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Ambrose Bierce Quotes


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Insurance - an ingenious modern game of chance in which the player is permitted to enjoy the comfortable conviction that he is beating the man who keeps the table.
[Insurance]
 

Insurrection, n. An unsuccessful revolution. Disaffection's failure to substitute misrule for bad government.
 

Inventor: A person who makes an ingenious arrangement of wheels, levers and springs, and believes it civilization.
[Technology]
 

Irreligion - the principal one of the great faiths of the world.
 

It is evident that skepticism, while it makes no actual change in man, always makes him feel better.
 

Jealous, adj. Unduly concerned about the preservation of that which can be lost only if not worth keeping.
 

Justice, n. A commodity which in a more or less adulterated condition the State sells to the citizen as a reward for his allegiance, taxes and personal service.
 

Kilt, n. A costume sometimes worn by Scotchmen [sic] in America and Americans in Scotland.
 

Land, n. A part of the earth's surface, considered as property. The theory that land is property subject to private ownership and control is the foundation of modern society, and is eminently worthy of the superstructure. Carried to its logical conclusion, it means that some have the right to prevent others from living; for the right to own implies the right exclusively to occupy; and in fact laws of trespass are enacted wherever property in land is recognized. It follows that if the whole area of terra firma is owned by A, B and C, there will be no place for D, E, F and G to be born, or, born as trespassers, to exist.
 

Laughter, n. An interior convulsion, producing a distortion of the features and accompanied by inarticulate noises. It is infectious and, though intermittent, incurable.
 

Lawsuit: A machine which you go into as a pig and come out of as a sausage.
 

Laziness. Unwarranted repose of manner in a person of low degree.
 

Learning, n. The kind of ignorance distinguishing the studious.
[Learning]
 

Liberty, n. One of imagination's most precious possessions.
 

Life - a spiritual pickle preserving the body from decay.
 

Litigant: a person about to give up his skin for the hope of retaining his bone.
 

Litigation: A machine which you go into as a pig and come out of as a sausage.
 

Logic, n. The art of thinking and reasoning in strict accordance with the limitations and incapacities of the human misunderstanding.
 

Love, n. A temporary insanity curable by marriage or by removal of the patient from the influences under which he incurred the disorder. This disease is prevalent only among civilized races living under artificial conditions; barbarous nations breathing pure air and eating simple food enjoy immunity from its ravages. It is sometimes fatal, but more frequently to the physician than to the patient.
[Marriage]
 

Mad, adj. Affected with a high degree of intellectual independence; not conforming to standards of thought, speech, and action derived by the conformants from study of themselves; at odds with the majority; in short, unusual. It is noteworthy that persons are pronounced mad by officials destitute of evidence that they themselves are sane.
[Intelligence]
 


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