Deuterocanon

Sirach 21:20

Ben Sira, Ecclesiasticus

18 Like a house in ruins is wisdom to a fool, and to the ignorant, knowledge is talk that has no meaning. 19 To a senseless person education is fetters on his feet, and like manacles on his right hand. 20 A fool raises his voice when he laughs, but the wise smile quietly. 21 To the sensible person education is like a golden ornament, and like a bracelet on the right arm. 22 The foot of a fool rushes into a house, but an experienced person waits respectfully outside.

Date: 195-175 B.C.E.
* Dates are based on scholarly estimates

Clement of Alexandria The Instructor 2 5:5

Paedagogus

Pleasantry is allowable, not waggery. Besides, even laughter must be kept in check; for when given vent to in the right manner it indicates orderliness, but when it issues differently it shows a want of restraint. For, in a word, whatever things are natural to men we must not eradicate from them, but rather impose on them limits and suitable times. For man is not to laugh on all occasions because he is a laughing animal, any more than the horse neighs on all occasions because he is a neighing animal. But as rational beings, we are to regulate ourselves suitably, harmoniously relaxing the austerity and over-tension of our serious pursuits, not inharmoniously breaking them up altogether. For the seemly relaxation of the countenance in a harmonious manner — as of a musical instrument — is called a smile. So also is laughter on the face of well-regulated men termed. But the discordant relaxation of countenance in the case of women is called a giggle, and is meretricious laughter; in the case of men, a guffaw, and is savage and insulting laughter. A fool raises his voice in laughter, says the Scripture; but a clever man smiles almost imperceptibly. The clever man in this case he calls wise, inasmuch as he is differently affected from the fool. But, on the other hand, one needs not be gloomy, only grave. For I certainly prefer a man to smile who has a stern countenance than the reverse; for so his laughter will be less apt to become the object of ridicule. Smiling even requires to be made the subject of discipline. If it is at what is disgraceful, we ought to blush rather than smile, lest we seem to take pleasure in it by sympathy; if at what is painful, it is fitting to look sad rather than to seem pleased. For to do the former is a sign of rational human thought; the other infers suspicion of cruelty. We are not to laugh perpetually, for that is going beyond bounds; nor in the presence of elderly persons, or others worthy of respect, unless they indulge in pleasantry for our amusement. Nor are we to laugh before all and sundry, nor in every place, nor to every one, nor about everything. For to children and women especially laughter is the cause of slipping into scandal. And even to appear stern serves to keep those about us at their distance. For gravity can ward off the approaches of licentiousness by a mere look. All senseless people, to speak in a word, wine

Date: 198 C.E.
* Dates are based on scholarly estimates