Let him cheerfully allow himself to spend and be spent in that way

From ch.5 of Moby Dick – Ishmael’s morning-after response to what he terms the  innkeeper’s ‘skylarking … in the matter of my bedfellow.’

However, a good laugh is a mighty good thing, and rather too scarce a good thing; the more’s the pity. So, if any one man, in his own proper person, afford stuff for a good joke to anybody, let him not be backward, but let him cheerfully allow himself to spend and be spent in that way. And the man that has anything bountifully laughable about him, be sure there is more in that man than you perhaps think for.

Which accords nicely with Mr. Bennet’s lovely “For what do we live, but to make sport for our neighbours, and laugh at them in our turn?” from ch.57 of Pride and Prejudice.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s