Ambrose Bierce

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What this country needs what every country needs occasionally is a good hard bloody war to revive the vice of patriotism on which its existence as a nation depends.

Ambrose Bierce

Ambrose Bierce

   War
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Battle, n., A method of untying with the teeth a political knot that would not yield to the tongue.

Ambrose Bierce

Ambrose Bierce

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Genius - to know without having learned; to draw just conclusions from unknown premises; to discern the soul of things.

Ambrose Bierce

Ambrose Bierce

   Soul
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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

Ambrose Bierce

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Architect. One who drafts a plan of your house, and plans a draft of your money.

Ambrose Bierce

Ambrose Bierce

   Money
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Ambition. An overmastering desire to be vilified by enemies while living and made ridiculous by friends when dead.

Ambrose Bierce

Ambrose Bierce

   Ambition
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Creditor. One of a tribe of savages dwelling beyond the Financial Straits and dreaded for their desolating incursions.

Ambrose Bierce

Ambrose Bierce

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Witticism. A sharp and clever remark, usually quoted and seldom noted; what the Philistine is pleased to call a joke.

Ambrose Bierce

Ambrose Bierce

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Forgetfulness - a gift of God bestowed upon debtors in compensation for their destitution of conscience.

Ambrose Bierce

Ambrose Bierce

   God
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Compromise, n. Such an adjustment of conflicting interests as gives each adversary the satisfaction of thinking he has got what he ought not to have, and is deprived of nothing except what was justly his due.

Ambrose Bierce

Ambrose Bierce

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The covers of this book are too far apart.

Ambrose Bierce

Ambrose Bierce

   Book
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A total abstainer is one who abstains from everything but abstention, and especially from inactivity in the affairs of others.

Ambrose Bierce

Ambrose Bierce

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Ambidextrous, adj.: Able to pick with equal skill a right-hand pocket or a left.

Ambrose Bierce

Ambrose Bierce

   Skill
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Famous, adj.: Conspicuously miserable.

Ambrose Bierce

Ambrose Bierce

   Famous
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Ardor, n. The quality that distinguishes love without knowledge.

Ambrose Bierce

Ambrose Bierce

   Love
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Impiety. Your irreverence toward my deity.

Ambrose Bierce

Ambrose Bierce

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Alien - an American sovereign in his probationary state.

Ambrose Bierce

Ambrose Bierce

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Eloquence, n. The art of orally persuading fools that white is the color that it appears to be. It includes the gift of making any color appear white.

Ambrose Bierce

Ambrose Bierce

   Art
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A man is known by the company he organizes.

Ambrose Bierce

Ambrose Bierce

   Man
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Duty - that which sternly impels us in the direction of profit, along the line of desire.

Ambrose Bierce

Ambrose Bierce

   Direction