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This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 156 pages of information about Cobwebs from an Empty Skull.

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FOOL.—­You say you detest foreigners.  Why?

PHILOSOPHER.—­Because I am human.

F.—­But so are they.

PH.—­Excellent fool!  I thank thee for the better reason.

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PHILOSOPHER.—­I have been thinking of the pocopo.

FOOL.—­Is it open to the public?

PH.—­The pocopo is a small animal of North America, chiefly remarkable for singularity of diet.  It subsists solely upon a single article of food.

F.—­What is that?

PH.—­Other pocopos.  Unable to obtain this, their natural sustenance, a great number of pocopos die annually of starvation.  Their death leaves fewer mouths to feed, and by consequence their race is rapidly multiplying.

F.—­From whom had you this?

PH.—­A professor of political economy.

F.—­I bend in reverence!  What made you think of the pocopo?

PH.—­Speaking of man.

F.—­If you did not wish to think of the pocopo, and speaking of man would make you think of it, you would not speak of man, would you?

PH.—­Certainly not.

F.—­Why not?

PH.—­I do not know.

F.—­Excellent philosopher!

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FOOL.—­I have attentively considered your teachings.  They may be full of wisdom; they are certainly out of taste.

PHILOSOPHER.—­Whose taste?

F.—­Why, that of people of culture.

PH.—­Do any of these people chance to have a taste for intoxication, tobacco, hard hats, false hair, the nude ballet, and over-feeding?

F.—­Possibly; but in intellectual matters you must confess their taste is correct.

PH.—­Why must I?

F.—­They say so themselves.

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PHILOSOPHER.—­I have been thinking why a dolt is called a donkey.

FOOL.—­I had thought philosophy concerned itself with a less personal class of questions; but why is it?

PH.—­The essential quality of a dolt is stupidity.

F.—­Mine ears are drunken!

PH.—­The essential quality of an ass is asininity.

F.—­Divine philosophy!

PH.—­As commonly employed, “stupidity” and “asininity” are convertible terms.

F.—­That I, unworthy, should have lived to see this day!

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II.

FOOL.—­If I were a doctor—­

DOCTOR.—­I should endeavour to be a fool.

F.—­You would fail; folly is not easily achieved.

D.—­True; man is overworked.

F.—­Let him take a pill.

D.—­If he like.  I would not.

F.—­You are too frank:  take a fool’s advice.

D.—­Thank thee for the nastier prescription.

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