Give me a sense of humor, Lord, Give me the grace to see a joke, To get some happiness from life, And pass it on to other folk.
—From an old prayer found in Chester Cathedral.
STEPHEN LEACOCK, who could obviously qualify as an authority on the sense of humor, stated as a prime quality of that saving grace that it must be without harm or malice. No one who knew William Osler would claim that his strong appreciation of the jocose was of the satirical or barbed variety; rather was it warm and kindly. There are, and probably always have been, those who regard jocularity as beneath the dignity of great men; but I suspect that such people have confused dignity with pomposity, and that many of their exemplars were not great men, but merely stuffed shirts. I have known many men, of varying degrees of distinction, but I
BLUMER G. THE JOCULAR SIDE OF OSLER. Arch Intern Med (Chic). 1949;84(1):34-39. doi:10.1001/archinte.1949.00230010044008