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Folly   Listen
noun
Folly  n.  (pl. follies)  
1.
The state of being foolish; want of good sense; levity, weakness, or derangement of mind.
2.
A foolish act; an inconsiderate or thoughtless procedure; weak or light-minded conduct; foolery. " What folly 'tis to hazard life for ill."
3.
Scandalous crime; sin; specifically, as applied to a woman, wantonness. "(Achan) wrought folly in Israel." "When lovely woman stoops to folly."
4.
The result of a foolish action or enterprise. " It is called this man's or that man's "folly," and name of the foolish builder is thus kept alive for long after years."






Collaborative International Dictionary of English 0.48








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"Folly" Quotes from Famous Books



... will probably be much softened and will look at things differently; or he may be dead. Or you may be—and most likely will be—married. You need only concern yourself with the present. It is possible that you have discovered your only chance of happiness. Do not commit the incredible folly of strangling that chance before it is born. This is not my day for lecturing, but I am going to take your conscience in hand. It needs training. Before you know it, you will be morbid. That means brain rot, and no chance of ...
— The Californians • Gertrude Franklin Horn Atherton

... the horse, the courage of Olivia was such, her seat was so firm, and she kept so steady a hold of the strong curb rein, that I felt a confidence she would overpower the horse; if the fear and folly of some other person should do no mischief. I therefore followed at a proper distance; and, when I saw several horsemen who attempted to cross her, I shouted and waved my hat for them ...
— The Adventures of Hugh Trevor • Thomas Holcroft

... turned to Mr. Sydney. He also had found the Duchess rather thorny; and was ready as ever to pay the homage that one who is only a wit owes to beauty. And we know that beauty is more queen than ever in this material age. It is long since our grandfathers first found the folly of dreams and banished art and poetry from England—with opium and other ...
— The King's Men - A Tale of To-morrow • Robert Grant, John Boyle O'Reilly, J. S. Dale, and John T.

... rather the lack of them, would not permit him to counter-attack the moment the enemy's assault was repulsed. When we read of battles in histories we feel, we see, so clearly the value of counter-attack and the folly of passive defence; but, in the field, the struggle has sometimes been so close that the victorious defence are left gasping. The enemy were very polite during the armistice, and by way of being highly solemn and correct, but they could not refrain from bursting into ...
— Gallipoli Diary, Volume I • Ian Hamilton

... means his intention to represent. He was even by the "burr, burr, burr," uncounteracted by any preceding description of the boy's beauty, assisted in recalling them. The other is, that the idiocy of the boy is so evenly balanced by the folly of the mother, as to present to the general reader rather a laughable burlesque on the blindness of anile dotage, than an analytic display of maternal affection ...
— Biographia Literaria • Samuel Taylor Coleridge

... the people who assert the latter, to the enjoyment of their folly, let us ascertain what we can know of the great Creator of the heavens and the earth. God refers the atheists of the Psalmist's days to their own bodies for proofs of his intelligence, to their own minds for proofs of his personality, and to their own observation of the judgments of his ...
— Fables of Infidelity and Facts of Faith - Being an Examination of the Evidences of Infidelity • Robert Patterson

... dances of Satyrs which had before been used in the celebration of their festivals, and there they were ever afterwards retained. The character of them was also kept, which was mirth and wantonness; and this was given, I suppose, to the folly of the common audience, who soon grow weary of good sense, and, as we daily see in our own age and country, are apt to forsake poetry, and still ready to return to buffoonery and farce. From hence it came ...
— Discourses on Satire and Epic Poetry • John Dryden

... written about some aspects of the war which, I believe, the world must know and remember, not only as a memorial of men's courage in tragic years, but as a warning of what will happen again—surely—if a heritage of evil and of folly is not cut out of the hearts of peoples. Here it is the reality of modern warfare not only as it appears to British soldiers, of whom I can tell, but to soldiers on all the fronts where conditions ...
— Now It Can Be Told • Philip Gibbs

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

... argue that that was not sufficient. It seems clear that it must be a question of fact in each case, and a question of fact is eminently one for the jury, and where they are satisfied that a death has taken place, it would be the height of folly for their verdict to be set aside because there was not exactly what would enable a coroner to ...
— The Queen Against Owen • Allen Upward

... utter folly," said Bertha, seriously alarmed at last, for if Florence were to develop a conscience, and a conscience of such a sensitive order, at this hour, all would indeed be lost as far as she ...
— A Bunch of Cherries - A Story of Cherry Court School • L. T. Meade

... as they are." This was the sentiment of the whole army. Bonaparte, who thoroughly understood war, who at Jaffa and elsewhere gave ample proof that he was not unwilling to strain the laws of war to their utmost rigour, and whose hatred of England amounted to a folly, always spoke of Barere's decree with loathing, and boasted that the army had refused ...
— The Miscellaneous Writings and Speeches of Lord Macaulay, Vol. 2 (of 4) - Contributions To The Edinburgh Review • Thomas Babington Macaulay

... the parrot at the top of his voice. "Catfish and coffee!"—"Rice cakes for breakfast"—"All in my eye, Betty Martin"—"Yarns and Yankees"—"Shad and shin-plasters"—"Yams and yaller boys," and so on, in a string of the most irrelevant alliteration and folly, that, like much other nonsense, evoked peals of laughter, by its unexpected utterance, and which at last mollified and brought out Major Favraud ...
— Miriam Monfort - A Novel • Catherine A. Warfield

... I tell you? How am I to know?" she answered. "You are all a lie to me—all a lie from first to last. You were laughing at my folly, playing with me like a child, at the very time when you declared you loved me. Which was true? was any of it true? or was it all, all a mockery? I am weary trying to find out. And you say I loved you; I loved my father's friend. ...
— The Works of Robert Louis Stevenson, Volume XXI • Robert Louis Stevenson

... escaped to Holland, where he died at the age of sixty-two. What he lacked was human sympathies, which are the beginning of wisdom; and this deficiency it was, no doubt, that led him into the otherwise incomprehensible folly of ...
— The History of the United States from 1492 to 1910, Volume 1 • Julian Hawthorne

... of my little world for the past week; that in days to come, should it prove that I have been following "cunningly devised fables," I may beware of such entanglements again; and that if they be found a guidance from above, their contemptibleness and seeming folly may be shown to be in wisdom. I have, from my childhood, delighted in poetry: if lonely, it was my companion; if sad, my comfort; if glad, it gave a voice to my joy. Of late, I have enjoyed writing pieces of a religious nature, ...
— A Brief Memoir with Portions of the Diary, Letters, and Other Remains, - of Eliza Southall, Late of Birmingham, England • Eliza Southall

... entirely in their own hands, it is most probable that they will defend their own interests. We shall not, like many who have spoken of Rousseau, steal from him after having abused him. His remarks upon the absurd and tyrannical restraints which are continually imposed upon children by the folly of nurses and servants, or by the imprudent anxiety of parents and preceptors, are excellent. Whenever Rousseau is in the right, his eloquence ...
— Practical Education, Volume I • Maria Edgeworth

... cursed his folly, and knew the track to be the fancy of his brain; and late that night he dragged himself into the cabin on hands and knees, his cheeks frozen and a strange numbness about his feet. Weatherbee grinned malevolently, ...
— The Son of the Wolf • Jack London

... her eyes. "How frightfully blind I was!" she said to herself. But there was no help for it: the thing was done, and could not be undone. She had grown in wisdom since then, but most people reach wisdom through ignorance and folly. ...
— Lippincott's Magazine of Popular Literature and Science, Vol. 17, - No. 97, January, 1876 • Various

... pensive distichs, telling of the wanton doings of Amor amid the grandeur that was Rome, were a little shocking in their frank portraiture of the emancipated flesh. The outbreak of violence in France seemed to him nothing but madness and folly, since he did not see the real Revolution, but only ...
— The German Classics of The Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries, • Editor-in-Chief: Kuno Francke

... injustice; one man's beauty another's ugliness; one man's wisdom another's folly; as one beholds the same objects from a higher point of view. One man thinks justice consists in paying debts, and has no measure in his abhorrence of another who is very remiss in this duty and makes the creditor wait tediously. ...
— Essays • Ralph Waldo Emerson

... would serve them as an instrument, and by the management of the Press, but any little public reputation which he might once have acquired has been entirely dissipated and destroyed by the continued folly of his conduct in his Canadian Government. There is no party in the State to which your Majesty can now resort, except that great party which calls itself Conservative, and of that party, his rank, station, reputation, ...
— The Letters of Queen Victoria, Volume 1 (of 3), 1837-1843) • Queen Victoria

... Ethelberta; her voice trembled, she moved her lips but uttered nothing. To bring the story up to the date of that very evening had been her intent, but it was beyond her power. The spell was broken; she blushed with distress and turned away, for the folly of a disclosure ...
— The Hand of Ethelberta • Thomas Hardy

... exceed, but 'tis very little and but rarely that they differ. I live from hand to mouth, and content myself in having sufficient for my present and ordinary expense; for as to extraordinary occasions, all the laying up in the world would never suffice. And 'tis the greatest folly imaginable to expect that fortune should ever sufficiently arm us against herself; 'tis with our own arms that we are to fight her; accidental ones will betray us in the pinch of the business. If I lay up, 'tis for some near ...
— The Essays of Montaigne, Complete • Michel de Montaigne

... there was later no withdrawal of former appreciation. Indeed, Goethe's significant words already quoted came from the last years of his life, when the new century had learned to smile almost incredulously at the relation of a bygone folly. ...
— Laurence Sterne in Germany • Harvey Waterman Thayer

... theatre's pit, they will, at the slightest alarm of fire, rush helter-skelter for the outlets, crowding, trampling, jamming, and remorselessly dashing each other to death. Best, therefore, withhold any amazement at the strangely gallied whales before us, for there is no folly of the beasts of the earth which is not infinitely outdone by the ...
— Moby Dick; or The Whale • Herman Melville

... called out Wildrake, who had enough of sense left to perceive the folly and danger ...
— False Friends, and The Sailor's Resolve • Unknown

... glanced significantly at a person who stood before several heaps of gold, ranged upon a table in the recess of the room. "See," he whispered, "yonder is the goldsmith, who hath brought me a loan from himself and his fellows! Pretty tales for the city thy folly ...
— The Last Of The Barons, Complete • Edward Bulwer-Lytton

... after them long trains of circumstances," said John "and that shows the folly of those people who think that God does not stoop to concern himself about trifles; life, and much more than life, may hang upon the turn of a hand. But, Ellen, you must ride no more alone. Promise ...
— The Wide, Wide World • Elizabeth Wetherell

... all the family. My brothers, and sisters, and cousins, understanding the bargain I had made, told me I had given four times as much for it as it was worth; put me in mind what good things I might have bought with the rest of the money; and laughed at me so much for my folly, that I cried with vexation; and the reflection gave me more chagrin than the whistle ...
— The Ontario Readers - Third Book • Ontario Ministry of Education

... suffered thus by her father's contrivance, speak very absurdly, of whom Antigonus is one. And Simylus, the poet, who thinks Tarpeia betrayed the Capitol, not to the Sabines, but the Gauls, having fallen in love with their king, talks mere folly, saying thus:— ...
— Plutarch's Lives • A.H. Clough

... by strangers as to their treatment, cannot fail to strike every accurate observer. The following remarks of CHIEF JUSTICE HENDERSON, a North Carolina slaveholder, in his decision (in 1830,) in the case of the State versus Charity, 2 Devereaux's North Carolina Reports, 513, illustrate the folly of arguing the good treatment of slaves from their own declarations, while in the power of their masters. In the case above cited, the Chief Justice, in refusing to permit a master to give in evidence, declarations ...
— The Anti-Slavery Examiner, Omnibus • American Anti-Slavery Society

... this, Humpy," replied Mike Delaney. "Folly me an' we'll rach Honnewell afore enny ...
— The Boy Land Boomer - Dick Arbuckle's Adventures in Oklahoma • Ralph Bonehill

... Smith O'Brien and his compeers were rampant; and Ireland, stained with blood, blackened with pestilence, exhausted by famine, raged with impotent fury against the imperial government and Great Britain: in all the folly of domestic faction, she was pitied and scorned by Great Britain when she supposed herself feared. There were no men amongst the leaders of the disaffected in Ireland to command the respect of England, in that sense which a dominant ...
— The History of England in Three Volumes, Vol.III. - From George III. to Victoria • E. Farr and E. H. Nolan

... his commands can be executed, a thunderbolt strikes it and crumbles it into a heap of shapeless stones. While Abraham exults over the destruction, the dispersion of the three races, the Shemites, Hamites, and Japthides, occurs. Nimrod laments over the result of his folly, and at last acknowledges the authority of the Divine Power, and thus ...
— The Standard Oratorios - Their Stories, Their Music, And Their Composers • George P. Upton

... arrow with a subtle, lingering poison. The disappointment of a youthful passion has effects as incalculable as those of small-pox which may make one person plain and a genius, another less plain and more foolish, another plain without detriment to his folly, and leave perhaps the majority without obvious change. Everything depends—not on the mere fact of disappointment, but—on the nature affected and the force that stirs it. In Rex's well-endowed nature, brief as the hope had been, the passionate stirring ...
— Daniel Deronda • George Eliot

... rather a piece of folly on my part," he said. "You know a man gets foolish at times, ...
— Frank Merriwell's Son - A Chip Off the Old Block • Burt L. Standish

... imaginative than the lowest animals, he is for that very reason capable of being infinitely more foolish, more cowardly, more superstitious. He can—what the lower animals, happily for them, cannot—organise his folly; erect his superstitions into a science; and create a whole mythology out of his blind fear of the unknown. And when he has done that—Woe to the weak! For when he has reduced his superstition to a science, then he will reduce his cruelty to a science likewise, and write books like the ...
— Scientific Essays and Lectures • Charles Kingsley

... Albany, and I lose my ship and all my crew. I would have lost my own life, too, if it had not been for you. It was never intended by the fates that I should have been successful in my attempts on you. The first time should have been enough. That was a warning. Well, I've paid the price of my folly. ...
— The Sun Of Quebec - A Story of a Great Crisis • Joseph A. Altsheler

... gold and silver, we make our treasure of accord and peace, and for to love every man other. And for to apparel with our bodies we use a silly little clout for to wrap in our carrion. Our wives ne be not arrayed for to make no man pleasance, but only convenable array for to eschew folly. When men pain them to array the body for to make it seem fairer than God made it, they do great sin. For man should not devise ne ask greater beauty, than God hath ordained man to be at his birth. The earth ministereth to us two things, - our livelihood, that ...
— The Travels of Sir John Mandeville • Author Unknown

... The palace and its life dwindled to a speck. Far away to the north he could discern the white summits of the mountains that cradle the blue lake of Garda, while at his feet the Mincio flowed peacefully toward the Adriatic, where a good ship (on which, but for his folly in pausing at Mantua, he might on the morrow be voyaging homeward) was impatiently tugging at her moorings. Fool that he was, he had made his bed and must lie on it. It was a very uncomfortable bed at the present moment, for he could neither stretch himself ...
— Romance of Roman Villas - (The Renaissance) • Elizabeth W. (Elizbeth Williams) Champney

... You couldn't keep from it if you tried!" And he took himself off, laughing violently, again promising to call for Crailey on his way to the tryst, and leaving him still warmly protesting that it would be a great folly for either of them ...
— The Two Vanrevels • Booth Tarkington

... current, and leaving society to settle for itself its code of laws and customs. If we don't like these laws and customs, we are free to drift out of the current. But to set ourselves against them is a weakness and a folly." ...
— Danger - or Wounded in the House of a Friend • T. S. Arthur

... favour that he was so guiltless in the past, and now Corey asked himself if it were the first time he could have wished a guest at his father's table to have taken less wine; whether Lapham was not rather to be honoured for not knowing how to contain his folly where a veteran transgressor might have held his tongue. He asked himself, with a thrill of sudden remorse, whether, when Lapham humbled himself in the dust so shockingly, he had shown him the sympathy to which such ABANDON had the right; and he had to own that he had met him on the gentlemanly ...
— Henry James, Jr. • William Dean Howells

... you please. You shall commit what folly you like in respect to the business in hand, but I have no time or taste for a drunken brawl. You may call upon me in the morning. You will forgive me if I suggest that you are not quite fit for business at present. I have the honour to ...
— The Romance Of Giovanni Calvotti - From Coals Of Fire And Other Stories, Volume II. (of III.) • David Christie Murray

... the horse never to tell," she would say, putting her finger to her red lips. And I have never been able to decide whether she was concealing, playfully, some little folly or awkwardness of her own, or, behind her light manner, some ...
— The Blue Wall - A Story of Strangeness and Struggle • Richard Washburn Child

... Fernan and Marilda are the best of nurses and helpers, and I mourn for the folly that chaffed about them and boredom. Tell Emmie so. Fernan has made this place a little oasis round my father's grave, and his parson, who has a mission among the remains of the Sioux, is with me every other day, and does all that Clement could desire for me. So do-do believe that it ...
— The Long Vacation • Charlotte M. Yonge

... the folly of this Iland, they say there's but fiue vpon this Isle; we are three of them, if th' other two be brain'd like vs, ...
— The First Folio [35 Plays] • William Shakespeare

... with a tolerant smile, "do you not know that you are walking on the way of danger and death? Why would you have me share your folly? It were a thousand times better for you to join me at once on a path that leads to everlasting happiness. Here you can drink the water of life in abundance, and feed upon angels' food. O, come, Mr. World," she added as she spoke more earnestly, "linger no ...
— Mr. World and Miss Church-Member • W. S. Harris

... would otherwise have possessed. There was loss, there was discredit, in having recourse to such characters, when honest wants could be fairly supplied by upright men, and on liberal terms. Such reptiles have been confined in Scotland to batten upon their proper prey of folly, and feast, like worms, on the corruption ...
— Political Pamphlets • George Saintsbury

... sense and judgment, and he knew that it would be the height of folly for him and Baptiste, mere boys, to try and reach either Bent's Fort or the Missouri River, not having the slightest knowledge of where they ...
— The Old Santa Fe Trail - The Story of a Great Highway • Henry Inman

... scrapes; now he regarded him with a liking that was close to worship. The captain was so jolly and outspoken; so brave and independent—witness his crossing of the great Atkins in the matter of the downstairs teacher. That was a reckless piece of folly which would, doubtless, be rewarded after its kind, but Bailey, though he professed to condemn it, secretly wished he had the pluck to dare such things. As it was, he ...
— Cy Whittaker's Place • Joseph C. Lincoln

... of the North to try again, was far greater and more humiliating. Little wonder that he was oppressed and silent and moody. Yet he ruled his own spirit in accordance with the habit of his life. No folly or disappointment provoked him to utter an oath. General Horace Porter, of his staff, a member of his intimate military family, says that the strongest expression of vexation that ever escaped his lips was: "Confound it!" He alone had the genius to be master of the situation at all times, and ...
— Ulysses S. Grant • Walter Allen

... equity of the Prince comes to be truly understood by the People, the Authority of the Faction is extinguish'd; and the well meaning crowd who are misled, will no longer gape after the specious names of Religion and Liberty; much like the folly of the Jews, expecting a Messiah still to come, whose History has been written ...
— His Majesties Declaration Defended • John Dryden

... not be there! Old Costobarus is not so mired in folly as to send his daughter into the Pit to provide you with ...
— The City of Delight - A Love Drama of the Siege and Fall of Jerusalem • Elizabeth Miller

... qualifications thus disposed of (vide first part of notice), 'An Outcast of the Islands' is perhaps the finest piece of fiction that has been published this year, as 'Almayer's Folly' was one of the finest that was published in 1895.... Surely this is real romance—the romance that is real. Space forbids anything but the merest recapitulation of the other living realities of Mr. Conrad's invention—of Lingard, of ...
— Wild Nature Won By Kindness • Elizabeth Brightwen

... it that you, who are De Guiche's intimate friend, and who know that he is subject to such acts of folly, did not ...
— Louise de la Valliere • Alexandre Dumas, Pere

... effort made in our country about this time to exclude the Chinese. I opposed this legislation with all the voice and ability I had, because I felt not merely the injustice of such contradiction of all our national institutions, but I saw its political folly. I saw that the nation that would be the most friendly to China, and could get on the inside track of her commerce, would be the first nation of the world. The legislature seemed particularly angry with the Chinese immigrants in this country because they would not allow themselves to be buried here. ...
— T. De Witt Talmage - As I Knew Him • T. De Witt Talmage

... towards the village. The gypsy followed him at once, feeling that his only chance lay in capturing the boy; but so artfully did Billy hang back and allow his pursuer to come close up, that he had almost succeeded in enticing him into the village, when the man became suddenly aware of his folly, and stopped. ...
— Freaks on the Fells - Three Months' Rustication • R.M. Ballantyne

... ordered it to be filled with splendidly bound volumes at so much per volume. And it is an authentic fact, that a bookseller to the Czar of Russia one Klostermann, actually sold books at fifty to one hundred roubles by the yard, according to the binding. The force of folly could no farther go, to debase the aims and degrade the intellect ...
— A Book for All Readers • Ainsworth Rand Spofford

... only will I observe,—that the truest expedience is to answer right out, when you are asked; that the wisest economy is to have no management; that the best prudence is not to be a coward; that the most damaging folly is to be found out shuffling; and that the first of virtues is to "tell truth, and ...
— Apologia Pro Vita Sua • John Henry Cardinal Newman

... some guardian devil to choose for us an act of folly, he could not have chosen better than I. It is possible that the cattle would have taken the line of the leaders against the current if we had kept out of the river, but when they saw our horses they became bewildered, lost ...
— Dwellers in the Hills • Melville Davisson Post

... the lictor and said: This folly is madness; take her hand, put incense in it, and ...
— Callista • John Henry Cardinal Newman

... been quite as critical as they are now, and quite as unreasonable. Suppose a man should visit his pear-trees in midsummer, and on tasting the fruit upon them, should condemn them and order them to be cut down and removed—how should we characterize his folly? He has criticized half-finished fruit, and made a fatal mistake. It is just as unreasonable to condemn a half-finished world as a half-finished pear. Human society must be brought to perfection by ...
— Lessons in Life - A Series of Familiar Essays • Timothy Titcomb

... Corinth says: "Finally, brethren, farewell. Be perfect, be of good comfort, be of one mind, live in peace; and the God of love and peace shall be with you." Surely every one must concede that there is a perfection to which Christians can attain. When Christians are exhorted to be perfect is it not folly to say, "They can not be perfect"? Could we not with equal propriety say, "We can not be of good comfort"? "We can not live in peace"? "The God of love and peace will ...
— The Gospel Day • Charles Ebert Orr

... the shameful system, degrading alike to employer and employed, grows by what it feeds on, and hangs over the East End, a pall blacker and fouler than the cloud of smoke and soot, also the result of man's folly, not to be lifted till human eyes see clearer what makes life worth living, and human hands are less weary with labor that profiteth not, but that ...
— Prisoners of Poverty Abroad • Helen Campbell

... anger had burned itself out, and had left in its place the ashes of despondency and despair. Yet, even in that hour of depression and self-accusation, he did not dream of the far-reaching consequences of this one unpremeditated act of inexcusable folly of which he had just been guilty. He bent down and gathered some wet snow into his hands and bathed his face, and sopped it half dry with his handkerchief, already soaked. Then, not caring, in his condition, to show himself on the main street of the village, he crossed over to the lane that skirted ...
— The Flag • Homer Greene

... which he intended for his wife had reached Countess Cordula. He suspected the truth, but felt no desire to have it confirmed. Fate meant to destroy him, he had learned that. The means employed mattered little. It would have been folly to strive against the superior power of such an adversary. Let ruin pursue its course. His sole wish was to forget his misery, though but for a brief time. He knew he could accomplish this by drink, so he entered the Mirror wine tavern and drained ...
— Uarda • Georg Ebers

... Ghibelline poet" is one of Dante's received synonymes; of his strong political opinions, and the importance he attached to them, there can be no doubt. And he meant his poem to be the vehicle of them, and the record to all ages of the folly and selfishness with which he saw men governed. That he should take the deepest interest in the goings-on of his time is part of his greatness; to suppose that he stopped at them, or that he subordinated to political objects or feelings all the other ...
— The Great Events by Famous Historians, Volume 07 • Various

... a cardinal in formulating his rules; but the Saint declared that God had willed that he should "appear as a new sort of madman in the world," arresting the attention of the people and bringing them to reflect, without qualification, upon "the folly of the cross," and that he alone must direct the manner in which this was to ...
— Great Men and Famous Women. Vol. 5 of 8 • Various

... near the Park, was starting for his home on the south side of the river. Occasionally some smart man came from St. James's Street to bury himself in his flat in Queen Anne's Mansions. A belated Tommy Atkins crossed the bridge to make for the St. James's Barracks. One or two of the daughters of folly went loungingly by—wandering, not altogether purposeless, among the open roads of the Park. None of all these had taken any notice ...
— The Dictator • Justin McCarthy

... many days of intemperance, being come a little to his senses, he began to reason with himself upon his folly—surrounded with blessings, yet abusing the whole—and in an angry, passionate manner, he muttered, "O, it's no use for me to repent; my sins are too great to be forgiven." He had no sooner uttered these words, than a voice seemed to say, with strong emphasis, "If thou ...
— Select Temperance Tracts • American Tract Society

... said before, you're a very foolish woman; and you'll soon find it out. I shall have to go and leave you to the consequences of your folly. I'm sure I don't know what Herbert will say when he finds out how you've scorned his kindness. It isn't every brother-in-law would offer—yes, offer, Julia, for I never even suggested it—to take on extra expense ...
— Cloudy Jewel • Grace Livingston Hill

... fifteen to fifty, and in his youth he appears to have paid attention to Latin poetry. His verses to his brother, in the glyconic measure, written when he was seventeen, are remarkably easy and elegant. Some of his other odes are deformed by the Pindaric folly then prevailing, and are written with such neglect of all metrical rules as is without example among the ancients; but his diction, though perhaps not always exactly pure, has such copiousness and splendour as shows that ...
— Lives of the Poets: Gay, Thomson, Young, and Others • Samuel Johnson

... such folly, at least from my face, I lifted the trap-door and descended the steep ladder ...
— Henry Brocken - His Travels and Adventures in the Rich, Strange, Scarce-Imaginable Regions of Romance • Walter J. de la Mare

... greater thing than a rare edition. I did not go to bed at all that night, but sat by my fire or paced about the room till dawn, when I set out for Minstercombe, and reached it in time for the morning coach to London. The whole affair was a folly, and I said to-myself that I deserved to suffer. Before I left, I told Styles, and begged him to keep an eye on the mare, and, if ever he learned that her owner wanted to part with her, to come off at once ...
— Wilfrid Cumbermede • George MacDonald

... indeed, would have used no other word to describe the ill under which he suffered. Looking back on that strange episode of his life which began with his introduction to Mrs. Toplady and ended in the park at Rivenoak, he was stung almost beyond endurance by a sense of ignominious folly. On his lonely walks, and in the silence of sleepless nights, he often gesticulated and groaned like a man in pain. His nerves became so shaken that at times he could hardly raise a glass or cup to his lips without spilling the contents. Poverty and loneliness he had known, and had ...
— Our Friend the Charlatan • George Gissing

... be fool enough to tell her that he had not sent her letter. He knew that most wrongdoing works, on the whole, less mischief than its useless confession; and this was clearly a case where a passing folly might be turned, by ...
— The Reef • Edith Wharton

... you are tired. It takes some time to get the New York pace, but you'll strike it. I think I'll stay to see the next Folly with Mr. Farraday," he heard the Violet saying to Miss Adair, and still short-circuited, he went with his calm young author down to the car. The hour was one-thirty, and a moon had climbed the heights of the Broadway canon. Valentine, with some sort of psychic direction, went ...
— Blue-grass and Broadway • Maria Thompson Daviess

... together the whole nobility of the kingdom, and advanced against Henry, who, like Edward III., had been obliged to leave Normandy and march towards Calais in search of supplies. The armies met at Agincourt, where, though the French greatly outnumbered the English, the skill of Henry and the folly and confusion of the dauphin's army led to a total defeat, and the captivity of half the chief men in France of the Armagnac party—among them the young Duke of Orleans. It was Henry V.'s policy to treat France, not as a conquest, but as ...
— History of France • Charlotte M. Yonge

... being so fair and loving him so well, you can teach him to forget his folly and to escape with you. In four days' time we must start for the king's kraal, and if you win over Nahoon, it will be easy for us to turn our faces southwards and across the river that lies between the land of the Amazulu ...
— Black Heart and White Heart • H. Rider Haggard

... clouds of winged ants that issue in the springtime from their breeding-places; and, flying from body to body, filled the race of men in all places with corruption and decay; and the Mother of men was thus avenged of her children for their pride and folly, for they perished miserably, devoured ...
— A Crystal Age • W. H. Hudson

... to the morning service, as usual, and heard the children's sermon, delivered by Dr. Newton; and those who did not, and who afterward had the misfortune to fall in with those who did, bemoaned their folly in not doing likewise. On the whole, the children, and those who had brains enough to become children for the time being, were the only comfortable ones ...
— Four Girls at Chautauqua • Pansy

... defence of that fortress against which their zeal and talents had been levelled. The management of a mighty kingdom was consigned into the hands of a motley administration—ministers without knowledge, and men without integrity, whose councils were timid, weak, and wavering; whose folly and extravagance exposed the nation to ridicule and contempt; by whose ignorance and presumption it was reduced to the verge of ruin. The kingdom was engaged in a quarrel truly national, and commenced a necessary war on national principles: but that war was starved; and the chief strength ...
— The History of England in Three Volumes, Vol.II. - From William and Mary to George II. • Tobias Smollett

... pocket, was commonly printed in small 18mo, a form at that time scarce. It would not have been seemly for a judge in difficulties to open a folio on the table before his audience. But his handbook of folly he might easily squint at from the corner of his eye, or turn over its leaves as he held it ...
— La Sorciere: The Witch of the Middle Ages • Jules Michelet

... be folly to go deeper into this bog, or swamp," said Dick. "I vote we keep to the ...
— The Rover Boys on the Plains - The Mystery of Red Rock Ranch • Arthur Winfield

... course a mistake, and has been disproved. I was pointing out to Bates here the folly of an obstinate persistence in such an idea, when you entered." Then turning once more to the constable, "Come, my man, you see now that you are ...
— The Weathercock - Being the Adventures of a Boy with a Bias • George Manville Fenn

... how a man ever makes up his mind to marry; nor how a woman, after she has reached an age when she knows what she is doing, can commit that folly." ...
— Serge Panine • Georges Ohnet

... easy task for one who has given honest study to the question," said Mr. Wine Expert. "Wine is a mocker. Just as wisdom mocks at the calamity of those who reject it in Prov. 1:26. So, wine, personified in a similar manner, mocks at the folly of those who refuse it. (Applause.) Strong drink is raging. Just as in Jonah 1:15, the sea was raging in protest against Jonah because he refused to preach the truth to the people. So in this passage, 'strong drink ...
— Mr. World and Miss Church-Member • W. S. Harris

... of his shares at two and seven-eights, and still held them, notwithstanding the rumors of disaster in the air. With a folly that would be incredible were it not one of the most common things in amateur stock transactions, the artist had by this time put the bulk of his little fortune into this wild-cat stock, which he now held with a desperate determination ...
— The Philistines • Arlo Bates

... "Oh, no, that's not folly. You'll be fond of me just as long as I'm nice to look at; as long as it doesn't bore you to talk to me; as long as I don't give you ...
— The Immortal Moment - The Story of Kitty Tailleur • May Sinclair

... would kill himself if he heard of his son duping the highest circles of Versailles. Poor man, he was the least of the very least when I knew him first—a private in my corps. I made him keeper of the canteen. How can the son of such a one be more than a 'pea-soup.' What insolence and folly! He shall learn that this kind of rascality is not permitted by the nobles of France. ...
— The False Chevalier - or, The Lifeguard of Marie Antoinette • William Douw Lighthall

... knowledge, like the thirst for wealth, increases by acquisition, but as Bishop Lee has told us, "Knowledge without common sense is folly; without method it is waste; without kindness it is fanaticism; without religion it is death." But, Dean Farrar added: "With common sense, it is wisdom; with method it is power; with charity beneficence; with religion it is virtue, life, ...
— Common Sense - - Subtitle: How To Exercise It • Yoritomo-Tashi

... me blush; but if you ever were a lover, sir, you will forgive a folly, which is sweet, though, I confess, ...
— The Works of John Dryden, Volume 5 (of 18) - Amboyna; The state of Innocence; Aureng-Zebe; All for Love • John Dryden

... wretched condition, with few scholars, and their endowments shamefully abused. The Law of 1662, says Montmorency, "involved such a peering into the lives of schoolmasters, such a course of inquisitorial folly, that the position became intolerable. Men would not become schoolmasters.... Education had no meaning when none but political and religious hypocrites were allowed to teach.... National education was destroyed." and ...
— THE HISTORY OF EDUCATION • ELLWOOD P. CUBBERLEY

... piliers, built by Francis I, facing the Rue de la Tonnellerie. Paul Niquet's, with its "bowel-twisting brandy" and its crew of drunken ragpickers, was certainly before my time; but I can readily recall Baratte's and Bordier's and all the folly and prodigality which raged there; I knew, too, several of the noted thieves' haunts which took the place of Niquet's, and which one was careful never to enter without due precaution. And then, when the German armies were beleaguering Paris, and two millions of people were shut ...
— The Fat and the Thin • Emile Zola

... woman is in the depths of despair because a dress does not fit, I should not help her by telling her the truth about her character, and lecturing her upon her folly in wasting grief upon trifles, when there are so many serious troubles in the world. From her point of view, the fact that her dress does not fit is a grief. But if I keep quiet, and let her see that I understand her disappointment, and at the same time hold my own standard, she will ...
— The Freedom of Life • Annie Payson Call

... of higher education or industrial training is one that depends entirely upon the individual; and there should be no limit placed upon the individual's right of development. I think it a great folly to educate a colored man beyond his capacity; I think it an equally great folly to so ...
— Twentieth Century Negro Literature - Or, A Cyclopedia of Thought on the Vital Topics Relating - to the American Negro • Various

... unfavorable aspects. Chances are averaged and added algebraically to the profit or loss in an industry, for an extra-hazardous enterprise must in general afford a higher average of profit in order to induce men to engage in it. It is folly to take a risk without ascertaining its degree so far as general experience enables one to choose. But inasmuch and in so far as the gains and losses fall unequally upon different ...
— Modern Economic Problems - Economics Vol. II • Frank Albert Fetter

... been doing; the frightful fate you have been preparing for an innocent and trusting girl; the depth of the villainy you are aiding and abetting. You have been acting, as I say, in ignorance, without realising the awful consequences of your folly and duplicity. But that you should have chosen this sacred place for such illicit and reprehensible behaviour; that by the grave of this worthy man who loved you, by the stones chosen and paid ...
— The Light of Scarthey • Egerton Castle

... she had ever been so foolish as at first to try to avoid all meetings with him, and then, later on, had determined that although she could not help loving him, he should never know it! Such folly on her part was quite inexplicable. Since love is right, and is the fate of all, what good could be gained by making martyrs of ...
— The Dream • Emile Zola

... them—("To-morrow, if it pleases you!" said Melrose, jovially)—passing on to the general circumstances of the estates, and the nature of the pending litigations. The questions were put with considerable tact, but were none the less shrewd. Melrose's strange character with its mixture of sagacity, folly, and violence, had never been more acutely ...
— The Mating of Lydia • Mrs. Humphry Ward

... would to the problem his father's letter had set before his mind, his nerves at least accepted it, and he had a settled consciousness that he was not alone. He fought against this as a mere superstitious folly. He was often angry with himself for ever stooping to discuss it in his own mind. He had long ago resolved that the man dies as the beast dies, and that there is no more a bourne of new life for the one than for the other. And now all manner of doubts began to pester him. ...
— Despair's Last Journey • David Christie Murray

... goodness was great to our family, when it gave thee to it. No wonder," continued she, "as my brother says, every body that sees you, and has heard your character, loves you. And this is some excuse for the inconsiderate folly even of this unknown transcriber."—"Ah! Madam," replied I, "but is it not a sad thing, that people, if they must take upon them to like one's behaviour in general, should have the worst, instead of the best thoughts upon it? If I were ...
— Pamela (Vol. II.) • Samuel Richardson

... mean by this nonsense. I have offered you more than your share of your rightful inheritance, as you see fit to call it. If you choose to return my kindness with ingratitude, I can only leave you to the consequences of your own folly." ...
— Mark Mason's Victory • Horatio Alger

... presented as discoveries! They were true, at least, as far back as the Greeks. In fact, there is nothing in the so-called woman's movement, which in its essence did not exist then. The stream of human aspirations, with its stretches of wisdom and of folly, has flowed steadily through the ages, and on its troubled surface men and women have always struggled together as they are struggling to-day. These little comments simply seem to the writer worth making because for the moment ...
— The Business of Being a Woman • Ida M. Tarbell

... realised that Maurice O'Donnell loved her, he cursed his own folly that he had dared to think of winning her. What girl with eyes in her head would take him, gray and square-jawed, before the gallant-looking fellow who was the ideal patriot. And Ellen—Ellen, of all women ...
— An Isle in the Water • Katharine Tynan

... better and infinitely more important which he cannot do at all, is not a point to be considered; the baseless basis of the whole silly controversy being the exquisite assumption, to which the women's party have the folly to assent, that only the things which are common in some degree to both sexes shall be taken into account, and those peculiar ...
— Woman and Womanhood - A Search for Principles • C. W. Saleeby

... with it—Sybil. After all, why should he arrogate to himself judgment? The sins of his father were not his concern. It was chiefly he who suffered by his present attitude, yet he had chosen it deliberately. He could not draw back. He had cut himself off from her world—he saw now the folly of his ever for a moment having been drawn into it. It must be a ...
— A Prince of Sinners • E. Phillips Oppenheim

... horse to a similar pace, only maintaining a fast steady gallop that kept the other in sight though the space between again widened. Apparently Sorenson realized the folly of attempting to outrun, his pursuer at once, for he soon dropped back into a regular, mile-eating gallop. Gradually in turn Weir crept up ...
— In the Shadow of the Hills • George C. Shedd

... low now that we try to act our exaggerations, and to live up to our lies. We call it "keeping up appearances;" and no more bitter phrase could, perhaps, have been invented to describe our childish folly. ...
— Clocks - From a volume entitled "Idle Thoughts of an Idle Fellow" • Jerome K. Jerome

... organization; but the life, the spirit which made that flesh a deer, in obedience to which that shell of external appearance is moulded,—you missed that. You can trace the body in its metamorphoses; but for this impalpable, active, and only real part of the being,—it were folly to suppose it more perishable, more evanescent, than the matter of which it was master. And why should not you, as well as the deer, go back into the great Life from which you came? As to a purpose in creation, why should there be any other than that which existence ...
— The Atlantic Monthly , Volume 2, No. 14, December 1858 • Various

... mere folly!" the elder sister said, petulantly; as she rose and proceeded to put straight a few of the things about the room. "I had hoped better things of you, Carry. I tell you of an important step I have taken in my life, ...
— Macleod of Dare • William Black

... world" following the war perhaps will witness an Avatara—the coming of a World-Teacher who will rebuild on the one broad and ancient foundation that temple of Truth which the folly and ignorance of man is ever tearing down. A material counterpart of that temple will in that case afterward arise. Thus will be born the architecture of the future; and the ornament of that architecture will tell, in a new set of symbols, ...
— Architecture and Democracy • Claude Fayette Bragdon

... exactly what asceticism thinks; and it voluntarily takes the initiation. Life is neither farce nor genteel comedy, it says, but something we must sit at in mourning garments, hoping its bitter taste will purge us of our folly. The wild and the heroic are indeed such rooted parts of it that healthy-mindedness pure and simple, with its sentimental optimism, can hardly be regarded by any thinking man as a serious solution. Phrases of neatness, cosiness, and comfort ...
— The Varieties of Religious Experience • William James

... once, love ever; and I suppose it was the same with Val, in spite of his folly. I should have taken out my revenge by marrying the first eligible man that offered himself. Talking of that—is poor ...
— Elster's Folly • Mrs. Henry Wood

... plentiful supply of exquisite produce than enforced by the introduction of burning and bayonets. The consequences of the strong measures of the Government were universal discontent and partial rebellion. The Islanders, foolishly ascribing the miseries which they endured, not so much to the folly of the Government as to the particular fruit through which the dissensions had originated, began to entertain a disgust for pine-apples altogether, and to sicken at the very mention of that production which had once occasioned them so much pleasure, and which had once ...
— The Voyage of Captain Popanilla • Benjamin Disraeli

... fellow-pedestrians soon left her alone. For Sally, each of them was practice. To mention them to Toby would have been to give them all too great importance. And he might have made a fuss, and unnecessarily interrupted her fun. "Where ignorance is bliss," thought Sally, "'tis folly to call out the guard." And, further, "Let sleeping dogs lie until the milk is stolen." And so Toby pursued his own path, and never knew a tenth of what went on in Sally's life and mind. Compared with Sally, he knew nothing at all. She grew each day more rusee, more cunning in knowledge ...
— Coquette • Frank Swinnerton

... dissembling his emotion, he appeared to reflect a moment, and took up mechanically one of the new, fresh-cut books, by which Adrienne was surrounded. After casting a careless glance at this volume, he continued, still dissembling his feelings: "Come, my dear madcap: this is another folly. Suppose I were twenty years old, and that you did me the honor to marry me—you would be called Lady de Montbron, ...
— The Wandering Jew, Complete • Eugene Sue

... means approve of those turbulent and unquiet humors, who being neither call'd by birth or fortune to the managing of publique affairs, yet are alwayes forming in Idea, some new Reformation. And did I think there were the least thing in this Discourse, which might render me suspected of that folly, I should be extremely sorry to suffer it to be published; I never had any designe which intended farther then to reform my own thoughts and to build on a foundation which was wholly mine. But though I present you here with a Modell of my work, because it ...
— A Discourse of a Method for the Well Guiding of Reason - and the Discovery of Truth in the Sciences • Rene Descartes



Words linked to "Folly" :   caper, fatuity, asininity, foolishness, meshugaas, foolery, frolic, absurdity, unwiseness, tomfoolery, imbecility, fault, play, lunacy, craziness, wisdom, clowning, indulgence, betise, silliness, injudiciousness, fatuousness, gambol, madness, prank, stupidity



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