Ambrose Bierce Quotes

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

Ambrose Bierce

MYTHOLOGY, n. The body of a primitive people's beliefs concerning its origin, early history, heroes, deities and so forth, as distinguished from the true accounts which it invents later.

Ambrose Bierce

Abstainer, n. A weak person who yields to the temptation of denying himself a pleasure.

Ambrose Bierce

Divorce: a resumption of diplomatic relations and rectification of boundaries.

Ambrose Bierce

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

Ambrose Bierce

Revolution: in politics, an abrupt change in the form of misgovernment.

Ambrose Bierce

An old wine-bibber having been smashed in a railway collision, some wine was poured on his lips to revive him." Pauillac, 1873," he murmured and died.

Ambrose Bierce

Fork: An instrument used chiefly for the purpose of putting dead animals into the mouth.

Ambrose Bierce

IMMORAL, adj. Inexpedient. Whatever in the long run and with regard to the greater number of instances men find to be generally inexpedient comes to be considered wrong, wicked, immoral. If man's notions of right and wrong have any other basis than this of expediency; if they originated, or could have originated, in any other way; if actions have in themselves a moral character apart from, and nowise dependent on, their consequences --then all philosophy is a lie and reason a disorder of the mind.

Ambrose Bierce

Being is desirable because it is identical with Beauty, and Beauty is loved because it is Being. We ourselves possess Beauty when we are true to our own being; ugliness is in going over to another order; knowing ourselves, we are beautiful; in self-ignorance, we are ugly.

Ambrose Bierce

Electricity is the power that causes all natural phenomena not known to be caused by something else.

Ambrose Bierce

HAG, n. An elderly lady whom you do not happen to like; sometimes called, also, a hen, or cat. Old witches, sorceresses, etc., were called hags from the belief that their heads were surrounded by a kind of baleful lumination or nimbus --hag being the popular name of that peculiar electrical light sometimes observed in the hair. At one time hag was not a word of reproach: Drayton speaks of a "beautiful hag, all smiles," much as Shakespeare said, "sweet wench." It would not now be proper to call your sweetheart a hag --that compliment is reserved for the use of her grandchildren.

Ambrose Bierce

IMMORAL, adj. Inexpedient. Whatever in the long run and with regard to the greater number of instances men find to be generally inexpedient comes to be considered wrong, wicked, immoral. If man\'s notions of right and wrong have any other basis than this of expediency; if they originated, or could have originated, in any other way; if actions have in themselves a moral character apart from, and nowise dependent on, their consequences --then all philosophy is a lie and reason a disorder of the mind.

Ambrose Bierce

CAPITAL, n. The seat of misgovernment. That which provides the fire, the pot, the dinner, the table and the knife and fork for the anarchist; the part of the repast that himself supplies is the disgrace before meat. _Capital Punishment_, a penalty regarding the justice and expediency of which many worthy persons --including all the assassins --entertain grave misgivings.

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

Tariff: a scale of taxes on imports, designed to protect the domestic producer against the greed of his consumer.

Ambrose Bierce
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