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- The Devils Dictionary - 4/46 -


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

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

BACK, n. That part of your friend which it is your privilege to contemplate in your adversity.

BACKBITE, v.t. 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.

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.

BAROMETER, n. An ingenious instrument which indicates what kind of weather we are having.

BARRACK, n. A house in which soldiers enjoy a portion of that of which it is their business to deprive others.

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.

BASTINADO, n. The act of walking on wood without exertion.

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

BATTLE, n. A method of untying with the teeth of a political knot that would not yield to the tongue.

BEARD, n. The hair that is commonly cut off by those who justly execrate the absurd Chinese custom of shaving the head.

BEAUTY, n. The power by which a woman charms a lover and terrifies a husband.

BEFRIEND, v.t. 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? A mendicant, child, Haggard, morose, and unaffable -- wild! See how he glares through the bars of his cell! With Citizen Mendicant all is not well.

Why did they put him there, father?

Because Obeying his belly he struck at the laws.

His belly?

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 his cry Was "Bread!" ever "Bread!"

What's the matter with pie?

With little to wear, he had nothing to sell; To beg was unlawful -- improper as well.

Why didn't he work?

He would even have done that, But men said: "Get out!" and the State remarked: "Scat!" I mention these incidents merely to show That the vengeance he took was uncommonly low. Revenge, at the best, is the act of a Siou, But for trifles --

Pray what did bad Mendicant do?

Stole two loaves of bread to replenish his lack And tuck out the belly that clung to his back.

Is that _all_ father dear?

There's little to tell: They sent him to jail, and they'll send him to -- well, The company's better than here we can boast, And there's --

Bread for the needy, dear father?

Um -- toast.

Atka Mip

BEGGAR, n. One who has relied on the assistance of his friends.

BEHAVIOR, n. Conduct, as determined, not by principle, but by breeding. The word seems to be somewhat loosely used in Dr. Jamrach 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 your Death-blow. Pardon such behavior.

BELLADONNA, n. In Italian a beautiful lady; in English a deadly poison. A striking example of the essential identity of the two tongues.

BENEDICTINES, n. 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 text. "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)

BENEFACTOR, n. One who makes heavy purchases of ingratitude, without, however, materially affecting the price, which is still within the means of all.

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.

BIGAMY, n. A mistake in taste for which the wisdom of the future will adjudge a punishment called trigamy.

BIGOT, n. One who is obstinately and zealously attached to an opinion that you do not entertain.

BILLINGSGATE, n. The invective of an opponent.


The Devils Dictionary - 4/46

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