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But as for countless numbers that refuse 'em,
THE POET'S CHORUS TO FOOLS.
Ridentem dicere verum Quid vetat ? * And doubtless will repay their neglect as Jaques did the moralizing of the fool, who saith,
When I did hear
THE AUTHOR A FOOL.
A fool, a fool! I met a fool i'the forest; .
As I've judg’d others, by that very rule,
* Heyday! What have we here? A very pretty confession, indeed! So, after all, I have only been annotating the sec. tions of a fool: a glorious recompense, truly for all my toil. Yet, soft; let us not condemn too rashly: for, perhaps the two next lines may be tantamount to the unsaying what hath been before said: therefore, by your leaves, gentle fools.
For who, that was not oaf, would take such pains,
* Ho! Ho! That's your meaning, is it, Mr. Poet? I now comprehend the text perfectly: ay, and must coincide with you in opinion, by calling you a most consummate fool. Why, as I live, there will not, perhaps, be one zany found, who will think fit to requite the bard, by even honouring his labours with a perusal; or, if any such should appear, what will avail all this exposition of folly, and the advice to fools? Why, it is but scattering chaff before the wind, or strewing pearls in the way of swine; and then, what are to become of all my notes, truly; and who is to repay me for the time I have expended, which might have been so much more profitably employed under the directions of a Minerva? Zounds and death! Why, I shall starve! Pens, ink, and paper too, as I live, all gone to pot! I have no remedy left but to publish, if I can get credit, that is to say. Therefore, imperial fools, noble fools, reverend fools, nay, fools all, do read me: and I was going to promise you a second volume in Praise of Folly; but another and a wiser man hath given it you before me.
THE POET'S CHORUS TO FOOLS. Then trim the boat, row on each Rara Avis, Crowds flock to man my Stultifera Nayis.
Age, bad example given by, 228.
note on, 1-74.
his complaint, 279.
de cælo, 163.