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Ambrose Bierce
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Ambrose Bierce quotes and quotations

The small part of ignorance that we arrange and classify we give the name of knowledge.
Ambrose Bierce

Abstainer: a weak person who yields to the temptation of denying himself a pleasure.
Ambrose Bierce

Bacchus : A convenient deity invented by the ancients as an excuse for getting drunk.
Ambrose Bierce

Calamities are of two kinds: misfortunes to ourselves, and good fortune to others.
Ambrose Bierce

An egotist is a person of low taste - more interested in himself than in me.
Ambrose Bierce

Confidante: One entrusted by A with the secrets of B confided to herself by C.
Ambrose Bierce

Happiness: an agreeable sensation arising from contemplating the misery of another.
Ambrose Bierce

Barometer : An ingenious instrument which indicates what kind of weather we are having.
Ambrose Bierce

Absence blots people out. We really have no absent friends.
Ambrose Bierce

Divorce: a resumption of diplomatic relations and rectification of boundaries.
Ambrose Bierce

Acquaintance. A person whom we know well enough to borrow from, but not well enough to lend to.
Ambrose Bierce

Battle, n., A method of untying with the teeth a political knot that would not yield to the tongue.
Ambrose Bierce

Childhood: the period of human life intermediate between the idiocy of infancy and the folly of youth - two removes from the sin of manhood and three from the remorse of age.
Ambrose Bierce

Beauty : the power by which a woman charms a lover and terrifies a husband.
Ambrose Bierce

Brain: an apparatus with which we think we think.
Ambrose Bierce

A total abstainer is one who abstains from everything but abstention, and especially from inactivity in the affairs of others.
Ambrose Bierce

Ability is commonly found to consist mainly in a high degree of solemnity.
Ambrose Bierce

Bride: A woman with a fine prospect of happiness behind her.
Ambrose Bierce

Consult: To seek approval for a course of action already decided upon.
Ambrose Bierce

Doubt begins only at the last frontiers of what is possible.
Ambrose Bierce

Corporation: An ingenious device for obtaining profit without individual responsibility.
Ambrose Bierce

Bigot: One who is obstinately and zealously attached to an opinion that you do not entertain.
Ambrose Bierce

Anoint : To grease a king or other great functionary already sufficiently slippery.
Ambrose Bierce

Clairvoyant, n.: A person, commonly a woman, who has the power of seeing that which is invisible to her patron - namely, that he is a blockhead.
Ambrose Bierce

Debt : An ingenious substitute for the chain and whip of the slavedriver.
Ambrose Bierce

Bore : A person who talks when you wish him to listen.
Ambrose Bierce

Coward: One who, in a perilous emergency, thinks with his legs.
Ambrose Bierce

In our civilization, and under our republican form of government, intelligence is so highly honored that it is rewarded by exemption from the cares of office.
Ambrose Bierce

The best thing to do with the best things in life is to give them up.
Ambrose Bierce

Cynic, n: a blackguard whose faulty vision sees things as they are, not as they ought to be.
Ambrose Bierce

Dawn: When men of reason go to bed.
Ambrose Bierce

Day, n. A period of twenty-four hours, mostly misspent.
Ambrose Bierce

All are lunatics, but he who can analyze his delusions is called a philosopher.
Ambrose Bierce

Conservative : A statesman who is enamored of existing evils, as distinguished from the Liberal who wishes to replace them with others.
Ambrose Bierce

Deliberation : The act of examining one's bread to determine which side it is buttered on.
Ambrose Bierce

There are 4 kinds of homicide; felonious, excusable, justifiable, and praiseworthy.
Ambrose Bierce

Doubt is the father of invention.
Ambrose Bierce

A person who doubts himself is like a man who would enlist in the ranks of his enemies and bear arms agains himself. He makes his failure certain by himself being the first person to be convinced of it.
Ambrose Bierce

Doubt, indulged and cherished, is in danger of becoming denial; but if honest, and bent on thorough investigation, it may soon lead to full establishment of the truth.
Ambrose Bierce

Edible : Good to eat, and wholesome to digest, as a worm to a toad, a toad to a snake, a snake to a pig, a pig to a man, and a man to a worm.
Ambrose Bierce

Education : That which discloses the wise and disguises from the foolish their lack of understanding.
Ambrose Bierce

Egotist: A person of low taste, more interested in himself than in me.
Ambrose Bierce

Destiny: A tyrant's authority for crime and a fool's excuse for failure.
Ambrose Bierce

Faith: Belief without evidence in what is told by one who speaks without knowledge, of things without parallel.
Ambrose Bierce

Famous : Conspicuously miserable.
Ambrose Bierce

AMNESTY : The state's magnanimity to those offenders whom it would be too expensive to punish.
Ambrose Bierce

Fork: An instrument used chiefly for the purpose of putting dead animals into the mouth.
Ambrose Bierce

Genealogy, n. An account of one's descent from a man who did not particularly care to trace his own.
Ambrose Bierce

Ambidextrous, adj.: Able to pick with equal skill a right-hand pocket or a left.
Ambrose Bierce

Death is not the end. There remains the litigation over the estate.
Ambrose Bierce

GENEALOGY : An account of one's descent from an ancestor who did not particularly care to trace his own.
Ambrose Bierce

Immortality: A toy which people cry for, And on their knees apply for, Dispute, contend and lie for, And if allowed Would be right proud Eternally to die for.
Ambrose Bierce

Genius - to know without having learned; to draw just conclusions from unknown premises; to discern the soul of things.
Ambrose Bierce

History is an account, mostly false, of events, mostly unimportant, which are brought about by rulers, mostly knaves, and soldiers, mostly fools.
Ambrose Bierce

I believe we shall come to care about people less and less. The more people one knows the easier it becomes to replace them. It's one of the curses of London.
Ambrose Bierce

I never said all Democrats were saloonkeepers. What I said was that all saloonkeepers are Democrats.
Ambrose Bierce

The covers of this book are too far apart.
Ambrose Bierce

War is God's way of teaching Americans geography.
Ambrose Bierce

The future is that period of time in which our affairs prosper, our friends are true, and our happiness is assured.
Ambrose Bierce

The hardest tumble a man can make is to fall over his own bluff.
Ambrose Bierce

What this country needs what every country needs occasionally is a good hard bloody war to revive the vice of patriotism on which its existence as a nation depends.
Ambrose Bierce

When you doubt, abstain.
Ambrose Bierce

The slightest acquaintance with history shows that powerful republics are the most warlike and unscrupulous of nations.
Ambrose Bierce

Experience is a revelation in the light of which we renounce our errors of youth for those of age.
Ambrose Bierce

Admiration, n. Our polite recognition of another's resemblance to ourselves.
Ambrose Bierce

There are four kinds of Homicide: felonious, excusable, justifiable, and praiseworthy.
Ambrose Bierce

Ardor : The quality that distinguishes love without knowledge.
Ambrose Bierce

To be positive is to be mistaken at the top of one's voice.
Ambrose Bierce

Vote: the instrument and symbol of a freeman's power to make a fool of himself and a wreck of his country.
Ambrose Bierce

We know what happens to people who stay in the middle of the road. They get run over.
Ambrose Bierce

The gambling known as business looks with austere disfavor upon the business known as gambling.
Ambrose Bierce

We submit to the majority because we have to. But we are not compelled to call our attitude of subjection a posture of respect.
Ambrose Bierce

Cabbage: a familiar kitchen-garden vegetable about as large and wise as a man's head.
Ambrose Bierce

Who never doubted, never half believed. Where doubt is, there truth is - it is her shadow.
Ambrose Bierce