The compliments of the season to my worthy masters, and a merry first of April to us all! ~Charles Lamb (1775–1834), “All Fools’ Day”
Rhymes for April — let me sing
The pleasures of returning spring…
Fools are made, by far the worst,
On other days besides the First.
~”April Rhymes,” The Comic Almanack for 1835, by William Makepeace Thackeray, Albert Smith, Gilbert à Beckett, and The Brothers Mayhew
This is the day upon which we are reminded of what we are on the other three hundred and sixty-four. ~Mark Twain
APRIL FOOL, n. The March fool with another month added to his folly. ~Ambrose Bierce, The Cynic’s Word Book, 1906
Men would not live long in society, were they not the mutual dupes of each other. ~François VI de la Rochefoucault (1613–1680)
He who is born a fool is never cured. ~Proverb
If every fool wore a crown, we should all be kings. ~Welsh proverb
Forgive, O Lord, my little jokes on Thee,
And I’ll forgive Thy great big one on me.
~Robert Frost, “The Preacher,” A Remembrance Collection of New Poems, 1959
I hope life isn’t a big joke, because I don’t get it. ~Jack Handey
We’re fools whether we dance or not, so we might as well dance. ~Japanese proverb
Even the gods love jokes. ~Plato
If you would avoid all fools go into a dense forest and there refrain from gazing into still pools. ~Austin O’Malley (1858–1932), Thoughts of a Recluse, 1898
Ah, well, I am a great and sublime fool. But then I am God’s fool, and all His work must be contemplated with respect. ~Mark Twain
I have great faith in fools:—self-confidence my friends will call it… ~Edgar Allan Poe
A joke is at most a temporary rebellion against virtue, and its aim is not to degrade the human being but to remind him that he is already degraded. ~George Orwell
[W]e have all a touch of that same—you understand me—a speck of the motley. Beshrew the man who on such a day as this, the general festival, should affect to stand aloof. I am none of these sneakers. I am free of the corporation, and care not who knows it. He that meets me in the forest to day, shall meet with no wiseacre, I can tell him. Stultus sum….
Fill us a cup of that sparkling gooseberry—we will drink no wise, melancholy, politic port on this day….
Now would I give a trifle to know, historically and authentically, who was the greatest fool that ever lived…. Marry, of the present breed, I think I could without much difficulty name you the party….
To descend from these altitudes, and not to protract our Fools’ Banquet beyond its appropriate day—for I fear the second of April is not many hours distant—in sober verity I will confess a truth to thee, reader. I love a fool—as naturally as if I were a kith and kin to him…. I had more yearnings towards that simple architect, that built his house upon sand, than I entertained for his more cautious neighbor…. I have never made an acquaintance since that lasted, or a friendship that answered, with any that had not some tincture of the absurd in their characters…. And take my word for this, reader, and say a fool told it you, if you please, that he who hath not a drachm of folly in his mixture, hath pounds of much worse matter in his composition…. and what have been some of the kindliest patterns of our species, but so many darlings of absurdity…. Reader, if you wrest my words beyond their fair construction, it is you, and not I, that are the April Fool. ~Charles Lamb (1775–1834), “All Fools’ Day”
Real friends are those who, when you’ve made a fool of yourself, don’t feel that you’ve done a permanent job. ~Erwin T. Randall, quoted in The Reader’s Digest, 1955
Yet still when the famed first of April returns… I dread the approach. ~Matthew Gregory Lewis, “Grim, King of the Ghosts,” c.1802