Wednesday, April 01, 2020

'A Speck of the Motley'

“And take my word for this, reader, and say a fool told it you, if you please, that he who hath not a dram of folly in his mixture, hath pounds of much worse matter in his composition.”

April Fools’ Day is the most democratic of holidays, the one most deserving of observance. It celebrates us. We are born into eligibility. The man who claims immunity from foolishness is – here it comes – a fool. Read “Gimpel the Fool.” Read “I’m a Fool” and “The Triple Fool.” Consult social media. Read King Lear. Shakespeare uses fool 400 times; fools, 108; foolish, 95. Hermione says in The Winter’s Tale: “Do not weep, good fools; / There is no cause.” The Urtext is cited above – Charles Lamb’s “All Fools’ Day,” one of his Essays of Elia. He is the most gracious of fools:

“Many happy returns of this day to you -- and you --and you, Sir -- nay, never frown, man, nor put a long face upon the matter. Do not we know one another? what need of ceremony among friends? we have all a touch of that same -- you understand me -- a speck of the motley.”


Tim Guirl said...

The word'fool' and its variants appear almost 200 times in the book of Proverbs.

Baceseras said...

Now where did I first hear of an inn called "The Three Fools," with its painted sign out front, and the viewer of it wonders why the picture shows only two fools coming forward to greet him?