- Laughter is a conquest, a seizure of the will. The grip of laughter is strongest when one wills most not to laugh.
- A rare genius—no, not necessarily a madman—is the one who laughs in solitude.
- One does not often laugh when alone unless it is believed that another would laugh in the same circumstances. When one does laugh alone, the lordship of the imagination is total, and in that case, it is not fitting to say that one is alone.
- Laughter is as likely the voice of joy as the mask of wretchedness.
- Derision and acceptance, disapproval and fellow-feeling—what do these have in common besides laughter?