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The Devil's Dictionary: Monument

by Ambrose Bierce
MONSIGNOR
MORAL

MONUMENT

-n.

A structure intended to commemorate something which either needs no commemoration or cannot be commemorated.

The bones of Agammemnon are a show,
And ruined is his royal monument,

but Agammemnon's fame suffers no diminution in consequence. The monument custom has its reductiones ad absurdum in monuments "to the unknown dead" - that is to say, monuments to perpetuate the memory of those who have left no memory

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