Here are the sons and daughters of Delusion:
Affection, Self-Denial, Charity,
Enthusiasm, Faith, the brat, Effusion,
And baby Hope perched on her father’s knee.
The original observation, of course, is from The Devil’s Dictionary published in an excellent ‘Thrift Edition’ paperback by Dover Publications, 1993. In his short preface to the 1911 edition, Bierce describes his work as addressed to those ‘enlightened souls who prefer dry wines to sweet, sense to sentiment, wit to humour and clean English to slang.’ Precisely. Bierce was a veteran of the American Civil War who the Dover editor notes: ‘...established himself as one of the most influential journalists of the latter nineteenth century as well as a noted writer of short stories and comic verse. Two years after The Devil’s Dictionary appeared in book form, Bierce ventured into revolutionary Mexico and was never heard from again.’