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

— Ambrose Bierce

The most gorgeous Ambrose Bierce quotes that may be undiscovered and unusual

War is God's way of teaching Americans geography.

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

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

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Ambrose Bierce quote A strife of interests masquerading as a

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

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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.

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

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Admiral. That part of a warship which does the talking while the figurehead does the thinking.

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Ambrose Bierce quote Lottery: A tax on people who are bad at

Lottery: A tax on people who are bad at math.

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NEPOTISM, n. Appointing your grandmother to office for the good of the party.

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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.

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Politics: A strife of interests masquerading as a contest of principles.

The conduct of public affairs for private advantage.

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

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An absolute monarchy is one in which the sovereign does as he pleases so long as he pleases the assassins.

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HURRICANE, n. An atmospheric demonstration once very common but now generally abandoned for the tornado and cyclone. The hurricane is still in popular use in the West Indies and is preferred by certain old- fashioned sea-captains.

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About Ambrose Bierce

Quotes 957 sayings
Nationality American
Profession Journalist
Birthday June 24, 1842

Magpie, n.: A bird whose theivish disposition suggested to someone that it might be taught to talk.

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CERBERUS, n. The watch-dog of Hades, whose duty it was to guard the entrance - against whom or what does not clearly appear; everybody, sooner or later, had to go there, and nobody wanted to carry off the entrance.

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Clarinet n. An instrument of torture operated by a person with cotton in his ears. There are two instruments worse than a clarinet – two clarinets.

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ZOOLOGY, n. The science and history of the animal kingdom, including its king, the House Fly ("Musca maledicta"). The father of Zoology was Aristotle, as is universally conceded, but the name of its mother has not come down to us.

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

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

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OSTRICH, n. A large bird to which (for its sins, doubtless) nature has denied that hinder toe . . . . The absence of a good working pair of wings is no defect, for, as has been ingeniously pointed out, the ostrich does not fly.

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Botany, n. The science of vegetables - those that are not good to eat, as well as those that are. It deals largely with their flowers, which are commonly badly designed, inartistic in color, and ill-smelling.

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GNU, n. An animal of South Africa, which in its domesticated state resembles a horse, a buffalo and a stag. In its wild condition it is something like a thunderbolt, an earthquake and a cyclone.

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Democracy is four wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch.

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OATH, n. In law, a solemn appeal to the Deity, made binding upon the conscience by a penalty for perjury.

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PHYSIOGNOMY, n. The art of determining the character of another by the resemblances and differences between his face and our own, which is the standard of excellence.

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TEETOTALER, n. One who abstains from strong drink, sometimes totally, sometimes tolerably totally.

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OYSTER, n. A slimy, gobby shellfish which civilization gives men the hardihood to eat without removing its entrails! The shells are sometimes given to the poor.

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GNOSTICS, n. A sect of philosophers who tried to engineer a fusion between the early Christians and the Platonists. The former would not go into the caucus and the combination failed, greatly to the chagrin of the fusion managers.

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REALISM, n. The art of depicting nature as it is seem by toads. The charm suffusing a landscape painted by a mole, or a story written by a measuring-worm.

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AUSTRALIA, n. A country lying in the South Sea, whose industrial and commercial development has been unspeakably retarded by an unfortunate dispute among geographers as to whether it is a continent or an island.

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

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ARSENIC, n. A kind of cosmetic greatly affected by the ladies, whom it greatly affects in turn.

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DELEGATION, n. In American politics, an article of merchandise that comes in sets.

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ULTIMATUM, n. In diplomacy, a last demand before resorting to concessions.

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

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Infidel, n. In New York, one who does not believe in the Christian religion; in Constantinople, one who does.

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

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Patriotism, n. Combustible rubbish ready to the torch of any one ambitious to illuminate his name. In Dr. Johnson's famous dictionary patriotism is defined as the last resort of a scoundrel. With all due respect to an enlightened but inferior lexicographer I beg to submit it is the first.

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Salamander: Originally a reptile inhabiting fire;

later, an anthropomorphous immortal, but still a pyrophile. Salamanders are now believed to be extinct, the last one of which we have an account having been seen in Carcassonne by the Abbe Belloc, who exorcised it with a bucket of holy water.

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

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Birth: The first and direst of all disasters.

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PITY, n. A failing sense of exemption, inspired by contrast.

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A short story padded. A species of composition bearing the same relation to literature that the panorama bears to art. As it is too long to be read at a sitting the impressions made by its successive parts are successively effaced, as in the pa

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PLATONIC, adj. Pertaining to the philosophy of Socrates. Platonic Love is a fool's name for the affection between a disability and a frost.

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APHORISM, n. Predigested wisdom.

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FLAG, n. A colored rag borne above troops and hoisted on forts and ships. It appears to serve the same purpose as certain signs that one sees and vacant lots in London

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

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MONUMENT, n. A structure intended to commemorate something which either needs no commemoration or cannot be commemorated.

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FINANCE, n. The art or science of managing revenues and resources for the best advantage of the manager. The pronunciation of this word with the i long and the accent on the first syllable is one of America's most precious discoveries and possessions.

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ORATORY, n. A conspiracy between speech and action to cheat the understanding. A tyranny tempered by stenography.

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