Francis Bacon quote about laughter from The Essays of Francis Bacon - For if absurdity be the subject of laughter, doubt you not but great boldness is seldom without some absurdity.
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For if absurdity be the subject of laughter, doubt you not but great boldness is seldom without some absurdity.
 Francis Bacon, The Essays of Francis Bacon (1597). copy citation

Context

“So these men, when they have promised great matters, and failed most shamefully, yet (if they have the perfection of boldness) they will but slight it over, and make a turn, and no more ado. Certainly to men of great judgment, bold persons are a sport to behold; nay, and to the vulgar also, boldness has somewhat of the ridiculous. For if absurdity be the subject of laughter, doubt you not but great boldness is seldom without some absurdity. Especially it is a sport to see, when a bold fellow is out of countenance; for that puts his face into a most shrunken, and wooden posture; as needs it must; for in bashfulness, the spirits do a little go and come; but with bold men, upon like occasion, they stand at a stay; like a stale at chess, where it is no mate, but yet the game cannot stir.” source

Meaning and analysis

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