What a fool I've been!
One is apt to tell oneself that sort of thing when the fact is already well established, and also, not only without intending to undo one's folly, but even when one actually proposes to make it more! As Mr. Paxton did then.
He told himself, frankly, and with cutting scorn, what a fool he had been, and then proceeded to take what, under similar circumstances, seems to be a commonly accepted view of the situation—assuring, or endeavouring to assure himself, that to pile folly on to folly, until the height of it reached the mountain-tops, and then to undo it, would be easier than to take steps to undo it at once, while it was still comparatively a little thing.
It was perhaps this line of reasoning which induced Mr. Paxton to fancy himself in want of a drink.
—Richard Marsh, The Datchet Diamonds
Painting: Frans Hals the Elder (1580 – 1666), Dutch Golden Age master