Read POPULAR FALLACIES : III.—­THAT A MAN MUST NOT LAUGH AT HIS OWN JEST of The Works of Charles and Mary Lamb‚ Volume 2, free online book, by Charles Lamb, on

The severest exaction surely ever invented upon the self-denial of poor human nature!  This is to expect a gentleman to give a treat without partaking of it; to sit esurient at his own table, and commend the flavour of his venison upon the absurd strength of his never touching it himself.  On the contrary, we love to see a wag taste his own joke to his party; to watch a quirk, or a merry conceit, flickering upon the lips some seconds before the tongue is delivered of it.  If it be good, fresh, and racy ­begotten of the occasion; if he that utters it never thought it before, he is naturally the first to be tickled with it; and any suppression of such complacence we hold to be churlish and insulting.  What does it seem to imply, but that your company is weak or foolish enough to be moved by an image or a fancy, that shall stir you not at all, or but faintly?  This is exactly the humour of the fine gentleman in Mandeville, who, while he dazzles his guests with the display of some costly toy, affects himself to “see nothing considerable in it.”