HABEAS CORPUS. A writ by which a man may be taken out of jail when
HABIT, n. A shackle for the free.
HADES, n. The lower world; the residence of departed spirits; the
Among the ancients the idea of Hades was not synonymous with our
HAG, n. An elderly lady whom you do not happen to like; sometimes
HALF, n. One of two equal parts into which a thing may be divided, or
HALO, n. Properly, a luminous ring encircling an astronomical body,
HAND, n. A singular instrument worn at the end of the human arm and
HANDKERCHIEF, n. A small square of silk or linen, used in various
HANGMAN, n. An officer of the law charged with duties of the highest
HAPPINESS, n. An agreeable sensation arising from contemplating the
HARANGUE, n. A speech by an opponent, who is known as an harrangue-
HARBOR, n. A place where ships taking shelter from stores are exposed
HARMONISTS, n. A sect of Protestants, now extinct, who came from
HASH, x. There is no definition for this word -- nobody knows what
HATCHET, n. A young axe, known among Indians as a Thomashawk.
"O bury the hatchet, irascible Red,
For peace is a blessing," the White Man said.
The Savage concurred, and that weapon interred,
With imposing rites, in the White Man's head.
HATRED, n. A sentiment appropriate to the occasion of another's
HEAD-MONEY, n. A capitation tax, or poll-tax.
In ancient times there lived a king
Whose tax-collectors could not wring
From all his subjects gold enough
To make the royal way less rough.
For pleasure's highway, like the dames
Whose premises adjoin it, claims
Perpetual repairing. So
The tax-collectors in a row
Appeared before the throne to pray
Their master to devise some way
To swell the revenue. "So great,"
Said they, "are the demands of state
A tithe of all that we collect
Will scarcely meet them. Pray reflect:
How, if one-tenth we must resign,
Can we exist on t'other nine?"
The monarch asked them in reply:
"Has it occurred to you to try
The advantage of economy?"
"It has," the spokesman said: "we sold
All of our gray garrotes of gold;
With plated-ware we now compress
The necks of those whom we assess.
Plain iron forceps we employ
To mitigate the miser's joy
Who hoards, with greed that never tires,
That which your Majesty requires."
Deep lines of thought were seen to plow
Their way across the royal brow.
"Your state is desperate, no question;
Pray favor me with a suggestion."
"O King of Men," the spokesman said,
"If you'll impose upon each head
A tax, the augmented revenue
We'll cheerfully divide with you."
As flashes of the sun illume
The parted storm-cloud's sullen gloom,
The king smiled grimly. "I decree
That it be so -- and, not to be
In generosity outdone,
Declare you, each and every one,
Exempted from the operation
Of this new law of capitation.
But lest the people censure me
Because they're bound and you are free,
'Twere well some clever scheme were laid
By you this poll-tax to evade.
I'll leave you now while you confer
With my most trusted minister."
The monarch from the throne-room walked
And straightway in among them stalked
A silent man, with brow concealed,
Bare-armed -- his gleaming axe revealed!
HEARSE, n. Death's baby-carriage.
HEART, n. An automatic, muscular blood-pump. Figuratively, this
Heat, says Professor Tyndall, is a mode
Of motion, but I know now how he's proving
His point; but this I know -- hot words bestowed
With skill will set the human fist a-moving,
And where it stops the stars burn free and wild.
Crede expertum -- I have seen them, child.
HEATHEN, n. A benighted creature who has the folly to worship
"The Hebrews are heathens!" says Howison. He's
A Christian philosopher. I'm
A scurril agnostical chap, if you please,
Addicted too much to the crime
Of religious discussion in my rhyme.
Though Hebrew and Howison cannot agree
On a modus vivendi -- not they! --
Yet Heaven has had the designing of me,
And I haven't been reared in a way
To joy in the thick of the fray.
For this of my creed is the soul and the gist,
And the truth of it I aver:
Who differs from me in his faith is an 'ist,
And 'ite, an 'ie, or an 'er --
And I'm down upon him or her!
Let Howison urge with perfunctory chin
Toleration -- that's all very well,
But a roast is "nuts" to his nostril thin,
And he's running -- I know by the smell --
A secret and personal Hell!
HEAVEN, n. A place where the wicked cease from troubling you with
HEBREW, n. A male Jew, as distinguished from the Shebrew, an
HELPMATE, n. A wife, or bitter half.
"Now, why is yer wife called a helpmate, Pat?"
Says the priest. "Since the time 'o yer wooin'
She's niver [sic] assisted in what ye were at --
For it's naught ye are ever doin'."
"That's true of yer Riverence [sic]," Patrick replies,
And no sign of contrition envices;
"But, bedad, it's a fact which the word implies,
For she helps to mate the expinses [sic]!"
HEMP, n. A plant from whose fibrous bark is made an article of
HERMIT, n. A person whose vices and follies are not sociable.
HERS, pron. His.
HIBERNATE, v.i. To pass the winter season in domestic seclusion.
HIPPOGRIFF, n. An animal (now extinct) which was half horse and half
HISTORIAN, n. A broad-gauge gossip.
HISTORY, n. An account mostly false, of events mostly unimportant,
Of Roman history, great Niebuhr's shown
'Tis nine-tenths lying. Faith, I wish 'twere known,
Ere we accept great Niebuhr as a guide,
Wherein he blundered and how much he lied.
HOG, n. A bird remarkable for the catholicity of its appetite and
HOMOEOPATHIST, n. The humorist of the medical profession.
HOMOEOPATHY, n. A school of medicine midway between Allopathy and
HOMICIDE, n. The slaying of one human being by another. There are
HOMILETICS, n. The science of adapting sermons to the spiritual
So skilled the parson was in homiletics
That all his normal purges and emetics
To medicine the spirit were compounded
With a most just discrimination founded
Upon a rigorous examination
Of tongue and pulse and heart and respiration.
Then, having diagnosed each one's condition,
His scriptural specifics this physician
Administered -- his pills so efficacious
And pukes of disposition so vivacious
That souls afflicted with ten kinds of Adam
Were convalescent ere they knew they had 'em.
But Slander's tongue -- itself all coated -- uttered
Her bilious mind and scandalously muttered
That in the case of patients having money
The pills were sugar and the pukes were honey.
Biography of Bishop Potter
HONORABLE, adj. Afflicted with an impediment in one's reach. In
HOPE, n. Desire and expectation rolled into one.
Delicious Hope! when naught to man it left --
Of fortune destitute, of friends bereft;
When even his dog deserts him, and his goat
With tranquil disaffection chews his coat
While yet it hangs upon his back; then thou,
The star far-flaming on thine angel brow,
Descendest, radiant, from the skies to hint
The promise of a clerkship in the Mint.
HOSPITALITY, n. The virtue which induces us to feed and lodge certain
HOSTILITY, n. A peculiarly sharp and specially applied sense of the
HOURI, n. A comely female inhabiting the Mohammedan Paradise to make
HOUSE, n. A hollow edifice erected for the habitation of man, rat,
House of Correction, a place of reward for political and personal
House of God, a building with a steeple and a mortgage on it.
House-dog, a pestilent beast kept on domestic premises to insult
HOUSELESS, adj. Having paid all taxes on household goods.
HOVEL, n. The fruit of a flower called the Palace.
Twaddle had a hovel,
Twiddle had a palace;
Twaddle said: "I'll grovel
Or he'll think I bear him malice" --
A sentiment as novel
As a castor on a chalice.
Down upon the middle
Of his legs fell Twaddle
And astonished Mr. Twiddle,
Who began to lift his noddle.
Feed upon the fiddle-
Faddle flummery, unswaddle
A new-born self-sufficiency and think himself a [mockery.]
HUMANITY, n. The human race, collectively, exclusive of the
HUMORIST, n. A plague that would have softened down the hoar
Lo! the poor humorist, whose tortured mind
See jokes in crowds, though still to gloom inclined --
Whose simple appetite, untaught to stray,
His brains, renewed by night, consumes by day.
He thinks, admitted to an equal sty,
A graceful hog would bear his company.
HURRICANE, n. An atmospheric demonstration once very common but now
HURRY, n. The dispatch of bunglers.
HUSBAND, n. One who, having dined, is charged with the care of the
HYBRID, n. A pooled issue.
HYDRA, n. A kind of animal that the ancients catalogued under many
HYENA, n. A beast held in reverence by some oriental nations from its
HYPOCHONDRIASIS, n. Depression of one's own spirits.
Some heaps of trash upon a vacant lot
Where long the village rubbish had been shot
Displayed a sign among the stuff and stumps --
"Hypochondriasis." It meant The Dumps.
Bogul S. Purvy
HYPOCRITE, n. One who, profession virtues that he does not respect