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Literature and Ideas

gallows

n.

The Devil's Dictionary

Ambrose Bierce

A stage for the performance of miracle plays, in which the leading actor is translated to heaven. In this country the gallows is chiefly remarkable for the number of persons who escape it.

Whether on the gallows high
    Or where blood flows the reddest,
The noblest place for man to die —
    Is where he died the deadest.

(Old play)