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The Devil's Dictionary:    

Definition of Jester

  JESTER   noun
An officer formerly attached to a king's household, whose business it was to amuse the court by ludicrous actions and utterances, the absurdity being attested by his motley costume.  The king himself being attired with dignity, it took the world some centuries to discover that his own conduct and decrees were sufficiently ridiculous for the amusement not only of his court but of all mankind.  The jester was commonly called a fool, but the poets and romancers have ever delighted to represent him as a singularly wise and witty person. In the circus of to-day the melancholy ghost of the court fool effects the dejection of humbler audiences with the same jests wherewith in life he gloomed the marble hall, panged the patrician sense of humor and tapped the tank of royal tears.
  The widow-queen of Portugal
      Had an audacious jester
  Who entered the confessional
      Disguised, and there confessed her.

  'Father,' she said, 'thine ear bend down --
      My sins are more than scarlet:
  I love my fool -- blaspheming clown,
      And common, base-born varlet.'

  'Daughter,' the mimic priest replied,
      'That sin, indeed, is awful:
  The church's pardon is denied
      To love that is unlawful.
  'But since thy stubborn heart will be
      For him forever pleading,
  Thou'dst better make him, by decree,
      A man of birth and breeding.'

  She made the fool a duke, in hope
      With Heaven's taboo to palter;
  Then told a priest, who told the Pope,
      Who damned her from the altar!

Barel Dort

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


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