Ambrose Bierce Quotes

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A man is known by the company he organizes.
— Ambrose Bierce

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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

Abscond - to move in a mysterious way, commonly with the property of another.

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

Admiral. That part of a warship which does the talking while the figurehead does the thinking.

Ambrose Bierce

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

Ambrose Bierce

Alien - an American sovereign in his probationary state.

Ambrose Bierce

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

Ambrose Bierce

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

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

Ambrose Bierce

Ambition. An overmastering desire to be vilified by enemies while living and made ridiculous by friends when dead.

Ambrose Bierce

Amnesty, n. The state's magnanimity to those offenders whom it would be too expensive to punish.

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

Architect. One who drafts a plan of your house, and plans a draft of your money.

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

Backbite. To speak of a man as you find him when he can't find you.

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

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

Compromise, n. Such an adjustment of conflicting interests as gives each adversary the satisfaction of thinking he has got what he ought not to have, and is deprived of nothing except what was justly his due.

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

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

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

Ambrose Bierce

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

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

Creditor. One of a tribe of savages dwelling beyond the Financial Straits and dreaded for their desolating incursions.

Ambrose Bierce

Curiosity, n. An objectionable quality of the female mind. The desire to know whether or not a woman is cursed with curiosity is one of the most active and insatiable passions of the masculine soul.

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

A man is known by the company he organizes.

Ambrose Bierce