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As court poet to Archduke Cosimo III of Tuscany, Giovanni Fagiuoli was also a court jester of sorts. One day he presented his master with a list of names.

"What do these names represent?" the archduke asked. "They're all fools of my acquaintance," Fagiuoli replied. "But," the archduke cried, "my name heads the list!"

"Your Highness, that's because yesterday you commissioned that botanist in England to collect and bring you a collection of rare plants. But you paid him in advance!"

"I see nothing foolish in that," Cosimo remarked. "Suppose he delivers them in accord with my instructions?"

"In that case," the clown declared, "I'll erase your name and substitute his."

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