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[ Also see Comedy Dimples Gaiety Happiness Humor Jesting Jokes Joy Levity Merriment Mirth Pleasure Ridicule Smiles Sobriety Tears Vivacity ]

If we may believe our logicians, man is distinguished from all other creatures by the faculty of laughter.
      - Joseph Addison

To provoke laughter without joining in it greatly heightens the effect.
      - Honore de Balzac

You grow up the day you have your first real laugh, at yourself.
      - Ethel Barrymore

I hasten to laugh at everything, for fear of being obliged to weep.
  [Fr., Je me hate de me moquer de tous, de peur d'etre oblige d'en pleurer.]
      - Pierre Auguste Caron de Beaumarchais,
        Barbier de Seville (act I, sc. 2)

Men will let you abuse them if only you will make them laugh.
      - Henry Ward Beecher

Incongruity is the mainspring of laughter.
      - Max Beerbohm

Nobody ever died of laughter.
      - Max Beerbohm

Laughter is an instant vacation.
      - Milton Berle

For as the crackling of thorns under a pot, so is the laughter of the fool: this also is vanity.
      - Bible, Ecclesiastes (ch. VII, v. 6)

When the green woods laugh with the voice of joy,
  And the dimpling stream runs laughing by;
    When the air does laugh with our merry wit,
      And the green hill laughs with the noise of it.
      - William Blake, Laughing Song

Truth's sacred fort th' exploded laugh shall win,
  And coxcombs vanquish Berkeley with a grin.
      - John Brown (1), Essay on Satire
         (pt. II, V, 224)

The landlord's laugh was ready chorus.
      - Robert Burns, Tam o' Shanter

And if I laugh at any mortal thing,
  'Tis that I may not weep.
      - Lord Byron (George Gordon Noel Byron),
        Don Juan (canto IV, st. 4)

A laugh, to be joyous, must flow from a joyous heart, for without kindness, there can be no true joy.
      - Thomas Carlyle

Laughter means sympathy.
      - Thomas Carlyle

No man who has once heartily and wholly laughed can be altogether irreclaimably bad.
      - Thomas Carlyle

The man who cannot laugh is not only fit for treasons, strategems, and spoils, but his whole life is already a treason and a strategem.
      - Thomas Carlyle

How much lies in Laughter: the cipher-key, wherewith we decipher the whole man.
      - Thomas Carlyle, Sartor Resartus
         (bk. I, ch. IV)

Nothing is sillier than a silly laugh.
  [Lat., Risu inepto res ineptior nulla est.]
      - Catullus (Caius Quintus Valerius Catullus)

Nothing is more silly than silly laughter.
  [Lat., Nam risu inepto res ineptior nulla est.]
      - Catullus (Caius Quintus Valerius Catullus),
        Carmina (XXXIX, 16)

The most completely lost of all days is that on which one has not laughed.
  [Fr., La plus perdue de toutes les journees est celle ou l'on n'a pas rit.]
      - Sebastien-Roch-Nicolas de Chamfort

A day without laughter is a day wasted.
      - Charlie Chaplin

I am sure that since I had the use of my reason, no human being has ever heard me laugh.
      - 4th Earl of Chesterfield, Philip Dormer Stanhope

The vulgar only laugh, but never smile; whereas well-bred people often smile, but seldom laugh.
      - 4th Earl of Chesterfield, Philip Dormer Stanhope,
        Letter to his Son

Loud laughter is the mirth of the mob, who are only pleased with silly things; for true wit or good sense never excited a laugh since the creation of the world.
      - 4th Earl of Chesterfield, Philip Dormer Stanhope,
        Letters (vol. I, p. 211), (ed. by Mahon)

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