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The Devil's Dictionary:    

Definition of Tariff

  TARIFF   noun
A scale of taxes on imports, designed to protect the domestic producer against the greed of his consumer.
  The Enemy of Human Souls
  Sat grieving at the cost of coals;
  For Hell had been annexed of late,
  And was a sovereign Southern State.

  'It were no more than right,' said he,
  'That I should get my fuel free.
  The duty, neither just nor wise,
  Compels me to economize --
  Whereby my broilers, every one,
  Are execrably underdone.
  What would they have? -- although I yearn
  To do them nicely to a turn,
  I can't afford an honest heat.
  This tariff makes even devils cheat!
  I'm ruined, and my humble trade
  All rascals may at will invade:
  Beneath my nose the public press
  Outdoes me in sulphureousness;
  The bar ingeniously applies
  To my undoing my own lies;
  My medicines the doctors use
  (Albeit vainly) to refuse
  To me my fair and rightful prey
  And keep their own in shape to pay;
  The preachers by example teach
  What, scorning to perform, I teach;
  And statesmen, aping me, all make
  More promises than they can break.
  Against such competition I
  Lift up a disregarded cry.
  Since all ignore my just complaint,
  By Hokey-Pokey!  I'll turn saint!'
  Now, the Republicans, who all
  Are saints, began at once to bawl
  Against his competition; so
  There was a devil of a go!
  They locked horns with him, tete-a-tete
  In acrimonious debate,
  Till Democrats, forlorn and lone,
  Had hopes of coming by their own.
  That evil to avert, in haste
  The two belligerents embraced;
  But since 'twere wicked to relax
  A tittle of the Sacred Tax,
  'Twas finally agreed to grant
  The bold Insurgent-protestant
  A bounty on each soul that fell
  Into his ineffectual Hell.

Edam Smith

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


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