Ambrose Bierce

(24 June 1842 - 26 December 1913 / Horse Cave Creek, Ohio)

Ambrose Bierce Quotes

  • ''Learning. The kind of ignorance distinguishing the studious.''
    Ambrose Bierce (1842-1914), U.S. author. The Devil's Dictionary (1881-1906).
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  • ''Laziness. Unwarranted repose of manner in a person of low degree.''
    Ambrose Bierce (1842-1914), U.S. author. The Devil's Dictionary (1881-1906).
  • ''Nominee. A modest gentleman shrinking from the distinction of private life and diligently seeking the honorable obscurity of public office.''
    Ambrose Bierce (1842-1914), U.S. author. The Devil's Dictionary (1881-1906).
  • ''History. An account, mostly false, of events, mostly unimportant, which are brought about by rulers, mostly knaves, and soldiers, mostly fools.''
    Ambrose Bierce (1842-1914), U.S. author. The Devil's Dictionary (1881-1906), repr. In Collected Works of Ambrose Bierce, vol. 7 (1911).
  • ''Patriotism. Combustible rubbish ready to the torch of any one ambitious to illuminate his name.''
    Ambrose Bierce (1842-1914), U.S. author. The Devil's Dictionary (1881-1906). Bierce defined "patriot" as: "One to whom the interests of a part seem superior to those of the whole. The dupe of statesmen and the tool of conquerors."
  • ''Backbite. To "speak of a man as you find him" when he can't find you.''
    Ambrose Bierce (1842-1914), U.S. author. The Devil's Dictionary (1881-1906).
  • ''Patience. A minor form of despair disguised as a virtue.''
    Ambrose Bierce (1842-1914), U.S. author. The Devil's Dictionary (1881-1906), repr. In Collected Works of Ambrose Bierce, vol. 7 (1911).
  • ''Beauty. The power by which a woman charms a lover and terrifies a husband.''
    Ambrose Bierce (1842-1914), U.S. author. The Devil's Dictionary (1881-1906).
  • ''Bore. A person who talks when you wish him to listen.''
    Ambrose Bierce (1842-1914), U.S. author. The Devil's Dictionary (1881-1906), repr. In Collected Works of Ambrose Bierce, vol. 7 (1911).
  • ''I'd never set foot in San Francisco. Of all the Sodoms and Gomorrahs in our modern world, it is the worst. There are not 10 righteous (and courageous) men there. It needs another quake, another whiff of fire—and—more than all else—a steady trade wind of grapeshot.... That moral penal colony of the world.''
    Ambrose Bierce (1842-1914), U.S. author. Letter, June 25, 1907.

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Best Poem of Ambrose Bierce

Freedom

Freedom, as every schoolboy knows,
Once shrieked as Kosciusko fell;
On every wind, indeed, that blows
I hear her yell.

She screams whenever monarchs meet,
And parliaments as well,
To bind the chains about her feet
And toll her knell.

And when the sovereign people cast
The votes they cannot spell,
Upon the pestilential blast
Her clamors swell.

For all to whom the power's given
To sway or to compel,
Among themselves apportion Heaven
...

Read the full of Freedom

The Statesmen

How blest the land that counts among
Her sons so many good and wise,
To execute great feats of tongue
When troubles rise.

Behold them mounting every stump,
By speech our liberty to guard.
Observe their courage--see them jump,
And come down hard!

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