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Friedrich Schiller – The race is not to the fleet of mind.

February 4, 2015

“Thou, Folly, conquerest; I must succumb!
Against stupidity e’en gods contend in vain.
Exalted Reason, light-dispensing daughter
Of godlike brain, oh, wise establisher
Of this world’s edifice, guide of the stars,
Who art thou then, if thou, bound to the tail
Of frenzy’s insane steed, and calling out
In vain, must hurl thyself with open eyes
Into the abyss with thy maddened mount?
Accurs’d be he who turns his life to what
Is great and worthy, and draws up wise plans
With sapient spirit! To the kind of fools
Belongs the world!”

(spoken by Talbot, who is trying to catch up to and rally the fleeing English troops, in Act III, Scene 6, ll. 2318-2330 of The Maid of Orleans [1801], translated by John T. Krumpelmann)


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