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Foolery   Listen
noun
Foolery  n.  (pl. fooleries)  
1.
The practice of folly; the behavior of a fool; foolish behavior; absurdity. "Folly in fools bears not so strong a note, As foolery in the wise, when wit doth dote."
2.
An act of folly or weakness; a foolish practice; something absurd or nonsensical. "That Pythagoras, Plato, or Orpheus, believed in any of these fooleries, it can not be suspected."






Collaborative International Dictionary of English 0.48








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"Foolery" Quotes from Famous Books



... was superstitious and she said 'no, cos niggers are edicatted dese days en dey don believe in all dat tom-foolery. Dey neber would benn so foolish if de white folks did not tell us all dat rot.'" Mary neither reads or writes and is not superstitious according to her admission. What do you think of it. I am afraid that I ...
— Slave Narratives: A Folk History of Slavery in the United States - From Interviews with Former Slaves - Kentucky Narratives • Works Projects Administration

... sir, and you bind me to you for ever," said the cavalier; "and I conjure you not to keep malice against me on account of the foolery you ...
— Woodstock; or, The Cavalier • Sir Walter Scott

... is loosened, it breathes its tale of love, and, with joyful notes, proclaims its happiness morning and night; and yet there are those who would make us believe that the tender passion is useless, that love is tom-foolery, or that it does not exist. To these blind blasphemers, who thus deny its power, I would respectfully say, Come to Le Morvan, and observe the woodcock, and then dare to say that love is an untruth. Why, love is the ...
— Le Morvan, [A District of France,] Its Wild Sports, Vineyards and Forests; with Legends, Antiquities, Rural and Local Sketches • Henri de Crignelle

... declared to you By what means we escaped away; Now we bid our cares adieu, Though the King did lose the day. To him I was true, And that he well knew; 'Tis God that must his comfort be, Else all our policy Had been but foolery, For the King no ...
— Cavalier Songs and Ballads of England from 1642 to 1684 • Charles Mackay

... and on 'buses and trams. As a rule they care for no newspapers except the Sunday ones; what they want is the lightest and frothiest of chit-chatty information—bits of stories, bits of description, bits of scandal, bits of jokes, bits of statistics, bits of foolery. Am I not right? Everything must be very short, two inches at the utmost; their attention can't sustain itself beyond two inches. Even chat is too solid ...
— New Grub Street • George Gissing

... an infernal mess with your foolery," he said sulkily, "and when you do, you needn't come to me to help ...
— General John Regan - 1913 • George A. Birmingham

... such foolery, Mr. Warren? I had thought you too intelligent to believe in superstitious ...
— The Ghost Breaker - A Novel Based Upon the Play • Charles Goddard

... swallow his gruel. We can't spare him. Where would I get another man from at this time of the season? Besides, that would look as if he were afraid of them. We've lost hours of precious time with his foolery already," he adds savagely, and I can guess the headstrong Jones has "caught it" from ...
— Round the Wonderful World • G. E. Mitton

... me, partly that these toys are lighter than may become a divine, and partly more biting than may beseem the modesty of a Christian, and consequently exclaim that I resemble the ancient comedy, or another Lucian, and snarl at everything. But I would have them whom the lightness or foolery of the argument may offend to consider that mine is not the first of this kind, but the same thing that has been often practiced even by great authors: when Homer, so many ages since, did the like with the battle of frogs and ...
— The Praise of Folly • Desiderius Erasmus

... the son of a distinguished soldier, and is now the owner of a fine property at home, I don't see what trouble he can have had. He may possibly, for anything I know, have had some boyish love affairs, but I don't think he is the sort of man to allow his whole life to be affected by any foolery of that sort. He is ...
— Rujub, the Juggler • G. A. Henty

... the place; his grotesque dancing inadmissible in that atmosphere once consecrated to the comedy of manners and the stately march of the classic drama. Where Hamlet had moralized, a loutish clown now beguiled the time with some tom-foolery, his wit so broad, his quips were cannon-balls, and his audience, for the most part soldiers from Mexico, open-mouthed swallowed the entire bombardment. But Saint-Prosper, finding the performance dull, finally rose and went ...
— The Strollers • Frederic S. Isham

... Mrs Squeers. 'If the young man comes to be a teacher here, let him understand, at once, that we don't want any foolery about the boys. They have the brimstone and treacle, partly because if they hadn't something or other in the way of medicine they'd be always ailing and giving a world of trouble, and partly because it spoils ...
— The Life And Adventures Of Nicholas Nickleby • Charles Dickens

... simple peasants, honest enough, but people of the soil and nothing else. If I am Count and Field-Marshal and Viceroy, I owe it all to the good heart of your Empress and mine, whose humble servant I am. Take it away, and let me hear no more of such foolery." ...
— Love affairs of the Courts of Europe • Thornton Hall

... anybody get into such a state over a piece of foolery!... Give it me! I shall take it away. You ...
— Jean-Christophe, Vol. I • Romain Rolland

... name and one under that of Alethes Noctroff (1657), in which he elaborately dealt with the charge as both false and frivolous. In one passage he offers a qualified defense of such an act: "I cannot but bewail the exceeding rudeness of our times to suffer such foolery to be prosecuted as of some high and notorious crime. Suppose it were (as it is not) true, may not some eminent congregational brother be found guilty of the same act? Is it not much short of drinking ...
— Studies in the Psychology of Sex, Volume 3 (of 6) • Havelock Ellis

... naturally a Tory that you never troubled to think to what party you belong. And I can understand you well enough; I have leanings that way myself. Still, when I get down to Polterham I shall call myself a Radical. What sensible man swears by a party? There's more foolery and dishonesty than enough on both sides, when you come to party quarrelling; but as for the broad principles concerned, why, Radicalism of course means justice. I put it in this way: If I were a poor devil, half starved and overworked, I should ...
— Denzil Quarrier • George Gissing

... enough to answer for what I have written; but it were too much for Job himself to bear what one has not. I suspect that when the Arab Patriarch wished that his 'enemy had written a book,' he did not anticipate his own name on the title-page. I feel quite as much bored with this foolery as it deserves, and more than I should be if I ...
— Life of Lord Byron, Vol. III - With His Letters and Journals • Thomas Moore

... "What damned foolery have you been up to NOW?" he demanded. "Can't I move a step without stubbing my toe on you? Why the devil did ...
— Indiscretions of Archie • P. G. Wodehouse

... inebriate nobles than some subtile comicality or nimble lines of poetry, that would serve to take home and think over, and which improved with time like a wine of sound body. Triboulet abused the ancient art of foolery, thought Caillette; the duke's plaisant played upon it with true drollery, and as a master who has a delicate ear for an instrument, so Caillette, being sensitive to broadness or stupidity which masked as humor or pleasantry, turned naturally ...
— Under the Rose • Frederic Stewart Isham

... familiarly without any announcement. On the present occasion his step was more rapid than usual, his manner more than commonly excited, and the moment he had cast himself into a chair he burst into a long loud peal of laughter. "In the name of Heaven," he exclaimed, "what piece of foolery do you think my worthy father has concocted now? On my honour, I believe that he is mad, and only fear that he has transmitted a part of his madness to me. Think of everything that is ridiculous, Wilton, that you can conceive; let ...
— The King's Highway • G. P. R. James

... boast about yer cities, and their stiddy growth and size, And brag about yer County-seats, and business enterprise, And railroads, and factories, and all sich foolery— But the little Town o' Tailholt is big enough ...
— Afterwhiles • James Whitcomb Riley

... should be disturbed in any of its folds; and rather than allow a privileged place to folly beside itself, it has unconsciously assumed the part of the ridiculous; but, alas! a heavy and cheerless ridicule. [Footnote: "Since the little wit that fools have was silenced, the little foolery that wise men have makes a greater show."—As You Like It. Act i., sc. 2.] It would be easy to make a collection of the excellent sallies and biting sarcasms which have been preserved of celebrated court fools. It is well known that they frequently told such truths ...
— Lectures on Dramatic Art - and Literature • August Wilhelm Schlegel trans John Black

... sheep-herders!" he greeted spitefully, "if yuh think yuh can saw off on your foolery and hold this herd, I'll go and get something to eat. When I come to this outfit t' work, I naturally s'posed yuh was cow-punchers. Yuh ain't. Yuh couldn't hold a bunch uh sick lambs inside a high board corral with the gate ...
— The Lonesome Trail and Other Stories • B. M. Bower

... and went on: "People always say such foolery, miss. I'll make answer hencefor'ard, 'Of course a lady like Miss Everdene can't love him'; I'll say it out in plain black ...
— Far from the Madding Crowd • Thomas Hardy

... political purposes. His fly-sheets, his illustrated editions, had given useful hints how to address the large masses of the people. If he looked upon the world, as it then was, as a ship of fools, and represented every weakness, vice, and wickedness under the milder color of foolery, the people who read his poems singled out some of his fools, and called them knaves. The great work of Sebastian Brant was his "Narrenschiff." It was first published in 1497, at Basle, and the first edition, though on account ...
— Chips From A German Workshop. Vol. III. • F. Max Mueller

... believe thee, 'twere some honesty, And for thy penitence would not laugh at thee (As sure they will) and beat thee for thy poverty: If they would allow thy foolery, ...
— The False One • Francis Beaumont and John Fletcher

... this foolery," he broke out roughly, stepping back from the vehicle, and facing her suddenly, with his first angry gesture. "We want an end to these airs and grimaces, and all this dandy nigger business; we want an end to this 'cake-walking' through the ...
— A Sappho of Green Springs • Bret Harte

... wi' ye?" said Bess the matron, taking up the bundle and examining it. "Ye'n sweltered yoursen, I reckon, running that fool's race. An' here, they'n gi'en you lots o' good grogram and flannel, as should ha' been gi'en by good rights to them as had the sense to keep away from such foolery. Ye might spare me a bit o' this grogram to make clothes for the lad—ye war ne'er ill-natured, Bess; I ...
— Adam Bede • George Eliot

... 'is back ower this letter job,' said the father secretly to me. 'Mother, 'er knows nowt about it. Lot o' tom-foolery, isn't it? Ay! What's good o' makkin' a peck o' trouble over what's far enough off, an' ned niver come no nigher. No—not a smite o' use. That's what I tell 'er. 'Er should ta'e no notice on't. Ty, what ...
— England, My England • D.H. Lawrence

... in his mountain eyrie felt his heart warm with a sort of fatherly pity over these bumpkin raptures. The lad blows a bubble of foolery, and it glitters and floats and bursts, and who is the worse for it? The man carves folly in brass, and breaks his head on his own monument; or forges it in steel, and stabs his own heart with it. The vanities of youth ...
— Despair's Last Journey • David Christie Murray

... was a proverbial expression, which was also possibly the refrain of some song. Aeschylus means to say that all Euripides' phrases are cast in the same mould, and that his style is so poor and insipid that one can adapt to it any foolery one wishes; as for the phrase he adds to every one of the phrases his rival recites, he chooses it to insinuate that the work of Euripides is labour lost, and that he would have done just as well not to meddle with tragedy. ...
— The Eleven Comedies - Vol. I • Aristophanes et al

... disgust. "I'm glad your father didn't live to see you in all the glory of your gracelessness," he said. "Your father was a man, every inch of him. Do you get it? A man. I think he'd have whaled all this musical and artistic tom foolery ...
— Smoke Bellew • Jack London

... phenomena can be counterfeited is no reason for concluding they do not exist. In experiments with magnetism and hypnotic suggestion, many delusions beset the experimenters, and there is more or less intentional foolery on the part of the subjects. Thus have I seen, at the prison-hospital of Salpetriere and elsewhere, young women outrageously deceiving the most serious investigators, who did not in the least suspect ...
— The Arena - Volume 4, No. 19, June, 1891 • Various

... in the good old way. Everybody can shout 'Amen!' as loud and as long as the Spirit moves him, with us. Some one was sayin' you thought we ought to have a choir and an organ. No, sirree! No such tom-foolery for us! You'll only stir up feelin' agin yourself by hintin' at such things. And then, too, our folks don't take no stock in all that pack o' nonsense about science, such as tellin' the age of the earth by crackin' up stones. I've b'en in the quarry line all my life, an' I know it's all humbug! ...
— The Damnation of Theron Ware • Harold Frederic

... which Dr Thorpe understood about half, and Isoult much less. John, being a little wiser, was called upon for a translation. "Hang me if I know what the fellow is a-writing about!" testily cried Dr Thorpe. "Jack, do thou put this foolery ...
— Robin Tremain - A Story of the Marian Persecution • Emily Sarah Holt

... glad to see one good Presbyterian who hasn't gone off his head over this tom-foolery." Here he made the fatal mistake of slapping Mr. McPherson on the shoulder. "It does me good to see a man who isn't a fanatic, but can take a glass and leave it alone, and give every other ...
— The End of the Rainbow • Marian Keith

... a grim sense of humour, and enjoyed nothing more than really elaborate foolery. Such as, for example, the celebrated case ...
— Gold • Stewart White

... Rousillon. His utterances are racy enough, but our contempt for the man smothers our mirth, and we cannot laugh. In one scene the bully is taken blindfolded among his old acquaintances, whom he is led to suppose are his enemies, and he villifies[TN-64] their characters to their faces in most admired foolery.—Shakespeare, All's Well that ...
— Character Sketches of Romance, Fiction and the Drama - A Revised American Edition of the Reader's Handbook, Vol. 3 • E. Cobham Brewer

... moved to some other spot, and be waiting in the dark to see what he would do. His palms touched the pressed grasses where she had been, but he did not say a word. He would not give her that satisfaction; and he told himself grimly that he had his opinion of a girl who would waste time in foolery, out here in the cold—with ...
— The Uphill Climb • B. M. Bower

... "Stop that foolery, you idiot," I muttered to Stephen, kicking him on the shins, "or you'll get our throats cut." Then, collecting myself with ...
— Allan and the Holy Flower • H. Rider Haggard

... can as well be hanged, as tell the manner of it; it was mere foolery.—I saw Mark Antony offer him a crown; and, as I told you, he put it by once—but, for all that, to my thinking, he would fain have had it. Then he offered it to him again; then, he put it by again—but, to my thinking, he was very loth to lay his fingers ...
— The Young Gentleman and Lady's Monitor, and English Teacher's Assistant • John Hamilton Moore

... nobody get work out of Mammy but him. I guess that's just his foolery 'cause if she ain't no good the Old Doc most likely sell her to some of them white ...
— Slave Narratives, Oklahoma - A Folk History of Slavery in the United States From - Interviews with Former Slaves • Various

... by way of make-weight. When female reputation gets a bad name in the market, 'tis harder to dispose of than falling stock; and your young lords of manors and commanders of cruisers have stomachs like usurers; no per centage will satisfy them; it must be all, or nothing! There was no such foolery in the days of thy worthy father! The honest trafficker brought his cutter into port, with as innocent a look as a mill-boat. We had our discourses on the qualities of his wares, when here was his price, and there was my gold. Odd or even! It was all a chance which had the best of ...
— The Water-Witch or, The Skimmer of the Seas • James Fenimore Cooper

... command, but to this hard, dull work he devoted himself in a manner that astonished some of the other brigadiers whose ideas of the position involved a showy staff of officers and a deal of picturesque posing in resplendent uniforms. But Grant had no patience with such foolery. He had work to do and when his headquarters were established at Cairo, Illinois, he took charge of them himself, keeping his eyes on all the details like any careful business man. In fact he was, as far as appearances were concerned, a man of business, for he seldom ...
— On the Trail of Grant and Lee • Frederick Trevor Hill

... and birding-pieces, who would elude the statutes against gunnes, to be called to account "for the shallow-brain'd idlenesse of their ridiculous foolery." ...
— Notes and Queries, No. 181, April 16, 1853 • Various

... perdition. But I know they are all fancies engendered by your heated brain, which in your calmer moments you will discard, as I discard them now. If I have any weight with you, I counsel you to drink no more, or you will commit some mad foolery, of which you will be ashamed hereafter. The discreeter course would be to retire altogether; and for this you have ample excuse, as you will have to arise betimes to-morrow, to set out for Pendle Forest ...
— The Lancashire Witches - A Romance of Pendle Forest • William Harrison Ainsworth

... frown as Constans presented himself at the door of the counting-room. The rest hour was over and Constans's place was at the tan-pit. How was the work to get done if everybody shirked their part of the common task? A message in a bottle. What foolery was this? Nevertheless, Messer Hugolin extended his hand to receive the roll, and, removing the waxed string that bound it, knit his brows over the enclosure—half a dozen sheets of writing. Constans was about to retire discreetly, but ...
— The Doomsman • Van Tassel Sutphen

... "'No foolery, Werbrust,' said du Tillet. 'You know the holders of his paper. Now, look here. There is business in it. Shares in this new concern of ours have gone up twenty per cent already; they will go up to five-and-twenty by the end of the quarter; ...
— The Firm of Nucingen • Honore de Balzac

... beside yourself, there exists outside of Cape Cod another individual who would like to see Mr. Thomas Foolery move in state most perfect, just send him over here: he must be present on that day when the little Lord Mayor makes a great man of himself. A great man is the Lord Mayor on that day on which he sacrifices all his good sense to an ancient ...
— The Adventures of My Cousin Smooth • Timothy Templeton

... Kanaka pastors, we ought to call in Father Galuchet, and have the old man administered and take the sacrament. It was all the same to me, you may suppose; but I said I thought Adams was the fellow to consult. He was jawing away about watered copra and a sight of foolery. ‘Look here,’ I said, ‘you’re pretty sick. Would you like to see Galoshes?’ He sat right up on his elbow. ‘Get the priest,’ says he, ‘get the priest; don’t let me die here like a dog!’ He spoke kind of fierce and eager, but sensible enough. There was nothing to say against that, ...
— Island Nights' Entertainments • Robert Louis Stevenson

... though incomplete. Returning to Rome, I find the news pronounced official, that the viceroy Ranieri has capitulated at Verona; that Italy is free, independent, and one. I trust this will prove no April-foolery, no premature news; it seems too good, too speedy a realization of hope, to have come on earth, and can only be answered in the words of the proclamation made yesterday ...
— At Home And Abroad - Or, Things And Thoughts In America and Europe • Margaret Fuller Ossoli

... she could speak a word with him alone she upbraided him. 'You ought not to have brought him here. Oh Thomas, how could you be so thoughtless! Lord, don't you see, dear, that what is done cannot be undone, and how all this foolery jeopardizes her happiness with her husband? Until you interfered, and spoke in her hearing about this Phelipson, she was as patient and as willing as a lamb, and looked forward to Mr. Reynard's return with real pleasure. Since her visit to Falls-Park she has been monstrous close- mouthed ...
— A Group of Noble Dames • Thomas Hardy

... moment of doubt as to how he should deal with this foolery. If he were quite sure it was just Joyce's nonsense—but perhaps she had gone crazy. ...
— Joyce of the North Woods • Harriet T. Comstock

... her husband, with a strange mixture of satisfaction and anger in his hard tones. "I have been expecting some such foolery as this for some time, and I am not blinded to the motive behind it. What do you care about those devils of Indian savages? What does Horace Spotswood care about them? Just as little! Enough, and too much, of my money has gone already to the prolonging of their worthless lives. If that graceless ...
— A Manifest Destiny • Julia Magruder

... know. 'Badly hurt', the telegram says. 'Will wire again in a few hours'. I suppose it's the same old story: an explosive and a panic. Somebody probably tried to stir a fire with a stick of frozen dynamite, or some such foolery as that." The scorn in the words came from the effort at self-mastery. Then the professor rose and looked about him vaguely for his hat. When he had found it, "Come along," he bade Brenton shortly. "We've got to get it over, even if it kills her. I believe in anaesthetics and ...
— The Brentons • Anna Chapin Ray

... "God! what foolery is this? The girl's fainting. Never mind. Here, landlady, bring a light! Lead the way. She's not too heavy to carry. Upstairs with you. What a snail you are, ...
— A Son of Hagar - A Romance of Our Time • Sir Hall Caine

... it's a deal!" Bransome announced. "Contract—this is the Pacific slope, and we've no time for such foolery. I'm figuring that I can trust you, and my word's good enough in this locality. Run that pond down a fathom and you'll get your money. Any particular reason why you shouldn't start in to-day? Don't know of any? Then put that pipe in your pocket, and we'll ...
— Thurston of Orchard Valley • Harold Bindloss

... you, all those heads in the reek of the light, the foolery of those people enjoying life and profiting by peace! It was like a ballet at the theater or the make-believe of a magic lantern. There were—there were—there are a hundred thousand more of them," Volpatte at last concluded ...
— Under Fire - The Story of a Squad • Henri Barbusse

... Carlsbad," he said bluntly to March, with a nod at Mrs. March. He added, with a twist of his head toward the two girls, "My daughters," and then left them to her, while he talked on with her husband. "Come to see this foolery, I suppose. I'm on my way to the woods for my after-cure; but I thought I might as well stop and give the girls a chance; they got a week's vacation, anyway." Stoller glanced at them with a sort of troubled tenderness in ...
— Henry James, Jr. • William Dean Howells

... sometimes called we believe La Capital de Majeza; the proper translation of which we conceive to be the Head Quarters of Foolery, for nothing more absurd and contemptible than this Majeza ever came within the sphere of our contemplation. Nevertheless it constitutes the chief glory of the Sevillians. Every Sevillian, male or female, rich or poor, handsome or ugly, aspires at a certain period of life to the character of the ...
— A Supplementary Chapter to the Bible in Spain • George Borrow

... again touch Mrs. Smiley's hand. Immediately thereafter the sound of soft drumming came from the piano at a point entirely out of reach of the psychic, and at my request the drummer kept time to my whistling. After some minutes of this foolery "the force" left the piano abruptly, as if with a leap, and dropped to the middle of the table. A light, fumbling noise followed, and I called out: "Is every hand in the circle ...
— The Shadow World • Hamlin Garland

... a picture of the moment when waking thoughts start up amid the scattered fantasies of a dream. The leader of the hostile party stood in the centre of the circle, while the rout of monsters cowered around him like evil spirits in the presence of a dread magician. No fantastic foolery could look him in the face. So stern was the energy of his aspect that the whole man, visage, frame and soul, seemed wrought of iron gifted with life and thought, yet all of one substance with his headpiece ...
— Twice Told Tales • Nathaniel Hawthorne

... no appearance of fancie in him, vnlesse it be a fancy that he hath to strange disguises, as to bee a Dutchman to day, a Frenchman to morrow: vnlesse hee haue a fancy to this foolery, as it appeares hee hath, hee is no foole for fancy, as you would haue it to appeare ...
— The First Folio [35 Plays] • William Shakespeare

... lays Of poets laureate: Whose verse did decorate, And their lines 'lustrate Both prince and potentate. These from their graves See asses and knaves, Base idiot slaves, With boastings and braves Offer to upfly To the heavens high, With vain foolery And rude ribaldry. Some of them write Of beastly delight, Suffering their lines To flatter these times With pandarism base, And lust do uncase From the placket to the pap: God send them ill-hap! ...
— A Select Collection of Old English Plays, Vol. VIII (4th edition) • Various

... foolery had been set at the Duke's House, but Nell out-did them, with her broad-brimmed hat as large as a cart-wheel and her quaint waist-belt; for was not her hat larger by half than that at the rival house and ...
— Mistress Nell - A Merry Tale of a Merry Time • George C. Hazelton, Jr.

... that Mannering had once before tried a similar piece of foolery at the instance of Sophia Wellwood, the young lady to whom he was attached, and that a similar conjunction of planetary influence threatened her with death or imprisonment in her thirty-ninth year. She was at this time eighteen; so that, according ...
— Guy Mannering, or The Astrologer, Complete, Illustrated • Sir Walter Scott

... letter to Howells is, in the main, pure foolery, but we get in it a hint what was to become in time one of Mask Twain's strongest interests, the matter of copyright. He had both a personal and general interest in the subject. His own books were constantly ...
— Innocents abroad • Mark Twain

... Mr. Macdermott, simply and fervently. "At processions, you know. It's a great Catholic day—like August 15th—I forget why. Some Catholic foolery. The birthday of the Virgin Mary, I fancy. Anyhow we throw stones.... I wonder will there be any ...
— Mystery at Geneva - An Improbable Tale of Singular Happenings • Rose Macaulay

... are either Panthea or Pergamus abiding to this day by their masters' tombs? or either Chabrias or Diotimus by that of Adrianus? O foolery! For what if they did, would their masters be sensible of It? or if sensible, would they be glad of it? or if glad, were these immortal? Was not it appointed unto them also (both men and women,) to become old in time, and then to die? And these once dead, ...
— Meditations • Marcus Aurelius

... he promptly sends a vigorous though respectful reply, which is intended to convey that they are to have done with such impractical foolery. It is a world-shaking fight he has on hand. The honour and military glory of France are at stake. It is not for mere theoretic upholders of Liberty, Equality, and Fraternity to meddle with such things. He says to them, "Kellerman ...
— The Tragedy of St. Helena • Walter Runciman

... the witches retains somewhat of the Sibyl. Those other frowsy charlatans, those clownish jugglers, mole-catchers, ratkillers, who throw spells over beasts, who sell secrets which they have not, defiled these times with the stench of a dismal black smoke, of fear and foolery. Satan grows enormous, gets multiplied without end. 'Tis a poor triumph, however, for him. He grows dull and sick at heart. Still the people keep flowing towards him, bent on having no other God than he. Himself only ...
— La Sorciere: The Witch of the Middle Ages • Jules Michelet

... the pages of the album, the famous album, said to be crammed with passionate declarations. Not a bit of it! Nothing but foolery and ...
— The Bill-Toppers • Andre Castaigne

... other Woman's Rights Convention, a failure. Could I see it made up of women whose dress would indicate their translation from cowardice to courage; from slavery to freedom; from the kingdom of fancy and fashion and foolery to the kingdom of reason and righteousness, then would I hope for the elevation of woman, aye, and of man too, as perhaps I have never yet hoped. What should be the parts and particulars of such dress, I am incapable of saying. Whilst ...
— History of Woman Suffrage, Volume I • Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Susan B. Anthony, and Matilda Joslyn Gage

... when Plummer once had to take one of Wotherspoon's classes; some foolery about a second aorist. Thank goodness, I don't understand the profound dispute.—Oh, do look at that ...
— Born in Exile • George Gissing

... disobliging her. Abandoning it then entirely to her management, she made use of it as she thought proper, to procure herself rather the shadow than the substance of any pleasure. For my part, I now pined for more solid food, and promised tacitly to myself that I would not be put off much longer with this foolery of woman to woman, of Mrs. Brown did not soon provide me with the essential specific. In short, I had all the air of not being able to wait the arrival of my lord B——, though he was now expected in a very fews days: nor did I wait for him, for love ...
— Memoirs Of Fanny Hill - A New and Genuine Edition from the Original Text (London, 1749) • John Cleland

... laughed; and Anthony laughed, too, with a strange sob in his throat at the gallant foolery, which, after all, was as much to the point as a deal ...
— By What Authority? • Robert Hugh Benson

... tormented with such a fool of a wife!" shouted Peter, almost beside himself with rage. "I could beat you with pleasure for acting so witlessly, but that, alas! would not pay for what you have lost for me this day. A hundred and five guilders of my precious money have I been made to pay for your foolery, besides losing my Tokay wine, my field of wheat, and all my fine young turkeys! at least ...
— Funny Big Socks - Being the Fifth Book of the Series • Sarah L. Barrow

... tell you they wouldn't believe you; so what does it matter to me whether you blab or not? Talk sense, Blanco: theres no time for your foolery now; for youll be a dead man an hour after the Sheriff comes back. What possessed you to ...
— The Shewing-up of Blanco Posnet • George Bernard Shaw

... you like," Burns retorted, coolly, "so long as you keep your distance with your foolery. You ...
— Mrs. Red Pepper • Grace S. Richmond

... foolery," said the Master, sternly; "put the horses into the stable, and interrupt us no more with ...
— Bride of Lammermoor • Sir Walter Scott

... convince myself that it is all real and rational, and not some glimpse of fairyland. This I cannot succeed in doing, and it is better so. I much prefer to believe that all this pomp, and vanity, and show, and mumbo-jumbo foolery has come from fairyland, than to believe it the performance of sane and sensible people who have mastered matter and solved the ...
— The People of the Abyss • Jack London

... was summoned before the director, and since, I do not know why, they suspected him of corrupting me; and since he was, moreover, by reason of his foolery, in bad odor with the doctor and the sisters, he was informed that he must leave the hospital the following day and ...
— Sac-Au-Dos - 1907 • Joris Karl Huysmans

... Not if I know it, you won't! John Eames, I wish I'd never seen you. I wish we might have both fallen dead when we first met. I didn't think ever to have cared for a man as I have cared for you. It's all trash and nonsense and foolery; I know that. It's all very well for young ladies as can sit in drawing-rooms all their lives, but when a woman has her way to make in the world it's all foolery. And such a hard way too to make as ...
— The Small House at Allington • Anthony Trollope

... the ledger aside and laughed. "What foolery! As if such things could be! The fellow must have ...
— The Soul of Nicholas Snyders - Or, The Miser Of Zandam • Jerome K. Jerome

... something else then. Daisy, Daisy," said he, shaking her shoulders gently, "this religious foolery is spoiling you. Don't you go and make yourself stupid. Why I don't know you. What is all this ridiculous stuff? You ...
— Melbourne House • Elizabeth Wetherell

... memory of departed genius. At the same time, they have their use, where they do not create their ridicule. On the Continent, life is idle; and the idlers are more harmlessly employed going to those pageants, than in the gin-shop. The finery and the foolery together also attract strangers, the idlers of other towns; it makes money, it makes conversation, it makes amusement, and it kills time. Can it have better recommendations to ...
— Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine, No. 327 - Vol. 53, January, 1843 • Various

... bewitching style, Life's tedious minutes can beguile, Makes us, with him, forget uneasy care, And not remember what we are. Who by a charm, which no one can withstand, Enchanting poison can command, Can make us share his pleasing foolery, And from ...
— Ebrietatis Encomium - or, the Praise of Drunkenness • Boniface Oinophilus

... appears: You'll not be perjur'd; 'tis a hateful thing: Tush! none but minstrels like of sonneting. But are you not asham'd? nay, are you not, All three of you, to be thus much o'ershot? You found his mote; the king your mote did see; But I a beam do find in each of three. O! what a scene of foolery have I seen, Of sighs, of groans, of sorrow, and of teen; O me! with what strict patience have I sat, To see a king transformed to a gnat; To see great Hercules whipping a gig, And profound Solomon to tune a jig, And Nestor play at push-pin with the boys, And critic Timon laugh ...
— Love's Labour's Lost • William Shakespeare [Craig, Oxford edition]

... the King gone out of the Hall; and then it fell a-raining and thundering and lightening as I have not seen it do for some years: which people did take great notice of; God's blessing of the work of these two days, which is a foolery to take too much notice of such things. I observed little disorder in all this, but only the King's footmen had got hold of the canopy, and would keep it from the Barons ...
— Diary of Samuel Pepys, Complete • Samuel Pepys

... the word," said Richardson; "I'm a good Conservative and I've no patience with this Socialist foolery, asking your pardon. It's tyranny, that's what it is, all along the line, but I've my living to make, same as other people, and I've got to belong to the union. I couldn't touch another hair-pin without a strike permit, not if you was ...
— Beasts and Super-Beasts • Saki

... what the alternative is, what the voice of "deep calling unto deep" really utters, as the constellation of Hercules draws the solar world toward it through the abysmal night. No more ethical foolery; no more pragmatic insolence; ...
— Suspended Judgments - Essays on Books and Sensations • John Cowper Powys

... upon it, you will never after own a spot big enough to bury you in. Half you will get for the land you spend in moving to Missouri, and the other half you will eat and drink and wear out, and no foot of land will be bought. Now I feel it is my duty to have no hand in such a piece of foolery. I feel that it is so even on your own account, and particularly on Mother's account. The eastern forty acres I intend to keep for Mother while she lives; if you will not cultivate it, it will rent for enough to support ...
— The Papers And Writings Of Abraham Lincoln, Complete - Constitutional Edition • Abraham Lincoln

... themselves possess this faculty well developed, and use it to great advantage, though, as a rule they keep very quiet about it, from fear of creating unfavorable comment from their fellow-physicians and from the general public who "do not believe in such tom-foolery." ...
— Clairvoyance and Occult Powers • Swami Panchadasi

... of which he informed me, that to him and as it afterward proved to me was of a much more serious nature. They had not been altogether so inattentive as I had imagined. Amid their monkey tricks and common place foolery, their hearts had been burning with jealousy of each other. Neither men nor women were satisfied with their parts. I had three male and two female characters of great importance in the play, but rising in gradation. Of the first of these all the actors ...
— The Adventures of Hugh Trevor • Thomas Holcroft

... hear?" repeated the other. "If you want to keep warm, go indoors and put on a great-coat, but don't fag us to death with that foolery." ...
— Reginald Cruden - A Tale of City Life • Talbot Baines Reed

... 'A pleasant piece of foolery, at any rate,' he said. 'Jeanbernat, you are a deceiver. I suspect you are in love, in spite of your affectation of being blase. You were speaking very tenderly of the trees and stones ...
— Abbe Mouret's Transgression - La Faute De L'abbe Mouret • Emile Zola

... on returning from Ostia, I find the official news, that the Viceroy Ranieri has capitulated at Verona; that Italy is free, independent, and one. I trust this will prove no April foolery. It seems too good, too speedy ...
— Memoirs of Margaret Fuller Ossoli, Vol. II • Margaret Fuller Ossoli

... is a delightful book, witty, epigrammatic, flavorsome ... recalls Frank Stockton's bewitching foolery and ...
— The Long Roll • Mary Johnston

... Father Galuchet, and have the old man administered and take the sacrament. It was all the same to me, you may suppose; but I said I thought Adams was the fellow to consult. He was jawing away about watered copra and a sight of foolery. 'Look here,' I said, 'you're pretty sick. Would you like to see Galoshes?' He sat right up on his elbow. 'Get the priest,' says he, 'get the priest; don't let me die here like a dog!' He spoke kind of fierce and eager, but sensible enough. ...
— The Works of Robert Louis Stevenson - Swanston Edition Vol. 17 (of 25) • Robert Louis Stevenson

... "what the devil do you mean by this foolery?" and I started for him, shouldering my ...
— The Maids of Paradise • Robert W. (Robert William) Chambers

... in this," he said sharply. "And don't start your old favorite knife act. This is no time for foolery." ...
— Daughter of the Sun - A Tale of Adventure • Jackson Gregory

... natural, at first; inevitable, indeed, until their indignation at the trick played upon them had subsided somewhat; it was also inevitable that there should be some heroics, some talk of honour, self-sacrifice, and such tom-foolery. But these vapourings would soon come to an end; a few hours of sober reflection would work wonders in dissipating them. And if there was need, why, it would always be possible to apply the screw—the screw ...
— The Destroyer - A Tale of International Intrigue • Burton Egbert Stevenson

... great piece of foolery when one looks back, but at the time we thought it high-minded and justifiable rebellion. We assembled in the court, and cheered after the senior tutor had been three parts smothered in his bed by a red-pepper squib dropped down the chimney; and on the morning after the Master's laundry ...
— The Recipe for Diamonds • Charles John Cutcliffe Wright Hyne

... my tutor as he stamped on the powdery floor so that a cloud of dust whirled up. "Oh! what dreams! It is too much, you make fun of me! And M. Mosaide cannot have so much foolery in his head, under his large bonnet, resembling the crown of Charlemagne; that column of Seth is a ridiculous invention of that shallow Flavius Josephus, an absurd story by which nobody has been imposed upon before you. And the predictions ...
— The Queen Pedauque • Anatole France

... What a cursed foolery is a dream! The host was actually sitting there vis-a-vis with the lawyer, at the other end of the long table; for Mistress Boris had so laid the places. And as the magistrate's place remained empty, host and guest sat so far apart that ...
— Debts of Honor • Maurus Jokai

... King's foolery roused the spirit of mischief in the two girls, and faster and faster flew the drops of water from one ...
— Marjorie's Maytime • Carolyn Wells

... driven to laugh at the strange foolery of both master and man, except the innkeeper, whose mind was still sore at the loss of his wine-skins. The priest and the barber first busied themselves in getting Don Quixote, now quite worn out with his adventure, safely into bed, and ...
— The Red Romance Book • Various

... aside, and plays the boy as much as any of them; but he is ashamed to do so in our company, and seems to say, 'Ha' done with your nonsense, youngsters: what will the laird and that other gentleman think of me if I give way to such foolery?'" ...
— Abbotsford and Newstead Abbey • Washington Irving

... them to him? And who can think that he should be quiet, when men take the right course to escape his hellish snares? This, therefore, is the reason why the truly humbled is opposed, while the presumptuous goes on by wind and tide. The truly humble, Satan hates; but he laughs to see the foolery of the other. ...
— The Works of John Bunyan • John Bunyan

... hovering about, a good deal, in Germany and other countries; pretending to be a new light of Heaven, and not a bog-meteor of phosphorated hydrogen, conspicuous in the murk of things. Bog-meteor, foolish putrescent will-o'-wisp, his Majesty promptly defined it to be: Tom-foolery and KINDERSPIEL, what else? Whereupon ingenious Buckeburg, who was himself a Mason, man of forty by this time, and had high things in him of the Quixotic type, ventured on defence; and was so respectful, ...
— History of Friedrich II. of Prussia, Vol. X. (of XXI.) - Frederick The Great—At Reinsberg—1736-1740 • Thomas Carlyle

... male as Tibby—was enough to stop the foolery. The barrier of sex, though decreasing among the civilized, is still high, and higher on the side of women. Helen could tell her sister all, and her cousin much about Paul; she told her brother nothing. It was not prudishness, for she now spoke ...
— Howards End • E. M. Forster

... foolery. I am wayward and gray of thought today. My soul is filled with the clash and dust of life. I hate the eternal blazoning of fierce woes and acid joys upon the orchestral canvas. Why must the music of a composer be played? Why must our tone-weary world be sorely grieved by the ...
— Old Fogy - His Musical Opinions and Grotesques • James Huneker

... not. Well, now I tell you, I never seen good come o' goodness yet. Him as strikes first is my fancy; dead men don't bite; them's my views—amen, so be it. And now, you look here," he added, suddenly changing his tone, "we've had about enough of this foolery. The tide's made good enough by now. You just take my orders, Cap'n Hawkins, and we'll sail slap in and be ...
— Treasure Island • Robert Louis Stevenson

... lady drawing her mouth down whatever you do, and a young fellow—' She stopped. She could not even tell a bird about Reddin. She danced among the shut daisies, wild as a fairy, and when the sun rose her shadow mocked her with delicate foolery. In her hand, and in that of the shadow, bobbed the ...
— Gone to Earth • Mary Webb

... Enough of this foolery. Enough of the deliberate falsehood of Ministers. I go to Ireland at once, where half a million resolute, dour, determined men are ready to defy this Government ...
— Punch, or the London Charivari, Vol. 146, April 29, 1914 • Various

... Steve's foolery, and said: "If they're weeping so you'd better take them some of my ...
— Marjorie's Vacation • Carolyn Wells

... That's like, faith! you had best leave your foolery; for, an my master come, he'll ...
— Dr. Faustus • Christopher Marlowe

... both. Ask Thomas Hardy, ask George Meredith, ask Joseph Conrad, ask H.G. Wells, ask Murray Gilchrist, ask George Moore, ask Eden Phillpotts, ask "Q," ask Henry James. Lo! I say to all facile gabblers about the "art of the short story," as the late "C.-B." said to Mr. Balfour: "Enough of this foolery!" It is of a piece with the notion that a fine sonnet is more ...
— Books and Persons - Being Comments on a Past Epoch 1908-1911 • Arnold Bennett

... ugly only when he was drinking, and there was not even enough liquor on the Ella to revive poor Burns. He spent his days devising, with bits of wire, a ring puzzle that he intended should make his fortune. And I believe he contrived, finally, a clever enough bit of foolery. He was anxious to talk, and complained bitterly of loneliness, using every excuse to hold Tom, the cook, when he carried him his meals. He had asked for a Bible, too, and read ...
— The After House • Mary Roberts Rinehart

... in his department as much as I could, but he grumbled very much. "I can't bear all this nonsense, all this finery and foolery. Everything comes up cold, everything is out of reach. The table's so long, and so covered with uneatables, that my wife is hardly within hail and, by jingo, with her the servants are masters. Not with me, at all events; for if they spoke to me as they ...
— Jacob Faithful • Captain Frederick Marryat

... imagination, and quickened by superstition. Even the strange summons at the threshold, that he himself had vainly answered, was, after the first shock of surprise, rationally explained by him as malicious foolery on the part of some clever trickster, who withheld ...
— The Were-Wolf • Clemence Housman

... her, "if you had tried this foolery, I would have choked you, and thrown what was ...
— Mountain Blood - A Novel • Joseph Hergesheimer

... Burs, cousin, thrown upon thee in holiday foolery; if we walk not in the trodden paths our very petticoats will ...
— The plant-lore & garden-craft of Shakespeare • Henry Nicholson Ellacombe

... remembered that Letty didn't know who she was, or why she had come, or the degree to which she, Barbara Walbrook, saw through this foolery. ...
— The Dust Flower • Basil King

... feel that it is my duty to have no hand in such a piece of foolery. I feel it is so even on your own account, and particularly ...
— The Story of Young Abraham Lincoln • Wayne Whipple

... foolery to some other market. I am in no jesting humour," said Henry. "Go hence; I will see ...
— The Fair Maid of Perth • Sir Walter Scott

... Jacke of Dover, 'this in my mind was pretty foolery, but yet the Foole of all Fooles is not here found that ...
— The Book of Noodles - Stories Of Simpletons; Or, Fools And Their Follies • W. A. Clouston

... none o' them fine lady airs out here!" she declared rudely. "We-all ain't got time fer no sech foolery. You needn't be afraid to go back with Joe. He takes care of the women at the fort. He'll look after you fine. You'll mebbe kin hire a horse to ride, an' strop yer baggage on. Yer trunk ye ...
— The Man of the Desert • Grace Livingston Hill

... Dalgleish, 25 Mayfield Terrace, asking me to put my name down to the Ballantyne Memorial Committee. I have sent him a pretty sharp answer in favour of cutting down the memorial and giving more to the widow and children. If there is to be any foolery in the way of statues or other trash, please send them a guinea; but if they are going to take my advice and put up a simple tablet with a few heartfelt words, and really devote the bulk of the subscriptions to the wife and family, I will go to the length of twenty pounds, ...
— The Works of Robert Louis Stevenson - Swanston Edition Vol. 25 (of 25) • Robert Louis Stevenson

... Andros, his face mottled with pallor, was pulling himself together, and striving to resume the arrogant insolence of his customary bearing. He opens his mouth to speak, but only a husky murmur replaces the harsh stridency of his usual utterance. "What devilish foolery is this—" But ere he can get further, some bucolic statesman brings his massive palm down on the table with a bang that makes the oaken plank crack, and thunders out—"The charter! Where's ...
— The History of the United States from 1492 to 1910, Volume 1 • Julian Hawthorne

... straightened, the houses made more substantial. There was a great outcry against the improvements. Old Detroit had been good enough. It was the center of trade, it commanded the highway of commerce. And no one had any money to spend on foolery. ...
— A Little Girl in Old Detroit • Amanda Minnie Douglas

... to see how she was taking his foolery; and in a moment impulsively she wheeled back, the distress banished from her face, the old ...
— The Obstacle Race • Ethel M. Dell

... nor like saying with Mr. Harris, when it is asked, "what a Conjunction is?" that there are conjunctions copulative, conjunctions disjunctive, and as many other frivolous varieties of the species as any one chooses to hunt out "with laborious foolery." Our author hit upon his parent-discovery in the course of a law-suit, while he was examining, with jealous watchfulness, the meaning of words to prevent being entrapped by them; or rather, this circumstance might ...
— The Spirit of the Age - Contemporary Portraits • William Hazlitt

... is minor only through his station and unimportance in the plot; he really occupies much space in the play and in fact pervades it. How is Antonio connected with the plot? What traits of his does the play bring out? Is his fondness for Sebastian unnatural? How is he concerned in the foolery of the play? Is he necessary to the plot? As the fool represents the merry-making spirit of the play, so Malvolio stands for the dupes of it. Does any one sympathize with him? Who shows the clearest understanding of ...
— Shakespeare Study Programs; The Comedies • Charlotte Porter and Helen A. Clarke

... right, you dirty cur," said his mother. "I ran off like a fool when I heerd of your good fortune, and see the condition that baggage left me in—my teeth knocked in and my eye knocked out, and all for your foolery, because you couldn't ...
— Handy Andy, Vol. 2 - A Tale of Irish Life • Samuel Lover

... as she is now," replied he, "mightily offended that people should have their ears open to any sort of foolery, and shut to words of ...
— The Talking Beasts • Various

... Such foolery as this and at such a time irritated me sorely; but there was no help for it now. Whether I should or should not open to him the subject that had taken me thither, I must, I saw, let him have his humour ...
— Aylwin • Theodore Watts-Dunton

... got into the girl?" said Arundel, tired of this foolery. "I prithee no more, sweet Prudence, but conduct me at once to Eveline. Consider how long it is since I ...
— The Knight of the Golden Melice - A Historical Romance • John Turvill Adams

... this commission, thinking that you were a competent worker, and this—this—this extract from a comic coloured supplement is the result!" He swung towards the door, lashing his tail and growling to himself. "This ends it! If you wish to continue this foolery of pretending to be an artist because you want an excuse for idleness, please yourself. But let me tell you this. Unless you report at my office on Monday morning, prepared to abandon all this idiocy and start in at the bottom of the business ...
— My Man Jeeves • P. G. Wodehouse

... perception of the men's wishes, and it was plain this lucky shot had given them a sickener of their trade. In a moment they were all of one mind: the chase was drawing away from us, it was needless to hold on, the Sarah was too foul to overhaul a bottle, it was mere foolery to keep the sea with her; and on these pretended grounds her head was incontinently put about and the course laid for the river. It was strange to see what merriment fell on that ship's company, and how they stamped about the deck jesting, and each ...
— The Works of Robert Louis Stevenson - Swanston Edition, Vol. XII (of 25) - The Master of Ballantrae • Robert Louis Stevenson

... foolery, of the English for foreign customs, dresses, and languages, is not an affair of to-day or yesterday—it is of very ancient date, and was very properly exposed nearly three centuries ago by one Andrew ...
— The Romany Rye - A Sequel to 'Lavengro' • George Borrow

... "'Stop that foolery, Smith,' snarled the inspector; 'you'll give the poor devil the trouble of building them up all over again. Come along.' He unlocked the gate and stood for a ...
— The Uttermost Farthing - A Savant's Vendetta • R. Austin Freeman

... preposterous suggestion about selling wheat," he admitted. "If you think, however, that you can alter our entire business principles by a piece of foolery like this, you are making the mistake of ...
— The Profiteers • E. Phillips Oppenheim

... supposed to have had an important effect in producing the more disastrous delusion which followed three years after. The Goodwin children soon got well: in other words, they were tired of their atrocious foolery; and the death of their victim gave them a pretense for a ...
— Great Epochs in American History, Vol. II - The Planting Of The First Colonies: 1562—1733 • Various

... refused him again, and the baron was so exasperated that he said plainly there was no need for Paul to believe in such foolery as this absurd symbol of transubstantiation, to become a good and honest man. So it was resolved to bring the boy up in the Christian faith, but not in the Catholic Church, and that he should decide his religion for himself when he ...
— The works of Guy de Maupassant, Vol. 5 (of 8) - Une Vie and Other Stories • Guy de Maupassant 1850-1893

... remain as sweet and fresh as ever; and Bradley said that there was more flesh-and-muscle-producing material in a cubic inch of the sausage than in an entire dinner of roast turkey and other such foolery. ...
— Elbow-Room - A Novel Without a Plot • Charles Heber Clark (AKA Max Adeler)



Words linked to "Foolery" :   caper, buffoonery, play, mishegaas, indulgence, frivolity, gambol, fool, mishegoss, lunacy, tomfoolery, romp, folly, meshugaas, frolic, craziness, clowning, japery, prank



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