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Ambrose Bierce Quotes

Patience – A minor form of despair, disguised as a virtue.
Ambrose Bierce (The Devil's Dictionary, 1906)
If you want to read a perfect book there is only one way: write it.
Ambrose Bierce
When God makes a beautiful woman, the devil opens a new register.
Ambrose Bierce (Epigrams of a Cynic)
All are lunatics, but he who can analyze his delusion is called a philosopher.
Ambrose Bierce
A rabbit's foot may bring good luck to you, but it brought none to the rabbit.
Ambrose Bierce (Epigrams of a Cynic)
Speak when you are angry – and you’ll make the best speech you’ll ever regret.
Ambrose Bierce
Youth looks forward, for nothing is behind! Age backward, for nothing is before.
Ambrose Bierce (Epigrams of a Cynic)
There is nothing new under the sun but there are lots of old things we don't know.
Ambrose Bierce
Ocean: A body of water occupying two-thirds of a world made for man - who has no gills.
Ambrose Bierce (The Devil's Dictionary, 1906)
When among the graves of thy fellows, walk with circumspection; thine own is open at thy feet.
Ambrose Bierce (Epigrams of a Cynic)
Religion, n. A daughter of Hope and Fear, explaining to Ignorance the nature of the Unknowable.
Ambrose Bierce
A popular author is one who writes what the people think. Genius invites them to think something else.
Ambrose Bierce (Epigrams of a Cynic)
Happiness has not to all the same name: to Youth she is known as the Future; Age knows her as the Dream.
Ambrose Bierce
To be comic is merely to be playful, but wit is a serious matter. To laugh at it is to confess that you do not understand.
Ambrose Bierce (Epigrams of a Cynic)
The creator and arbiter of beauty is the heart; to the male rattlesnake the female rattlesnake is the loveliest thing in nature.
Ambrose Bierce (Epigrams of a Cynic)
What a woman most admires in a man is distinction among men. What a man most admires in a woman is devotion to himself.
Ambrose Bierce
When prosperous the fool trembles for the evil that is to come; in adversity the philosopher smiles for the good that he has had.
Ambrose Bierce (Epigrams of a Cynic)
Every heart is the lair of a ferocious animal. The greatest wrong that you can put upon a man is to provoke him to let out his beast.
Ambrose Bierce
"Why dost thou weep?" "For the death of my wife. Alas! I shall never again see her!" "Thy wife will never again see thee, yet she does not weep."
Ambrose Bierce
To parents only, death brings an inconsolable sorrow. When the young die and the old live, nature's machinery is working with the friction that we name grief.
Ambrose Bierce (Epigrams of a Cynic)
These are the prerogatives of genius: To know without having learned; to draw just conclusions from unknown premises; to discern the soul of things.
Ambrose Bierce
Along the road of life are many pleasure resorts, but think not that by tarrying in them you will take more days to the journey. The day of your arrival is already recorded.
Ambrose Bierce
Asked to describe the Deity, a donkey would represent him with long ears and a tail. Man's conception is higher and truer: he thinks of him as somewhat resembling a man.
Ambrose Bierce (Epigrams of a Cynic)
A man is the sum of his ancestors; to reform him you must begin with a dead ape and work downward through a million graves. He is like the lower end of a suspended chain; you can sway him slightly to the right or the left, but remove your hand and he falls into line with the other links.
Ambrose Bierce (Epigrams of a Cynic)

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Ambrose Bierce Biography

Born: June 24, 1842
Died: 1913

Ambrose Bierce was an American writer and journalist. He is best known for his satirical "reference" book, The Devil's Dictionary and for his short stories.

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Notable Works

The Devil's Dictionary (1906)
The Shadow on the Dial (1909)
Write it Right (1909)
A Horseman in the Sky (1920)
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