In my mind, there is nothing so illiberal, and so ill-bred, as audible laughter.
(Philip Dormer Stanhope, 4th Earl Chesterfield (1694-1773), British statesman, man of letters. Letter, March 9, 1748, first published (1774). The Letters of the Earl of Chesterfield to His Son, vol. 1, no. 144, ed. Charles Strachey (1901).
In a later letter, Dec. 12, 1765, Chesterfield wrote: "Observe it, the vulgar often laugh, but never smile, whereas well-bred people often smile, and seldom or never laugh. A witty thing never excited laughter, it pleases only the mind and never distorts the countenance." (Lord Chesterfield's Letters to His Godson, no. 135, ed. Earl of Carnarvon, 1889).)