Men ought to find the difference between saltness and bitterness. Certainly, he that hath a satirical vein, as he maketh others afraid of his wit, so he had need be afraid of others' memory.
Jesting when not used upon improper matter, in an unfit manner, with excessive measure, at undue season, or to evil purpose, may be allowed.
The Arabians have a saying, that it is not good to jest with God, death, or the devil; for the first neither can nor will be mocked; the second mocks all men one time or another; and the third puts an eternal sarcasm on those that are too familiar with him.
A joker is near akin to a buffoon; and neither of them is the least related to wit.
Laughter should dimple the cheek, not furrow the brow. A jest should be such that all shall be able to join in the laugh which it occasions; but if it bears hard upon one of the company, like the crack of a string, it makes a stop in the music.
Take heed of jesting; many have been ruined by it.—It is hard to jest, and not sometimes jeer too, which often sinks deeper than we intended or expected.
He that will lose his friend for a jest deserves to die a beggar by the bargain.—Such let thy jests be, that they may not grind the credit of thy friend; and make not jests so long that thou becomest one.
It is good to make a jest, but not to make a trade of jesting.
Be not affronted at a jest; if one throw ever so much salt at thee thou wilt receive no harm unless thou art raw and ulcerous.
Judge of a jest when you have done laughing.
Raillery is sometimes more insupportable than wrong; we have a right to resent injuries, but it is ridiculous to be angry at a jest.
The jest loses its point when he who makes it is the first to laugh.
A jest's prosperity lies in the ear of him that hears it, never in the tongue of him that makes it.
Joking often loses a friend, and never gains an enemy.
A good jest in time of misfortune, is food and drink. It is strength to the arm, digestion to the stomach, and courage to the heart. A prosperous man can afford to be melancholy; but if the miserable are so, they are worse than dead—it is sure to kill them.