I wouldn’t have thought from reading Madame Bovary that Flaubert had much of a sense of humor, but here’s something he said in 1850 that’s not only quite funny but, except for the centuries count, will probably never go out of date:
From time to time, I open a newspaper. Things seem to be proceeding at a dizzy rate. We are dancing not on the edge of a volcano, but on the wooden seat of a latrine, and it seems to me more than a touch rotten. Soon society will go plummeting down and drown in nineteen centuries of shit. There’ll be quite a lot of shouting.