Best quotes by the American Journalist Ambrose Bierce

Speak when you are angry and you will make the best speech you will ever regret.
  • Anger

All are lunatics, but he who can analyze his delusion is called a philosopher.
  • Philosophy

Egotist. A person of low taste, more interested in himself than me.
  • Ego

Saint. A dead sinner revised and edited.
  • Saint



Corporation. An ingenious device for obtaining individual profit without individual responsibility.
  • Business

Politeness -- The most acceptable hypocrisy.
  • Manners

Love: A temporary insanity curable by marriage.
  • marriage

Beauty. The power by which a woman charms a lover and terrifies a husband.
  • Beauty

Bore -- a person who talks when you wish him to listen.
  • Boredom

Dog. A kind of additional or subsidiary Deity designed to catch the overflow and surplus of the world's worship.
  • Dogs

Habit is a shackle for the free.
  • Habits

Calamities are of two kinds: misfortune to ourselves, and good fortune to others.
  • Trouble

Impartial. Unable to perceive any promise of personal advantage from espousing either side of a controversy.
  • Neutrality

Erudition. Dust shaken out of a book into an empty skull.
  • Scholars

Genealogy. An account of one's descent from an ancestor who did not particularly care to trace his own.
  • Ancestry

Divorce. A resumption of diplomatic relations and rectification of boundaries.
  • Divorce

Education is that which discloses to the wise and disguises from the foolish their lack of understanding.
  • Education

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

Laziness. Unwarranted repose of manner in a person of low degree.
  • Laziness

A temporary insanity curable by marriage.
  • Love

Fidelity. A virtue peculiar to those who are about to be betrayed.
  • Marriage

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

Pray: To ask the laws of the universe to be annulled on behalf of a single petitioner confessedly unworthy.
  • Prayer

Deliberation. The act of examining one's bread to determine which side it is buttered on.
  • Reflection

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

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

Abstainer. A weak man who yields to the temptation of denying himself a pleasure.
  • Abstinence

Don't steal; thou it never thus compete successfully in business. Cheat.
  • Business

The covers of this book are too far apart.
  • Criticism

Opiate. An unlocked door in the prison of Identity. It leads into the jail yard.
  • Drugs


Pictures quotes by Ambrose Bierce

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Ambrose Bierce Quotes About

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Ambrose Bierce person quotes

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

Egotist: a person more interested in himself than in me.
  • egotist

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.
  • administration

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

Abstainer: a weak person who yields to the temptation of denying himself a pleasure.
  • denying

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.
  • blockhead

Bore, n. A person who talks when you wish him to listen.
  • bore

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

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Ambrose Bierce politics quotes

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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.
  • administration

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.
  • alliance

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.
  • Politics

Nominee. A modest gentleman shrinking from the distinction of private life and diligently seeking the honorable obscurity of public office.
  • Politics

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

Politics: A strife of interests masquerading as a contest of principles. The conduct of public affairs for private advantage.
  • politics

Revolution, n. In politics, an abrupt change in the form of misgovernment.
  • abrupt

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Ambrose Bierce marriage quotes

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Love: A temporary insanity curable by marriage.
  • marriage

Fidelity. A virtue peculiar to those who are about to be betrayed.
  • Marriage

The world has suffered more from the ravages of ill-advised marriages than from virginity.
  • Marriage

Marriage. The state or condition of a community consisting of a master, a mistress and two slaves, making in all, two.
  • Marriage

Bride. A woman with a fine prospect of happiness behind her.
  • Marriage

Incompatibility. In matrimony a similarity of tastes, particularly the taste for domination.
  • Marriage

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

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Ambrose Bierce humor quotes

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

Selfish, adj. Devoid of consideration for the selfishness of others.
  • definition

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

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

Hash, x. There is no definition for this word - nobody knows what hash is. Famous, adj. Conspicuously miserable. Dictionary, n. A malevolent literary device for cramping the growth of a language and making it hard and inelastic. This dictionary, however, is a most useful work.
  • definition

The most affectionate creature in the world is a wet dog.
  • humor

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Ambrose Bierce ingenious quotes

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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.
  • beating

Corporation: An ingenious device for obtaining profit without individual responsibility.
  • business

Debt, n. An ingenious substitute for the chain and whip of the slavedriver.
  • chain

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

Barometer, n.: An ingenious instrument which indicates what kind of weather we are having.
  • barometer

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More quotes by Ambrose Bierce

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Backbite. To speak of a man as you find him when he can't find you.
  • Insults

Knowledge is the small part of ignorance that we arrange and classify.
  • Knowledge

A body of water occupying about two-thirds of a world made for man, who has no gills.
  • Oceans

Optimism. The doctrine or belief that everything is beautiful, including what is ugly.
  • Optimism



Admiration; is our polite recognition of another's resemblance to ourselves.
  • Praise

Impiety. Your irreverence toward my deity.
  • Respect

Success is the one unpardonable sin against one's fellows.
  • Success

Think twice before you speak to a friend in need.
  • Thought

They say that hens do cackle loudest when there is nothing vital in the eggs they have laid.
  • Vanity

Belladonna, n.: In Italian a beautiful lady; in English a deadly poison. A striking example of the essential identity of the two tongues.
  • beautiful

Consult. To seek another's approval of a course already decided on.
  • Advice

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

When in Rome, do as Rome does.
  • City

A funeral is a pageant whereby we attest our respect for the dead by enriching the undertaker.
  • Funerals

Future. That period of time in which our affairs prosper, our friends are true and our happiness is assured.
  • Future

A man is known by the company he organizes.
  • Management

The world has suffered more from the ravages of ill-advised marriages than from virginity.
  • Marriage

To bother about the best method of accomplishing an accidental result.
  • Planning

PROPHECY, n. The art and practice of selling one's credibility for future delivery.
  • Prophecy

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.
  • beating

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

Brain: an apparatus with which we think we think.
  • apparatus

Quotation, n: The act of repeating erroneously the words of another.
  • act

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

Faith: Belief without evidence in what is told by one who speaks without knowledge, of things without parallel.
  • Atheism

To be positive: to be mistaken at the top of one's voice.
  • Certainty

An egotist is a person interested in himself than in me!
  • Ego

Destiny. A tyrant's authority for crime and a fool's excuse for failure.
  • Fate

Acquaintance. A person whom we know well enough to borrow from, but not well enough to lend to.
  • Friends

Marriage. The state or condition of a community consisting of a master, a mistress and two slaves, making in all, two.
  • Marriage

Patience, n. A minor form of dispair, disguised as a virtue.
  • Patience

Patriotism. Combustible rubbish ready to the torch of any one ambitious to illuminate his name.
  • Patriotism

Peace, in international affairs, is a period of cheating between two periods of fighting.
  • Peace

A prejudice is a vagrant opinion without visible means of support.
  • Prejudice

Bigot, one who is obstinately and zealously attached to an opinion that you do not entertain.
  • Prejudice

Take not God's name in vain; select a time when it will have effect.
  • Profanity

Insurrection. An unsuccessful revolution; disaffection's failure to substitute misrule for bad government.
  • Revolution

Revolution is an abrupt change in the form of misgovernment.
  • Revolution

Truth -- An ingenious compound of desirability and appearance.
  • Truth

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

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

Egotist: a person more interested in himself than in me.
  • egotist

Happiness: an agreeable sensation arising from contemplating the misery of another.
  • happiness

Liberty: One of Imagination's most precious possessions.
  • imagination

Logic: The art of thinking and reasoning in strict accordance with the limitations and incapacities of the human misunderstanding.
  • accordance

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

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

Prejudice is a vagrant opinion without visible means of support.
  • opinion

Woman absent is woman dead.
  • Absence

Absurdity. A statement or belief manifestly inconsistent with one's own opinion.
  • Absurdity

Age. That period of life in which we compound for the vices that remain by reviling those we have no longer the vigor to commit.
  • Age

Irreligion. The principal one of the great faiths of the world.
  • Atheism

The Senate is a body of old men charged with high duties and misdemeanors.
  • Congress

A coward is one who in a perilous emergency thinks with his legs.
  • CowardiceWeakness

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.
  • Diplomacy

Physician -- One upon whom we set our hopes when ill and our dogs when well.
  • Doctors

To apologize is to lay the foundation for a future offense.
  • Forgiveness

An accident is an inevitable occurrence due to the actions of immutable natural laws.
  • Fortune

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

Litigant. A person about to give up his skin for the hope of retaining his bones.
  • Justice

Appeal. In law, to put the dice into the box for another throw.
  • Justice

Learning. The kind of ignorance distinguishing the studious.
  • Learning

Life. A spiritual pickle preserving the body from decay.
  • Life

Bride. A woman with a fine prospect of happiness behind her.
  • Marriage

Before undergoing a surgical operation, arrange your temporal affairs. You may live.
  • Medicine

An optimist is a proponent of the doctrine that black is white.
  • Optimism

A lowly virtue whereby mediocrity achieves a glorious success.
  • Persistence

Convent. A place of retirement for women who wish for leisure to meditate upon the sin of idleness.
  • Religion

Religion. A daughter of Hope and Fear, explaining to Ignorance the nature of the Unknowable.
  • Religion

Heaven lies about us in our infancy and the world begins lying about us pretty soon afterward.
  • Youth

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

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

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.
  • administration

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.
  • alliance

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

Admiration, n. Our polite recognition of another's resemblance to ourselves.
  • admiration

Corporation: An ingenious device for obtaining profit without individual responsibility.
  • business

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

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

Mad, adj. Affected with a high degree of intellectual independence.
  • intelligence

Philosophy: A route of many roads leading from nowhere to nothing.
  • leading

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

Dawn: When men of reason go to bed.
  • bed

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

Day, n. A period of twenty-four hours, mostly misspent.
  • time

Abstainer: a weak person who yields to the temptation of denying himself a pleasure.
  • denying

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

Destiny: A tyrant's authority for crime and a fool's excuse for failure.
  • authority

The small part of ignorance that we arrange and classify we give the name of knowledge.
  • arrange

Success is the one unpardonable sin against our fellows.
  • success

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

Death is not the end. There remains the litigation over the estate.
  • death

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.
  • blockhead

Egotism, n: Doing the New York Times crossword puzzle with a pen.
  • crossword

Famous, adj.: Conspicuously miserable.
  • famous

Politeness, n: The most acceptable hypocrisy.
  • acceptable

Perseverance - a lowly virtue whereby mediocrity achieves an inglorious success.
  • achieves

Genealogy, n. An account of one's descent from a man who did not particularly care to trace his own.
  • account

Meekness: Uncommon patience in planning a revenge that is worth while.
  • meekness

Selfish, adj. Devoid of consideration for the selfishness of others.
  • definition

Architect. One who drafts a plan of your house, and plans a draft of your money.
  • Architecture

Censor, n. An officer of certain governments, employed to supress the works of genius. Among the Romans the censor was an inspector of public morals, but the public morals of modern nations will not bear inspection.
  • Censorship

Philanthropist. A rich (and usually bald) old gentleman who has trained himself to grin while his conscience is picking his pocket.
  • Charity

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.
  • Community

Compromise. 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.
  • Compromise

Conservative. A statesman who is enamored of existing evils, as distinguished from a Liberal, who wishes to replace them with others.
  • Conservatism

Creditor. One of a tribe of savages dwelling beyond the Financial Straits and dreaded for their desolating incursions.
  • Credit

Abscond. To move in a mysterious way, commonly with the property of another.
  • Crime

A cynic is a blackguard whose faulty vision sees things as they are, and not as they ought to be.
  • Cynicism

Forgetfulness. A gift of God bestowed upon debtors in compensation for their destitution of conscience.
  • Debt

Duty. That which sternly impels us in the direction of profit, along the line of desire.
  • Duty

Enthusiasm. A distemper of youth, curable by small doses of repentance in connection with outward applications of experience.
  • Enthusiasm

Experience. The wisdom that enables us to recognize in an undesirable old acquaintance the folly that we have already embraced.
  • Experience

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.
  • Food

Acquaintance: a degree of friendship called slight when its object is poor or obscure, and intimate when he is rich or famous.
  • Friends

An acquaintance is someone we know well enough to borrow from, but not well enough to lend to.
  • Friends

Confidante. One entrusted by A with the secrets of B confided to herself by C.
  • Gossip

Happiness is an agreeable sensation, arising from contemplating the misery of others.
  • Happiness

An account, mostly false, of events, mostly unimportant, which are brought about by rulers, mostly knaves, and soldiers, mostly fools.
  • History

Historian. A broad -- gauge gossip.
  • History


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