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

Alone

In contact, lo! the flint and steel,
By sharp and flame, the thought reveal
That he the metal, she the stone,
Had cherished secretly alone.

Read the full of Alone

Elegy

The cur foretells the knell of parting day;
The loafing herd winds slowly o'er the lea;
The wise man homewards plods; I only stay
To fiddle-faddle in a minor key.

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