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What is a democrat? One who believes that the ...
by Ambrose Bierce

What is a democrat? One who believes that the republicans have ruined the country.
What is a republican? One who believes that the democrats would ruin the country.
- Ambrose Bierce

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Alien - an American sovereign in his probationary state.
- 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

Enthusiasm - a distemper of youth, curable by small
doses of repentance in connection with outward applications of experience.
- Ambrose Bierce

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

Doubt is the father of invention.
- Ambrose Bierce

Edible - good to eat and wholesome to digest,
as a worm to a toad, a toad to a snake,
a snake to a pig, a pig to a man, and a man to a worm.
- Ambrose Bierce

Litigant.
A person about to give up his skin for the hope of retaining his bones.
- Ambrose Bierce

Bacchus, n.: A convenient deity invented by the ancients
as an excuse for getting drunk.
- Ambrose Bierce

Abstainer: a weak person who yields to the temptation
of denying himself a pleasure.
- Ambrose Bierce

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

Eulogy.
Praise of a person who has either the advantages of wealth and power,
or the consideration to be dead.
- Ambrose Bierce

The best thing to do with the best things in life is to give them up.
- Ambrose Bierce

Debt, n. An ingenious substitute for the chain and whip of the slavedriver.
- Ambrose Bierce

Laziness.
Unwarranted repose of manner in a person of low degree.
- Ambrose Bierce

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

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

Battle, n., A method of untying with the teeth a political
knot that would not yield to the tongue.
- Ambrose Bierce

Insurance - an ingenious modern game of chance in which
the player is permitted to enjoy the comfortable conviction
that he is beating the man who keeps the table.
- Ambrose Bierce

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

Acquaintance.
A person whom we know well enough to borrow from,
but not well enough to lend to.
- Ambrose Bierce

Duty - that which sternly impels us in the direction of profit,
along the line of desire.
- Ambrose Bierce

Historian - a broad-gauge gossip.
- Ambrose Bierce

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

Bigot: One who is obstinately and zealously attached
to an opinion that you do not entertain.
- Ambrose Bierce

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

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

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

Anoint, v.: To grease a king or other great functionary
already sufficiently slippery.
- 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

What this country needs what every country needs occasionally
is a good hard bloody war to revive the vice of patriotism
on which its existence as a nation depends.
- Ambrose Bierce

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

Revolution, n. In politics, an abrupt change in the form of misgovernment.
- Ambrose Bierce

Erudition - dust shaken out of a book into an empty skull.
- Ambrose Bierce

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

Present, n. That part of eternity dividing the domain
of disappointment from the realm of hope.
- Ambrose Bierce

Barometer, n.: An ingenious instrument which indicates
what kind of weather we are having.
- Ambrose Bierce

The small part of ignorance that we arrange and classify
we give the name of knowledge.
- Ambrose Bierce

I believe we shall come to care about people less and less.
The more people one knows the easier it becomes to replace them.
It's one of the curses of London.
- Ambrose Bierce

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

The hardest tumble a man can make is to fall over his own bluff.
- Ambrose Bierce

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

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.
- Ambrose Bierce

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

Saint: A dead sinner revised and edited.
- Ambrose Bierce


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