Ambrose Beirce quote

My google-fu has failed me, so I turn to crowdsourcing.

The tale:
I read, several years ago, a tale of Ambrose Bierce being sued for libel.
(If you don’t know who he is, I’m sure wikipedia covers it, although it has been said that he is most famous for being undeservedly unknown.)
It was while he was serving as editor of a San Francisco paper, and he insulted a man most floridly. The man took umbrage and sued, whereupon Bierce used his position as editor to ensure that the paper had a story every single day about the news event where this man was suing him for libel. As in, “There were no developments today in the case where (insert name) is suing me for having called him a (insert exact quote of the original insult)”

I seem to recall that series of stories concluded with, “Yesterday the jury apparently agreed with me that he is a (insert exact quote).”

What I remember about the insult is as follows:
[ul]
[li]It was funny.[/li][li]It was long.[/li][li]It did not include calling him a “horse thief”, which I believe was a crime at the time.[/li][li]It did include calling him a “stage-manager of a one-horse opera”[/li][/ul]
I think it also accused the man of being a union breaker.

That insult must exist on the internet somewhere, but as I said my normally sufficient skill with keywords has not found it.

While Bierce may deserve to be better known, I think he IS widely known for

  1. The Devil’s Dictionary, and
  2. His mysterious disappearance

Even in 2014 that’s a pretty big (and marginally dangerous) assumption.

I have heard this story but in my foggy recollection it was someone other than Bierce - it may well be an inflated or apocryphal tale. Cast your search net wider.

In related tales, it’s much like Judge Roy Bean’s apology to the [del]whores[/del] wives.

It also reminds me of the Broadway reviewer - might have been HTP - who called an actor “the worst actor in America” or some such. He was sued and lost some small settlement. When the actor appeared in another production, the city eagerly awaited the review. HTP(?) waited until the very last sentence to include, “Mr. _____ was not up to his usual standard.”

Possible George T. Russell. 1871

http://books.google.com/books?id=CVtO3Ff6BpoC&pg=PA126&lpg=PA126&dq="ambrose+bierce"++vacant+headed+simpleton&source=bl&ots=AzUPcZfKfM&sig=HdYmNgfT3OPvHxmiaINbyuw3yFI&hl=en&sa=X&ei=o-vrUr7AJ_D8yAGO34CQCg&ved=0CCkQ6AEwAQ#v=onepage&q="ambrose%20bierce"%20%20vacant%20headed%20simpleton&f=false

That is the incident I am seeking. So I know I had mis-remembered the only quote I could remember, and I am now armed with several actual quotes. Huzzah!
You have fulfilled the task as I outlined it, as that appears to contain the comment over which he was sued in its entirety. In fact, I think I encountered the story in a book review of that book (Most likely in The Atlantic).

For a man who made a habit of grandiose insults, one would think the world would take more note of the one that got him sued for libel, since apparently he was only so sued once. Yet a search for “Ambrose Bierce” and “libel” returns no results.