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The Devil's Dictionary:    

Definition of Art

  ART   noun
This word has no definition.  Its origin is related as follows 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 arose
  Fantastic priests and postulants (with shows,
  And mysteries, and mummeries, and hymns,
  And disputations dire that lamed their limbs)
  To serve his temple and maintain the fires,
  Expound the law, manipulate the wires.
  Amazed, the populace that rites attend,
  Believe whate'er they cannot comprehend,
  And, inly edified to learn that two
  Half-hairs joined so and so (as Art can do)
  Have sweeter values and a grace more fit
  Than Nature's hairs that never have been split,
  Bring cates and wines for sacrificial feasts,
  And sell their garments to support the priests.

Devil's Dictionarydefinition from:
The Devil's Dictionary
by Ambrose Bierce, 1911


Last updated: 9/3/2011 12:48:30