Cite

The Devil's Dictionary: Degenerate

by Ambrose Bierce
DEFENCELESS
DEGRADATION

DEGENERATE

-adj.

Less conspicuously admirable than one's ancestors. The contemporaries of Homer were striking examples of degeneracy; it required ten of them to raise a rock or a riot that one of the heroes of the Trojan war could have raised with ease. Homer never tires of sneering at "men who live in these degenerate days," which is perhaps why they suffered him to beg his bread - a marked instance of returning good for evil, by the way, for if they had forbidden him he would certainly have starved.

.com/t/lit/devils-dictionary/D/15.html