Samuel Butler on Fools and Knaves

 

“There are more fools than knaves in the world, else the knaves would not have enough to live upon.” — Samuel Butler (1612-1680)

Bonus quote from Samuel Wesley with Butler’s epitaph:

“While Butler, needy wretch, was yet alive,
No generous patron would a dinner give;
See him, when starv’d to death, and turn’d to dust,
Presented with a monumental bust.
The poet’s fate is here in emblem shown,
He ask’d for bread, and he received a stone.”

How many fools does one knave need to live on, anyway?

Published in Humor
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  1. Nanda Panjandrum Member
    Nanda Panjandrum
    @

    Welcome back, and Happy Easter Monday, O Furry One!  (Neat resurrection you pulled off there, too.)

    • #1
  2. RightAngles Member
    RightAngles
    @RightAngles

    Great quotes as always! Welcome back.

    • #2
  3. Arahant Member
    Arahant
    @Arahant

    It’s good to be back, ladies.

    • #3
  4. RightAngles Member
    RightAngles
    @RightAngles

    Hmmm, I wonder if P.T. Barnum read Butler.

    • #4
  5. RightAngles Member
    RightAngles
    @RightAngles

    This post is part of our Quote of the Day series. The 24th is still open, and you can participate by signing up here:

    http://ricochet.com/419286/quote-of-the-day-signup-and-schedule-for-april-2017/

    Don’t worry if you miss April, because May will be a new opportunity to dazzle us. Watch the Member Feed for that!

    • #5
  6. MarciN Member
    MarciN
    @MarciN

    Welcome back, Arahant. You have been missed around here. :)

    • #6
  7. Gary McVey Contributor
    Gary McVey
    @GaryMcVey

    Samuel Johnson had some similar acid thoughts about Lord Chesterfield, who did almost nothing for him until Johnson became famous.

    “…Is not a patron, my lord, one who looks with unconcern on a man struggling for life in the water, and when he has reached ground, encumbers him with help? The notice which you have been pleased to take of my labours, had it been early, had been kind: but it has been delayed till I am indifferent and cannot enjoy it; till I am solitary and cannot impart it; till I am known and do not want it.”

    And yes, isn’t it great to have Arahant back? He is one of the Ricochet members who makes everyone else feel smarter and funnier just by his presence.

    • #7
  8. Rick Poach Inactive
    Rick Poach
    @RickPoach

    Arahant: How many fools does one knave need to live on, anyway?

    How Congressional districts are defined.

    Welcome back, A.

    • #8
  9. Judge Mental Member
    Judge Mental
    @JudgeMental

    I’m slightly shocked that you didn’t mention that knave originally just meant a servant.  Did you stop being Arahant while you were gone?

    • #9
  10. Arahant Member
    Arahant
    @Arahant

    Judge Mental (View Comment):
    I’m slightly shocked that you didn’t mention that knave originally just meant a servant. Did you stop being Arahant while you were gone?

    Not at all. Just figured it was more fun to throw in the epitaph instead.

    • #10
  11. Gary McVey Contributor
    Gary McVey
    @GaryMcVey

    Judge Mental (View Comment):
    I’m slightly shocked that you didn’t mention that knave originally just meant a servant. Did you stop being Arahant while you were gone?

    This is actually masking a secret concern of ours, that aliens would kidnap the real Arahant and send us a clever clone after Easter.

    • #11
  12. Rick Poach Inactive
    Rick Poach
    @RickPoach

    Arahant (View Comment):

    Judge Mental (View Comment):
    Did you stop being Arahant while you were gone?

    Not at all.

    But how can we be sure?…

    • #12
  13. Rick Poach Inactive
    Rick Poach
    @RickPoach

    Gary McVey (View Comment):

    Judge Mental (View Comment):
    Did you stop being Arahant while you were gone?

    This is actually masking a secret concern of ours, that aliens would kidnap the real Arahant and send us a clever clone after Easter.

    I see a consensus forming.

    • #13
  14. Boss Mongo Member
    Boss Mongo
    @BossMongo

    Oh.  It’s you.  Again.

    I suppose we shall bear up…

    • #14
  15. Gary McVey Contributor
    Gary McVey
    @GaryMcVey

    Well, you guys can be blase if you like. What about us hardcore Araholics, wandering Ricochet threads, often going hungry and barefoot, begging strangers for news: “Is he coming back? Are you sure?”

    • #15
  16. Julie Snapp Coolidge
    Julie Snapp
    @JulieSnapp

    Arahant: How many fools does one knave need to live on, anyway?

    I think it depends entirely on how much money he can pry from the hands of each fool.

    • #16
  17. Nanda Panjandrum Member
    Nanda Panjandrum
    @

    Julie Snapp (View Comment):

    Arahant: How many fools does one knave need to live on, anyway?

    I think it depends entirely on how much money he can pry from the hands of each fool.

    Especially the ones dressing in motley.

    • #17
  18. Arahant Member
    Arahant
    @Arahant

    Julie Snapp (View Comment):

    Arahant: How many fools does one knave need to live on, anyway?

    I think it depends entirely on how much money he can pry from the hands of each fool.

    True. It is probably easier to find many poor fools than one rich one, though.

    • #18
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