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Ambrose Bierce

1842–1914 ,  American writer
Ambrose BierceAmerican newspaperman, wit, satirist, and author of sardonic short stories based on themes of death and horror. He wrote the short story An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge and compiled a satirical lexicon, The Devil's Dictionary.

His life ended in an unsolved mystery when, in 1913, traveled to Mexico to gain first-hand experience of the Mexican Revolution.

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

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

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

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

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

Philosophy, n. A route of many roads leading from nowhere to nothing.

Pig, n. An animal (Porcus omnivorus) closely allied to the human race by the splendor and vivacity of its appetite, which, however, is inferior in scope, for it sticks at pig.

Politeness , n. The most acceptable hypocrisy.

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

Prejudice, n. A vagrant opinion without visible means of support.

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

Revelation, n. A famous book in which St. John the Divine concealed all that he knew. The revealing is done by the commentators, who know nothing.

Road, n. A strip of land along which one may pass from where it is too tiresome to be to where it is futile to go.

Saint, n. A dead sinner, revised and edited.

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

Success, n. The one unpardonable sin against one's fellows.

Virtues, n. pl. Certain abstentions.

Year, n. A period of three hundred and sixty-five disappointments.

Opportunity, n. A favorable occasion for grasping a disappointment.

Opposition, n. In politics the party that prevents the Government from running amok by hamstringing it.

Happiness, n. An agreeable sensation arising from contemplating the misery of another.

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

Diplomacy, n. The patriotic art of lying for one's country.

Defenseless, adj. Unable to attack.

Cynic, n. A blackguard whose faulty vision sees things as they are, not as they ought to be. Hence the custom among the Scythians of plucking out a cynic's eyes to improve his vision.

Corporation, n. An ingenious device for obtaining individual profit without individual responsibility.

Boundary, n. In political geography, an imaginary line between two nations, separating the imaginary rights of one from the imaginary rights of the other.

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

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

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

Abnormal, adj. Not conforming to standards in matters of thought and conduct. To be independent is to be abnormal, to be abnormal is to be detested.

Woman would be more charming if one could fall into her arms without falling into her hands.

If you would be accounted great by your contemporaries, be not too much greater than they.

If you want to read a perfect book there is only one way: write it.

When lost in a forest go always down hill. When lost in a philosophy or doctrine go upward.

A popular author is one who writes what the people think. Genius invites them to think something else.

The poor man's price of admittance to the favor of the rich is his self-respect.

To the eye of failure success is an accident.

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

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

God alone knows the future, but only an historian can alter the past.

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

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

Present, n. That part of eternity dividing the domain of disappointment from the realm of hope.

Aphorism, n. Predigested wisdom.

Reality, n. The dream of a mad philosopher.

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

I think that I think, therefore I think that I am.

Funny Quotes

Pray, v. To ask that the laws of the universe be annulled in behalf of a single petitioner confessedly unworthy.

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

Un-American, adj. Wicked, intolerable, heathenish.

Vote, v. The instrument and symbol of a freeman's power to make a fool of himself and a wreck of his country.

Witch, n. (1) An ugly and repulsive old woman, in a wicked league with the devil. (2) A beautiful and attractive young woman, in wickedness a league beyond the devil.

Zeus, n. The chief of Grecian gods, adored by the Romans as Jupiter and by the modern Americans as God, Gold, Mob and Dog.

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

War is God's way of teaching Americans geography.

Riot: A popular entertainment given to the military by innocent bystanders.

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

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

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


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