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Ambrose Bierce quotes page 2

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

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

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

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

Admiration, n. Our polite recognition of another's resemblance to ourselves.
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Ocean, n. A body of water occupying about two-thirds of a world made for man - who has no
gills.
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Justice, n. A commodity which in a more or less adulterated condition the State sells to the
citizen as a reward for his allegiance, taxes and personal service.
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Love, n. A temporary insanity curable by marriage.
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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.
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Speak when you are angry and you will make the best speech you will ever regret.
Ambrose Bierce

Heaven, n. A place where the wicked cease from troubling you with talk of their personal
affairs, and the good listen with attention while you expound your own.
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Egotist, n. A person of low taste, more interested in himself than in me.
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Faith, n. Belief without evidence in what is told by one who speaks without knowledge, of
things without parallel.
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Positive, adj. Mistaken at the top of one's voice.
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Opportunity, n. A favorable occasion for grasping a disappointment.
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Day, n. A period of twenty-four hours, mostly misspent.
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Circus, n. A place where horses, ponies and elephants are permitted to see men, women and
children acting the fool.
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Laughter, n. An interior convulsion, producing a distortion of the features and accompanied
by inarticulate noises. It is infectious and, though intermittent, incurable.
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Liberty, n. One of imagination's most precious possessions.
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Cannon, n. An instrument employed in the rectification of national boundaries.
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Congratulation, n. The civility of envy.
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Advice, n. The smallest current coin.
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Neighbor, n. One whom we are commanded to love as ourselves, and who does all he knows
how to make us disobedient.
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Conservative, n. A statesman enamored of existing evils, as opposed to a Liberal, who wants
to replace them with others.
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Vote, v. The instrument and symbol of a freeman's power to make a fool of himself and a
wreck of his country.
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Insurrection, n. An unsuccessful revolution. Disaffection's failure to substitute misrule for bad
government.
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April fool, n.  The March fool with another month added to his folly.
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Idiot, n. A member of a large and powerful tribe whose influence in human affairs has always
been dominant and controlling. The idiot's activity is not confined to any special field of
thought or action, but "pervades and regulates the whole." He has the last word in everything;
his decision is unappealable. He sets the fashions and opinion of taste, dictates the limitations
of speech and circumscribes conduct with a dead-line.
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Once, adj. Enough.
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Twice, adv. Once too often.
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All are lunatics, but he who can analyze his delusion is called a philosopher.
Ambrose Bierce

Helpmate, n. A wife, or bitter half.
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Monday, n. In Christian countries, the day after the baseball game.
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Cat, n. A soft, indestructible automaton provided by nature to be kicked when things go
wrong in the domestic circle.
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Infancy, n. The period of our lives when, according to Wordsworth, "Heaven lies about us."
The world begins lying about us pretty soon afterward.
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Bore, n. A person who talks when you wish him to listen.
Ambrose Bierce

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