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Quotes by Ambrose Bierce
(1842 - 1914)

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AbstinenceAbstainer, n: A weak person who yields to the temptation of denying himself a pleasure.
AbsurdityAbsurdity, n.: A statement or belief manifestly inconsistent with one's own opinion.
AcquaintancesAcquaintance, n.: A person whom we know well enough to borrow from, but not well enough to lend to.
AdmirationAdmiration, n: Our polite recognition of another's resemblance to ourselves
AmericaEvery time Europe looks across the Atlantic to see the American eagle, it observes only the rear end of an ostrich.
BibleScriptures, n. The sacred book of our holy religion, as distingushed from the false and profane writings on which all other faiths are based.
BooksThe covers of this book are too far apart.
BoresBore, n.: A person who talks when you wish him to listen.
BoysThe fact that boys are allowed to exist at all is evidence of a remarkable Christian forebearance among men.
BusinessThe gambling known as business looks with austere disfavor upon the business known as gambling.
CalamityCalamities are of two kinds: misfortune to ourselves, and good fortune to others.
ChildhoodChildhood, n. 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 old age.
ChristiansChristian, n. One who follows the teachings of Christ insofar as they are not inconsistant with a life of sin.
ClergyClergyman, n. A man who undertakes the management of our spiritual affairs as a method of bettering his temporal ones.
ConservativeConservative, n. A statesman who is enamoured of existing evils, as distiguished from a liberal, who wishes to replace them with others.
CorporationsCorporation, n. An ingenious device for obtaining individual profit without individual responsibility.
CriticsCritic, n. A person who boasts himself hard to please because nobody tries to please him.
CriticsPainting: The art of protecting flat surfaces from the weather and exposing them to the critic.
CynicsCynic, n. A blackgaurd whose faulty vision sees things as they are, not as they ought to be.
DiagnosisDiagnosis: A physician's forecast of disease by the patient's pulse and purse.
DiplomacyDiplomacy: n. The patriotic art of lying for one's country.
DutyDuty, n. That which sternly impels us in the direction of profit, along the line of desire.
EgoismEgoist: A person of low taste, more interested in himself than in me.
- (Birece's Dictionary)
FaithFaith, n. Belief without evidence in what is told by one who speaks without knowledge, of things without parellel.
FoodCabbage: A... vegetable about as large and wise as a man's head.
GraveGrave: A place in which the dead are laid to await the coming of the medical student.
HappinessHappiness, n. An agreeable sensation arising from contemplating the misery of another
HatredHatred: A sentiment appropriate to the occasion of another's superiority.
ImpietyImpiety: n. Your irreverence toward my diety.
IntelligenceIn 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.
JusticeJustice, n. A commodity whch in a more or less adulterated condition the State sells to the citizen as a reward for his allegiance, taxes and personal service.
LawsuitsLawsuit, n. A machine which you go into as a pig and come out of as a sausage.
LawyersLawyer, n. One skilled in the circumvention of the law.
LogicIf sixty men can do a piece of work sixty times as quickly as one man, and one man can dig a posthole in sixty seconds, apparently sixty men can dig a posthole in one second.
LonelinessAlone-adj. In bad company.
MarriageLove, n. A temporary insanity curable by marriage.
MisfortuneMisfortune: The kind of fortune that never misses.
OperaOpera, n. A play representing life in another world whose inhabitants have no speech but song, no motions but gestures, and no postures but attitudes.
OptimismOptimism, n. The doctrine or belief that everything is beautiful, including the ugly.
PatiencePatience, n. A minor form of dispair, disguised as a virtue.
PatriotismIn Dr. Johnson's famous dictionary, patriotism is defined as the lst resort of a scoundrel. With all due respect to an enlightened but inferior lexicographer, I beg to submit that it is the first.
PatriotismIn Dr. Johnson's famous dictionary, patriotism is defined as the last resort of a scoundrel. With all due respect to an enlightened but inferior lexicographer, I beg to submit that it is the first.
- (American author)
PeacePeace, n. In international affairs, a period of cheating between two periods of fighting.
PoliticiansIn legislative bodies, it is customary to mention all members as honorable; as, "the honorable gentleman is a scurvy cur."
PoliticsPolitics, n. strife of interests masquerading as a contest of principles.
PositivityTo be positive: To be mistaken at the top of one's voice.
PrayerPray, v. To ask the laws of the universe to be nulled on behalf of a single petitioner confessedly unworthy.
QuotationQuotation, n: The act of repeating erroneously the words of another.
SaintsSaint: A dead sinner revised and edited.
ThinkingCogito cogito ergo cogito sum (I think that I think, therefore I think that I am.)
ThinkingBrain: an apparatus with which we think we think.
WeatherBarometer, n.: An ingenious instrument which indicates what kind of weather we are having.
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