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Random Quote
"It is a blessed thing that in every age some one has had the individuality enough and courage enough to stand by his own convictions."
Robert Green Ingersoll
Ambrose Bierce Quotes
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

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

Aborigines, n.: Persons of little worth found cumbering the soil of a newly discovered country. They soon cease to cumber; they fertilize.
Ambrose Bierce

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

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

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

Academe, n.: An ancient school where morality and philosophy were taught. Academy, n.: A modern school where football is taught.
Ambrose Bierce

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

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

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

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

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

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

Ardor, n. The quality that distinguishes love without knowledge.
Ambrose Bierce

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

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

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

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

Being is desirable because it is identical with Beauty, and Beauty is loved because it is Being. We ourselves possess Beauty when we are true to our own being; ugliness is in going over to another order; knowing ourselves, we are beautiful; in self-ignorance, we are ugly.
Ambrose Bierce

Belladonna, n.: In Italian a beautiful lady; in English a deadly poison. A striking example of the essential identity of the two tongues.
Ambrose Bierce

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Cogito cogito ergo cogito sum - I think that I think, therefore I think that I am.
Ambrose Bierce

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Doubt is the father of invention.
Ambrose Bierce

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.
Ambrose Bierce

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

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

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

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

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

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

Famous, adj.: Conspicuously miserable.
Ambrose Bierce

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

Future. That period of time in which our affairs prosper, our friends are true and our happinesss is assured.
Ambrose Bierce

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

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

Honorable, adj.: Afflicted with an impediment in one's reach. In legislative bodies, it is customary to mention all members as honorable; as, "the honorable gentleman is a scurvy cur."
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

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

In each human heart are a tiger, a pig, an ass and a nightingale. Diversity of character is due to their unequal activity.
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

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

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

Land: A part of the earth's surface, considered as property. The theory that land is property subject to private ownership and control is the foundation of modern society, and is eminently worthy of the superstructure.
Ambrose Bierce

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

Learning, n. The kind of ignorance distinguishing the studious.
Ambrose Bierce

Liberty: One of Imagination's most precious possessions.
Ambrose Bierce

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

Logic: The art of thinking and reasoning in strict accordance with the limitations and incapacities of the human misunderstanding.
Ambrose Bierce

Love: A temporary insanity curable by marriage.
Ambrose Bierce

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

Mammon, n.: The god of the world's leading religion.
Ambrose Bierce

Marriage, n: the state or condition of a community consisting of a master, a mistress, and two slaves, making in all, two.
Ambrose Bierce

Mayonnaise: One of the sauces which serve the French in place of a state religion.
Ambrose Bierce

Meekness: Uncommon patience in planning a revenge that is worth while.
Ambrose Bierce

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

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

Optimism: The doctrine that everything is beautiful, including what is ugly, everything good, especially the bad, and everything right that is wrong... It is hereditary, but fortunately not contagious.
Ambrose Bierce

Painting, n.: The art of protecting flat surfaces from the weather, and exposing them to the critic.
Ambrose Bierce

Patience, n. A minor form of dispair, disguised as a virtue.
Ambrose Bierce

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

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

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

Politeness, n: The most acceptable hypocrisy.
Ambrose Bierce

Politics: A strife of interests masquerading as a contest of principles. The conduct of public affairs for private advantage.
Ambrose Bierce

Positive, adj.: Mistaken at the top of one's voice.
Ambrose Bierce

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

Pray, v.: To ask that the laws of the universe be annulled in behalf of a single petitioner confessedly unworthy.
Ambrose Bierce

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

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

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

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

Saint: A dead sinner revised and edited.
Ambrose Bierce

Speak when you are angry and you will make the best speech you will ever regret.
Ambrose Bierce

Spring beckons! All things to the call respond; the trees are leaving and cashiers abscond.
Ambrose Bierce

Success is the one unpardonable sin against our fellows.
Ambrose Bierce

Suffrage, noun. Expression of opinion by means of a ballot. The right of suffrage (which is held to be both a privilege and a duty) means, as commonly interpreted, the right to vote for the man of another man's choice, and is highly prized.
Ambrose Bierce

Sweater, n.: garment worn by child when its mother is feeling chilly.
Ambrose Bierce

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Type:
Journalist
Date of Birth:
1842-06-24
Year of Death:
1914
Nationality:
American
 

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