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Ambrose Bierce's Quotes

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Born: 1970-01-01
Profession: Journalist
Nation: American
Biography of Ambrose Bierce

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Jealous, adj. Unduly concerned about the preservation of that which can be lost only if not worth keeping.

Tags: Jealous, Jealousy, Lost

Absurdity, n.: A statement or belief manifestly inconsistent with one's own opinion.

Tags: Belief, Opinion, Statement

Photograph: a picture painted by the sun without instruction in art.

Tags: Art, Picture, Sun

Politeness, n: The most acceptable hypocrisy.

Tags: Acceptable, Hypocrisy, Politeness

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

Tags: Himself, Interested, Taste

Philosophy: A route of many roads leading from nowhere to nothing.

Tags: Leading, Nowhere, Philosophy

Telephone, n. An invention of the devil which abrogates some of the advantages of making a disagreeable person keep his distance.

Tags: Keep, Making, Technology

Perseverance - a lowly virtue whereby mediocrity achieves an inglorious success.

Tags: Mediocrity, Success, Virtue

Pray: To ask the laws of the universe to be annulled on behalf of a single petitioner confessedly unworthy.

Tags: Ask, Single, Universe

Religion. A daughter of Hope and Fear, explaining to Ignorance the nature of the Unknowable.

Tags: Hope, Nature, Religion

Debt, n. An ingenious substitute for the chain and whip of the slavedriver.

Tags: Chain, Debt, Ingenious

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

Tags: Boundaries, Divorce, Relations

Anoint, v.: To grease a king or other great functionary already sufficiently slippery.

Tags: Grease, Great, King

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

Tags: Belief, Faith, Knowledge

Forgetfulness - a gift of God bestowed upon debtors in compensation for their destitution of conscience.

Tags: Conscience, Gift, God

Ocean: A body of water occupying about two-thirds of a world made for man - who has no gills.

Tags: Body, Nature, Water

When you doubt, abstain.

Tags: Abstain, Doubt

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

Tags: Cynic, Vision, Whose

Litigation: A machine which you go into as a pig and come out of as a sausage.

Tags: Litigation, Machine, Pig

Present, n. That part of eternity dividing the domain of disappointment from the realm of hope.

Tags: Eternity, Hope, Present

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.

Tags: Failure, Himself, Makes

Education, n.: That which discloses to the wise and disguises from the foolish their lack of understanding.

Tags: Education, Foolish, Wise

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

Tags: Another, Happiness, Misery
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Vote: the instrument and symbol of a freeman's power to make a fool of himself and a wreck of his country.

Tags: Country, Fool, Power

Egotism, n: Doing the New York Times crossword puzzle with a pen.

Tags: Puzzle, Times, York

Fidelity - a virtue peculiar to those who are about to be betrayed.

Tags: Betrayed, Fidelity, Virtue

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

Tags: Dead, Purpose, Used

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

Tags: History, Powerful, Shows

To apologize is to lay the foundation for a future offense.

Tags: Apologize, Foundation, Future

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

Tags: Happiness, Wedding, Woman

Women in love are less ashamed than men. They have less to be ashamed of.

Tags: Love, Men, Women

Brain: an apparatus with which we think we think.

Tags: Apparatus, Brain

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

Tags: Death, End, Remains

Quotation, n: The act of repeating erroneously the words of another.

Tags: Act, Another, Words

Revolution, n. In politics, an abrupt change in the form of misgovernment.

Tags: Change, Politics, Revolution

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

Tags: Himself, Temptation, Weak

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

Tags: Action, Decided, Seek

Curiosity, n. An objectionable quality of the female mind. The desire to know whether or not a woman is cursed with curiosity is one of the most active and insatiable passions of the masculine soul.

Tags: Mind, Soul, Woman

Prejudice - a vagrant opinion without visible means of support.

Tags: Means, Opinion, Support

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

Tags: Four, Homicide, Kinds

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

Tags: Borrow, Enough, Whom

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

Tags: Admiration, Another, Ourselves

Dog - a kind of additional or subsidiary Deity designed to catch the overflow and surplus of the world's worship.

Tags: Catch, Dog, Worship

Life - a spiritual pickle preserving the body from decay.

Tags: Body, Life, Spiritual

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

Tags: Business, Known, Looks

Dawn: When men of reason go to bed.

Tags: Bed, Men, Reason

Patriotism. Combustible rubbish ready to the torch of any one ambitious to illuminate his name.

Tags: Name, Patriotism, Ready

Prescription: A physician's guess at what will best prolong the situation with least harm to the patient.

Tags: Best, Patient, Situation

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

Tags: Absence, Absent, Friends

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

Tags: Positive, Top, Voice

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.

Tags: Government, Office, Republican

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

Tags: Analyze, Delusions, Lunatics

Amnesty, n. The state's magnanimity to those offenders whom it would be too expensive to punish.

Tags: Expensive, Punish, State

Doubt is the father of invention.

Tags: Doubt, Father, Invention

Impiety. Your irreverence toward my deity.

Tags: Deity, Toward

Inventor: A person who makes an ingenious arrangement of wheels, levers and springs, and believes it civilization.

Tags: Believes, Makes, Technology

Liberty: One of Imagination's most precious possessions.

Tags: Liberty, Precious

Success is the one unpardonable sin against our fellows.

Tags: Against, Sin, Success

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

Tags: Act, Bread, Side

Historian - a broad-gauge gossip.

Tags: Gossip, Historian

Lawsuit: A machine which you go into as a pig and come out of as a sausage.

Tags: Legal, Machine, Pig

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

Tags: Bluff, Fall, Hardest

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

Tags: Attitude, Call, Respect

Egotist: a person more interested in himself than in me.

Tags: Egotist, Himself, Interested

What is a democrat? One who believes that the republicans have ruined the country. What is a republican? One who believes that the democrats would ruin the country.

Tags: Believes, Country, Republican

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

Tags: Able, Equal, Left

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

Tags: Destiny, Failure, Fool

Duty - that which sternly impels us in the direction of profit, along the line of desire.

Tags: Desire, Direction, Line

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.

Tags: Eat, Good, Snake

Erudition - dust shaken out of a book into an empty skull.

Tags: Book, Dust, Empty

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

Tags: Genius, Learned, Soul

Mad, adj. Affected with a high degree of intellectual independence.

Tags: High, Intelligence, Mad

Rum, n. Generically, fiery liquors that produce madness in total abstainers.

Tags: Madness, Rum, Total

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

Tags: Happens, Road, Run

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

Tags: Doubt, Her, Truth

Compromise, n. Such an adjustment of conflicting interests as gives each adversary the satisfaction of thinking he has got what he ought not to have, and is deprived of nothing except what was justly his due.

Tags: Compromise, Except, Thinking

A man is known by the company he organizes.

Tags: Company, Known

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

Tags: Affairs, Others, Total

Abscond - to move in a mysterious way, commonly with the property of another.

Tags: Another, Move, Mysterious

Ambition. An overmastering desire to be vilified by enemies while living and made ridiculous by friends when dead.

Tags: Ambition, Friends, Living

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

Tags: Battle, Political, Tongue

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

Tags: Attached, Entertain, Opinion

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.

Tags: Her, Power, Woman

Edible, adj.: 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.

Tags: Eat, Good, Snake

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

Tags: Age, Experience, Light

Famous, adj.: Conspicuously miserable.

Tags: Famous, Miserable

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

Tags: Account, Care, Descent

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

Tags: Democrats, Said

Incompatibility. In matrimony a similarity of tastes, particularly the taste for domination.

Tags: Domination, Similarity, Taste

It is evident that skepticism, while it makes no actual change in man, always makes him feel better.

Tags: Change, Him, Makes

Men become civilized, not in proportion to their willingness to believe, but in proportion to their readiness to doubt.

Tags: Become, Doubt, Men

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

Tags: Best, Give, Life

The covers of this book are too far apart.

Tags: Apart, Book, Far

Trial. A formal inquiry designed to prove and put upon record the blameless characters of judges, advocates and jurors.

Tags: Characters, Prove, Put

Wit - the salt with which the American humorist spoils his intellectual cookery by leaving it out.

Tags: American, Humor, Leaving

Witticism. A sharp and clever remark, usually quoted and seldom noted; what the Philistine is pleased to call a joke.

Tags: Call, Clever, Joke

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

Tags: Ability, Found, High

Admiral. That part of a warship which does the talking while the figurehead does the thinking.

Tags: Talking, Thinking, While

Alien - an American sovereign in his probationary state.

Tags: Alien, American, State

Architect. One who drafts a plan of your house, and plans a draft of your money.

Tags: House, Money, Plan
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