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Irreligion - the principal one of the great faiths of the world. ...
by Ambrose Bierce

Irreligion - the principal one of the great faiths of the world.
- 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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Conservative, n: A statesman who is enamored of existing evils,
as distinguished from the Liberal who wishes to replace them with others.
- 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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Forgetfulness - a gift of God bestowed upon debtors
in compensation for their destitution of conscience.
- Ambrose Bierce

Prescription: A physician's guess at what will best
prolong the situation with least harm to the patient.
- Ambrose Bierce

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

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

Famous, adj.: Conspicuously miserable.
- Ambrose Bierce

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

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

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

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

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

Liberty: One of Imagination's most precious possessions.
- Ambrose Bierce

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

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

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

Historian - a broad-gauge gossip.
- Ambrose Bierce

Genius - to know without having learned;
to draw just conclusions from unknown premises;
to discern the soul of things.
- 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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

When you doubt, abstain.
- Ambrose Bierce

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

Heaven lies about us in our infancy and the world begins
lying about us pretty soon afterward.
- Ambrose Bierce

Prejudice - a vagrant opinion without visible means of support.
- Ambrose Bierce

Who never doubted, never half believed.
Where doubt is, there truth is - it is her shadow.
- Ambrose Bierce

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

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

Politeness, n: The most acceptable hypocrisy.
- Ambrose Bierce

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

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

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


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