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The Devil's Dictionary:    

Definition of Income

  INCOME   noun
The natural and rational gauge and measure of respectability, the commonly accepted standards being artificial, arbitrary and fallacious; for, as 'Sir Sycophas Chrysolater' in the play has justly remarked, 'the true use and function of property (in whatsoever it consisteth -- coins, or land, or houses, or merchant- stuff, or anything which may be named as holden of right to one's own subservience) as also of honors, titles, preferments and place, and all favor and acquaintance of persons of quality or ableness, are but to get money.  Hence it followeth that all things are truly to be rated as of worth in measure of their serviceableness to that end; and their possessors should take rank in agreement thereto, neither the lord of an unproducing manor, howsoever broad and ancient, nor he who bears an unremunerate dignity, nor yet the pauper favorite of a king, being esteemed of level excellency with him whose riches are of daily accretion; and hardly should they whose wealth is barren claim and rightly take more honor than the poor and unworthy.'

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


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