For conversation well endued;She calls it witty to be rude;And, placing raillery in railing,Will tell aloud your greatest failing.
'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.Anthony Ashley-Cooper, 3rd Earl of Shaftesbury, Characteristics, Letter Concerning Enthusiasm, Part I. Sect. V. Referring to Leontinus
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