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Literature and Ideas

king

n.

The Devil's Dictionary

Ambrose Bierce

A male person commonly known in America as a “crowned head,” although he never wears a crown and has usually no head to speak of.

A king, in times long, long gone by,
    Said to his lazy jester:
"If I were you and you were I
My moments merrily would fly —
    Nor care nor grief to pester."

"The reason, Sire, that you would thrive,"
    The fool said — "if you'll hear it —
Is that of all the fools alive
Who own you for their sovereign, I've
    The most forgiving spirit."

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