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History is an account, mostly false,
by 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

Related topics: History

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Success is the one unpardonable sin against our fellows.
- 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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Egotism, n: Doing the New York Times crossword puzzle with a pen.
- Ambrose Bierce

Spring beckons!
All things to the call respond; the trees are leaving and cashiers abscond.
- Ambrose Bierce

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Historian - a broad-gauge gossip.
- Ambrose Bierce

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

Rum, n. Generically, fiery liquors that produce madness in total abstainers.
- Ambrose Bierce

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

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

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

Bore, n. A person who talks when you wish him to listen.
- Ambrose Bierce

Deliberation, n.: The act of examining one's bread
to determine which side it is buttered on.
- Ambrose Bierce

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

Positive, adj.: Mistaken at the top of one's voice.
- Ambrose Bierce

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

Alien - an American sovereign in his probationary state.
- Ambrose Bierce

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

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

I never said all Democrats were saloonkeepers.
What I said was that all saloonkeepers are Democrats.
- Ambrose Bierce

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

Fidelity - a virtue peculiar to those who are about to be betrayed.
- Ambrose Bierce

To be positive is to be mistaken at the top of one's voice.
- Ambrose Bierce

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

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

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

Jealous, adj.
Unduly concerned about the preservation of that which
can be lost only if not worth keeping.
- Ambrose Bierce

Absurdity, n.: A statement or belief manifestly inconsistent with one's own opinion.
- Ambrose Bierce

Dog - a kind of additional or subsidiary Deity designed
to catch the overflow and surplus of the world's worship.
- Ambrose Bierce

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

Doubt is the father of invention.
- Ambrose Bierce

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

Edible, adj.: 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

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

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

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


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