Adventures of Huckleberry Finn
Foolishness and Folly Quotes
How we cite our quotes:
" […] – they bein' partickler friends o' the diseased. That's why they're invited here this evenin'; but tomorrow we want ALL to come – everybody; for he respected everybody, he liked everybody, and so it's fitten that his funeral orgies sh'd be public."
And so he went a-mooning on and on, liking to hear himself talk, and every little while he fetched in his funeral orgies again, till the duke he couldn't stand it no more; so he writes on a little scrap of paper, "OBSEQUIES, you old fool," and folds it up, and goes to goo-gooing and reaching it over people's heads to him. The king he reads it and puts it in his pocket, and says: (25.41, 25. 42)
Despite the intelligence his scheming and plotting may suggest, the king is still foolish in many ways.
Well, how they all took on! They crowded around the doctor and tried to quiet him down, and tried to explain to him and tell him how Harvey 'd showed in forty ways that he WAS Harvey, and knowed everybody by name, and the names of the very dogs, and begged and BEGGED him not to hurt Harvey's feelings and the poor girl's feelings, and all that. But it warn't no use; he stormed right along, and said any man that pretended to be an Englishman and couldn't imitate the lingo no better than what he did was a fraud and a liar. The poor girls was hanging to the king and crying; and all of a sudden the doctor ups and turns on THEM. He says:
"I was your father's friend, and I'm your friend; and I warn you as afriend, and an honest one that wants to protect you and keep you out of harm and trouble, to turn your backs on that scoundrel and have nothing to do with him, the ignorant tramp, with his idiotic Greek and Hebrew, as he calls it. He is the thinnest kind of an impostor – has come here with a lot of empty names and facts which he picked up somewheres, and you take them for PROOFS, and are helped to fool yourselves by these foolish friends here, who ought to know better. Mary Jane Wilks, you know me for your friend, and for your unselfish friend, too. Now listen to me; turn this pitiful rascal out – I BEG you to do it. Will you?" (25.51, 25.52)
Twain uses one or two intelligent and perceptive characters throughout the story to emphasize the foolishness of everyone else, particularly that of the mob. Rules of logic, morality, and ethics are still in tact... it’s just that not everyone sees things rationally or morally.
"Cuss the doctor! What do we k'yer for HIM? Hain't we got all the fools in town on our side? And ain't that a big enough majority in any town?" (26.92)
The king wisely remarks that, in fact, most people are foolish.