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 :: 1842-1914, American Author, Editor, Journalist, ''The Devil's Dictionary''

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Backbite. To ''speak of a man as you find him'' when he can't find you.
~ Ambrose Bierce - [Slander]

 

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Success is the one unpardonable sin against one's fellows.
~ Ambrose Bierce - [Success]

 

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Take not God's name in vain; select a time when it will have effect.
~ Ambrose Bierce - [Swearing]

 

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Think twice before you speak to a friend in need.
~ Ambrose Bierce - [Thoughts and Thinking]

 

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Appeal. In law, to put the dice into the box for another throw.
~ Ambrose Bierce - [Trials]

 

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Trial. A formal inquiry designed to prove and put upon record the blameless characters of judges, advocates and jurors.
~ Ambrose Bierce - [Trials]

 

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Truth -- An ingenious compound of desirability and appearance.
~ Ambrose Bierce - [Truth]

 

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They say that hens do cackle loudest when there is nothing vital in the eggs they have laid.
~ Ambrose Bierce - [Vanity]

 

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Patience. A minor form of despair disguised as a virtue.
~ Ambrose Bierce - [Patience]

 

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Patriotism. Combustible rubbish ready to the torch of any one ambitious to illuminate his name.
~ Ambrose Bierce - [Patriotism]

 

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Peace, in international affairs, is a period of cheating between two periods of fighting.
~ Ambrose Bierce - [Peace]

 

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A lowly virtue whereby mediocrity achieves a glorious success.
~ Ambrose Bierce - [Perseverance]

 

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Philanthropist. A rich (and usually bald) old gentleman who has trained himself to grin while his conscience is picking his pocket.
~ Ambrose Bierce - [Philanthropists]

 

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A route of many roads leading from nowhere to nothing.
~ Ambrose Bierce - [Philosophers and Philosophy]

 

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All are lunatics, but he who can analyze his delusion is called a philosopher.
~ Ambrose Bierce - [Philosophers and Philosophy]

 

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Physician -- One upon whom we set our hopes when ill and our dogs when well.
~ Ambrose Bierce - [Physicians]

 

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To bother about the best method of accomplishing an accidental result.
~ Ambrose Bierce - [Planning]

 

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Politeness -- The most acceptable hypocrisy.
~ Ambrose Bierce - [Politeness]

 

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What is a democrat? One who believes that the republicans have ruined the country. What is a republican? One who believes that the democrats would ruin the country.
~ Ambrose Bierce - [Politicians and Politics]

 

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Admiration; is our polite recognition of another's resemblance to ourselves.
~ Ambrose Bierce - [Praise]

 

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