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(About Mind, Thought & Thinking)

ALONE, adj. In bad company.In contact, lo the flint and steel, By spark and flame, the thought reveal That he the metal, she the stone, Had cherished secretly alone. --Booley Fito


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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 Gwinett Bierce

LETTUCE, n. An herb of the genus Lactuca, Wherewith, says that pious gastronome, Hengist Pelly, God has been pleased to reward the good and punish the wicked. For by his inner light the righteous man has discerned a manner of compounding for it a dressing to the appetency whereof a multitude of gustible condiments conspire, being reconciled and ameliorated with profusion of oil, the entire comestible making glad the heart of the godly and causing his face to shine. But the person of spiritual unworth is successfully tempted to the Adversary to eat of lettuce with destitution of oil, mustard, egg, salt and garlic, and with a rascal bath of vinegar polluted with sugar. Wherefore the person of spiritual unworth suffers an intestinal pang of strange complexity and raises the song.
Ambrose Gwinett Bierce

LORE, n. Learning --particularly that sort which is not derived from a regular course of instruction but comes of the reading of occult books, or by nature. This latter is commonly designated as folk-lore and embraces popularly myths and superstitions. In Baring-Gould's Curious Myths of the Middle Ages the reader will find many of these traced backward, through various people son converging lines, toward a common origin in remote antiquity. Among these are the fables of Teddy the Giant Killer, The Sleeping John Sharp Williams, Little Red Riding Hood and the Sugar Trust, Beauty and the Brisbane, The Seven Aldermen of Ephesus, Rip Van Fairbanks, and so forth. The fable with Goethe so affectingly relates under the title of The Erl- King was known two thousand years ago in Greece as The Demos and the Infant Industry. One of the most general and ancient of these myths is that Arabian tale of Ali Baba and the Forty Rockefellers.
Ambrose Gwinett Bierce

SATAN, n. One of the Creator's lamentable mistakes, repented in sashcloth and axes. Being instated as an archangel, Satan made himself multifariously objectionable and was finally expelled from Heaven. Halfway in his descent he paused, bent his head in thought a moment and at last went back. There is one favor that I should like to ask, said he. Name it. Man, I understand, is about to be created. He will need laws. What, wretch you his appointed adversary, charged from the dawn of eternity with hatred of his soul --you ask for the right to make his lawsPardon what I have to ask is that he be permitted to make them himself. It was so ordered.
Ambrose Gwinett Bierce

ZANZIBARI, n. An inhabitant of the Sultanate of Zanzibar, off the eastern coast of Africa. The Zanzibaris, a warlike people, are best known in this country through a threatening diplomatic incident that occurred a few years ago. The American consul at the capital occupied a dwelling that faced the sea, with a sandy beach between. Greatly to the scandal of this official's family, and against repeated remonstrances of the official himself, the people of the city persisted in using the beach for bathing. One day a woman came down to the edge of the water and was stooping to remove her attire (a pair of sandals) when the consul, incensed beyond restraint, fired a charge of bird-shot into the most conspicuous part of her person. Unfortunately for the existing entente cordiale between two great nations, she was the Sultana.
Ambrose Gwinett Bierce

CUPID, n. The so-called god of love. This bastard creation of a barbarous fancy was no doubt inflicted upon mythology for the sins of its deities. Of all unbeautiful and inappropriate conceptions this is the most reasonless and offensive. The notion of symbolizing sexual love by a semisexless babe, and comparing the pains of passion to the wounds of an arrow --of introducing this pudgy homunculus into art grossly to materialize the subtle spirit and suggestion of the work --this is eminently worthy of the age that, giving it birth, laid it on the doorstep of prosperity.
Ambrose Gwinett Bierce

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