These satirical definitions show Bierce's wit and disenchantment with other people's enthusiasms at his very best.
From mocking editors, politicians, critics, to giving his own sardonic meaning to everyday words, Bierce provides a whole new vocabulary to anyone seeking to compose invective or just be wittier.
HARANGUE: A speech by an opponent, who is known as an harangue-otang
PURITAN: A pious gentleman, who believed in letting all people do as -he- liked
CONSERVATIVE: A statesman who is enamoured of existing evils, as distinguished from the Liberal, who wishes to replace
them with others.
Nobody escapes his eye for the ridiculous or his acerbic pen, which makes splendid fun of philosophical ideas (Nihilist: A Russian who denies the existence of anything but Tolstoi. The Leader of the school is Tolstoi.), medicine (Gout: a physician's name for the rheumatism of a rich patient), religion (Orthodox: An ox wearing the popular religious yoke), prohibition (Rum: Temperance word for all drinks except tea and water), and drops numerous verses and anecdotes to amuse his readers and win them to his cynical thinking.
I'd suggest this as a great resource for journalists (Reporter: A writer who guesses his way to the truth and dispels it with a tempest of words) and comedians, and a great read for anyone who likes a good laugh.