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The Devil's Dictionary: Hangman

by Ambrose Bierce
HANDKERCHIEF
HAPPINESS

HANGMAN

-n.

An officer of the law charged with duties of the highest dignity and utmost gravity, and held in hereditary disesteem by a populace having a criminal ancestry. In some of the American States his functions are now performed by an electrician, as in New Jersey, where executions by electricity have recently been ordered - the first instance known to this lexicographer of anybody questioning the expediency of hanging Jerseymen.

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