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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Egotist: a person more interested in himself than in me.
- Ambrose Bierce

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

A total abstainer is one who abstains from everything but abstention,
and especially from inactivity in the affairs of others.
- Ambrose Bierce

Witticism.
A sharp and clever remark, usually quoted and seldom noted;
what the Philistine is pleased to call a joke.
- Ambrose Bierce

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

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

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

Ability is commonly found to consist mainly in a high degree of solemnity.
- Ambrose Bierce

Cabbage: a familiar kitchen-garden vegetable about
as large and wise as a man's head.
- Ambrose Bierce

Doubt begins only at the last frontiers of what is possible.
- Ambrose Bierce

Absence blots people out.
We really have no absent friends.
- Ambrose Bierce

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

Quotation, n: The act of repeating erroneously the words of another.
- Ambrose Bierce

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

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

Life - a spiritual pickle preserving the body from decay.
- Ambrose Bierce

Trial.
A formal inquiry designed to prove and put upon record
the blameless characters of judges,
advocates and jurors.
- Ambrose Bierce

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

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

Doubt is the father of invention.
- Ambrose Bierce

There are four kinds of Homicide: felonious,
excusable, justifiable, and praiseworthy.
- Ambrose Bierce

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

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

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

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

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

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

Coward: One who, in a perilous emergency,
thinks with his legs.
- Ambrose Bierce

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

Optimism - the doctrine or belief that everything is beautiful,
including what is ugly.
- Ambrose Bierce

Cynic, n: a blackguard whose faulty vision sees things as they are,
not as they ought to be.
- 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

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

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

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

Immortality: A toy which people cry for,
And on their knees apply for, Dispute,
contend and lie for, And if allowed Would be right
proud Eternally to die for.
- Ambrose Bierce

The covers of this book are too far apart.
- Ambrose Bierce

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

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

Philosophy: A route of many roads leading from nowhere to nothing.
- Ambrose Bierce

Impartial - unable to perceive any promise of personal
advantage from espousing either side of a controversy.
- Ambrose Bierce

An egotist is a person of low taste -
more interested in himself than in me.
- Ambrose Bierce

Calamities are of two kinds: misfortunes to ourselves,
and good fortune to others.
- Ambrose Bierce

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


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