This is what Robert Frost wrote in his 1937 address “What became of New England”:
In 1897 I was sitting in a class in college when I heard a man spend quite the part of an hour making fun of the expression that we were all free and equal. So easy to dismiss. Let’s have a look at it. All men were created free and equally funny. Before you laugh too much at that, take another look at it. Four hundred years ago the only people who were funny were yokels… Now, today, even kings are funny. We’ve come a long way.