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Quotes

No man ever distinguished himself who could not bear to be laughed at.

—Maria Edgeworth, 1809

There is nothing sillier than a silly laugh.

—Catullus, c. 60 BC

Laughter always arises from a gaiety of disposition, absolutely incompatible with contempt and indignation.

—Voltaire, 1736

He who laugheth too much, hath the nature of a fool; he that laugheth not at all, hath the nature of an old cat.

—Thomas Fuller, 1732

A joke is at most a temporary rebellion against virtue, and its aim is not to degrade the human being but to remind him that he is already degraded.

—George Orwell, 1945

Wit enables us to act rudely with impunity.

—La Rochefoucauld, 1678

Big head, little wit.

—French proverb

Jests and scoffs do lessen majesty and greatness and should be far from great personages and men of wisdom.

—Henry Peacham, 1622

Jokes are grievances.

—Marshall McLuhan, 1969

A difference of taste in jokes is a great strain on the affections.

—George Eliot, 1876

I used to think that everyone was just being funny. But now I don’t know. I mean, how can you tell?

—Andy Warhol, 1970

Laughter almost ever cometh of things most disproportioned to ourselves and nature. Laughter hath only a scornful tickling.

—Philip Sidney, 1582

Jesters do oft prove prophets.

—William Shakespeare, c. 1605