A precursor statement written in French appeared in volume 2 of the “Grand Dictionnaire Universel du XIXe Siècle” (Great Universal Dictionary of the Nineteenth Century) within an entry for “Bêtise” (Stupidity). This volume was published circa 1865, and the quotation was credited to Alexandre Dumas:
Une chose qui m’humilie profondément est de voir que le génie humain a des limites, quand la bêtise humaine n’en a pas.
One possible translation into English is the following:
One thing that humbles me deeply is to see that human genius has its limits while human stupidity does not.
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