Cover

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Title Page, Copyright

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pp. i-iv

Contents

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p. v

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Acknowledgments

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p. vi

I wish to express my gratitude to the Research Grants Committee of The U niversity of Alabama for the grants-in-aid that have made possible the preparation of this translation. I also wish to extend my special thanks to Professor John Burke of the English Department of The University of Alabama for his valuable suggestions when...

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Preface

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pp. vii-viii

Translations of the literary texts of the French Renaissance have long been at the disposal of the reader of English. Yet, translations of the philosophical or medical treatises that contributed as much to the cultural milieu of an epoch are indeed rare. Montaigne's Essais have been translated into English by Florio, Zeitlin, Cotton and...

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Introduction

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pp. ix-xvi

Laurent Joubert was an important figure in the medical world of the French Renaissance. He was born on December 16, 1529, in the old province of Dauphine in south central France. Information on his early years is sparse, but he was probably educated in his native city. At the age of twenty-one he went to Montpellier, a city...

The Treatise on Laughter

Title Page

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pp. 1-2

Contents

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pp. 3-4

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Introduction

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pp. 5-13

Madame,1 I have at times discoursed on the dignity of the organs of the human body, of all the most perfected, and leaving aside the heart (commonly considered the prince of our members) I used to put into the contest the brain and the hand. I would say for the brain that it deserved first prize because it is in the highest place...

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The First Book of Laughter, Containing its Causes & All its Accidents

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pp. 14-64

Hesiod,a author of the Fabled Findings, and a heaven-sent philosopher,1 I wishing to show that bewonderment over the workings of nature engenders curiosity and, ultimately, knowledge of their causes, ingeniously imaginedb Irisc to be the daughter of Thaumas in order to demonstrate that whosoever is not struck by a marvelling and...

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The Second Book of Laughter, Containing its Definition, its Types, Differences, and Diverse Epithets

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pp. 65-90

In the edifice of the human body, several things worthy of particular admiration present themselves which if one wished to explain and pursue carefully, one would hardly ever finish. For what is held in common with the animals enjoys a perfection in the human body that is so much more exquisite that he who will weigh with an...

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The Third Book of Laughter, Containing the Problems and Principal Questions One Can Ask Concerning Lauther

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pp. 91-133

The royal prophet David marked a beautiful pause in his thoughts, ideas, and desires when he cried out, speaking to the almighty, eternal, and incomprehensible God, "I will be satisfied when your glory appears to me."a And this is precisely because our soul is made in the image of its creator, divine and immortal, and with a...

Notes

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pp. 134-148

Index of Proper Names and Types of Laughter

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pp. 149-156