Ambrose Bierce Quotes
A man is known by the company he organizes.
— Ambrose Bierce
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.
A total abstainer is one who abstains from everything but abstention, and especially from inactivity in the affairs of others.
Ability is commonly found to consist mainly in a high degree of solemnity.
Abscond - to move in a mysterious way, commonly with the property of another.
Absence blots people out. We really have no absent friends.
Abstainer: a weak person who yields to the temptation of denying himself a pleasure.
Absurdity, n.: A statement or belief manifestly inconsistent with one's own opinion.
Academe, n.: An ancient school where morality and philosophy were taught. Academy, n.: A modern school where football is taught.
Acquaintance. A person whom we know well enough to borrow from, but not well enough to lend to.
Admiral. That part of a warship which does the talking while the figurehead does the thinking.
Admiration, n. Our polite recognition of another's resemblance to ourselves.
Alien - an American sovereign in his probationary state.
All are lunatics, but he who can analyze his delusions is called a philosopher.
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.
Ambidextrous, adj.: Able to pick with equal skill a right-hand pocket or a left.
Ambition. An overmastering desire to be vilified by enemies while living and made ridiculous by friends when dead.
Amnesty, n. The state's magnanimity to those offenders whom it would be too expensive to punish.
An egotist is a person of low taste - more interested in himself than in me.
Anoint, v.: To grease a king or other great functionary already sufficiently slippery.
Architect. One who drafts a plan of your house, and plans a draft of your money.
Ardor, n. The quality that distinguishes love without knowledge.
Bacchus, n.: A convenient deity invented by the ancients as an excuse for getting drunk.
Backbite. To speak of a man as you find him when he can't find you.
Barometer, n.: An ingenious instrument which indicates what kind of weather we are having.
Battle, n., A method of untying with the teeth a political knot that would not yield to the tongue.
Beauty, n: the power by which a woman charms a lover and terrifies a husband.
Belladonna, n.: In Italian a beautiful lady; in English a deadly poison. A striking example of the essential identity of the two tongues.
Bigot: One who is obstinately and zealously attached to an opinion that you do not entertain.
Bore, n. A person who talks when you wish him to listen.
Brain: an apparatus with which we think we think.
Bride: A woman with a fine prospect of happiness behind her.
Cabbage: a familiar kitchen-garden vegetable about as large and wise as a man's head.
Calamities are of two kinds: misfortunes to ourselves, and good fortune to others.
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.
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.
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.
Confidante: One entrusted by A with the secrets of B confided to herself by C.
Conservative, n: A statesman who is enamored of existing evils, as distinguished from the Liberal who wishes to replace them with others.
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.
Consult: To seek approval for a course of action already decided upon.
Convent - a place of retirement for women who wish for leisure to meditate upon the sin of idleness.
Corporation: An ingenious device for obtaining profit without individual responsibility.
Coward: One who, in a perilous emergency, thinks with his legs.
Creditor. One of a tribe of savages dwelling beyond the Financial Straits and dreaded for their desolating incursions.
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.
Cynic, n: a blackguard whose faulty vision sees things as they are, not as they ought to be.
Dawn: When men of reason go to bed.
Day, n. A period of twenty-four hours, mostly misspent.
Death is not the end. There remains the litigation over the estate.
A man is known by the company he organizes.