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Laughter

We are told that Jupiter, after his birth, laughed incessantly for seven days. Calchas, the Homeric soothsayer, died of laughter. The tale is that a fellow in rags told him he would never drink of the grapes growing in his vineyard, and added, if his words did not come true he would be the soothsayer's slave. When the wine was made, Calchas, at a great feast, sent for the fellow, and laughed so incessantly at the non-fulfilment of the prophecy that he died. (E. Bulwer Lytton: Tales of Miletus, iv.)

(See Ancaeus and Death From Strange Causes.)

Source: Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, E. Cobham Brewer, 1894
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