Some of them played the part of professional jesters (like the later buffoons and court fools), and kept collections of witticisms ready for use at their patrons' table; others relied upon flattery, others again condescended to the most degrading devices (Plutarch, De adulatore, 23; De educatione puerorum, 17).
It is reported that the caliph even permitted one of his buffoons to turn the person of Ali into mockery.
Nor had he any taste for rule; his days were spent in the society of musicians, buffoons and poets, and he himself dabbled in verse-making of a mystic tendency.
The crowd drew up to the large table, at which sat gray-haired or bald seventy-year-old magnates, uniformed and besashed almost all of whom Pierre had seen in their own homes with their buffoons, or playing boston at the clubs.
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