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Foolishness   /fˈulɪʃnəs/   Listen
Foolishness

noun
1.
The trait of acting stupidly or rashly.  Synonyms: folly, unwiseness.
2.
The quality of being rash and foolish.  Synonyms: craziness, folly, madness.  "Adjusting to an insane society is total foolishness"
3.
A stupid mistake.  Synonyms: betise, folly, imbecility, stupidity.






WordNet 3.0 © 2010 Princeton University








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"Foolishness" Quotes from Famous Books



... Barwig, "to some extent you are right, quite right! But he is young, and he is in love. To you, perhaps; love is foolishness; but love is all there is in life." There was quite a pause. Miss Husted toyed with the letter she had not yet given to ...
— The Music Master - Novelized from the Play • Charles Klein

... denying it,' said Davis, 'It's something here, inside of me. It's foolishness; I dare say it's dam foolishness. I don't argue, I just draw the line. Isn't ...
— The Ebb-Tide - A Trio And Quartette • Robert Louis Stevenson and Lloyd Osbourne

... for such foolishness," he said, turning to Dan Murphy. "I want to know when we can get ...
— The Man From Glengarry - A Tale Of The Ottawa • Ralph Connor

... Foolishness of the fool with brains. The brainless fool fulfils himself in low ways—in alcoholic saturnalia, in salvation carnivals, in freethought hysterics, in political bombs. The Higher Foolishness expresses itself ...
— Without Prejudice • Israel Zangwill

... even when she saw him among her judges taking part against her. Jeanne herself suspected no falsehood, but made her confession to him, when she found that he was a priest, and trusted him fully. The bewildering and confusing fact, turning all the contrivances of her judges into foolishness, was, that she had nothing to confess that she was not ready to tell ...
— Jeanne d'Arc - Her Life And Death • Mrs.(Margaret) Oliphant

... hab o' missin' folks. Des a leetle furder down an' dere wouldn't 'a' been none o' dis yere foolishness. Pity Marse Harry hadn't practised some mo'. Ef he had ter do it ag'in I reckon he'd pink him so he neber be cavortin' 'roun' ...
— Kennedy Square • F. Hopkinson Smith

... dressed with nuts and onions and butter, and baked or roasted in cakes over the fire. Dr. Thomson thinks that this dish is alluded to in Prov. 27:22, "Though thou shouldest bray a fool in a mortar among wheat with a pestle, yet will not his foolishness depart from him." That is, put the fool into Im Hanna's stone mortar with wheat and pound him into kibby, and he would still remain a fool! It takes something besides pounding to get the folly ...
— The Women of the Arabs • Henry Harris Jessup

... brethren, laying aside all pride, and boasting, and foolishness, and anger: And let us ...
— The Forbidden Gospels and Epistles, Complete • Archbishop Wake

... irreligious," said her elderly friend. "Besides, there's nothin' amiss with him, settin' aside his foolishness. I've a-thought sometimes, now, o' buildin' a boat down here, an', when the time came, makin' believe to exchange. Boat-buildin' is slack just now, but I might trust to tradin' her off on someone—when ...
— Merry-Garden and Other Stories • Sir Arthur Thomas Quiller-Couch

... the mud at a quick trot, with bent knees and folded arms, anxious, I fancied, to appease his squaw; since it was contrary to her desire that he had ventured on this service, and not, as the coachman assured us, without receiving much abuse for his foolishness, as his "gentle ...
— Impressions of America - During The Years 1833, 1834, and 1835. In Two Volumes, Volume II. • Tyrone Power

... to remember the degradation of what has been noble, the foulness of what has been fair?"—"'Arry" in the Times. No doubt it is becoming in an artist to leave all criticism unanswered; it would be foolishness in a schoolboy to resent stuff of this sort. Whistler replied; and in his replies to ignorance and insensibility, seasoned with malice, he is said to have been ill-mannered and caddish. He was; but in these respects he was by no means a match ...
— Art • Clive Bell

... showing the foolishness of those who set their hearts on the possession of earthly goods, and concludes by the very realistic picture of the ...
— Life of St. Francis of Assisi • Paul Sabatier

... effects alone are considered no cause is brought to light; but causes reveal effects. To know effects from causes is to be wise; but to search for causes from effects is not to be wise, because fallacies then present themselves, which the investigator calls causes, and this is to turn wisdom into foolishness. Causes are things prior, and effects are things posterior; and things prior cannot be seen from things posterior, but things posterior can be seen from things prior. This is order. For this reason the spiritual ...
— Angelic Wisdom Concerning the Divine Love and the Divine Wisdom • Emanuel Swedenborg

... the end by foolishness," said Maren Le Moyne, and all the pleasure had slipped from her deep voice, leaving it cold ...
— The Maid of the Whispering Hills • Vingie E. Roe

... answered Lysbet cheerfully. "Our little Joris is so happy to-night, why wilt thou think evil for him? To think evil is to bring evil. Out of foolishness or perchance such a great love has not come. No, indeed! That it comes from heaven I am sure; and to heaven I will leave its ...
— The Maid of Maiden Lane • Amelia E. Barr

... to be making trials at writing poetry Mr. Allan regarded as sheer idleness, to be promptly suppressed. Indeed, when he discovered that the boy had been guilty of such foolishness, he emphatically ordered him not to repeat it. To counteract the effects of his wife's spoiling of her adopted son, he felt it his duty to place all manner of restrictions upon his liberty, which the freedom-loving boy, with the connivance of his mother and the negro servants who adored ...
— The Dreamer - A Romantic Rendering of the Life-Story of Edgar Allan Poe • Mary Newton Stanard

... place. "A Hambleton trait!" they chuckled, with as much satisfaction as they considered it good form to exhibit. In Lynn, where family pride did not bring in large returns, this phrase became almost synonymous with genteel foolishness. ...
— The Stolen Singer • Martha Idell Fletcher Bellinger

... can make nothing of it, neither head nor tail. What is it all for? Why? Whither? Whence? We were well enough in the garden. And now the fools have killed all the animals; and they are dissatisfied because they cannot be bothered with their bodies! Foolishness, I ...
— Back to Methuselah • George Bernard Shaw

... stand by me. He's the real stuff and shows up to me in the finest colours, never once hinting that your seeking him had made you cheap. He's a bigger feller than I ever thought, and I ain't going to have no foolishness. You understand?" ...
— Joyce of the North Woods • Harriet T. Comstock

... buffeted—persecuted and homeless labourers—a spectacle to the world, and to angels, and to men, "made as the filth of the earth and the off-scouring of all things." We know that their preaching was to the Greeks "foolishness," and that, when they spoke of Jesus and the resurrection, their hearers mocked[47] and jeered. And these indications are more than confirmed by many contemporary passages of ancient writers. We have already seen the violent ...
— Seekers after God • Frederic William Farrar

... makes to appear in him divine and lovely traits. Dostoievsky was never more the Russian prophet than when he wrote "The Idiot," and uttered in it his humble thanksgiving that through the curse of nature, through the utter uselessness of his physical machine, through sickness and foolishness and poverty, he had been saved from doing the world's evil and adding to its death. And Moussorgsky is the counterpart of the great romancer. Like the other, he comes in priestly and ablutionary office. Like the ...
— Musical Portraits - Interpretations of Twenty Modern Composers • Paul Rosenfeld

... verge of adding, "Join us! Come and join us!" when the little German turned his bald head slowly round and fixed upon the excited Irishman such a cool and quenching stare that instantly he felt himself convicted of foolishness, almost ...
— The Centaur • Algernon Blackwood

... appealed to my sense of honor, of delicacy, of integrity. 'You both had,' she said to me, 'yesterday, on seeing each other again after a long absence, a little spasm of emotion. That is all right; but you must stop there, and not prolong this foolishness,' And, just as I was going to protest: 'Oh yes; foolishness!' 'Remember, Marceline's happiness is at stake. You have no right to compromise her. You come back from China all at once, and your abrupt return will break off more ...
— Parisian Points of View • Ludovic Halevy

... It is true, I did feel sorry for the steamer. But then it is mere foolishness to feel sorry! What's the use? I might have cried; tears cannot extinguish fire. Let the steamers burn. And even though everything be burned down, I'd spit upon it! If the soul is but burning to work, everything will be erected anew. ...
— Foma Gordyeff - (The Man Who Was Afraid) • Maxim Gorky

... to him Tante's sallies at the expense of this or that person and the phrase with which she introduced these transformations of human foolishness to the service of comedy. "Come, let us make meringues ...
— Tante • Anne Douglas Sedgwick

... most arrant foolishness. You know that those men would not allow your testimony in court; they would very quickly procure evidence to show that your word, even under oath, is worthless; that you are a liar, a ...
— That Mainwaring Affair • Maynard Barbour

... time-worn expressions pass current, at face value, among enthusiastic relatives and friends, but there are those in the audience who know them to be the veriest cant, with no basis either in logic or in common sense. It is nothing short of foolishness to assert that a young person must attain the age of eighteen years before he enters real life. The child knows that his home is a part of the world and an element in life, that the grocery is another part, the ...
— The Reconstructed School • Francis B. Pearson

... CANT OF THE KNOWLEDGE OF CHRIST. Thou knowest but little of the grace and kindness that is in the heart of Christ; thou knowest but little of the virtue and merit of his blood; thou knowest but little of the willingness that is in his heart to save thee. Slowness of heart to believe flows from thy foolishness in the things of Christ; this is evident to all that are acquainted with themselves, and are seeking after Jesus Christ. The more ignorance, the more unbelief; the more knowledge of Christ, the more faith. "They that know thy name, ...
— The Riches of Bunyan • Jeremiah Rev. Chaplin

... it cat-fashion. He was staring down at me with a sort of scandalized interest; and there was nothing whatever for me to do but stare at him. I had no weapon. One spring and a jump and I was his meat. To run was cowardice as well as foolishness, the one because the other. And without pretending to be able to read a lion's thoughts I dare risk the assertion that he was puzzled what to do with me. I could very plainly see his claws coming in and out of their sheaths, and what with that, and the switching tail, and the sense of impotence ...
— The Ivory Trail • Talbot Mundy

... they have their understanding darkened. And therefore, saith Paul, Do not you, believers walk as do other Gentiles, even "in the vanity of their minds; having their understandings darkened; being alienated from the life of God, through the ignorance (or foolishness) that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart." Walk not as those; run not with them. Alas! poor souls, they have their understandings darkened, their hearts blinded, and that is the reason they have such undervaluing thoughts ...
— The Heavenly Footman • John Bunyan

... "It was my foolishness that made you do it. Josiah!" she called, as the Captain came down by the rear stair. "Get me a basin of water and the ...
— Captain Pott's Minister • Francis L. Cooper

... heroes listened, the oars fell from their hands, and their heads drooped on their breasts, and they closed their heavy eyes; and they dreamed of bright still gardens, and of slumbers under murmuring pines, till all their toil seemed foolishness, and they thought of their renown ...
— The Heroes • Charles Kingsley

... sahib, that the ruler and the ruled are one. That has many sides to it of which one is this: India having many moods and minds, the British are versatile. Not altogether wise, for who is? When, for instance, did India make an end of wooing foolishness? Since the British rule India, they may wear her flowers, but they drink her dregs. They may bear her honors, but her blame as well. As the head is to the body, the ruler and the ruled ...
— Hira Singh - When India came to fight in Flanders • Talbot Mundy

... away; while I am more like—but I have so poor an opinion of myself, that I won't tell you what. This is no affected self-depreciation. I can't learn to be old, but am as full of passion, impatience, foolishness, blind reachings after wisdom, as ever. Instance: I am angry with the expressman because he did not bring the grapes to-day; angry with the telegraph because it did not bring a despatch to tell how a sick boy was, under ...
— Autobiography and Letters of Orville Dewey, D.D. - Edited by his Daughter • Orville Dewey

... it?" She faced him again in a way that made him quail; his wife was never disrespectful, but she sometimes faced every danger to save him from his own foolishness. "Don't you go and do a thing to make everybody hate you. You know what it says in the Bible about movin' a landmark. You'll get your rights; 't is just as much your right to let the trees stand, ...
— The Life of Nancy • Sarah Orne Jewett

... said, coming back to my senses. "This is all foolishness, and losing us time. I 'm not sorry he is out of the way; it was either his life or ours. He was a big, lawless brute, a murderer at heart, if he was n't in deed. Now there is all the more reason for us to hurry. Have you got ...
— Gordon Craig - Soldier of Fortune • Randall Parrish

... "That's all foolishness. Love is only stupid, and ought to be guarded against as the worst possible mistake. Love always means misery ...
— Fantomas • Pierre Souvestre

... way to heaven. We must therefore return to the simplicity of little children, in which we shall bear some resemblance to our Lord's humility."[29] This, in the language of the Holy Ghost, is called the foolishness of the cross of Christ,[30] in which consists true wisdom. That prudence of the flesh and worldly wisdom, which is the mother of self-sufficiency, pride, avarice, and vicious curiosity, the source of infidelity, ...
— The Lives of the Fathers, Martyrs, and Principal Saints - January, February, March • Alban Butler

... upon his chair back, as he pounded on the table in front of him with the other. "Now look here, Mister Who- ever-you-are, I've stood a lot of foolishness from you already," said he, "but those are my matters, and not yours. Get on out of here." Yet Eddring only looked at him smiling, and into his eyes there came a ...
— The Law of the Land • Emerson Hough

... the extraordinary prosperity and success of that one which has abandoned armaments and Kruppisms, will—if they have a grain of sense left in them—follow suit and, voluntarily divesting themselves too of their ancient armour, give up the foolishness of national enmities and jealousies, and adopt the attitude of humanity and peace, which alone can be the worthy and sensible attitude for us little mortals, when we shall have arrived at years ...
— The Healing of Nations and the Hidden Sources of Their Strife • Edward Carpenter

... land, which had been free to all and belonged to all, was divided up. Three-Legs began it when he planted corn. But most of us did not care about the land. We thought the marking of the boundaries with fences of stone was a foolishness. We had plenty to eat, and what more did we want? I remember that my father and I built stone fences for Three-Legs and were given ...
— The Strength of the Strong • Jack London

... Stop that, Niece Ruth! I won't hear to no such foolishness. You show me how I can make money riding up and down the Lumano in a pesky motor-car, and maybe I'll do like Alviry wants me to, and buy one of the contraptions." "Hullo, now!" added the miller suddenly. ...
— Ruth Fielding on the St. Lawrence - The Queer Old Man of the Thousand Islands • Alice B. Emerson

... beforehand, behaved themselves in a most orthodox and unexceptionable manner; as did also poor Eustace, to the great wonder of all good folks, and then went home flattering himself that he had taken in parson, clerk, and people; not knowing in his simple unsimplicity, and cunning foolishness, that each good wife in the parish was saying to the other, "He turned Protestant? The devil turned monk! He's only after Mistress Salterne, ...
— Westward Ho! • Charles Kingsley

... his pocket and strolled toward one of the front windows; then he turned to her. "You and I might as well understand each other, Jennie," he went on. "I can see how this thing came about. It was a piece of foolishness on my part not to have asked you before, and made you tell me. It was silly for you to conceal it, even if you didn't want the child's life mixed with mine. You might have known that it couldn't be done. That's neither here nor there, though, ...
— Jennie Gerhardt - A Novel • Theodore Dreiser

... at him with pity in her green eyes. "This I do not understand. I know nothing of right and justice. What are these things? Just words. Yet you will endanger our happiness for them. If it is my happiness you wish—then leave this foolishness alone. I have fifteen years I can live with you before I am old and you tire of me. With those years I ...
— The Lani People • J. F. Bone

... wouldn't go; and they wanted to examine it, and spy around and get the secret of it out of me. But I beat them. Nobody knows the secret but me. Nobody knows what makes it move but me; and it's a new power—a new power, and a thousand times the strongest in the earth! Steam's foolishness to it! They said I couldn't go to Europe. To Europe! Why, there's power aboard to last five years, and feed for three months. They are fools! What do they know about it? Yes, and they said my air-ship was flimsy. Why, she's good ...
— Innocents abroad • Mark Twain

... my people, awake from thy dreaming, In foolishness be not immersed! Clear is the sky, brightly the sun is beaming; The clouds are ...
— The Haskalah Movement in Russia • Jacob S. Raisin

... than utter foolishness of this latter Charlie o'er the water nonsense, whether in rhyme or prose, there is but one word, and that word a Scotch word. Scotch, the sorriest of jargons, compared with which even Roth Welsch is dignified and ...
— The Romany Rye • George Borrow

... system. The United States stands at the political zenith; the confederate States at the political nadir. The Southern confederacy denies the truth of our system, and asserts that political equality is a fiction and foolishness. To it, indeed, political equality is a stumbling block; for the confederate constitution bases itself openly and unblushingly on the principle of property in man. It has been blasphemously announced that this is the ...
— The Continental Monthly, Vol. 5, No. 5, May, 1864 - Devoted To Literature And National Policy • Various

... his pocket for a match. From the look of his face you never could have told how very uncomfortable he felt "Naw," he drawled. "I ain't never sure of what any hoss will do. I've had too much dealings with 'em for any uh that brand uh foolishness." He lighted the cigarette as if that were the only matter in which he took any real interest, though he was ...
— The Happy Family • Bertha Muzzy Bower

... great veil of woven lace, a white-ivory prayer-book, a mother-of-pearl rosary with a little glass peep-hole in the silver crucifix, showing all manner of pretty things. Horieneke sighed with happiness. Mother haggled and bargained, said within herself that it was "foolishness to waste all that money," but bought and went on buying; and, every time something new went into the big basket, ...
— The Path of Life • Stijn Streuvels

... he clutched at the man eagerly, saying: "Ah, no, now, don't resort to any such foolishness. Can't you trust a fellow?" Belton ...
— Imperium in Imperio: A Study Of The Negro Race Problem - A Novel • Sutton E. Griggs

... London University at the age of twenty-one and resume them at forty-three, you will find them (one is told) a considerably tougher job than you found them twenty-two years before. Youth is the time to read for examinations; youth is used to such foolishness, and takes it lightly in its stride. At thirty you may be and probably are much cleverer than you were at twenty; you will have more ideas and better ones, and infinitely more power of original and creative thought; but you will not, probably, find it so easy to grip and retain ...
— Dangerous Ages • Rose Macaulay

... o' Polly dancin' in with the goat to welcome him; and then he clasps his hands—so—and drops on his knees, and hangs down his head—so—and sez, 'Me chyld! me vow! Oh, heavens!' But jest then Billy—who's gettin' rather tired o' all this foolishness—kinder slues round on his hind legs, and ketches sight o' the parson!" Jack paused a moment, and thrusting his hands still deeper in his pockets, said lazily, "I don't know if you fellers have noticed how much ...
— Mr. Jack Hamlin's Mediation and Other Stories • Bret Harte

... of the feast sat at the head of the board. He was greatly altered. He had grown thick-set and rather gummy, with a fiery, foxy head of hair. There was a singular mixture of foolishness, arrogance, and conceit in his countenance. He was dressed in a vulgarly fine style, with leather breeches, a red waistcoat, and green coat, and was evidently, like his guests, a little flushed with drinking. The whole company stared at me with a whimsical muggy look, like men whose senses ...
— Tales of a Traveller • Washington Irving

... and we crossed the Nicolai bridge. We were both a little drunk. He told me of his joy, the joyful feeling of having done a good action; he said that it was all thanks to myself that he could feel this satisfaction; and held forth about the foolishness of the theory ...
— The Idiot • (AKA Feodor Dostoevsky) Fyodor Dostoyevsky

... line, quick—none of that for me. This fo'closure business has ruined haalf the gentlemen in our county, suh. But for that foolishness two thirds of our fust families would still be livin' in their homes. No, suh, ...
— Colonel Carter of Cartersville • F. Hopkinson Smith

... he came one afternoon, I actually felt glad to see him, and welcomed him cordially. The mantle of his oddity and foolishness seemed to have slipped off, and the person I so joyfully hailed was the real man whom I felt to be in nowise inferior to myself, and moreover closely related. Finding no trace of annoyance within me at sight of him, nor any sense of my time being wasted with ...
— My Reminiscences • Rabindranath Tagore

... the changeling, whose curious engine had been thus successfully played off, his shift of countenance and gesture had even something droll, or rather tragi-comic in it: there was now an air of sad repining foolishness, superadded to his natural one of no meaning and idiotism, as he stood with his label of manhood, now lank, unstiffened, becalmed, and flapping against his thighs, down which it reached half way, terrible even in its fall, whilst under the dejection of spirit and flesh, which naturally followed ...
— Memoirs Of Fanny Hill - A New and Genuine Edition from the Original Text (London, 1749) • John Cleland

... said the man, and held up the snake. Mr. Miller says: "Oh, fiddlesticks! That's a blue racer, as harmless as the peck of a chicken." Then he took hold of Mitch and shook him and says: "Here, Mitch, this is all foolishness—you're just scart; that snake ain't pisen. He can't hurt you more than a chicken." So Mitch sat right up and looked at his hand which wasn't swelled. And he says: "I am pisened, I'm sick." "Oh, shucks," said Mr. Miller. "It's just ...
— Mitch Miller • Edgar Lee Masters

... he shouted. "I've had as much of this foolishness as I'm going to take. When that young space brat comes back, I'm going to throw the ...
— Sabotage in Space • Carey Rockwell

... of foolishness,'' i.e. foolish!), a man of Judah whose son was a member of David's bodyguard. He was possibly the grandfather of Bathsheiba (see 2 Sam. xi. 3, xxiii. 34), a view which has been thought to have some bearing on his policy. He was one of David's most trusted advisers, ...
— Project Gutenberg Encyclopedia

... undoubtedly was, pretty Phyllis Neville might have done far better for herself. A rumour even found credence in some quarters that she had actually refused the wealthy aristocrat for Jim Freeman's sake, but there were not many who held this belief. It implied a foolishness too sublime. ...
— The Odds - And Other Stories • Ethel M. Dell

... significance, its hidden secrets, lest any of us should suffer in vain, and our lives be altogether a failure. To be able to suffer patiently and gladly for God's sake, is thus a great wisdom; it is a sign of future blessedness. It is the wisdom of God, which is foolishness to men. "If thou hadst the science of all the astronomers," says Eternal Wisdom; "if thou couldst speak and discourse about God as fully and well as all angels and men; if thou alone were as learned as the whole body of doctors; all this would not bestow on thee so ...
— The Shepherd Of My Soul • Rev. Charles J. Callan

... knowledge merely for its own sake is of course foolishness, but it is a very rare kind of foolishness. Nearly always the learned man pays his debt to society in full measure, if we but give him time enough. So it was with "The Learned Blacksmith." From his deep learning, Elihu Burritt at last ...
— Stories of Achievement, Volume III (of 6) - Orators and Reformers • Various

... her ill to be so misjudged. I must plead guilty also to having wronged her in my thoughts. While I try to exercise the broadest charity, my calling, as a teacher, has brought me in contact with many girls that—through immaturity and innate foolishness—are guilty of conduct that taxes one's faith in human nature severely. Goodish sort of girls are sometimes infatuated with very bad men. I suppose it is evident to all that Miss Mayhew's early and, indeed, present influences ...
— A Face Illumined • E. P. Roe

... oligarchial "prefect system" to a minimum, and uniting in a real effort to keep abreast with the great world outside by means of a co-operative study of politics and the Press. The idea will seem mere foolishness and an impossibility to many of those who did not see it actually at work. At the best it will seem the kind of thing we may have read of in books about "freak schools," where so much loss has obviously to be set against whatever is gained. In this case, not only the idea, but ...
— The School and the World • Victor Gollancz and David Somervell

... of the next morning. During that night we thought only of the Indians, for of course we did not as yet believe they had left us for good. We did not return to sleep by the fire—that would have been very foolishness. Some went back to get their arms in order, and then returning we all lay along the edge of the bluff, where the path led into the bottom, and watched the prairie until the morning. We lay in silence, or only muttering our thoughts ...
— The Hunters' Feast - Conversations Around the Camp Fire • Mayne Reid

... making some money to furnish the home-nest, instead of doing the lovey-dovey. The kind of fellow that kicks about working overtime, that wants to spend his evenings reading trashy novels or spooning and exchanging a lot of nonsense and foolishness with some girl, he ain't the kind of upstanding, energetic young man, with a future—and with Vision!—that we want here. How about it? What's your Ideal, anyway? Do you want to make money and be a responsible member of the community, ...
— Babbitt • Sinclair Lewis

... was in torture; all his illusions—desires and sentiments blended—were cruelly wounded. Then, he had just discovered a deplorable faculty; a new cause for being unhappy. The sight of this foolishness made him suffer. How these coarse young men lied! Gustave seemed to him a genuine idiot, Arthur Papillon a pedant, and as to Jocquelet, he was as unbearable as a large fly buzzing between the glass and the curtain of a nervous man's room. Fortunately, Maurice ...
— Serge Panine • Georges Ohnet

... my son, it was Bes who told Peroa and his guests that he and not you had given the King her name, which you do not seem to have denied. Well, doubtless both of you are to blame for foolishness, no more, since well I know that you would have died ten times over rather than buy your life at the price of the honour of the Lady of Egypt. This I will say to her as soon as I may, praying that it may not be too late, and afterwards you shall tell me everything, which you would have done well ...
— The Ancient Allan • H. Rider Haggard

... tone in the man's voice that Kitty could not ignore, though she disliked him intensely for it—the more so, perhaps, because she felt that he was in the right. He addressed her as though she were a little wilful child, whose foolishness he had endured for some time, but was not going ...
— Kitty Trenire • Mabel Quiller-Couch

... would be more startled by the difficulty he would find if he tried to get them out. If they once learned the advantages of our liberties they would find it hard not to get away, but to go away. I restrain my temper with difficulty when I contemplate the foolishness of the people who discuss with gravity the possibility of a successful invasion of these United States by a foreign foe. The thought always arises when I hear these cries from our army and naval officers for a greater armament: 'Are these men cowards?' I don't believe ...
— The New York Times Current History of the European War, Vol. 1, January 9, 1915 - What Americans Say to Europe • Various

... of the town had made my name a by-word," she explained in a low, tense voice, her eyelids lowered. "My foolishness in running off with my Lord Rotherby—that I might at all cost escape the tyranny of my Lady Ostermore" (Mr. Caryll's eyelids flickered suddenly at that explanation)—"had made me a butt and a jest and an ...
— The Lion's Skin • Rafael Sabatini

... beast, bird, or fish so crafty or so powerful but some one man can worst him, and will take the trouble to do it if the game seems to be worth while. Some lure would doubtless have been found, some scheme devised for the hiding of the line, whereby the big trout's cunning would have been made foolishness. Some swimming frog, some terrified, hurrying mouse, or some great night-moth flopping down upon the dim water of a moonless night, would have lulled his suspicions and concealed the inescapable barb; and the master ...
— The Watchers of the Trails - A Book of Animal Life • Charles G. D. Roberts

... and talking foolishness till I said to him: If you goes on in that 'ere way I'll hit you a hot ...
— Romano Lavo-Lil - Title: Romany Dictionary - Title: Gypsy Dictionary • George Borrow

... door, ushered in the members of classes, kept the lecture-room in order, and so forth, imbibing by the way various doctrines, or parts of doctrines, which she is not the sort of person to assimilate, but with which she is experimenting: holding, meantime, a grim intuition of their foolishness, or so it seems to me. 'The science' made it easier for her to seek her ancestors in a foreign country with only a hundred dollars in her purse; for the Salem priestess proclaims the glad tidings that all the wealth of the world is ours, if we will but assert our heirship. Benella believed this ...
— Penelope's Irish Experiences • Kate Douglas Wiggin

... thinking of? What chain of misreasoning had they in their heads when they hit on that as a device for making the crops grow? Who can tell? Who can make the crooked straight, or number that which is wanting? As said Solomon of old, so must we—"The foolishness of fools is folly." One thing only we can say of them, that they were horribly afraid of famine, and took that means of ...
— Health and Education • Charles Kingsley

... derisively from several places at the same instant, and then they all began speaking at once, vying with each other in ridiculing the foolishness of 'them there Socialists', whom ...
— The Ragged Trousered Philanthropists • Robert Tressell

... that country, and when the November winds are up among us it is lambing time there." I wish that my pupils had asked me to explain any other passage. [The FOOL comes in and stands at the door holding out his hat. He has a pair of shears in the other hand.] It sounds to me like foolishness; and yet that cannot be, for the writer of this book, where I have found so much knowledge, would not have set it by itself on this page, and surrounded it with so many images and so many deep colours and so much fine gilding, if it ...
— The Unicorn from the Stars and Other Plays • William B. Yeats

... reproachful light. Her gay looks told my sombre mood That what's not happy is not good; And, just because 'twas life to please, Death to repel her, truth and ease Deserted me; I strove to talk, And stammer'd foolishness; my walk Was like a drunkard's; if she took My arm, it stiffen'd, ached, and shook: A likely wooer! Blame her not; Nor ever say, dear Mother, aught Against that perfectness which is My strength, as once it was my bliss. And do not chafe at social rules. Leave that to charlatans ...
— The Victories of Love - and Other Poems • Coventry Patmore

... her away from him almost harshly and gazed at her as he queried, "W'y, you po' baby, you! Who's bin puttin' dis hyeah foolishness in yo' haid?" Then his laugh rang out as he patted her head and drew her close to him again. "Ef yo' pappy do bring a step-mothah into dis house, Gawd knows he'll bring de ...
— The heart of happy hollow - A collection of stories • Paul Laurence Dunbar

... snapped Andy. His green eye glowered at the bay. "Ef it hadn't been for foolishness ...
— Uncle William - The Man Who Was Shif'less • Jennette Lee

... 'Don't talk any more such foolishness or I'll have you ironed. You've been drinking so much that you are seeing things, and I won't have the crew disturbed by ...
— Astounding Stories of Super-Science, December 1930 • Various

... had been walking away from it. "I must dream no more," thought he, "or if I do indulge in any more daydreams, I certainly shall neither sleep nor dream to-night. It is getting dark already, and here I am lost in the forest, and all through my own foolishness. If the stars do not shine, I shall not know how to direct my steps; indeed, if they do, I don't know whether I have walked south or north, and I am in a pretty pickle; not that I care for being out in the forest on a night like this, but my sisters and Humphrey ...
— The Children of the New Forest • Captain Marryat

... FOOLISHNESS OF MAN.—God has introduced into human character infinite variety, and for you to say that you do not love and will not associate with a man because he is unlike you, is not only foolish but wrong. You are to remember that in the precise manner ...
— Searchlights on Health: Light on Dark Corners • B.G. Jefferis

... was Edith,—Edith, who had held him rapture-bound on that first Sunday in church—Edith, who had burst so unexpectedly upon his life that first evening in her father's home. He had not allowed himself any foolishness about Edith. It was evident that Edith was pre-empted, just as he was pre-empted, and the part of honour in his friend's house was to recognize the status quo. . . Still, Mr. Allan Forsyth was unnecessarily self-assured. He might have made it less evident that he was within the enchanted circle, ...
— The Cow Puncher • Robert J. C. Stead

... source of contemplation which nature affords us, one, too, that is open to the dweller in crowded cities as well as to the shepherd on Salisbury plain, and which might sometimes suggest the foolishness of an inordinate love of money. Consider the prospect which each unveiled night affords us, telling of wonders such as we have hardly the units of measurement to estimate; and then think how strange it is that we should ever allow our petty personal possessions of to-day to render ...
— The Claims of Labour - an essay on the duties of the employers to the employed • Arthur Helps

... Dedeagatch, her southern port, her window on to the Aegean, and a Greek army is between Bulgaria and Constantinople, but peasant Bulgaria will thrive quite well without a port; she virtually never used Dedeagatch, and it would be obvious foolishness to shed more blood for the possession of this remote harbour. The exit of Varna on the Black Sea suffices for all the ...
— Europe—Whither Bound? - Being Letters of Travel from the Capitals of Europe in the Year 1921 • Stephen Graham

... head. "No!" she said. "They want to, I'm sure of that, but yet neither one of 'em will speak first. Such foolishness I never did see. Now take yesterday! Cousin Sam went to town, and Cousin Sim werried every single minute he was gone. The mare was skittish, and the harness might break, and he might meet the cars, and I don't know ...
— The Wooing of Calvin Parks • Laura E. Richards

... himself the while for having presumed to indulge in a season of bright hopes and delicious dreams. Why the devil should such an unlucky fellow as he had always been venture to aspire to happiness? It was all foolishness, and sure to end in bitter disappointment; but he had had his lesson now, and would be wiser for ...
— Captain Fracasse • Theophile Gautier

... he manufactures coffins wholesale for the trade. Still, I didn't know they called themselves that. Anyhow, it seems, as though that handbill is a genuine piece of downright foolishness. The idiot ought to be stopped advertising in ...
— The Ghost Ship • Richard Middleton

... "There's no time for foolishness," Tim said, impatiently. "His gang may be close behind, an' we can't afford to pay him off ...
— Down the Slope • James Otis

... the woods, Henry. Here we learn to take what we can, an' let alone what we can't. I guess the wilderness jerks all the foolishness out o' a man, an' brings him plum' down to his level. Ain't I right 'bout thar comin' straight ...
— The Eyes of the Woods - A story of the Ancient Wilderness • Joseph A. Altsheler

... dropped a form. You see, I made the mistake of thinking that the principal branches were Football, Baseball and Hockey. When I'd woke up to the fact that a little attention to mathematics and languages and such foolishness was required it was too ...
— Left End Edwards • Ralph Henry Barbour

... myself with an album at the table, and Frances Chislett chatted with Sir Lionel. They were close by me, and every word they said was audible. It was the veriest chit-chat, and Leo's remarks on the little bunch of charms and knicknacks that he found in the workbox seemed trivial to foolishness. "I'd no idea Damer was so empty-headed," I thought, and I rather despised Miss Chislett for ...
— A Flat Iron for a Farthing - or Some Passages in the Life of an only Son • Juliana Horatia Ewing

... the night before, and of his suspicions as to the guilt of Creviss and his gang in the mysterious robberies that had occurred in the two towns. "But," he concluded, "it is not up to me to get at the matter. It is work for the sheriff. However, if those boys try any of their foolishness with us, we'll turn in and send them to the reform school, where ...
— Ted Strong's Motor Car • Edward C. Taylor

... of the most onspeakable foolishness that I've run aginst since I settled in New Constantinople," observed the landlord with a contemptuous sniff; "the minute the committee arrove and stated their bus'ness, Dawson would kick 'em out of his shanty and clean across the street, and he'd be lacking in the instincts of a man ...
— A Waif of the Mountains • Edward S. Ellis

... sin no less than the love itself. Her wish for him had grown to a fire in her blood and now she was stained by her own passion, pregnant from her own sin. God's punishment had visited her and soon would be visible to all the world. Gro saw however immediately the foolishness of her thought. For one moment she lingered at the thought of the one woman of all the earth, who had immaculately conceived. Then she uttered an inward prayer that the Mother of God would lighten her understanding and give her clearness of ...
— Sleep Walking and Moon Walking - A Medico-Literary Study • Isidor Isaak Sadger

... enough," the Squire answered; "but it's foolishness to douse the light. We'll set it up on the stones here at the mouth of the gully while Walter and I work up to the left of the gully and you up the rock. It will light up their only bolt-hole; and if you, Father Halloran, will keep an eye on it from the bushes here you ...
— Two Sides of the Face - Midwinter Tales • Arthur Thomas Quiller-Couch

... taken to themselves no small airs of recent years—they dress, so far as their means will go, as flashily as servants in cities, and stand upon their dignity. This foolishness has, perhaps, one good effect—it tends to diminish the illegitimate births. The girls are learning more self-respect—if they could only achieve that and eschew the other follies it would be a clear gain. It may be questioned whether purely ...
— Hodge and His Masters • Richard Jefferies

... had a very exalted opinion of Wilkie's intelligence, but now he was amazed to see how greatly he had overestimated it. "Enough of such foolishness," he interrupted, curtly. "This duel ...
— Baron Trigault's Vengeance - Volume 2 (of 2) • Emile Gaboriau

... there, rotting, with no profit to anybody—rotting where they had been dropped by men called away to attend the urgent necessities of political revolutions. The practical, mercantile soul of Senor Hirsch rebelled against all that foolishness, while he was taking a respectful but disconcerted leave of the might and majesty of the San Tome mine in the person of Charles Gould. He could not restrain a heart-broken murmur, wrung out of his very ...
— Nostromo: A Tale of the Seaboard • Joseph Conrad

... the thing without sense," the black man answered angrily. "How can you ask my companions and me to do that which must end in failure? For years we have waited for such a chance as this, and now that it has come, you wish us to throw it away owing to this foolishness about ...
— The Tragedy of The Korosko • Arthur Conan Doyle

... inventor softly. "I must catch it now, and see what foolishness it is," for the professor did ...
— Under the Ocean to the South Pole - The Strange Cruise of the Submarine Wonder • Roy Rockwood

... answer: "Surely, dear nurse, the gods have bereft thee of thy sense; and verily, they can make the wisdom of the wise to be foolishness, and they can give wisdom to the simple. Why dost thou mock me, rousing me out of my sleep, the sweetest that hath ever come to my eyes since the day when Ulysses sailed for Troy, most hateful of cities? Go, get thee to the chamber of the women! Had another ...
— The Story Of The Odyssey • The Rev. Alfred J. Church

... trus' on Him fur as enny sense in doin' uv it; but ef I go to enny my foolishness, fus' thing I know de Lord gwine leave me to take keer uv myse'f, preacher or no preacher—same as ef He was ter say, 'Dat's all right, cap'n: ef you gwine to boss dis job, boss it;' an' den whar I be? Mas' Ned tole you to go: go ...
— Lippincott's Magazine Of Popular Literature And Science, April 1875, Vol. XV., No. 88 • Various

... now daily heaped upon him in speeches and in the press, and talked about it in a casual dreamy way which reminded me irresistibly of President Lincoln, whom, if in nothing else, he resembles alike in longanimity and in length of limb. He had seen Davitt's caveat, filed at Rathkeale, against the foolishness of trying to frighten him out of his line of country by calling him bad names. "Davitt is quite right," he said, "the thing must be getting to be a bore to the people, who are not such fools as the speakers take them to be. One of the stenographers ...
— Ireland Under Coercion (2nd ed.) (1 of 2) (1888) • William Henry Hurlbert

... "I slept that foolishness away. I must have sounded like a character in The Lying Valet." Her present mood obscurely troubled him; he infinitely preferred her in the pale crumpled silk and candle light of the evening before. "I wish I could tell you what ...
— The Three Black Pennys - A Novel • Joseph Hergesheimer

... bowed down and of course so did I, on general principles. Somerfield didn't and the old buck whirled that bull-roarer over him ever so long, and the red-eyed hag cursed and spat at him, but he never budged. That sort of conduct is damned foolishness according to my notion. But then, you see, in a kind of a way he was backing his prejudices against theirs and prejudices are pretty solid things when you consider. Still, he took a ...
— The Best Short Stories of 1921 and the Yearbook of the American Short Story • Various

... he would know all its properties. For this reason he examines the object on all sides; for this reason he tears and breaks it; for this reason he puts it in his mouth and bites it. We reprove the child for naughtiness and foolishness; and yet he is wiser than we ...
— The Child Under Eight • E.R. Murray and Henrietta Brown Smith

... it was only you and the doctor that saw my foolishness," continued the other, still in a low voice. "Other people might have talked, but I knew that you were a reliable man, Smith. And you won't talk about it in the future, I'm quite certain of that. ...
— At Sunwich Port, Complete • W.W. Jacobs

... slip which seemed to imply that she had a right to expect help, it smacked of possible heart-interest—sob-stuff—so dear to enterprising special writers for a yellow press. He couldn't understand how or where Peter had met the girl; possibly some youthful foolishness back there in Carolina. Maybe she'd followed him north, to become what her friendship with such as the blonde person indicated. Vandervelde was a cautious man and he thought he had better investigate that message, ...
— The Purple Heights • Marie Conway Oemler

... his back to the door, his face in the washbowl. As he scoured he sputtered. Max could make little out of it, for Bannon's face was under water half the time, but he caught such phrases as "Pete's darned foolishness," "College boy trick," "Lie abed all the morning," and "Better get an alarm clock"— which thing and the need for it Bannon greatly despised—and he reached the conclusion that the matter was nothing more serious than ...
— Calumet "K" • Samuel Merwin and Henry Kitchell Webster

... knows who to fool wid. You is de uppishes' cow I ever see in all my life—puttin' on so much style—an' yo' milk so po' an' blue, I could purty nigh blue my starch clo'es wid it. Look out dar, Peggy, how you squeeze 'g'ins' Lady! She ain' gwine teck none o' yo' foolishness. Peggy ain't got a speck o' manners! Lady b'longs ter de cream o' s'ciety, I have yer know,—an' bless Gord, I b'lieve dat's all de cream dey is about her. Hyah! fur Gord's sake lis'n at me, passin' a ...
— Moriah's Mourning and Other Half-Hour Sketches • Ruth McEnery Stuart

... afford to lose, knowing that unless the horse meets with some unforeseen accident he is certain to win the race. As I understand it, he has bet so much money that if by any chance Emperor should lose the race it would seriously hurt young Blake. Of course, this is all foolishness from our standpoint, but the fact remains that the young man has bet this money, and that any accident which would interfere with his pulling off that race would cause ...
— Montezuma's Castle and Other Weird Tales • Charles B. Cory

... Joe, rather shamefacedly deprecating the desire to lionize him, "there wasn't much credit in what I did. I'm even sorry I did it, for my foolishness sent me to the hospital an' put me out o' the war. But there was Tom McChesney, lyin' out there in No Man's Land, with a bullet in his chest an' moanin' for water. Tom was a good chum o' mine, an' I was mad when I saw him fall—jest as the Boches was drivin' us back to our ...
— Mary Louise and the Liberty Girls • Edith Van Dyne (AKA L. Frank Baum)

... very close they now stood and each was breathing with more than normal quickness. Her cheeks were white, her nostrils dilated and quivering, her blue eyes baleful and cruel, whilst her lips wore never so faint a smile. For a second La Boulaye looked the very picture of foolishness and alarm. Then it seemed as if he drew a curtain, and his face assumed the expressionless mask that was habitual to it in moments of great tension. Instinctively he put behind him his hands which held the paper. Cecile's lips took on an added curl of scorn as she observed ...
— The Trampling of the Lilies • Rafael Sabatini

... immediate interest lies in this. The foolishness of England in Ireland finds an exact parallel, although on a smaller scale and for a shorter period, in the early foolishness of England in her own colonies. In both cases there is an attempt to suppress individuality and initiative, to exploit, to bully, to Downing Street-ify. It was a ...
— The Open Secret of Ireland • T. M. Kettle

... new ministry. They observed that many of their officers were destitute of energy, and they resolved to infuse new life into the service, by moving its members continually from place to place. But officials live long, and the most robust ministry dies early, and the wisdom of one cabinet is foolishness to ...
— The Book of the Bush • George Dunderdale

... a matter of fact, noticed anything. "He sometimes looks terribly tired," she said a little uncertainly, "but I dare say it's all my foolishness, Mr. Drummond. I am afraid I am inclined to be nervous about other people's health—" Estelle sighed softly. She often accused herself of faults which no one had discovered in her. "Winn, I am sure, would be the first ...
— The Dark Tower • Phyllis Bottome

... at this time smitten with an infatuation such as by many men not prone to superstition was ascribed to the special judgment of God. Not only was the King of England, as he had ever been, stupid and perverse: but even the counsel of the politic King of France was turned into foolishness. Whatever wisdom and energy could do William did. Those obstacles which no wisdom or energy could have overcome his enemies themselves ...
— The History of England from the Accession of James II. - Volume 2 (of 5) • Thomas Babington Macaulay

... ten, but even at thirty it would be foolishness to retrace all that hard-won distance merely for the sake of keeping in sight of this muddy stream, the very water of which is unfit for Christian stomach, and of no value otherwise. 'Tis my vote we strike directly east and north, following as straight a trail as possible until we find ...
— Prisoners of Chance - The Story of What Befell Geoffrey Benteen, Borderman, - through His Love for a Lady of France • Randall Parrish

... love to Him? But in one way I entirely agree with you, unless it is spontaneous it is not only useless but harmful. Imagine a child forced to talk to its father. And this seems to me the truest defense of prayer; to the 'natural man' it always will seem foolishness, to the 'spiritual man' to one who has recognized the All-Father it is the absolute necessity of life. And I think by degrees one passes from eager petition for personal and physical good things into the truer and more Christlike ...
— We Two • Edna Lyall

... of the Pestalozzian ideas became very extended. Many excellent private schools were founded on the Pestalozzian model, while on the other hand self-styled Pestalozzian reformers sprang up on all sides. All this imitation was both natural and helpful; the foolishness and charlatanism in time disappeared, leaving a real advance ...
— THE HISTORY OF EDUCATION • ELLWOOD P. CUBBERLEY

... on every side I find only compliments to make you about them. It is true that you could not doubt their sincerity any more than you could the real merit of your work. It is needless to speak of the modesty of true talent; this modesty cannot go to the extent of foolishness, and the Artist and supreme Architect of the spheres gives us Himself the example of this legitimate satisfaction which the consciousness of having done well brings us, by rejoicing over His work ...
— Letters of Franz Liszt, Volume 2: "From Rome to the End" • Franz Liszt; letters collected by La Mara and translated

... his smile, his gestures—and she knew that she did not charm him in any way, and that Lady Pickering, in her very foolishness, did charm him, and the knowledge made her very grave and careful when she was with him. Delight and pain were hidden beneath this manner of careful gravity, but, as the excitement of Franklin's presence had at first done—and in how much greater degree—they subtly transformed ...
— Franklin Kane • Anne Douglas Sedgwick

... Chloris, is Not just exactly Horace's Ideal of a lady At the shady Time of life; You mustn't throw your soul away On foolishness, like Pholoe— Her days are folly-laden— She's ...
— Tobogganing On Parnassus • Franklin P. Adams

... The real creature was adorable, but, for some reason, maddening, and not, at all events, the being of his fancy. Their old relations—ethereal and exquisite, no doubt—now seemed an empty mockery, self-deluding foolishness. He coloured at the remembrance of all that Disraeli had hinted, and Reckage had brutally declared, on the large topic of idealism in passion. A man, in spite of all determinations to be uncomplaining, knows the How much and How little that he may demand, merely ...
— Robert Orange - Being a Continuation of the History of Robert Orange • John Oliver Hobbes

... itself was one of his inspirations, so was the hirin' of college waiters, the openin' of the two 'Annex' cottages, the South Shore Weather Bureau, and a whole lot more. Sometimes, as in the weather-bureau foolishness, the disease left him and t'other two patients—meanin' me and Cap'n Jonadab—pretty weak in the courage, and wasted in the pocketbook; but gen'rally they turned out good, and our systems and bank accounts ...
— The Depot Master • Joseph C. Lincoln



Words linked to "Foolishness" :   error, wisdom, foolish, silliness, fatuity, asininity, absurdity, fault, unwiseness, mistake, trait, indiscretion, injudiciousness, fatuousness



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