Ambrose Bierce Quotes

- Notable Ambrose Bierce Quotes Index -

Born: June 24, 1842, Meigs County, Ohio, USA
Birth Country: USA
Died: Mexico, November 30, 1913
Occupation: Author

1.
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

2.
Academe, n.: An ancient school where morality and philosophy were taught. Academy, n.: A modern school where football is taught.
- Ambrose Bierce

3.
Alliance - in international politics, the union of two thieves who have their hands so deeply inserted in each other's pockets that they cannot separately plunder a third.
- Ambrose Bierce

4.
Anoint, v.: To grease a king or other great functionary already sufficiently slippery.
- Ambrose Bierce

5.
Architect. One who drafts a plan of your house, and plans a draft of your money.
- Ambrose Bierce

6.
Ardor, n. The quality that distinguishes love without knowledge.
- Ambrose Bierce

7.
Beauty, n: the power by which a woman charms a lover and terrifies a husband.
- Ambrose Bierce

8.
Bride: A woman with a fine prospect of happiness behind her.
- Ambrose Bierce

9.
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

10.
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

11.
Conservative, n: A statesman who is enamored of existing evils, as distinguished from the Liberal who wishes to replace them with others.
- Ambrose Bierce

12.
Consul - in American politics, a person who having failed to secure an office from the people is given one by the Administration on condition that he leave the country.
- Ambrose Bierce

13.
Convent - a place of retirement for women who wish for leisure to meditate upon the sin of idleness.
- Ambrose Bierce

14.
Corporation: An ingenious device for obtaining profit without individual responsibility.
- Ambrose Bierce

15.
Dawn: When men of reason go to bed.
- Ambrose Bierce

16.
Day, n. A period of twenty-four hours, mostly misspent.
- Ambrose Bierce

17.
Death is not the end. There remains the litigation over the estate.
- Ambrose Bierce

18.
Destiny: A tyrant's authority for crime and a fool's excuse for failure.
- Ambrose Bierce

19.
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

20.
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

21.
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

22.
Education, n.: That which discloses to the wise and disguises from the foolish their lack of understanding.
- Ambrose Bierce

23.
Eloquence, n. The art of orally persuading fools that white is the color that it appears to be. It includes the gift of making any color appear white.
- Ambrose Bierce

24.
Enthusiasm - a distemper of youth, curable by small doses of repentance in connection with outward applications of experience.
- Ambrose Bierce

25.
Eulogy. Praise of a person who has either the advantages of wealth and power, or the consideration to be dead.
- Ambrose Bierce

26.
Experience - the wisdom that enables us to recognise in an undesirable old acquaintance the folly that we have already embraced.
- Ambrose Bierce

27.
Experience is a revelation in the light of which we renounce our errors of youth for those of age.
- Ambrose Bierce

28.
Faith: Belief without evidence in what is told by one who speaks without knowledge, of things without parallel.
- Ambrose Bierce

29.
Famous, adj.: Conspicuously miserable.
- Ambrose Bierce

30.
Forgetfulness - a gift of God bestowed upon debtors in compensation for their destitution of conscience.
- Ambrose Bierce

31.
Friendless. Having no favors to bestow. Destitute of fortune. Addicted to utterance of truth and common sense.
- Ambrose Bierce

32.
Future. That period of time in which our affairs prosper, our friends are true and our happiness is assured.
- Ambrose Bierce

33.
Happiness: an agreeable sensation arising from contemplating the misery of another.
- Ambrose Bierce

34.
History is an account, mostly false, of events, mostly unimportant, which are brought about by rulers, mostly knaves, and soldiers, mostly fools.
- Ambrose Bierce

35.
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

36.
Inventor: A person who makes an ingenious arrangement of wheels, levers and springs, and believes it civilization.
- Ambrose Bierce

37.
Irreligion - the principal one of the great faiths of the world.
- Ambrose Bierce

38.
It is evident that skepticism, while it makes no actual change in man, always makes him feel better.
- Ambrose Bierce

39.
Jealous, adj. Unduly concerned about the preservation of that which can be lost only if not worth keeping.
- Ambrose Bierce

40.
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

41.
Lawsuit: A machine which you go into as a pig and come out of as a sausage.
- Ambrose Bierce

42.
Learning, n. The kind of ignorance distinguishing the studious.
- Ambrose Bierce

43.
Liberty: One of Imagination's most precious possessions.
- Ambrose Bierce

44.
Litigant. A person about to give up his skin for the hope of retaining his bones.
- Ambrose Bierce

45.
Logic: The art of thinking and reasoning in strict accordance with the limitations and incapacities of the human misunderstanding.
- Ambrose Bierce

46.
Love: A temporary insanity curable by marriage.
- Ambrose Bierce

47.
Mad, adj. Affected with a high degree of intellectual independence.
- Ambrose Bierce

48.
Marriage, n: the state or condition of a community consisting of a master, a mistress, and two slaves, making in all, two.
- Ambrose Bierce

49.
Mayonnaise: One of the sauces which serve the French in place of a state religion.
- Ambrose Bierce

50.
Meekness: Uncommon patience in planning a revenge that is worth while.
- Ambrose Bierce

51.
Men become civilized, not in proportion to their willingness to believe, but in proportion to their readiness to doubt.
- Ambrose Bierce

52.
Ocean: A body of water occupying about two-thirds of a world made for man - who has no gills.
- Ambrose Bierce

53.
Painting, n.: The art of protecting flat surfaces from the weather, and exposing them to the critic.
- Ambrose Bierce

54.
Patience, n. A minor form of dispair, disguised as a virtue.
- Ambrose Bierce

55.
Patriotism. Combustible rubbish ready to the torch of any one ambitious to illuminate his name.
- Ambrose Bierce

56.
Perseverance - a lowly virtue whereby mediocrity achieves an inglorious success.
- Ambrose Bierce

57.
Photograph: a picture painted by the sun without instruction in art.
- Ambrose Bierce

58.
Politics: A strife of interests masquerading as a contest of principles. The conduct of public affairs for private advantage.
- Ambrose Bierce

59.
Positive, adj.: Mistaken at the top of one's voice.
- Ambrose Bierce

60.
Prescription: A physician's guess at what will best prolong the situation with least harm to the patient.
- Ambrose Bierce

61.
Present, n. That part of eternity dividing the domain of disappointment from the realm of hope.
- Ambrose Bierce

62.
Religion. A daughter of Hope and Fear, explaining to Ignorance the nature of the Unknowable.
- Ambrose Bierce

63.
Revolution, n. In politics, an abrupt change in the form of misgovernment.
- Ambrose Bierce

64.
Sabbath - a weekly festival having its origin in the fact that God made the world in six days and was arrested on the seventh.
- Ambrose Bierce

65.
Speak when you are angry and you will make the best speech you will ever regret.
- Ambrose Bierce

66.
Success is the one unpardonable sin against our fellows.
- Ambrose Bierce

67.
Sweater, n.: garment worn by child when its mother is feeling chilly.
- Ambrose Bierce

68.
Telephone, n. An invention of the devil which abrogates some of the advantages of making a disagreeable person keep his distance.
- Ambrose Bierce

69.
The best thing to do with the best things in life is to give them up.
- Ambrose Bierce

70.
The gambling known as business looks with austere disfavor upon the business known as gambling.
- Ambrose Bierce

71.
The slightest acquaintance with history shows that powerful republics are the most warlike and unscrupulous of nations.
- Ambrose Bierce

72.
The small part of ignorance that we arrange and classify we give the name of knowledge.
- Ambrose Bierce

73.
To apologize is to lay the foundation for a future offense.
- Ambrose Bierce

74.
To be positive is to be mistaken at the top of one's voice.
- Ambrose Bierce

75.
Vote: the instrument and symbol of a freeman's power to make a fool of himself and a wreck of his country.
- Ambrose Bierce

76.
War is God's way of teaching Americans geography.
- Ambrose Bierce

77.
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

78.
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

79.
Who never doubted, never half believed. Where doubt is, there truth is - it is her shadow.
- Ambrose Bierce

80.
Wit - the salt with which the American humorist spoils his intellectual cookery by leaving it out.
- Ambrose Bierce

81.
Women in love are less ashamed than men. They have less to be ashamed of.
- Ambrose Bierce

Quotes by Ambrose Bierce

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