Ambrose Gwinett Bierce Quotes


398 Ambrose Gwinett Bierce quotes:



"BEHAVIOR, n. Conduct, as determined, not by principle, but by breeding. The word seems to be somewhat loosely used in Dr. Jamrach Holobom's translation of the following lines from the _Dies Irae_:Recordare, Jesu pie, Quod sum causa tuae viae. Ne me perdas illa die.Pray remember, sacred Savior, Whose the thoughtless hand that gave your Death-blow. Pardon such behavior."
Author: Bierce Quotes Category: Behavior Quotes
"ERUDITION, n. Dust shaken out of a book into an empty skull.So wide his erudition's mighty span, He knew Creation's origin and plan And only came by accident to grief -- He thought, poor man, 'twas right to be a thief. --Romach Pute"
"MESMERISM, n. Hypnotism before it wore good clothes, kept a carriage and asked Incredulity to dinner."
Author: Bierce Quotes Category: Clothes Quotes
"An inventor is a person who makes an ingenious arrangement of wheels, levers and springs, and believes it civilization."
"YESTERDAY, n. The infancy of youth, the youth of manhood, the entire past of age.But yesterday I should have thought me blest To stand high-pinnacled upon the peak Of middle life and look adown the bleak And unfamiliar foreslope to the West, Where solemn shadows all the land invest And stilly voices, half-remembered, speak Unfinished prophecy, and witch-fires freak The haunted twilight of the Dark of Rest. Yea, yesterday my soul was all aflame To stay the shadow on the dial's face At manhood's noonmark! Now, in God His name I chide aloud the little interspace Disparting me from Certitude, and fain Would know the dream and vision ne'er again. --Baruch ArnegriffIt is said that in his last illness the poet Arnegriff was attended at different times by seven doctors."
"PHILANTHROPIST, n. A rich (and usually bald) old gentleman who has trained himself to grin while his conscience is picking his pocket."
Author: Bierce Quotes Category: Conscience Quotes
"MUMMY, n. An ancient Egyptian . . . handy, too, in museums in gratifying the vulgar curiosity that serves to distinguish man from the lower animals."
Author: Bierce Quotes Category: Curiosity Quotes
"Embalm, v.: To cheat vegetation by locking up the gases upon which it feeds. By embalming their dead and thereby deranging the natural balance between animal and vegetable life, the Egyptians made their once fertile and populous country barren and incapable of supporting more than a meagre crew. The modern metallic burial casket is a step in the same direction, and many a dead man who ought now to be ornamenting his neighbor's lawn as a tree, or enriching his table as a bunch of radishes, is doomed to a long inutility. We shall get him after awhile if we are spared, but in the meantime the violet and the rose are languishing for a nibble at his glutaeus maximus."
Author: Bierce Quotes Category: Death Quotes
"REASON, v.i. To weight probabilities in the scales of desire."
Author: Bierce Quotes Category: Desire Quotes
"ILLUSTRIOUS, adj. Suitably placed for the shafts of malice, envy and detraction."
Author: Bierce Quotes Category: Envy Quotes
"MATERIAL, adj. Having an actual existence, as distinguished from an imaginary one. Important.Material things I know, or fell, or see; All else is immaterial to me. --Jamrach Holobom"
Author: Bierce Quotes Category: Existence Quotes
"ROSTRUM, n. In Latin, the beak of a bird or the prow of a ship. In America, a place from which a candidate for office energetically expounds the wisdom, virtue and power of the rabble."
Author: Bierce Quotes Category: America Quotes
"GHOST, n. The outward and visible sign of an inward fear.He saw a ghost. It occupied --that dismal thing! -- The path that he was following. Before he'd time to stop and fly, An earthquake trifled with the eye That saw a ghost. He fell as fall the early good; Unmoved that awful vision stood. The stars that danced before his ken He wildly brushed away, and then He saw a post. --Jared MacphesterAccounting for the uncommon behavior of ghosts, Heine mentions somebody's ingenious theory to the effect that they are as much afraid of us as we of them. Not quite, if I may judge from such tables of comparative speed as I am able to compile from memories of my own experience. There is one insuperable obstacle to a belief in ghosts. A ghost never comes naked: he appears either in a winding-sheet or ""in his habit as he lived."" To believe in him, then, is to believe that not only have the dead the power to make themselves visible after there is nothing left of them, but that the same power inheres in textile fabrics. Supposing the products of the loom to have this ability, what object would they have in exercising it? And why does not the apparition of a suit of clothes sometimes walk abroad without a ghost in it? These be riddles of significance. They reach away down and get a convulsive grip on the very tap-root of this flourishing faith."
Author: Bierce Quotes Category: Fear Quotes
"PERFECTION, n. An imaginary state of quality distinguished from the actual by an element known as excellence; an attribute of the critic. The editor of an English magazine having received a letter pointing out the erroneous nature of his views and style, and signed "Perfection," promptly wrote at the foot of the letter: "I don't agree with you," and mailed it to Matthew Arnold."
Author: Bierce Quotes Category: Excellence Quotes
"CANONICALS, n. The motley worm by Jesters of the Court of Heaven."
Author: Bierce Quotes Category: Heaven Quotes
"RESIGN, v.t. To renounce an honor for an advantage. To renounce an advantage for a greater advantage."
Author: Bierce Quotes Category: Honor Quotes
"Historian. A broad - gauge gossip."
Author: Bierce Quotes Category: Gossip Quotes
"SYCOPHANT, n. One who approaches Greatness on his belly so that he may not be commanded to turn and be kicked. He is sometimes an editor.As the lean leech, its victim found, is pleased To fix itself upon a part diseased Till, its black hide distended with bad blood, It drops to die of surfeit in the mud, So the base sycophant with joy descries His neighbor's weak spot and his mouth applies, Gorges and prospers like the leech, although, Unlike that reptile, he will not let go. Gelasma, if it paid you to devote Your talent to the service of a goat, Showing by forceful logic that its beard Is more than Aaron's fit to be revered; If to the task of honoring its smell Profit had prompted you, and love as well, The world would benefit at last by you And wealthy malefactors weep anew -- Your favor for a moment's space denied And to the nobler object turned aside. Is't not enough that thrifty millionaires Who loot in freight and spoliate in fares, Or, cursed with consciences that bid them fly To safer villainies of darker dye, Forswearing robbery and fain, instead, To steal (they call it ""cornering"") our bread May see you groveling their boots to lick And begging for the favor of a kick? Still must you follow to the bitter end Your sycophantic disposition's trend, And in your eagerness to please the rich Hunt hungry sinners to their final ditch? In Morgan's praise you smite the sounding wire, And sing hosannas to great Havemeyher! What's Satan done that him you should eschew? He too is reeking rich --deducting _you_."
Author: Bierce Quotes Category: Greatness Quotes
"DICTIONARY, n. A malevolent literary device for cramping the growth of a language and making it hard and inelastic. This dictionary, however, is a most useful work."
Author: Bierce Quotes Category: Growth Quotes
"INDISCRETION, n. The guilt of woman."
Author: Bierce Quotes Category: Guilt Quotes



inspirational quote database

Successories, the leaders of inspiration and motivation, has unlocked iQuote: The Inspirational Quote Database, a curated collection of the most inspirational quotes. Raise your iQ and become a Quoteologist today!