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.
FEAST, n. A festival. A religious celebration usually signalized by gluttony and drunkenness, frequently in honor of some holy person distinguished for abstemiousness. In the Roman Catholic Church feasts are movable and immovable, but the celebrants are uniformly immovable until they are full. In their earliest development these entertainments took the form of feasts for the dead such were held by the Greeks, under the name Nemeseia, by the Aztecs and Peruvians, 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 from heaven.
BERENICE'S HAIR, n. A constellation (Coma Berenices) named in honor of one who sacrificed her hair to save her husband.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 hair, No stellar recognition's given. There are not stars enough in heaven. --G.J.
ELYSIUM, n. An imaginary delightful country which the ancients foolishly believed to be inhabited by the spirits of the good. This ridiculous and mischievous fable was swept off the face of the earth by the early Christians --may their souls be happy in Heaven
SATAN, n. One of the Creator's lamentable mistakes, repented in sashcloth and axes. Being instated as an archangel, Satan made himself multifariously objectionable and was finally expelled from Heaven. Halfway in his descent he paused, bent his head in thought a moment and at last went back. There is one favor that I should like to ask, said he. Name it. Man, I understand, is about to be created. He will need laws. What, wretch you his appointed adversary, charged from the dawn of eternity with hatred of his soul --you ask for the right to make his lawsPardon what I have to ask is that he be permitted to make them himself. It was so ordered.
CANONICALS, n. The motley worm by Jesters of the Court of Heaven.
GALLOWS, n. A stage for the performance of miracle plays, in which the leading actor is translated to heaven. In this country the gallows is chiefly remarkable for the number of persons who escape it.Whether on the gallows high Or where blood flows the reddest, The noblest place for man to die -- Is where he died the deadest. --(Old play)
More Ambrose Gwinett Bierce Quotations (Based on Topics)
Man - Christianity - Law & Regulation - God - Nature - Time - World - Mind - Death & Dying - Books - Night - Woman - Life - Sons - Name - Kings & Queens - Letters - Literature - Sadness - View All Ambrose Gwinett Bierce Quotations
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -