When, therefore, we speak
of the salt of wit, we refer to wit about which there
is nothing insipid, wit, that is to say, which serves
as a simple seasoning of language, a condiment which
is silently appreciated by our judgment, as food is
appreciated by the palate, with the result that it
stimulates our taste and saves a speech from becoming tedious. But just as salt, if sprinkled freely
over food, gives a special relish of its own, so long
as it is not used to excess, so in the case of those
who have the salt of wit there is something about
their language which arouses in us a thirst to hear.
Again, I do not regard the epithet facelus
as applicable solely to that which raises a laugh.