Quotation by William Lamb Melbourne, 2nd Viscount

Neither man nor woman can be worth anything until they have discovered that they are fools. This is the first step towards becoming either estimable or agreeable; and until it be taken there is no hope. The sooner the discovery is made the better, as there is more time and power for taking advantage of it. Sometimes the great truth is found out too late to apply to it any effectual remedy. Sometimes it is never found at all; and these form the desperate and inveterate causes of folly, self- conceit, and impertinence.
William Lamb Melbourne, 2nd Viscount (1779–1848), British statesman, prime minister. Quoted in The Young Melbourne, ch. 9, David Cecil (1939).
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