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QUOTES BY Ambrose Bierce

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'Childhood: the period of human life intermediate between the idiocy of infancy and the folly of youth - two removes from the sin of manhood and three from the remorse of age.'


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'Experience is a revelation in the light of which we renounce our errors of youth for those of age.'


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


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


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


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


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'Eloquence, n. The art of orally persuading fools that white is the color that it appears to be. It includes the gift of making any color appear white.'


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'We submit to the majority because we have to. But we are not compelled to call our attitude of subjection a posture of respect.'


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'Beauty, n: the power by which a woman charms a lover and terrifies a husband.'


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'The best thing to do with the best things in life is to give them up.'


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


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'Prescription: A physician's guess at what will best prolong the situation with least harm to the patient.'


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'Corporation: An ingenious device for obtaining profit without individual responsibility.'


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'The gambling known as business looks with austere disfavor upon the business known as gambling.'


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


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'It is evident that skepticism, while it makes no actual change in man, always makes him feel better.'


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'Death is not the end. There remains the litigation over the estate.'


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'Education, n.: That which discloses to the wise and disguises from the foolish their lack of understanding.'


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'Learning, n. The kind of ignorance distinguishing the studious.'


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'Experience - the wisdom that enables us to recognise in an undesirable old acquaintance the folly that we have already embraced.'


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'Experience is a revelation in the light of which we renounce our errors of youth for those of age.'


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'Enthusiasm - a distemper of youth, curable by small doses of repentance in connection with outward applications of experience.'


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'A person who doubts himself is like a man who would enlist in the ranks of his enemies and bear arms agains himself. He makes his failure certain by himself being the first person to be convinced of it.'


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


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


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'Famous, adj.: Conspicuously miserable.'


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


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


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'To apologize is to lay the foundation for a future offense.'


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'War is God's way of teaching Americans geography.'


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'Sabbath - a weekly festival having its origin in the fact that God made the world in six days and was arrested on the seventh.'


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'Forgetfulness - a gift of God bestowed upon debtors in compensation for their destitution of conscience.'


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'Edible - good to eat and wholesome to digest, as a worm to a toad, a toad to a snake, a snake to a pig, a pig to a man, and a man to a worm.'


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'Edible, adj.: Good to eat, and wholesome to digest, as a worm to a toad, a toad to a snake, a snake to a pig, a pig to a man, and a man to a worm.'


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'What this country needs what every country needs occasionally is a good hard bloody war to revive the vice of patriotism on which its existence as a nation depends.'


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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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'Anoint, v.: To grease a king or other great functionary already sufficiently slippery.'


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'Irreligion - the principal one of the great faiths of the world.'


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


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'Happiness: an agreeable sensation arising from contemplating the misery of another.'


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'Bride: A woman with a fine prospect of happiness behind her.'


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'History is an account, mostly false, of events, mostly unimportant, which are brought about by rulers, mostly knaves, and soldiers, mostly fools.'


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'The slightest acquaintance with history shows that powerful republics are the most warlike and unscrupulous of nations.'


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


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


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'Litigant. A person about to give up his skin for the hope of retaining his bones.'


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'Wit - the salt with which the American humorist spoils his intellectual cookery by leaving it out.'


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'Liberty: One of Imagination's most precious possessions.'


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'Mad, adj. Affected with a high degree of intellectual independence.'


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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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'Jealous, adj. Unduly concerned about the preservation of that which can be lost only if not worth keeping.'


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


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'The small part of ignorance that we arrange and classify we give the name of knowledge.'


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'Ardor, n. The quality that distinguishes love without knowledge.'


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'Learning, n. The kind of ignorance distinguishing the studious.'


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'Lawsuit: A machine which you go into as a pig and come out of as a sausage.'


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'Love: A temporary insanity curable by marriage.'


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'Love: A temporary insanity curable by marriage.'


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


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'Women in love are less ashamed than men. They have less to be ashamed of.'


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'Dawn: When men of reason go to bed.'


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'Men become civilized, not in proportion to their willingness to believe, but in proportion to their readiness to doubt.'


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


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'Architect. One who drafts a plan of your house, and plans a draft of your money.'


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'Ocean: A body of water occupying about two-thirds of a world made for man - who has no gills.'


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


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


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'Meekness: Uncommon patience in planning a revenge that is worth while.'


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'What this country needs what every country needs occasionally is a good hard bloody war to revive the vice of patriotism on which its existence as a nation depends.'


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'Patriotism. Combustible rubbish ready to the torch of any one ambitious to illuminate his name.'


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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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'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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'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.'


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


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'Consul - in American politics, a person who having failed to secure an office from the people is given one by the Administration on condition that he leave the country.'


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'To be positive is to be mistaken at the top of one's voice.'


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'Positive, adj.: Mistaken at the top of one's voice.'


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'Vote: 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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'Beauty, n: the power by which a woman charms a lover and terrifies a husband.'


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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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'Eulogy. Praise of a person who has either the advantages of wealth and power, or the consideration to be dead.'


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


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


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'We submit to the majority because we have to. But we are not compelled to call our attitude of subjection a posture of respect.'


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'Land: A part of the earth's surface, considered as property. The theory that land is property subject to private ownership and control is the foundation of modern society, and is eminently worthy of the superstructure.'


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'Academe, n.: An ancient school where morality and philosophy were taught. Academy, n.: A modern school where football is taught.'


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'Success is the one unpardonable sin against our fellows.'


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'Perseverance - a lowly virtue whereby mediocrity achieves an inglorious success.'


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'Telephone, n. An invention of the devil which abrogates some of the advantages of making a disagreeable person keep his distance.'


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'Inventor: A person who makes an ingenious arrangement of wheels, levers and springs, and believes it civilization.'


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'Day, n. A period of twenty-four hours, mostly misspent.'


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


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'Doubt, indulged and cherished, is in danger of becoming denial but if honest, and bent on thorough investigation, it may soon lead to full establishment of the truth.'


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'Friendless. Having no favors to bestow. Destitute of fortune. Addicted to utterance of truth and common sense.'


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'Who never doubted, never half believed. Where doubt is, there truth is - it is her shadow.'


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'War is God's way of teaching Americans geography.'


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'What this country needs what every country needs occasionally is a good hard bloody war to revive the vice of patriotism on which its existence as a nation depends.'


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'Bride: A woman with a fine prospect of happiness behind her.'


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'Experience - the wisdom that enables us to recognise in an undesirable old acquaintance the folly that we have already embraced.'


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'Women in love are less ashamed than men. They have less to be ashamed of.'


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'Convent - a place of retirement for women who wish for leisure to meditate upon the sin of idleness.'

 

 

 

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