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and hear in jest, and the jesting of a gentleman differs from that of a person of servile nature, as does that of an educated from that of an uneducated man. [6] The difference may be seen by comparing the old and the modern comedies; the earlier dramatists found their fun in obscenity, the moderns prefer innuendo, which marks a great advance in decorum. [7] Can we then define proper raillery by saying that its jests are never unbecoming to gentlemen, or that it avoids giving pain or indeed actually gives pleasure to its object? Or is it impossible to define anything so elusive? for tastes differ as to what is offensive and what amusing. [8] Whatever rule we lay down, the same will apply to the things that a man should allow to be said to him, since we feel that deeds which a man permits to be ascribed to him he would not stop at actually doing. [9] Hence a man will draw the line at some jokes; for raillery is a sort of vilification, and some forms of vilification are forbidden by law; perhaps some forms of raillery ought to be prohibited also. [10] The cultivated gentleman will therefore regulate his wit, and will be as it were a law to himself.

Such then is the middle character, whether he be called ‘tactful’ or ‘witty.’ The buffoon is one who cannot resist a joke; he will not keep his tongue off himself or anyone else, if he can raise a laugh, and will say things

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