Ambrose Bierce Quotes

Egotist: a person more interested in himself than in me. Ambrose Bierce

Noise: a stench in the ear. The chief product and authenticating sign of civilization. Ambrose Bierce

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

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

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

Absurdity. A statement or belief manifestly inconsistent with one’s own opinion. Ambrose Bierce

Bigamy: A mistake in taste for which the wisdom of the future will adjudge a punishment called trigamy. Ambrose Bierce

Brain: The apparatus with which we think we think. Ambrose Bierce

Income is the natural and rational gauge and measure of respectability. Ambrose Bierce

Charity, n. a thing that begins at home and usually stays there. Ambrose Bierce

Debt, n. An ingenious substitute for the chain and whip of the slavedriver. Ambrose Bierce

Diary, n. A daily record of that part of one’s life, which he can relate to himself without blushing. Ambrose Bierce

Eccentricity, n. A method of distinction so cheap that fools employ it to accentuate their incapacity. Ambrose Bierce

A funeral is a pageant whereby we attest our respect for the dead by enriching the undertaker. Ambrose Bierce

Modesty, The gentle art of enhancing your charm by pretending not to be aware of it. Ambrose Bierce

Obstinate, adj. Inaccessible to the truth as it is manifest in the splendor and stress of our advocacy. The popular type and exponent of obstinacy is the mule, a most intelligent animal. Ambrose Bierce

A wedding is a ceremony at which two persons undertake to become one, one undertakes to become nothing, and nothing undertakes to become supportable. Ambrose Bierce

Admiration. Our polite recognition of another’s resemblance to ourselves. Ambrose Bierce

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

Insurance. An ingenious modern game of chance in which the player is permitted to enjoy the comfortable conviction that he is beating the man who keeps the table. Ambrose Bierce

Laziness. Unwarranted repose of manner in a person of low degree. Ambrose Bierce

New York is too strenuous for me; it gets on my nerves. Ambrose Bierce

Acquaintance. A person whom we know well enough to borrow from, but not well enough to lend to. Ambrose Bierce

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

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. Ambrose Bierce

Antipathy: The sentiment inspired by one’s friend’s friend. Ambrose Bierce

Circus, n. A place where horses, ponies and elephants are permitted to see men, women and children acting the fool. Ambrose Bierce

Ambrose Bierce Ambition: n. An overmastering desire to be vilified by enemies while living, and made ridiculous by friends when dead. Ambrose Bierce

Success: n. The one unpardonable sin against one’s fellows. Ambrose Bierce

Compromise. Such an adjustment of conflicting interests as gives each adversary the satisfaction of thinking he has got what he ought not to have, and is deprived of nothing except what was justly his due. Ambrose Bierce

Ugliness, n. A gift of the gods to certain women, entailing virtue without humility. Ambrose Bierce

Saint. A dead sinner revised and edited. Ambrose Bierce

Riot, n. A popular entertainment given to the military by innocent bystanders. Ambrose Bierce