Quotes by Ambrose Bierce

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Ambrose Gwinnett Bierce (born June 24, 1842, Horse Cave Creek, Meigs County, Ohio, USA date of death uncertain, possibly December 1913 or early 1914, presumably in Mexico) was an American satirist, critic, poet, short story writer, editor, and journalist. more

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

Abstainer. A weak man who yields to the temptation of denying himself a pleasure.
Absurdity. A statement or belief manifestly inconsistent with one's own opinion.
Patience. A minor form of despair disguised as a virtue.
A temporary insanity curable by marriage.
Beauty. The power by which a woman charms a lover and terrifies a husband.
All are lunatics, but he who can analyze his delusion is called a philosopher.
Religion, n. A daughter of Hope and Fear, explaining to Ignorance the nature of the Unknowable.
Peace, in international affairs, is a period of cheating between two periods of fighting.
Happiness is an agreeable sensation, arising from contemplating the misery of others.
Fidelity. A virtue peculiar to those who are about to be betrayed.
A route of many roads leading from nowhere to nothing.
Optimism. The doctrine or belief that everything is beautiful, including what is ugly.
Pray. To ask the laws of the universe to be annulled on behalf of a single petitioner confessedly unworthy.
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.
Education is that which discloses to the wise and disguises from the foolish their lack of understanding.
Bore -- a person who talks when you wish him to listen.
Age. That period of life in which we compound for the vices that remain by reviling those we have no longer the vigor to commit.
Faith. Belief without evidence in what is told by one who speaks without knowledge, of things without parallel.
Experience. The wisdom that enables us to recognize in an undesirable old acquaintance the folly that we have already embraced.
Dog. A kind of additional or subsidiary Deity designed to catch the overflow and surplus of the world's worship.
A cynic is a blackguard whose faulty vision sees things as they are, and not as they ought to be.
Calamities are of two kinds: misfortune to ourselves, and good fortune to others.
Acquaintance: a degree of friendship called slight when its object is poor or obscure, and intimate when he is rich or famous.
Acquaintance. A person whom we know well enough to borrow from, but not well enough to lend to.
Truth -- An ingenious compound of desirability and appearance.
Incompatibility. In matrimony a similarity of tastes, particularly the taste for domination.
To bother about the best method of accomplishing an accidental result.
Knowledge is the small part of ignorance that we arrange and classify.
An account, mostly false, of events, mostly unimportant, which are brought about by rulers, mostly knaves, and soldiers, mostly fools.
Confidante. One entrusted by A with the secrets of B confided to herself by C.
APOLOGIZE, v. to lay the foundation for a future offense.
Egotist. A person of low taste, more interested in himself than me.
Divorce. A resumption of diplomatic relations and rectification of boundaries.
The covers of this book are too far apart.
Irreligion. The principal one of the great faiths of the world.
Consult. To seek another's approval of a course already decided on.
Bride. A woman with a fine prospect of happiness behind her.
Corporation, n. An ingenious device for obtaining individual profit without individual responsibility.
They say that hens do cackle loudest when there is nothing vital in the eggs they have laid.
Trial. A formal inquiry designed to prove and put upon record the blameless characters of judges, advocates and jurors.
Appeal. In law, to put the dice into the box for another throw.
Think twice before you speak to a friend in need.
Life. A spiritual pickle preserving the body from decay.
A man is known by the company he organizes.
The world has suffered more from the ravages of ill-advised marriages than from virginity.
Marriage. The state or condition of a community consisting of a master, a mistress and two slaves, making in all, two.
Before undergoing a surgical operation, arrange your temporal affairs. You may live.
An accident is an inevitable occurrence due to the actions of immutable natural laws.
Miss: A title with which we brand unmarried women to indicate that they are in the market. Miss, Misses (Mrs.) and Mister (Mr.) are the three most distinctly disagreeable words in the language, in sound and sense. Two are corruptions of Mistress, the other of Master. If we must have them, let us be consistent and give one to the unmarried man. I venture to suggest Mush, abbreviated to MH.
Convent. A place of retirement for women who wish for leisure to meditate upon the sin of idleness.
A body of water occupying about two-thirds of a world made for man, who has no gills.
An optimist is a proponent of the doctrine that black is white.
Patriotism. Combustible rubbish ready to the torch of any one ambitious to illuminate his name.
A lowly virtue whereby mediocrity achieves a glorious success.
Philanthropist. A rich (and usually bald) old gentleman who has trained himself to grin while his conscience is picking his pocket.
PHYSICIAN, n. One upon whom we set our hopes when ill and our dogs when well.
Politeness -- The most acceptable hypocrisy.
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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