Jest Quotes

226 Quotes: Sorted by Search Results (Descending)

About Jest Quotes

Keyword: Jest

Quotes: 226 total. 2 Misattributed. 12 About.

Sorted by: Search Results (Descending)

Meta dataAverageRange
Words (count)723 - 586
Search Results3110 - 300
Date (year)1761-384 - 4000
View Related Quotes

Clowning Quotes About 215 quotes

Comedy Quotes About 283 quotes

Comical Quotes About 49 quotes

Droll Quotes About 17 quotes

Entertaining Quotes About 145 quotes

Facetious Quotes About 11 quotes

Farcical Quotes About 25 quotes

Funny Quotes About 618 quotes

Hilarious Quotes About 35 quotes

Humor Quotes About 510 quotes

Hysterical Quotes About 77 quotes

Jocose Quotes About 1 quotes

Jocular Quotes About 9 quotes

Jocund Quotes About 18 quotes

Joke Quotes About 593 quotes

Jovial Quotes About 18 quotes

Kooky Quotes About 3 quotes

Ludicrous Quotes About 87 quotes

Merry Quotes About 287 quotes

Mirth Quotes About 171 quotes

Rib-tickling Quotes About 1 quotes

Riotous Quotes About 28 quotes

Risible Quotes About 5 quotes

Scintillating Quotes About 6 quotes

Silly Quotes About 361 quotes

Slapstick Quotes About 3 quotes

Uproarious Quotes About 6 quotes

Wacky Quotes About 5 quotes

Waggish Quotes About 2 quotes

Witty Quotes About 114 quotes

Zany Quotes About 10 quotes

He jests at scars that never felt a wound.
Wounds
• William Shakespeare, Romeo and Juliet (1597), Act II, scene 2, line 1.
• Source: Wikiquote: "Wounds" (Sourced)
'Twas the fifteenth anniversary of her twenty-second year, So he smiled at her as sweetly as a hog And asked what present she would like. And jestingly she said: "Your green tie for my little yellow dog."
Neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor jesting, which are not convenient: but rather giving of thanks.
Ephesians 5:4
• King James Version of the Bible originally published in 1611. Full KJV Authorized Book Name: The Epistle of Paul the Apostle to the Ephesians; Common Book Name: Ephesians; Chapter: 5; Verse: 4.
• The data for the years individual books were written is according to Dating the Bible on Wikipedia.
Many a true word is spoken in jest.
English proverbs
• "A joke's a very serious thing."
• Charles Churchill, The Ghost (1763), book iv, line 1386
• Kelly, Walter Keating (1859), Proverbs of all nations page: 57, publisher: W. Kent & co. (late D. Bogue)
• Source: Wikiquote: "English proverbs" (Word)
Though Nestor swear the jest be laughable.
What is truth? said jesting Pilate, and would not stay for an answer.
''Lepsze jest wrogiem dobrego.'
Polish proverbs
  • Strauss, Emanuel (1998), Concise Dictionary of European Proverbs (Abbreviated ed.) page: 166, pages: 504, publisher: Routledge, ISBN: 0415160502
• Source: Wikiquote: "Polish proverbs" (L)
Alas, poor Yorick! I knew him, Horatio: a fellow of infinite jest, of most excellent fancy.
A jest's prosperity lies in the ear Of him that hears it, never in the tongue Of him that makes it.
Life is a jest; and all things show it. I thought so once; and now I know it.
John Gay
My Own Epitaph, inscribed on Gay’s monument in Westminster Abbey; also quoted as "I thought so once; but now I know it".
• Source: Wikiquote: "John Gay" (Quotes)
When you're wounded and left on Afghanistan's plains, And the women come out to cut up what remains, Jest roll to your rifle and blow out your brains An' go to your Gawd like a soldier. Go, go, go like a soldier, Go, go, go like a soldier, Go, go, go like a soldier, So-oldier of the Queen!
How ill white hairs become a fool and jester!
War is the statesman's game, the priest's delight, The lawyer's jest, the hired assassin's trade.
Haste thee, Nymph, and bring with thee Jest, and youthful Jollity, Quips, and Cranks, and wanton Wiles, Nods, and Becks, and wreathed Smiles, Such as hang on Hebe's cheek, And love to live in dimple sleek; Sport that wrinkled Care derides, And Laughter holding both his sides.
As for myself, I am simply Hop-Frog, the jester — and this is my last jest.
Life is a jest, and all things show it, I thought so once, but now I know it.
About Epitaphs
• John Gay, My Own Epitaph; reported in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 231.
• Source: Wikiquote: "Epitaphs" (Quotes about epitaphs, Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations: Quotes reported in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 229-35.)
The last question was asked for the first time, half in jest, on May 21, 2061, at a time when humanity first stepped into the light. The question came about as a result of a five dollar bet over highballs, and it happened this way…
If Love were jester at the court of Death, And Death the king of all, still would I pray, "For me the motley and the bauble, yea, Though all be vanity, as the Preacher saith, The mirth of love be mine for one brief breath!"
Love
• Frederic L. Knowles, If Love were Jester at the Court of Death.
• Source: Wikiquote: "Love" (Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations: Quotes reported in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 464-84.)
Chaos of thought and passion, all confused; Still by himself abused, or disabused; Created half to rise, and half to fall; Great lord of all things, yet a prey to all; Sole judge of truth, in endless error hurled; The glory, jest, and riddle of the world!
An Essay on Man
• Line 13. Compare: "What a chimera, then, is man! what a novelty, what a monster, what a chaos, what a subject of contradiction, what a prodigy! A judge of all things, feeble worm of the earth, depositary of the truth, cloaca of uncertainty and error, the glory and the shame of the universe", Blaise Pascal, Thoughts, chap. x.
• Source: Wikiquote: "An Essay on Man" (Epistle II)
He makes a Foe who makes a jest.
Great men may jest with saints; 'tis wit in them; But, in the less, foul profanation.
Wit
• William Shakespeare, Measure for Measure (1603), Act II, scene 2, line 127.
• Source: Wikiquote: "Wit" (Quotes)
I am in no way facetious, nor disposed for the mirth and galliardize of company, yet in one dream I can compose a whole Comedy, behold the action, apprehend the jests, and laugh myself awake at the conceits thereof.
"It's just the same story as a doctor once told me," observed the elder. "He was a man getting on in years, and undoubtedly clever. He spoke as frankly as you, though in jest, in bitter jest. 'I love humanity,' he said, 'but I wonder at myself. The more I love humanity in general, the less I love man in particular. In my dreams,' he said, 'I have often come to making enthusiastic schemes for the service of humanity, and perhaps I might actually have faced crucifixion if it had been suddenly necessary; and yet I am incapable of living in the same room with any one for two days together, as I know by experience. As soon as any one is near me, his personality disturbs my self-complacency and restricts my freedom. In twenty-four hours I begin to hate the best of men: one because he's too long over his dinner; another because he has a cold and keeps on blowing his nose. I become hostile to people the moment they come close to me. '''But it has always happened that the more I detest men individually the more ardent becomes my love for humanity.''''"
A jest breaks no bones.
Of all the Griefs that harrass the Distrest,
Sure the most bitter is a scornful Jest
Those that will combat use and custom by the strict rules of grammar do but jest.
It would be argument for a week, laughter for a month, and a good jest for ever.
O jest unseen, inscrutable, invisible, As a nose on a man’s face, or a weathercock on a steeple.
The Right Honourable Gentleman is indebted to his memory for his jests, and to his imagination for his facts.
Memory
• Richard Brinsley Sheridan, reply in the House of Commons. Thomas Moore, Memoirs of the Life of the Right Honourable Richard Brinsley Sheridan, 3d ed. (1825), vol. 2, chapter 21, p. 471. "A curious instance of the care with which he treasured up the felicities of his wit appears in the use he made of one of those epigrammatic passages … which, in its first form, ran thus:—'He certainly has a great deal of fancy, and a very good memory; but, with a perverse ingenuity, he employs these qualities as no other person does—for he employs his fancy in his narratives, and keeps his recollection for his wit:—when he makes jokes, you applaud the accuracy of his memory, and 'tis only when he states his facts that you admire the flights of his imagination.' "After many efforts to express this thought more concisely, and to reduce the language of it to that condensed and elastic state, in which alone it gives force to the projectiles of wit, he kept the passage by him patiently some years,—till he at length found an opportunity of turning it to account, in a reply, I believe, to Mr. Dundas, in the House of Commons, when, with the most extemporaneous air, he brought it forth, in the … compact and pointed form [above] (p. 471).
• Source: Wikiquote: "Memory" (S)
Haste thee, Nymph, and bring with thee Jest, and youthful jollity, Quips and cranks and wanton wiles, Nods and becks and wreathèd smiles.
I have written the tale of our life For a sheltered people's mirth, In jesting guise—but ye are wise, And ye know what the jest is worth.
Merlin in our time Hath spoken also, not in jest, and sworn Though men may wound him that he will not die, But pass, again to come; and then or now Utterly smite the heathen underfoot, Till these and all men hail him for their king.
My mood, I say, was one of exaltation. I felt as a seeing man might do, with padded feet and noiseless clothes, in a city of the blind. I experienced a wild impulse to jest, to startle people, to clap men on the back, fling people's hats astray, and generally revel in my extraordinary advantage.
For you all love the screw-guns the screw-guns they all love you! So when we take tea with a few guns, o' course you will know what to do—hoo! hoo! Jest send in your Chief an' surrender it's worse if you fights or you runs: You may hide in the caves, they'll be only your graves, but you can't get away from the guns!
Jesters do often prove prophets.
Misattributed to Joseph Addison
• Not found in Addison's works, and "Jesters do oft prove prophets" is actually William Shakespeare, in King Lear, Act V, sc. iii.
• Source: Wikiquote: "Joseph Addison" (Misattributed: Alphabetized by author)
There is no jesting with edge tools.
Jesting and levity lead a man to lewdness.
Nice philosophy May tolerate unlikely arguments, But heaven admits no jest.
Orwell once defined himself half in jest — but only half — as a "Tory Anarchist."
Merriment is always the effect of a sudden impression. The jest which is expected is already destroyed.
Life is but jest: A dream, a doom; A gleam, a gloom — And then — good rest!
The Right Honorable gentleman is indebted to his memory for his jests and to his imagination for his facts.
Memory
• Richard Brinsley Sheridan, attributed to him in report of a Speech in Reply to Mr. Dundas. Not found in his works but the idea exists in loose sketches for a comedy.
• Source: Wikiquote: "Memory" (Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations: Quotes reported in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 506-09.)
His eye begets occasion for his wit; For every object that the one doth catch, The other turns to a mirth-moving jest.
Wit
• William Shakespeare, Love's Labour's Lost (c. 1595-6), Act II, scene 1, line 69.
• Source: Wikiquote: "Wit" (Quotes)
If you must mount the gallows, give a jest to the crowd, a coin to the hangman, and make the drop with a smile on your lips.
Love is a sacred mystery.
To those who love, it remains forever wordless;
But to those who do not love, it may be but a heartless jest.
The essayist … can pull on any sort of shirt, be any sort of person, according to his mood or his subject matter — philosopher, scold, jester, raconteur, confidant, pundit, devil's advocate, enthusiast...
I'm the out-of-court jester who won't settle, I up the vigilante, I'm a law unto myself but break it anyway! I made a forced landing on the Moebius Strip and now I want to know, which side are you on?
Ariel: Thou liest.
Caliban: Thou liest, thou jesting monkey, thou: I would my
valiant monster would destroy thee: I do not lie.
Stephano: Trinculo, if you trouble him any more in's tale, by this hand, I will supplant some of your teeth.
The little that we do
Is but half-nobly true;
With our laborious hiving
What men call treasure, and the gods call dross,
Life seems a jest of Fate's contriving,
Only secure in every one's conniving,
A long account of nothings paid with loss.
He used to say, half in jest, that his great ambition was to complete St. Augustine's Confessions, but that St. Augustine, like a great artist, had worked from multiplicity to unity, while he, like a small one, had to reverse the method and work back from unity to multiplicity.
La vie est vaine: Un peu d'amour, Un peu de haine— Et puis-bonjour! La vie est brève: Un peu d'espoir, Un peu de rêve— Et puis—bon soir! Life is but jest: A dream, a doom; A gleam, a gloom— And then—good rest! Life is but play; A throb, a tear: A sob, a sneer; And then—good day.
Life
• Leon de Montenaeken, Peu de Chose et Presque Trop. (Nought and too Much). English translation. by Author. Quoted by Du Maurier in Trilby.
• Source: Wikiquote: "Life" (Anonymous, Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations: Quotes reported in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 440-55.)
Surely the cosmic irony that loves men's dullness because it alone can preserve them from madness, and retorts upon the cosmic terrors with a jest, is higher than gallantry and more enduring. It arrives at tolerance for all human shortcomings; it embraces high and low in its sympathies; it achieves urbanity as a final goal. It is the stuff of which great literature is made.
Intermingle...jest with earnest.
Jester in Mahatma’s court
About Sarojini Naidu
• She was described thus as she brought laughter and humour to the grim business of satyagraha. uoted in "Sarojini Naidu: An Introduction to Her Life, Work and Poetry", p=61
• Source: Wikiquote: "Sarojini Naidu" (About Sarojini Naidu)
Eyes and Priests Bear no Jests.
158. The eye and religion can beare no jesting.
104. Leave jesting while it pleaseth, lest it turne to earnest.
[ Some had rather lose their friend then their jest. ]
It is depressing to hear the unfortunate or dying man jest.
1800. Make not a Jest of another Man's Infirmity. Remember thy own.
1048. Call your Husband Cuckold in Jest and he'll ne'er suspect you.
What is truth? said jesting Pilate, but would not stay for an answer.
Man’s life is but a jest, A dream, a shadow, bubble, air, a vapor at the best.
George Walter Thornbury
The Jester’s Sermon. Compare: "Life is a jest and all things show it; I thought so once, but now I know it", John Gay, My own Epitaph; "Life is an empty dream", Robert Browning, Paracelsus'', ii.; "Life ’s but a series of trifles at best", Anonymous.
• Source: Wikiquote: "George Walter Thornbury" (Quotes)
He that will lose his friend for a jest, deserves to die a beggar by the bargain.
As my mother once said: The boys throw stones at the frogs in jest. But the frogs die in earnest.
I feel safer with a Pyrrho than with a St. Paul, for a jesting wisdom is gentler than an unbridled sanctity.
What is this jest in majesty? This ass in passion? How do God and Devil combine to form a live dog?
If all else fails, the character of a man can be recognized by nothing so surely as by a jest which he takes badly.
• Variant translation: A person reveals his character by nothing so clearly as the joke he resents.
Once she kissed me with a jest, Once with a tear — O where's the heart was in my breast, And the ring was in my ear?
That was the danger Samuel Butler jestingly prophesied in Erewhon, the danger that the human being might become a means whereby the machine perpetuated itself and extended its dominion.
It is more easy to write on money than to obtain it; and those who gain it, jest much at those who only know how to write about it.
Somewhere back at the beginning I was chosen to be Jester, and there is only one Jester at a time in Diaspar. Most people think that is one too many.
Once the Bishop looked grave at your jest, Till this remark set him off wid the rest: "Is it lave gaiety All to the laity? Cannot the clargy be Irishmen too?"
We are all of us in error, the humorists excepted. They alone have discerned, as though in jest, the inanity of all that is serious and even of all that is frivolous.
Falstaff: My king! my Jove! I speak to thee, my heart!
King Henry V: I know thee not, old man: fall to thy prayers;
How ill white hairs become a fool, and jester!
Laugh not too much; the witty man laughs least: For wit is news only to ignorance. Lesse at thine own things laugh; lest in the jest Thy person share, and the conceit advance.
The one from among the Muslims who recites the Qur'an but in the end finds his way to hell, is considerd to be among those that have taken the word of Allah in jest.
Life is a jest; Take the delight of it. Laughter is best; Sing through the night of it. Swiftly the tear And the hurt and the ache of it Find us down here; Life must be what we make of it.
He did his best in redressing the fateful unbalance between truth and reality, in lifting mankind to a higher rung of social maturity. He often pointed a scornful finger at human frailty, but his jests were never at the expense of humanity.
Sweetest love, I do not go, For weariness of thee, Nor in hope the world can show A fitter love for me; But since that I Must die at last, 'tis best, To use my self in jest Thus by feigned deaths to die.
It has been said, and only half in jest, that a tough, professionally led union is a great force for improving management performance. It forces the manager to think about what he is doing and to be able to explain his actions and behavior.
It was jest another instance of a flaw in work of man; A lefty never figgered in the gunman’s battle plan; There ain’t no scheme man thinks of that Dame Nature cannot beat — So his pupils are unlearnin’ that cute trick they got from Pete.
Chaos of thought and passion, all confused; Still by himself abused and disabused; Created half to rise, and half to fall; Great lord of all things, yet a prey to all; Sole judge of truth, in endless error hurled; The glory, jest and riddle of the world!
Man
• Alexander Pope, An Essay on Man (1733-34), Epistle II, line 13
• Source: Wikiquote: "Man" (Quotes)
Where there is happiness, there is found pleasure in nonsense. The transformation of experience into its opposite, of the suitable into the unsuitable, the obligatory into the optional (but in such a manner that this process produces no injury and is only imagined in jest), is a pleasure; ...
I cannot bide Sir Baby. Keep him back Among yourselves. Would rather that we had Some rough old knight who knew the worldly way, Albeit grizzlier than a bear, to ride And jest with: take him to you, keep him off, And pamper him with papmeat, if ye will
At least wasn't nobody, no outsider, there to hear it so maybe even before next January he was able to believe hadn't none of it even been said, like miracle: what aint believed aint seen. Miracle, pure miracle anyhow, how little a man needs to outlast jest [just] about anything.
Jesus loved me and I knew not why.
And I loved Him because He quickened my spirit to heights beyond my stature, and to depths beyond my sounding.
Love is a sacred mystery.
To those who love, it remains forever wordless;
But to those who do not love, it may be but a heartless jest.
Folly, Moria, speaks in her own name and declares herself the frankest of beings. The jester of the age was often the wisest man; the so called wise men were often the stupidest of blockheads: and the play of wit goes on from one aspect to the other, the ape showing behind the purple, and the ass under the lion's skin.
In later years, it would become fashionable to say of the missionaries, "They came to the islands to do good, and they did right well." Others made jest of the missionary slogan, "They came to a nation in darkness; they left it in light," by pointing out: "Of course they left Hawaii lighter. They stole every goddamned thing that wasn't nailed down."
We watched her come with subtle fire
And learned feet,
Stumbling among the lustful drunk
Yet somehow sweet.

We saw the crimson leave her cheeks
Flame in her eyes;
For when a woman lives in awful haste
A woman dies.

The jests that lit our hours by night
And made them gay,
Soiled a sweet and ignorant soul
And fouled its play.

Yes, he said. I busted him and he busted me. That's fair, ain't it?The boy was still silent, calmly incredulous.No, Sylder went on, I ain't forgettin about jail. You think because he arrested me that throws it off again I reckon? I don't. It's his job. It's what he gets paid for. To arrest people that break the law. And I didn't jest break the law, I made a livin at it.
A merrier man, Within the limit of becoming mirth, I never spent an hour’s talk withal: His eye begets occasion for his wit; For every object that the one doth catch, The other turns to a mirth-moving jest; Which his fair tongue (conceit's expositor) Delivers in such apt and gracious words That aged ears play truant at his tales, And younger hearings are quite ravished; So sweet and voluble is his discourse.
And from above a voice fused half in iron
Half in irony gives man a dreadful choice.
The role is his, it says, Man makes and loads his own strange dice,
They sum at his behest,
He dooms himself. He is his own sad jest.
Let go? Let be?
Why do you ask this gift from Me?
When, trussed and bound and nailed,
You sacrifice your life, your liberty
You hang yourself upon the tenterhook.
Pull free!
There must be something solemn, serious, and tender about any attitude which we denominate religious. If glad, it must not grin or snicker; if sad, it must not scream or curse. It is precisely as being solemn experiences that I wish to interest you in religious experiences. … The divine shall mean for us only such a primal reality as the individual feels impelled to respond to solemnly and gravely, and neither by a curse nor a jest.
Riding the crest, I diversified, exploiting a highly marketable capacity to fart at will... By mastering this skill I set myself on a par with those court jesters of old who could wow the monarch and all his retinue with a simultaneous leap, whistle and fart. Unable to extend my neo-Homeric story-telling activities from the playground to the classroom, I could nevertheless continue to hog the limelight by interpolating a gaseous running commentary while the teacher addressed himself to the blackboard.
Farce follow'd Comedy, and reach'd her prime, In ever-laughing Foote's fantastic time; Mad wag! who pardon'd none, nor spared the best, And turn'd some very serious things to jest. Nor church nor state escaped his public sneers, Arms nor the gown, priests, lawyers, volunteers; "Alas, poor Yorick!" now forever mute! Whoever loves a laugh must sigh for Foote. We smile, perforce, when histrionic scenes Ape the swoln dialogue of kings and queens, When "Chrononhotonthologos must die," And Arthur struts in mimic majesty.
Acting
• Lord Byron, Hints from Horace, line 329.
• Source: Wikiquote: "Acting" (Quotes, Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations: Quotes reported in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 4-6.)
Pliny declares, as I hear, that he does not believe in the gods, but he believes in dreams; and perhaps he is right. My jests do not prevent me from thinking at times that in truth there is only one deity, eternal, creative, all-powerful, Venus Genetrix. She brings souls together; she unites bodies and things. Eros called the world out of chaos. Whether he did well is another question; but, since he did so, we should recognize his might, though we are free not to bless it.
As soon as I am outside my religious understanding, I feel as an insect with which children are playing must feel, because life seems to have dealt with me so unmercifully; as soon as I am inside my religious understanding, I understand that precisely this has absolute meaning for me. Hence, that which in one case is a dreadful jest is in another sense the most profound earnestness. Earnestness is basically not something simple, a simplex, but is a compositum [compound], for true earnestness is the unity of jest and earnestness.
God save the pennon, ragged to the dawn,
That signs to moon to stand, and sun to fly;
And flutters when the weak is overborne
To stem the tide of fate and certainty.
That knows not reason, and that seeks no fame —

So! Undismayed beneath the serried clouds,
Raise up the banner of forlorn defence —
A jest to the complacency of crowds —
Bright-haloed with the one diviner sense:
To hold itself as nothing to itself;
And in the quest of its imagined star
To lose all thought of after-recompense!

There is a real unity underlying each of his works; but all give the impression of disorder... Bruno lost no opportunity of keeping his readers awake by the oddness of his antics; he surprises them by bombardments and unexpected raking fires. He thinks to throw each noble design, each lofty thought into relief by the dodge (not unknown to modern writers) of smart paradox… All is overdone: there is not a thought of repose. Penetrative insight, soaring observation, novel [[wisdom], severe thought have a setting of jest and jeer, clumsy buffoonery and sheer indecency.
A person half as reflective as I would be able to be of significance for many people, but precisely because I am altogether reflective I have none at all. As soon as I am outside my religious understanding, I feel as an insect with which children are playing must feel, because life seems to have dealt with me so unmercifully; as soon as I am inside my religious understanding, I understand that precisely this has absolute meaning for me. Hence, that which in one case is a dreadful jest is in another sense the most profound earnestness.
"It don't look well, now, for a feller to be praisin' himself; but I say it jest because it's the truth. I believe I'm reckoned to bring in about the finest droves of niggers that is brought in, — at least, I've been told so; if I have once, I reckon I have a hundred times, — all in good case, — fat and likely, and I lose as few as any man in the business. And I lays it all to my management, sir; and humanity, sir, I may say, is the great pillar of my management."
"It is the season of the Kronia, during which the god allows us to make merry. But, my dear friend, as I have no talent for amusing or entertaining I must methinks take pains not to talk mere nonsense."
"But, Caesar, can there be anyone so dull and stupid as to take pains over jesting? I always thought that such pleasantries were a relaxation of the mind and a relief from pains and cares."
"Yes, and no doubt your view is correct, but that is not how the matter strikes me. For by nature I have no turn for raillery, or parody, or raising a laugh."
Moreover, humour is itself but a superficial view of that which is in truth both tragic and terrible—the contrast between human pretence and cosmic mechanical reality. Humour is but the faint terrestrial echo of the hideous laughter of the blind mad gods that squat leeringly and sardonically in caverns beyond the Milky Way. It is a hollow thing, sweet on the outside, but filled with the pathos of fruitless aspiration. All great humorists are sad—Mark Twain was a cynic and agnostic, and wrote "The Mysterious Stranger" and "What Is Man?" When I was younger I wrote humorous matter—satire and light verse—and was known to many as a jester and parodist. … But I cannot help seeing beyond the tinsel of humour, and recognising the pitiful basis of jest—the world is indeed comic, but the joke is on mankind.
"Lor bless ye, yes! These critters ain't like white folks, you know; they gets over things, only manage right. Now, they say," said Haley, assuming a candid and confidential air, "that this kind o' trade is hardening to the feelings; but I never found it so. Fact is, I never could do things up the way some fellers manage the business. I've seen 'em as would pull a woman's child out of her arms, and set him up to sell, and she screechin' like mad all the time; — very bad policy — damages the article — makes 'em quite unfit for service sometimes. I knew a real handsome gal once, in Orleans, as was entirely ruined by this sort o' handling. The fellow that was trading for her didn't want her baby; and she was one of your real high sort, when her blood was up. I tell you, she squeezed up her child in her arms, and talked, and went on real awful. It kinder makes my blood run cold to think of 't; and when they carried off the child, and locked her up, she jest went ravin' mad, and died in a week. Clear waste, sir, of a thousand dollars, just for want of management, — there's where 't is. It's always best to do the humane thing, sir; that's been my experience." And the trader leaned back in his chair, and folded his arm, with an air of virtuous decision, apparently considering himself a second Wilberforce.
Wikiquote: Infinite Jest
Punktualność jest grzecznością królów.
Polish proverbs
 • Strauss, Emanuel (1994), Dictionary of European proverbs (Volume 2 ed.) page: 1142, pages: 2200, publisher: Routledge, ISBN: 0415096243
• Source: Wikiquote: "Polish proverbs" (P)
Chłop potęgą jest i basta.
Koń jaki jest, każdy widzi.
Dobrymi chęciami jest piekło wybrukowane.
Polish proverbs
 • Strauss, Emmanuel (1998), Dictionary of European Proverbs page: 257, publisher: Routledge, ISBN: 0415160502
• Source: Wikiquote: "Polish proverbs" (D)
It is no jesting with edge tools.
Danger
The True Tragedy of Richard III (1594) Same in Beaumont and Fletcher, Little French Lawyer, Act IV, scene 7.
• Source: Wikiquote: "Danger" (Sourced, Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations: Quotes reported in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 158-60.)
Jest not with the two-edged sword of God's word.
Wszystko jest w rękach człowieka. Dlatego należy je często myć.
Lépe jest v samotě býti, nežli spolek se zlými míti.
Czech proverbs
 • Source: Strauss, Emmanuel (1998), Dictionary of European Proverbs page: 163, publisher: Routledge, ISBN: 0415160502
• Source: Wikiquote: "Czech proverbs" (L)
A dry jest, sir…. I have them at my fingers' end.
Nienawiść jest jak Hydra, im więcej głów ścinasz, tym bardziej ją wzmacniasz.
Starożytni mawiali: 'mundus vult decipi, ergo decipiatur'. Świat łaknie oszustw, więc jest oszukiwany.
Stanisław Lem
• The ancients used to say: mundus vult decipi, ergo decipiatur — the world wants to be deceived, so let it be deceived.
 • "A Blink of an Eye", Okamgnienie (2000); the phrase "Mundus Vult Decipi" was used as a motto by the American satirist James Branch Cabell and is said to have originated with Petronius.
• Source: Wikiquote: "Stanisław Lem" (Quotes)
Jedna jest restrykcyja: jeśli popełniono
Nie z zemsty głupiej, ale pro publico bono.

• Translation:
But there is one proviso: you salvage your honour
If done not for revenge, but pro publico bono.
Pan Tadeusz
 • Comment: Father Worm justifying Gerwazy's killing of Major Plut as done for the public good (pro publico bono in Latin).
• Source: Wikiquote: "Pan Tadeusz" (Book Ten: Emigration. Jacek.: Księga Dziesiąta: Emigracja. Jacek.)
Fools, people who are ignorant and confused, or who jest by seeming so
Irony is jesting hidden behind gravity. Humor is gravity concealed behind the jest.
No time to break jests when the heartstrings are about to be broken.
Heaven to me's a fair blue stretch of sky, Earth's jest a dusty road.
Heaven
• John Masefield, Vagabond.
• Source: Wikiquote: "Heaven" (Quotes, Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations: Quotes reported in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 359-62.)
Trzeba wiedzieć, że to jest Sopliców choroba,
Że im oprocz Ojczyzny nic się nie podoba

• Translation:
One should know that this is the Soplicas' malaise,
That they'll nothing else but their own fatherland praise
Ja jestem tobie wdzięczen, ale niepodobna
Żenić się, kochajmy się, ale tak – z osobna.

• Translation:
Marriage is out of question, my dear, have a heart!
I am grateful, let's love, yes, but sort of – apart.
Don't take long to spend all the time you want in Pittsburgh. (said in jest)
Bees are not as busy as we think they are. They jest can't buzz any slower.
Kin Hubbard
• As quoted in Reading I've Liked : A Personal Selection Drawn from Two Decades of Reading (1941) by Clifton Fadiman, p. 827.
• Variants:
• A bee is never as busy as it seems; it's just that it can't buzz any slower.
 • As quoted in The Modern Handbook of Humor (1967) by Ralph Louis Woods, p. 17
• The bee isn't really that busy — it just can't buzz any slower.
 • As quoted in Peter's People (1979) by Laurence J. Peter, p. 29.
• Source: Wikiquote: "Kin Hubbard" (Sourced)
I know of no discussion which has degenerated into trivialism into trivilaism, except in moments of jest.
Litwo! Ojczyzno moja! ty jesteś jak zdrowie;
Ile cię trzeba cenić, ten tylko się dowie, Kto cię stracił...

Translation: Lithuania, my country! You are as good health;
How much one should prize you, he only can tell, Who has lost you...
The right honorable gentlemen is indebted to his memory for his jests, and to his imagination for his facts.
Stąd też nieprzyjacielem zabitym był fajki,
Wymyślonej od Niemców, by nas scudzoziemczyć;
Mawiał: "Polskę oniemić, jest to Polskę zniemczyć".

• Translation:
Of the pipe habit was an inveterate foe:
A German scheme, so Poles, like them, speechless become.
He said: "Poland turned silent, is Poland struck dumb".
Pan Tadeusz
 • Comment: In Polish, the words Niemcy, "Germans", and niemy, "mute", are related. The Tribune's adage may be more literally translated as: "to gag Poland is to Germanize it."
• Source: Wikiquote: "Pan Tadeusz" (Book Five: The Quarrel: Księga Piąta: Kłótnia)
If you give a jest, take one. Let all your jokes be truly jokes. Jesting sometimes ends in sad earnest.
No longer would we imprison thee though thou art all gentleness and would chat and jest with us by the hour.
Dla mnie jesteś trochę jak Rudolph Valentino, nie wiem, czy pamiętasz takiego bohatera kina. Znakomity kierunek dla ciebie: on był bohaterem kina niemego.
When thou dost tell another's jest, therein Omit the oaths, which true wit cannot need; Pick out of tales the mirth, but not the sin.
His reverence for sacred things was so great that he was never known to relate a story which included a jest upon words from the Bible.
''Obecne niepowodzenie jest chwilowe, zwycięstwo będzie po naszej stronie. I pamiętajcie: '''Jeszcze Polska nie zginęła, póki my żyjemy. I to, co nam obca przemoc wzięła, siłą odbierzemy.'''''
Poland Is Not Yet Lost
• The present adversity is temporary, the victory will be ours. And remember: Poland is not yet lost, so long as we still live. And what alien force has seized, we shall retrieve with force.
• Gen. Juliusz Rómmel's announcement of the capitulation of Warsaw to German forces, 29 September 1939
• Source: Russocki Stanisław, Kuczyński Stefan, Willaume Juliusz (1978), Godło, barwy i hymn Rzeczypospolitej. Zarys dziejów place: Warsaw, publisher: Wiedza Powszechna
• Source: Wikiquote: "Poland Is Not Yet Lost" (Quotes in speeches)
Let me be as if created for the sake of a whim; this is the jest. Yet I shall with the utmost strenuousness will the ethical; this is the earnestness.
Concluding Unscientific Postscript to Philosophical Fragments
• p. 137
• Source: Wikiquote: "Concluding Unscientific Postscript to Philosophical Fragments" (Quotes: Quotes from: Concluding Unscientific Postscript to Philosophical Fragments, A Mimical-Pathetic-Dialectical Compilation an Existential Contribution Volume I, by Johannes Climacus, edited by Soren Kierkegaard, – Edited and Translated by Howard V. Hong and Edna H. Hong 1992 Princeton University Press, Part Two - The Subjective Issue)
Litwo! Ojczyzno moja! Ty jesteś jak zdrowie.
Ile cię trzeba cenić, ten tylko się dowie,
Kto cię stracił. Dziś piękność twą w całej ozdobie
Widzę i opisuję, bo tęsknię po tobie.

• Translation:
Lithuania, my country! You are as good health:
How much one should prize you, he only can tell
Who has lost you. Your beauty and splendour I view
And describe here today, for I long after you.
Pan Tadeusz
 • Comment: Initial verses of the epic containing an apostrophe to Lithuania, the author's native land.
{| style="background: transparent; border: 0; padding: 0; margin: 0; width:193px;" cellspacing="0" |- | style="padding: auto; margin: 0;" class="thumbimage" | | style="padding: auto; margin: 0;" class="thumbimage" | |- style="vertical-align:top;" | style="padding: 0; margin: 0; border: 0;" |
Black Madonna of Częstochowa
| style="padding: 0; margin: 0; border: 0;" |
Our Lady of the Gate of Dawn
|}

• Source: Wikiquote: "Pan Tadeusz" (Book One: The Estate: Księga Pierwsza: Gospodarstwo)
Blest be those feasts, with simple plenty crowned, Where all the ruddy family around Laugh at the jests or pranks that never fail Or sigh with pity at some mournful tale.
Jane borrow'd maxims from a doubting school, And took for truth the test of ridicule; Lucy saw no such virtue in a jest, Truth was with her of ridicule the test.
The reason is: rats leave the sinking ship but we... we... didn't leave, so the ship didn't sink, and that's madness, Lear's song that's Touchstone's forest jest, that's swan of Avon logic.
Wy jesteście na tym froncie zbrojnym ramieniem Polski, wy jesteście odpowiedzią daną Niemcom za dzień 1 września 1939 roku, wy jesteście jednym żywym dowodem, że jeszcze Polska nie zginęła i nie zginie!
Poland Is Not Yet Lost
• You are Poland's armed arm on this front, you are the response given to the Germans for the 1 September 1939, you are one living proof that Poland is not yet lost and never will be!
Wanda Wasilewska's speech to the soldiers of the 1st Tadeusz Kościuszko Infantry Division, August 1943
• Source: Russocki Stanisław, Kuczyński Stefan, Willaume Juliusz (1978), Godło, barwy i hymn Rzeczypospolitej. Zarys dziejów place: Warsaw, publisher: Wiedza Powszechna
• Source: Wikiquote: "Poland Is Not Yet Lost" (Quotes in speeches)
To shake with laughter ere the jest they hear, To pour at will the counterfeited tear; And, as their patron hints the cold or heat, To shake in dog-days, in December sweat.
Courtiers
• Samuel Johnson, London, line 140.
• Source: Wikiquote: "Courtiers" (Sourced, Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations: Quotes reported in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 144.)
Some fiery fop, with new commission vain, Who sleeps on brambles till he kills his man; Some frolic drunkard, reeling from a feast, Provokes a broil, and stabs you for a jest.
Less at thine own things laugh; lest in the jest
Thy person share, and the conceit advance,
Make not thy sport abuses: for the fly
That feeds on dung is colored thereby.
Of all the griefs that harass the distress'd,
Sure the most bitter is a scornful jest;
Fate never wounds more deep the generous heart,
Than when a blockhead's insult points the dart.
Jesting
• Samuel Johnson, London, line 165. Imitation of Juvenal, Satire, III. V. 152.
• Source: Wikiquote: "Jesting" (Quotes, Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations: Quotes reported in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 404-05.)
Obviously those who burn to be professional jesters mean that they want to be successful comedians. And those are always an elite, microscopic portion of the population. But oh, how they try.
So that the jest is clearly to be seen, Not in the words— but in the gap between; Manner is all in all, whate'er is writ, The substitute for genius, sense, and wit.
Authors
• William Cowper, Table Talk, line 540.
• Source: Wikiquote: "Authors" (Sourced, Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922): Quotes reported in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 47-51.)
Na głos mój ty będziesz drżał: Grunwald, miecze, król Jagiełło! Hajno się po zbrojach cięło, a wichr wył i dął, i wiał; stosy trupów, stosy ciał, a krew rzeką płynie, rzeką! Tam to jest!!...
Battle of Grunwald
• You will tremble at my voice: Grunwald, swords, King Jagiełło! Armors were hacked while wind blew and howled; piles of corpses, piles of bodies, and a river of blood flowed! It is there!!...
• :w:Stanisław Wyspiański (1901), Wesele (Polish)
• Source: Wikiquote: "Battle of Grunwald" (Quotes)
Humour is the only test of gravity, and gravity of humour. For a subject which would not bear raillery is suspicious; and a jest which would not bear a serious examination is certainly false wit.
Misattributed to Aristotle
• Anthony Ashley-Cooper, 3rd Earl of Shaftesbury, Sensus Communis: An Essay on the Freedom of Wit and Humour (1709), Part 1, Sec. 5, incorrectly attributing it to Gorgias via Aristotle.
• Source: Wikiquote: "Aristotle" (Misattributed)
Rich deposits of perversity crop up in his humor - and his sudden attacks of virtue or sentimentality midway through his own or other persons' jests hint that his imp has suggested to him something particularly unfunny and unpardonable.
Before 1914 had well begun to make the world safe for hypocrisy, these stories had blended into one continuous and fairly long Comedy of Evasion, called then In the Flesh, but a little later rechristened The Cream of The Jest...
Grzeczność nie jest nauką łatwą ani małą.
Niełatwą, bo nie na tym kończy się, jak nogą
Zręcznie wierzgnąć, z uśmiechem witać lada kogo;
Bo taka grzeczność modna zda mi się kupiecka,
Ale nie staropolska ani też szlachecka.
Grzeczność wszystkim należy, lecz każdemu inna...

• Translation:
Courtesy's not a science too easy, or small.
Not easy, for it is not sufficiently done
With a deftly bent knee, smile at just everyone;
For meseems, such politeness a merchant's is only,
And is not of old Poland, nor yet gentlemanly.
Courtesy's due to all, but not quite in same style...
Pan Tadeusz
 • Comment: Excerpt from Judge Soplica's lecture about old Polish rules of courtesy and etiquette.
• Source: Wikiquote: "Pan Tadeusz" (Book One: The Estate: Księga Pierwsza: Gospodarstwo)
'Twas the saying of an ancient sage that humour was the only test of gravity, and gravity of humour. For a subject which would not bear raillery was suspicious; and a jest which would not bear a serious examination was certainly false wit.
Ridicule
• Anthony Ashley-Cooper, 3rd Earl of Shaftesbury, Characteristics, Letter Concerning Enthusiasm, Part I. Sect. V. Referring to Leontinus.
• Source: Wikiquote: "Ridicule" (Quotes, Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations: Quotes reported in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 673-74.)
Nature hath fram'd strange fellows in her time: Some that will evermore peep through their eyes, And laugh, like parrots, at a bagpiper: And other of such vinegar aspect That they'll not show their teeth in way of smile, Though Nestor swear the jest be laughable.
Character
• William Shakespeare, The Merchant of Venice (late 1590s), Act I, scene 1, line 51.
• Source: Wikiquote: "Character" (Quotes)
Who thinks that fortune cannot change her mind, Prepares a dreadful jest for all mankind. And who stands safest? Tell me, is it he That spreads and swells in puff'd prosperity, Or bless'd with little, whose preventing care In peace provides fit arms against a war?
Fortune
• Alexander Pope, Second Book of Horace, Satire II, line 123.
• Source: Wikiquote: "Fortune" (Quotes, Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations: Quotes reported in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 289-93.)
There are those who strive to stamp with disrepute The luscious food, because it feeds the brute; In tropes of high-strain'd wit, while gaudy prigs Compare thy nursling man to pamper'd pigs; With sovereign scorn I treat the vulgar jest, Nor fear to share thy bounties with the beast.
There is no one force, no group, and no class that is the preserver of liberty. Liberty is preserved by those who are against the existing chief power. Oppositions which do not express genuine social forces are as trivial, in relation to entrenched power, as the old court jesters.
What things have we seen Done at the Mermaid! heard words that have been So nimble and so full of subtile flame As if that every one from whence they came Had meant to put his whole wit in a jest, And resolved to live a fool the rest Of his dull life.
Winged mimic of the woods! thou motley fool! Who shall thy gay buffoonery describe? Thine ever-ready notes of ridicule Pursue thy fellows still with jest and jibe: Wit, sophist, songster, Yorick of thy tribe; Thou sportive satirist of Nature's school; To thee the palm of scoffing we ascribe, Arch-mocker and mad abbot of misrule!
Birds
• Robert Wilde, D.D., Sonnet, To the Mocking-Bird, reported in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 520.
• Source: Wikiquote: "Birds" (Quotes, Specific types, Mockingbird)
"I always jest to people, the Oval Office is the kind of place where people can stand outside, they're getting ready to come in and tell me what for, and they walk in and get overwhelmed by the atmosphere. And they say, 'Man, you're looking pretty.'" — George W. Bush —Washington, D.C., November 4, 2004
Well, maybe 'tis natural. Of course things you don't know about are always nicer'n things you do, same as the pertater on 'tother side of the plate is always the biggest. But I wish I looked that way ter somebody 'way off. Wouldn't it be jest great, now, if only somebody over in India wanted ME?
Dada hurts. Dada does not jest, for the reason that it was experienced by revolutionary men and not by philistines who demand that art be a decoration for the mendacity of their own emotions... I am firmly convinced that all art will become dadaistic in the course of time, because from Dada proceeds the perpetual urge for its renovation.
Dada
Richard Huelsenbeck, Trans. in The Dada Painters and Poets: An Anthology, ed. Robert Motherwell (1951). “Dada Lives,” Transition no. 25 (Autumn 1936)
• Source: Wikiquote: "Dada" (Dada in Quotes, 1925 - 1950)
Dzień pierwszy kwietnia, tak zwany prima aprilis (prima znaczy po łacinie dzień, aprilis — bzdura), jest jedynym dniem w całym roku, kiedy pędzące ku wiośnie żywioły, myśli, słowa i zmysły obchodzą szalony, obłąkany karnawał i korzystając z tradycyjnego przywileju puszczają się na kosmiczne żarty, międzyplanetarne awantury, niespodzianki rozpętanego chaosu i tryumfującą bzdurą zadają na każdym kroku kłam ustalonemu porządkowi rzeczy!
• Translation: The First of April, so called Prima Aprilis (from Latin prima, day; aprilis, humbug) is the only day of the year when elements, thoughts, words, and senses, all rushing towards springtime, observe a crazy, mad carnival and thanks to a traditional privilege abandon themselves to cosmic pranks, interplanetary riot, surprises of unleashed chaos, when at every step triumphant drivel flies in the face of the usual order of things!''
April Fools' Day
 • Antoni Słonimski and Julian Tuwim, in W oparach absurdu [In the Fumes of Absurd] (in Polish), 1958.
• Source: Wikiquote: "April Fools' Day" (Quotes: Alphabetized by author or source )
'Twas the saying of [Georgias Leontinus apud Arist. Rhetor. lib. 3. cap. 18… which the Translator renders, Seria Risu, Risum Seriis discutere] an ancient sage that humour was the only test of gravity, and gravity of humour. For a subject which would not bear raillery was suspicious; and a jest which would not bear a serious examination was certainly false wit.
A man so various, that he seemed to be Not one, but all mankind's epitome: Stiff in opinions, always in the wrong; Was everything by starts, and nothing long; But, in the course of one revolving moon, Was chemist, fiddler, statesman, and buffoon. … Beggar'd by fools, whom still he found too late, He had his jest, but they had his estate.
King:
Dear friend, I am going to the hermitage wholly and solely out of respect for its pious inhabitants, and not because I have really any liking for [S']akoontalá, the hermit's daughter. Observe:
What suitable communion could there be
Between a monarch and a rustic girl?
I did but feign an idle passion, friend,
Take not in earnest what was said in jest.
Harley Quinn: (throws a kiss with both hands after she's named in jest, before getting serious) We couldn't call ourselves Harley and Ivy on account of they'd bust us again. Ain't it sad? (draws a fake tear) (Nails holds the orange up, right in plain view of Harley and Ivy and crushes/squeezes/bursts it into juice and mush, as a visual demonstration before dropping it.)
"Why is a Kennaston?" he asked himself — thus whimisically voicing a real desire to know if human beings were intended for any especial purpose. Most of us find it more comfortable, upon the whole, to stave off such queries — with a jest, a shrug, or a Scriptural quotation, as best suits personal taste; but Kennaston was "queer" enough to face the situation quite gravely.
Wszyscy pewni zwycięstwa, wołają ze łzami:
"Bóg jest z Napoleonem, Napoleon z nami!"
O wiosno! kto cię widział wtenczas w naszym kraju
Pamiętna wiosno wojny, wiosno urodzaju!
O wiosno, kto cię widział, jak byłaś kwitnąca
Zbożami i trawami, a ludźmi błyszcząca,
Obfita we zdarzenia, nadzieją brzemienna!
Ja ciebie dotąd widzę, piękna maro senna!
Urodzony w niewoli, okuty w powiciu,
Ja tylko jedną taką wiosnę miałem w życiu.

• Translation:
All, of victory certain, cry out with tears thus:
"God is with Napoleon, Napoleon's with us!"
O Spring! Who had then witnessed you walk through our fields,
Spring of war unforgotten, spring of bounteous yields!
O Spring, who'd seen you blossom abundantly then
With corn and with green grasses, and glittering with men,
Profuse with events, pregnant with hope unfulfilled!
O fair phantom of dreamland, I can see you still!
I, in slavery born, and then swaddled with chain,
Only one such spring knew, and will not know again.
Pan Tadeusz
 • Comment: An apostrophe to the spring of 1812, the time when Napoleon's invasion of Russia began.
• Source: Wikiquote: "Pan Tadeusz" (Book Eleven: Year 1812: Księga Jedenasta: Rok 1812)
Máthavya:
No, no; trust me for that. But, if you remember, when you had finished telling me about it, you added that I was not to take the story in earnest, for that you were not really in love with a country girl, but were only jesting; and I was dull and thick-headed enough to believe you. But so fate decreed, and there is no help for it....
A few years ago I had to answer some searching questions to a Customs official about a book which I had with me, printed in Latin, and which the official suspected to be Russian; it was a jestbook, as a matter of fact, and I was so foolish as to say so, forgetting that a Latin joke is as strange to the modern imagination as a unicorn or an amphisbaena.
There's a tremendous popular fallacy which holds that significant research can be carried out by trying things. Actually it is easy to show that in general no significant problem can be solved empirically, except for accidents so rare as to be statistically unimportant. One of my jests is to say that we work empirically — we use bull's eye empiricism. We try everything, but we try the right thing first!
“Were I to cast aside respect before the Creator and seek to make a jest in criticism of creation, then I should demand, ‘Less content and more form!’ Oh, how that loss of content would unburden the world! More modesty in purposes, more restraint in claims, gentlemen demiurges, and the world would be more exquisite!” cried my father as his hands were laying bare Paulina’s white calf from the fetters of her stocking.
I got my apprenticeship, with the Young Concert Artists Trust, playing all these warhorses in Raymond Gubbay concerts. Some are not for me anymore, but I'd still play the Grieg at the drop of a hat; it's so fresh. I'm very careful to keep on playing a lot of mainstream repertoire. I'm not into being the court jester who just does the wacky stuff. Making the connections and taking people down new paths is what I enjoy.
Autumn! Autumn! The Alexandrine epoch of the year, gathering into its enormous libraries all the sterile wisdom of the three hundred and sixty-five days of the solar cycle! Oh, those aged mornings, as yellow as parchment, sweet with wisdom, like late evenings. Oh, those cunningly smiling mornings, like shrewd palimpsests, many-layered like old, yellowed books. Oh, the autumnal day, that old jester-librarian clambering up ladders in his slipped-down dressing gown, sampling the preserves of all ages and cultures!
Father calls me William, sister calls me Will, Mother calls me Willie, but the fellers call me Bill! Mighty glad I ain't a girl—ruther be a boy, Without them sashes, curls, an' things that 's worn by Fauntleroy! Love to chawnk green apples an' go swimmin' in the lake— Hate to take the castor-ile they give for bellyache! 'Most all the time, the whole year round, there ain't no flies on me, But jest 'fore Christmas I'm as good as I kin be!
In the dark night the deep bass of the hyena is heard ; and then it laughs aloud, in a weird, shrill, shrieking treble. This laugh, seldom uttered, but when heard making one's heart shudder, is not a thing to forget ; on feverish nights it plagues one still in memory. No one need jest about it who has not himself heard it. He who has heard it understands how the Arabs take the hyenas to be wicked men living under a spell.
Hyenas
• Schillings, C. G. (1907), In Wildest Africa, Harper & Brothers Publishers.
• Source: Wikiquote: "Hyenas" (Sourced)
This book did not get for me any general recognition. It got for me, instead, something in every way more valuable. For it was The Cream of the Jest which first made for me in the seventeenth year of my writing, a few warm friends who but a little later were to fight in my behalf very nobly, and with wholly heroic tenacity... If few writers have met with more smug, more prurient, or more disingenuous opponents, no writer whatever, I think has found more faithful allies.
Gdybyś i te zapory zmógł nadludzkim męstwem,
Dalej spotkać się z większym masz niebezpieczeństwem;
Dalej co krok czyhają, niby wilcze doły,
Małe jeziorka, trawą zarosłe na poły,
Tak głębokie, że ludzie dna ich nie dośledzą
(Wielkie jest podobieństwo, że diabły tam siedzą).
Woda tych studni sklni się, plamista rdzą krwawą.
A z wnętrza ciągle dymi zionąc woń plugawą,
Od której drzewa wkoło tracą liść i korę;
Łyse, skarłowaciałe, robaczliwe, chore,
Pochyliwszy konary mchem kołtunowate
I pnie garbiąc brzydkimi grzybami brodate,
Siedzą wokoło wody, jak czarownic kupa
Grzejąca się nad kotłem, w którym warzą trupa.

• Translation:
If you these with amazing great bravery subdue
Then even more dire perils are waiting for you:
There lie in wait, like wolf-pits, that dare you to pass,
Little pools half grown over with mat of rank grass
So very deep, that no man can fathom such pit,
(And it is very likely, therein devils sit).
Water in these shafts glistens, with bloody rust spotted,
And steam from the depths rises, with smell of things rotted,
Which makes the trees that grow there lose all leaf and bark;
Bald and dwarfish, worm-riddled, unhealthy and stark,
With mossy tangled elf-locks from crooked limbs hanging,
And stumps hump-backed, and bristling with unlovely fungi,
Squat like a witches' coven round a cauldron wheezing,
Their hands warming, while in it a fresh corpse is seething.
Pan Tadeusz
 • Comment: Part of a description of the most inaccessible parts of Lithuanian primeval forests.
• Source: Wikiquote: "Pan Tadeusz" (Book Four: Diplomacy and the Hunt: Księga Czwarta: Dyplomacja i łowy)
A man must serve his time to every trade Save censure—critics all are ready made. Take hackney'd jokes from Miller, got by rote, With just enough of learning to misquote; A mind well skill'd to find or forge a fault; A turn for punning, call it Attic salt; To Jeffrey go, be silent and discreet, His pay is just ten sterling pounds per sheet; Fear not to lie, 'twill seem a lucky hit; Shrink not from blasphemy, 'twill pass for wit; Care not for feeling—pass your proper jest, And stand a critic, hated yet caress'd.
Criticism
• Lord Byron, English Bards and Scotch Reviewers, line 63.
• Source: Wikiquote: "Criticism" (Quotes: Alphabetized by author , Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations: Quotes reported in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 149-52.)
My job is jester -- not advocate. I’m on a situation comedy responding to [Josh Radnor’s character] Ted Mosby and his wacky adventures -- that’s my job right now. If people want to comment about where I go to dinner, they are welcome to, but it’s not my job to respond to those statements. The Internet stuff threw me for a loop because I didn’t understand where the vitriol was coming from. I thought I had been representing well, and in turn it seemed like I was quickly condemned to step to the plate, and I was fine with that.
"Dear sinners all," the fool began, "man's life is but a jest, A dream, a shadow, bubble, air, a vapour at the best. In a thousand pounds of law I find not a single ounce of love, A blind man killed the parson's cow in shooting at the dove; The fool that eats till he is sick must fast till he is well, The wooer who can flatter most will bear away the belle." * * * * * * And then again the women screamed, and every staghound bayed; And why? because the motley fool so wise a sermon made.
Preaching
• George W. Thornbury, The Jester's Sermon.
• Source: Wikiquote: "Preaching" (Sourced, Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations: Quotes reported in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 629-31.)
Jaques prides himself on his wit and wisdom. But he succeeds only in proving how little wit and even “wisdom” amount to when indulged in for their own sakes and at the expense of life. His jests and “philosophy” give the effect of having been pondered in solitude. But the moment he crosses swords with Orlando and Rosalind, the professional is hopelessly outclassed by amateurs. Extemporaneously they beat him at his own carefully rehearsed game. Being out of love with life, Jaques thinks of nothing but himself. Being in love with Rosalind, Orlando thinks of himself last and has both the humility and insight that love bequeaths.
For example, throughout the long contest, extending over several decades, on the free [silver] coinage question, the existence of this motto on the coins was a constant source of jest and ridicule; and this was unavoidable. Everyone must remember the innumerable cartoons and articles based on phrases like 'In God we trust for the other eight cents'; 'In God we trust for the short weight'; 'In god we trust for the thirty-seven cents we do not pay'; and so forth and so forth. Surely I am well within bounds when I say that a use of the phrase which invites constant levity of this type is most undesirable.
I set to work. I pointed a mural for the main wall: Introduction to the New National Theatre. The other interior walls, the ceiling and the friezes depicted the forerunners of the contemporary actor – a popular musician, a wedding jester, a good woman dancing, a copyist of the Torah, the first poet dreamer, and finally a modern couple flying over the stage. The friezes were decorated with dishes and food, beigels and fruits spread out on well-laid tables. I looked forward to meeting the actors who passed me: ‘Let us agree. Let’s join forces and throw out all this old rubbish. Let’s work a miracle! (around 1921)
Marc Chagall
• In 'Chagall in the Yiddish Theater', Avram Kampf, as quoted in Marc Chagall - the Russian years 1906 – 1922, editor Christoph Vitali, exhibition catalogue, Schirn Kunsthalle Frankfurt, 1991, p. 101
• Source: Wikiquote: "Marc Chagall" (Quotes, 1920s)
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! my gorge rises at it. Here hung those lips that I have kissed I know not how oft. Where be your gibes now? your gambols? your songs? your flashes of merriment, that were wont to set the table on a roar? Not one now, to mock your own grinning? quite chap-fallen? Now get you to my lady's chamber, and tell her, let her paint an inch thick, to this favour she must come; make her laugh at that.
Surely the cosmic irony that loves men's dullness because it alone can preserve them from madness, and retorts upon the cosmic terrors with a jest, is higher than gallantry and more enduring. It arrives at tolerance for all human shortcomings; it embraces high and low in its sympathies; it achieves urbanity as a final goal. It is the stuff of which great literature is made. And Mr. Cabell is creating great literature. A self-reliant intellectual, rich in the spoils of all literatures, one of the great masters of English prose, the supreme comic spirit thus far granted us, he stands apart from the throng of lesser American novelists, as Mark Twain stood apart, individual and incomparable.
In this chapter I want to raise the question partly in jest but partly also in seriousness whether the concept of the image cannot become the abstract foundation of a new science, or at least a cross-disciplinary specialization. As I am indulging in the symbolic communication of an image of images I will even venture to give the science a name — Eiconics — hoping thereby to endow it in the minds of my readers with some of the prestige of classical antiquity. I run some risk perhaps of having my new science confused with the study of icons. A little confusion, however, and the subtle overtones of half-remembered associations are all part of the magic of the name.
Kenneth Boulding
• p. 128
• Robert A. Solo (1994) commented: "Curiously, and quite independently of the publication of the The Image, there did occur in the 1950s and in the decades that followed a revolutionary transformation of the social and behavioral sciences associated with the term structuralism, which hinged on the concept and study of the image (call it cognitive structure, or paradigm, or episteme, or ideology). This was the case in the work of Jean Piaget in psychology, of Thomas Kuhn and Michael Foucault in the history and philosophy of science, of Noam Chomsky in linguistics, of Claude Levi Strauss in anthropology, and others. Though The Image was the first and in my view by far the finest American structuralist essay, it had no visible impact on economics... The economist's image of his world is alas very difficult to penetrate and even more difficult to change."
• Source: Wikiquote: "Kenneth Boulding" (Quotes, 1950s, The Image: Knowledge in Life and Society, 1956: Source: Kenneth Ewart Boulding (1951) The Image: Knowledge in Life and Society. Ann Arbor: The University of Michigan Press (2e ed. 1961))
Each being is assigned only to himself, and the one who takes care to remain here has a solid foundation to walk on that will not shame him. If he then deliberates with himself about what he will, how far he wills, if by virtue of this deliberation he begins slowly and silently, his earnestness will not be put to shame. If, on the other hand, it pleases a man to wax serious in thought of what he will do for others, this demonstrates that basically he is a fool whose life is and remains a jest despite looks and gestures and powerful eloquence and careful theatrical postures, the existence of which means nothing except insofar as with the assistance of irony there can be a little amusement out of it.
Prefaces
• Prefaces, Nichol, 1997 p. 42-43
• Source: Wikiquote: "Prefaces" (Quotes: Primary source: Prefaces, Light Reading For People in Various Estates According to Time and Opportunity, by Nicolaus Notabene, by Soren Kierkegaard, June 17, 1844, Edited and Translated by Todd W. Nichol, 1997, Princeton University Press)
Describing myself as a stranger I besought the King to give me some account of his dominions. But I had the greatest possible difficulty in obtaining any information on points that really interested me; for the Monarch could not refrain from constantly assuming that whatever was familiar to him must also be known to me and that I was simulating ignorance in jest. However, by persevering questions I elicited the following facts: It seemed that this poor ignorant Monarch — as he called himself — was persuaded that the Straight Line which he called his Kingdom, and in which he passed his existence, constituted the whole of the world, and indeed the whole of Space. Not being able either to move or to see, save in his Straight Line, he had no conception of anything out of it.
One, though he be excellent and the chief, is not to be imitated alone; for never no imitator ever grew up to his author; likeness is always on this side truth. Yet there happened in my time one noble speaker, who was full of gravity in his speaking; his language (where he could spare or pass by a jest) was nobly censorious. No man ever spake more neatly, more pressly, more weightily, or suffered less emptiness, less idleness, in what he uttered. No member of his speech but consisted of his own graces. His hearers could not cough, or look aside from him, without loss. He commanded where he spoke, and had his judges angry and pleased at his devotion. No man had their affections more in his power. The fear of every man that heard him was lest he should make an end.
The Large Testament is a hurly-burly of cynical and sentimental reflections about life, jesting legacies to friends and enemies, and, interspersed among these many admirable ballades, both serious and absurd. With so free a design, no thought that occurred to him would need to be dismissed without expression; and he could draw at full length the portrait of his own bedevilled soul, and of the bleak and blackguardly world which was the theatre of his exploits and sufferings. If the reader can conceive something between the slap-dash inconsequence of Byron's Don Juan and the racy humorous gravity and brief noble touches that distinguish the vernacular poems of Burns, he will have formed some idea of Villon's style. To the latter writer – except in the ballades, which are quite his own, and can be paralleled from no other language known to me – he bears a particular resemblance.
The one who came from farthest to my lodge, through deepest snows and most dismal tempests, was a poet. A farmer, a hunter, a soldier, a reporter, even a philosopher, may be daunted; but nothing can deter a poet, for he is actuated by pure love. Who can predict his comings and goings? His business calls him out at all hours, even when doctors sleep. We made that small house ring with boisterous mirth and resound with the murmur of much sober talk, making amends then to Walden vale for the long silences. Broadway was still and deserted in comparison. At suitable intervals there were regular salutes of laughter, which might have been referred indifferently to the last-uttered or the forth-coming jest. We made many a "bran new" theory of life over a thin dish of gruel, which combined the advantages of conviviality with the clear-headedness which philosophy requires.
One gentleman, whose name I never heard, was an earnest “friend of the people,” and descanted with much enthusiasm upon the glorious future then opening upon this new-born nation, and predicted the perpetuity of our institutions, from the purity and intelligence of the people, their freedom from interest or prejudice, their enlightened love of liberty, &c, &c. Alexander Hamilton was among the guests; and, his patience being somewhat exhausted, he replied with much emphasis, striking his hand upon the table, “Your people, sir,—your people is a great beast!” I have this anecdote from a friend, to whom it was related by one who was a guest at the table. After-dinner utterances have little value, unless, perhaps, their very levity makes them good indicators of the wind. We do not know the qualifying words which may have followed, or the tone and manner of that which was, perhaps, in part or in the whole, a jest.
The only example I know which might be quoted as a recognised exception to these remarks is Mlle. de L'Enclos; and she was considered a prodigy. In her scorn for the virtues of women, she practised, so they say, the virtues of a man. She is praised for her frankness and uprightness; she was a trustworthy acquaintance and a faithful friend. To complete the picture of her glory it is said that she became a man. That may be, but in spite of her high reputation I should no more desire that man as my friend than as my mistress. This is not so irrelevant as it seems. I am aware of the tendencies of our modern philosophy which make a jest of female modesty and its so-called insincerity; I also perceive that the most certain result of this philosophy will be to deprive the women of this century of such shreds of honour as they still possess.
(Page 209) Again there is a trite saying that good Soldiers never think. Though this may not be true, yet it explains the cautionary advice that War is too serious a matter to be left to Soldiers and that a very good Soldier should not be in charge of the War Office. His place should be on the battle field where he is unsurpassable. Actually, "Young men don't make War, they fight them. Old men make Wars and survive them. They are immensely brave about other people's sons," says Nicholas Montsarrat. They are the ones that jest at scars, who never felt a wound. Old Soldiers never die, they only fade away, which has now been commuted to, they never die but only get slightly out of focus. However, the focus must be pretty sharp, for we find our retired Soldiers are in great demand and they secure ready employment in large organisations in the public and private sectors.
STRANGER. In order to see into Space you ought to have an eye, not on your Perimeter, but on your side, that is, on what you would probably call your inside; but we in Spaceland should call it your side. I. An eye in my inside! An eye in my stomach! Your Lordship jests. STRANGER. I am in no jesting humour. I tell you that I come from Space, or, since you will not understand what Space means, from the Land of Three Dimensions whence I but lately looked down upon your Plane which you call Space forsooth. From that position of advantage I discerned all that you speak of as SOLID (by which you mean "enclosed on four sides"), your houses, your churches, your very chests and safes, yes even your insides and stomachs, all lying open and exposed to my view. I. Such assertions are easily made, my Lord.STRANGER. But not easily proved, you mean. But I mean to prove mine.
Edwin Abbott Abbott
• Chapter 16. How the Stranger Vainly Endeavoured to Reveal to Me in Words the Mysteries of Spaceland
• Source: Wikiquote: "Edwin Abbott Abbott" (Quotes, Flatland: A Romance of Many Dimensions (1884):
To
The Inhabitants of SPACE IN GENERAL

And H. C. IN PARTICULAR
This Work is Dedicated
By a Humble Native of Flatland
In the Hope that
Even as he was Initiated into the Mysteries
Of THREE Dimensions
Having been previously conversant
With ONLY TWO
So the Citizens of that Celestial Region
May aspire yet higher and higher
To the Secrets of FOUR FIVE OR EVEN SIX Dimensions
Thereby contributing
To the Enlargement of THE IMAGINATION
And the possible Development
Of that most rare and excellent Gift of MODESTY
Among the Superior Races
Of SOLID HUMANITY
, PART II: OTHER WORLDS)
I do not mean to say... that these love discussions... were without their influence upon the conduct and ideals of courtly life in the Middle Ages. ...the question of the existence of Courts of Love comes down to a question of jest or earnest, and the line between these is no easy one to draw. In our modern life we see men take to sport with all the seriousness of which they are capable, while others, quite literally, "play the game" of politics. An international yacht race moves men as deeply as a national election, and affects as permanently, ideals of conduct and the sense of honor. There is no reason to believe that business and play were any more clearly divided in the Middle Ages; and we may grant the love discussions of Eleanor of Aquitaine and her daughter an immense influence upon knightly conduct without in any way invalidating the contention that these ladies and their courtiers were only playing a game.
In that little book [On the Nobility and Excellence of the Female Sex, and the Superiority of the Same over the Male Sex, by Heinrich Cornelius Agrippa, 1486–1535] it is adduced as proof that in Hebrew woman is called Eve (life), man is called Adam (earth) – ergo. Something like this is excellent as a jest in an exchange of words in which everything is absolutely decided and signed and sealed with both the notary public’s seal and God’s. So it is also when the author cites in another demonstration that when a woman falls into the water she floats on top whereas a man, if he falls into the water, sinks-ergo. This demonstration lends itself to other uses, which helps explain the fact that so many witches were burned in the Middle Ages. It is a few years since I read that little book, but it was highly amusing to me. The most comical things in the natural sciences and philology appear in the most naïve way.
The Insubordinate Ritual: The Candidate hands a previously prepared necklace to the person who will be the Recipient of the insubordination. The Recipient places the necklace about his or her neck and kneeling before the candidate asks: R: Will you test me as my Fool, so that all may understand? C: I will. R: Will you test me as my Jester, if none else will criticize? C: I will. R: Will you test me as my Chaplain, that no fault lie unremedied? C: I will. R: Will you test me as my Confessor, lest I neglect my own progress? C: I will. R: Will you test me as my Inquisitor. if I exceed my authority? C: I will. R: Then how ill you be known? C: As your ______ ______ R: Then take this necklace my ______ ______, to remind us of your duties. (The Recipient then give the necklace to the Candidate. The Ritual is concluded by a brief barrage of insulting noises directed by all at the recipient.)
Of our studies it is impossible to speak, since they held so slight a connection with anything of the world as living men conceive it. They were of that vaster and more appalling universe of dim entity and consciousness which lies deeper than matter, time, and space, and whose existence we suspect only in certain forms of sleep — those rare dreams beyond dreams which come never to common men, and but once or twice in the lifetime of imaginative men. The cosmos of our waking knowledge, born from such an universe as a bubble is born from the pipe of a jester, touches it only as such a bubble may touch its sardonic source when sucked back by the jester's whim. Men of learning suspect it little and ignore it mostly. Wise men have interpreted dreams, and the gods have laughed. One man with Oriental eyes has said that all time and space are relative, and men have laughed. But even that man with Oriental eyes has done no more than suspect....
No one can escape the power of language, let alone those of English birth brought up from childhood, as Mrs. Hilbery had been, to disport themselves now in the Saxon plainness, now in the Latin splendor of the tongue, and stored with memories, as she was, of old poets exuberating in an infinity of vocables. Even Katharine was slightly affected against her better judgment by her mother's enthusiasm. Not that her judgment could altogether acquiesce in the necessity for a study of Shakespeare's sonnets as a preliminary to the fifth chapter of her grandfather's biography. Beginning with a perfectly frivolous jest, Mrs. Hilbery had evolved a theory that Anne Hathaway had a way, among other things, of writing Shakespeare's sonnets; the idea, struck out to enliven a party of professors, who forwarded a number of privately printed manuals within the next few days for her instruction, had submerged her in a flood of Elizabethan literature; she had come half to believe in her joke, which was, she said, at least as good as other people's facts, and all her fancy for the time being centered upon Stratford-on-Avon.
The pathetic interest of the drama deepens with every new expression, but at least you can learn from it that your parents in the nineteenth century were not to blame for losing the sense of unity in art. As early as the fourteenth century, signs of unsteadiness appeared, and, before the eighteenth century, unity became only a reminiscence. The old habit of centralising a strain at one point, and then dividing and subdividing it, and distributing it on visible lines of support to a visible foundation, disappeared in architecture soon after 1500, but lingered in theology two centuries longer, and even, in very old-fashioned communities, far down to our own time; but its values were forgotten, and it survived chiefly as a stock jest against the clergy. The passage between the two epochs is as beautiful as the Slave of Michael Angelo; but, to feel its beauty, you should see it from above, as it came from its radiant source. Truth, indeed, may not exist; science avers it to be only a relation; but what men took for truth stares one everywhere in the eye and begs for sympathy.
(About Russians) They are all more or less disguised imperialists, including revolutionists. The trait of these minds, always longing for the absolute, is a vivid centralism. They loathe varieties, cannot conciliate dissonances - such things dull their will and imagination to the extent that they cannot combine varieties into one whole; they reject even the idea of conscious social organizations. [...] Let everything happen by itself, vividly - that is the wisest solution according to them, because it is the simplest and the easiest. Which is why there are so many anarchists among them. A strange thing, but I have never met any republicans among Russians!Polish: "Wszyscy oni są mniej lub więcej zakapturzeni imperialiści, nie wyłączając rewolucjonistów. Żywiołowy centralizm jest cechą tych umysłów, wiecznie tęskniących do absolutu. Nie znoszą rozmaitości, nie umieją godzić sprzeczności – nużą one ich wolę i wyobraźnię do tego stopnia, że nie mogą stopić rozmaitości w jedną całość, odrzucają zupełnie nawet potrzebę świadomych społecznych organizacji. [...]. Niech się dzieje wszystko samo przez się, żywiołowo – to rozwiązanie według nich jest najmądrzejsze, bo najprostsze i najłatwiejsze. Dlatego to pośród nich tak dużo jest anarchistów. Dziwna jednak rzecz, że nie spotkałem wcale wśród Rosjan republikanów!"
That simple wise man of old, who knew how to talk so beautifully about the love that loves the beautiful, at times also conducted another king of discourse, when he spoke about loving the ugly. He did not deny that to love is to love the beautiful, but he still spoke also about-indeed it was a kind of jest-loving the ugly. What then is meant by the beautiful? The beautiful is the immediate, and direct object of immediate love, the choice of inclination and of passion. And what is ugly? It is the neighbor, whom one shall love. One shall love him: that simple wise man knew nothing at all about this. He did not even know that the neighbor existed and that one should love him; when he spoke about loving the ugly, it was only teasing. The neighbor is the unlovable object, is not anything to offer to inclination and passion, which turns away from him and says, “Is that anything to love!” But for that very reason there is no advantage connected with speaking about having to love the un-lovable object. Yet the true love is love for the neighbor, or it is not to find the lovable object but to find the un-lovable object lovable.
I believe that the intelligence of the people in Scotland is superior to the intelligence of the people in England. I take it from these facts. Before going to the meetings, we often asked the committee or the people with whom we came in contact, "Are there any fallacies which the working people hold on this question? Have they any crotchets about machinery, or wages, or anything else?" And the universal reply was, "No; you may make a speech about what you like; they understand the question thoroughly; and it is no use confining yourself to machinery or wages, for there are few men, probably no man here, who would be taken in by such raw jests as those." …I told them that they were the people who should have repeal of the Union; for that, if they are separate from England, they might have a government wholly popular and intelligent, to a degree which I believe does not exist in any other country on the face of the earth. However, I believe they will be disposed to press us on, and make us become more and more intelligent; and we may receive benefits from our contact with them, even though, for some ages to come, our connexion with them may be productive of evil to themselves.
If I were young, I would seek the pleasures of youth; and as I would have them at their best I would not seek them in the guise of a rich man. If I were at my present age, it would be another matter; I would wisely confine myself to the pleasures of my age; I would form tastes which I could enjoy, and I would stifle those which could only cause suffering. I would not go and offer my grey beard to the scornful jests of young girls; I could never bear to sicken them with my disgusting caresses, to furnish them at my expense with the most absurd stories, to imagine them describing the vile pleasures of the old ape, so as to avenge themselves for what they had endured. But if habits unresisted had changed my former desires into needs, I would perhaps satisfy those needs, but with shame and blushes. I would distinguish between passion and necessity, I would find a suitable mistress and would keep to her. I would not make a business of my weakness, and above all I would only have one person aware of it. Life has other pleasures when these fail us; by hastening in vain after those that fly us, we deprive ourselves of those that remain.
Take the case of the Home Insurance Company v. Morse, in which the Supreme Court of the United States held that a statute of Wisconsin requiring an insurance company of another State to agree that it would not remove a case against it to the United States Circuit Court was 'illegal and void' and therefore not binding on the company. Then read, and rub your eyes as you read, the same Court in Doyle v. The Continental Insurance Company, in which it was held that the State may prescribe any condition that it may deem proper, whether constitutional or not, upon which corporations of other States may enter its borders, using language which was long held as a sword over companies that contemplated taking a case to the United States Circuit Court in that State, or in other States having a like statute. Years afterwards we have from the same Court Barron v. Burnside, in which it was held that the ominous part of Doyle v. The Continental Insurance Company was obiter dictum; holding further that no conditions can be imposed by a State upon corporations foreign to it which are repugnant to the Constitution and laws of the United states. Such an episode reminds one of the trick on Falstaff that was 'argument for a week, laughter for a month, and a jest for ever.'
Dictum
• Author unidentified.
• Source: Wikiquote: "Dictum" (Sourced, Obiter dicta, The Dictionary of Legal Quotations (1904): Quotes reported in James William Norton-Kyshe, The Dictionary of Legal Quotations (1904), p. 184-186.)
The old question as to what shall be done with the negro will have to give place to the greater question 'What shall be done with the Mongolian', and perhaps we shall see raised one still greater, namely, 'What will the Mongolian do with both the negro and the white?' Already has the matter taken shape in California and on the Pacific coast generally. Already has California assumed a bitterly unfriendly attitude toward the Chinaman. Already has she driven them from her altars of justice. Already has she stamped them as outcasts and handed them over to popular contempts and vulgar jest. Already are they the constant victims of cruel harshness and brutal violence. Already have our Celtic brothers, never slow to execute the behests of popular prejudice against the weak and defenseless, recognized in the heads of these people, fit targets for their shilalahs. Already, too, are their associations formed in avowed hostility to the Chinese. In all this there is, of course, nothing strange. Repugnance to the presence and influence of foreigners is an ancient feeling among men. It is peculiar to no particular race or nation. It is met with, not only in the conduct of one nation towards another, but in the conduct of the inhabitants of the different parts of the same country, some times of the same city, and even of the same village.
There is only one name in heaven and on earth, only one road, only one prototype. The person who chooses to follow Christ chooses the name that is about every name, the prototype that is supremely lifted up above all heavens, but yet at the same time is human in such a way that it can be the prototype for a human being, that it is named and shall be named in heaven and on earth, in both places, as the highest name. There are prototypes whose names are mentioned only on earth,, but the highest name, the one and only name, must of course have this excluding quality that in turn identifies it as the one and only name-that it is named both in heaven and on earth. This name is the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. But is it not then joyous to dare to choose to walk the same road he walked! Unfortunately, in the confused and confusing jargon of the world, whatever is simple and earnest almost sounds at times like a jest. The person who certainly has exercised the greatest power ever exercised in the world proudly calls himself Peter’s successor. But to be Christ’s follower! Indeed that does not tempt to pride; it is the equal opportunity for the mightiest and for the lowliest, for the wisest and the simplest-that is the blessedness of it.
Christianity
• Soren Kierkegaard Upbuilding Discourses in Various Spirits, 1847 Hong p. 225-226.
• Source: Wikiquote: "Christianity" (The Nineteenth Century)
“He caught a glimpse of that extraordinary faculty in man, that strange, altruistic, rare, and obstinate decency which will make writers or scientists maintain their truths at the risk of death. Eppur si muove, Galileo was to say; it moves all the same. They were to be in a position to burn him if he would go on with it, with his preposterous nonsense about the earth moving round the sun, but he was to continue with the sublime assertion because there was something which he valued more than himself. The Truth. To recognize and to acknowledge What Is. That was the thing which man could do, which his English could do, his beloved, his sleeping, his now defenceless English. They might be stupid, ferocious, unpolitical, almost hopeless. But here and there, oh so seldome, oh so rare, oh so glorious, there were those all the same who would face the rack, the executioner, and even utter extinction, in the cause of something greater than themselves. Truth, that strange thing, the jest of Pilate's. Many stupid young men had thought they were dying for it, and many would continue to die for it, perhaps for a thousand years. They did not have to be right about their truth, as Galileo was to be. It was enough that they, the few and martyred, should establish a greatness, a thing above the sum of all they ignorantly had.”
I am well aware that as a human being I am very far from being a paradigm; if anything, I am a sample human being. With a fair degree of accuracy, I give the temperature of every mood and passion, and when I am generating my own inwardness, I understand these words: homo sum, nil humani a me alienum puto [I am a human being, I hold that nothing human is alien to me]. But humanly no one can model himself on me, and historically I am even less a prototype for any human being. If anything, I am someone who could be needed in a crisis, as a guinea pig that life uses to feel its way. A person half as reflective as I would be able to be of significance for many people, but precisely because I am altogether reflective I have none at all. As soon as I am outside my religious understanding, I feel as an insect with which children are playing must feel, because life seems to have dealt with me so unmercifully; as soon as I am inside my religious understanding, I understand that precisely this has absolute meaning for me. Hence, that which in one case is a dreadful jest is in another sense the most profound earnestness. Earnestness is basically not something simple, a simplex, but is a compositum [compound], for true earnestness is the unity of jest and earnestness.
Man, your head is haunted; you have wheels in your head! You imagine great things, and depict to yourself a whole world of gods that has an existence for you, a spirit-realm to which you suppose yourself to be called, an ideal that beckons to you. You have a fixed idea! Do not think that I am jesting or speaking figuratively when I regard those persons who cling to the Higher, and (because the vast majority belongs under this head) almost the whole world of men, as veritable fools, fools in a madhouse. What is it, then, that is called a "fixed idea"? An idea that has subjected the man to itself. When you recognize, with regard to such a fixed idea, that it is a folly, you shut its slave up in an asylum. And is the truth of the faith, say, which we are not to doubt; the majesty of (e. g.) the people, which we are not to strike at (he who does is guilty of — lese-majesty); virtue, against which the censor is not to let a word pass, that morality may be kept pure; — are these not "fixed ideas"? Is not all the stupid chatter of (e. g.) most of our newspapers the babble of fools who suffer from the fixed idea of morality, legality, Christianity, etc., and only seem to go about free because the madhouse in which they walk takes in so broad a space?
All skepticism is a kind of idealism. Hence when the skeptic Zeno pursued the study of skepticism by endeavoring existentially to keep himself unaffected by whatever happened, so that when once he had gone out of his way to avoid a mad dog, he shamefacedly admitted that even a skeptical philosopher is also sometimes a man, I find nothing ridiculous in this. There is no contradiction, and the comical always lies in a contradiction. On the other hand, when one thinks of all the miserable idealistic lecture-witticisms, the jesting and coquetry in connection with playing the idealist while in the professorial chair, so that the lecturer is not really an idealist, but only plays the fashionable game of being an idealist; when one remembers the lecture-phrase about doubting everything, while occupying the lecture platform, aye, then it is impossible not to write a satire merely by recounting the facts. Through an existential attempt to be an idealist, one would learn in the course of half a year something very different from this game of hide-and-seek on the lecture platform. There is no special difficulty connected with being an idealist in the imagination; but to exist as an idealist is an extremely strenuous task, because existence itself constitutes a hindrance and an objection. To express existentially what one has understood about oneself, and in this manner to understand oneself, is in no way comical. But to understand everything except one’s own self is very comical.
About Zeno of Elea
• Soren Kierkegaard, Concluding Unscientific Postscript to Philosophical Fragments (1846), p. 315, as translated by David F. Swenson and Walter Lowrie 1941 Fifth Printing Princeton University Press.
• Source: Wikiquote: "Zeno of Elea" (Quotes about Zeno)
Blair’s personal life and Orwell’s public activity both reflected one powerfully single-minded personality. Blair-Orwell was made of one piece: a recurrent theme in the testimonies of all those who knew him at close range was his "terrible simplicity." He had the "innocence of a savage." … Orwell once defined himself half in jest — but only half — as a "Tory Anarchist." Indeed, after his first youthful experience in the colonial police in Burma, he only knew that he hated imperialism and all forms of political oppression; all authority appeared suspect to him, even "mere success seemed to me a form of bullying." Then after his inquiry into workers’ conditions in northern industrial England during the Depression he developed a broad nonpartisan commitment to “socialism”: “socialism does mean justice and liberty when the nonsense is stripped off it.” The decisive turning point in his political evolution took place in Spain, where he volunteered to fight fascism. First he was nearly killed by a fascist bullet and then narrowly escaped being murdered by the Stalinist secret police:
  What I saw in Spain, and what I have seen since of the inner workings of left-wing political parties, have given me a horror of politics…. I am definitely “left,” but I believe that a writer can only remain honest if he keeps free of party labels.
From then on he considered that the first duty of a socialist is to fight totalitarianism, which means in practice “to denounce the Soviet myth, for there is not much difference between Fascism and Stalinism.”
And it is not very difficult to see where we have really to look for it. The people (as I tactfully pointed out to them) who really take the name of the Lord in vain are the clergymen themselves. The thing which is fundamentally and really frivolous is not a careless joke. The thing which is fundamentally and really frivolous is a careless solemnity. If Mr. McCabe really wishes to know what sort of guarantee of reality and solidity is afforded by the mere act of what is called talking seriously, let him spend a happy Sunday in going the round of the pulpits. Or, better still, let him drop in at the House of Commons or the House of Lords. Even Mr. McCabe would admit that these men are solemn—more solemn than I am. And even Mr. McCabe, I think, would admit that these men are frivolous—more frivolous than I am. Why should Mr. McCabe be so eloquent about the danger arising from fantastic and paradoxical writers? Why should he be so ardent in desiring grave and verbose writers? There are not so very many fantastic and paradoxical writers. But there are a gigantic number of grave and verbose writers; and it is by the efforts of the grave and verbose writers that everything that Mr. McCabe detests (and everything that I detest, for that matter) is kept in existence and energy. How can it have come about that a man as intelligent as Mr. McCabe can think that paradox and jesting stop the way? It is solemnity that is stopping the way in every department of modern effort.
The old question as to what shall be done with the negro will have to give place to the greater question “What shall be done with the Mongolian,” and perhaps we shall see raised one still greater, namely, “What will the Mongolian do with both the negro and the white?” Already has the matter taken shape in California and on the Pacific coast generally. Already has California assumed a bitterly unfriendly attitude toward the Chinaman. Already has she driven them from her altars of justice. Already has she stamped them as outcasts and handed them over to popular contempts and vulgar jest. Already are they the constant victims of cruel harshness and brutal violence. Already have our Celtic brothers, never slow to execute the behests of popular prejudice against the weak and defenseless, recognized in the heads of these people, fit targets for their shilalahs. Already, too, are their associations formed in avowed hostility to the Chinese. In all this there is, of course, nothing strange. Repugnance to the presence and influence of foreigners is an ancient feeling among men. It is peculiar to no particular race or nation. It is met with, not only in the conduct of one nation towards another, but in the conduct of the inhabitants of the different parts of the same country, some times of the same city, and even of the same village. 'Lands intersected by a narrow frith abhor each other. Mountains interposed, make enemies of nations'. To the Greek, every man not speaking Greek is a barbarian. To the Jew, everyone not circumcised is a gentile. To the Mohametan, every one not believing in the Prophet is a kaffer.
I wanted to go away, in the midst of something entirely different, I had been there, in the house of torture, I have seen people being kicked, men’s bodies scorched, nails pulled out with pliers. Armed with flame and cudgels, grinning men in shirt sleeves. Where I could hear my friends being thrown headlong down the stairs. Night was as day, and long shrieks wounded me. In vain I tried to think of wooded lanes and flowers, a serene life and human words. The thought seized up, it was as if a wound were opened up again and again and endlessly searched. From the mouth struck, teeth and blood came out, and lamenting moans from the deep throat. Away, away from that house, from that street and town, from anything similar to it. I must save myself, keep up my mind, that I should not be led to madness by these memories. Oh, if we could go back to a void, from which a new order, a maternal opening could come forth, if I hear a certain tone of voice even in jest, I shudder. My unhappiness is that I avoid the sight of suffering, hospitals and prisons. I have yearned for high solitudes, lands of still sunshine and sweet shadows, but I would always be pursued by the ghosts of human beings. All of a sudden I feel the need of distraction and play, to lose myself in the noise of the fairground. I remain with you, but forgive me if you see me sometimes act like a madman. I try to heal myself by myself, as an animal, trusting that the wounds will close. I stop to listen to the simple conversations of the women in the marketplace, with their dialectical lilt. I rejoice at the footsteps of running children, their overpowering calls. Because you do not know the absurdity of my dreams, the fixed expressions, the incomprehensible gestures. There is turmoil inside me, which seems to ridicule me. And I cannot cry out, not to be like them. Tomorrow I will go towards some music, now I am getting ready.
Aldo Capitini
• Source: Wikiquote: "Aldo Capitini" (, Poems of Aldo Capitini: A selection of poems by Aldo Capitini - from COLLOQUIO CORALE (Choral Dialogue), 1956, Pacini Mariotti, Pisa, translated into English by Maddalena Rayner, who knew him personally for many years.)
In each of the cathedral churches there was a bishop, or an archbishop of fools, elected; and in the churches immediately dependent upon the papal see a pope of fools. These mock pontiffs had usually a proper suit of ecclesiastics who attended upon them, and assisted at the divine service, most of them attired in ridiculous dresses resembling pantomimical players and buffoons; they were accompanied by large crowds of the laity, some being disguised with masks of a monstrous fashion, and others having their faces smutted; in one instance to frighten the beholders, and in the other to excite their laughter: and some, again, assuming the habits of females, practised all the wanton airs of the loosest and most abandoned of the sex. During the divine service this motley crowd were not contended with singing of indecent songs in the choir, but some of them ate, and drank, and played at dice upon the altar, by the side of the priest who celebrated the mass. After the service they put filth into the censers, and ran about the church, leaping, dancing, laughing, singing, breaking obscene jests, and exposing themselves in the most unseemly attitudes with shameless impudence. Another part of these ridiculous ceremonies was, to shave the precentor of fools upon a stage erected before the church, in the presence of the populace; and during the operation, he amused them with lewd and vulgar discourses, accompanied by actions equally reprehensible. The bishop, or the pope of fools, performed the divine service habited in the pontifical garments, and gave his benediction to the people before they quitted the church. He was afterwards seated in an open carriage, and drawn about to the different parts of the town, attended by a large train of ecclesiastics and laymen promiscuously mingled together; and many of the most profligate of the latter assumed clerical habits in order to give their impious fooleries the greater effect; they had also with them carts filled with ordure, which they threw occasionally upon the populace assembled to see the procession. These spectacles were always exhibited at Christmas-time, or near to it, but not confined to one particular day.
Cabell brought many new elements into the modern fantasy tradition, from his romantic poeticism to his ironic comedy; but perhaps the most impressive is the way his stories interact with one another. Each book stands quite comfortably alone, but the more Cabell you read, the more you understand. … Jurgen has a curious conversation with a young man named Horvendile, who speculates that maybe he himself is the author of all that is happening. Horvendile’s appearance here is only fleeting, but he recurs in a great many of Cabell’s books, unchanged whatever the period, and does seem to exert a great deal of control over events. In The Cream of the Jest, however, we discover that Horvendile is actually the dream-self of the twentieth-century author, Felix Kennaston of Lichfield, who writes tales of mediaeval Poictesme and who wanders time as Horvendile, controlling all the characters he’s created. So all these stories are really the creations of Kennaston – a figure not entirely unlike Cabell himself? Not quite. In the genealogical work that links all the characters together, Cabell makes it quite clear that Felix Kennaston is actually a descendant of both Jurgen and Manuel – whom he consequently couldn’t possibly have invented. All Cabell’s writings work like this, almost as if he were creating an intricate Chinese puzzle, and the wealth of connections between the books somewhat foreshadow later authors, such as Michael Moorcock, who also weave many separate books into a grand design. … The female characters in Cabell’s books are, almost without exception, either romantic beauties or nags – if not both at the same time – and they have no real substance in the stories beyond how they relate to the male characters. This can certainly be off-putting; but, if the reader can read the books as a product of their time and ignore these short-comings, there’s plenty of reward. With that caveat, I heartily recommend Jurgen, along with the other books mentioned here. Oh, and what of those obscenities that caused John S. Sumner a near apoplexy? Well, I don’t doubt you can find them, if you dig deep and approach Jurgen with plenty of humour and imagination, as well as being willing to look up various of Cabell’s obscure references. Just don’t expect Lady Chatterley’s Lover.
Describing myself as a stranger I besought the King to give me some account of his dominions. But I had the greatest possible difficulty in obtaining any information on points that really interested me; for the Monarch could not refrain from constantly assuming that whatever was familiar to him must also be known to me and that I was simulating ignorance in jest. However, by persevering questions I elicited the following facts: It seemed that this poor ignorant Monarch — as he called himself — was persuaded that the Straight Line which he called his Kingdom, and in which he passed his existence, constituted the whole of the world, and indeed the whole of Space. Not being able either to move or to see, save in his Straight Line, he had no conception of anything out of it. Though he had heard my voice when I first addressed him, the sounds had come to him in a manner so contrary to his experience that he had made no answer, "seeing no man", as he expressed it, "and hearing a voice as it were from my own intestines." Until the moment when I placed my mouth in his World, he had neither seen me, nor heard anything except confused sounds beating against — what I called his side, but what he called his INSIDE or STOMACH; nor had he even now the least conception of the region from which I had come. Outside his World, or Line, all was a blank to him; nay, not even a blank, for a blank implies Space; say, rather, all was non-existent. His subjects — of whom the small Lines were men and the Points Women — were all alike confined in motion and eye-sight to that single Straight Line, which was their World. It need scarcely be added that the whole of their horizon was limited to a Point; nor could any one ever see anything but a Point. Man, woman, child, thing — each was a Point to the eye of a Linelander. Only by the sound of the voice could sex or age be distinguished. Moreover, as each individual occupied the whole of the narrow path, so to speak, which constituted his Universe, and no one could move to the right or left to make way for passers by, it followed that no Linelander could ever pass another. Once neighbours, always neighbours. Neighbourhood with them was like marriage with us. Neighbours remained neighbours till death did them part. Such a life, with all vision limited to a Point, and all motion to a Straight Line, seemed to me inexpressibly dreary; and I was surprised to note the vivacity and cheerfulness of the King.
Edwin Abbott Abbott
• Chapter 13. How I had a Vision of Lineland
• Source: Wikiquote: "Edwin Abbott Abbott" (Quotes, Flatland: A Romance of Many Dimensions (1884):
To
The Inhabitants of SPACE IN GENERAL

And H. C. IN PARTICULAR
This Work is Dedicated
By a Humble Native of Flatland
In the Hope that
Even as he was Initiated into the Mysteries
Of THREE Dimensions
Having been previously conversant
With ONLY TWO
So the Citizens of that Celestial Region
May aspire yet higher and higher
To the Secrets of FOUR FIVE OR EVEN SIX Dimensions
Thereby contributing
To the Enlargement of THE IMAGINATION
And the possible Development
Of that most rare and excellent Gift of MODESTY
Among the Superior Races
Of SOLID HUMANITY
, PART II: OTHER WORLDS)
In the Far West, the United States of America openly claimed to be custodians of the whole planet. Universally feared and envied, universally respected for their enterprise, yet for their complacency very widely despised, the Americans were rapidly changing the whole character of man’s existence. By this time every human being throughout the planet made use of American products, and there was no region where American capital did not support local labour. Moreover the American press, gramophone, radio, cinematograph and televisor ceaselessly drenched the planet with American thought. Year by year the aether reverberated with echoes of New York’s pleasures and the religious fervours of the Middle West. What wonder, then, that America, even while she was despised, irresistibly moulded the whole human race. This, perhaps, would not have mattered, had America been able to give of her very rare best. But inevitably only her worst could be propagated. Only the most vulgar traits of that potentially great people could get through into the minds of foreigners by means of these crude instruments. And so, by the floods of poison issuing from this people’s baser members, the whole world, and with it the nobler parts of America herself, were irrevocably corrupted. For the best of America was too weak to withstand the worst. Americans had indeed contributed amply to human thought. They had helped to emancipate philosophy from ancient fetters. They had served science by lavish and rigorous research. In astronomy, favoured by their costly instruments and clear atmosphere, they had done much to reveal the dispositions of the stars and galaxies. In literature, though often they behaved as barbarians, they had also conceived new modes of expression, and moods of thought not easily appreciated in Europe. They had also created a new and brilliant architecture. And their genius for organization worked upon a scale that was scarcely conceivable, let alone practicable, to other peoples. In fact their best minds faced old problems of theory and of valuation with a fresh innocence and courage, so that fogs of superstition were cleared away wherever these choice Americans were present. But these best were after all a minority in a huge wilderness of opinionated self-deceivers, in whom, surprisingly, an outworn religious dogma was championed with the intolerant optimism of youth. For this was essentially a race of bright, but arrested, adolescents. Something lacked which should have enabled them to grow up. One who looks back across the aeons to this remote people can see their fate already woven of their circumstance and their disposition, and can appreciate the grim jest that these, who seemed to themselves gifted to rejuvenate the planet, should have plunged it, inevitably, through spiritual desolation into senility and age-long night.
[After Sora fixes Agrabah.]
Data Sora: All right, Pete! You're through running.
Pete: Heh heh heh, Who said anything about running?
Data Sora: Huh?
Pete: All right, come on out and show him who's boss...Maleficent
Data Sora: Who are you?
Maleficent: An amusing jest, boy, but not one I will not abide. If you desire a reminder of my power....Then I shall give you one!
[Maleficents blasts Data Sora]
Maleficent: Isn't that odd?
[Maleficent destroys Data Sora's Kingdom Key.]
Maleficent: So we see, 'twas but a lie. And now that it's gone, this entire world shall be mine to rule.
[Shadows appear.]
Maleficent: Yes, my loyal minions. Drag all you see into deepest darkness!
[The Shadows are about to attack Data Sora when the Journal and Mickey intervene.]
Journal: You okay?
Data Sora: Riku...Mickey!
Mickey: Maleficent. What are you doing here in the Datascape?
Maleficent: "Date escape"? Spare me you dull details.
Pete: But since you're wonderin', it was all my idea, you bozo.
[Flashback]
Pete(Voice over): We caught wind right away you was up to somethin', see. So I decided to pay ya a little visit on Maleficent's orders. And what do I find?
[Watches Mickey and company get teleported into the datascape before he is taken as well.]
Pete(Voice over): And that's how yours truly got sucked into the light show. I woke up all by my lonesome in the weirdest place.
Pete: Maleficent! You seein' this? Better get here right away!
[Maleficent appears from behind, scaring Pete]
Maleficent: You'll take no such tone with me. What is this place?
Pete: I ain't no expert, but I think it's hookin' a bunch of places together. Could come handy for takin' over them worlds, huh?
Maleficent: It does seem...for once you may have done something right.
[The flashback ends]
Pete: And there ya have it. We's been diggin' around in here ever since. Turns out this place connects right to that castle o' yours.
Maleficent: Or at least it DID before I took control of the only way out.
Data Sora: So you're the one who cut the link!
Maleficent: Rest assured, both worlds shall be mine before long. Once I have immersed this one in darkness, Ican send my Heartless horde back into your castle!
Mickey: No!
Maleficent: The long slumber has ended, and a new era has begun--one where all worlds belong to me! But my worlds must be free of light, and yours shine far too brightly. This time, it is you who will sleep!
Journal: Wrong! This is one world I won't let you touch!
Maleficent: Hmph! Foolish boy!
[Maleficent blocks the Journal's attack and knocks him out]
Mickey: Riku!
Maleficent: Now, you, boy...You belong to darkness, not the light. I shall take this one with me. I am sure he will prove...useful.
[Maleficent spirits the Journal away.]
Pete: Check, AAAND mate! So long, suckers!
[Pete teleports away as well.]
Data Sora: No! Riku...
If religion be false, it is the basest imposition under heaven; but if the religion of Christ be true, it is the most solemn truth that ever was known! It is not a thing that a man dares to trifle with if it be true, for it is at his soul's peril to make a jest of it. If it be not true it is detestable, but if it be true it deserves all a man's faculties to consider it, and all his powers to obey it. It is not a trifle. Briefly consider why it is not. It deals with your soul. If it dealt with your body it were no trifle, for it is well to have the limbs of the body sound, but it has to do with your soul. As much as a man is better than the garments that he wears, so much is the soul better than the body. It is your immortal soul it deals with. Your soul has to live for ever, and the religion of Christ deals with its destiny. Can you laugh at such words as heaven and hell, at glory and at damnation? If you can, if you think these trifles, then is the faith of Christ to be trifled with. Consider also with whom it connects you—with God; before whom angels bow themselves and veil their faces. Is HE to be trifled with? Trifle with your monarch if you will, but not with the King of kings, the Lord of lords. Recollect that those who have ever known anything of it tell you it is no child's play. The saints will tell you it is no trifle to be converted. They will never forget the pangs of conviction, nor the joys of faith. They tell you it is no trifle to have religion, for it carries them through all their conflicts, bears them up under all distresses, cheers them under every gloom, and sustains them in all labour. They find it no mockery. The Christian life to them is something so solemn, that when they think of it they fall down before God, and say, "Hold thou me up and I shall be safe." And sinners, too, when they are in their senses, find it no trifle. When they come to die they find it no little thing to die without Christ. When conscience gets the grip of them, and shakes them, they find it no small thing to be without a hope of pardon—with guilt upon the conscience, and no means of getting rid of it. And, sirs, true ministers of God feel it to be no trifle. I do myself feel it to be such an awful thing to preach God's gospel, that if it were not "Woe unto me if I do not preach the gospel," I would resign my charge this moment. I would not for the proudest consideration under heaven know the agony of mind I felt but this one morning before I ventured upon this platform! Nothing but the hope of winning souls from death and hell, and a stern conviction that we have to deal with the grandest of all realities, would bring me here.
Far to the King's left Elf the bard
Led on the eastern wing
With songs and spells that change the blood;
And on the King's right Harold stood,
The kinsman of the King.

Young Harold, coarse, with colours gay,
Smoking with oil and musk,
And the pleasant violence of the young,
Pushed through his people, giving tongue
Foewards, where, grey as cobwebs hung,
The banners of the Usk.

But as he came before his line
A little space along,
His beardless face broke into mirth,
And he cried: "What broken bits of earth
Are here? For what their clothes are worth
I would sell them for a song."

For Colan was hung with raiment
Tattered like autumn leaves,
And his men were all as thin as saints,
And all as poor as thieves.

No bows nor slings nor bolts they bore,
But bills and pikes ill-made;
And none but Colan bore a sword,
And rusty was its blade
.

And Colan's eyes with mystery
And iron laughter stirred,
And he spoke aloud, but lightly
Not labouring to be heard.

"Oh, truly we be broken hearts,
For that cause, it is said,
We light our candles to that Lord
That broke Himself for bread.

"But though we hold but bitterly
What land the Saxon leaves,
Though Ireland be but a land of saints,
And Wales a land of thieves,

"I say you yet shall weary
Of the working of your word,
That stricken spirits never strike
Nor lean hands hold a sword.

"And if ever ye ride in Ireland,
The jest may yet be said,
There is the land of broken hearts,
And the land of broken heads.
"

Not less barbarian laughter
Choked Harold like a flood,
"And shall I fight with scarecrows
That am of Guthrum's blood?

"Meeting may be of war-men,
Where the best war-man wins;
But all this carrion a man shoots
Before the fight begins."

And stopping in his onward strides,
He snatched a bow in scorn
From some mean slave, and bent it on
Colan, whose doom grew dark; and shone
Stars evil over Caerleon,
In the place where he was born.

For Colan had not bow nor sling,
On a lonely sword leaned he,
Like Arthur on Excalibur
In the battle by the sea.

To his great gold ear-ring Harold
Tugged back the feathered tail,
And swift had sprung the arrow,
But swifter sprang the Gael.

Whirling the one sword round his head,
A great wheel in the sun,
He sent it splendid through the sky,
Flying before the shaft could fly—
It smote Earl Harold over the eye,
And blood began to run.

Colan stood bare and weaponless,
Earl Harold, as in pain,
Strove for a smile, put hand to head,
Stumbled and suddenly fell dead;
And the small white daisies all waxed red
With blood out of his brain.

And all at that marvel of the sword,
Cast like a stone to slay,
Cried out. Said Alfred: "Who would see
Signs, must give all things. Verily
Man shall not taste of victory
Till he throws his sword away.
"

Then Alfred, prince of England,
And all the Christian earls,
Unhooked their swords and held them up,
Each offered to Colan, like a cup
Of chrysolite and pearls.

And the King said, "Do thou take my sword
Who have done this deed of fire,
For this is the manner of Christian men,
Whether of steel or priestly pen,
That they cast their hearts out of their ken
To get their heart's desire.

End Jest Quotes