THE DEVIL'S DICTIONARY
Devil's Dictionary was begun in a weekly paper in
1881, and was continued
in a desultory
way at long intervals until 1906. In
year a large part of it was
published in covers with the title The Cynic's
Word Book, a name which the
author had not the power to reject
happiness to approve. To
publishers of the present
more reverent title had
previously been forced upon him by the
scruples of the last newspaper in which a part
work had appeared, with the
that when it came out in
country already had been flooded by its
imitators with a score
of 'cynic' books -- The
Cynic's This, The Cynic's That, and The
Cynic's t'Other. Most
of these books were merely stupid,
some of them added the
distinction of silliness. Among
brought the word 'cynic' into
disfavor so deep that any book bearing
it was discredited in advance of
too, some of the enterprising
humorists of the country had
themselves to such parts of the work as served
their needs, and
many of its definitions, anecdotes, phrases
and so forth, had become
more or less
current in popular speech. This
made, not with any pride
of priority in trifles, but in simple denial
of possible charges of
plagiarism, which is no trifle. In
resuming his own the author
hopes to be held guiltless by those to whom
the work is addressed -- enlightened
souls who prefer dry wines to
sense to sentiment, wit to humor and clean
English to slang.
conspicuous, and it is hope not
unpleasant, feature of the book is
abundant illustrative quotations from eminent
poets, chief of whom
is that learned and ingenius cleric,
Father Gassalasca Jape, S.J.,
lines bear his initials. To
Jape's kindly encouragement
assistance the author of the prose text is
A decent and customary
mental attitude in the presence of
wealth of power.
in an employee when addressing
Rubbish in front of a fort,
to prevent the rubbish outside from
molesting the rubbish inside.
An act whereby a
sovereign attests his sense of the high
temperature of the throne.
Poor Isabella's Dead, whose
Set all tongues wagging in the
For that performance 'twere unfair to
She wisely left a throne too hot to
To History she'll be no royal riddle
Merely a plain parched pea that
jumped the griddle.
The temple of the god
Stomach, in whose worship, with
sacrificial rights, all true men engage.
From women this ancient faith
commands but a stammering assent. They
sometimes minister at the
altar in a
half-hearted and ineffective way, but true
the one deity that men really adore they
know not. If
woman had a
free hand in the world's marketing the
The natural equipment to
accomplish some small part of the
ambitions distinguishing able men from dead
last analysis ability is commonly found
to consist mainly in a high degree
Perhaps, however, this impressive quality
appraised; it is no easy task
to be solemn.
Not conforming to
matters of thought and conduct,
to be independent is to be abnormal,
to be abnormal is to be detested. Wherefore
the lexicographer adviseth a
striving toward the straiter
resemblance of the Average Man than he hath to
Whoso attaineth thereto shall have peace,
the prospect of death and the
Persons of little worth
found cumbering the soil of a newly
discovered country. They
soon cease to
cumber; they fertilize.
By Abracadabra we signify
An infinite number of things.
'Tis the answer to What? and How? and
And Whence? and Whither? -- a word
The Truth (with the comfort it
Is open to all who grope in night,
Crying for Wisdom's holy light.
Whether the word is a verb or a noun
Is knowledge beyond my reach.
I only know that 'tis handed down.
From sage to sage,
From age to age --
An immortal part of speech!
Of an ancient man the tale is told
That he lived to be ten centuries
In a cave on a mountain side.
(True, he finally died.)
The fame of his wisdom filled the
For his head was bald, and you'll
His beard was long and white
And his eyes uncommonly bright.
Philosophers gathered from far and
To sit at his feat and hear and hear,
Though he never was heard
To utter a word
But "Abracadabra, abracadab,
Abraca, abrac, abra, ab!"
'Twas all he had,
'Twas all they wanted to hear, and
Made copious notes of the mystical
Which they published next --
A trickle of text
In the meadow of commentary.
big books were these,
In a number, as leaves of trees;
In learning, remarkably -- very!
As I said,
And the books of the sages have
But his wisdom is sacredly cherished.
In Abracadabra it solemnly rings,
Like an ancient bell that forever
O, I love to hear
That word make clear
Humanity's General Sense of Things.
When in the course of human
events it becomes necessary for
people to abridge their king, a
decent respect for the opinions of
mankind requires that they should
declare the causes which impel
them to the separation.
Sudden, without ceremony,
like the arrival of a cannon- shot
the departure of the soldier whose interests are
by it. Dr.
Samuel Johnson beautifully said of
ideas that they were
"concatenated without abruption."
To "move in a
mysterious way," commonly with the
property of another.
Spring beckons! All
things to the call respond;
The trees are leaving and cashiers
Peculiarly exposed to the
tooth of detraction; vilifed; hopelessly
the wrong; superseded in the consideration and
To men a man is but a mind. Who
What face he carries or what form he
But woman's body is the woman. O,
Stay thou, my sweetheart, and do
But heed the warning words the sage
A woman absent is a woman dead.
A person with an income who
has had the forethought to remove
himself from the sphere of exaction.
An absolute monarchy is one in
which the sovereign does as he pleases
so long as he pleases the
Not many absolute monarchies
are left, most of them having
replaced by limited monarchies, where the
power for evil (and for good) is greatly
curtailed, and by republics, which
governed by chance.
A weak person who yields
to the temptation of denying himself
total abstainer is one who
everything but abstention,
and especially from inactivity in the
affairs of others.
Said a man to a crapulent youth: "I
You a total abstainer, my
"So I am, so I am," said
the scrapgrace caught --
"But not, sir, a bigoted
A statement or belief
manifestly inconsistent with one's
An ancient school where
morality and philosophy were taught.
[from ACADEME] A
modern school where football is taught.
An inevitable occurrence
due to the action of immutable natural
One associated with
another in a crime, having guilty
knowledge and complicity, as an attorney
who defends a criminal, knowing
This view of the attorney's position in
has not hitherto commanded
the assent of attorneys, no one having
offered them a fee for assenting.
An instrument in harmony
with the sentiments of an assassin.
The mother of
"My accountability, bear in
Said the Grand Vizier: "Yes,
Said the Shah: "I do
-- 'tis the only kind
Of ability you possess."
To affirm another's guilt
or unworth; most commonly as a
justification of ourselves for having
In the surprising
condition of the Crusader who absently
at his forelock some hours after a Saracen
unconsciously to him, passed through his
neck, as related by de Joinville.
The death of endeavor
and the birth of disgust.
Acknowledgement of one another's faults
is the highest duty imposed by our
love of truth.
A person whom we know
well enough to borrow from, but
enough to lend to.
A degree of
friendship called slight when
is poor or obscure, and intimate when he is rich
ADAGE, n. Boned
wisdom for weak teeth.
A mineral frequently found
beneath a corset.
solicitate of gold.
ADDER, n. A
species of snake.
So called from its habit of adding funeral
outlays to the other expenses of
A follower who has not yet
obtained all that he expects to
abstraction in politics, designed to
receive the kicks and cuffs due to the
premier or president. A man
straw, proof against bad-egging and
That part of a war-ship
which does the talking while the
figure-head does the thinking.
Our polite recognition of
another's resemblance to ourselves.
Gentle reproof, as with a
Consigned by way of admonition,
His soul forever to perdition.
To venerate expectantly.
The smallest current coin.
"The man was in such deep
Said Tom, "that I could do no
Than give him good advice." Said
"If less could have been done
I know you well enough, my son,
To know that's what you would have
Fitted with an ankle-ring
for the ball-and-chain.
An acclimatizing process
preparing the soul for another
A nigger that votes our way.
AGE, n. That
period of life in which we
compound for the vices that we
cherish by reviling those that we have no longer
A statesman who shakes the
fruit trees of his neighbors -- to
dislodge the worms.
AIM, n. The
task we set our wishes to.
Have you no aim in life?"
She tenderly inquired.
Well, no, I haven't, wife;
The fact is -- I have
AIR, n. A
nutritious substance supplied
by a bountiful Providence for the
fattening of the poor.
An ingenious criminal who
covers his secret thieving with a
pretence of open marauding.
ALIEN, n. An
American sovereign in his
ALLAH, n. The
Mahometan Supreme Being,
as distinguished from the Christian,
and so forth.
Allah's good laws I faithfully have
And ever for the sins of man have
And sometimes kneeling in the
Have reverently crossed my hands and
This thing Allegiance, as I suppose,
Is a ring fitted in the subject's
Whereby that organ is kept rightly
To smell the sweetness of the Lord's
In international politics,
the union of two thieves who have
hands so deeply inserted in each other's pockets
that they cannot
separately plunder a third.
The crocodile of America,
superior in every detail to the
crocodile of the effete monarchies of the Old
says the Indus is, with one exception,
the only river that produces crocodiles,
but they appear to have gone West
and grown up with the other
the notches on his back the alligator is
called a sawrian.
In bad company.
In contact, lo! the flint and steel,
By spark and flame, the thought
That he the metal, she the stone,
Had cherished secretly alone.
ALTAR, n. The
place whereupon the priest
formerly raveled out the small
of the sacrificial victim for purposes of
and cooked its flesh for the gods. The
word is now seldom used, except
with reference to the sacrifice of
their liberty and peace by a male
They stood before the altar and
The fire themselves in which their
fat was fried.
In vain the sacrifice! -- no god will
An offering burnt with an unholy
Able to pick with
equal skill a right-hand pocket or a
An overmastering desire to
be vilified by enemies while living
made ridiculous by friends when dead.
The state's magnanimity to
those offenders whom it would be too
expensive to punish.
To grease a king or other
great functionary already sufficiently
As sovereigns are anointed by the
So pigs to lead the populace are
The sentiment inspired by
one's friend's friend.
The flabby wine-skin of his brain
Yields to some pathologic strain,
And voids from its unstored abysm
The driblet of an aphorism.
"The Mad Philosopher," 1697
To lay the foundation
for a future offence.
A leech who, having
penetrated the shell of a turtle only
find that the creature has long been dead, deems
to form a new attachment to a fresh
accomplice, undertaker's benefactor and
grave worm's provider.
When Jove sent blessings to all men
And Mercury conveyed them in a jar,
That friend of tricksters introduced
Disease for the apothecary's health,
Whose gratitude impelled him to
"My deadliest drug shall bear my
In law, to put the dice
into the box for another throw.
An instinct thoughtfully
implanted by Providence as a solution
the labor question.
The echo of a platitude.
APRIL FOOL, n.
The March fool with
another month added to his folly.
dignitary one point holier than a
If I were a jolly archbishop,
On Fridays I'd eat all the fish up --
Salmon and flounders and smelts;
On other days everything else.
One who drafts a plan of
your house, and plans a draft of
ARDOR, n. The
quality that distinguishes
love without knowledge.
ARENA, n. In
politics, an imaginary
rat-pit in which the statesman wrestles
Government by the best
this sense the word is
obsolete; so is that kind of government.) Fellows
that wear downy
hats and clean shirts -- guilty of
and suspected of bank accounts.
ARMOR, n. The
kind of clothing worn by a
man whose tailor is a blacksmith.
Drawn up and given an
orderly disposition, as a rioter hanged
to a lamppost.
Formally to detain one
accused of unusualness.
God made the world in six days and
was arrested on the seventh.
A kind of cosmetic greatly
affected by the ladies, whom it
affects in turn.
"Eat arsenic? Yes,
all you get,"
Consenting, he did speak up;
"'Tis better you should eat it,
Than put it in my teacup."
ART, n. This
word has no
Its origin is related
by the ingenious Father
Gassalasca Jape, S.J.
One day a wag -- what would the
wretch be at? --
Shifted a letter of the cipher RAT,
And said it was a god's name! Straight
Fantastic priests and postulants
And mysteries, and mummeries, and
And disputations dire that lamed
To serve his temple and maintain the
Expound the law, manipulate the
Amazed, the populace that rites
Believe whate'er they cannot
And, inly edified to learn that two
Half-hairs joined so and so (as Art
Have sweeter values and a grace more
Than Nature's hairs that never have
Bring cates and wines for sacrificial
And sell their garments to support
A certain engaging
quality to which women attain by long
study and severe practice upon the admiring
male, who is pleased to
fancy it resembles the candid simplicity
of his young.
Maliciously to ascribe to
another vicious actions which one
not had the temptation and opportunity to
ASS, n. A
public singer with a good
voice but no ear.
City, Nevada, he is called the Washoe
in Dakota, the Senator, and
The animal is widely and
in the literature,
art and religion of every age and
country; no other so engages and fires
the human imagination as
Indeed, it is doubted by some (Ramasilus,
II., De Clem., and C. Stantatus, De
Temperamente) if it is not a god;
and as such we know it was worshiped by the
Etruscans, and, if we may
believe Macrobious, by the Cupasians
the only two
animals admitted into the Mahometan
along with the souls of men,
that carried Balaam is one, the dog of the Seven
This is no small distinction.
From what has been written about
this beast might be compiled a library of great
magnitude, rivalling that of the
Shakespearean cult, and that which
clusters about the Bible. It may
be said, generally, that all literature
more or less Asinine.
"Hail, holy Ass!" the
quiring angels sing;
"Priest of Unreason, and of
Great co-Creator, let Thy glory
God made all else, the Mule, the Mule
The man who proclaims
with a hammer that he has picked a
pocket with his tongue.
A country lying in the
South Sea, whose industrial and
commercial development has been
unspeakably retarded by an
dispute among geographers as
to whether it is a continent or an
The lake by which the
ancients entered the infernal
The fact that access to
the infernal regions was obtained by a
lake is believed by the learned Marcus Ansello
Scrutator to have
suggested the Christian rite of baptism
This, however, has
been shown by Lactantius to be an error.
The poet remarks; and the sense
Of it is that when down-hill I turn I
Will get more of punches than
Jehal Dai Lupe
BAAL, n. An
old deity formerly much
worshiped under various names. As
he was popular with the Phoenicians; as Belus or
Bel he had
the honor to be served by the priest
who wrote the famous account
Deluge; as Babel he had a tower partly erected
to his glory
on the Plain of Shinar. From
Babel comes our English word "babble." Under
whatever name worshiped, Baal is the
Sun-god. As Beelzebub
he is the god of flies, which are
begotten of the sun's rays on the
In Physicia Baal is
still worshiped as Bolus, and as
he is adored and served with abundant sacrifice
by the priests
BABE or BABY, n.
A misshapen creature of
no particular age, sex, or condition,
remarkable for the violence of the sympathies
it excites in others, itself
without sentiment or emotion. There
been famous babes; for example, little Moses,
adventure in the bulrushes the Egyptian
hierophants of seven centuries before
doubtless derived their idle tale of the child
preserved on a floating lotus leaf.
Ere babes were invented
The girls were contended.
Now man is tormented
Until to buy babes he has squandered
And so I have pondered
This thing, and thought may
'T were better that Baby
The First had been eagled or
A convenient deity invented
by the ancients as an excuse for
Is public worship, then, a sin,
That for devotions paid to
The lictors dare to run us in,
And resolutely thump and whack
BACK, n. That
part of your friend which
it is your privilege to contemplate
To speak of a man as you
find him when he can't find you.
BAIT, n. A
preparation that renders the
hook more palatable. The best
kind is beauty.
A sacred rite of such
efficacy that he who finds himself in
heaven without having undergone it will be
performed with water in two ways -- by
immersion, or plunging, and
But whether the plan of immersion
Is better than simple aspersion
Let those immersed
And those aspersed
Decide by the Authorized Version,
And by matching their agues tertian.
An ingenious instrument
which indicates what kind of weather
A house in which soldiers
enjoy a portion of that of which
their business to deprive others.
The cockatrice. A sort
of serpent hatched form the egg of a
The basilisk had a bad eye, and its
glance was fatal.
Many infidels deny this creature's
existence, but Semprello Aurator saw
handled one that had been blinded by lightning
as a punishment
for having fatally gazed on a lady of
whom Jupiter loved. Juno afterward
restored the reptile's sight and
hid it in a cave.
is so well attested by the ancients as
existence of the basilisk, but
have stopped laying.
The act of walking on wood
BATH, n. A
kind of mystic ceremony
substituted for religious worship, with
what spiritual efficacy has not been determined.
The man who taketh a steam bath
He loseth all the skin he hath,
And, for he's boiled a brilliant red,
Thinketh to cleanliness he's wed,
Forgetting that his lungs he's
With dirty vapors of the boiling.
A method of untying with the
teeth of a political knot that
yield to the tongue.
BEARD, n. The
hair that is commonly cut
off by those who justly execrate
absurd Chinese custom of shaving the head.
The power by which a woman
charms a lover and terrifies a husband.
To make an ingrate.
BEG, v. To
ask for something with an
earnestness proportioned to the belief
that it will not be given.
Who is that, father?
Haggard, morose, and unaffable --
See how he glares through the bars of
With Citizen Mendicant all is not
Why did they put him there, father?
Obeying his belly he struck at the
Oh, well, he was
starving, my boy --
A state in which, doubtless, there's
little of joy.
No bite had he eaten for days, and
Was "Bread!" ever
the matter with pie?
With little to wear, he had nothing
To beg was unlawful -- improper as
Why didn't he work?
He would even
have done that,
But men said: "Get
out!" and the State
I mention these incidents merely to
That the vengeance he took was
Revenge, at the best, is the act of a
But for trifles --
Pray what did bad
Stole two loaves of bread to
replenish his lack
And tuck out the belly that clung to
Is that all father dear?
little to tell:
They sent him to jail, and they'll
send him to -- well,
The company's better than here we can
And there's --
Bread for the needy,
Um -- toast.
One who has relied on the
assistance of his friends.
Conduct, as determined, not
by principle, but by breeding. The
word seems to be somewhat loosely used in
Holobom's translation of the
following lines from the Dies Irae:
Recordare, Jesu pie,
Quod sum causa tuae viae.
Ne me perdas illa die.
Pray remember, sacred Savior,
Whose the thoughtless hand that gave
Pardon such behavior.
In Italian a beautiful
lady; in English a deadly poison. A
striking example of the essential identity
of the two
An order of monks
otherwise known as black friars.
She thought it a crow, but it turn
out to be
A monk of St. Benedict croaking a
"Here's one of an order of
cooks," said she --
"Black friars in this world,
fried black in the next."
"The Devil on Earth" (London, 1712)
One who makes heavy
purchases of ingratitude, without,
however, materially affecting the price,
which is still within the means
BERENICE'S HAIR, n. A
Berenices) named in honor of one
who sacrificed her hair to save her
Her locks an ancient lady gave
Her loving husband's life to save;
And men -- they honored so the dame
Upon some stars bestowed her name.
But to our modern married fair,
Who'd give their lords to save their
No stellar recognition's given.
There are not stars enough in heaven.
A mistake in taste for which
the wisdom of the future will adjudge
punishment called trigamy.
BIGOT, n. One
who is obstinately and
zealously attached to an opinion that
you do not entertain.
The invective of an
BIRTH, n. The
first and direst of all
As to the nature of it
there appears to be no uniformity. Castor
and Pollux were born from
Pallas came out of a skull.
Galatea was once a block of
who wrote in the tenth
century, avers that he grew
up out of
the ground where a priest had spilled holy
water. It is
known that Arimaxus was derived from a hole in
the earth, made by a stroke
Leucomedon was the son of a cavern in
and I have myself seen a man come out
of a wine cellar.
A man whose qualities,
prepared for display like a box of
in a market -- the fine ones on top -- have been
opened on the
An inverted gentleman.
pentameters -- the most difficult kind
of English verse to write acceptably; a kind,
affected by those who cannot acceptably
A robber of
One who supplies the young
physicians with that with which the old
physicians have supplied the
"One night," a doctor said,
I and my
comrades, four in all,
When visiting a graveyard stood
Within the shadow of a wall.
"While waiting for the moon to
We saw a wild hyena slink
About a new-made grave, and then
Begin to excavate its brink!
"Shocked by the horrid act, we
A sally from our ambuscade,
And, falling on the unholy beast,
Dispatched him with a pick and
Bettel K. Jhones
A fool who, having property
of his own, undertakes to become
responsible for that entrusted to another to a
Philippe of Orleans wishing to
appoint one of his favorites, a
dissolute nobleman, to a high office,
asked him what security he
able to give.
"I need no bondsmen," he replied,
"for I can give
you my word of
pray what may be the
value of that?"
inquired the amused
it is worth its
weight in gold."
BORE, n. A
person who talks when you
wish him to listen.
The science of vegetables --
those that are not good to eat,
as those that are.
It deals largely with
which are commonly badly
designed, inartistic in color, and ill-
Having a nose created
in the image of its maker.
In political geography, an
imaginary line between two nations,
the imaginary rights of one from the imaginary rights
of the other.
The liberality of one who has
much, in permitting one who has
to get all that he can.
A single swallow, it is said,
devours ten millions of insects
The supplying of these insects I take to
instance of the Creator's bounty in
providing for the lives of His
Henry Ward Beecher
He who created the Hindoos,
who are preserved by Vishnu and
destroyed by Siva -- a rather neater division of
labor than is
found among the deities of some other
for example, are created by Sin,
by Theft and destroyed by Folly. The
priests of Brahma, like those of
Abracadabranese, are holy and
men who are never naughty.
O Brahma, thou rare old Divinity,
First Person of the Hindoo Trinity,
You sit there so calm and securely,
With feet folded up so demurely --
You're the First Person Singular,
BRAIN, n. An apparatus with which we think what
we think. That
distinguishes the man who is content to be something from the man
who wishes to do
A man of great wealth, or one
who has been
pitchforked into high
station, has commonly such a headful of
brain that his neighbors cannot keep
their hats on.
civilization, and under our republican
form of government, brain is
honored that it is rewarded by
exemption from the cares of office.
A cordial composed of one
part thunder-and-lightning, one part
remorse, two parts bloody murder, one part
and four parts clarified Satan. Dose,
a headful all the time. Brandy
is said by Dr. Johnson to be the
drink of heroes.
Only a hero
will venture to drink it.
BRIDE, n. A
woman with a fine prospect
of happiness behind her.
BRUTE, n. See
CAABA, n. A
large stone presented by the
archangel Gabriel to the patriarch
and preserved at Mecca. The
patriarch had perhaps asked
A familiar kitchen-garden
vegetable about as large and wise
The cabbage is so called from
Cabagius, a prince who on ascending the
throne issued a decree appointing a High Council
of Empire consisting
of the members of his
predecessor's Ministry and the cabbages
the royal garden.
When any of his
Majesty's measures of state
miscarried conspicuously it was gravely
several members of the High Council had
beheaded, and his
A more than commonly plain
and unmistakable reminder that
affairs of this life are not of our own
are of two kinds: misfortune
ourselves, and good fortune to others.
Gifted with great
fortitude to bear the evils afflicting
When Zeno was told that one of his
enemies was no more he was observed
be deeply moved.
one of his disciples, "you weep
the death of an enemy?" "Ah,
'tis true," replied the great
Stoic; "but you should see me smile at
the death of a friend."
A graduate of the School
CAMEL, n. A
quadruped (the Splaypes
humpidorsus) of great value
There are two kinds of camels -- the
the camel improper. It is
the latter that is always exhibited.
A gastronome of the old
school who preserves the simple tastes
and adheres to the natural diet of the pre-pork
An instrument employed in the
rectification of national boundaries.
The motley worm by
Jesters of the Court of Heaven.
The seat of
That which provides the
pot, the dinner, the table and
the knife and fork for the anarchist;
part of the repast that himself supplies is the disgrace
Punishment, a penalty regarding the
justice and expediency of which many
worthy persons -- including
assassins -- entertain grave
A mendicant friar of the
order of Mount Carmel.
As Death was a-rising out one day,
Across Mount Camel he took his way,
Where he met a mendicant monk,
Some three or four quarters
With a holy leer and a pious grin,
Ragged and fat and as saucy as sin,
Who held out his hands and cried:
"Give, give in Charity's name, I
Give in the name of the Church. O
Give that her holy sons may
And Death replied,
Smiling long and wide:
"I'll give, holy father,
I'll give thee -- a ride."
With a rattle and bang
Of his bones, he sprang
From his famous Pale Horse, with his
By the neck and the foot
Seized the fellow, and put
Him astride with his face to the
The Monarch laughed loud with a sound
Like clods on the coffin's sounding
A beggar on horseback, they say,
Will ride to the devil!" --
Fell the flat of his dart on the
Of the charger, which galloped away.
Faster and faster and faster it flew,
Till the rocks and the flocks and the
trees that grew
By the road were dim and blended and
To the wild, wild eyes
Of the rider -- in size
Resembling a couple of blackberry
Death laughed again, as a tomb might
At a burial service spoiled,
And the mourners' intentions
By the body erecting
Its head and objecting
To further proceedings in its behalf.
Many a year and many a day
Have passed since these events away.
The monk has long been a dusty corse,
And Death has never recovered his
For the friar got hold of its
And steered it within the pale
Of the monastery gray,
Where the beast was stabled and fed
With barley and oil and bread
Till fatter it grew than the fattest
And so in due course was appointed
Addicted to the
cruelty of devouring the timorous
vegetarian, his heirs and assigns.
Relating to Descartes, a
famous philosopher, author of the
celebrated dictum, Cogito ergo
whereby he was pleased to
demonstrated the reality of human existence.
might be improved,
Cogito cogito ergo cogito sum --
"I think that I think, therefore I think
that I am;" as close
to certainty as any
philosopher has yet made.
CAT, n. A
soft, indestructible automaton
provided by nature to be kicked
things go wrong in the domestic circle.
This is a dog,
This is a cat.
This is a frog,
This is a rat.
Run, dog, mew, cat.
Jump, frog, gnaw, rat.
A critic of our own work.
An isolated suburban spot
where mourners match lies, poets
at a target and stone-cutters spell for a wager. The
inscriptions following will serve to
illustrate the success
these Olympian games:
His virtues were so conspicuous
that his enemies, unable to
overlook them, denied them, and his
friends, to whose loose lives
they were a rebuke, represented them
as vices. They
commemorated by his family, who
In the earth we here prepare a
Place to lay our little Clara.
Thomas M. and Mary Frazer
P.S. -- Gabriel will raise her.
One of a race of persons who
lived before the division of labor
been carried to such a pitch of differentiation,
and who followed
the primitive economic maxim,
"Every man his own horse."
best of the lot was Chiron,
who to the wisdom and virtues of the horse
added the fleetness of man. The
scripture story of the head of John the
Baptist on a charger shows that pagan myths have
The watch-dog of Hades,
whose duty it was to guard the entrance
against whom or what does not clearly appear;
sooner or later, had to go there, and
wanted to carry off the entrance. Cerberus
is known to have had three heads,
and some of the
poets have credited him
with as many as a hundred.
Graybill, whose clerky
erudition and profound knowledge of Greek give
his opinion great weight, has averaged
all the estimates, and makes the
number twenty-seven -- a judgment that
would be entirely
Professor Graybill had known (a) something about
(b) something about arithmetic.
The period of human life
intermediate between the idiocy
infancy and the folly of youth -- two removes
from the sin
of manhood and three from the remorse of
One who believes that the
New Testament is a divinely inspired
admirably suited to the spiritual needs of his
One who follows the teachings of Christ
so far as they are not inconsistent
a life of sin.
I dreamed I stood upon a hill, and,
The godly multitudes walked to and
Beneath, in Sabbath garments fitly
With pious mien, appropriately sad,
While all the church bells made a
solemn din --
A fire-alarm to those who lived in
Then saw I gazing thoughtfully below,
With tranquil face, upon that holy
A tall, spare figure in a robe of
Whose eyes diffused a melancholy
"God keep you, strange," I
No doubt (your habit shows it) from
And yet I entertain the hope that
Like these good people, are a
He raised his eyes and with a look so
It made me with a thousand blushes
Replied -- his manner with disdain
I a Christian? No,
A place where horses, ponies
and elephants are permitted to see
women and children acting the fool.
A person, commonly a
woman, who has the power of seeing
which is invisible to her patron, namely, that
he is a blockhead.
An instrument of torture
operated by a person with cotton
are two instruments that are
worse than a
clarionet -- two
A man who undertakes the
management of our spiritual affairs
method of better his temporal ones.
CLIO, n. One
of the nine Muses.
Clio's function was to preside over history
-- which she did with great dignity,
many of the prominent citizens
occupying seats on the platform, the meetings
by Messrs. Xenophon, Herodotus and
other popular speakers.
CLOCK, n. A
machine of great moral value
to man, allaying his concern for
future by reminding him what a lot of time
remains to him.
A busy man complained one day:
"I get no time!" "What's
that you say?"
Cried out his friend, a lazy quiz;
"You have, sir, all the time
There's plenty, too, and don't you
doubt it --
We're never for an hour without
Unduly desirous of
keeping that which many meritorious
wish to obtain.
To thrifty J. Macpherson;
"See me -- I'm ready to divide
With any worthy person."
"That is very true --
The boast requires no backing;
And all are worthy, sir, to you,
Who have what you are
Anita M. Bobe
A man who piously shuts
himself up to meditate upon the sin of
wickedness; and to keep it fresh in his mind
joins a brotherhood
of awful examples.
O Coenobite, O coenobite,
You differ from the anchorite,
With vollied prayers you wound Old
With dropping shots he makes him
A state of mind produced by
contemplation of a neighbor's
The tribute that we pay
to achievements that resembles,
not equal, our own.
A kind of transaction in
which A plunders from B the goods
and for compensation B picks the pocket of D of
entity operated by an incalculable multitude
political parasites, logically active but
This commonwealth's capitol's
So thronged with a hungry and
Of clerks, pages, porters and all
Whom rascals appoint and the populace
That a cat cannot slip through the
thicket of shins
Nor hear its own shriek for the noise
of their chins.
On clerks and on pages, and porters,
Misfortune attend and disaster
May life be to them a succession of
May fleas by the bushel inhabit their
May aches and diseases encamp in
Their lungs full of tubercles,
bladders of stones;
May microbes, bacilli, their tissues
And tapeworms securely their bowels
May corn-cobs be snared without hope
in their hair,
And frequent impalement their
Disturbed be their dreams by the
Of audible sofas sepulchrally hoarse,
By chairs acrobatic and wavering
The mattress that kicks and the
pillow that snores!
Sons of cupidity, cradled in sin!
Your criminal ranks may the death
Avenging the friend whom I couldn't
Such an adjustment of
conflicting interests as gives each
adversary the satisfaction of thinking he has
got what he ought
not to have, and is deprived of nothing
except what was justly his due.
The eloquence of power.
To show that bereavement
is a smaller evil than sympathy.
CONFIDANT, CONFIDANTE, n. One
by A with the secrets of B, confided
The civility of envy.
A body of men who meet to
A specialist who knows
everything about something and nothing
An old wine-bibber having been
smashed in a railway collision, some
wine was pouted on his lips to revive him.
"Pauillac, 1873," he
murmured and died.
A statesman who is
enamored of existing evils, as
distinguished from the Liberal, who
wishes to replace them with others.
The knowledge that a
better man is more unfortunate than
In American politics, a
person who having failed to secure and
office from the people is given one by the
condition that he leave the country.
To seek another's
disapproval of a course already decided
The feeling of a prudent
man for an enemy who is too formidable
to be opposed.
A battle in which
spittle or ink replaces the injurious
and the inconsiderate bayonet.
In controversy with the facile tongue
That bloodless warfare of the old and
So seek your adversary to engage
That on himself he shall exhaust his
And, like a snake that's fastened to
With his own fangs inflict the fatal
You ask me how this miracle is done?
Adopt his own opinions, one by one,
And taunt him to refute them; in his
He'll sweep them pitilessly from his
Advance then gently all you wish to
Each proposition prefaced with,
So well remarked," or, "As
you wisely say,
And I cannot dispute," or,
"By the way,
This view of it which, better far
Runs through your
Then leave the rest
To him, secure that he'll perform his
And prove your views intelligent and
Conmore Apel Brune
A place of retirement for
woman who wish for leisure to meditate
the vice of idleness.
A fair to the display
of the minor mental commodities,
exhibitor being too intent upon the arrangement
own wares to observe those of his
The ceremony of investing
a sovereign with the outward and
signs of his divine right to be blown skyhigh
with a dynamite
A man who occupies the
lowest rung of the military ladder.
Fiercely the battle raged and, sad to
Our corporal heroically fell!
Fame from her height looked down upon
"He hadn't very far to fall."
An ingenious device for
obtaining individual profit without
A politician of the seas.
COURT FOOL, n.
One who in a perilous
emergency thinks with his legs.
A small crustacean very
much resembling the lobster, but less
In this small fish I take it that
human wisdom is admirably
figured and symbolized; for whereas
the crayfish doth move only
backward, and can have only
retrospection, seeing naught but the
perils already passed, so the wisdom
of man doth not enable him to
avoid the follies that beset his
course, but only to apprehend
their nature afterward.
Sir James Merivale
One of a tribe of savages
dwelling beyond the Financial Straits
dreaded for their desolating incursions.
A high-priced violin made in
A person who boasts himself
hard to please because nobody tries
There is a land of pure delight,
Beyond the Jordan's flood,
Where saints, apparelled all in
back the critic's mud.
And as he legs it through the skies,
His pelt a sable hue,
He sorrows sore to recognize
The missiles that he threw.
CROSS, n. An
ancient religious symbol
erroneously supposed to owe its
significance to the most solemn event in
the history of
but really antedating it
by thousands of years. By
many it has
to be identical with the crux ansata
of the ancient phallic worship,
but it has been traced even beyond
all that we know of that, to the
of primitive peoples. We
have to-day the
White Cross as
a symbol of chastity, and
the Red Cross as a badge of benevolent
neutrality in war. Having
the former, the reverend Father
Gassalasca Jape smites the lyre to the
"Be good, be good!" the
Cry out in holy chorus,
And, to dissuade from sin, parade
Their various charms before us.
But why, O why, has ne'er an eye
Seen her of winsome manner
And youthful grace and pretty face
Flaunting the White Cross banner?
Now where's the need of speech and
To better our behaving?
A simpler plan for saving man
(But, first, is he worth saving?)
Is, dears, when he declines to flee
From bad thoughts that beset him,
Ignores the Law as 't were a straw,
And wants to sin -- don't let
CUI BONO? [Latin] What
good would that do me?
The faculty that
distinguishes a weak animal or person
from a strong one. It
possessor much mental satisfaction and
great material adversity. An
"The furrier gets
the skins of more foxes than
CUPID, n. The
so-called god of
bastard creation of a barbarous
fancy was no doubt inflicted upon
mythology for the sins of its
all unbeautiful and
inappropriate conceptions this is the
most reasonless and offensive. The
notion of symbolizing sexual love
semisexless babe, and comparing the pains of
passion to the
wounds of an arrow -- of introducing this
pudgy homunculus into art grossly
materialize the subtle spirit and suggestion of
the work --
this is eminently worthy of the age that,
giving it birth, laid it on the
An objectionable quality
of the female mind. The desire
to know whether or not a woman is
cursed with curiosity is one of the
active and insatiable passions of the masculine
Energetically to belabor
with a verbal slap-stick. This is an
operation which in literature,
particularly in the drama, is commonly
to the victim.
liability to a
cursing is a risk that
cuts but a small figure in fixing the rates of
CYNIC, n. A
blackguard whose faulty
vision sees things as they are, not as
they ought to be.
Hence the custom among
the Scythians of
plucking out a cynic's
eyes to improve his vision.
DAMN, v. A
word formerly much used by
the Paphlagonians, the meaning of
is lost. By
the learned Dr. Dolabelly
Gak it is believed to have
been a term
of satisfaction, implying the highest possible
mental tranquillity. Professor
Groke, on the contrary, thinks it expressed
an emotion of tumultuous delight,
because it so frequently occurs
combination with the word jod or
would be with great diffidence that I
should advance an opinion conflicting
with that of either of these
To leap about to the sound
of tittering music, preferably with
about your neighbor's wife or daughter.
There are many kinds
but all those requiring the participation of the
have two characteristics in
innocent, and warmly loved by the
A savage beast which, when it sleeps,
Man girds at and despises,
But takes himself away by leaps
And bounds when it arises.
One of the most conspicuous
qualities of a man in security.
A high ecclesiastic official
of the Roman Catholic Church, whose
important function is to brand the Pope's bulls
with the words
He enjoys a princely revenue
and the friendship of God.
DAWN, n. The
time when men of reason go
to bed. Certain
old men prefer
to rise at about that time, taking a
cold bath and a long walk with
stomach, and otherwise mortifying the flesh.
point with pride to
these practices as the cause of their sturdy
health and ripe years; the truth being
that they are hearty and
because of their habits, but in
spite of them.
The reason we find only
robust persons doing this thing is that
it has killed all the others
DAY, n. A
period of twenty-four hours,
is divided into two parts, the day proper
the night, or day
improper -- the former
devoted to sins of business, the latter
consecrated to the other sort.
These two kinds of social activity
Done with the work of breathing; done
With all the world; the mad race run
Though to the end; the golden goal
Attained and found to be a hole!
One who has so earnestly
pursued pleasure that he has had
misfortune to overtake it.
DEBT, n. An
ingenious substitute for the
chain and whip of the slave- driver.
As, pent in an aquarium, the troutlet
Swims round and round his tank to
find an outlet,
Pressing his nose against the glass
that holds him,
Nor ever sees the prison that enfolds
So the poor debtor, seeing naught
Yet feels the narrow limits that
Grieves at his debt and studies to
And finds at last he might as well
have paid it.
Barlow S. Vode
A series of commandments,
ten in number -- just enough to
an intelligent selection for observance, but not
enough to embarrass
Following is the revised edition of the Decalogue,
calculated for this meridian.
Thou shalt no God but me adore:
'Twere too expensive to have more.
No images nor idols make
For Robert Ingersoll to break.
Take not God's name in vain; select
A time when it will have effect.
Work not on Sabbath days at all,
But go to see the teams play ball.
Honor thy parents. That
For life insurance lower rates.
Kill not, abet not those who kill;
Thou shalt not pay thy butcher's
Kiss not thy neighbor's wife, unless
Thine own thy neighbor doth caress
Don't steal; thou'lt never thus
Successfully in business. Cheat.
Bear not false witness -- that is low
But "hear 'tis rumored so and
Cover thou naught that thou hast not
By hook or crook, or somehow, got.
To succumb to the
preponderance of one set of influences
over another set.
A leaf was riven from a tree,
"I mean to fall to earth,"
The west wind, rising, made him veer.
"Eastward," said he,
"I now shall steer."
The east wind rose with greater
"'Twere wise to change my course."
With equal power they contend.
"My judgment I suspend."
Down died the winds; the leaf, elate,
"I've decided to fall straight."
"First thoughts are
not the moral;
Just choose your own and we'll not
Howe'er your choice may chance to
You'll have no hand in it at all.
To lie about another. To
tell the truth about another.
Unable to attack.
admirable than one's ancestors. The
of Homer were striking examples of degeneracy;
ten of them to raise a rock or a
riot that one of the heroes of the
Trojan war could have raised with ease.
Homer never tires of sneering
"men who live in these degenerate days," which
why they suffered him to beg his bread --
marked instance of
returning good for
evil, by the way, for if they had forbidden him
certainly have starved.
One of the stages of
moral and social progress from private
to political preferment.
An extinct pachyderm
that flourished when the Pterodactyl
The latter was a native of
name being pronounced Terry
Dactyl or Peter O'Dactyl, as the man
pronouncing it may chance to have heard
it spoken or seen it printed.
The breakfast of an
American who has been in Paris.
In American politics, an
article of merchandise that comes
The act of examining
one's bread to determine which side
is buttered on.
A notable first experiment in
baptism which washed away the
sinners) of the world.
The father of a most
respectable family, comprising
Enthusiasm, Affection, Self-denial,
Faith, Hope, Charity and many other
goodly sons and daughters.
All hail, Delusion! Were
it not for thee
The world turned topsy-turvy we
For Vice, respectable with cleanly
Would fly abandoned Virtue's gross
A prestidigitator who,
putting metal into your mouth, pulls
coins out of your pocket.
Reliant upon another's
generosity for the support which
not in a position to exact from his fears.
A male relative of an
office-holder, or of his bondsman. The
is commonly a beautiful young man, with a red
an intricate system of cobwebs extending
his nose to his desk. When
struck by the janitor's broom, he gives off a
"Chief Deputy," the Master
"To-day the books are to be
By experts and accountants who
Have been commissioned to go through
Our office here, to see if we
Have stolen injudiciously.
Please have the proper entries made,
The proper balances displayed,
Conforming to the whole amount
Of cash on hand -- which they will
I've long admired your punctual way
Here at the break and close of day,
Confronting in your chair the crowd
Of business men, whose voices loud
And gestures violent you quell
By some mysterious, calm spell --
Some magic lurking in your look
That brings the noisiest to book
And spreads a holy and profound
Tranquillity o'er all around.
So orderly all's done that they
Who came to draw remain to pay.
But now the time demands, at last,
That you employ your genius vast
In energies more active. Rise
And shake the lightnings from your
Inspire your underlings, and fling
Your spirit into everything!"
The Master's hand here dealt a whack
Upon the Deputy's bent back,
When straightway to the floor there
A shrunken globe, a rattling shell
A blackened, withered, eyeless head!
The man had been a twelvemonth dead.
A tyrant's authority for
crime and fool's excuse for failure.
A physician's forecast of
the disease by the patient's pulse
A muscular partition
separating disorders of the chest from
disorders of the bowels.
DIARY, n. A
daily record of that part of
one's life, which he can relate
himself without blushing.
Hearst kept a diary wherein were writ
All that he had of wisdom and of wit.
So the Recording Angel, when Hearst
Erased all entries of his own and
"I'll judge you by your
"Thank you; 'twill show you I am
Saint the First" --
Straightway producing, jubilant and
That record from a pocket in his
The Angel slowly turned the pages
Each stupid line of which he knew
Glooming and gleaming as by turns he
On Shallow sentiment and stolen wit;
Then gravely closed the book and gave
"My friend, you've wandered from
your proper track:
You'd never be content this side the
For big ideas Heaven has little room,
And Hell's no latitude for making
He said, and kicked the fellow back
"The Mad Philosopher"
The chief of a nation that
prefers the pestilence of despotism
the plague of anarchy.
A malevolent literary
device for cramping the growth of a
language and making it hard and inelastic.
This dictionary, however,
most useful work.
DIE, n. The
seldom hear the
there is a prohibitory
proverb, "Never say die." At
however, some one
die is cast," which
is not true, for it is
word is found in an immortal couplet by
that eminent poet
economist, Senator Depew:
A cube of cheese no larger than a die
May bait the trap to catch a nibbling
The conversion of victuals
process is imperfect, vices are evolved
instead -- a circumstance from which
that wicked writer, Dr. Jeremiah Blenn, infers
that the ladies
are the greater sufferers from dyspepsia.
The patriotic art of lying
for one's country.
The present your neighbor
with another and better error
one which he has deemed it advantageous to
To note the
particulars in which one person or thing
is, if possible, more objectionable than
A method of confirming
others in their errors.
The silver lining to
the cloud of servitude.
To celebrate with an
appropriate ceremony the maturity of a
His right to govern me is clear as
My duty manifest to disobey;
And if that fit observance e'er I
May I and duty be alike undone.
To put a clean shirt
upon the character.
Let us dissemble.
The only thing that the
rich are willing for the poor to call
theirs, and keep.
A disease incurred by
exposure to the prosperity of a friend.
The art of nosing out the
is of as many
kinds as there are fruit-bearing
varieties of the flowering dunce and
DOG, n. A
kind of additional or
subsidiary Deity designed to catch the
overflow and surplus of the world's worship.
This Divine Being in some
smaller and silkier incarnations takes, in the
Woman, the place to which there is no
human male aspirant. The
a survival -- an anachronism. He
toils not, neither does he spin, yet
Solomon in all his glory never lay upon a
door-mat all day long, sun-soaked
fly-fed and fat, while his master worked for the
to purchase the idle wag of the
Solomonic tail, seasoned with a
A soldier who combines dash
and steadiness in so equal measure
he makes his advances on foot and his retreats
One who adapts plays from
Priests and ministers of an
ancient Celtic religion which did
disdain to employ the humble allurement of human
Very little is now known about the Druids
and their faith.
their religion, originating in Britain,
spread eastward as far as Persia. Caesar
says those who desired to study its
mysteries went to
Caesar himself went to Britain, but does
appear to have
obtained any high
preferment in the Druidical Church, although his talent
for human sacrifice was considerable.
Druids performed their religious
rites in groves, and knew nothing of
church mortgages and the season-ticket system of
were, in short, heathens and -- as they
were once complacently catalogued
by a distinguished prelate of the
Church of England -- Dissenters.
Your account at your
restaurant during the canvas-back
DUEL, n. A
formal ceremony preliminary
to the reconciliation of two
Great skill is necessary
to its satisfactory observance; if
awkwardly performed the most unexpected
and deplorable consequences sometimes
long time ago a man lost his life in a
That dueling's a gentlemanly vice
I hold; and wish that it had been
To live my life out in some
favored spot --
Some country where it is considered
To split a rival like a fish, or
A husband like a spud, or with a
Bring down a debtor doubled in a
And ready to be put upon the ice.
Some miscreants there are, whom I do
To shoot, to stab, or some such
The scurvy rogues to better lives and
I seem to see them now -- a mighty
It looks as if to challenge me they
Jauntily marching with brass bands
Xamba Q. Dar
A member of the reigning
dynasty in letters and life. The
came in with Adam, and being both numerous and
overrun the habitable world. The
secret of their power is their insensibility
to blows; tickle them with a
bludgeon and they laugh with a
The Dullards came originally
from Boeotia, whence they
were driven by
stress of starvation, their dullness having
blighted the crops. For
centuries they infested Philistia, and
many of them are called Philistines to
this day. In
times of the Crusades they withdrew
and gradually overspread all
occupying most of the high places in politics,
science and theology. Since
a detachment of Dullards came over
with the Pilgrims in the Mayflower
and made a favorable
the country, their increase by
birth, immigration, and conversion has
been rapid and steady. According
statistics the number
of adult Dullards in the United States is but
little short of thirty millions,
including the statisticians. The
intellectual centre of the race is
somewhere about Peoria, Illinois, but
the New England Dullard is the most
DUTY, n. That
which sternly impels us in
the direction of profit, along
Sir Lavender Portwine, in favor at
Was wroth at his master, who'd kissed
His anger provoked him to take the
But duty prevailed, and he took the
EAT, v.i. To
perform successively (and
successfully) the functions of
mastication, humectation, and
"I was in the drawing-room,
enjoying my dinner," said Brillat-
Savarin, beginning an anecdote.
"What!" interrupted Rochebriant; "eating
dinner in a
"I must beg you
the great gastronome, "that I did not say I was eating
my dinner, but enjoying it. I had
dined an hour before."
Secretly to overhear a
catalogue of the crimes and vices
another or yourself.
A lady with one of her ears applied
To an open keyhole heard, inside,
Two female gossips in converse free
The subject engaging them was she.
"I think," said one,
"and my husband thinks
That she's a prying, inquisitive
As soon as no more of it she could
The lady, indignant, removed her ear.
"I will not stay," she
said, with a pout,
"To hear my character lied
A method of distinction
so cheap that fools employ it to
accentuate their incapacity.
Purchasing the barrel of
whiskey that you do not need for the
price of the cow that you cannot afford.
Good to eat, and wholesome
to digest, as a worm to a toad,
to a snake, a snake to a pig, a pig to a man,
and a man to
A person who combines the
judicial functions of Minos,
Rhadamanthus and Aeacus, but is placable
with an obolus; a severely virtuous
censor, but so charitable withal
that he tolerates the virtues
and the vices of himself; who flings about him
lightning and sturdy thunders of
admonition till he
resembles a bunch of
firecrackers petulantly uttering his mind at the tail
of a dog; then straightway murmurs a
mild, melodious lay, soft as the
of a donkey intoning its prayer to the evening
of mysteries and lord of law,
high-pinnacled upon the throne of
thought, his face suffused with the dim
splendors of the
Transfiguration, his legs intertwisted
his tongue a-cheek, the editor
his will along the paper and cuts it off in
And at intervals from behind the veil of
the temple is heard the
voice of the foreman demanding three
inches of wit and six lines of
meditation, or bidding him turn off the wisdom
and whack up
O, the Lord of Law on the Throne of
A gilded impostor is he.
Of shreds and patches his robes are
His crown is brass,
Himself an ass,
And his power is fiddle-dee-dee.
Prankily, crankily prating of naught,
Silly old quilly old Monarch of
Public opinion's camp-follower
EDUCATION, n. That which discloses to the wise
and disguises from the foolish
their lack of understanding.
The second of two phenomena
which always occur together in the
first, called a Cause, is
said to generate the other
-- which is
no more sensible than it would be for one who
seen a dog except in the pursuit of a
rabbit to declare the rabbit
of a dog.
A person of low taste, more
interested in himself than in me.
Megaceph, chosen to serve the State
In the halls of legislative debate,
One day with all his credentials came
To the capitol's door and announced
The doorkeeper looked, with a comical
Of the face, at the eminent egotist,
"Go away, for we settle here
All manner of questions, knotty and
And we cannot have, when the speaker
To be told how every member stands,
A man who to all things under the sky
Assents by eternally voting
An approved remedy for the
disease of garrulity. It is also
much used in cases of extreme poverty.
One who enjoys the sacred
privilege of voting for the man of
another man's choice.
The power that causes
all natural phenomena not known to be
caused by something else. It is
thing as lightning, and
attempt to strike Dr. Franklin is one of the
incidents in that great and good
of Dr. Franklin is justly held in great
France, where a waxen
effigy of him was recently on exhibition,
bearing the following touching account of
his life and services to science:
inventor of electricity. This
illustrious savant, after having made
several voyages around the
world, died on the Sandwich Islands
and was devoured by savages,
of whom not a single fragment was
Electricity seems destined to play a
most important part in the arts
The question of its
economical application to some
is still unsettled, but experiment has already
it will propel a street car better than
a gas jet and give more light
ELEGY, n. A
composition in verse, in
which, without employing any of the
methods of humor, the writer aims to produce in
the reader's mind
the dampest kind of dejection. The
most famous English example begins somewhat
The cur foretells the knell of
The loafing herd winds slowly
o'er the lea;
The wise man homeward plods; I only
To fiddle-faddle in a minor key.
The art of orally
persuading fools that white is the color
that it appears to be. It
gift of making any color appear
An imaginary delightful
country which the ancients foolishly
to be inhabited by the spirits of the good. This
ridiculous and mischievous fable was
swept off the face of the
the early Christians -- may their
souls be happy in Heaven!
A bondman's change from
the tyranny of another to the
He was a slave: at
word he went and came;
His iron collar cut him to the
Then Liberty erased his owner's name,
Tightened the rivets and
inscribed his own.
To cheat vegetation by
locking up the gases upon which it
embalming their dead and
thereby deranging the natural balance
animal and vegetable life, the Egyptians made
fertile and populous country barren and
incapable of supporting more
The modern metallic burial
casket is a step
in the same direction,
and many a dead man who ought now to be
ornamenting his neighbor's lawn as a
tree, or enriching his table as
of radishes, is doomed to a long
We shall get him after
awhile if we are spared, but in the
meantime the violet and rose are
for a nibble at his glutoeus
A prostrating disease caused
by a determination of the heart
is sometimes accompanied by a
of hydrated chloride
of sodium from the eyes.
A special (but not
particular) kind of liar.
END, n. The
position farthest removed on
either hand from the Interlocutor.
The man was perishing apace
Who played the tambourine;
The seal of death was on his face --
'Twas pallid, for 'twas clean.
"This is the end," the sick
In faint and failing tones.
A moment later he was dead,
And Tambourine was Bones.
All there is in the world
if you like it.
Enough is as good as a feast -- for
Enougher's as good as a feast for the
Arbely C. Strunk
Any kind of amusement
whose inroads stop short of death
A distemper of youth,
curable by small doses of repentance
connection with outward applications of
Byron, who recovered long enough to call
"entuzy-muzy," had a relapse,
carried him off -- to Missolonghi.
The coffin of a document;
the scabbard of a bill; the husk
remittance; the bed-gown of a love-letter.
ENVY, n. Emulation
adapted to the
An ornamented badge, serving
to distinguish a military officer
the enemy -- that is to say, from the officer of
to whom his death would give promotion.
An opponent of Epicurus, an
abstemious philosopher who, holding
pleasure should be the chief aim of man, wasted
no time in
gratification from the senses.
A short, sharp saying in
prose or verse, frequently characterize
acidity or acerbity and sometimes by wisdom. Following
are some of the more notable
epigrams of the learned and ingenious
We know better the needs of
ourselves than of others. To
serve oneself is economy of
In each human heart are a tiger,
a pig, an ass and a
of character is due to their
There are three sexes; males,
females and girls.
Beauty in women and distinction
in men are alike in this:
they seem to be the unthinking a kind
Women in love are less ashamed
than men. They
have less to be
While your friend holds you
affectionately by both your hands
you are safe, for you can watch both
An inscription on a tomb,
showing that virtues acquired by
have a retroactive effect. Following
a touching example:
Here lie the bones of Parson Platt,
Wise, pious, humble and all that,
Who showed us life as all should live
Let that be said -- and God forgive
Dust shaken out of a book
into an empty skull.
So wide his erudition's mighty span,
He knew Creation's origin and plan
And only came by accident to grief --
He thought, poor man, 'twas right to
be a thief.
abstruse and consummately occult. The
philosophies were of two kinds, -- exoteric,
the philosophers themselves
could partly understand, and esoteric, those
that nobody could understand. It is
the latter that have most profoundly
affected modern thought and found
greatest acceptance in our
The science that treats of
the various tribes of Man, as
thieves, swindlers, dunces, lunatics, idiots and ethnologists.
A sacred feast of the
religious sect of Theophagi.
A dispute once unhappily arose among the
members of this sect as to
what it was
that they ate.
In this controversy some
thousand have already been
slain, and the question is still unsettled.
Praise of a person who has
either the advantages of wealth and
power, or the consideration to be dead.
A bearer of good tidings,
particularly (in a religious sense)
as assure us of our own salvation and the
Lasting forever. It is
with no small diffidence that I
venture to offer this brief and
elementary definition, for I am not
unaware of the existence of a bulky volume by a
sometime Bishop of
Worcester, entitled, A Partial Definition of the Word
as Used in the Authorized Version of
was once esteemed of great authority in
Anglican Church, and is still,
understand, studied with pleasure to the mind
and profit of
A thing which takes the
liberty to differ from other things
its class, as an honest man, a truthful woman,
exception proves the rule" is an
expression constantly upon the
the ignorant, who parrot it from
one another with never a thought of its
In the Latin, "Exceptio
probat regulam" means that
the exception tests the rule, puts it to the
malefactor who drew the meaning
from this excellent
substituted a contrary one of his own exerted an evil
power which appears to be immortal.
In morals, an indulgence that
enforces by appropriate penalties
law of moderation.
Hail, high Excess -- especially in
To thee in worship do I bend the
Who preach abstemiousness unto me
My skull thy pulpit, as my paunch thy
Precept on precept, aye, and line on
Could ne'er persuade so sweetly
With reason as thy touch, exact
Upon my forehead and along my spine.
At thy command eschewing pleasure's
the hot grape I warm no more my wit;
When on thy stool of penitence I
I'm quite converted, for I can't get
Ungrateful he who afterward would
To make new sacrifices at thine
This "excommunication" is a
In speech ecclesiastical oft heard,
And means the damning, with bell,
book and candle,
Some sinner whose opinions are a
A rite permitting Satan to enslave
Forever, and forbidding Christ to
An officer of the
Government, whose duty it is to enforce
wishes of the legislative power until such time
as the judicial
department shall be pleased to
pronounce them invalid and of no
is an extract from an
old book entitled, The Lunarian
Astonished -- Pfeiffer &
Co., Boston, 1803:
Then when your Congress has passed a law
directly to the Supreme Court in
order that it may at once be
known whether it is
TERRESTRIAN: O no;
it does not require the approval of the
Supreme Court until having
perhaps been enforced for many
years somebody objects to its
operation against himself -- I
mean his client. The
President, if he approves it, begins to
execute it at once.
Ah, the executive power is a part of the
Do your policemen also have to
approve the local ordinances
that they enforce?
yet -- at least not in their character of
Generally speaking, though, all laws
approval of those whom they are
intended to restrain.
The death warrant is not valid until
friend, you put it too strongly; we are
But this system of maintaining an
machinery to pass upon the
validity of laws only after they
have long been executed, and then
only when brought before the
court by some private person --
does it not cause great
Why then should not your laws, previously
executed, be validated, not by
the signature of your
President, but by that of the
Chief Justice of the Supreme
is no precedent for any such course.
What is that?
TERRESTRIAN: It has
been defined by five hundred lawyers
volumes each. So how
can any one know?
EXHORT, v.t. In religious affairs, to put the
conscience of another upon
the spit and roast it to a nut-brown
EXILE, n. One
who serves his country by
residing abroad, yet is not an
An English sea-captain being asked if
he had read "The Exile of
Erin," replied: "No,
sir, but I should like to anchor on it."
afterwards, when he had
been hanged as a pirate after a career of
unparalleled atrocities, the following
memorandum was found in the ship's
log that he had kept at the time of
Aug. 3d, 1842. Made a
joke on the ex-Isle of Erin. Coldly
War with the whole world!
A transient, horrible, fantastic
Wherein is nothing yet all things do
From which we're wakened by a
Of our bedfellow Death, and cry: "O
The wisdom that enables
us to recognize as an undesirable
acquaintance the folly that we have already
To one who, journeying through night
Is mired neck-deep in an unwholesome
Experience, like the rising of the
Reveals the path that he should not
Joel Frad Bink
One of the many
methods by which fools prefer to lose
The raw material out of
which theology created the future
FAIRY, n. A
fashioned and endowed, that formerly
inhabited the meadows and forests.
It was nocturnal in its habits,
and somewhat addicted to dancing and the
theft of children.
fairies are now believed by naturalist to
be extinct, though a clergyman
of the Church of England saw three
near Colchester as lately as
passing through a park after dining with the
lord of the
The sight greatly staggered him, and he
was so affected
that his account of it was incoherent. In the
year 1807 a troop of fairies
visited a wood near Aix and carried
off the daughter of a peasant,
been seen to enter it with a bundle of clothing. The
son of a wealthy bourgeois
disappeared about the same time, but
afterward returned. He had
the abduction been in pursuit of the
Justinian Gaux, a writer
of the fourteenth century, avers that
great is the fairies' power of transformation
that he saw one
change itself into two opposing armies
fight a battle with great slaughter,
that the next day, after it had resumed its
and gone away, there were seven hundred
bodies of the slain which
had to bury.
He does not say if any of
In the time of Henry III, of England, a
which prescribed the death
penalty for "Kyllynge, wowndynge, or
mamynge" a fairy, and it was universally
FAITH, n. Belief
without evidence in
what is told by one who speaks without
of things without parallel.
Done to a turn on the iron, behold
Him who to be famous aspired.
Well, his grill has a plating of gold,
And his twistings are greatly
A despot whom the wise
ridicule and obey.
A king there was who lost an eye
In some excess of passion;
And straight his courtiers all did
To follow the new fashion.
Each dropped one eyelid when before
The throne he ventured, thinking
'Twould please the king. That
He'd slay them all for winking.
What should they do? They
were not hot
To hazard such disaster;
They dared not close an eye -- dared
See better than their master.
Seeing them lacrymose and glum,
A leech consoled the weepers:
He spread small rags with liquid gum
And covered half their peepers.
The court all wore the stuff, the flame
Of royal anger dying.
That's how court-plaster got its name
Unless I'm greatly lying.
FEAST, n. A
religious celebration usually signalized
and drunkenness, frequently
in honor of some holy person
distinguished for abstemiousness.
In the Roman Catholic Church
feasts are "movable" and "immovable," but
celebrants are uniformly immovable
they are full.
In their earliest
the form of feasts for the dead; such were held
Greeks, under the name Nemeseia,
by the Aztecs and
as in modern times they are
popular with the Chinese; though it is
believed that the ancient dead, like the
modern, were light eaters. Among
the many feasts of the Romans was the Novemdiale,
which was held,
according to Livy, whenever stones fell
FELON, n. A
person of greater enterprise
than discretion, who in embracing
opportunity has formed an unfortunate
One of the opposing, or
The Maker, at Creation's birth,
With living things had stocked the
From elephants to bats and snails,
They all were good, for all were
But when the Devil came and saw
"By Thine eternal law
Of growth, maturity, decay,
These all must quickly pass away
And leave untenanted the earth
Unless Thou dost establish
Then tucked his head beneath his wing
To laugh -- he had no sleeve -- the
With deviltry did so accord,
That he'd suggested to the Lord.
The Master pondered this advice,
Then shook and threw the fateful dice
Wherewith all matters here below
Are ordered, and observed the throw;
Then bent His head in awful state,
Confirming the decree of Fate.
From every part of earth anew
The conscious dust consenting flew,
While rivers from their courses
To make it plastic for the mould.
Enough collected (but no more,
For niggard Nature hoards her store)
He kneaded it to flexible clay,
While Nick unseen threw some away.
And then the various forms He cast,
Gross organs first and finer last;
No one at once evolved, but all
By even touches grew and small
Degrees advanced, till, shade by
To match all living things He'd made
Females, complete in all their parts
Except (His clay gave out) the
"No matter," Satan cried;
I'll fetch the very hearts they
So flew away and soon brought back
The number needed, in a sack.
That night earth range with sounds of
Ten million males each had a wife;
That night sweet Peace her pinions
O'er Hell -- ten million devils dead!
FIB, n. A
lie that has not cut its
habitual liar's nearest approach
to truth: the
perigee of his eccentric orbit.
When David said: "All
men are liars," Dave,
Himself a liar, fibbed like any
Perhaps he thought to weaken
By proof that even himself was not a
To Truth; though I suspect the aged
Had been of all her servitors the
Had he but known a fig's
Is more than e'er she wore on land or
No, David served not Naked Truth when
Struck that sledge-hammer blow at
all his race;
Nor did he hit the nail upon
For reason shows that it could never
And the facts contradict him to
Men are not liars all, for
some are dead.
The iterated satiety of
an enterprising affection.
An instrument to tickle human
ears by friction of a horse's
the entrails of a cat.
To Rome said Nero: "If to
smoke you turn
I shall not cease to fiddle while you
To Nero Rome replied: "Pray
do your worst,
'Tis my excuse that you were fiddling
A virtue peculiar to those
who are about to be betrayed.
The art or science of
managing revenues and resources for the
best advantage of the manager. The
pronunciation of this word with
long and the accent on the first syllable is one
most precious discoveries and
FLAG, n. A
colored rag borne above
troops and hoisted on forts and
It appears to serve the
same purpose as certain signs that one
sees and vacant lots in London --
"Rubbish may be shot here."
FLESH, n. The
Second Person of the
FLOP, v. Suddenly
to change one's
opinions and go over to another
The most notable flop on
record was that of Saul of Tarsus, who
has been severely criticised as a turn-coat by
some of our
The prototype of punctuation. It is
Garvinus that the systems of punctuation
use by the various
depended originally upon the social habits and
general diet of the flies infesting the
creatures, which have always been
distinguished for a neighborly
authors, liberally or niggardly
embellish the manuscripts in process of
growth under the pen, according
to their bodily habit, bringing out
the sense of the work by a
interpretation superior to, and independent of,
"old masters" of literature --
that is to say,
the early writers whose
work is so esteemed by later scribes and
critics in the same language -- never
punctuated at all, but worked right
along free-handed, without that
abruption of the thought which comes
from the use of points. (We
same thing in children to-day,
usage in this particular is a striking and
of the law that the infancy of
individuals reproduces the methods
stages of development characterizing the infancy
In the work of these primitive scribes
all the punctuation is found,
by the modern investigator with his
optical instruments and chemical
to have been inserted by the writers' ingenious
collaborator, the common
house-fly -- Musca
In transcribing these ancient MSS, for
purpose of either making the
own or preserving what they naturally regard as
later writers reverently and
accurately copy whatever marks
upon the papyrus or parchment, to the
enhancement of the lucidity of the
and value of the work. Writers
with the copyists naturally avail themselves of the
obvious advantages of these marks in
their own work, and with such assistance
the flies of their own household may be willing
frequently rival and sometimes surpass
the older compositions, in
least of punctuation, which is no small glory.
understand the important
services that flies perform to literature it
is only necessary to lay a page of some
popular novelist alongside
of cream-and-molasses in a
sunny room and observe "how the wit
brightens and the style refines" in
accurate proportion to the duration
FOLLY, n. That
"gift and faculty
divine" whose creative and
controlling energy inspires Man's mind,
guides his actions and
Folly! although Erasmus praised thee
In a thick volume, and all
If not thy glory yet thy power
Deign to take homage from thy son who
Through all thy maze his brothers,
fool and dunce,
To mend their lives and to
sustain his own,
However feebly be his arrows
Howe'er each hide the flying weapons
All-Father Folly! be it mine to
With lusty lung, here on his
With all thine offspring thronged
from every land,
Thyself inspiring me, the song of
And if too weak, I'll hire, to help
Dick Watson Gilder, gravest of us
Aramis Loto Frope
FOOL, n. A
person who pervades the
domain of intellectual speculation and
diffuses himself through the channels of moral
omnific, omniform, omnipercipient,
omniscience, omnipotent. He it
who invented letters, printing, the
railroad, the steamboat, the telegraph,
the platitude and the circle of
patriotism and taught the nations war --
founded theology, philosophy, law,
medicine and Chicago. He
monarchical and republican
He is from
everlasting to everlasting -- such as
creation's dawn beheld he fooleth now.
In the morning of time he sang
upon primitive hills, and in the noonday
of existence headed the procession
of being. His
grandmotherly hand was warmly tucked-in
sun of civilization, and in the
twilight he prepares Man's evening meal
of milk-and-morality and turns down the covers
of the universal
And after the rest of us shall have
retired for the night of eternal
oblivion he will sit up to write a
history of human
"Force is but might," the
teacher said --
The boy said naught but through
Remembering his pounded head:
"Force is not might but
The finger commonly used
in pointing out two malefactors.
This looks like an
easy word to define, but when I consider
pious and learned theologians have spent long
lives in explaining
it, and written libraries to
explain their explanations; when I
remember the nations have been divided and
caused by the difference between
and predestination, and
that millions of
treasure have been expended in the effort to
prove and disprove its compatibility with
freedom of the will and the efficacy
of prayer, praise, and a religious
life, -- recalling these awful
the history of the word, I stand appalled before
problem of its signification, abase my
spiritual eyes, fearing to
its portentous magnitude, reverently uncover and
it to His Eminence Cardinal Gibbons and
His Grace Bishop Potter.
A gift of God bestowed
upon doctors in compensation for
destitution of conscience.
FORK, n. An
instrument used chiefly for
the purpose of putting dead animals
Formerly the knife was
employed for this
purpose, and by many
worthy persons is still thought to have many
advantages over the other tool, which,
however, they do not
reject, but use to assist in
charging the knife. The
these persons from swift and awful death
one of the most striking proofs
mercy to those that hate Him.
In the character of a poor person -- a method
by which a litigant without money for
lawyers is considerately permitted
lose his case.
When Adam long ago in Cupid's awful
(For Cupid ruled ere Adam was
Sued for Eve's favor, says an ancient
He stood and pleaded
"You sue in forma pauperis, I see," Eve
"Actions can't here be that
So all poor Adam's motions coldly
He went away -- as he had come --
The tenure by which a
religious corporation holds lands
condition of praying for the soul of the donor.
In mediaeval times
many of the
wealthiest fraternities obtained their estates
simple and cheap manner, and once when
Henry VIII of England sent an
confiscate certain vast possessions which a
of monks held by frankalmoigne,
"What!" said the Prior, "would you master
stay our benefactor's soul in
coldly, "an ye will
not pray him thence for naught he must
e'en roast." "But
you, my son," persisted the good man, "this act
hath rank as robbery of God!" "Nay,
nay, good father, my master the
king doth but deliver him from the
manifold temptations of too great
A conqueror in a small
way of business, whose annexations
of the sanctifying merit of magnitude.
Exemption from the stress of
authority in a beggarly half dozen
restraint's infinite multitude of methods.
condition that every
nation supposes itself to enjoy in virtual
The distinction between freedom and
accurately known; naturalists
have never been able to find a living
Freedom, as every schoolboy knows,
Once shrieked as Kosciusko fell;
On every wind, indeed, that blows
I hear her yell.
She screams whenever monarchs meet,
And parliaments as well,
To bind the chains about her feet
And toll her knell.
And when the sovereign people cast
The votes they cannot spell,
Upon the pestilential blast
Her clamors swell.
For all to whom the power's given
To sway or to compel,
Among themselves apportion Heaven
And give her Hell.
An order with secret
rites, grotesque ceremonies and
fantastic costumes, which, originating in
the reign of Charles II, among
working artisans of London, has been
joined successively by the dead
centuries in unbroken retrogression until now it
the generations of man on the hither side
of Adam and is drumming up
recruits among the pre-Creational inhabitants of Chaos
and Formless Void.
The order was founded at different times
Julius Caesar, Cyrus,
Solomon, Zoroaster, Confucious, Thothmes,
emblems and symbols have
been found in the
Catacombs of Paris and
Rome, on the stones of the Parthenon and the
Chinese Great Wall, among the temples of
Karnak and Palmyra and in
Pyramids -- always by a
Having no favors to
Addicted to utterance of truth and common
A ship big enough to
carry two in fair weather, but only
The sea was calm and the sky was
Merrily, merrily sailed we two.
(High barometer maketh glad.)
On the tipsy ship, with a dreadful
The tempest descended and we fell
(O the walking is nasty bad!)
Armit Huff Bettle
FROG, n. A
reptile with edible
first mention of frogs in profane
literature is in Homer's narrative of
the war between them and the
persons have doubted Homer's
authorship of the
work, but the learned,
ingenious and industrious Dr. Schliemann has
set the question forever at rest by
uncovering the bones of the
slain frogs. One of
the forms of moral suasion by which
besought to favor the
Israelities was a plague of frogs, but Pharaoh,
who liked them fricasees,
remarked, with truly oriental stoicism,
that he could stand it as long as the
frogs and the Jews could; so
The frog is a diligent songster, having a
but no ear.
The libretto of his favorite opera, as
Aristophanes, is brief,
simple and effective -- "brekekex-koax"; the music
is apparently by that eminent composer,
have a frog in each hoof -- a thoughtful
provision of nature, enabling them
shine in a hurdle race.
One part of the penal
apparatus employed in that punitive
a woman's kitchen.
frying-pan was invented by
by him used in cooking span-long infants that
had died without
baptism; and observing one day the
horrible torment of a tramp who
incautiously pulled a fried babe from the
devoured it, it occurred to the great
to rob death of its terrors
introducing the frying-pan into every household
Thence it spread to all corners of the
world, and has been of invaluable
in the propagation of his sombre faith. The
following lines (said to be from the pen
of his Grace Bishop
to imply that the
usefulness of this utensil is not limited to
this world; but as the consequences of
its employment in this life reach
over into the life to come, so also
itself may be found on the other
rewarding its devotees:
Old Nick was summoned to the skies.
Are good, but you lack enterprise
Concerning new inventions.
"Now, broiling in an ancient
Of torment, but I hear it
Reported that the frying-pan
Sears best the wicked spirit.
"Go get one -- fill it up with
Fry sinners brown and good
"I know a trick worth two o'
Said Nick -- "I'll cook
their food in't."
A pageant whereby we attest
our respect for the dead by enriching
undertaker, and strengthen our grief by an
that deepens our groans and doubles our
The savage dies -- they sacrifice a
To bear to happy hunting-grounds the
Our friends expire -- we make the
In hope their souls will chase it to
That period of time in which
our affairs prosper, our friends
true and our happiness is assured.
A stage for the performance
of miracle plays, in which the
actor is translated to heaven. In
gallows is chiefly
remarkable for the number of persons who escape
Whether on the gallows high
Or where blood flows the reddest,
The noblest place for man to die --
Is where he died the deadest.
A rain-spout projecting
from the eaves of mediaeval buildings,
fashioned into a grotesque caricature of some personal
enemy of the architect or owner of
especially the case in churches and
ecclesiastical structures generally,
the gargoyles presented a perfect rogues'
local heretics and controversialists. Sometimes
when a new dean
and chapter were installed the old
were removed and others substituted
a closer relation to the private animosities of
An elastic band intended to
keep a woman from coming out of her
stockings and desolating the country.
Originally this word
meant noble by birth and was rightly
to a great multitude of persons.
It now means noble by
is taking a bit of a rest.
An account of one's
descent from an ancestor who did not
particularly care to trace his own.
Refined, after the fashion
of a gent.
Observe with care, my son, the
distinction I reveal:
A gentleman is gentle and a gent
Heed not the definitions your
For dictionary makers are generally
A chap who can tell you
offhand the difference between the
outside of the world and the inside.
Habeam, geographer of wide reknown,
Native of Abu-Keber's ancient town,
In passing thence along the river Zam
To the adjacent village of Xelam,
Bewildered by the multitude of roads,
Got lost, lived long on migratory
Then from exposure miserably died,
And grateful travelers bewailed their
The science of the earth's
crust -- to which, doubtless, will
added that of its interior whenever a man shall
come up garrulous
out of a well.
The geological formations of the globe already
noted are catalogued thus: The
Primary, or lower one, consists
of rocks, bones or mired mules,
gas-pipes, miners' tools, antique
minus the nose, Spanish doubloons and ancestors. The
Secondary is largely made up of red worms
comprises railway tracks, patent
pavements, grass, snakes, mouldy boots,
beer bottles, tomato cans, intoxicated
GHOST, n. The
outward and visible sign
of an inward fear.
He saw a ghost.
It occupied -- that dismal thing! --
The path that he was following.
Before he'd time to stop and fly,
An earthquake trifled with the eye
That saw a ghost.
He fell as fall the early good;
Unmoved that awful vision stood.
The stars that danced before his ken
He wildly brushed away, and then
He saw a post.
Accounting for the uncommon behavior
of ghosts, Heine mentions somebody's
theory to the effect that they are as much afraid
of us as we of them. Not
quite, if I may judge from such tables
of comparative speed as I am able to
compile from memories of my own
There is one insuperable obstacle to
a belief in ghosts. A
he appears either in a winding-sheet or
"in his habit
believe in him, then, is
to believe that not only
have the dead
the power to make themselves visible after there
left of them, but that the same power
inheres in textile
Supposing the products of the loom to
what object would they
have in exercising it? And
why does not
of a suit of clothes
sometimes walk abroad without a ghost in
be riddles of
They reach away down
a convulsive grip on the very
tap-root of this flourishing faith.
GHOUL, n. A
demon addicted to the
reprehensible habit of devouring the
existence of ghouls has been
disputed by that class of
controversialists who are more concerned
to deprive the world of comforting
beliefs than to give it anything
good in their place. In 1640
Father Secchi saw one in a cemetery near
Florence and frightened it
away with the
sign of the cross.
He describes it as
many heads an an uncommon
allowance of limbs, and he saw it in more
than one place at a time. The
good man was coming away from dinner at
the time and explains that if he had not
been "heavy with eating"
have seized the demon at all
relates that a
ghoul was caught by some sturdy peasants
churchyard at Sudbury and
ducked in a
(He appears to think that so
a criminal should have
been ducked in a tank of rosewater.) The
at once to blood "and
so contynues unto ys daye." The
pond has since
been bled with a
late as the beginning of
century a ghoul was
cornered in the crypt of the cathedral
at Amiens and the whole population
surrounded the place. Twenty
men with a priest at their head, bearing
a crucifix, entered and captured
the ghoul, which, thinking to escape
by the stratagem, had transformed
to the semblance of a well known citizen, but
hanged, drawn and quartered in
the midst of hideous popular
citizen whose shape the
demon had assumed was so affected
sinister occurrence that he never again showed
Amiens and his fate remains a mystery.
A person who escapes the
evils of moderation by committing
GNOME, n. In
North-European mythology, a
dwarfish imp inhabiting the interior
of the earth and having special custody of
Bjorsen, who died in 1765, says gnomes
were common enough
in the southern parts of Sweden in his
boyhood, and he frequently saw them
scampering on the hills in the evening twilight. Ludwig
Binkerhoof saw three as recently as 1792,
in the Black Forest, and Sneddeker
avers that in 1803 they drove a
party of miners out of a Silesian
our computations upon data
supplied by these
statements, we find
that the gnomes were probably extinct as early
A sect of philosophers who
tried to engineer a fusion between
early Christians and the Platonists. The
former would not
go into the caucus and
the combination failed, greatly to the chagrin
of the fusion managers.
GNU, n. An
animal of South Africa, which
in its domesticated state resembles
horse, a buffalo and a stag. In its
condition it is
something like a
thunderbolt, an earthquake and a cyclone.
A hunter from Kew caught a distant
Of a peacefully meditative gnu,
And he said: "I'll
pursue, and my hands imbrue
In its blood at a closer
But that beast did ensue and the
hunter it threw
O'er the top of a palm that
And he said as he flew: "It is
well I withdrew
Ere, losing my temper, I wickedly
That really meritorious
Sensible, madam, to the worth
of this present writer. Alive,
the advantages of letting him alone.
GOOSE, n. A
bird that supplies quills
These, by some occult
process of nature, are penetrated and
suffused with various degrees
bird's intellectual energies and emotional
so that when inked and drawn mechanically
across paper by a person called
"author," there results a very fair and accurate
of the fowl's thought and feeling. The
difference in geese, as discovered
by this ingenious method, is
many are found to
have only trivial and insignificant
powers, but some are seen to be very
great geese indeed.
The Gorgon was a maiden bold
Who turned to stone the Greeks of old
That looked upon her awful brow.
We dig them out of ruins now,
And swear that workmanship so bad
Proves all the ancient sculptors mad.
GOUT, n. A
physician's name for the
rheumatism of a rich patient.
Three beautiful goddesses,
Aglaia, Thalia and Euphrosyne, who
attended upon Venus, serving without salary.
They were at no expense
and clothing, for they ate nothing to speak of
according to the weather, wearing
whatever breeze happened to be
A system of pitfalls
thoughtfully prepared for the feet for
the self-made man, along the path by which he
Hail noble fruit! -- by Homer sung,
Anacreon and Khayyam;
Thy praise is ever on the tongue
Of better men than I am.
The lyre in my hand has never swept,
The song I cannot offer:
My humbler service pray accept --
I'll help to kill the scoffer.
The water-drinkers and the cranks
Who load their skins with liquor
I'll gladly bear their belly-tanks
And tap them with my sticker.
Fill up, fill up, for wisdom cools
When e'er we let the wine rest.
Here's death to Prohibition's fools,
And every kind of vine-pest!
An argument which the
future is preparing in answer to the
demands of American Socialism.
GRAVE, n. A
place in which the dead are
laid to await the coming of the
Beside a lonely grave I stood --
With brambles 'twas encumbered;
The winds were moaning in the wood,
Unheard by him who slumbered,
A rustic standing near, I said:
"He cannot hear it
"'Course not," said
feller's dead --
He can't hear nowt [sic] that's
"Too true," I said;
"alas, too true --
No sound his sense can
"Well, mister, wot is that to
The deadster ain't
I knelt and prayed: "O
On him, and mercy show him!"
That countryman looked on the while,
"Ye didn't know him."
The tendency of all
bodies to approach one another with a
strength proportion to the quantity of matter
they contain --
the quantity of matter they contain being
ascertained by the strength of
tendency to approach one another. This
is a lovely and
edifying illustration of
how science, having made A the proof of B,
makes B the proof of A.
"I'm great," the Lion said
-- "I reign
The monarch of the wood and
The Elephant replied: "I'm
No quadruped can match my
"I'm great -- no animal has half
So long a neck!" said the
"I'm great," the Kangaroo
said -- "see
My femoral muscularity!"
The 'Possum said: "I'm
great -- behold,
My tail is lithe and bald and
An Oyster fried was understood
"I'm great because I'm good!"
Each reckons greatness to consist
In that in which he heads the list,
And Vierick thinks he tops his class
Because he is the greatest ass.
Arion Spurl Doke
A machine which makes a
Frenchman shrug his shoulders with
In his great work on Divergent
Lines of Racial Evolution,
Professor Brayfugle argues
from the prevalence of this gesture --
the shrug -- among Frenchmen, that they are
descended from turtles and it
is simply a survival of the habit of
retracing the head inside the
is with reluctance that I
differ with so eminent an authority,
in my judgment (as more elaborately set forth
in my work entitled Hereditary
Emotions -- lib. II, c.
shrug is a poor foundation upon
which to build so important a theory,
previously to the Revolution the gesture was
unknown. I have
not a doubt that it is directly referable to the
by the guillotine during the period of
An agency employed by
civilized nations for the settlement
disputes which might become troublesome if left
By most writers the
invention of gunpowder is ascribed to
the Chinese, but not upon very convincing
says it was
invented by the devil to dispel angels
with, and this opinion seems
some support from the scarcity of angels.
it has the hearty
concurrence of the Hon. James Wilson, Secretary
Secretary Wilson became interested in
gunpowder through an event that
on the Government experimental farm in the
One day, several years ago, a rogue
imperfectly reverent of the
Secretary's profound attainments and
personal character presented him
sack of gunpowder, representing it as the sed of
flabbergastor, a Patagonian cereal of
value, admirably adapted to this
good Secretary was
instructed to spill it along in a furrow
afterward inhume it with soil. This
he at once proceeded to do, and had made
a continuous line
of it all the way
across a ten-acre field, when he was made to
by a shout from the generous donor,
who at once dropped a lighted
the furrow at the starting-point. Contact
had somewhat dampened the
powder, but the startled functionary saw
himself pursued by a tall moving pillar of fire
and smoke and
fierce evolution. He
stood for a moment paralyzed and
then he recollected an
engagement and, dropping all, absented himself
thence with such surprising celerity that
to the eyes of spectators along
the route selected he appeared like a
long, dim streak
prolonging itself with
inconceivable rapidity through seven villages,
and audibly refusing to be comforted.
"Great Scott! what is that?"
cried a surveyor's chainman, shading his
eyes and gazing at the
of agriculturist which
bisected his visible horizon.
surveyor, carelessly glancing at the phenomenon
and again centering
his attention upon his instrument,
"is the Meridian of
A writ by which a man may
be taken out of jail when confined
the wrong crime.
HABIT, n. A
shackle for the free.
HADES, n. The
lower world; the residence
of departed spirits; the place
Among the ancients the idea of Hades
was not synonymous with our Hell,
of the most respectable men of antiquity
residing there in
a very comfortable kind of way. Indeed,
the Elysian Fields themselves were a
part of Hades, though they have since
been removed to Paris. When
Jacobean version of the New Testament was in
evolution the pious and learned men
in the work insisted by a majority
on translating the Greek word "Aides" as "Hell";
but a conscientious
minority member secretly
possessed himself of the record and
struck out the objectional word wherever he
could find it.
next meeting, the Bishop of Salisbury,
looking over the work,
to his feet and said
with considerable excitement:
been razing 'Hell' here!" Years
afterward the good
prelate's death was
made sweet by the reflection that he had been
(under Providence) of making an
important, serviceable and immortal
to the phraseology of the English tongue.
HAG, n. An
elderly lady whom you do not
happen to like; sometimes called,
a hen, or cat.
Old witches, sorceresses,
called hags from the belief
that their heads were surrounded by a kind
of baleful lumination or nimbus -- hag
being the popular name of
electrical light sometimes
observed in the hair. At one
was not a word of reproach: Drayton
speaks of a "beautiful hag, all
smiles," much as Shakespeare said,
be proper to call your
sweetheart a hag -- that compliment is
reserved for the use of her
HALF, n. One
of two equal parts into
which a thing may be divided, or
considered as divided. In the
fourteenth century a heated discussion
arose among theologists and philosophers
as to whether Omniscience could
part an object into three halves; and
the pious Father
prayed in the cathedral at Rouen that God would
demonstrate the affirmative of the
proposition in some signal and unmistakable
way, and particularly (if it
should please Him) upon the body
hardy blasphemer, Manutius Procinus, who
Procinus, however, was spared to die of
the bite of a
HALO, n. Properly,
a luminous ring
encircling an astronomical body, but
infrequently confounded with "aureola," or
somewhat similar phenomenon worn as a
head-dress by divinities and
The halo is a purely
optical illusion, produced by moisture
in the air, in the manner of a rainbow;
but the aureola is
a sign of superior
sanctity, in the same way as a bishop's mitre,
or the Pope's tiara. In the
painting of the Nativity, by Szedgkin, a
pious artist of Pesth, not only do the
Virgin and the Child wear
but an ass nibbling hay from
the sacred manger is similarly decorated
to his lasting honor be it said, appears to bear
dignity with a truly saintly
HAND, n. A
singular instrument worn at
the end of the human arm and commonly
into somebody's pocket.
A small square of silk
or linen, used in various ignoble
about the face and especially serviceable at
conceal the lack of tears. The
handkerchief is of recent invention;
our ancestors knew nothing of it
and intrusted its duties to the
into the play of
Desdemona dried her nose
with her skirt,
as Dr. Mary Walker and
other reformers have done with their coattails
in our own day -- an evidence that
revolutions sometimes go backward.
An officer of the law
charged with duties of the highest
dignity and utmost gravity, and held in
hereditary disesteem by a populace
having a criminal ancestry. In
some of the American States his
functions are now performed by an
electrician, as in New Jersey, where
executions by electricity have recently been
ordered -- the
first instance known to this
anybody questioning the expediency
An agreeable sensation
arising from contemplating the misery
A speech by an opponent,
who is known as an harrangue- outang.
A place where ships taking
shelter from stores are exposed to the
fury of the customs.
A sect of Protestants,
now extinct, who came from Europe
beginning of the last century and were
the bitterness of their internal
controversies and dissensions.
HASH, x. There
is no definition for this
word -- nobody knows what hash
A young axe, known among
Indians as a Thomashawk.
"O bury the hatchet, irascible
For peace is a blessing," the
White Man said.
The Savage concurred, and that
With imposing rites, in the White
A sentiment appropriate to
the occasion of another's superiority.
A capitation tax, or
In ancient times there lived a king
Whose tax-collectors could not wring
From all his subjects gold enough
To make the royal way less rough.
For pleasure's highway, like the
Whose premises adjoin it, claims
Perpetual repairing. So
The tax-collectors in a row
Appeared before the throne to pray
Their master to devise some way
To swell the revenue. "So
Said they, "are the demands of
A tithe of all that we collect
Will scarcely meet them. Pray
How, if one-tenth we must resign,
Can we exist on t'other nine?"
The monarch asked them in reply:
"Has it occurred to you to try
The advantage of economy?"
"It has," the spokesman
All of our gray garrotes of gold;
With plated-ware we now compress
The necks of those whom we assess.
Plain iron forceps we employ
To mitigate the miser's joy
Who hoards, with greed that never
That which your Majesty
Deep lines of thought were seen to
Their way across the royal brow.
"Your state is desperate, no
Pray favor me with a
"O King of Men," the
"If you'll impose upon each head
A tax, the augmented revenue
We'll cheerfully divide with
As flashes of the sun illume
The parted storm-cloud's sullen
The king smiled grimly. "I
That it be so -- and, not to be
In generosity outdone,
Declare you, each and every one,
Exempted from the operation
Of this new law of capitation.
But lest the people censure me
Because they're bound and you are
'Twere well some clever scheme were
By you this poll-tax to evade.
I'll leave you now while you confer
With my most trusted minister."
The monarch from the throne-room
And straightway in among them stalked
A silent man, with brow concealed,
Bare-armed -- his gleaming axe
HEART, n. An
Figuratively, this useful
organ is said to be the esat of
emotions and sentiments -- a very
fancy which, however, is nothing but a survival
of a once universal
is now known that the sentiments and
in the stomach, being
evolved from food by chemical action of
the gastric fluid. The
process by which a beefsteak becomes a
feeling -- tender or not, according to
the age of the animal from which
it was cut; the successive stages of
elaboration through which a caviar
sandwich is transmuted to a quaint fancy and
reappears as a
pungent epigram; the marvelous functional
methods of converting a hard-boiled
into religious contrition, or a cream-puff into
a sigh of
sensibility -- these things have been
patiently ascertained by M. Pasteur,
by him expounded with convincing lucidity.
my monograph, The
Essential Identity of the Spiritual
Certain Intestinal Gases
Freed in Digestion -- 4to, 687 pp.)
scientific work entitled, I
Hotton, London, 1873) this
view of the sentiments receives a
striking illustration; and for further
light consult Professor
treatise on Love as a
Product of Alimentary Maceration.
Heat, says Professor Tyndall, is a
Of motion, but I know now how
His point; but this I know -- hot
With skill will set the human
And where it stops the stars burn
free and wild.
expertum -- I have seen them, child.
A benighted creature who has
the folly to worship something
can see and feel.
According to Professor
the California State
University, Hebrews are heathens.
"The Hebrews are heathens!"
A Christian philosopher. I'm
A scurril agnostical chap, if you
Addicted too much to the crime
Of religious discussion in my
Though Hebrew and Howison cannot
On a modus vivendi -- not they! --
Yet Heaven has had the designing of
And I haven't been reared in a
To joy in the thick of the fray.
For this of my creed is the soul and
And the truth of it I aver:
Who differs from me in his faith is
And 'ite, an 'ie, or an 'er --
And I'm down upon him or her!
Let Howison urge with perfunctory
Toleration -- that's all very
But a roast is "nuts" to
his nostril thin,
And he's running -- I know by the
A secret and personal Hell!
A place where the wicked
cease from troubling you with talk
their personal affairs, and the good listen with
you expound your own.
A male Jew, as distinguished
from the Shebrew, an altogether
A wife, or bitter half.
"Now, why is yer wife called a
Says the priest. "Since
the time 'o yer wooin'
She's niver [sic] assisted in what ye
were at --
For it's naught ye are ever
"That's true of yer Riverence
[sic]," Patrick replies,
And no sign of contrition
"But, bedad, it's a fact which
the word implies,
For she helps to mate the
HEMP, n. A
plant from whose fibrous bark
is made an article of neckwear
frequently put on after public speaking in the
and prevents the wearer from taking cold.
A person whose vices and
follies are not sociable.
To pass the winter
season in domestic seclusion. There
been many singular popular notions about the
various animals. Many
believe that the bear hibernates during
winter and subsists by
mechanically sucking its paws. It is admitted
that it comes out of its retirement
in the spring so lean that
it had to try
twice before it can cast a shadow. Three
or four centuries
ago, in England, no
fact was better attested than that
swallows passed the winter months in the
mud at the bottom of their brooks,
clinging together in globular
been compelled to give up the custom and
account of the foulness of the
Ecobius discovered in Central
Asia a whole nation of
By some investigators, the
fasting of Lent
is supposed to have been
originally a modified form of hibernation, to
which the Church gave a religious
significance; but this view was strenuously
opposed by that eminent
authority, Bishop Kip, who did not wish
any honors denied to the memory of the Founder
of his family.
An animal (now extinct)
which was half horse and half
The griffin was itself a
compound creature, half lion and half
hippogriff was actually,
therefore, a one-quarter eagle,
two dollars and fifty cents in gold. The
study of zoology
is full of surprises.
A broad-gauge gossip.
An account mostly false, of
events mostly unimportant, which
brought about by rulers mostly knaves, and
Of Roman history, great Niebuhr's
'Tis nine-tenths lying. Faith,
I wish 'twere known,
Ere we accept great Niebuhr as a
Wherein he blundered and how much he
HOG, n. A
bird remarkable for the
catholicity of its appetite and serving
illustrate that of ours. Among
Mahometans and Jews, the
hog is not in
favor as an article of diet, but is respected
delicacy and the melody of its
is chiefly as a songster that
the fowl is esteemed; the cage of him in
full chorus has been known
to draw tears
from two persons at once. The
name of this
dicky-bird is Porcus
Rockefeller did not discover
the hog, but it is considered his by
right of resemblance.
The humorist of the
A school of medicine
midway between Allopathy and Christian
the last both the others are
inferior, for Christian
Science will cure imaginary diseases, and they
The slaying of one human
being by another.
four kinds of homocide: felonious,
excusable, justifiable, and praiseworthy,
but it makes no great
difference to the person slain whether
fell by one kind or another -- the
classification is for advantage
of the lawyers.
The science of adapting
sermons to the spiritual needs,
capacities and conditions of the congregation.
So skilled the parson was in
That all his normal purges and
To medicine the spirit were
With a most just discrimination
Upon a rigorous examination
Of tongue and pulse and heart and
Then, having diagnosed each one's
His scriptural specifics this
Administered -- his pills so
And pukes of disposition so vivacious
That souls afflicted with ten kinds
Were convalescent ere they knew they
But Slander's tongue -- itself all
coated -- uttered
Her bilious mind and scandalously
That in the case of patients having
The pills were sugar and the pukes
of Bishop Potter
Afflicted with an
impediment in one's reach. In legislative
bodies it is customary to mention
all members as
honorable; as, "the
honorable gentleman is a scurvy cur."
HOPE, n. Desire
and expectation rolled
Delicious Hope! when naught to man it
Of fortune destitute, of friends
When even his dog deserts him, and
With tranquil disaffection chews his
While yet it hangs upon his back;
The star far-flaming on thine angel
Descendest, radiant, from the skies
The promise of a clerkship in the
The virtue which induces
us to feed and lodge certain persons
are not in need of food and lodging.
A peculiarly sharp and
specially applied sense of the earth's
Hostility is classified
as active and
passive; as (respectively)
the feeling of a woman for her female
friends, and that which she entertains
for all the rest of her sex.
HOURI, n. A
comely female inhabiting the
Mohammedan Paradise to make things
cheery for the good Mussulman, whose belief in
marks a noble discontent with his earthly
spouse, whom he denies a soul. By
that good lady the Houris are said to be
held in deficient
HOUSE, n. A
hollow edifice erected for
the habitation of man, rat, mouse,
beelte, cockroach, fly, mosquito, flea, bacillus
Correction, a place of reward for
political and personal service,
and for the detention of offenders
and appropriations. House of
God, a building with a steeple
and a mortgage on it. House-dog,
a pestilent beast kept on
domestic premises to insult persons
by and appal the hardy visitor. House-maid,
person of the opposing sex employed
to be variously
ingeniously unclean in the station in which it
God to place her.
Having paid all taxes on
HOVEL, n. The
fruit of a flower called
Twaddle had a hovel,
Twiddle had a palace;
Twaddle said: "I'll
Or he'll think I bear him
A sentiment as novel
As a castor on a chalice.
Down upon the middle
Of his legs fell Twaddle
And astonished Mr. Twiddle,
Who began to lift his noddle.
Feed upon the fiddle-
Faddle flummery, unswaddle
A new-born self-sufficiency and think
himself a [mockery.]
The human race,
collectively, exclusive of the
A plague that would have
softened down the hoar austerity
Pharaoh's heart and persuaded him to dismiss
his best wishes, cat-quick.
Lo! the poor humorist, whose tortured
See jokes in crowds, though still to
gloom inclined --
Whose simple appetite, untaught to
His brains, renewed by night,
consumes by day.
He thinks, admitted to an equal sty,
A graceful hog would bear his
demonstration once very common but now
generally abandoned for the tornado and
still in popular use in the West Indies
is preferred by certain old-fashioned
It is also used in the
the upper decks of
steamboats, but generally speaking, the
usefulness has outlasted it.
HURRY, n. The
dispatch of bunglers.
One who, having dined, is
charged with the care of the plate.
A pooled issue.
HYDRA, n. A
kind of animal that the
ancients catalogued under many heads.
HYENA, n. A
beast held in reverence by
some oriental nations from its habit
frequenting at night the burial-places of the
medical student does that.
HYPOCHONDRIASIS, n. Depression
Some heaps of trash upon a vacant lot
Where long the village rubbish had
Displayed a sign among the stuff and
meant The Dumps.
Bogul S. Purvy
One who, profession
virtues that he does not respect secures
advantage of seeming to be what he depises.
I is the first letter of the alphabet, the first
word of the language, the
first thought of the mind, the first object
it is a pronoun of the first person
and singular number. Its plural
is said to be We, but how there can be more than
is doubtless clearer the grammarians than
is to the author of this incomparable
Conception of two myselfs is
The frank yet graceful use of "I"
distinguishes a good writer from a
the latter carries it with the manner of a thief
trying to cloak
ICHOR, n. A
fluid that serves the gods
and goddesses in place of blood.
Fair Venus, speared by Diomed,
Restrained the raging chief and said:
"Behold, rash mortal, whom
you've bled --
Your soul's stained white with
A breaker of idols, the
worshipers whereof are imperfectly
by the performance, and most strenuously protest that
he unbuildeth but doth not reedify, that
he pulleth down but pileth
not up. For
the poor things would have other idols in
place of those
he thwacketh upon the
mazzard and dispelleth. But
shall have none at all, for ye need
them not; and
if the rebuilder fooleth
round hereabout, behold I will depress
the head of him and sit thereon till he
IDIOT, n. A
member of a large and
powerful tribe whose influence in human
affairs has always been dominant and
activity is not confined to any special
field of thought or action, but
"pervades and regulates the
has the last word
his decision is
He sets the fashions and opinion
of taste, dictates the limitations of
speech and circumscribes conduct
A model farm where the
devil experiments with seeds of new
and promotes the growth of staple vices.
A person unacquainted with
certain kinds of knowledge familiar
yourself, and having certain other kinds that
you know nothing
Dumble was an ignoramus,
Mumble was for learning famous.
Mumble said one day to Dumble:
"Ignorance should be more
Not a spark have you of knowledge
That was got in any college."
Dumble said to Mumble: "Truly
You're self-satisfied unduly.
Of things in college I'm denied
A knowledge -- you of all
A sect of Spanish
heretics of the latter part of the
sixteenth century; so called because they
were light weights -- cunctationes
Suitably placed for
the shafts of malice, envy and
A warehouse of facts,
with poet and liar in joint ownership.
A kind of divine
inspiration, or sacred fire affecting
censorious critics of this dictionary.
An unenlightened person
who thinks one country better than
Having a strong sense of
one's own merit, coupled with a
conception of worth in others.
There was once a man in Ispahan
Ever and ever so long ago,
And he had a head, the phrenologists
That fitted him for a show.
For his modesty's bump was so large a
(Nature, they said, had taken a
That its summit stood far above the
Of his hair, like a mountain
So modest a man in all Ispahan,
Over and over again they swore --
So humble and meek, you would vainly
None ever was found before.
Meantime the hump of that awful bump
Into the heavens contrived to get
To so great a height that they called
The man with the minaret.
There wasn't a man in all Ispahan
Prouder, or louder in praise of
With a tireless tongue and a brazen
He bragged of that beautiful bump
Till the Shah in a rage sent a trusty
Bearing a sack and a bow-string
And that gentle child explained as he
"A little present for
The saddest man in all Ispahan,
Sniffed at the gift, yet accepted
"If I'd lived," said he,
Had given me deathless
in the long run and with regard to the
greater number of instances men find
to be generally
inexpedient comes to be
considered wrong, wicked, immoral. If
of right and wrong have
any other basis than this of expediency;
they originated, or could have originated, in
any other way;
if actions have in themselves a moral
character apart from, and nowise
dependent on, their consequences -- then all
philosophy is a
lie and reason a disorder of the mind.
A toy which people cry for,
And on their knees apply for,
Dispute, contend and lie for,
And if allowed
Would be right proud
Eternally to die for.
In popular usage to pierce
with any weapon which remains fixed
This, however, is inaccurate;
to imaple is,
properly, to put to death
by thrusting an upright sharp stake into the
body, the victim being left in a sitting
was a common
mode of punishment among many of the
of antiquity, and is still
in high favor
in China and other parts of Asia. Down
to the beginning
of the fifteenth
century it was widely employed in
"churching" heretics and schismatics. Wolecraft
calls it the "stoole of
repentynge," and among the common
people it was jocularly known as "riding
one legged horse."
Salzmann informs us that in Thibet
impalement is considered the most appropriate
crimes against religion; and although in
China it is sometimes awarded for
secular offences, it is most frequently adjudged
in cases of
To the person in actual experience of
impalement it must
be a matter of minor importance by what
of civil or religious dissent
made acquainted with its discomforts; but
would feel a certain satisfaction if able
contemplate himself in the
a weather-cock on the spire of the True Church.
Unable to perceive any
promise of personal advantage from
espousing either side of a controversy or
adopting either of two conflicting
A state of mind
intermediate in point of time between
sin and punishment.
Your irreverence toward my
The act of blessing or
consecrating by the laying on of
-- a ceremony common to many ecclesiastical
performed with the frankest sincerity by
sect known as Thieves.
"Lo! by the laying on of
Say parson, priest and dervise,
"We consecrate your cash and
To ecclesiastical service.
No doubt you'll swear till all is
At such an imposition. Do."
A rival aspirant to public
His tale he told with a solemn face
And a tender, melancholy grace.
Improbable 'twas, no doubt,
When you came to think it out,
But the fascinated crowd
Their deep surprise avowed
And all with a single voice averred
'Twas the most amazing thing they'd
All save one who spake never a word,
But sat as mum
As if deaf and dumb,
Serene, indifferent and unstirred.
Then all the others turned to him
And scrutinized him limb from
Scanned him alive;
But he seemed to thrive
And tranquiler grow each minute,
As if there were nothing in it.
"What! what!" cried one,
"are you not amazed
At what our friend has
Soberly then his eyes and gazed
In a natural way
And proceeded to say,
As he crossed his feet on the
"O no -- not at all; I'm a liar
Provision for the needs
of to-day from the revenues of
Not competent to be
Said of certain kinds
of testimony which juries are supposed
to be unfit to be
entrusted with, and
which judges, therefore, rule out, even of
proceedings before themselves alone.
Hearsay evidence is inadmissible
because the person quoted was unsworn and
is not before the court
yet most momentous
actions, military, political, commercial
of every other kind, are daily undertaken on
There is no religion in the world that
has any other basis than
Revelation is hearsay evidence; that the Scriptures
are the word of God we have only
the testimony of men long dead
identity is not clearly established and who are
not known to
have been sworn in any sense. Under
the rules of evidence as they now
exist in this country, no single
assertion in the Bible has in its
support any evidence admissible in a
court of law.
It cannot be
proved that the battle of Blenheim ever
was fought, that there was such
as person as Julius Caesar, such an
empire as Assyria.
But as records of courts of justice
are admissible, it can easily be
that powerful and malevolent magicians once
existed and were
a scourge to mankind. The
evidence (including confession) upon
women were convicted of
witchcraft and executed was without a
flaw; it is still unimpeachable.
The judges' decisions based on it
were sound in logic and in law.
Nothing in any existing court was
ever more thoroughly proved than the
charges of witchcraft and
which so many suffered
there were no witches,
and human reason are
alike destitute of value.
INAUSPICIOUSLY, adv. In an
manner, the auspices being
the Romans it
was customary before undertaking any
important action or enterprise to obtain
from the augurs, or state prophets,
some hint of its probable outcome;
and one of their favorite and
trustworthy modes of divination consisted in
flight of birds -- the omens thence
being called auspices. Newspaper
reporters and certain miscreant
lexicographers have decided that
word -- always in the plural -- shall mean
"management"; as, "The
festivities were under the auspices of the
Ancient and Honorable Order of
Body-Snatchers"; or, "The
were auspicated by the
Knights of Hunger."
A Roman slave appeared one day
Before the Augur. "Tell
If --" here the Augur, smiling,
A checking gesture and displayed
His open palm, which plainly itched,
For visibly its surface twitched.
(the Latin nickel)
Successfully allayed the tickle,
And then the slave proceeded: "Please
Inform me whether Fate decrees
Success or failure in what I
To-night (if it be dark) shall try.
Never mind -- I think
'Tis writ on this" -- and with a
Which darkened half the earth, he
Another denarius to view,
Its shining face attentive scanned,
Then slipped it into the good man's
Who with great gravity said: "Wait
While I retire to question
That holy person then withdrew
His scared clay and, passing through
The temple's rearward gate, cried
Waving his robe of office. Straight
Each sacred peacock and its mate
(Maintained for Juno's favor) fled
With clamor from the trees o'erhead,
Where they were perching for the
The temple's roof received their
For thither they would always go,
When danger threatened them below.
Back to the slave the Augur went:
"My son, forecasting the event
By flight of birds, I must confess
The auspices deny success."
That slave retired, a sadder man,
Abandoning his secret plan --
Which was (as well the craft seer
Had from the first divined) to clear
The wall and fraudulently seize
On Juno's poultry in the trees.
The natural and rational
gauge and measure of respectability,
commonly accepted standards being artificial,
arbitrary and fallacious; for, as "Sir
in the play
has justly remarked,
"the true use and function of property (in
whatsoever it consisteth -- coins, or
land, or houses, or merchant- stuff,
or anything which may be named as
holden of right to one's own
subservience) as also of honors, titles,
preferments and place, and all
favor and acquaintance of persons of
quality or ableness, are but to get
it followeth that all
things are truly to be rated
as of worth
in measure of their serviceableness to that end;
possessors should take rank in
agreement thereto, neither the lord
an unproducing manor, howsoever broad and
ancient, nor he who bears
an unremunerate dignity, nor yet the
pauper favorite of a king, being
esteemed of level excellency with him whose
riches are of daily accretion;
and hardly should they whose
wealth is barren claim and rightly
more honor than the poor and unworthy."
INCOMPATIBILITY, n. In
similarity of tastes, particularly the
taste for domination. Incompatibility
however, consist of a meek-eyed
living just around the corner. It
has even been
known to wear a moustache.
INCOMPOSSIBLE, adj. Unable
to exist if
something else exists. Two things
are incompossible when the world of
being has scope enough for one of
but not enough for both -- as Walt Whitman's
God's mercy to man. Incompossibility,
it will be seen, is
Instead of such low language as "Go
-- I mean to kill you on
sight," the words, "Sir, we are
incompossible," would convey and equally
significant intimation and
courtesy are altogether superior.
One of a race of highly
improper demons who, though probably
wholly extinct, may be said to have seen their
For a complete account of incubi
see the Liber
Demonorum of Protassus (Paris,
1328), which contains much curious
information that would be out of
in a dictionary intended as a text-book for the
Victor Hugo relates that in the
Channel Islands Satan himself -- tempted
than elsewhere by the beauty of the women,
sometimes plays at incubus, greatly to the
inconvenience and alarm of the
good dames who wish to be loyal to
their marriage vows, generally
certain lady applied to the
parish priest to
learn how they might,
in the dark, distinguish the hardy intruder from their
holy man said they must feel his brown
but Hugo is ungallant enough
to hint a doubt of the efficacy of the
A person of the liveliest
interest to the outcumbents.
The chief element of
success; "for whereas," saith Sir
Thomas Brewbold, "there is but one way to
do nothing and divers way
something, whereof, to a surety,
only one is the right way, it followeth
he who from indecision standeth still hath not
so many chances
of going astray as he who pusheth
forwards" -- a most clear and
satisfactory exposition on the matter.
"Your prompt decision to
attack," said Genera Grant on a certain
occasion to General Gordon Granger, "was
admirable; you had but
to make up your mind
"Yes, sir," answered the
victorious subordinate, "it is a great
thing to be know exactly what to do in an
When in doubt
whether to attack or retreat I never
hesitate a moment -- I toss us
"Do you mean to say that's what
you did this time?"
"Yes, General; but for Heaven's
sake don't reprimand me: I disobeyed
to distinctions among things.
"You tiresome man!" cried
"You've grown indifferent to all
"Indifferent?" he drawled
with a slow smile;
"I would be, dear, but it is not
Apuleius M. Gokul
A disease which the
patient and his friends frequently
for deep religious conviction and concern for
As the simple Red Man of the western wild
with, it must be confessed, a
"Plenty well, no pray;
big bellyache, heap God."
The guilt of woman.
Not calculated to
advance one's interests.
The period of our lives
when, according to Wordsworth,
"Heaven lies about us."
The world begins lying about us pretty
Among the Greeks and Romans, sacrifices
of the Dii
Manes, or souls of the dead heroes;
for the pious
ancients could not invent
enough gods to satisfy their spiritual
needs, and had to have a number of
makeshift deities, or, as a sailor might
say, jury-gods, which they made out of
the most unpromising materials. It was
while sacrificing a bullock to the
spirit of Agamemnon
that Laiaides, a
priest of Aulis, was favored with an
audience of that illustrious warrior's
shade, who prophetically recounted
to him the birth of Christ and the
triumph of Christianity, giving
a rapid but tolerably complete review of events
the reign of Saint Louis. The
narrative ended abruptly at the point,
owing to the inconsiderate crowing of
a cock, which compelled the
of Men to scamper back to Hades. There
is a fine mediaeval
flavor to this
story, and as it has not been traced back
further than Pere Brateille, a pious but
obscure writer at the
Saint Louis, we shall probably
not err on the side of presumption in
considering it apocryphal, though Monsignor
Capel's judgment of the matter
might be different; and to that I bow
In New York, one who does
not believe in the Christian religion;
Constantinople, one who does. (See
kind of scoundrel
imperfectly reverent of, and
niggardly contributory to, divines,
popes, parsons, canons, monks, mollahs, voodoos,
presbyters, hierophants, prelates,
obeah-men, abbes, nuns, missionaries,
deacons, friars, hadjis, high-priests, muezzins,
brahmins, medicine-men, confessors,
prebendaries, pilgrims, prophets, imaums,
clerks, vicars-choral, archbishops,
abbotesses, caloyers, palmers, curates,
bonezs, santons, beadsmen, canonesses,
residentiaries, diocesans, deans,
subdeans, rural deans, abdals, charm-sellers,
hierarchs, class-leaders, incumbents,
capitulars, sheiks, talapoins,
postulants, scribes, gooroos, precentors,
cenobites, perpetual curates, chaplains,
mudjoes, readers, novices, vicars,
pastors, rabbis, ulemas, lamas, sacristans,
vergers, dervises, lectors,
church wardens, cardinals, prioresses,
acolytes, rectors, cures, sophis, mutifs and pumpums.
In politics, a visionary quo
given in exchange for a substantial
One who ventures to
believe that Adam need not have sinned
unless he had a mind to -- in opposition to the
Supralapsarians, who hold that that
luckless person's fall was
Infralapsarians are sometimes called Sublapsarians
without material effect upon
the importance and lucidity of
views about Adam.
Two theologues once, as they wended
To chapel, engaged in colloquial fray
An earnest logomachy, bitter as gall,
Concerning poor Adam and what made
cried one -- "for the Lord
Decreed he should fall of his own
"Not so -- 'twas Free
will," the other maintained,
"Which led him to choose what
the Lord had ordained."
So fierce and so fiery grew the
That nothing but bloodshed their
dudgeon could sate;
So off flew their cassocks and caps
to the ground
And, moved by the spirit, their hands
Ere either had proved his theology
By winning, or even beginning, the
A gray old professor of Latin came
A staff in his hand and a scowl in
And learning the cause of their
quarrel (for still
As they clumsily sparred they
disputed with skill
Of foreordination freedom of will)
"Sirrahs! this reasonless warfare
Atwixt ye's no difference worthy of
The sects ye belong to -- I'm ready
Ye wrongly interpret the names that
-- Infralapsarian son of a clown! --
Should only contend that Adam slipped
While you -- you Supralapsarian pup! --
Should nothing aver but that Adam
It's all the same whether up or down
You slip on a peel of banana brown.
Even Adam analyzed not his blunder,
But thought he had slipped on a peal
One who receives a benefit
from another, or is otherwise an
"All men are ingrates,"
sneered the cynic.
The good philanthropist replied;
"I did great service to a man
Who never since has cursed me to
"Ho!" cried the cynic,
"lead me to him straight --
With veneration I am overcome,
And fain would have his
"Sad your fate --
He cannot bless you, for AI grieve to
This man is dumb."
An offense next in degree of
enormity to a slight.
A burden which of all
those that we load upon others and
ourselves is lightest in the hands and heaviest
upon the back.
INK, n. A
villainous compound of
tannogallate of iron, gum-arabic and
water, chiefly used to facilitate the
infection of idiocy and
properties of ink are peculiar and contradictory: it may
be used to make reputations and unmake
them; to blacken
them and to make them
white; but it is most generally and
acceptably employed as a mortar to bind
together the stones of an edifice
of fame, and as a whitewash to
conceal afterward the rascal quality
There are men called
journalists who have established
baths which some persons pay money to get into,
get out of.
Not infrequently it occurs that a person
has paid to
get in pays twice as much to
Natural, inherent -- as
innate ideas, that is to say, ideas
we are born with, having had them previously
The doctrine of innate ideas is one of
the most admirable faiths of
philosophy, being itself an innate idea
and therefore inaccessible to
though Locke foolishly supposed himself to have
given it "a
Among innate ideas may be mentioned the
belief in one's
ability to conduct a
newspaper, in the greatness of one's
country, in the superiority of one's
civilization, in the importance of
one's personal affairs and in the
interesting nature of one's diseases.
The stomach, heart, soul and
Many eminent investigators
do not class the soul as an
in'ard, but that acute observer
renowned authority, Dr. Gunsaulus, is persuaded
that the mysterious
organ known as the spleen is
nothing less than our important
the contrary, Professor Garrett
P. Servis holds
that man's soul is that
prolongation of his spinal marrow which forms
the pith of his no tail; and for
demonstration of his faith points confidently
to the fact that no tailed
animals have no souls. Concerning
two theories, it is best to suspend judgment by
Something written on
Inscriptions are of
many kinds, but mostly memorial, intended
to commemorate the fame of
illustrious person and hand down to distant ages
the record of
his services and virtues. To
this class of inscriptions belongs
of John Smith, penciled on the
Washington monument. Following are
examples of memorial inscriptions on
"In the sky my soul is found,
And my body in the ground.
By and by my body'll rise
To my spirit in the skies,
Soaring up to Heaven's gate.
"Sacred to the memory of
Cut down May 9th,
27 yrs. 4 mos. and 12
"Affliction sore long time
Phisicians was in vain,
Till Deth released the dear
And left her a remain.
Gone to join Ananias in the regions
"The clay that rests beneath
As Silas Wood was widely known.
Now, lying here, I ask what good
It was to let me be S. Wood.
O Man, let not ambition trouble you,
Is the advice of Silas W."
"Richard Haymon, of Heaven. Fell
to Earth Jan. 20, 1807, and had the
dust brushed off him Oct. 3, 1874."
"See," cries the chorus of
"How Providence provides for all
"His care," the gnat said,
"even the insects follows:
For us He has provided wrens and
An ingenious modern game
of chance in which the player is
permitted to enjoy the comfortable conviction
that he is beating
the man who keeps the table.
INSURANCE AGENT: My
dear sir, that is a fine house -- pray let
HOUSE OWNER: With
make the annual premium so
low that by the time when,
according to the tables of your
actuary, it will probably be
destroyed by fire I will have
paid you considerably less than
the face of the policy.
INSURANCE AGENT: O
dear, no -- we could not afford to do
We must fix the premium so that
you will have paid more.
HOUSE OWNER: How,
then, can I afford that?
INSURANCE AGENT: Why,
your house may burn down at any
There was Smith's house, for
example, which --
HOUSE OWNER: Spare
me -- there were Brown's house, on the
contrary, and Jones's house, and
Robinson's house, which --
INSURANCE AGENT: Spare
HOUSE OWNER: Let us
understand each other. You
want me to pay
you money on the supposition that
something will occur
previously to the time set by
yourself for its occurrence. In
other words, you expect me to bet
that my house will not last
so long as you say that it will
INSURANCE AGENT: But if
your house burns without insurance it
will be a total loss.
HOUSE OWNER: Beg
your pardon -- by your own actuary's
shall probably have saved, when
it burns, all the premiums I
would otherwise have paid to you
-- amounting to more than the
face of the policy they would
But suppose it to
burn, uninsured, before the time
upon which your figures are
If I could not afford that, how could you
INSURANCE AGENT: O, we
should make ourselves whole from our
luckier ventures with other
they pay your
HOUSE OWNER: And
virtually, then, don't I help to pay
Are not their houses as likely as mine to
they have paid you as much as you
must pay them?
stands this way: you
expect to take more money from your
clients than you pay to them, do
INSURANCE AGENT: Certainly;
if we did not --
HOUSE OWNER: I
would not trust you with my money. Very
If it is certain,
with reference to the whole body of
your clients, that they lose
money on you it is probable,
with reference to any one of
them, that he
these individual probabilities
that make the aggregate
INSURANCE AGENT: I will
not deny it -- but look at the figures
this pamph --
HOUSE OWNER: Heaven
INSURANCE AGENT: You
spoke of saving the premiums which you
otherwise pay to me. Will
you not be more likely to squander
We offer you an incentive to thrift.
HOUSE OWNER: The
willingness of A to take care of B's
not peculiar to insurance, but as
a charitable institution you
command esteem. Deign
to accept its expression from a
Disaffection's failure to
substitute misrule for bad government.
The mind's sense of the
prevalence of one set of influences
another set; an effect whose cause is the
immediate or remote, of the performance
One who enables two
persons of different languages to
understand each other by repeating to
each what it would have been
interpreter's advantage for the
other to have said.
The period during which
a monarchical country is governed
warm spot on the cushion of the throne.
The experiment of
spot grow cold has commonly been attended by
results from the zeal of many worthy
persons to make it warm again.
A relation into which fools
are providentially drawn for their
Two Seidlitz powders, one in blue
And one in white, together drew
And having each a pleasant sense
Of t'other powder's excellence,
Forsook their jackets for the snug
Enjoyment of a common mug.
So close their intimacy grew
One paper would have held the two.
To confidences straight they fell,
Less anxious each to hear than tell;
Then each remorsefully confessed
To all the virtues he possessed,
Acknowledging he had them in
So high degree it was a sin.
The more they said, the more they
Their spirits with emotion melt,
Till tears of sentiment expressed
Their feelings. Then
So Nature executes her feats
Of wrath on friends and sympathetes
The good old rule who don't apply,
That you are you and I am I.
A social ceremony
invented by the devil for the
gratification of his servants and the
plaguing of his enemies. The
introduction attains its most malevolent
development in this
indeed, closely related
to our political system. Every American
being the equal of every other
American, it follows that everybody
the right to know everybody else, which implies
to introduce without request or
The Declaration of Independence
should have read thus:
"We hold these truths to be
that all men are
created equal; that they are endowed
by their Creator with certain
inalienable rights; that among these
are life, and the right to
make that of another miserable by
thrusting upon him an
incalculable quantity of
acquaintances; liberty, particularly the
liberty to introduce persons to one
another without first
ascertaining if they are not already
acquainted as enemies; and
the pursuit of another's happiness
with a running pack of
A person who makes an
ingenious arrangement of wheels, levers
and springs, and believes it civilization.
The principal one of the
great faiths of the world.
ITCH, n. The
patriotism of a Scotchman.
J is a consonant in English, but some nations
use it as a vowel -- than
which nothing could be more absurd. Its
original form, which has been
but slightly modified, was that of the
tail of a subdued dog, and it was
letter but a character, standing for a Latin
"to throw," because when a stone is thrown at a
dog the dog's
tail assumes that shape. This
is the origin of the letter, as expounded
by the renowned Dr. Jocolpus Bumer,
of the University of Belgrade,
established his conclusions on the subject in a
work of three
quarto volumes and committed suicide on
being reminded that the j in
alphabet had originally no curl.
Unduly concerned about the
preservation of that which can be
only if not worth keeping.
An officer formerly attached
to a king's household, whose business
was to amuse the court by ludicrous actions and
utterances, the absurdity being attested
by his motley costume. The
king himself being attired with dignity,
it took the world some centuries
to discover that his own conduct
and decrees were
for the amusement not only of his court but of
all mankind. The
commonly called a fool, but the poets and
romancers have ever delighted to
represent him as a singularly wise and
In the circus of to-day the melancholy
of the court
fool effects the dejection
of humbler audiences with the same jests
wherewith in life he gloomed the marble hall,
patrician sense of humor and tapped the
of royal tears.
The widow-queen of Portugal
Had an audacious jester
Who entered the confessional
Disguised, and there confessed
"Father," she said,
"thine ear bend down --
My sins are more than scarlet:
I love my fool -- blaspheming clown,
And common, base-born
"Daughter," the mimic
"That sin, indeed, is awful:
The church's pardon is denied
love that is unlawful.
"But since thy stubborn heart
For him forever pleading,
Thou'dst better make him, by decree,
A man of birth and
She made the fool a duke, in hope
With Heaven's taboo to palter;
Then told a priest, who told the
Who damned her from the altar!
An unmusical instrument,
played by holding it fast with the
and trying to brush it away with the finger.
Small sticks burned by
the Chinese in their pagan tomfoolery,
imitation of certain sacred rites of our holy
A commodity which is a more
or less adulterated condition the
sells to the citizen as a reward for his
and personal service.
K is a consonant that we get from the Greeks,
but it can be traced away
back beyond them to the Cerathians, a
small commercial nation inhabiting
peninsula of Smero. In
their tongue it
Klatch, which means "destroyed." The
form of the letter was originally
precisely that of our H, but the
erudite Dr. Snedeker explains
was altered to its present shape to commemorate
of the great temple of Jarute by
an earthquake, circa 730
This building was famous for the two
lofty columns of its portico,
one of which was broken in half by
the catastrophe, the other remaining
the earlier form of the
letter is supposed to have
suggested by these pillars, so, it is thought by
the great antiquary,
its later was adopted as a simple
and natural -- not to say touching
means of keeping the calamity ever in the
It is not known if the name of the letter
was altered as an additional mnemonic,
if the name was always Klatch
the destruction one of
each theory seems probable
enough, I see no
objection to believing
both -- and Dr. Snedeker arrayed himself on
that side of the question.
He willed away his whole estate,
And then in death he fell asleep,
"Well, at any rate,
My name unblemished I shall
But when upon the tomb 'twas wrought
Whose was it? -- for the dead keep
Durang Gophel Arn
To create a vacancy without
nominating a successor.
KILT, n. A
costume sometimes worn by
Scotchmen in America and Americans
A brief preface to ten
volumes of exaction.
KING, n. A
male person commonly known in
America as a "crowned head,"
although he never wears a crown and has
usually no head to speak of.
A king, in times long, long gone by,
Said to his lazy jester:
"If I were you and you were I
My moments merrily would fly --
Nor care nor grief to
"The reason, Sire, that you
The fool said -- "if you'll
hear it --
Is that of all the fools alive
Who own you for their sovereign, I've
The most forgiving spirit."
KING'S EVIL, n.
A malady that was
formerly cured by the touch of the
sovereign, but has now to be treated by
most pious Edward" of England used to lay
his royal hand upon
subjects and make them whole
a crowd of wretched
That stay his cure: their
The great essay of art; but at his
Such sanctity hath Heaven given his hand,
They presently amend,
as the "Doctor" in Macbeth
hath it. This
useful property of
hand could, it appears, be
transmitted along with other crown
properties; for according to "Malcolm,"
To the succeeding royalty he leaves
The healing benediction.
But the gift somewhere dropped out of
the line of succession: the later
sovereigns of England have not been
tactual healers, and the disease
with the name "king's evil" now bears the
of "scrofula," from scrofa,
a sow. The
date and author of the following
epigram are known only to the
author of this dictionary, but it is
enough to show that the jest about Scotland's
is not a thing of yesterday.
Ye Kynge his evill in me laye,
Wh. he of Scottlande charmed awaye.
He layde his hand on mine and sayd:
Ye ill no longer stayd.
But O ye wofull plyght in wh.
I'm now y-pight: I have
The superstition that maladies can be
cured by royal taction is dead,
many a departed conviction it has left a
custom to keep its memory green. The
practice of forming a line and shaking
the President's hand had no other
origin, and when that great dignitary
his healing salutation on
All swoln and ulcerous, pitiful to
The mere despair of surgery,
he and his patients are handing along an
extinguished torch which once was
kindled at the altar-fire of a faith long
held by all classes of men. It is
a beautiful and edifying
"survival" -- one which brings
the sainted past close home in our
"business and bosoms."
KISS, n. A
word invented by the poets as
a rhyme for "bliss." It
to signify, in a general
way, some kind of rite or ceremony
appertaining to a good understanding; but
the manner of its
performance is unknown to this
A rich thief.
Once a warrior gentle of birth,
Then a person of civic worth,
Now a fellow to move our mirth.
Warrior, person, and fellow -- no
We must knight our dogs to get any
Brave Knights Kennelers then shall
Noble Knights of the Golden Flea,
Knights of the Order of St. Steboy,
Knights of St. Gorge and Sir Knights
God speed the day when this knighting
Shall go to the dogs and the dogs go
KORAN, n. A
book which the Mohammedans
foolishly believe to have been written
divine inspiration, but which Christians know to
be a wicked
imposture, contradictory to the Holy
LABOR, n. One
of the processes by which
A acquires property for B.
LAND, n. A
part of the earth's surface,
considered as property. The theory
that land is property subject to
private ownership and control is the
foundation of modern society, and is eminently
worthy of the
to its logical conclusion, it means
that some have
the right to prevent
others from living; for the right to own
implies the right exclusively to occupy;
and in fact laws of
enacted wherever property
in land is recognized. It
the whole area of terra firma
is owned by A, B and C,
be no place for D, E, F and G
to be born, or, born as trespassers, to
A life on the ocean wave,
A home on the rolling deep,
For the spark the nature gave
I have there the right to keep.
They give me the cat-o'-nine
Whenever I go ashore.
Then ho! for the flashing brine --
I'm a natural commodore!
The music with which we
charm the serpents guarding another's
A famous piece of antique
scripture representing a priest of
name and his two sons in the folds of two
The skill and diligence with which the
man and lads support the serpents
keep them up to their work have been justly
one of the noblest artistic illustrations
the mastery of human intelligence
LAP, n. One
of the most important organs
of the female system -- an admirable
of nature for the repose of infancy, but chiefly useful
in rural festivities to support plates
of cold chicken and heads
male of our species has a
and in no way contributing to the animal's
LAST, n. A
shoemaker's implement, named
by a frowning Providence as opportunity
the maker of puns.
Ah, punster, would my lot were cast,
Where the cobbler is unknown,
So that I might forget his last
And hear your own.
An interior convulsion,
producing a distortion of the features
accompanied by inarticulate noises.
It is infectious and,
intermittent, incurable. Liability
attacks of laughter is one
characteristics distinguishing man from the
these being not only inaccessible to the
provocation of his example, but
impregnable to the microbes having original
bestowal of the disease. Whether
laughter could be imparted to animals
by inoculation from the human patient
is a question that has not
by experimentation. Dr.
the infection character of
laughter is due to the instantaneous
fermentation of sputa
in a spray.
From this peculiarity
the disorder Convulsio
Crowned with leaves of
In England the Poet
Laureate is an officer of the
sovereign's court, acting as dancing
at every royal feast and singing-mute at every
Of all incumbents of that high office,
Robert Southey had
the most notable knack at drugging the
of public joy and
cutting his hair to
the quick; and he had an artistic color-sense
which enabled him so to blacken a public
grief as to give it the aspect
of a national crime.
The laurus, a vegetable dedicated to
formerly defoliated to wreathe the brows
victors and such poets as had
at court. (Vide supra.)
Once Law was sitting on the bench,
And Mercy knelt a-weeping.
"Clear out!" he cried,
Nor come before me creeping.
Upon your knees if you appear,
'Tis plain your have no standing
Then Justice came. His
"Your status? -- devil seize you!"
"Amica curiae," she replied --
"Friend of the court, so
"Begone!" he shouted --
"there's the door --
I never saw your face before!"
Compatible with the will of
a judge having jurisdiction.
One skilled in circumvention
of the law.
Unwarranted repose of
manner in a person of low degree.
LEAD, n. A
heavy blue-gray metal much
used in giving stability to light
-- particularly to those who love not wisely but
Lead is also of great service as a
counterpoise to an
argument of such weight that it turns the
scale of debate the wrong way. An
interesting fact in the chemistry of
controversy is that at the
point of contact of two patriotisms lead is
precipitated in great quantities.
Hail, holy Lead! -- of human feuds
And universal arbiter; endowed
With penetration to pierce any
Fogging the field of controversial
And with a sift, inevitable,
Searching precision find the
But vital point. Thy
judgment, when allowed
By the chirurgeon, settles the
O useful metal! -- were it not for
We'd grapple one another's ears
But when we hear thee buzzing like a
We, like old Muhlenberg,
"care not to stay."
And when the quick have run away like
Jack Satan smelts the dead to make
The kind of ignorance
distinguishing the studious.
One with his hand in your
pocket, his tongue in your ear and
faith in your patience.
A gift from one who is
legging it out of this vale of tears.
Unlike a menagerie
verses are those in which
a word in the middle of a line rhymes
with a word at the end, as in
famous passage from Bella Peeler Silcox:
The electric light invades the
dunnest deep of Hades.
Cries Pluto, 'twixt his snores: "O
tempora! O mores!"
It should be explained that Mrs.
Silcox does not undertake to teach
pronunciation of the Greek and Latin tongues.
Leonine verses are so
honor of a poet named Leo, whom prosodists
appear to find
a pleasure in believing to have been the
first to discover that a rhyming
could be run into a single line.
An herb of the genus Lactuca,
gastronome, Hengist Pelly,
"God has been pleased to reward the
good and punish the wicked. For
by his inner light the righteous man has
discerned a manner of compounding for it a
dressing to the
appetency whereof a multitude of gustible
condiments conspire, being reconciled
ameliorated with profusion of oil, the entire comestible
making glad the heart of the godly
and causing his face to shine. But
the person of spiritual unworth is
successfully tempted to the
eat of lettuce with destitution of oil, mustard,
and garlic, and with a rascal bath of
vinegar polluted with sugar. Wherefore
the person of spiritual unworth
intestinal pang of strange
complexity and raises the song."
An enormous aquatic animal
mentioned by Job.
suppose it to have been the whale, but
ichthyologer, Dr. Jordan,
of Stanford University, maintains with
considerable heat that it was a species
of gigantic Tadpole (Thaddeus
Polandensis) or Polliwig -- Maria
pseudo-hirsuta. For an exhaustive
description and history of the
Tadpole consult the famous monograph
Jane Potter, Thaddeus of
A pestilent fellow
who, under the pretense of recording
particular stage in the development of a
what he can to arrest its growth, stiffen
your lexicographer, having
dictionary, comes to be
considered "as one having authority," whereas his
function is only to make a record, not to
give a law.
servility of the human understanding
invested him with judicial power,
surrenders its right of reason and submits
itself to a
chronicle as if it were a statue. Let
the dictionary (for example) mark a
good word as "obsolete" or
"obsolescent" and few men
thereafter venture to use it, whatever
their need of it and however desirable
its restoration to favor -- whereby
the process of
accelerated and speech decays. On the
the truth that
language must grow by innovation if it grow
at all, makes new words and uses the old
in an unfamiliar sense,
following and is tartly reminded
that "it isn't in the dictionary"
-- although down to the time of the first
lexicographer (Heaven forgive
him!) no author ever had used a word
in the dictionary.
In the golden prime and high noon of
English speech; when from
the lips of the great Elizabethans fell
words that made their own meaning
carried it in their very sound; when a
Shakespeare and a
Bacon were possible, and the language now
rapidly perishing at one end and
renewed at the other was in vigorous growth and
-- sweeter than honey and
stronger than a lion -- the
lexicographer was a person unknown, the
dictionary a creation which his
Creator had not created him to create.
"Let Spirit perish into Form,"
And lexicographers arose, a swarm!
Thought fled and left her clothing,
which they took,
catalogued each garment in a book.
Now, from her leafy covert when she
"Give me my clothes and I'll
return," they rise
And scan the list, and say without
"Excuse us -- they are mostly
out of fashion."
LIAR, n. A
lawyer with a roving
One of Imagination's most
The rising People, hot and out of
Roared around the palace: "Liberty
"If death will do," the
King said, "let me reign;
You'll have, I'm sure, no reason to
A useful functionary,
not infrequently found editing a
In his character of editor he
is closely allied to the blackmailer
the tie of occasional identity; for in truth the lickspittle
is only the blackmailer under
another aspect, although the latter
frequently found as an independent species.
than blackmailing, precisely as the business of
man is more detestable than that
of a highway robber; and the
maintains itself throughout, for whereas few
cheat, every sneak will plunder if he
LIFE, n. A
spiritual pickle preserving
the body from decay. We
daily apprehension of its loss; yet when
lost it is not missed. The
"Is life worth living?" has been much discussed; particularly
by those who think it is not,
many of whom have written at
length in support of their view and by careful
the laws of health enjoyed for long terms
years the honors of successful
"Life's not worth living, and
that's the truth,"
Carelessly caroled the golden youth.
In manhood still he maintained that
And held it more strongly the older
When kicked by a jackass at
"Go fetch me a surgeon at
once!" cried he.
A tall building on the
seashore in which the government
a lamp and the friend of a politician.
LIMB, n. The
branch of a tree or the leg
of an American woman.
'Twas a pair of boots that the lady
And the salesman laced them tight
To a very remarkable height --
Higher, indeed, than I think he ought
Higher than can be right.
For the Bible declares -- but never
It is hardly fit
To censure freely and fault to find
With others for sins that I'm not
Myself to commit.
Each has his weakness, and though my
Is freedom from every sin,
It still were unfair to pitch in,
Discharging the first censorious
Besides, the truth compels me to say,
The boots in question were made
As he drew the lace she made a
And blushingly said to him:
"This boot, I'm sure, is too
high to endure,
It hurts my -- hurts my --
The salesman smiled in a manner mild,
Like an artless, undesigning child;
Then, checking himself, to his face
A look as sorrowful as the grave,
Though he didn't care two figs
For her paints and throes,
As he stroked her toes,
Remarking with speech and manner just
Befitting his calling: "Madam,
That it doesn't hurt your
B. Percival Dike
LINEN, n. "A
kind of cloth the
making of which, when made of hemp,
entails a great waste of hemp." --
Calcraft the Hangman.
A person about to give up
his skin for the hope of retaining
A machine which you go
into as a pig and come out of as a
LIVER, n. A
large red organ thoughtfully
provided by nature to be bilious
sentiments and emotions which
anatomist now knows to
haunt the heart were anciently believed to
infest the liver; and even Gascoygne,
speaking of the emotional
human nature, calls it "our
It was at one
the seat of life; hence
its name -- liver, the thing we live
liver is heaven's best gift to
the goose; without it that
bird would be
unable to supply us with the Strasbourg pate.
indicating the degree Legumptionorum
learned in laws, gifted with legal
suspicion is cast
upon this derivation by the fact that the
title was formerly LL.d., and
conferred only upon gentlemen
distinguished for their wealth. At the
date of this writing Columbia University
is considering the
expediency of making
another degree for clergymen, in place of the
The new honor will be known
as Sanctorum Custus,
and written $$c.
The name of the Rev.
John Satan has been suggested
suitable recipient by a lover of consistency,
out that Professor Harry Thurston Peck
has long enjoyed the advantage
device of civilization and
A less popular name for the
Second Person of that delectable
Trinity, the Roomer, the Bedder, and the Mealer.
LOGIC, n. The
art of thinking and
reasoning in strict accordance with the
limitations and incapacities of the human
basic of logic is the syllogism,
consisting of a major and a minor premise
and a conclusion -- thus:
Sixty men can do a piece of
work sixty times as quickly
as one man.
One man can dig a posthole
in sixty seconds;
men can dig a posthole in one second.
This may be called the syllogism
arithmetical, in which, by combining
and mathematics, we obtain a double certainty
and are twice
A war in which the weapons
are words and the wounds punctures
the swim-bladder of self-esteem -- a kind of
which, the vanquished being unconscious
defeat, the victor is denied
'Tis said by divers of the
That poor Salmasius died of Milton's
Alas! we cannot know if this is true,
For reading Milton's wit we perish
The disposition to endure
injury with meek forbearance while
maturing a plan of revenge.
Uncommon extension of the
fear of death.
A vitreous plane upon
which to display a fleeting show
man's disillusion given.
The King of Manchuria had a magic
looking-glass, whereon whoso looked
not his own image, but only that of the king.
courtier who had long
enjoyed the king's favor and was thereby
enriched beyond any other subject of the
realm, said to the king: "Give
me, I pray, thy wonderful mirror,
so that when absent out of thine
presence I may yet do homage before thy visible
myself night and morning in the
glory of thy benign countenance,
which nothing has so divine splendor, O Noonday
Sun of the
Please with the speech, the king
commanded that the mirror be conveyed
the courtier's palace; but after, having gone
apprisal, he found it in an apartment
where was naught but idle
the mirror was dimmed with dust and
This so angered him that he fisted it
glass, and was sorely
all the more by this
he commanded that the
ungrateful courtier be thrown into prison, and
that the glass be repaired and taken back
to his own palace; and
when the king looked again on the mirror
he saw not his
image as before, but only
the figure of a crowned ass, having a bloody
bandage on one of its hinder hooves -- as
the artificers and all
looked upon it had before
discerned but feared to report.
wisdom and charity, the
king restored his courtier to liberty, had the
mirror set into the back of the throne
and reigned many years with justice
and humility; and one day when he
fell asleep in death while on the
throne, the whole court saw in the mirror the
of an angel, which remains to this day.
A disorder which renders
the sufferer unable to curb his
when you wish to talk.
LORD, n. In
American society, an English
tourist above the state of a
costermonger, as, lord 'Aberdasher, Lord
Hartisan and so forth. The
traveling Briton of lesser degree is
addressed as "Sir," as,
Sir 'Arry Donkiboi,
word "Lord" is
sometimes used, also, as a
title of the
Supreme Being; but this is thought to be rather
flattery than true reverence.
Miss Sallie Ann Splurge, of her own
Wedded a wandering English lord --
Wedded and took him to dwell with her
A parent who throve by the practice
Lord Cadde I don't hesitate to
Unworthy the father-in-legal care
Of that elderly sport,
notwithstanding the truth
That Cadde had renounced all the
follies of youth;
For, sad to relate, he'd arrived at
Of existence that's marked by the
vices of age.
Among them, cupidity caused him to
Repeated demands on the pocket of
Till, wrecked in his fortune, that
Inadequate aid in the practice of
And took, as a means of augmenting
To the business of being a lord
His neat-fitting garments he wilfully
And sacked himself strangely in
Denuded his chin, but retained at
A whisker that looked like a blasted
He painted his neck an incarnadine
Each morning and varnished it all
that he knew.
The moony monocular set in his eye
Appeared to be scanning the Sweet
His head was enroofed with a
And his low-necked shoes were
aduncous and flat.
In speech he eschewed his American
Denying his nose to the use of his
And dulling their edge till the
Of a babe at their temper could take
His H's -- 'twas most inexpressibly
The patter they made as they fell at
Re-outfitted thus, Mr. Splurge
Began as Lord Splurge his recouping
Alas, the Divinity shaping his end
Entertained other views and decided
His lordship in horror, despair and
From the land of the nobleman's
For, smit with his Old World ways,
Fell -- suffering Caesar! -- in love
with her dad!
LORE, n. Learning
-- particularly that
sort which is not derived from a
course of instruction but comes of the reading
of occult books,
or by nature.
This latter is commonly designated as
embraces popularly myths
In Baring-Gould's Curious
Myths of the Middle Ages the reader will
find many of these
traced backward, through various people
converging lines, toward a common
in remote antiquity. Among
these are the
fables of "Teddy
Killer," "The Sleeping John Sharp Williams,"
Riding Hood and the Sugar Trust,"
"Beauty and the Brisbane," "The
Seven Aldermen of Ephesus," "Rip Van
Fairbanks," and so
forth. The fable
with Goethe so affectingly relates
under the title of "The Erl-
King" was known two thousand years ago in
Greece as "The Demos
and the Infant
One of the most general and ancient of
that Arabian tale of "Ali
Baba and the Forty Rockefellers."
LOSS, n. Privation
of that which we had,
or had not.
Thus, in the latter
sense, it is said of a defeated
candidate that he "lost his
election"; and of that eminent man, the
poet Gilder, that he has
is in the former and more legitimate
sense, that the
word is used in the
Here Huntington's ashes long have
Whose loss is our eternal gain,
For while he exercised all his powers
Whatever he gained, the loss was
LOVE, n. A
temporary insanity curable by
marriage or by removal of the
from the influences under which he incurred the
This disease, like caries and many other ailments, is
among civilized races living under
conditions; barbarous nations
pure air and eating simple food enjoy immunity
It is sometimes fatal, but more
frequently to the
physician than to the patient.
instead of brought up.
One who throws light upon a
subject; as an editor by not writing
An inhabitant of the moon,
as distinguished from Lunatic,
the moon inhabits.
The Lunarians have
by Lucian, Locke and
other observers, but without much
For example, Bragellos
avers their anatomical identity with
Man, but Professor Newcomb says they are more
like the hill
tribes of Vermont.
LYRE, n. An
ancient instrument of
word is now used in a figurative
sense to denote the poetic
faculty, as in the following fiery
of our great poet, Ella Wheeler Wilcox:
I sit astride Parnassus with my lyre,
And pick with care the disobedient
That stupid shepherd lolling on his
With deaf attention scarcely deigns
I bide my time, and it shall come at
When, with a Titan's energy and
I'll grab a fistful of the strings,
The word shall suffer when I let them
A staff of office signifying authority.
Its form, that of a heavy
indicates its original purpose and use in
The method employed by
one's opponents in baffling one's
and honorable efforts to do the right thing.
So plain the advantages of
It constitutes a moral obligation,
And honest wolves who think upon't
Feel bound to don the sheep's
So prospers still the diplomatic art,
And Satan bows, with hand upon his
One forgotten of the gods
and living to a great age. History
abundantly supplied with examples, from
Methuselah to Old
Parr, but some notable instances of
are less well known. A Calabrian
peasant named Coloni, born in 1753,
lived so long that he had
considered a glimpse of the dawn of universal
Scanavius relates that he knew an
who was so old that he could
time when he did not deserve hanging. In
1566 a linen
draper of Bristol, England,
declared that he had lived five hundred
and that in all that time he had never told a
There are instances of longevity (macrobiosis)
in our own country. Senator
Chauncey Depew is old enough to know
editor of The
American, a newspaper in New York City,
has a memory that goes back
to the time when he was a rascal, but
not to the fact.
President of the United States was born
long ago that many of the friends
youth have risen to high political and military
preferment without the assistance of
following were written by a macrobian:
When I was young the world was fair
And amiable and sunny.
A brightness was in all the air,
In all the waters, honey.
The jokes were fine and funny,
The statesmen honest in their views,
And in their lives, as well,
And when you heard a bit of news
'Twas true enough to tell.
Men were not ranting, shouting,
Nor women "generally
The Summer then was long indeed:
It lasted one whole season!
The sparkling Winter gave no heed
When ordered by Unreason
To bring the early peas on.
Now, where the dickens is the sense
In calling that a year
Which does no more than just commence
Before the end is near?
When I was young the year extended
From month to month until it ended.
I know not why the world has changed
To something dark and dreary,
And everything is now arranged
To make a fellow weary.
The Weather Man -- I fear he
Has much to do with it, for, sure,
The air is not the same:
It chokes you when it is impure,
When pure it makes you lame.
With windows closed you are
Open, neuralgic or sciatic.
Well, I suppose this new regime
Of dun degeneration
eviler than it would seem
To a better observation,
And has for compensation
Some blessings in a deep disguise
Which mortal sight has failed
To pierce, although to angels' eyes
They're visible unveiled.
If Age is such a boon, good land!
He's costumed by a master hand!
Affected with a high degree of
intellectual independence; not
conforming to standards of thought,
speech and action derived by the
conformants from study of themselves; at odds
with the majority;
in short, unusual. It is
noteworthy that persons are pronounced
officials destitute of evidence
that themselves are sane. For illustration,
this present (and illustrious)
lexicographer is no firmer
in the faith
of his own sanity than is any inmate of any
madhouse in the land; yet for aught he
knows to the contrary, instead of the
lofty occupation that seems to him to
be engaging his powers he may
beating his hands against the window bars of an
declaring himself Noah Webster, to the
innocent delight of many thoughtless
inhabitant of Magdala. Popularly,
a woman found
This definition of the word has the
authority of ignorance, Mary of
Magdala being another person than the
penitent woman mentioned by St.
has also the official sanction
of the governments of Great
the United States.
In England the word
Maudlin, whence maudlin,
for Magdalene, and their Bedlam for
Bethlehem, the English may justly boast
themselves the greatest of revisers.
An art of converting superstition into
other arts serving the same high purpose,
but the discreet
lexicographer does not name them.
Something acted upon by magnetism.
acting upon a magnet.
The two definitions immediately foregoing
are condensed from the works
of one thousand eminent scientists, who
have illuminated the subject
great white light, to the inexpressible
a grandeur or splendor superior to
that to which
the spectator is
accustomed, as the ears of an ass, to a rabbit,
or the glory of a glowworm, to a maggot.
Magnitude being purely relative, nothing
and nothing small.
If everything in the universe were
bulk one thousand diameters
nothing would be any larger than it was
before, but if one thing remain unchanged
all the others would be larger
than they had been. To an
understanding familiar with the relativity
of magnitude and distance the
spaces and masses of the astronomer
be no more impressive than those of the
For anything we know to the contrary, the
visible universe may be a small
an atom, with its component ions, floating in
the life- fluid
(luminiferous ether) of some
the wee creatures
peopling the corpuscles of our own blood
overcome with the proper emotion
contemplating the unthinkable distance from one
of these to
A bird whose thievish disposition
suggested to someone that
it might be taught to talk.
A young person of the unfair sex addicted
conduct and views that madden to crime. The
genus has a wide
geographical distribution, being found
wherever sought and deplored wherever
maiden is not altogether
unpleasing to the eye, nor
piano and her views) insupportable to the ear,
respect to comeliness distinctly inferior
to the rainbow, and, with regard
part of her that is audible, bleating out of the
the canary -- which, also, is more
lovelorn maiden she sat and sang --
This quaint, sweet song sang she;
"It's O for a youth with a football bang
And a muscle fair to see!
The Captain he
Of a team to be!
On the gridiron he shall shine,
monarch by right divine,
And never to roast on it -- me!"
The state and title of a king.
Regarded with a just contempt
the Most Eminent Grand Masters, Grand
Incohonees and Imperial Potentates of the
ancient and honorable orders of
A member of the unconsidered, or
of the human race is commonly known (to
the female) as Mere Man. The
genus has two varieties: good
providers and bad providers.
chief factor in the progress of the human
to Malthus and his doctrines. Malthus
believed in artificially limiting
population, but found that it could not be
done by talking.
One of the most practical exponents of
idea was Herod of Judea,
though all the famous soldiers have
of the same way of thinking.
family of vertebrate animals whose females
in a state
of nature suckle their young,
but when civilized and enlightened put
them out to nurse, or use the bottle.
The god of the world's leading religion.
The chief temple is in
city of New York.
He swore that all other religions were
And wore out his knees in the worship of
An animal so lost in rapturous
contemplation of what he thinks
he is as to overlook what he
indubitably ought to be. His chief
occupation is extermination of other
animals and his own species,
however, multiplies with such insistent rapidity
as to infest
the whole habitable earh and Canada.
When the world was young and Man was new,
And everything was pleasant,
Distinctions Nature never drew
'Mongst kings and priest and peasant.
We're not that way at present,
Save here in this Republic, where
We have that old regime,
For all are kings, however bare
Their backs, howe'er extreme
Their hunger. And,
has a voice
To accept the tyrant of his party's
citizen who would not vote,
And, therefore, was detested,
Was one day with a tarry coat
(With feathers backed and breasted)
By patriots invested.
"It is your duty," cried the crowd,
"Your ballot true to cast
For the man o' your choice."
He humbly bowed,
And explained his wicked past:
"That's what I very gladly would have
Dear patriots, but he has never run."
The immortal parts of dead Greeks and
a state of dull discomfort until the
bodies from which they had exhaled
were buried and burned; and they seem
not to have been
ancient Persian doctrine of an incessant
Good and Evil.
When Good gave up the fight the Persians joined
the victorious Opposition.
A food miraculously given to the
Israelites in the
When it was no longer supplied to them
down and tilled the soil, fertilizing it,
a rule, with the bodies of the
state or condition of a community
consisting of a
master, a mistress and
two slaves, making in all, two.
One who moves along the line of least
reluctance to a
an actual existence, as distinguished
from an imaginary
Material things I know, or fell, or see;
All else is immaterial to me.
final and funniest folly of the rich.
of the sauces which serve the French in
place of a
The objectionable case of I. The
personal pronoun in English
cases, the dominative, the objectionable and the oppressive.
Each is all three.
To proceed sinuously and aimlessly.
The word is the ancient
name of a
river about one hundred and fifty miles south of Troy,
which turned and twisted in the effort
to get out of hearing when
and Trojans boasted of their prowess.
A small metal disk given as a reward for
or services more or less
It is related of Bismark, who had been
awarded a medal for gallantly
rescuing a drowning person, that,
being asked the meaning of the
And sometimes he didn't.
stone flung down the Bowery to kill a dog
patience in planning a revenge that
is worth while.
is for Moses,
Who slew the Egyptian.
As sweet as a rose is
The meekness of Moses.
No monument shows his
But M is for Moses
Who slew the Egyptian.
The Biographical Alphabet
(Literally, seafoam, and by many
be made of it.)
A fine white clay, which for convenience
it brown is made into tobacco pipes
and smoked by the workmen engaged
The purpose of coloring
it has not been
disclosed by the
There was a youth (you've heard before,
This woeful tale, may be),
Who bought a meerschaum pipe and swore
That color it would he!
himself from the world away,
Nor any soul he saw.
He smoke by night, he smoked by day,
As hard as he could draw.
His dog died moaning in the wrath
Of winds that blew aloof;
The weeds were in the gravel path,
The owl was on the roof.
"He's gone afar, he'll come no more,"
The neighbors sadly say.
And so they batter in the door
To take his goods away.
Dead, pipe in mouth, the youngster lay,
Nut-brown in face and limb.
pipe's a lovely white," they
"But it has colored him!"
The moral there's small need to sing --
'Tis plain as day to you:
Don't play your game on any thing
That is a gamester too.
engaged in a commercial pursuit. A
pursuit is one in which the thing pursued
is a dollar.
An attribute beloved of detected
before it wore good clothes, kept a
asked Incredulity to
stronghold of provincialism.
period of a thousand years when the lid
is to be screwed
down, with all
reformers on the under side.
A mysterious form of matter secreted by
chief activity consists in the endeavor
to ascertain its own nature, the
futility of the attempt being due to the
fact that it has nothing but
know itself with.
From the Latin mens, a
to that honest shoe-seller, who,
that his learned competitor over
had displayed the motto "Mens
conscia recti," emblazoned
own front with the words "Men's, women's and
Belonging to me if I can hold or seize
agent of a higher power with a lower
In diplomacy and
officer sent into a foreign country as the
of his sovereign's hostility. His
principal qualification is a
degree of plausible inveracity next
below that of an ambassador.
a poet, singer or musician; now a
a color less than skin deep
and a humor more than flesh and blood can
An act or event out of the order of
unaccountable, as beating a normal hand
four kings and an ace with four
person of the highest degree of
Etymologically, the word means
unbeliever, and its present
signification may be regarded as
theology's noblest contribution to the
development of our language.
infraction of the law having less dignity
than a felony
and constituting no claim
to admittance into the best criminal
By misdemeanors he essays to climb
Into the aristocracy of crime.
O, woe was him! -- with manner chill and
"Captains of industry" refused his hand,
"Kings of finance" denied him recognition
"railway magnates" jeered his
He robbed a bank to make himself
They still rebuffed him, for he was
dagger which in mediaeval warfare was used
by the foot
soldier to remind an
unhorsed knight that he was mortal.
kind of fortune that never misses.
The title with which we brand unmarried
women to indicate
that they are in the market. Miss,
Missis (Mrs.) and Mister (Mr.) are the
three most distinctly disagreeable words
in the language, in sound and
are corruptions of Mistress,
the other of Master. In the
general abolition of social titles in
this our country they miraculously
to plague us.
If we must have
them let us be
consistent and give one
to the unmarried man. I
abbreviated to Mh.
ultimate, indivisible unit of
from the corpuscle, also the
ultimate, indivisible unit of
a closer resemblance to the atom, also the
unit of matter.
Three great scientific theories of the structure
of the universe are the molecular,
the corpuscular and the atomic. A
fourth affirms, with Haeckel, the
precipitation of matter
from ether -- whose existence is proved by the
condensation of precipitation.
The present trend of scientific
thought is toward the theory of ions.
The ion differs from the molecule,
corpuscle and the atom in that it is an ion. A
theory is held by idiots, but it is
doubtful if they know any more about
the matter than the others.
The ultimate, indivisible unit of matter. (See Molecule.) According
to Leibnitz, as nearly as he seems
be understood, the monad has
body without bulk, and mind without
manifestation -- Leibnitz knows him by
the innate power of considering.
He has founded upon him a theory of the
the creature bears without resentment,
the monad is a gentlmean. Small
is, the monad contains all the powers and
needful to his evolution into a German
philosopher of the first class --
altogether a very capable little fellow.
He is not to be confounded
the microbe, or bacillus; by its inability to
a good microscope shows him to be of an
A person engaged in reigning.
Formerly the monarch ruled,
the derivation of the word attests, and as many
had occasion to learn. In
Russia and the Orient the monarch has still
a considerable influence in public
affairs and in the
disposition of the
human head, but in western Europe political
administration is mostly entrusted to his
ministers, he being somewhat
preoccupied with reflections
relating to the status of his own
In Christian countries, the day after the
A blessing that is of no advantage to us
excepting when we
part with it.
An evidence of culture and a passport to
An arboreal animal which makes itself at
home in genealogical
of words of one syllable, for
who never tire of
testifying their delight in the vapid compound
by appropriate googoogling. The
words are commonly Saxon -- that is to
say, words of a barbarous people destitute of
ideas and incapable of any
but the most elementary sentiments and
The man who writes in Saxon
Is the man to use an ax on
high ecclesiastical title, of which the
our religion overlooked the
structure intended to commemorate something
needs no commemoration or
cannot be commemorated.
The bones of Agammemnon are a show,
And ruined is his royal monument,
Agammemnon's fame suffers no diminution
monument custom has its reductiones ad absurdum in
monuments "to the
unknown dead" -- that is to say,
monuments to perpetuate the memory of
those who have left no memory.
Conforming to a local and mutable
standard of right.
Having the quality of general expediency.
It is sayd there be a raunge of
mountaynes in the Easte, on one
syde of the which certayn conducts are
immorall, yet on the other syde
holden in good esteeme; wherebye the mountayneer
is much conveenyenced,
for it is given to him to goe
downe eyther way and act as it
suite his moode, withouten offence.
The comparative degree of too much.
An animal which strews its path with
Rome Christians were thrown to the lions,
so centuries earlier in Otumwee,
the most ancient and famous city of
the world, female
heretics were thrown
to the mice.
Jakak-Zotp, the historian,
the only Otumwump
whose writings have
descended to us, says that these martyrs
met their death with little dignity and
attempts to exculpate the mice (such is
the malice of bigotry) by declaring
that the unfortunate women
perished, some from exhaustion, some
broken necks from falling over their own feet,
and some from
lack of restoratives. The
mice, he avers, enjoyed the pleasures
chase with composure. But if
"Roman history is
lying," we can hardly
expect a smaller proportion of that rhetorical
figure in the annals of a people capable
of so incredible cruelty to
women; for a hard heart has a
long glove covering a part of the arm. Worn
is a might poor way to spell muskeeter.
In man, the gateway to the soul; in
woman, the outlet of the
In politics one afflicted with
self-respect and addicted to the
vice of independence. A term
A child of two races, ashamed of both.
crowd; the source of political wisdom and
virtue. In a
republic, the object of the statesman's
"In a multitude of
consellors there is wisdom," saith
If many men of equal
individual wisdom are wiser than any
one of them, it must be that
acquire the excess of wisdom by the mere act of
Whence comes it? Obviously
nowhere -- as well say that a
mountains is higher than the single mountains
composing it. A
multitude is as
wise as its wisest member if it obey
him; if not, it is no wiser than its most
An ancient Egyptian, formerly in
universal use among modern civilized
nations as medicine, and now
engaged in supplying art with an
He is handy, too, in
museums in gratifying the vulgar
curiosity that serves to distinguish man from
the lower animals.
By means of the Mummy, mankind, it is
Attests to the gods its respect for the
We plunder his tomb, be he sinner or
Distil him for physic and grind him for
Exhibit for money his poor, shrunken
And with levity flock to the scene of the
O, tell me, ye gods, for the use of my
For respecting the dead what's the limit
An indocile horse of the western plains.
society, the American
wife of an English nobleman.
follower of Achilles -- particularly when
he didn't lead.
body of a primitive people's beliefs
origin, early history,
heroes, deities and so forth, as distinguished
from the true accounts which it invents
A drink served at banquets of the
secret of its preparation is lost, but
the modern Kentuckians believe that
they come pretty near to a knowledge of
its chief ingredient.
Juno drank a cup of nectar,
But the draught did not affect her.
Juno drank a cup of rye --
Then she bad herself good-bye.
The piece de
resistance in the
Representing him by the letter n, the
Republicans begin to build
"Let n = the white
to give an unsatisfactory solution.
whom we are commanded to love as
ourselves, and who
does all he knows how
to make us disobedient.
your grandmother to office for the
good of the
to a philosophy of the universe
Newton, who discovered that
an apple will fall to the ground, but was
unable to say why.
His successors and
disciples have advanced so far as
able to say when.
Russian who denies the existence of
The leader of the school is Tolstoi.
In the Buddhist religion, a state of
annihilation awarded to the wise,
particularly to those wise enough to
provision for wealthy American minds
incur social distinction
and suffer high life.
A stench in the ear.
Undomesticated music. The
and authenticating sign of
designate for the heaviest political
forward a suitable person to incur the
mudgobbling and deadcatting of the
A modest gentleman shrinking from the
private life and diligently seeking the
honorable obscurity of public office.
objections that are urged against this
The extreme outpost of the face.
From the circumstance that great
conquerors have great noses, Getius, whose
writings antedate the age of
humor, calls the nose the organ of
has been observed
that one's nose is never so happy as when
thrust into the affairs of others,
which some physiologists have drawn the
the nose is devoid of the sense of smell.
There's a man with a Nose,
And wherever he goes
The people run from him and shout:
"No cotton have we
For our ears if so be
He blow that interminous snout!"
So the lawyers applied
Said the Judge: "the
Whate'er it portend,
Appears to transcend
The bounds of this court's jurisdiction."
fame of one's competitor for public
honors. The kind
of renown most accessible and acceptable
leading to the vaudeville
stage, with angels ascending and
which exists, as distinguished from that
seems to exist, the latter
being a phenomenon. The
a bit difficult to locate; it can be
apprehended only be a process of
reasoning -- which is a phenomenon.
Nevertheless, the discovery and
exposition of noumena offer a rich field
for what Lewes calls
variety and excitement
of philosophic thought."
(therefore) for the
A short story padded. A
of composition bearing the same
to literature that the panorama bears to art.
As it is
too long to be read at a
sitting the impressions made by its
successive parts are successively
effaced, as in the panorama. Unity,
totality of effect, is impossible; for
besides the few pages last
that is carried in mind is the
mere plot of what has gone before. To
romance the novel is what photography is to
distinguishing principle, probability,
corresponds to the literal actuality
of the photograph and puts it
distinctly into the category of
reporting; whereas the free wing of the romancer
enables him to
mount to such altitudes of imagination as
may be fitted to attain; and
three essentials of the literary art are
imagination and imagination. The
art of writing novels, such as it was,
is long dead everywhere except in
Russia, where it is new. Peace to its
ashes -- some of which have a large
eleventh twelfth of a weariness.
In law, a solemn appeal to the Deity,
made binding upon the conscience
by a penalty for perjury.
state or condition in which the wicked
struggling and the dreary are
at rest. Fame's
Cold storage for high hopes. A
place where ambitious authors meet their
works without pride and their betters
without an alarm clock.
place where astronomers conjecture away the
by an evil spirit, like the Gadarene
swine and other
was once more common than it is
Arasthus tells of a peasant who was
occupied by a different devil for every
day in the week, and on Sundays by two.
They were frequently seen,
walking in his shadow, when he had one, but were
away by the village notary, a holy
man; but they took the peasant
them, for he vanished utterly. A
thrown out of a
woman by the Archbishop
of Rheims ran through the trees, pursued by a
hundred persons, until the open country
was reached, where by a leap higher
than a church spire he escaped into a
Cromwell's army exorcised a soldier's
obsessing devil by throwing the soldier
the water, when the devil came to the surface. The
soldier, unfortunately, did not.
longer used by the timid. Said
chiefly of words.
A word which some lexicographer has
obsolete is ever thereafter an
dread and loathing to the fool writer, but if it
is a good
word and has no exact modern equivalent
equally good, it is good enough
Indeed, a writer's attitude
words is as
true a measure of his literary ability as
anything except the character of his
dictionary of obsolete and
obsolescent words would not only be
singularly rich in strong and sweet
parts of speech; it would add large possessions
to the vocabulary
of every competent writer who
might not happen to be a competent
to the truth as it is manifest
in the splendor
and stress of our
The popular type and exponent of
obstinacy is the mule, a most intelligent
us with greater or less
however, is not the sense in which the
is used in the phrase "occasional
which are verses written for an "occasion," such as an
anniversary, a celebration or other
us a little worse than other sorts of
but their name has no reference
part of the world lying west (or east) of
the Orient. It is
largely inhabited by Christians, a
powerful subtribe of the
whose principal industries are murder and
they are pleased to call
"war" and "commerce."
These, also, are the
industries of the Orient.
A body of water occupying about
two-thirds of a world made for
man -- who has no gills.
disagreeable emotions or
the advance of an army
against its enemy.
"Were the enemy's tactics offensive?" the
say so!" replied the unsuccessful
out of his works!"
In that stage of usefulness which is not
general inefficiency, as an old man.
Discredited by lapse of time and
offensive to the popular taste, as an old
The devil take
them!" Goby said.
"Fresh every day must be my books and
Nature herself approves the Goby rule
And gives us every moment a fresh fool.
Disraeli once described the manner of
Bishop Wilberforce as "unctuous,
And the good prelate
was ever afterward
known as Soapy
every man there is something in
that would stick to him
like a second skin. His
only to find it.
to a mountain in Thessaly, once
gods, now a repository of
yellowing newspapers, beer bottles and
mutilated sardine cans, attesting the
presence of the tourist and
His name the smirking tourist scrawls
Upon Minerva's temple walls,
Where thundered once Olympian Zeus,
And marks his appetite's abuse.
A sign that something will happen if
A play representing life in another
inhabitants have no speech but song, no
motions but gestures and no postures
All acting is simulation, and
the word simulation is from simia,
an ape; but in opera the actor takes for
his model Simia
audibilis (or Pithecanthropos
stentor) -- the ape that
The actor apes a man -- at least in
The opera performer apes and ape.
An unlocked door in the prison of
the jail yard.
favorable occasion for grasping a
To assist with obstructions and
How lonely he who thinks to vex
With bandinage the Solemn Sex!
Of levity, Mere Man, beware;
None but the Grave deserve the Unfair.
Percy P. Orminder
politics the party that prevents the
running amuck by
The King of Ghargaroo, who had been
abroad to study the science of government,
appointed one hundred of his
fattest subjects as members of a
parliament to make laws for the collection of
these he named the Party of Opposition
and had his Prime Minister carefully
instruct them in their duty of
opposing every royal measure.
Nevertheless, the first one that was
submitted passed unanimously. Greatly
displeased, the King vetoed it,
informing the Opposition that if
did that again they would pay for their
obstinacy with their heads.
The entire forty promptly disemboweled
"What shall we do now?" the King asked. "Liberal
cannot be maintained without a party of
"Splendor of the universe," replied the
"it is true
these dogs of darkness
have no longer their credentials, but all
is not lost. Leave
the matter to
this worm of the dust."
So the Minister had the bodies of his
Majesty's Opposition embalmed
and stuffed with straw, put back
into the seats of power and nailed
votes were recorded against
every bill and the
But one day a bill imposing a
tax on warts was
defeated -- the members
of the Government party had not been nailed to
their seats! This
so enraged the
King that the Prime Minister was put to
death, the parliament was dissolved with a
battery of artillery, and
government of the people, by the people,
for the people perished from
doctrine, or belief, that everything is
including what is ugly,
everything good, especially the bad, and
everything right that is wrong.
It is held with greatest tenacity by
those most accustomed to the mischance of
falling into adversity,
most acceptably expounded with
the grin that apes a smile. Being
faith, it is inaccessible to the light
of disproof -- an
yielding to no treatment but death. It
but fortunately not
proponent of the doctrine that black is
pessimist applied to God for relief.
"Ah, you wish me to restore your hope and
"No," replied the petitioner, "I wish you
would justify them."
"The world is all created," said God,
"but you have
something -- the mortality of
A conspiracy between speech and action to
cheat the understanding. A
tyranny tempered by stenography.
A living person whom death has deprived
of the power of
filial ingratitude -- a privation
with a particular
eloquence to all that
is sympathetic in human nature. When
young the orphan
is commonly sent to an
asylum, where by careful cultivation of
its rudimentary sense of locality it is
taught to know its place. It is
then instructed in the arts of dependence and
eventually turned loose to prey upon the
world as a bootblack or scullery
ox wearing the popular religious joke.
science of spelling by the eye instead of
Advocated with more heat than light by
the outmates of every asylum
for the insane.
They have had to concede a few things
time of Chaucer, but are none
the less hot in defence of those to be
spelling reformer indicted
For fudge was before the court cicted.
The judge said: "Enough
His candle we'll snough,
And his sepulchre shall not be whicted."
A large bird to which (for its sins,
has denied that hinder toe in which so
pious naturalists have seen a
conspicuous evidence of design. The
absence of a good working pair
is no defect, for, as has been ingeniously
the ostrich does not fly.
A particular type of disappointment.
By the kind of intelligence
sees in an exception a proof of the rule the
an act is judged by the outcome, the
nonsense; the wisdom of an act is to be
by the light that the doer
had when he
To make an enemy.
part of one's environment upon which
has been able to collect
useful to inspire
climbed to the top of a mountain one day
To see the sun setting in glory,
And I thought, as I looked at his
Of a perfectly splendid story.
'Twas about an old man and the ass he
Till the strength of the beast was
Then the man would carry him miles on the
Till Neddy was pretty well rested.
The moon rising solemnly over the crest
Of the hills to the east of my station
Displayed her broad disk to the darkening
Like a visible new creation.
And I thought of a joke (and I laughed
till I cried)
Of an idle young woman who tarried
About a church-door for a look at the
Although 'twas herself that was married.
To poets all Nature is pregnant with
Ideas -- with thought and emotion.
pity the dunces who don't understand
The speech of earth, heaven and ocean.
n ancient Rome, a definite, formal
pageant in honor of one
who had been disserviceable to the
enemies of the nation. A lesser
In modern English the word is improperly
any loose and spontaneous
expression of popular homage to the hero
of the hour and place.
"I had an ovation!" the actor man said,
But I thought it uncommonly queer,
That people and critics by him had been
By the ear.
The Latin lexicon makes his absurd
Assertion as plain as a peg;
In "ovum" we find the true root of the
It means egg.
Hail, Gastronome, Apostle of Excess,
Well skilled to overeat without distress!
Thy great invention, the unfatal feast,
Shows Man's superiority to Beast.
dangerous disorder affecting high public
who want to go fishing.
To have (and to hold) a debt. The
word formerly signified not
indebtedness, but possession; it meant "own,"
and in the minds
there is still a good deal of
confusion between assets and
A slimy, gobby shellfish which
civilization gives men the hardihood
to eat without removing its
sometimes given to the poor.
An uncomfortable frame of mind that may
have a physical
basis in something that is being done to
body, or may be purely mental,
the good fortune of another.
art of protecting flat surfaces from the
exposing them to the critic.
Formerly, painting and sculpture were
combined in the same work: the
ancients painted their statues. The
only present alliance between the
two arts is that the modern painter
chisels his patrons.
A fine and costly residence, particularly
that of a great
The residence of a high dignitary of the
is called a palace; that of the Founder
his religion was known as a field,
A species of tree having several
varieties, of which the familiar
"itching palm" (Palma
hominis) is most widely
This noble vegetable exudes
a kind of invisible
gum, which may be
detected by applying to the bark a piece
of gold or silver. The
adhere with remarkable tenacity. The
of the itching palm is so bitter and
unsatisfying that a considerable
percentage of it is sometimes
given away in what are known as
947th method (according to
obtaining money by false pretences. It
character" in the wrinkles made by closing the
pretence is not altogether false;
character can really be read very accurately
in this way, for the wrinkles in
every hand submitted plainly
consists in not reading it
the Place of All the Demons. Most
have escaped into politics and finance,
and the place is now used as
hall by the Audible
disturbed by his voice
echoes clamor appropriate
responses most gratifying to his pride
nether habiliment of the adult civilized
male. The garment
is tubular and unprovided with hinges
at the points of
Supposed to have been invented by a
humorist. Called "trousers"
by the enlightened and
"pants" by the unworthy.
doctrine that everything is God, in contradistinction
to the doctrine that God is
play in which the story is told without
the language. The
least disagreeable form of dramatic
To remit a penalty and restore to the
life of crime.
the lure of crime the temptation of ingratitude.
document treacherously inflicted upon a
abroad, exposing him as an
alien and pointing him out for special
reprobation and outrage.
That part of Eternity with some small
fraction of which we have a
slight and regrettable
A moving line called the Present
parts it from an imaginary period
known as the Future. These two
grand divisions of Eternity, of which the
one is continually effacing
are entirely unlike. The
one is dark
and disappointment, the
other bright with prosperity and joy.
Past is the region of sobs,
the Future is the realm of song. In
crouches Memory, clad in
sackcloth and ashes, mumbling penitential
prayer; in the sunshine of the other Hope
flies with a free wing, beckoning
to temples of success and bowers of
the Past is
the Future of yesterday, the Future is
Past of to-morrow.
are one -- the knowledge and the dream.
A device for promoting dejection.
Gentle exercise for intellectual
minor form of despair, disguised as a
One to whom the interests of a part seem
those of the whole. The
dupe of statesmen and the tool of
rubbish read to the torch of any
to illuminate his name.
In Dr. Johnson's famous dictionary
patriotism is defined as the last
resort of a scoundrel. With
all due respect to an enlightened but
inferior lexicographer I beg to submit
that it is the first.
In international affairs, a period of
cheating between two periods
O, what's the loud uproar assailing
Mine ears without cease?
'Tis the voice of the hopeful,
The horrors of peace.
Ah, Peace Universal; they woo it --
Would marry it, too.
If only they knew how to do it
'Twere easy to do.
They're working by night and by day
On their problem, like moles.
Have mercy, O Heaven, I pray,
On their meddlesome souls!
variable (an audible) part of the roadway
for an automobile.
known part of the route from an arboreal
a swim bladder to an urban
descendant with a cigarette.
or awaiting punishment.
imaginary state of quality distinguished
from the actual
by an element known as
excellence; an attribute of the critic.
The editor of an English magazine having
received a letter
pointing out the erroneous nature of his
views and style, and signed "Perfection,"
wrote at the foot of the letter:
you," and mailed it to Matthew Arnold.
to the philosophy of Aristotle,
who, while expounding it, moved
from place to place in order
his pupil's objections. A
precaution -- they
knew no more of the
matter than he.
explosion of an oratorical rocket. It
but to an observer having the wrong kind
of nose its most conspicuous peculiarity
is the smell of the several kinds
of powder used in
lowly virtue whereby mediocrity achieves
"Persevere, persevere!" cry the homilists
Themselves, day and night, persevering to
"Remember the fable of tortoise and hare
The one at the goal while the other is --
Why, back there in Dreamland, renewing
Of life, all his muscles preserving the
The goal and the rival forgotten alike,
And the long fatigue of the needless
His spirit a-squat in the grass and the
Of the dogless Land beyond the Stew,
He sleeps, like a saint in a holy place,
winner of all that is good in a race.
philosophy forced upon the convictions of
by the disheartening
prevalence of the optimist with his
scarecrow hope and his unsightly smile.
rich (and usually bald) old gentleman who
himself to grin while his
conscience is picking his pocket.
whose mind is the creature of its
following the fashion in
thought, feeling and sentiment. He is sometimes
learned, frequently prosperous,
commonly clean and always solemn.
route of many roads leading from nowhere to
The classical prototype of the modern
"small hot bird."
irritating toy that restores life to dead
picture painted by the sun without
It is a little better than the work of an
Apache, but not quite so
good as that of
science of picking the pocket through the
It consists in locating and
exploiting the organ that one is a dupe
upon whom we set our hopes when ill and
our dogs when
art of determining the character of
the resemblances and
differences between his face and our own, which
is the standard of excellence.
"There is no art," says Shakespeare,
"To read the mind's construction in the
The physiognomists his portrait scan,
"How little wisdom
here we trace!
He knew his face disclosed his mind and
So, in his own defence, denied our art."
A parlor utensil for subduing the
impenitent visitor. It is
operated by pressing the keys of the machine and
the spirits of the
young of the Procyanthropos, or Americanus dominans.
It is small, black and charged with
A representation in two dimensions of
something wearisome in three.
"Behold great Daubert's picture here on
Taken from Life." If
Grant, heavenly Powers, that I be taken,
An advance agent of the reaper whose name
Cold pie was highly esteemed by the
Rev. Dr. Mucker
(in a funeral sermon
over a British nobleman)
Cold pie is a detestable
That's why I'm done -- or undone --
So far from that dear London.
(from the headstone of a British
nobleman in Kalamazoo)