Norman Douglas (1868-1952), Old Calabria
(1915; rpt. London: Oxford University Press, 1938), p. 243 (from chapter XXII):
'And now, let me hear a little of your own language.'
I gave utterance to a few verses of Shakespeare, which caused considerable merriment.
'Do you mean to tell me,' she asked, 'that people really talk like that?'
'Of course they do.'
'And pretend to understand what it means?'
'Maybe they do,' she agreed. 'But only when they want to be thought funny by their friends.'