[N.B.: As he was almost constantly wont to do, Ambrose Bierce ironizes heavily here, using part of the United States Declaration of Independence to pun on the fact that Cromwell signed the death warrant that separated King Charles I from his head.]
“Abridge, vt. To shorten. When in the course of human events it becomes necessary for a people to abridge their king, a decent respect for the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation. –Oliver Cromwell“
Excerpted from: Bierce, Ambrose. David E. Schultz and S.J. Joshi, eds. The Unabridged Devil’s Dictionary. Athens: The University of Georgia Press, 2000.