laugh and the world laughs with you; weep and you weep alone

An alteration of the sentiment expressed by HORACE Ars Poetica 101 ut ridentibus arrident, ita flentibus adsunt humani voltus, men’s faces laugh on those who laugh, and correspondingly weep on those who weep; cf. ROMANS xii. 15 (AV) Rejoice with them that do rejoice, and weep with them that weep.

1883 E. W. WILCOX in Sun (New York) 25 Feb. 3 Laugh, and the world laughs with you; Weep, and you weep alone. For the sad old earth must borrow its mirth, But has trouble enough of its own.

1907 ‘O. HENRY’ Trimmed Lamp 211 Laugh, and the world laughs with you; weep, and they give you the laugh.

1912 ‘SAKI’ Chronicle of Clovis 127 The proverb ‘Weep and you weep alone,’ broke down as badly on application as most of its kind.

1997 Oldie Aug. 27 Laugh, said the little clown, and the world laughs with you. Cry but don’t let anyone catch you at it!

2001 R. HILL Dialogues of Dead xviii. 153 ‘Right joker, this Wordman, ain’t he? What’s it they say? Laugh and the world laughs with you.’


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