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History Of English Humour

Vol I Part I Von:
History Of English Humour
Few Of The Blessings We Enjoy Are Of Greater Value Than The Gift Of
Humour. The Pleasure Attendant Upon It Attracts Us Together, Forms An
Incentive, And Gives A Charm To Social Intercourse, And, Unlike The
Concentrating Power Of Love, Scatters Bright Rays In Every Direction.
That Humour Is Generally Associated With Enjoyment Might Be Concluded
From The Fact That The Genial And Good-Natured Are Generally The Most
Mirthful, And We All Have So Much Personal Experience Of The
Gratification It Affords, That It Seems Superfluous To Adduce Any Proofs
Upon The Subject. "Glad" Is From The Greek Word For Laughter, And The
Word "Jocund" Comes From A Latin Term Signifying "Pleasant." But We Can
Trace The Results Of This Connection In Our Daily Observation. How Comes
It To Pass That Many A Man Who Is The Life And Soul Of Social
Gatherings, And Keeps His Friends In Delighted Applause, Sits, When
Alone In His Study, Grave And Sedate, And Seldom, If Ever, Smiles In
Reading Or Meditation? Is It Not Because Humour Is A Source Of Pleasure?
We Are Not Joyously Disposed When Alone, Whereas In Society We Are Ready
To Give And Receive Whatever Is Bright And Cheering.

The First Question Which Now Presents Itself Is What Is Laughter? And
Our Answer Must Be That It Is A Change Of Countenance Accompanied By A
Spasmodic Intermittent Sound--A Modification Of The Voice--But That We
Cannot Trace Its Physical Origin Farther Than To Attribute It To Some
Effect Produced Upon The Sympathetic Nerve, Or Rather The System Of
Nerves Termed Respiratory. These Communicate With Every Organ Affected
In Mirth, But The Ultimate Connection Between Mind And Body Is Hidden
From Our View.

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