(a.k.a The Devil's Dictionary, New Millennia Edition)

 
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monarch

Cynical Definitions

n. A person engaged in reigning.

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Cynical Quotations

Formerly the monarch ruled, as the derivation of the word attests, and as many subjects have had occasion to learn. In Europe and other hostile regions, the monarch has still a considerable influence in public affairs and in the disposition of the human head, but in other political administrations is mostly entrusted to his ministers, he being somewhat preoccupied with reflections relating to the status of his own head.

— Ambrose Bierce (updated by Guy Smith)

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An absolute monarchy is one in which the sovereign does as he pleases so long as he pleases the assassins. Not many absolute monarchies are left, most of them having been replaced by limited monarchies, where the sovereign's power for evil (and for good) is greatly curtailed, and by republics, which are governed by chance.

— Ambrose Bierce

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