The Eighteenth Century wits and poets took great delight in skewering each other, and their leaders, for their vanities, pretenses, dullness, and ignorance. Much of the enjoyment of reading Dryden, or Pope, or (later) Lord Byron, is in seeing a worthy barb fly true to the mark. How sad that they are not among us today. With unfeigned joy, they would string their bows.
Dryden: “Out with it Dunciad! Let the secret pass,/ That Secret to each Fool, that he’s an ass:”
Byron: “Fools are my theme, let satire be my song.”
Dryden: “For every inch that is not fool is rogue.”
Dryden: “Much malice mingled with a little wit.”
Pope: “of all the causes which conspire to blind/ Man’s erring judgment, and misguide the mind,/ What the weak head with straight bias rules,/ Is pride, the never-failing vice of fools.”
Pope: “A little learning is a dangerous thing…”
Voltaire: “He who thinks himself wise, O heavens! Is a great fool.”
You should check these guys out. Your English teacher in high school never told you how much fun they were having.
Oh yeah, then there’s that modern sage, the new President: “The point is that you can’t be too greedy.” From The Art of the Deal, chapter 2 (written with Tony Schwartz.)
He’s so Vain, he’d probably think this blog is about him.