Ambrose Bierce

United States writer of caustic wit (1842-1914)

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Absurdity, n. A statement or belief manifestly inconsistent with one's own opinion.
Acquaintance, n. A person whom we know well enough to borrow from, but not well enough to lend to.
Admiration, n. Our polite recognition of another's resemblance to ourselves.
Alien. An American sovereign in his probationary state.
An inventor is a person who makes an ingenious arrangement of wheels, levers and springs, and believes it civilization.
Barometer, n. An ingenious instrument which indicates what kind of weather we are having.
Bore, n. A person who talks when you wish him to listen.
Brain an apparatus with which we think we think.
Cabbage A familiar kitchen-garden vegetable about as large and wise as a man's head.
Calamities are of two kinds misfortunes to ourselves, and good fortune to others.
Calamities are of two kinds: misfortune to ourselves, and good fortune to others.
Cogito cogito ergo cogito sum
Faith Belief without evidence in what is told by one who speaks without knowledge, of things without parallel.
Impiety. Your irreverence toward my deity.
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.
Life. A spiritual pickle preserving the body from decay.
Marriage: the state or condition of a community consisting of a master, a mistress, and two slaves, making in all, two.
Painting The art of protecting flat surfaces from the weather and exposing them to the critic.
Patience, n. A minor form of dispair, disguised as a virtue.
Patience. A minor form of despair disguised as a virtue.
Politeness, n. The most acceptable hypocrisy.
Politics, n. Strife of interests masquerading as a contest of principles.
Pray To ask the laws of the universe to be annulled on behalf of a single petitioner confessedly unworthy.
Quotation, n The act of repeating erroneously the words of another.
Saint. A dead sinner revised and edited.
Success is the one unpardonable sin against one's fellows.
The covers of this book are too far apart.
The gambling known as business looks with austere disfavor upon the business known as gambling.
There is nothing new under the sun but there are lots of old things we don't know.
To be positive To be mistaken at the top of one's voice.
Trial. A formal inquiry designed to prove and put upon record the blameless characters of judges, advocates and jurors.

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