and if we have any pretensions to wisdom at all, we must have some theory of what we intend with regard to these things; political action can surely be nothing but folly, unless it has a clear purpose in the future. If these things are not sempiternal, then are we merely to patch the fabric as it gives way, or are we going to set about rebuilding— piecemeal, of course, and without closing the premises or stopping ...
— Mankind in the Making • H. G. Wells

... have a little fighting after passing Tatta, and on our arrival here we heard a report which induced us to believe that we should have a brush with the Ameers very shortly; but it appears now that the Ameers have seen the folly of such proceedings, and have determined to receive us amicably, and to assist our passage through their country, and that it was only one of the Ameers that was inclined to be restive. He endeavoured to stop our camels, &c., and managed ...
— Campaign of the Indus • T.W.E. Holdsworth

... courage will transform the whole temper of your life. "The wise and active conquer difficulties by daring to attempt them. Sloth and folly shiver and sicken at the sight of trial and hazard, and ...
— Architects of Fate - or, Steps to Success and Power • Orison Swett Marden

... this folly, he professed, and, perhaps, believed, himself reclaimed; and, to testify the sincerity of his repentance, wrote and published an ...
— Lives of the Poets, Vol. 1 • Samuel Johnson

... will say) is all this put by itself in what Anglo-Saxons call a Foreword, but gentlemen a Preface? Why, it is because I have noticed that no book can appear without some such thing tied on before it; and as it is folly to neglect the fashion, be certain that I read some eight or nine thousand of them to be sure of how they were written and to be safe from generalizing on too frail ...
— The Path to Rome • Hilaire Belloc

... the hawthorn in flower and the crickets at their concerts, a second wish often came to me. Along the road, I light upon a dead mole, a snake killed with a stone, victims both of human folly. The mole was draining the soil and purging it of its vermin. Finding him under his spade, the laborer broke his back for him and flung him over the hedge. The snake, roused from her slumber by the ...
— The Life of the Fly - With Which are Interspersed Some Chapters of Autobiography • J. Henri Fabre

... and a tremor ran through the quivering frame, while Winston set his lips tightly as his hand grew warm. The thing was horrible to him, but the life he led had taught him the folly of weakness, and he was too pitiful to ...
— Winston of the Prairie • Harold Bindloss

... It was folly to spoil his enjoyment of country such as this by dreaming impossible opportunities. The Warricombes could be nothing to him; to meet with Buckland would only revive the shame long ago outlived. After resting for a few minutes he turned back, passed the ...
— Born in Exile • George Gissing

... either case, he evolves, advancing joyously as a free man, or scourged onwards as a slave. The most obstinate fool in life's class, refusing to learn, fortunately dies and cannot quite escape after death the knowledge of his folly. ...
— The Basis of Morality • Annie Besant

... pedagogues of Earth, 110 If they could tell the riddle offered here Would scorn to be, or being to appear What now they seem and are—but let them chide, They have few pleasures in the world beside; Perhaps we should be dull were we not chidden, 115 Paradise fruits are sweetest when forbidden. Folly can season ...
— The Complete Poetical Works of Percy Bysshe Shelley Volume I • Percy Bysshe Shelley

... "for to place yourself in the clutches of such a rascal as Porquin, is to sell yourself to the devil! But tell me what has happened? You have always been good and industrious, I know, but you may have contracted some debt or committed some slight folly. What may seem enormous to you, may be only a trifle to me. I shall receive two hundred louis from this Arab to-night; you have but to say the word and they are yours. I can turn to someone else! Two hundred louis ...
— A Cardinal Sin • Eugene Sue

... to bard the frigid caution crept, Till Declamation roared whilst Passion slept; Yet still did Virtue deign the stage to tread, Philosophy remained though Nature fled,. . . Exulting Folly hailed the joyful day, And Pantomime and Song confirmed ...
— A History of English Romanticism in the Eighteenth Century • Henry A. Beers

... usage. Nay, perhaps, my very soul, when it is departed out of the body, will not forget the glorious actions I did on his account." This was the clamor he made, and he ordered the messengers to tell it to the king. So he perceived that Silas was incurable in his folly, and still suffered him to lie ...
— The Antiquities of the Jews • Flavius Josephus

... could render a perfect obedience and service for the future, he could never overtake the old unsettled score. The prodigal cannot recover the squandered estate or wipe out the record of folly and sin, and if there be no resource of free remission on the one hand, and no deep and genuine repentance on the other, there can be no possible adjustment. The universal judgment and conscience of men ...
— Oriental Religions and Christianity • Frank F. Ellinwood

... Spencer's Folly! Well, it had been that, and Spencer's den of dissipation too! There were great tales—but it was not of these she was thinking, but of the night of storm—(of the greatest storm of which any record remained in ...
— Dark Hollow • Anna Katharine Green

... better road nor this, Humpy," replied Mike Delaney. "Folly me an' we'll rach Honnewell afore enny of ...
— The Boy Land Boomer - Dick Arbuckle's Adventures in Oklahoma • Ralph Bonehill

... especially where he judges of human actions. What fine things does he say in the comparison of Lycurgus and Numa upon the subject of our great folly in abandoning children to the care and government of their fathers? The most of our civil governments, as Aristotle says, "leave, after the manner of the Cyclopes, to every one the ordering of their wives and children, according to their own foolish and indiscreet fancy; and the Lacedaemonian ...
— The Essays of Montaigne, Complete • Michel de Montaigne

... that to many minds the weightiest and most important part of the phrase, lay in the words "by law established" rather than in the preceding words "the Church"; so that, in many instances, a mere accident in the Church's history displaced the remembrance of its divine constitution, and led on to the folly of supposing that the act of the State, human law, could create and constitute a Church! To assert the truth against so patent a delusion was timely, and indeed needful, a century ago. Would that ...
— Report Of Commemorative Services With The Sermons And Addresses At The Seabury Centenary, 1883-1885. • Diocese Of Connecticut

... This speech was effective on the ministerial side. Mr. Baring made a heavy speech, which fell flatly on the house, and was replied to by Lord Palmerston, who, in a most statesmanlike oration, reviewed the whole question, defended the motives of ministers, and exposed the fallacy and folly of the arguments on the anti-ministerial, side. This speech produced a most damaging effect upon the opposition. Sir Robert Peel revived the hopes of the latter by one of his most studied speeches. It was, however, defective in temper, and although received with cheers by the opposition, ...
— The History of England in Three Volumes, Vol.III. - From George III. to Victoria • E. Farr and E. H. Nolan

... does not hinder some persons from regarding convents as the homes of idleness and reservoirs of folly. When you think that obscure idiots write to the papers to say that nuns know nothing of the Latin they repeat! It would be well for them if they knew as much Latin ...
— The Cathedral • Joris-Karl Huysmans

... tears an' doubts an' fears Prevails with greatest folly, For th' sinagog hez cockt its clog, An' th' ...
— Th' History o' Haworth Railway - fra' th' beginnin' to th' end, wi' an ackaant o' th' oppnin' serrimony • Bill o'th' Hoylus End

... and crowing some months ago, was now one of many eggs; for the hard-working scribbler had no leisure in which to be extravagant, had he been so minded. The purchase of a half-circlet of diamonds for his betrothed's slim finger had been his only folly. ...
— Charlotte's Inheritance • M. E. Braddon

... Jack's blood was up. He had declared that he would win her, and had departed with this declaration. I knew him well enough to feel sure that his action would be prompt. He was capable of any act of folly or of desperation. If I could hope to contend successfully against him, it would be necessary for me to be as foolish and as desperate. I must go in for a headlong game. It was to be a regular steeple-chase. No dilly-dallying—no shuffling—no ...
— The Lady of the Ice - A Novel • James De Mille

... to Thee, my aid and refuge; and broke the fetters of my tongue to call on Thee, praying Thee, though small, yet with no small earnestness, that I might not be beaten at school. And when Thou heardest me not (not thereby giving me over to folly), my elders, yea my very parents, who yet wished me no ill, mocked my stripes, my then great ...
— The Confessions of Saint Augustine • Saint Augustine

... that thou marry, for I am minded to wed thee to a king's daughter and rejoice in thee ere I die.' When the prince heard these his father's words, he bowed his head awhile, then raising it, replied, being moved thereto by youthful folly and boyish ignorance, 'Never will I marry, no, not though I drink the cup of death! As for thee, thou art great in years and little of wit: hast thou not, twice before this, questioned me of the matter of marriage, and I refused thee? Indeed, thou dotest and art not fit to govern a flock of sheep!' ...
— The Book Of The Thousand Nights And One Night, Volume III • Anonymous

... might commit wrong with impunity. The shortest road to the achievement of his desires lay, he thought, through false swearing, lying, and cheating; for in his vocabulary simplicity and truth were synonyms of folly. Natural affection he clearly entertained for nobody. If he called a man his friend it might be looked upon as 23 certain that he was bent on ensnaring him. Laughter at an enemy he considered out of place, ...
— Anabasis • Xenophon

... "Folly," said Lawrence. "Good God, why should you exercise your simple minds over the house in Brook Lane? Ah! because the men who go to it are your own men, and the parsonage and the Castle are answerable for their souls." Val, irritated, suggested that ...
— Nightfall • Anthony Pryde

... charming impression he had of Natasha, whom he had known from a child, with this new conception of her baseness, folly, and cruelty. He thought of his wife. "They are all alike!" he said to himself, reflecting that he was not the only man unfortunate enough to be tied to a bad woman. But still he pitied Prince ...
— War and Peace • Leo Tolstoy

... have the key, or the pick-lock to their minds. An Irishman is as different an animal on his guard and off his guard, as a miss in school from a miss out of school. A fine country for game, I'll show you; and if you are a good marksman, you may have plenty of shots 'at folly ...
— Tales and Novels, Vol. 6 • Maria Edgeworth

... hear everything that is spoken on this island—even the slightest whisper," declared Lady Aurex. "She is a wonderful witch, as she has told you, and it is folly to criticise her ...
— Glinda of Oz • L. Frank Baum

... guilty of it; but to show you (by excepting only an impossible thing) that I excepted nothing. No, in earnest, I can fancy no such thing of you, or if I could, the quarrel would be to myself; I should never forgive my own folly that let me to choose a friend that could be false. But I'll leave this (which is not much to the purpose) and tell you how, with my usual impatience, I expected your letter, and how cold it went to my heart to see it so short a one. 'Twas so great a pain to me that ...
— The Love Letters of Dorothy Osborne to Sir William Temple, 1652-54 • Edward Abbott Parry

... upon as the acts of the Minister and not of the King. Ministers of state were formerly shields to the persons of Kings from such kind of imputations; but it is much to be feared, if care is not taken to prevent it, the idle whimsies of Ministers, their weakness and folly, or their daring and impudent attempts to destroy the Liberties of the People, will be attributed to a Cause which no one, to be sure at present, will chuse to mention.—I hope his Honor's reasoning, and his correspondent Conduct, does not lead to this—The House of Representatives ...
— The Writings of Samuel Adams, volume II (1770 - 1773) - collected and edited by Harry Alonso Cushing • Samuel Adams

... O womanish youth; the boys Ask thee charity. Time agone (125) Toys and folly; to-day begins Our high duty, Talassius. Hasten, ...
— The Poems and Fragments of Catullus • Catullus

... sons, with all the ardour of their age, begged to begin by clearing a space in the vessel to put the pinnace together, and we might afterwards think how we should launch it. Under any other circumstances I should have shown them the folly of such an undertaking; but in truth, I had myself a vague hope of success, that encouraged me, and I cried out, "To work! to work!" The hold was lighted by some chinks in the ship's side. We set diligently to work, hacking, cutting, and sawing ...
— The Swiss Family Robinson; or Adventures in a Desert Island • Johann David Wyss

... and folly of the charge against the decision of the Electoral Commission, that it was unconstitutional or fraudulent, and the fact that the American people were never impressed by these charges, is shown by the fact that General ...
— Autobiography of Seventy Years, Vol. 1-2 • George Hoar

... conception; there was promise in these of stark fighting. To all is to be added a rabble of camp followers, of sutlers, musicians, teamsters, servants, congressmen in carriages, even here and there a congressman's wife, all the hurrah and vain parade, the strut and folly and civilian ignorance, the unwarlike softness and the misdirected pride with which these Greeks had set out to take in a night that four-years-distant Troy. Now a confusion fell upon them, and a rout such as was never seen again in that war. They left the ten guns, mute enough now, they gave ...
— The Long Roll • Mary Johnston

... folly doth beseeme, The skill of law to aged folkes belong, And all is lawfull that we list, I deeme, We take no notice of the right or wrong, If it offend to take thy owne in't bed, Let that offence be layd vpon ...
— Seven Minor Epics of the English Renaissance (1596-1624) • Dunstan Gale

... Sancho Panza came down to look after his master, and finding him bruised and bleeding, but not stunned, he fell to reproaching him for his folly. But the knight only answered that if the enemies around him seemed to bear the likeness of sheep, it was only because they had been enchanted, and that their fellows now marching along the road would soon regain their proper shape, and become ...
— The Red Romance Book • Various

... on the same view, to explain hypothetically, how, if one of the rubbing bodies be a conductor, as the amalgam of an electrical machine, the state of the other when it comes from under the friction is (as a mass) exalted; but it would be folly to go far into such speculation before that already advanced has been confirmed or corrected by fit experimental evidence. I do not wish it to be supposed that I think all excitement by friction is of this kind; on the contrary, certain experiments lead me to believe, ...
— Experimental Researches in Electricity, Volume 1 • Michael Faraday

... death. He has never agreed with my father about disowning Dino, and you know he has always said that we ought to wait until you have been at least a year in Florence. Do not think hardly of my godfather. I know he is prejudiced and narrow, but yet he is very noble. He has often said that it is folly in my father to want to keep his library apart, that it may bear his name; yet he would try to get my father's wish carried out. That seems to me very great and noble—that power of respecting a feeling which he does ...
— Romola • George Eliot

... zeal, or shrink from the bloody boldness of the other with greater timidity, because the blockhead thinks he can eat angels in muffins and chew a spiritual nature in the crumpets which he buys from the baker's shop? I am sorry there should be such impious folly in the world, but I should be ten times a greater fool than he is, if I refused, till he had made a solemn protestation that the crumpet was spiritless and the muffin nothing but a human muffin, to ...
— Peter Plymley's Letters and Selected Essays • Sydney Smith

... torrent of Broadway leaps highest in folly and the nights are riddled with incandescent tire and chewing gum signs; jazz bands and musical comedies to the ticket speculators' tune of five dollars a seat, My Khaki-Boy, covered with the golden hoar of three hundred Metropolitan nights ...
— Defenders of Democracy • Militia of Mercy

... hand on mine, and the moment I felt her warm touch, my impatience ceased. I would argue the thing out with her, I thought, and soon convince her that it would be impossible. Impossible—folly, utter folly. I must not think of such a thing for a moment. And yet—and yet—I rose from my seat, walked to the window, and then turned ...
— The Strange Adventure Of James Shervinton - 1902 • Louis Becke

... before the meeting of the legislature, and probably at the first moment it could be done with safety, Thomas Brattle wrote an admirable letter, [Footnote: Mass. Hist. Coll. first series, v. 61.] in which he exposed the folly and wickedness of the delusion with all the energy the temper of the time would bear; had he miscalculated, his error of judgment would probably have cost him his life. At the meeting of the General Court the illegal and blood-stained commission came ...
— The Emancipation of Massachusetts • Brooks Adams

... is a pretty sight—but so is the sight of a fox, when the creature kindles his goblin-fire and assumes the shape of a girl. And just as your fox-woman will prove to be no more than an old horse-bone, so that young courtesan, whose beauty deludes men to folly, may be nothing better than ...
— The Romance of the Milky Way - And Other Studies & Stories • Lafcadio Hearn

... her services. He had admirers who fawned on him, flatterers who praised him to the skies, and how could this rather hot-headed youth of twenty resist such adulation at that strange epoch when even the wisest lost their balance? At least his folly ...
— The House of the Combrays • G. le Notre

... time—of which, with his own name on a scroll, he used as a Mark. Several of his books were printed in Paris. He issued a large number of works in classical literature, and among the more notable of his publications were Chaloner's translation of Erasmus's "Praise of Folly," 1549, Gower's "De Confessione Amantis," and the "Institution of a Christen Man," with a woodcut border to the title by Holbein. John Byddell, otherwise Salisbury, 1533-44, was another printer whose Mark was derived from the sign of the shop in which he ...
— Printers' Marks - A Chapter in the History of Typography • William Roberts

... the eggspoon, and eating it from the top, seasoning it as you go.' The courage and genius of Mrs. Harland are not more clearly indicated by this sentence than the deplorable habits of her countrymen. She ought to be called, not Marion, but Columba. To desist from folly, however, her little book is a very interesting and valuable one. Its receipts, though few, are given with singular clearness and in the most practical of manners, and the mechanical value of the book is ...
— The Bay State Monthly, Vol. II, No. 6, March, 1885 - A Massachusetts Magazine • Various

... I thank God that I still had influence with Robert my son to keep him from running after her like a love-sick fool, and trying to bring her back to the decent home she had disgraced. But his heart was broken by her wicked folly. Two years they'd had together under this roof and the disappointments she had made the boy suffer undermined his health. Two years more he was spared to me, and then he was taken. Never once did your mother write to him or to me, not so much as to ask ...
— The Heather-Moon • C. N. Williamson and A. M. Williamson

... whether this appointment was agreeable to him, or holding any conference even on the fundamental points of the budget he was expected to carry through. On receiving notice of this nomination, M. de Serre felt deeply offended. "It is either an act of folly or impertinence," said he loudly; "perhaps both." M. de Serre deceived himself; it was neither the one nor the other. M. Corvetto was an extremely polite, careful, and modest person; but he was of the Imperial school, and more accustomed to give orders to agents than to concert ...
— Memoirs To Illustrate The History Of My Time - Volume 1 • Francois Pierre Guillaume Guizot

... house, and forthwith into the bath-tub without delay. After the necessary scrubbing and cleansing were over, Rikli put her question again, and the explanation she received was likely to impress upon her the folly of unnecessary alarm, and the certainty that her cries would be unheeded as long as she persisted in uttering ...
— Gritli's Children • Johanna Spyri

... could have been, probably a year or two after he had gone up to school—he began to see quite clearly what this hate meant; began to see that for such as he to hate the Bewshers of the world was the sheerest folly—a luxury far beyond his means. Quaint, wasn't it? In a boy of his age! You can imagine him working it out at night, in his narrow dormitory bed, when the other boys were asleep. You see, he realized, dimly at first, clearly at last, that through Bewsher and his ...
— The Best Short Stories of 1917 - and the Yearbook of the American Short Story • Various

... folly to pretend that our choices are necessary. The proposition involves absurdity. Choice and ...
— Sermons on Various Important Subjects • Andrew Lee

... woman; I am glad to recognize that I differ from the father of my sex in no important particular, being as manlike as most of his sons. Therefore it is the woman, my Aunt Carola, who must bear the whole reproach of the folly which I shall forthwith confess to you, since she it was who put it into my head; and, as it was only to make Eve happy that her husband ever consented to eat the disastrous apple, so I, save to please my relative, had never aspired to become a Selected ...
— Lady Baltimore • Owen Wister

... keenly. She loved her husband with such an intense passion that even his folly did not cool its ardor, and when others denounced him in the harshest terms she spoke only in tenderness. And when many of her friends went so far as to advise her to leave him, and so save to herself and children some ...
— From Wealth to Poverty • Austin Potter

... ancients, and were inclined rather to veil than to expose the blunders of an ally; the champions of the moderns were generally as ignorant as Temple himself; and the multitude was charmed by his flowing and melodious diction. He was doomed, however, to smart, as he well deserved, for his vanity and folly. ...
— Critical and Historical Essays Volume 1 • Thomas Babington Macaulay

... retaliation, an arrangement which makes twelve paces uncomfortably close quarters for the passive and immovable target. He scarcely dwelt a moment on the bitter scorn with which his own great-uncle, whose natural heir he was, would calmly and deliberately curse this piece of childish folly, while he disinherited its perpetrator without scruple or remorse. He never even considered the disadvantage under which a life that ought to be very dear to him was now opening on the world: a life that might be blighted through its whole course by his own folly, punished, a score of years hence, ...
— M. or N. "Similia similibus curantur." • G.J. Whyte-Melville

... equivalent to a confession, that I could not be happy without his friendship," she said, hotly. "And he would not accept an apology while his innocence remained unproven. Let me suffer the consequences of my own folly; I deserve it; but," setting her white teeth resolutely, "no harm shall come to him that I can avert; and, I am ...
— The Diamond Coterie • Lawrence L. Lynch

... found so near the surface," said Rufus with a satiric glance at the cover of Elizabeth's book, — "it would be folly to go further." ...
— Hills of the Shatemuc • Susan Warner

... I will tell you what is ten times, and ten thousand times, more terrible than war, and that is outraged Nature. War, we are discovering now, is the clumsiest and most expensive of all games; we are finding that if you wish to commit an act of cruelty and folly, the most costly one that you can commit is to contrive to shoot your fellow-men in war. So it is; and thank God that so it is; but Nature, insidious, inexpensive, silent, sends no roar of cannon, no glitter of arms ...
— Sanitary and Social Lectures and Essays • Charles Kingsley

... customers being brought to the Terrace as a special mark of respect, and sitting down with a flop, as was his wont, smashed the work of art like card-board and went down on the door with a curse, vowing inwardly never again to set foot in Furze's Folly, as he called it. The pictures, too, were all renewed. The "Virgin Mary" and "George the Fourth" went upstairs to the spare bedroom, and some new oleographs, "a rising art," Mrs. Furze was assured, took their places. They had very large margins, gilt frames, and ...
— Catharine Furze • Mark Rutherford

... you please," he called. "This is childish folly. How can you pay when you have no money except what I give you? I am responsible for your debts, and as you have taken advantage of that fact, I have no choice but to pay. This must never occur ...
— Ainslee's, Vol. 15, No. 5, June 1905 • Various

... whole nation must be so—that just in proportion as its members are little helped by extraneous power they will become self-helping, and in proportion as they are much helped they will become helpless? What folly is it to ignore these results because they are not direct, and not immediately visible. Tho slowly wrought out, they are inevitable. We can no more elude the laws of human development than we can elude the law of gravitation; and ...
— The Best of the World's Classics, Restricted to Prose, Vol. VI (of X)—Great Britain and Ireland IV • Various

... 'No folly at all,' he answered, perfect conviction in his tone. 'You have played upon us. You have fooled us. But I see through it now. An hour ago I exposed you to that fine Madame at the house there, and I thought it a marvel that she did not ...
— Under the Red Robe • Stanley Weyman

... its conception and execution, the plan of campaign followed by General Gibbon was a master-piece of Indian fighting. Nothing can be further from the brilliant folly of Custer's dash than Gibbon's march and attack. It was wisely planned, and boldly carried out. The necessities of an Indian war are simple. They are to move swiftly, strike suddenly and hard, and to fight warily, but ...
— The Battle of the Big Hole • G. O. Shields

... I followed any such line of reasoning at the time. I would not even admit my folly to myself. But during the restless hours of that first night after the accident, when my back ached with lying on it, and any other position was torture, I found my thoughts constantly going back to Alison West. ...
— The Man in Lower Ten • Mary Roberts Rinehart

... rising high above the natural soil below. But before Aurelian erected the splendid building to record his conquest of Palmyra, the same spot was the site of the 'Little Senate,' instituted by Elagabalus in mirthful humour, between an attack of sacrilegious folly and a fit ...
— Ave Roma Immortalis, Vol. 1 - Studies from the Chronicles of Rome • Francis Marion Crawford

... be called higher than others moralists of many schools will be ready to admit, but to Mill's criterion of what proves them to be higher they may demur. Of the delight that a fool takes in his folly a wise man may be as incapable as a fool is of the enjoyment of wisdom. With mature years men cease to be competent judges of the pleasures of boyhood. To each nature, its appropriate choice of pleasures. That human beings ...
— A Handbook of Ethical Theory • George Stuart Fullerton

... swamp. It was an awful position, and one in which I trust no other white man will ever be placed; and as I threw myself down in the boat to sleep the sleep of utter exhaustion, I bitterly cursed my folly in ever having been a party to such a mad undertaking, which could, I saw, only end in our death in this ghastly land. I thought, I remember, as I slowly sank into a doze, of what the appearance of the boat and her unhappy crew would be in two or three ...
— She • H. Rider Haggard

... prisoners pay the money, which it does not appear to have been in their power to pay, they were again threatened by the Resident, in a letter to Major Gilpin, dated 9th June, 1782, in the following terms. "I wish you to explain once more to the prisoners the imprudence and folly of their conduct in forcing me to a measure which must be attended with consequences so very serious to them, and that, when once they are removed to Lucknow, it will not be in my power to show them mercy, ...
— The Works of the Right Honourable Edmund Burke, Vol. VIII. (of 12) • Edmund Burke

... slaves]! By two in the morning we were all worn out. I felt indifferent whether I was drowned or not, and many threw down their buckets and sat down to die. The wind increased and, at last, as if to put us out of our misery, just such a squall as this came down upon us. I saw it was folly contending against our fate, and followed the general example. "God is great!" we exclaimed, but the Rajah of Johore came and reproved us. "Work until daylight," he said, "and I will ensure your safety." We pointed at the black storm which was approaching. ...
— Great Pirate Stories • Various

... partake of the mirthful spirit by which the unwary are enticed into scenes of folly, neither did ...
— Tiger and Tom and Other Stories for Boys • Various

... Schinner had painted the ceilings in his masterly manner. The beauties of the staircase, white as a woman's arm, defied those of the hotel Rothschild. On account of the riots and the unsettled times, the cost of this folly was only about eleven hundred thousand francs,—to an Englishman a mere nothing. All this luxury, called princely by persons who do not know what real princes are, was built in the garden of the house of a purveyor made a Croesus by the Revolution, who had escaped to Brussels and died there after ...
— Paz - (La Fausse Maitresse) • Honore de Balzac

... Palace the crowd moved up and down without rest; it drifted and returned; it circled round and round the fountain. In the open spaces the intoxicated motor-cars and taxi-cabs darted and tore with the folly of moths and the fury of destroyers. They stung the air with their hooting. Flags, intoxicated flags, still hung from their engines. They came flying drunkenly out of the dark, like a trumpeting swarm of enormous insects, irresistibly, incessantly drawn to the lights of the Palace, ...
— The Tree of Heaven • May Sinclair



Words linked to "Folly" :   caper, injudiciousness, romp, fatuousness, gambol, indiscretion, foolishness, frolic, clowning, craziness, mishegoss, wisdom, buffoonery, absurdity, error, asininity, mistake, trait, silliness, fault, indulgence, play, foolery, madness, fatuity, prank, japery, frivolity, meshugaas, unwiseness, mishegaas, harlequinade



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