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PREDICAMENT, n. The wage of consistency.


Ambrose Bierce

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PREDICAMENT, n. The wage of consistency.
AMBROSE BIERCE
There are four kinds of homicide: felonious, excusable, justifiable, and praiseworthy.” ~ Ambrose ...
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No formal course in fiction-writing can equal a close and observant perusal of the stories of Edgar ...
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The American people would not want to know of any misquotes that Dan Quayle may or may not make. ...
VICE PRESIDENT DAN QUAYLE
We put ourselves in this predicament and now we have to get ourselves out of it.
JESSIE EVANS
I say in speeches that a plausible mission of artists is to make people appreciate being alive at le...
KURT VONNEGUT JR.
Well, Valek, any new promotions?” the Commander asked
“No. But Maren shows promise. Unfortu...
MARIA V. SNYDER
It's a very pleasant predicament,
BILL RICHARDSON
I do see signs of improvement by the present Zimbabwe. They just need consistency.
SOURAV GANGULY
The predicament is not particular to (Janus) in any way.
CHRISTINE BENZ
There is no rescue team that awaits for you when ever you fall, you must team up with all you have i...
TARE MUNZARA
Consistency is the hallmark of the unimaginative.
OSCAR WILDE
We are in a very serious predicament,
JAMES MORRIS
The predicament of political relations between China and Japan has produced negative influence in ma...
WANG JIARUI
The result of these shared experiences was a closeness unknown to all outsiders. Comrades are closer...
STEPHEN E. AMBROSE
WRATH, n. Anger of a superior quality and degree, appropriate to exalted characters and momentous oc...
AMBROSE BIERCE
Fidelity - a virtue peculiar to those who are about to be betrayed.
AMBROSE BIERCE
RECREATION, n. A particular kind of dejection to relieve a general fatigue.
AMBROSE BIERCE
FUNERAL, n. A pageant whereby we attest our respect for the dead by enriching the undertaker, and s...
AMBROSE BIERCE
... the instrument and symbol of a freeman's power to make a fool of himself and a wreck of his coun...
AMBROSE BIERCE
Bride: A woman with a fine prospect of happiness behind her.
AMBROSE BIERCE
Insurance - an ingenious modern game of chance in which the player is permitted to enjoy the comfort...
AMBROSE BIERCE
The small part of ignorance that we arrange and classify we give the name of knowledge.
AMBROSE BIERCE
Famous, adj.: Conspicuously miserable.
AMBROSE BIERCE
Perseverance - a lowly virtue whereby mediocrity achieves an inglorious success.
AMBROSE BIERCE
The best thing to do with the best things in life is to give them up.
AMBROSE BIERCE
Sweater, n.: garment worn by child when its mother is feeling chilly.
AMBROSE BIERCE
Men become civilized, not in proportion to their willingness to believe, but in proportion to their ...
AMBROSE BIERCE
Cabbage: a familiar kitchen-garden vegetable about as large and wise as a man's head.
AMBROSE BIERCE
Nominee. A modest gentleman shrinking from the distinction of private life and diligently seeking th...
AMBROSE BIERCE
The world has suffered more from the ravages of ill-advised marriages than from virginity.
AMBROSE BIERCE
Heaven lies about us in our infancy and the world begins lying about us pretty soon afterward.
AMBROSE BIERCE
Acquaintance: a degree of friendship called slight when its object is poor or obscure, and intimate ...
AMBROSE BIERCE
Pray: To ask the laws of the universe to be annulled on behalf of a single petitioner confessedly un...
AMBROSE BIERCE
To bother about the best method of accomplishing an accidental result.
AMBROSE BIERCE
A body of water occupying about two-thirds of a world made for man, who has no gills.
AMBROSE BIERCE
Patience, n. A minor form of dispair, disguised as a virtue.
AMBROSE BIERCE
Politeness -- The most acceptable hypocrisy.
AMBROSE BIERCE
Laughter -- An interior convulsion, producing a distortion of the features and accompanied by inarti...
AMBROSE BIERCE
Alien. An American sovereign in his probationary state.
AMBROSE BIERCE
An account, mostly false, of events, mostly unimportant, which are brought about by rulers, mostly k...
AMBROSE BIERCE
Historian. A broad -- gauge gossip.
AMBROSE BIERCE
Miss: A title with which we brand unmarried women to indicate that they are in the market. Miss, Mis...
AMBROSE BIERCE
A funeral is a pageant whereby we attest our respect for the dead by enriching the undertaker.
AMBROSE BIERCE
An egotist is a person interested in himself than in me!
AMBROSE BIERCE
Abscond. To move in a mysterious way, commonly with the property of another.
AMBROSE BIERCE
Creditor. One of a tribe of savages dwelling beyond the Financial Straits and dreaded for their deso...
AMBROSE BIERCE
A cynic is a blackguard whose faulty vision sees things as they are, and not as they ought to be.
AMBROSE BIERCE
Alliance. In international politics, the union of two thieves who have their hands so deeply inserte...
AMBROSE BIERCE
A coward is one who in a perilous emergency thinks with his legs.
AMBROSE BIERCE
Compromise. Such an adjustment of conflicting interests as gives each adversary the satisfaction o...
AMBROSE BIERCE
A bride is a woman with a fine prospect of happiness behind her.
AMBROSE BIERCE
Calamities are of two kinds: misfortune to ourselves, and good fortune to others.
AMBROSE BIERCE
ALLIANCE, n. In international politics, the union of two thieves who have their hands so deeply in...
AMBROSE BIERCE
Hypocrisy: prejudice with a halo
AMBROSE BIERCE
Forgetfulness. A gift of God bestowed upon debtors in compensation for their destitution of conscie...
AMBROSE BIERCE
One who is in a perilous emergency thinks with his legs.
AMBROSE BIERCE
ZENITH, n. The point in the heavens directly overhead to a man standing or a growing cabbage. A m...
AMBROSE BIERCE
Dawn: When men of reason go to bed.
AMBROSE BIERCE
Painting: The art of protecting flat surfaces from the weather and exposing them to the critic.
AMBROSE BIERCE
Cabbage: A familiar kitchen-garden vegetable about as large and wise as a man's head.
AMBROSE BIERCE
Admiration, n.: Our polite recognition of another's resemblance to ourselves.
AMBROSE BIERCE
Acquaintance, n.: A person whom we know well enough to borrow from, but not well enough to lend to.
AMBROSE BIERCE
BOUNDARY, n. In political geography, an imaginary line between two nations, separating the imaginar...
AMBROSE BIERCE
Faith, noun. Belief without evidence in what is told by one who speaks without knowledge, of things ...
AMBROSE BIERCE
Education, n. That which discloses to the wise and disguises from the foolish their lack of understa...
AMBROSE BIERCE
Happiness, noun. An agreeable sensation arising from contemplating the misery of another.
AMBROSE BIERCE
History, n. An account mostly false, of events unimportant, which are brought about by rulers mostly...
AMBROSE BIERCE
Dentist, n.: A Prestidigitator who, putting metal in one's mouth, pulls coins out of one's pockets.
AMBROSE BIERCE
Cynic, n. A blackguard whose faulty vision sees things as they are, not as they ought to be.
AMBROSE BIERCE
Income is the natural and rational gauge and measure of respectability.
AMBROSE BIERCE
Optimism, n. The doctrine or belief that everything is beautiful, including what is ugly.
AMBROSE BIERCE
Mad, adj: Affected with a high degree of intellectual independence.
AMBROSE BIERCE
INTIMACY, n. A relation into which fools are providentially drawn for their mutual destruction.
AMBROSE BIERCE
Litigant: a person about to give up his skin for the hope of retaining his bone.
AMBROSE BIERCE
ZEAL, n. A certain nervous disorder afflicting the young and inexperienced. A passion that goeth b...
AMBROSE BIERCE
TELEPHONE n. An invention of the devil which abrogates some of the advantages of making a disagreeab...
AMBROSE BIERCE
Telephone, n. An invention of the devil which abrogates some of the advantages of making a disagreea...
AMBROSE BIERCE
I believe we shall come to care about people less and less. The more people one knows the easier it ...
AMBROSE BIERCE
ULTIMATUM, n. In diplomacy, a last demand before resorting to concessions. Having received an ultima...
AMBROSE BIERCE
DIPLOMACY, n. The patriotic art of lying for one's country.
AMBROSE BIERCE
PORTUGUESE, n.pl. A species of geese indigenous to Portugal. They are mostly without feathers and im...
AMBROSE BIERCE
Christians and camels receive their burdens kneeling
AMBROSE BIERCE
Cogito cogito ergo cogito sum - I think that I think, therefore I think that I am.
AMBROSE BIERCE
CREMONA, n. A high-priced violin made in Connecticut.
AMBROSE BIERCE
PROVIDENTIAL, adj. Unexpectedly and conspicuously beneficial to the person so describing it.
AMBROSE BIERCE
BABE or BABY, n. A misshapen creature of no particular age, sex, or condition, chiefly remarkable fo...
AMBROSE BIERCE
A wedding is a ceremony at which two persons undertake to become one, one undertakes to become nothi...
AMBROSE BIERCE
PROJECTILE, n. The final arbiter in international disputes. Formerly these disputes were settled by ...
AMBROSE BIERCE
BAAL, n. An old deity formerly much worshiped under various names. As Baal he was popular with the P...
AMBROSE BIERCE
CARTESIAN, adj. Relating to Descartes, a famous philosopher, author of the celebrated dictum, _Cogit...
AMBROSE BIERCE
MEEKNESS, n. Uncommon patience in planning a revenge that is worth while.

M is for Moses,...
AMBROSE BIERCE
TEETOTALER, n. One who abstains from strong drink, sometimes totally, sometimes tolerably totally.
AMBROSE BIERCE
TEDIUM, n. Ennui, the state or condition of one that is bored. Many fanciful derivations of the word...
AMBROSE BIERCE
MOLECULE, n. The ultimate, indivisible unit of matter. It is distinguished from the corpuscle, also ...
AMBROSE BIERCE
FEAST, n. A festival. A religious celebration usually signalized by gluttony and drunkenness, freque...
AMBROSE BIERCE
Vote: The instrument and symbol of a free man's power to make a fool of himself and a wreck of his c...
AMBROSE BIERCE
LOQUACITY, n. A disorder which renders the sufferer unable to curb his tongue when you wish to talk.
AMBROSE BIERCE
In each human heart are a tiger, a pig, an ass and a nightingale. Diversity of character is due to t...
AMBROSE BIERCE
Advice is the smallest current coin.
AMBROSE BIERCE

More Ambrose Bierce

WRATH, n. Anger of a superior quality and degree, appropriate to exalted characters and momentous oc...
AMBROSE BIERCE
Fidelity - a virtue peculiar to those who are about to be betrayed.
AMBROSE BIERCE
RECREATION, n. A particular kind of dejection to relieve a general fatigue.
AMBROSE BIERCE
FUNERAL, n. A pageant whereby we attest our respect for the dead by enriching the undertaker, and s...
AMBROSE BIERCE
... the instrument and symbol of a freeman's power to make a fool of himself and a wreck of his coun...
AMBROSE BIERCE
Bride: A woman with a fine prospect of happiness behind her.
AMBROSE BIERCE
Insurance - an ingenious modern game of chance in which the player is permitted to enjoy the comfort...
AMBROSE BIERCE
The small part of ignorance that we arrange and classify we give the name of knowledge.
AMBROSE BIERCE
Famous, adj.: Conspicuously miserable.
AMBROSE BIERCE
Perseverance - a lowly virtue whereby mediocrity achieves an inglorious success.
AMBROSE BIERCE
The best thing to do with the best things in life is to give them up.
AMBROSE BIERCE
Sweater, n.: garment worn by child when its mother is feeling chilly.
AMBROSE BIERCE
Men become civilized, not in proportion to their willingness to believe, but in proportion to their ...
AMBROSE BIERCE
Cabbage: a familiar kitchen-garden vegetable about as large and wise as a man's head.
AMBROSE BIERCE
Nominee. A modest gentleman shrinking from the distinction of private life and diligently seeking th...
AMBROSE BIERCE
The world has suffered more from the ravages of ill-advised marriages than from virginity.
AMBROSE BIERCE
Heaven lies about us in our infancy and the world begins lying about us pretty soon afterward.
AMBROSE BIERCE
Acquaintance: a degree of friendship called slight when its object is poor or obscure, and intimate ...
AMBROSE BIERCE
Pray: To ask the laws of the universe to be annulled on behalf of a single petitioner confessedly un...
AMBROSE BIERCE
To bother about the best method of accomplishing an accidental result.
AMBROSE BIERCE
A body of water occupying about two-thirds of a world made for man, who has no gills.
AMBROSE BIERCE
Patience, n. A minor form of dispair, disguised as a virtue.
AMBROSE BIERCE
Politeness -- The most acceptable hypocrisy.
AMBROSE BIERCE
Laughter -- An interior convulsion, producing a distortion of the features and accompanied by inarti...
AMBROSE BIERCE
Alien. An American sovereign in his probationary state.
AMBROSE BIERCE
An account, mostly false, of events, mostly unimportant, which are brought about by rulers, mostly k...
AMBROSE BIERCE
Historian. A broad -- gauge gossip.
AMBROSE BIERCE
Miss: A title with which we brand unmarried women to indicate that they are in the market. Miss, Mis...
AMBROSE BIERCE
A funeral is a pageant whereby we attest our respect for the dead by enriching the undertaker.
AMBROSE BIERCE
An egotist is a person interested in himself than in me!
AMBROSE BIERCE
Abscond. To move in a mysterious way, commonly with the property of another.
AMBROSE BIERCE
Creditor. One of a tribe of savages dwelling beyond the Financial Straits and dreaded for their deso...
AMBROSE BIERCE
A cynic is a blackguard whose faulty vision sees things as they are, and not as they ought to be.
AMBROSE BIERCE
Alliance. In international politics, the union of two thieves who have their hands so deeply inserte...
AMBROSE BIERCE
A coward is one who in a perilous emergency thinks with his legs.
AMBROSE BIERCE
Compromise. Such an adjustment of conflicting interests as gives each adversary the satisfaction o...
AMBROSE BIERCE
A bride is a woman with a fine prospect of happiness behind her.
AMBROSE BIERCE
Calamities are of two kinds: misfortune to ourselves, and good fortune to others.
AMBROSE BIERCE
ALLIANCE, n. In international politics, the union of two thieves who have their hands so deeply in...
AMBROSE BIERCE
Hypocrisy: prejudice with a halo
AMBROSE BIERCE
Forgetfulness. A gift of God bestowed upon debtors in compensation for their destitution of conscie...
AMBROSE BIERCE
One who is in a perilous emergency thinks with his legs.
AMBROSE BIERCE
ZENITH, n. The point in the heavens directly overhead to a man standing or a growing cabbage. A m...
AMBROSE BIERCE
Dawn: When men of reason go to bed.
AMBROSE BIERCE
Painting: The art of protecting flat surfaces from the weather and exposing them to the critic.
AMBROSE BIERCE
Cabbage: A familiar kitchen-garden vegetable about as large and wise as a man's head.
AMBROSE BIERCE
Admiration, n.: Our polite recognition of another's resemblance to ourselves.
AMBROSE BIERCE
Acquaintance, n.: A person whom we know well enough to borrow from, but not well enough to lend to.
AMBROSE BIERCE
BOUNDARY, n. In political geography, an imaginary line between two nations, separating the imaginar...
AMBROSE BIERCE
Faith, noun. Belief without evidence in what is told by one who speaks without knowledge, of things ...
AMBROSE BIERCE
Education, n. That which discloses to the wise and disguises from the foolish their lack of understa...
AMBROSE BIERCE
Happiness, noun. An agreeable sensation arising from contemplating the misery of another.
AMBROSE BIERCE
History, n. An account mostly false, of events unimportant, which are brought about by rulers mostly...
AMBROSE BIERCE
Dentist, n.: A Prestidigitator who, putting metal in one's mouth, pulls coins out of one's pockets.
AMBROSE BIERCE
Cynic, n. A blackguard whose faulty vision sees things as they are, not as they ought to be.
AMBROSE BIERCE
Income is the natural and rational gauge and measure of respectability.
AMBROSE BIERCE
Optimism, n. The doctrine or belief that everything is beautiful, including what is ugly.
AMBROSE BIERCE
Mad, adj: Affected with a high degree of intellectual independence.
AMBROSE BIERCE
INTIMACY, n. A relation into which fools are providentially drawn for their mutual destruction.
AMBROSE BIERCE
Litigant: a person about to give up his skin for the hope of retaining his bone.
AMBROSE BIERCE
ZEAL, n. A certain nervous disorder afflicting the young and inexperienced. A passion that goeth b...
AMBROSE BIERCE
TELEPHONE n. An invention of the devil which abrogates some of the advantages of making a disagreeab...
AMBROSE BIERCE
Telephone, n. An invention of the devil which abrogates some of the advantages of making a disagreea...
AMBROSE BIERCE
I believe we shall come to care about people less and less. The more people one knows the easier it ...
AMBROSE BIERCE
PREDICAMENT, n. The wage of consistency.
AMBROSE BIERCE
ULTIMATUM, n. In diplomacy, a last demand before resorting to concessions. Having received an ultima...
AMBROSE BIERCE
DIPLOMACY, n. The patriotic art of lying for one's country.
AMBROSE BIERCE
PORTUGUESE, n.pl. A species of geese indigenous to Portugal. They are mostly without feathers and im...
AMBROSE BIERCE
Christians and camels receive their burdens kneeling
AMBROSE BIERCE
Cogito cogito ergo cogito sum - I think that I think, therefore I think that I am.
AMBROSE BIERCE
CREMONA, n. A high-priced violin made in Connecticut.
AMBROSE BIERCE
PROVIDENTIAL, adj. Unexpectedly and conspicuously beneficial to the person so describing it.
AMBROSE BIERCE
BABE or BABY, n. A misshapen creature of no particular age, sex, or condition, chiefly remarkable fo...
AMBROSE BIERCE
A wedding is a ceremony at which two persons undertake to become one, one undertakes to become nothi...
AMBROSE BIERCE
PROJECTILE, n. The final arbiter in international disputes. Formerly these disputes were settled by ...
AMBROSE BIERCE
BAAL, n. An old deity formerly much worshiped under various names. As Baal he was popular with the P...
AMBROSE BIERCE
CARTESIAN, adj. Relating to Descartes, a famous philosopher, author of the celebrated dictum, _Cogit...
AMBROSE BIERCE
MEEKNESS, n. Uncommon patience in planning a revenge that is worth while.

M is for Moses,...
AMBROSE BIERCE
TEETOTALER, n. One who abstains from strong drink, sometimes totally, sometimes tolerably totally.
AMBROSE BIERCE
TEDIUM, n. Ennui, the state or condition of one that is bored. Many fanciful derivations of the word...
AMBROSE BIERCE
MOLECULE, n. The ultimate, indivisible unit of matter. It is distinguished from the corpuscle, also ...
AMBROSE BIERCE
FEAST, n. A festival. A religious celebration usually signalized by gluttony and drunkenness, freque...
AMBROSE BIERCE
Vote: The instrument and symbol of a free man's power to make a fool of himself and a wreck of his c...
AMBROSE BIERCE
LOQUACITY, n. A disorder which renders the sufferer unable to curb his tongue when you wish to talk.
AMBROSE BIERCE
In each human heart are a tiger, a pig, an ass and a nightingale. Diversity of character is due to t...
AMBROSE BIERCE
Advice is the smallest current coin.
AMBROSE BIERCE
SOPHISTRY, n. The controversial method of an opponent, distinguished from one's own by superior insi...
AMBROSE BIERCE
ALDERMAN, n. An ingenious criminal who covers his secret thieving with a pretence of open marauding.
AMBROSE BIERCE
Pray, v.: To ask that the laws of the universe be annulled on behalf of a single petitioner confesse...
AMBROSE BIERCE
WEATHER, n. The climate of the hour. A permanent topic of conversation among persons whom it does no...
AMBROSE BIERCE
INDECISION, n. The chief element of success; "for whereas," saith Sir Thomas Brewbold, "there is but...
AMBROSE BIERCE
LEONINE, adj. Unlike a menagerie lion. Leonine verses are those in which a word in the middle of a l...
AMBROSE BIERCE
PILLORY, n. A mechanical device for inflicting personal distinction --prototype of the modern newspa...
AMBROSE BIERCE
APPLAUSE, n. The echo of a platitude.
AMBROSE BIERCE
WORSHIP, n. Homo Creator's testimony to the sound construction and fine finish of Deus Creatus. A po...
AMBROSE BIERCE
MISERICORDE, n. A dagger which in mediaeval warfare was used by the foot soldier to remind an unhors...
AMBROSE BIERCE
ELECTOR, n. One who enjoys the sacred privilege of voting for the man of another man's choice.
AMBROSE BIERCE
ORPHAN, n. A living person whom death has deprived of the power of filial ingratitude . . .
AMBROSE BIERCE
ENCOMIAST, n. A special (but not particular) kind of liar.
AMBROSE BIERCE
TEDIUM, n. Ennui, the state or condition of one that is bored. Many fanciful derivations of the word...
AMBROSE BIERCE
DEGENERATE, adj. Less conspicuously admirable than one's ancestors. The contemporaries of Homer were...
AMBROSE BIERCE
ALIEN, n. An American sovereign in his probationary state.
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ASS, n. A public singer with a good voice but no ear. In Virginia City, Nevada, he is called the Was...
AMBROSE BIERCE
PAST, n. That part of Eternity with some small fraction of which we have a slight and regrettable ac...
AMBROSE BIERCE
APPETITE, n. An instinct thoughtfully implanted by Providence as a solution to the labor question.
AMBROSE BIERCE
CAABA, n. A large stone presented by the archangel Gabriel to the patriarch Abraham, and preserved a...
AMBROSE BIERCE
ADOLESCENCE The stage between puberty and adultery.
AMBROSE BIERCE
CREMONA, n. A high-priced violin made in Connecticut.
AMBROSE BIERCE
ROPE, n. An obsolescent appliance for reminding assassins that they too are mortal. It is put about ...
AMBROSE BIERCE
REALISM, n. The art of depicting nature as it is seem by toads. The charm suffusing a landscape pain...
AMBROSE BIERCE
BAAL, n. An old deity formerly much worshiped under various names. As Baal he was popular with the P...
AMBROSE BIERCE
HYDRA, n. A kind of animal that the ancients catalogued under many heads.
AMBROSE BIERCE
FREEDOM, n. Exemption from the stress of authority in a beggarly half dozen of restraint's infinite ...
AMBROSE BIERCE
MEEKNESS, n. Uncommon patience in planning a revenge that is worth while.M is for Moses, Who slew th...
AMBROSE BIERCE
WIDOW, n. A pathetic figure that the Christian world has agreed to take humorously, although Christ'...
AMBROSE BIERCE
FRIENDLESS, adj. Having no favors to bestow. Destitute of fortune. Addicted to utterance of truth an...
AMBROSE BIERCE
CONSULT, v.i. To seek another's disapproval of a course already decided on.
AMBROSE BIERCE
BASILISK, n. The cockatrice. A sort of serpent hatched form the egg of a cock. The basilisk had a ba...
AMBROSE BIERCE
Strike while your employer has a big contract.
AMBROSE BIERCE
EDITOR, n. A person who combines the judicial functions of Minos, Rhadamanthus and Aeacus, but is pl...
AMBROSE BIERCE
COMMONWEALTH, n. An administrative entity operated by an incalculable multitude of political parasit...
AMBROSE BIERCE
ERUDITION, n. Dust shaken out of a book into an empty skull.So wide his erudition's mighty span, He ...
AMBROSE BIERCE
PORTUGUESE, n.pl. A species of geese indigenous to Portugal. They are mostly without feathers and im...
AMBROSE BIERCE
POSTERITY, n. An appellate court which reverses the judgment of a popular author's contemporaries, t...
AMBROSE BIERCE
ICONOCLAST, n. A breaker of idols, the worshipers whereof are imperfectly gratified by the performan...
AMBROSE BIERCE
FELON, n. A person of greater enterprise than discretion, who in embracing an opportunity has formed...
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IMPOSTOR n. A rival aspirant to public honors.
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DECIDE, v.i. To succumb to the preponderance of one set of influences over another set.A leaf was ri...
AMBROSE BIERCE
DIGESTION, n. The conversion of victuals into virtues. When the process is imperfect, vices are evol...
AMBROSE BIERCE
CONVERSATION, n. A fair to the display of the minor mental commodities, each exhibitor being too int...
AMBROSE BIERCE
Egotism, n: Doing the New York Times crossword puzzle with a pen.
AMBROSE BIERCE
PRIMATE, n. The head of a church, especially a State church supported by involuntary contributions. ...
AMBROSE BIERCE
ARCHBISHOP, n. An ecclesiastical dignitary one point holier than a bishop.If I were a jolly archbish...
AMBROSE BIERCE
SCEPTER, n. A king's staff of office, the sign and symbol of his authority. It was originally a mace...
AMBROSE BIERCE
BLANK-VERSE, n. Unrhymed iambic pentameters --the most difficult kind of English verse to write acce...
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Corporation: An ingenious device for obtaining profit without individual responsibility.
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DISCRIMINATE, v.i. To note the particulars in which one person or thing is, if possible, more object...
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NOTORIETY, n. The fame of one's competitor for public honors. The kind of renown most accessible and...
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USAGE, n. The First Person of the literary Trinity, the Second and Third being Custom and Convention...
AMBROSE BIERCE
SENATE, n. A body of elderly gentlemen charged with high duties and misdemeanors.
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RICE-WATER, n. A mystic beverage secretly used by our most popular novelists and poets to regulate t...
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HUMANITY, n. The human race, collectively, exclusive of the anthropoid poets.
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There are four kinds of Homicide: felonious, excusable, justifiable, and praiseworthy.
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MILLENNIUM, n. The period of a thousand years when the lid is to be screwed down, with all reformers...
AMBROSE BIERCE
Christian: one who believes that the New Testament is a divinely inspired book admirably suited to t...
AMBROSE BIERCE
OPTIMIST, n. A proponent of the doctrine that black is white. A pessimist applied to God for relief....
AMBROSE BIERCE
OPTIMIST, n. A proponent of the doctrine that black is white. A pessimist applied to God for relief.
AMBROSE BIERCE
Infidel, n. In New York, one who does not believe in the Christian religion; in Constantinople, one ...
AMBROSE BIERCE
Pray, v. To ask that the laws of the universe be annulled in behalf of a single petitioner, c...
AMBROSE BIERCE
In Dr. Johnson's famous dictionary, patriotism is defined as the last refuge of a scoundrel. With a...
AMBROSE BIERCE
LAZINESS, n. Unwarranted repose of manner in a person of low degree.
AMBROSE BIERCE
PEDIGREE, n. The known part of the route from an arboreal ancestor with a swim bladder to an urban d...
AMBROSE BIERCE
ACCUSE, v.t. To affirm another's guilt or unworth; most commonly as a justification of ourselves for...
AMBROSE BIERCE
EMBALM, v.i. To cheat vegetation by locking up the gases upon which it feeds. By embalming their dea...
AMBROSE BIERCE
SERIAL, n. A literary work, usually a story that is not true, creeping through several issues of a n...
AMBROSE BIERCE
ACQUAINTANCE, n. A person whom we know well enough to borrow from, but not well enough to lend to. A...
AMBROSE BIERCE
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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