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    I Like this quote I dislike this quoteINFALAPSARIAN, n. 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 decreed from the beginning. Infralapsarians are sometimes called Sublapsarians without material effect upon the importance and lucidity of their views about Adam.



Two theologues once, as they wended their way To chapel, engaged in colloquial fray -- An earnest logomachy, bitter as gall, Concerning poor Adam and what made him fall.

"'Twas Predestination," cried one --"for the Lord Decreed he should fall of his own accord."

"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 debate 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 went round. Ere either had proved his theology right By winning, or even beginning, the fight, A gray old professor of Latin came by, A staff in his hand and a scowl in his eye, And learning the cause of their quarrel (for still As they clumsily sparred they disputed with skill Of foreordination freedom of will) Cried: "Sirrahs! this reasonless warfare compose: Atwixt ye's no difference worthy of blows. The sects ye belong to --I'm ready to swear Ye wrongly interpret the names that they bear.

_You_ --Infralapsarian son of a clown! -- Should only contend that Adam slipped down; While _you_ --you Supralapsarian pup! -- Should nothing aver but that Adam slipped up. 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 of thunder! --G.J.

 Ambrose Bierce quotes (American Writer, Journalist and Editor, 1842-1914)
Book: Devil's Dictionary quotes

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    I Like this quote I dislike this quoteHEATHEN, n. A benighted creature who has the folly to worship something that he can see and feel. According to Professor Howison, of the California State University, Hebrews are heathens.



"The Hebrews are heathens!" says Howison. He's A Christian philosopher. I'm A scurril agnostical chap, if you please, Addicted too much to the crime Of religious discussion in my rhyme.



Though Hebrew and Howison cannot agree On a _modus vivendi_ --not they! -- Yet Heaven has had the designing of me, And I haven't been reared in a way To joy in the thick of the fray.



For this of my creed is the soul and the gist, And the truth of it I aver: Who differs from me in his faith is an 'ist, And 'ite, an 'ie, or an 'er -- And I'm down upon him or her!



Let Howison urge with perfunctory chin Toleration --that's all very well, But a roast is "nuts" to his nostril thin, And he's running --I know by the smell -- A secret and personal Hell! --Bissell Gip

 Ambrose Bierce quotes (American Writer, Journalist and Editor, 1842-1914)
Book: Devil's Dictionary quotes

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    I Like this quote I dislike this quoteFAIRY, n. A creature, variously 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. The fairies are now believed by naturalist to be extinct, though a clergyman of the Church of England saw three near Colchester as lately as 1855, while passing through a park after dining with the lord of the manor. 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, who had 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 seen the abduction been in pursuit of the fairies. Justinian Gaux, a writer of the fourteenth century, avers that so great is the fairies' power of transformation that he saw one change itself into two opposing armies and fight a battle with great slaughter, and that the next day, after it had resumed its original shape and gone away, there were seven hundred bodies of the slain which the villagers had to bury. He does not say if any of the wounded recovered. In the time of Henry III, of England, a law was made which prescribed the death penalty for "Kyllynge, wowndynge, or mamynge" a fairy, and it was universally respected.

 Ambrose Bierce quotes (American Writer, Journalist and Editor, 1842-1914)
Book: Devil's Dictionary quotes

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    I Like this quote I dislike this quoteGNOME, n. In North-European mythology, a dwarfish imp inhabiting the interior parts of the earth and having special custody of mineral treasures. 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 mine. Basing our computations upon data supplied by these statements, we find that the gnomes were probably extinct as early as

1764.

 Ambrose Bierce quotes (American Writer, Journalist and Editor, 1842-1914)
Book: Devil's Dictionary quotes

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    I Like this quote I dislike this quoteIMPROBABILITY, n.



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 heard -- 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 limb -- 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 told?" He raised Soberly then his eyes and gazed In a natural way And proceeded to say, As he crossed his feet on the mantel-shelf:

"O no --not at all; I'm a liar myself."

 Ambrose Bierce quotes (American Writer, Journalist and Editor, 1842-1914)
Book: Devil's Dictionary quotes

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    I Like this quote I dislike this quoteMOUSE, n. An animal which strews its path with fainting women. As in 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 much exertion. He even attempts to exculpate the mice (such is the malice of bigotry) by declaring that the unfortunate women perished, some from exhaustion, some of broken necks from falling over their own feet, and some from lack of restoratives. The mice, he avers, enjoyed the pleasures of the chase with composure. But if "Roman history is nine-tenths lying," we can hardly expect a smaller proportion of that rhetorical figure in the annals of a people capable of so incredible cruelty to a lovely women; for a hard heart has a false tongue.

 Ambrose Bierce quotes (American Writer, Journalist and Editor, 1842-1914)
Book: Devil's Dictionary quotes

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