Ambrose Bierce Quotes
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Speak when you are angry and you will make the best speech you will ever regret.
The most affectionate creature in the world is a wet dog.
War is God's way of teaching Americans geography.
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.
Mayonnaise: One of the sauces which serve the French in place of a state religion.
Spring beckons! All things to the call respond; the trees are leaving and cashiers abscond.
Admiral. That part of a warship which does the talking while the figurehead does the thinking.
NEPOTISM, n. Appointing your grandmother to office for the good of the party.
Divorce: a resumption of diplomatic relations and rectification of boundaries.
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.
Politics: A strife of interests masquerading as a contest of principles. The conduct of public affairs for private advantage.
Witticism. A sharp and clever remark, usually quoted and seldom noted; what the Philistine is pleased to call a joke.
An absolute monarchy is one in which the sovereign does as he pleases so long as he pleases the assassins.
Education, n.: That which discloses to the wise and disguises from the foolish their lack of understanding.
INGRATE, n. One who receives a benefit from another, or is otherwise an object of charity.
Democracy is four wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch.
Magpie, n.: A bird whose theivish disposition suggested to someone that it might be taught to talk.
Clarinet n. An instrument of torture operated by a person with cotton in his ears. There are two instruments worse than a clarinet – two clarinets.
Impartial - unable to perceive any promise of personal advantage from espousing either side of a controversy.
PHRENOLOGY, n. The science of picking the pocket through the scalp. It consists in locating and exploiting the organ that one is a dupe with.
There are four kinds of Homicide: felonious, excusable, justifiable, and praiseworthy.
HYDRA, n. A kind of animal that the ancients catalogued under many heads.
GNU, n. An animal of South Africa, which in its domesticated state resembles a horse, a buffalo and a stag. In its wild condition it is something like a thunderbolt, an earthquake and a cyclone.
Religion. A daughter of Hope and Fear, explaining to Ignorance the nature of the Unknowable.
OATH, n. In law, a solemn appeal to the Deity, made binding upon the conscience by a penalty for perjury.
TEETOTALER, n. One who abstains from strong drink, sometimes totally, sometimes tolerably totally.
PHYSIOGNOMY, n. The art of determining the character of another by the resemblances and differences between his face and our own, which is the standard of excellence.
OYSTER, n. A slimy, gobby shellfish which civilization gives men the hardihood to eat without removing its entrails! The shells are sometimes given to the poor.
DELEGATION, n. In American politics, an article of merchandise that comes in sets.
REALISM, n. The art of depicting nature as it is seem by toads. The charm suffusing a landscape painted by a mole, or a story written by a measuring-worm.
ULTIMATUM, n. In diplomacy, a last demand before resorting to concessions.
ARSENIC, n. A kind of cosmetic greatly affected by the ladies, whom it greatly affects in turn.
Sweater, n.: garment worn by child when its mother is feeling chilly.
Conservative, n: A statesman who is enamored of existing evils, as distinguished from the Liberal who wishes to replace them with others.
POSITIVISM- A philosophy that denies our knowledge of the Real and affirms our ignorance of the Apparent. Its longest exponent is Comte, its broadest Mill and its thickest Spencer.
Infidel, n. In New York, one who does not believe in the Christian religion; in Constantinople, one who does.
Historian - a broad-gauge gossip.
PITY, n. A failing sense of exemption, inspired by contrast.
Birth: The first and direst of all disasters.
FLAG, n. A colored rag borne above troops and hoisted on forts and ships. It appears to serve the same purpose as certain signs that one sees and vacant lots in London
APHORISM, n. Predigested wisdom.
PLATONIC, adj. Pertaining to the philosophy of Socrates. Platonic Love is a fool's name for the affection between a disability and a frost.
Belladonna, n.: In Italian a beautiful lady; in English a deadly poison. A striking example of the essential identity of the two tongues.
SYCOPHANT- One who approaches Greatness on his belly so that he may not be commanded to turn and be kicked. He is sometimes an editor.
Photograph: a picture painted by the sun without instruction in art.
MONUMENT, n. A structure intended to commemorate something which either needs no commemoration or cannot be commemorated.
ORATORY, n. A conspiracy between speech and action to cheat the understanding. A tyranny tempered by stenography.
MISDEMEANOR, n. An infraction of the law having less dignity than a felony and constituting no claim to admittance into the best criminal society.
HUMORIST, n. A plague that would have softened down the hoar austerity of Pharaoh's heart and persuaded him to dismiss Israel with his best wishes, cat-quick.
MUMMY, n. - an ancient Egyptian handy, too, in museums in gratifying the vulgar curiosity that serves to distinguish man from the lower animals.