Reference > Quotations > Hoyt & Roberts, comps. > Hoyt’s New Cyclopedia of Practical Quotations
Hoyt & Roberts, comps.  Hoyt’s New Cyclopedia of Practical Quotations.  1922.
A joke’s a very serious thing.
        Churchill—Ghost. Bk. 4.
  A man who could make so vile a pun would not scruple to pick a pocket.
        John Dennis—In The Gentleman’s Magazine. Vol. LI. P. 324. Claimed for Daniel Purcell but given to Dennis by Hood, also by Victor in an Epistle to Steele.
  Jest not with the two-edged sword of God’s word.
        Fuller—The Holy and Profane States. Of Jesting. Maxim II.
  He that will lose his friend for a jest, deserves to die a beggar by the bargain.
        Fuller—The Holy and Profane States. Of Jesting. Maxim VII.
  No time to break jests when the heartstrings are about to be broken.
        Fuller—The Holy and Profane States. Of Jesting. Maxim VIII.
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.
        Herbert—Temple. Church Porch. St. 39.
  People that make puns are like wanton boys that put coppers on the railroad tracks.
        Holmes—The Autocrat of the Breakfast Table. I.
And however our Dennises take offence,
A double meaning shows double sense;
  And if proverbs tell truth,
  A double tooth
Is wisdom’s adopted dwelling.
        Hood—Miss Kilmansegg.
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.
        Samuel Johnson—London. L. 165. Imitation of Juvenal. Satire. III. V. 152.
La moquerie est souvent une indigence d’esprit.
  Jesting, often, only proves a want of intellect.
        La Bruyère.
Joking decides great things,
Stronger and better oft than earnest can.
  That’s a good joke but we do it much better in England.
        General Oglethorpe to a Prince of Würtemberg who at dinner flicked some wine in Oglethorpe’s face. Assuming the insult to be a joke Oglethorpe threw a whole wine glass in the Prince’s face in return. Boswell’s—Life of Johnson. (1772).
Diseur de bon mots, mauvais caractère.
  A jester, a bad character.
        Pascal—Pensées. Art. VI. 22.
        Si quid dictum est per jocum,
Non æquum est id te serio prævortier.
  If anything is spoken in jest, it is not fair to turn it to earnest.
        Plautus—Amphitruo, III. 2. 39.
Omissis jocis.
  Joking set aside.
        Pliny the Younger—Epistles. I. 21.
  Der Spass verliert Alles, wenn der Spassmacher selber lacht.
  A jest loses its point when the jester laughs himself.
        Schiller—Fiesco. I. 7.
  Alas, poor Yorick! I knew him, Horatio: a fellow of infinite jest, of most excellent fancy.
        Hamlet. Act V. Sc. 1. L. 203.
Jesters do often prove prophets.
        King Lear. Act V. Sc. 3. L. 71.
A jest’s prosperity lies in the ear
Of him that hears it, never in the tongue
Of him that makes it.
        Love’s Labour’s Lost. Act V. Sc. 2. L. 871.
  A dry jest, sir…. I have them at my fingers’ end.
        Twelfth Night. Act I. Sc. 3. L. 80.
A college joke to cure the dumps.
        Swift—Cassinus and Peter.
Asperæ facetiæ, ubi nimis ex vero traxere,
Acram sui memoriam relinquunt.
  A bitter jest, when it comes too near the truth, leaves a sharp sting behind it.
        Tacitus—Annales. XV. 68.

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