Ambrose Bierce Quotes and Quotations
Piracy, n: commerce without its folly-swaddles - just as God made it.
Abstainer: a weak man who yields to the temptation of denying himself a pleasure.
Christian: one who believes that the New Testament is a divinely inspired book admirably suited to the spiritual needs of his neighbour.
Cynicism is that blackguard defect of vision which compels us to see the world as it is, instead of as it should be.
Mausoleum, n: the final and funniest folly of the rich.
Epitaph, n: an inscription on a tomb showing that virtues acquired by death have a retroactive effect.
Education, n: that which discloses to the wise and disguises from the foolish their lack of understanding.
That sovereign of insufferables.
Destiny, n: a tyrant's authority for crime and a fool's excuse for failure.
History, n: an account mostly false, of events, mostly unimportant, which are brought about by rulers, mostly knaves, and soldiers, mostly fools.
Acquaintance, n: a person whom we know well enough to borrow from, but not well enough to lend to.
Ignoramus: a person unacquainted with certain kinds of knowledge familiar to yourself, and having certain other kinds that you know nothing about.
Appeal in law: to put the dice into the box for another throw.
Litigant: a person about to give up his skin for the hope of retaining his bone.
Marriage, n: the state or condition of a community consisting of a master, a mistress, and two slaves, making, in all, two.
Philanthropist: a rich (and usually bald) old gentleman who has trained himself to grin while his conscience is picking his pocket.
To be positive: to be mistaken at the top of one's voice.
Painting, n: the art of protecting flat surfaces from the weather and exposing them to the critic.
Peace: in international affairs, a period of cheating between two periods of fighting.
Responsibility n: A detachable burden easily shifted to the shoulders of God, Fate, Fortune, Luck or one's neighbour. In the days of astrology it was customary to unload it upon a star.
Commendation, n: the tribute that we pay to achievements that resemble, but do not equal, our own.
Pray, v: to ask that the laws of the universe be annulled in behalf of a single petitioner confessedly unworthy.
Heathen, n. A beknighted creature who has the folly to worship something that he can see and feel.
Infidel, n: in New York, one who does not believe in the Christian religion; in Constantinople, one who does.
Apologize, v: to lay the foundation for a future offence.
Perseverance, n.: A lowly virtue whereby mediocrity achieves a glorious success.
Hope is desire and expectation rolled into one.
Achievement: The death of an endeavor, and the birth of disgust.
Platonic Love is a fool's name for the affection between a disability and a frost.
Admiration: Our polite recognition of another man's resemblance to ourselves.
Our polite recognition of another's resemblance to ourselves.
The echo of a platitude.
Bore: a person who talks when you wish him to listen.
A statesman who is enamored of existing evils, as distin-quished from the Liberal, who wishes to replace them with others.
One who in a perilous emergency thinks with his legs.
Philosophy: A route of many roads leading from nowhere to nothing.
Women and foxes, being weak, are distinguished by superior tact.