736 Total Quotes

Ambrose+Gwinett Bierce Quotes

Ambrose Gwinett Bierce
What is a democrat? One who believes that the republicans have ruined the country. What is a republican? One who believes that the democrats would ruin the country.
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#American Journalist #Country

Ambrose Gwinett Bierce
Capital Punishment, a penalty regarding the justice and expediency of which many worthy persons - including all the assassins - entertain grave misgivings
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#Expediency

Ambrose Gwinett Bierce
GNOSTICS, n. A sect of philosophers who tried to engineer a fusion between the early Christians and the Platonists. The former would not go into the caucus and the combination failed, greatly to the chagrin of the fusion managers.
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#Christian

Ambrose Gwinett Bierce
All are lunatics, but he who can analyze his delusions is called a philosopher.
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#American Journalist

Ambrose Gwinett Bierce
SENATE, n. A body of elderly gentlemen charged with high duties and misdemeanors.
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#Body

Ambrose Gwinett Bierce
EXHORT, v.t. In religious affairs, to put the conscience of another upon the spit and roast it to a nut-brown discomfort.
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#Conscience

Ambrose Gwinett Bierce
ENCOMIAST, n. A special (but not particular) kind of liar.
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#Kind

Ambrose Gwinett Bierce
LOOKING-GLASS, n. A vitreous plane upon which to display a fleeting show for man's disillusion given. The King of Manchuria had a magic looking-glass, whereon whoso looked saw, not his own image, but only that of the king. A certain courtier who had long enjoyed the king's favor and was thereby enriched beyond any other subject of the realm, said to the king: "Give me, I pray, thy wonderful mirror, so that when absent out of thine august presence I may yet do homage before thy visible shadow, prostrating myself night and morning in the glory of thy benign countenance, as which nothing has so divine splendor, O Noonday Sun of the Universe!" Please with the speech, the king commanded that the mirror be conveyed to the courtier's palace; but after, having gone thither without apprisal, he found it in an apartment where was naught but idle lumber. And the mirror was dimmed with dust and overlaced with cobwebs. This so angered him that he fisted it hard, shattering the glass, and was sorely hurt. Enraged all the more by this mischance, he commanded that the ungrateful courtier be thrown into prison, and that the glass be repaired and taken back to his own palace; and this was done. But when the king looked again on the mirror he saw not his image as before, but only the figure of a crowned ass, having a bloody bandage on one of its hinder hooves --as the artificers and all who had looked upon it had before discerned but feared to report. Taught wisdom and charity, the king restored his courtier to liberty, had the mirror set into the back of the throne and reigned many years with justice and humility; and one day when he fell asleep in death while on the throne, the whole court saw in the mirror the luminous figure of an angel, which remains to this day.
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#Angels

Ambrose Gwinett Bierce
OUT-OF-DOORS, n. That part of one's environment upon which no government has been able to collect taxes. Chiefly useful to inspire poets.
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#Environment

Ambrose Gwinett Bierce
Habit is a shackle for the free.
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#Habit

Ambrose Gwinett Bierce
PANDEMONIUM, n. Literally, the Place of All the Demons. Most of them have escaped into politics and finance, and the place is now used as a lecture hall by the Audible Reformer. When disturbed by his voice the ancient echoes clamor appropriate responses most gratifying to his pride of distinction.
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#Finance

Ambrose Gwinett Bierce
AMNESTY, n. The state's magnanimity to those offenders whom it would be too expensive to punish.
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#American Journalist #Amnesty

Ambrose Gwinett Bierce
GNU, n. An animal of South Africa, which in its domesticated state resembles a horse, a buffalo and a stag. In its wild condition it is something like a thunderbolt, an earthquake and a cyclone.A hunter from Kew caught a distant view Of a peacefully meditative gnu, And he said: "I'll pursue, and my hands imbrue In its blood at a closer interview." But that beast did ensue and the hunter it threw O'er the top of a palm that adjacent grew; And he said as he flew: "It is well I withdrew Ere, losing my temper, I wickedly slew That really meritorious gnu." --Jarn Leffer
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#Africa

Ambrose Gwinett Bierce
EMOTION, n. A prostrating disease caused by a determination of the heart to the head. It is sometimes accompanied by a copious discharge of hydrated chloride of sodium from the eyes.
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#Determination

Ambrose Gwinett Bierce
Trial. A formal inquiry designed to prove and put upon record the blameless characters of judges, advocates and jurors.
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#American Journalist

Ambrose Gwinett Bierce
ERUDITION, n. Dust shaken out of a book into an empty skull.So wide his erudition's mighty span, He knew Creation's origin and plan And only came by accident to grief -- He thought, poor man, 'twas right to be a thief. --Romach Pute
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#Books And Reading

Ambrose Gwinett Bierce
MORAL, adj. Conforming to a local and mutable standard of right. Having the quality of general expediency.It is sayd there be a raunge of mountaynes in the Easte, on one syde of the which certayn conducts are immorall, yet on the other syde they are holden in good esteeme; wherebye the mountayneer is much conveenyenced, for it is given to him to goe downe eyther way and act as it shall suite his moode, withouten offence. --_Gooke's Meditations_
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#Expediency

Ambrose Gwinett Bierce
MORAL, adj. Conforming to a local and mutable standard of right. Having the quality of general expediency.
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#Expediency

Ambrose Gwinett Bierce
Who never doubted, never half believed. Where doubt is, there truth is - it is her shadow.
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#American Journalist #Doubt

Ambrose Gwinett Bierce
Duty. That which sternly impels us in the direction of profit, along the line of desire.
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#Desire

Ambrose Gwinett Bierce
PILGRIM, n. A traveler that is taken seriously. A Pilgrim Father was one who, leaving Europe in 1620 because not permitted to sing psalms through his nose, followed it to Massachusetts, where he could personate God according to the dictates of his conscience.
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#Europe

Ambrose Gwinett Bierce
MONDAY, n. In Christian countries, the day after the baseball game.
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#Baseball

Ambrose Gwinett Bierce
SATAN, n. One of the Creator's lamentable mistakes, repented in sashcloth and axes. Being instated as an archangel, Satan made himself multifariously objectionable and was finally expelled from Heaven. Halfway in his descent he paused, bent his head in thought a moment and at last went back. "There is one favor that I should like to ask," said he."Name it.""Man, I understand, is about to be created. He will need laws.""What, wretch! you his appointed adversary, charged from the dawn of eternity with hatred of his soul --you ask for the right to make his laws?""Pardon; what I have to ask is that he be permitted to make them himself." It was so ordered.
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#Mistakes

Ambrose Gwinett Bierce
KILL, v.t. To create a vacancy without nominating a successor.
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#Create

Ambrose Gwinett Bierce
ACHIEVEMENT, n. The death of endeavor and the birth of disgust.
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#Achievement

Ambrose Gwinett Bierce
The world has suffered more from the ravages of ill-advised marriages than from virginity.
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#Marriage

Ambrose Gwinett Bierce
CANNON, n. An instrument employed in the rectification of national boundaries.
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#Boundaries