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The Devil's Dictionary:    

Definition of Sycophant

  SYCOPHANT   noun
One who approaches Greatness on his belly so that he may not be commanded to turn and be kicked.  He is sometimes an editor.
  As the lean leech, its victim found, is pleased
  To fix itself upon a part diseased
  Till, its black hide distended with bad blood,
  It drops to die of surfeit in the mud,
  So the base sycophant with joy descries
  His neighbor's weak spot and his mouth applies,
  Gorges and prospers like the leech, although,
  Unlike that reptile, he will not let go.
  Gelasma, if it paid you to devote
  Your talent to the service of a goat,
  Showing by forceful logic that its beard
  Is more than Aaron's fit to be revered;
  If to the task of honoring its smell
  Profit had prompted you, and love as well,
  The world would benefit at last by you
  And wealthy malefactors weep anew --
  Your favor for a moment's space denied
  And to the nobler object turned aside.
  Is't not enough that thrifty millionaires
  Who loot in freight and spoliate in fares,
  Or, cursed with consciences that bid them fly
  To safer villainies of darker dye,
  Forswearing robbery and fain, instead,
  To steal (they call it 'cornering') our bread
  May see you groveling their boots to lick
  And begging for the favor of a kick?
  Still must you follow to the bitter end
  Your sycophantic disposition's trend,
  And in your eagerness to please the rich
  Hunt hungry sinners to their final ditch?
  In Morgan's praise you smite the sounding wire,
  And sing hosannas to great Havemeyher!
  What's Satan done that him you should eschew?
  He too is reeking rich -- deducting you.

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


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