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Black Beetles in Amber

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398 pages
The Project Gutenberg EBook of Black Beetles in Amber, by Ambrose BierceThis eBook is for the use of anyone anywhere at no cost and with almost no restrictions whatsoever. You may copy it,give it away or re-use it under the terms of the Project Gutenberg License included with this eBook or online atwww.gutenberg.netTitle: Black Beetles in AmberAuthor: Ambrose BierceRelease Date: July 21, 2004 [EBook #12977]Language: English*** START OF THIS PROJECT GUTENBERG EBOOK BLACK BEETLES IN AMBER ***Produced by Leah Moser and the Online Distributed Proofreading Team.[Illustration: AMBROSE BIERCE.]BLACK BEETLES IN AMBERBYAMBROSE BIERCE1892THE ORDER IN WHICH THE BEETLES ARE SHOWN IN EXPLANATION THE KEY NOTE CAIN AN OBITUARIAN A COMMUTED SENTENCE A LIFTED FINGER TWO STATESMEN MATTER FOR GRATITUDE THREE KINDS OF A ROGUE A MAN YE FOE TO CATHAYE SAMUEL SHORTRIDGE SURPRISED POSTERITY'S AWARD AN ART CRITIC THE SPIRIT OF A SPONGE ORNITHANTHROPOS TO E.S. SALOMON DENNIS KEARNEY FINIS ÆTERNITATIS THE VETERAN AN "EXHIBIT" THE TRANSMIGRATIONS OF A SOUL AN ACTOR FAMINE'S REALM THE MACKAIAD A SONG IN PRAISE A POET'S FATHER A COWARD TO MY LIARS PHIL CRIMMINS CODEX HONORIS TO W.H.L.B. EMANCIPATION JOHNDONKEY HELL BY FALSE PRETENSES LUCIFER OF THE TORCH THE "WHIRLIGIG OF TIME" A RAILROAD LACKEY THE LEGATEE "DIED OF A ROSE" A LITERARY HANGMAN AT THE ELEVENTH HOUR A CONTROVERSIALIST MENDAX THE ...
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The Project Gutenberg EBook of Black Beetles in
Amber, by Ambrose Bierce
This eBook is for the use of anyone anywhere at
no cost and with almost no restrictions whatsoever.
You may copy it, give it away or re-use it under the
terms of the Project Gutenberg License included
with this eBook or online at www.gutenberg.net
Title: Black Beetles in Amber
Author: Ambrose Bierce
Release Date: July 21, 2004 [EBook #12977]
Language: English
*** START OF THIS PROJECT GUTENBERG
EBOOK BLACK BEETLES IN AMBER ***
Produced by Leah Moser and the Online
Distributed Proofreading Team.
[Illustration: AMBROSE BIERCE.]
BLACK BEETLES IN AMBERBY
AMBROSE BIERCE
1892
THE ORDER IN WHICH THE BEETLES
ARE SHOWN
IN EXPLANATION
THE KEY NOTE
CAIN
AN OBITUARIAN
A COMMUTED SENTENCE
A LIFTED FINGER
TWO STATESMEN
MATTER FOR GRATITUDE
THREE KINDS OF A ROGUE
A MAN
YE FOE TO CATHAYE
SAMUEL SHORTRIDGE
SURPRISED
POSTERITY'S AWARD
AN ART CRITIC
THE SPIRIT OF A SPONGE
ORNITHANTHROPOS
TO E.S. SALOMON
DENNIS KEARNEY FINIS ÆTERNITATIS
THE VETERAN
AN "EXHIBIT"
THE TRANSMIGRATIONS OF A SOUL
AN ACTOR
FAMINE'S REALM
THE MACKAIAD
A SONG IN PRAISE
A POET'S FATHER
A COWARD
TO MY LIARS
PHIL CRIMMINS
CODEX HONORIS
TO W.H.L.B.
EMANCIPATION
JOHNDONKEY
HELL
BY FALSE PRETENSES
LUCIFER OF THE TORCH
THE "WHIRLIGIG OF TIME"
A RAILROAD LACKEY
THE LEGATEE
"DIED OF A ROSE"
A LITERARY HANGMAN
AT THE ELEVENTH HOUR
A CONTROVERSIALIST
MENDAX
THE RETROSPECTIVE BIRD
THE OAKLAND DOG
THE UNFALLEN BRAVE
A CELEBRATED CASE
COUPLETS
A RETORT
A VISION OF RESURRECTION MASTER OF THREE ARTS
THERSITES
A SOCIETY LEADER
EXPOSITOR VERITATIS
TO "COLONEL" DAN BURNS
GEORGE A. KNIGHT
UNARMED
A POLITICAL VIOLET
THE SUBDUED EDITOR
"BLACK BART, Po8"
A "SCION OF NOBILITY"
THE NIGHT OF ELECTION
THE CONVICTS' BALL
A PRAYER
TO ONE DETESTED
THE BOSS'S CHOICE
A MERCIFUL GOVERNOR
AN INTERPRETATION
A SOARING TOAD
AN UNDRESS UNIFORM
THE PERVERTED VILLAGE
MR. SHEETS
A JACK-AT-ALL-VIEWS
MY LORD POET
TO THE FOOL KILLER
ONE AND ONE ARE TWO
MONTAGUE LEVERSON
THE WOFUL TALE OF MR. PETERS
TWIN UNWORTHIES
ANOTHER PLAN
A POLITICAL APOSTATE
TINKER DICK
BATS IN SUNSHINE
A WORD TO THE UNWISE ON THE PLATFORM
A DAMPENED ARDOR
ADAIR WELCKER, POET
TO A WORD-WARRIOR
A CULINARY CANDIDATE
THE OLEOMARGARINE MAN
GENESIS
LLEWELLEN POWELL
THE SUNSET GUN
THE "VIDUATE DAME"
FOUR OF A KIND
RECONCILIATION
A VISION OF CLIMATE
A "MASS" MEETING
FOR PRESIDENT, LELAND STANFORD
FOR MAYOR
A CHEATING PREACHER
A CROCODILE
THE AMERICAN PARTY
UNCOLONELED
THE GATES AJAR
TIDINGS OF GOOD
ARBORICULTURE
A SILURIAN HOLIDAY
REJECTED
JUDEX JUDICATUS
ON THE WEDDING OF AN AËRONAUT
A HASTY INFERENCE
A VOLUPTUARY
AD CATTONUM
THE NATIONAL GUARDSMAN
THE BARKING WEASEL
A REAR ELEVATION
IN UPPER SAN FRANCISCO NIMROD
CENSOR LITERARUM
BORROWED BRAINS
THE FYGHTYNGE SEVENTH
INDICTED
OVER THE BORDER
ONE JUDGE
TO AN INSOLENT ATTORNEY
ACCEPTED
A PROMISED FAST TRAIN
ONE OFF THE SAINTS
A MILITARY INCIDENT
SUBSTANCE VERSUS SHADOW
THE COMMITTEE ON PUBLIC MORALS
CALIFORNIA
DE YOUNG—A PROPHECY
TO EITHER
DISAPPOINTMENT
THE VALLEY OF THE SHADOW OF THEFT
DOWN AMONG THE DEAD MEN
THE LAST MAN
ARBOR DAY
THE PIUTE
FAME
ONE OF THE REDEEMED
A CRITIC
A QUESTION OF ELIGIBILITY
FLEET STROTHER
CALIFORNIAN SUMMER PICTURES
SLANDER
JAMES L. FLOOD
FOUR CANDIDATES FOR SENATOR
A GROWLER
AD MOODIUM AN EPITAPH
A SPADE
THE VAN NESSIAD
A FISH COMMISSIONER
TO A STRAY DOG
IN HIS HAND
A DEMAGOGUE
IGNIS FATUUS
FROM TOP TO BOTTOM
AN IDLER
THE DEAD KING
A PATTER SONG
A CALLER
THE SHAFTER SHAFTED
THE MUMMERY
THE TWO CAVEES METEMPSYCHOSIS
SLICKENS "PEACEABLE EXPULSION"
ASPIRANTS THREE THE BIRTH OF THE RAIL A
BAD NIGHT
ON STONE
A WREATH OF IMMORTELLESIN EXPLANATION
Many of the verses in this book are republished,
with considerable alterations, from various
newspapers. The collection includes few not
relating to persons and events more or less familiar
to the people of the Pacific Coast—to whom the
volume may be considered as especially
addressed, though, not without a hope that some
part of the contents may be found to have
sufficient intrinsic interest to commend it to others.
In that case, doubtless, commentators will be
"raised up" to make exposition of its full meaning,
with possibly an added meaning read into it by
themselves.
Of my motives in writing, and in now republishing, I
do not care to make either defense or explanation,
except with reference to those persons who since
my first censure of them have passed away. To
one having only a reader's interest in the matter it
may easily seem that the verses relating to those
might more properly have been omitted from this
collection. But if these pieces, or, indeed, if any
considerable part of my work in literature, have the
intrinsic worth which by this attempt to preserve
some of it I have assumed, their permanent
suppression is impossible, and it is only a question
of when and by whom they shall be republished.
Some one will surely search them out and put
them in circulation.I conceive it the right of an author to have his
fugitive work collected in his lifetime; and this
seems to me especially true of one whose work,
necessarily engendering animosities, is peculiarly
exposed to challenge as unjust. That is a charge
that can be best examined before time has effaced
the evidence. For the death of a man of whom I
may have written what I venture to think worthy to
live I am no way responsible; and, however
sincerely I may regret it, I can hardly be expected
to consent that it shall affect my fortunes. If the
satirist who does not accept the remarkable
doctrine that while condemning the sin he should
spare the sinner were bound to let the life of his
work be coterminous with that of his subject his
were a lot of peculiar hardship.
Persuaded of the validity of all this, I have not
hesitated to reprint even certain "epitaphs" which,
once of the living, are now of the dead, as all the
others must eventually be. The objection inheres in
all forms of applied satire—my understanding of
whose laws and liberties is at least derived from
reverent study of the masters. That in respect of
matters herein mentioned I have but followed their
practice can be shown by abundant instance and
example.
AMBROSE BIERCE.

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