Reference > Quotations > S. Austin Allibone, comp. > Prose Quotations from Socrates to Macaulay
S. Austin Allibone, comp.  Prose Quotations from Socrates to Macaulay.  1880.
  The talent of turning men into ridicule, and exposing to laughter those one converses with, is the qualification of little ungenerous tempers. A young man with this cast of mind cuts himself off from all manner of improvement. Every one has his flaws and weaknesses; nay, the greatest blemishes are often found in the most shining characters: but what an absurd thing it is to pass over all the valuable parts of a man, and fix our attention on his infirmities! to observe his imperfections more than his virtues! and to make use of him for the sport of others, rather than for our own improvement!  1
  We therefore very often find that persons the most accomplished in ridicule are those that are very shrewd at hitting a blot, without exerting anything masterly in themselves.
Joseph Addison: Spectator, No. 249.    
  If ridicule were employed to laugh men out of vice and folly, it might be of some use; but it is made use of to laugh men out of virtue and good sense, by attacking everything solemn and serious.
Joseph Addison.    
  It is easy to run into ridicule the best descriptions when once a man is in the humour of laughing till he wheezes at his own dull jest.
John Dryden.    
  Derision is never so agonizing as when it pounces on the wanderings of misguided sensibility.
Lord Jeffrey.    
  That which is little can be but pretty, and by claiming dignity becomes ridiculous.
Dr. Samuel Johnson.    
  Ridicule has followed the vestiges of Truth, but never usurped her place.
Walter Savage Landor.    
  Bad writers are not ridiculed because ridicule ought to be a pleasure, but to undeceive and vindicate the honest and unpretending part of mankind from imposition.
Alexander Pope.    
  One of those principal lights or natural mediums by which things are to be viewed, in order to thorough recognition, is ridicule itself, or that manner of proof by which we discern whatever is liable to just raillery in any subject.
Earl of Shaftesbury.    
  Reason is the test of ridicule,—not ridicule the test of truth.
Bishop William Warburton.    
  It is a good plan, with a young person of a character to be much affected by ludicrous and absurd representations, to show him plainly, by examples that there is nothing which may not be so represented; he will hardly need to be told that everything is not a mere joke: and he may thus be secured from falling into a contempt of those particular things which he may at any time happen to find so treated.
Richard Whately: Annot. on Bacon’s Essay, Of Atheism.    

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