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INDECISION, n. The chief element of success; "for whereas," saith Sir Thomas Brewbold, "there is but one way to do nothing and divers way to do something, whereof, to a surety, only one is the right way, it followeth that he who from indecision standeth still hath not so many chances of going astray as he who pusheth forwards" --a most clear and satisfactory exposition on the matter."Your prompt decision to attack," said Genera Grant on a certain occasion to General Gordon Granger, "was admirable; you had but five minutes to make up your mind in.""Yes, sir," answered the victorious subordinate, "it is a great thing to be know exactly what to do in an emergency. When in doubt whether to attack or retreat I never hesitate a moment --I toss us a copper.""Do you mean to say that's what you did this time?""Yes, General; but for Heaven's sake don't reprimand me: I disobeyed the coin."


Ambrose Bierce

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AMBROSE BIERCE
Pray, v. To ask that the laws of the universe be annulled in behalf of a single petitioner, c...
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In Dr. Johnson's famous dictionary, patriotism is defined as the last refuge of a scoundrel. With a...
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LAZINESS, n. Unwarranted repose of manner in a person of low degree.
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PEDIGREE, n. The known part of the route from an arboreal ancestor with a swim bladder to an urban d...
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ACCUSE, v.t. To affirm another's guilt or unworth; most commonly as a justification of ourselves for...
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EMBALM, v.i. To cheat vegetation by locking up the gases upon which it feeds. By embalming their dea...
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SERIAL, n. A literary work, usually a story that is not true, creeping through several issues of a n...
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ACQUAINTANCE, n. A person whom we know well enough to borrow from, but not well enough to lend to. A...
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PANTALOONS, n. A nether habiliment of the adult civilized male. The garment is tubular and unprovide...
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BOUNTY, n. The liberality of one who has much, in permitting one who has nothing to get all that he ...
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EXTINCTION, n. The raw material out of which theology created the future state.
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ROBBER, n. A candid man of affairs. It is related of Voltaire that one night he and some traveling c...
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Absurdity, n.: A statement or belief manifestly inconsistent with one's own opinion.
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LUNARIAN, n. An inhabitant of the moon, as distinguished from Lunatic, one whom the moon inhabits. T...
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WINE, n. Fermented grape-juice known to the Women's Christian Union as "liquor," sometimes as "rum."...
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QUORUM, n. A sufficient number of members of a deliberative body to have their own way and their own...
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Land: A part of the earth's surface, considered as property. The theory that land is property su...
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ARRAYED, pp. Drawn up and given an orderly disposition, as a rioter hanged to a lamppost.
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PREDILECTION, n. The preparatory stage of disillusion.
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Pitted against hard drinking Christians the abstemious Mahometans go down like grass before the scyt...
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Coward: One who, in a perilous emergency, thinks with his legs.
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Opportunity is a favorable occasion for grasping a disappointment.
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UGLINESS, n. A gift of the gods to certain women, entailing virtue without humility.
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From the vast, invisible ocean of moonlight overhead fell, here and here, a slender, broken stream t...
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He who thinks with difficulty believes with alacrity.
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You don't have to be stupid to be a Christian, ... but it probably helps.
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Edible. Good to eat and wholesome to digest, as a worm to a toad, a toad to a snake, a snake to a pi...
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Consult. To seek another's approval of a course already decided on.
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They say that hens do cackle loudest when there is nothing vital in the eggs they have laid.
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Impiety. Your irreverence toward my deity.
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Deliberation. The act of examining one's bread to determine which side it is buttered on.
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PROPHECY, n. The art and practice of selling one's credibility for future delivery.
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Admiration; is our polite recognition of another's resemblance to ourselves.
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Optimism. The doctrine or belief that everything is beautiful, including what is ugly.
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An optimist is a proponent of the doctrine that black is white.
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Appeal. In law, to put the dice into the box for another throw.
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Wit. The salt with which the American humorist spoils his intellectual cookery by leaving it out.
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To apologize is to lay the foundation for a future offense.
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The gambling known as business looks with austere disfavor upon the business known as gambling.
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Consul. In American politics, a person who having failed to secure an office from the people is give...
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Forgetfulness. A gift of God bestowed upon debtors in compensation for their destitution of conscien...
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The covers of this book are too far apart.
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The Senate is a body of old men charged with high duties and misdemeanors.
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To be positive: to be mistaken at the top of one's voice.
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Censor, n. An officer of certain governments, employed to supress the works of genius. Among the Rom...
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Genealogy. An account of one's descent from an ancestor who did not particularly care to trace his o...
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Woman absent is woman dead.
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DIPLOMACY, n. Lying in state, or the patriotic art of lying for one's country.
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Calamities are of two kinds. Misfortune to ourselves, and good fortune to others.
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YANKEE, n. In Europe, an American. In the Northern States of our Union, a New Englander. In the So...
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Politeness, n. The most acceptable hypocrisy.
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Calamities are of two kinds: misfortunes to ourselves, and good fortune to others.
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