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Ambrose Bierce

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



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



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



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



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.



War is God’s way of teaching Americans geography.



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



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



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.



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



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



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



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



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



Success is the one unpardonable sin against our fellows.



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



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.



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



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



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



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



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.



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



Vote: the instrument and symbol of a freeman’s power to make a fool of himself and a wreck of his country.



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



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



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.



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



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.



Conservative, n: A statesman who is enamored of existing evils, as distinguished from the Liberal who wishes to replace them with others.