BY JOSH BILLINGS
Anatomikally konsidered, laffing iz the sensation ov pheeling good all
over, and showing it principally in one spot.
Morally konsidered, it iz the next best thing tew the 10
commandments. . . .
Theoretikally konsidered, it kan out-argy all the logik in existence. . . .
Pyroteknikally konsidered, it is the fire-works of the soul. . . .
But i don't intend this essa for laffing in the lump, but for laffing on
Laffing iz just az natral tew cum tew the surface az a rat iz tew cum
out ov hiz hole when he wants tew.
Yu kant keep it back by swallowing enny more than yu kan the heekups.
If a man kan't laff there iz sum mistake made in putting him together,
and if he won't laff he wants az mutch keeping away from az a
bear-trap when it iz sot.
I have seen people who laffed altogether too mutch for their own good or
for ennyboddy else's; they laft like a barrell ov nu sider with the tap
pulled out, a perfekt stream.
This is a grate waste ov natral juice.
I have seen other people who didn't laff enuff tew giv themselfs vent;
they waz like a barrell ov nu sider too, that waz bunged up tite, apt
tew start a hoop and leak all away on the sly.
Thare ain't neither ov theze 2 ways right, and they never ought tew be
pattented. . . .
Genuine laffing iz the vent ov the soul, the nostrils of the heart, and
iz just az necessary for health and happiness az spring water iz for a
Thare iz one kind ov a laff that i always did rekommend; it looks out ov
the eye fust with a merry twinkle, then it kreeps down on its hands and
kneze and plays around the mouth like a pretty moth around the blaze ov
a kandle, then it steals over into the dimples ov the cheeks and rides
around into thoze little whirlpools for a while, then it lites up the
whole face like the mello bloom on a damask roze, then it swims oph on
the air with a peal az klear and az happy az a dinner-bell, then it goes
bak agin on golden tiptoze like an angel out for an airing, and laze
down on its little bed ov violets in the heart where it cum from.
Thare iz another laff that nobody kan withstand; it iz just az honest
and noisy az a distrikt skool let out tew play, it shakes a man up from
hiz toze tew hiz temples, it dubbles and twists him like a whiskee phit,
it lifts him oph from his cheer, like feathers, and lets him bak agin
like melted led, it goes all thru him like a pikpocket, and finally
leaves him az weak and az krazy az tho he had bin soaking all day in a
Rushing bath and forgot to be took out.
This kind ov a laff belongs tew jolly good phellows who are az healthy
az quakers, and who are az eazy tew pleaze az a gall who iz going tew be
In konclushion i say laff every good chance yu kan git, but don't laff
unless yu feal like it, for there ain't nothing in this world more harty
than a good honest laff, nor nothing more hollow than a hartless one.
When yu do laff open yure mouth wide enuff for the noize tew git out
without squealing, thro yure hed bak az tho yu waz going tew be shaved,
hold on tew yure false hair with both hands and then laff till yure soul
gets thoroly rested.
But i shall tell yu more about theze things at sum fewter time.
~~~~~~~ THE END ~~~~~~~