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Looking for Fools, but only if you are Wise

This weeks Economist is looking for fools and uses James I as an example of the Right Stuff:

IT IS not quite clear whether it was Henry IV of France or—more likely—his chief minister, the Duc de Sully, who described James I (of England, VI of Scotland) as “the wisest fool in Christendom”. It is not even clear what prompted the coining of the epithet, though James (above) was certainly a mixture of opposites of every kind. In the words of Sir Walter Scott,

"He was deeply learned, without possessing useful knowledge; sagacious in many individual cases, without having real wisdom...He was fond of his dignity, while he was perpetually degrading it by undue familiarity; capable of much public labour, yet often neglecting it for the meanest amusement; a wit, though a pedant; and a scholar, though fond of the conversation of the ignorant and uneducated...He was laborious in trifles, and a trifler where serious labour was required; devout in his sentiments, and yet too often profane in his language..."

That's my 6th grade report card.

Allan Jenkins posted this at 23:28. Permalink |

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