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JESTING
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[ Also see Epigrams Fancy Gravity Humor Jokes Laughter Levity Merriment Nonsense Paradoxes Pun Repartee Ridicule Satire Smiles Wit ]

If anything is spoken in jest, it is not fair to turn it to earnest.
  [Lat., Si quid dictum est per jocum,
    Non aequum est id te serio praevortier.]
      - Plautus (Titus Maccius Plautus), Amphitruo
         (III, 2, 39)

Joking set aside.
  [Lat., Omissis jocis.]
      - Pliny the Younger (Caius Caecilius Secundus),
        Epistles (I, 21)

A jest loses its point when the jester laughs himself.
  [Ger., Des Spass verliert Alles, wenn der Spassmacher selber lacht.]
      - Johann Christoph Friedrich von Schiller,
        Fiesco (I, 7)

A good jest forever.
      - William Shakespeare

I do not like this fooling.
      - William Shakespeare

Alas, poor Yorick! I knew him, Horatio, a fellow of infinite jest, of most excellent fancy. He hath borne me on his back a thousand times. And now how abhorred in my imagination it is!
      - William Shakespeare,
        Hamlet Prince of Denmark
         (Hamlet at V, i)

Jesters do oft prove prophets.
      - William Shakespeare, King Lear
         (Regan at V, iii)

A jest's prosperity lies in the ear
  Of him that hears it, never in the tongue
    Of him that makes it.
      - William Shakespeare, Love's Labor's Lost
         (Rosaline at V, ii)

(Andrew:) I am not such an ass but I can keep my hand dry. But what's your jest?
  (Maria:) A dry jest, sir.
    (Andrew:) Are you full of them?
      (Maria:) Ay, sir, I have them at my fingers' ends. Marry, now I let go your hand, I am barren.
      - William Shakespeare,
        Twelfth Night, or, What You Will
         (Andrew & Maria at I, iii)

The fund of sensible discourse is limited; that of jest and badinerie is infinite.
      - William Shenstone

To smile at the jest which plants a thorn in another's breast is to become a principal in the mischief.
      - Richard Brinsley Sheridan

Wit loses its respect with the good when seen in company with malice; and to smile at the jest which plants a thorn in another's breast is to become a principal in the mischief.
      - Richard Brinsley Sheridan

He who never relaxes into sportiveness is a wearisome companion; but beware of him who jests at everything! Such men disparage by some ludicrous association, all objects which are presented to their thoughts, and thereby render themselves incapable of any emotion which can either elevate or soften them; they bring upon their moral being an influence more withering than the blasts of the desert.
      - Robert Southey

A college joke to cure the dumps.
      - Jonathan Swift, Cassinus and Peter

A bitter jest, when the satire comes too near the truth, leaves a sharp sting behind.
      - Tacitus (Caius Cornelius Tacitus)

A bitter jest, when it comes too near the truth, leaves a sharp sting behind it.
  [Lat., Aspere facetiae, ubi nimis ex vero traxere,
    Acram sui memoriam relinquunt.]
      - Tacitus (Caius Cornelius Tacitus), Annales
         (XV, 68)

Jesting is frequently an evidence of the poverty of the understanding.
      - Voltaire (Francois Marie Arouet Voltaire)


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