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Naturalist quotes

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    I Like this quote I dislike this quoteFAIRY, n. A creature, variously fashioned and endowed, that formerly inhabited the meadows and forests. It was nocturnal in its habits, and somewhat addicted to dancing and the theft of children. The fairies are now believed by naturalist to be extinct, though a clergyman of the Church of England saw three near Colchester as lately as 1855, while passing through a park after dining with the lord of the manor. The sight greatly staggered him, and he was so affected that his account of it was incoherent. In the year 1807 a troop of fairies visited a wood near Aix and carried off the daughter of a peasant, who had been seen to enter it with a bundle of clothing. The son of a wealthy _bourgeois_ disappeared about the same time, but afterward returned. He had seen the abduction been in pursuit of the fairies. Justinian Gaux, a writer of the fourteenth century, avers that so great is the fairies' power of transformation that he saw one change itself into two opposing armies and fight a battle with great slaughter, and that the next day, after it had resumed its original shape and gone away, there were seven hundred bodies of the slain which the villagers had to bury. He does not say if any of the wounded recovered. In the time of Henry III, of England, a law was made which prescribed the death penalty for "Kyllynge, wowndynge, or mamynge" a fairy, and it was universally respected.

 Ambrose Bierce quotes (American Writer, Journalist and Editor, 1842-1914)
Book: Devil's Dictionary quotes

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    I Like this quote I dislike this quoteFREEDOM, n. Exemption from the stress of authority in a beggarly half dozen of restraint's infinite multitude of methods. A political condition that every nation supposes itself to enjoy in virtual monopoly. Liberty. The distinction between freedom and liberty is not accurately known; naturalists have never been able to find a living specimen of either.



Freedom, as every schoolboy knows, Once shrieked as Kosciusko fell; On every wind, indeed, that blows I hear her yell.



She screams whenever monarchs meet, And parliaments as well, To bind the chains about her feet And toll her knell.



And when the sovereign people cast The votes they cannot spell, Upon the pestilential blast Her clamors swell.



For all to whom the power's given To sway or to compel, Among themselves apportion Heaven And give her Hell. --Blary O'Gary

 Ambrose Bierce quotes (American Writer, Journalist and Editor, 1842-1914)
Book: Devil's Dictionary quotes

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    I Like this quote I dislike this quoteWOMAN, n.



An animal usually living in the vicinity of Man, and having a rudimentary susceptibility to domestication. It is credited by many of the elder zoologists with a certain vestigial docility acquired in a former state of seclusion, but naturalists of the postsusananthony period, having no knowledge of the seclusion, deny the virtue and declare that such as creation's dawn beheld, it roareth now. The species is the most widely distributed of all beasts of prey, infesting all habitable parts of the globe, from Greeland's spicy mountains to India's moral strand. The popular name (wolfman) is incorrect, for the creature is of the cat kind. The woman is lithe and graceful in its movement, especially the American variety (_felis pugnans_), is omnivorous and can be taught not to talk. --Balthasar Pober

 Ambrose Bierce quotes (American Writer, Journalist and Editor, 1842-1914)
Book: Devil's Dictionary quotes

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