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Quotations by author » Ambrose Bierce
American Writer, Journalist and Editor, 1842-1914
Quotes: 121 - 140 of 1217 Pages: First ... Previous 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Next ... Last
AVERNUS, n. The lake by which the ancients entered the infernal regions. 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 by immersion. This, however, has been shown by Lactantius to be an error.
_Facilis descensus Averni,_ The poet remarks; and the sense Of it is that when down-hill I turn I Will get more of punches than pence. --Jehal Dai Lupe
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BAAL, n. An old deity formerly much worshiped under various names. As Baal he was popular with the Phoenicians; as Belus or Bel he had the honor to be served by the priest Berosus, who wrote the famous account of the 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 stagnant water. In Physicia Baal is still worshiped as Bolus, and as Belly he is adored and served with abundant sacrifice by the priests of Guttledom.
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BABE or BABY, n. A misshapen creature of no particular age, sex, or condition, chiefly remarkable for the violence of the sympathies and antipathies it excites in others, itself without sentiment or emotion. There have been famous babes; for example, little Moses, from whose adventure in the bulrushes the Egyptian hierophants of seven centuries before doubtless derived their idle tale of the child Osiris being 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 His money. And so I have pondered This thing, and thought may be
'T were better that Baby The First had been eagled or condored. --Ro Amil
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BACCHUS, n. A convenient deity invented by the ancients as an excuse for getting drunk.
Is public worship, then, a sin, That for devotions paid to Bacchus The lictors dare to run us in, And resolutely thump and whack us? --Jorace
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Bacchus, n.: A convenient deity invented by the ancients as an excuse for getting drunk.
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BACK, n. That part of your friend which it is your privilege to contemplate in your adversity.
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BACKBITE, v.t. To speak of a man as you find him when he can't find you.
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Backbite. To ''speak of a man as you find him'' when he can't find you.
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BAIT, n. A preparation that renders the hook more palatable. The best kind is beauty.
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BAPTISM, n. A sacred rite of such efficacy that he who finds himself in heaven without having undergone it will be unhappy forever. It is performed with water in two ways --by immersion, or plunging, and by aspersion, or sprinkling.
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. --G.J.
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Barometer, n.: An ingenious instrument which indicates what kind of weather we are having.
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BARRACK, n. A house in which soldiers enjoy a portion of that of which it is their business to deprive others.
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BASILISK, n. The cockatrice. A sort of serpent hatched form the egg of a cock. The basilisk had a bad eye, and its glance was fatal. Many infidels deny this creature's existence, but Semprello Aurator saw and handled one that had been blinded by lightning as a punishment for having fatally gazed on a lady of rank whom Jupiter loved. Juno afterward restored the reptile's sight and hid it in a cave. Nothing is so well attested by the ancients as the existence of the basilisk, but the cocks have stopped laying.
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BASTINADO, n. The act of walking on wood without exertion.
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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 soiling With dirty vapors of the boiling. --Richard Gwow
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BATH, n. A kind of mystic ceremony substituted for religious worship, with what spiritual efficacy has not been determined.
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BATTLE, n. A method of untying with the teeth of a political knot that would not yield to the tongue.
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BEARD, n. The hair that is commonly cut off by those who justly execrate the absurd Chinese custom of shaving the head.
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Beauty, n: the power by which a woman charms a lover and terrifies a husband.
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Before undergoing a surgical operation, arrange your temporal affairs. You may live.
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Quotes: 121 - 140 of 1217 Pages: First ... Previous 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Next ... Last
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