65 Ambrose Bierce Quotes On Success In Life

Ambrose Gwinnett Bierce was an American short story writer, journalist, poet, and Civil War veteran. His book The Devil’s Dictionary was named as one of “The 100 Greatest Masterpieces of American Literature” by the American Revolution Bicentennial Administration. His story “An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge” has been described as “one of the most famous and frequently anthologized stories in American literature”; and his book Tales of Soldiers and Civilians (also published as In the Midst of Life) was named by the Grolier Club as one of the 100 most influential American books printed before 1900. These Ambrose Bierce quotes will motivate you.

Best Ambrose Bierce Quotes

  1. “Democracy is four wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch.” ~ Ambrose Bierce
  2. “Speak when you are angry and you will make the best speech you will ever regret.” ~ Ambrose Bierce
  3. “Politics: A strife of interests masquerading as a contest of principles. The conduct of public affairs for private advantage.” ~ Ambrose Bierce
  4. “There is nothing new under the sun but there are lots of old things we don’t know.” ~ Ambrose Bierce
  5. “The most affectionate creature in the world is a wet dog.” ~ Ambrose Bierce

  6. “Be as decent as you can. Don’t believe without evidence. Treat things divine with marked respect — don’t have anything to do with them. Do not trust humanity without collateral security; it will play you some scurvy trick. Remember that it hurts no one to be treated as an enemy entitled to respect until he shall prove himself a friend worthy of affection. Cultivate a taste for distasteful truths. And, finally, most important of all, endeavor to see things as they are, not as they ought to be.” ~ Ambrose Bierce
  7. “The hardest tumble a man can make is to fall over his own bluff.” ~ Ambrose Bierce
  8. “Idiot, n. A member of a large and powerful tribe whose influence in human affairs has always been dominant and controlling.” ~ Ambrose Bierce
  9. “War is God’s way of teaching Americans geography.” ~ Ambrose Bierce
  10. “Lottery: A tax on people who are bad at math.” ~ Ambrose Bierce

  11. “What is a democrat? One who believes that the republicans have ruined the country. What is a republican? One who believes that the democrats would ruin the country.” ~ Ambrose Bierce
  12. “Litigation: A machine which you go into as a pig and come out of as a sausage.” ~ Ambrose Bierce
  13. “Conservative, n: A statesman who is enamored of existing evils, as distinguished from the Liberal who wishes to replace them with others.” ~ Ambrose Bierce
  14. “Religion. A daughter of Hope and Fear, explaining to Ignorance the nature of the Unknowable.” ~ Ambrose Bierce
  15. “Corporation: An ingenious device for obtaining profit without individual responsibility.” ~ Ambrose Bierce
  16. “Mad, adj. Affected with a high degree of intellectual independence.” ~ Ambrose Bierce
  17. “Conversation, n.: A vocal competition in which the one who is catching his breath is called the listener.” ~ Ambrose Bierce
  18. “To the eye of failure success is an accident.” ~ Ambrose Bierce

  19. “In our civilization, and under our republican form of government, intelligence is so highly honored that it is rewarded by exemption from the cares of office.” ~ Ambrose Bierce
  20. “Selfish, adj. Devoid of consideration for the selfishness of others.” ~ Ambrose Bierce
  21. “Future. That period of time in which our affairs prosper, our friends are true and our happiness is assured.” ~ Ambrose Bierce
  22. “Logic: The art of thinking and reasoning in strict accordance with the limitations and incapacities of the human misunderstanding.” ~ Ambrose Bierce
  23. “Philosophy: A route of many roads leading from nowhere to nothing.” ~ Ambrose Bierce

  24. “Certain old men prefer to rise at dawn, taking a cold bath and a long walk with an empty stomach and otherwise mortifying the flesh. They then point with pride to these practices as the cause of their sturdy health and ripe years; the truth being that they are hearty and old, not because of their habits, but in spite of them. The reason we find only robust persons doing this thing is that it has killed all the others who have tried it.” ~ Ambrose Bierce
  25. “Edible, adj.: Good to eat, and wholesome to digest, as a worm to a toad, a toad to a snake, a snake to a pig, a pig to a man, and a man to a worm.” ~ Ambrose Bierce
  26. “Ocean: A body of water occupying about two-thirds of a world made for man – who has no gills.” ~ Ambrose Bierce
  27. “Optimism – the doctrine or belief that everything is beautiful, including what is ugly.” ~ Ambrose Bierce
  28. “Patience, n. A minor form of despair, disguised as a virtue.” ~ Ambrose Bierce

  29. “Marriage, n: the state or condition of a community consisting of a master, a mistress, and two slaves, making in all, two.” ~ Ambrose Bierce
  30. “LIFE, n. A spiritual pickle preserving the body from decay. We live in daily apprehension of its loss; yet when lost it is not missed.” ~ Ambrose Bierce
  31. “Brain: an apparatus with which we think we think.” ~ Ambrose Bierce
  32. “ARMOR, n. The kind of clothing worn by a man whose tailor is a blacksmith.” ~ Ambrose Bierce
  33. “Absurdity, n.: A statement or belief manifestly inconsistent with one’s own opinion.” ~ Ambrose Bierce
  34. “April fool, n. The March fool with another month added to his folly.” ~ Ambrose Bierce

  35. “Debt, n. An ingenious substitute for the chain and whip of the slavedriver.” ~ Ambrose Bierce
  36. “Christian, n.: one who believes that the New Testament is a divinely inspired book admirably suited to the spiritual needs of his neighbor.” ~ Ambrose Bierce
  37. “alone, adj. In bad company.” ~ Ambrose Bierce
  38. “Vote: the instrument and symbol of a freeman’s power to make a fool of himself and a wreck of his country.” ~ Ambrose Bierce
  39. “Occident: The part of the world lying west (or east) of the Orient. It is largely inhabited by Christians, a powerful subtribe of the Hypocrites, whose principal industries are murder and cheating, which they are pleased to call war and commerce. These, also, are the principal industries of the Orient.” ~ Ambrose Bierce
  40. “MYTHOLOGY, n. The body of a primitive people’s beliefs concerning its origin, early history, heroes, deities and so forth, as distinguished from the true accounts which it invents later.” ~ Ambrose Bierce
  41. “Education, n.: That which discloses to the wise and disguises from the foolish their lack of understanding.” ~ Ambrose Bierce
  42. “LAWYER, n. One skilled in circumvention of the law.” ~ Ambrose Bierce

  43. “You can effect a change of robbers every four years. Inestimable privilege – to pull off the glutted leech and attach the lean one! And you can not even choose among the lean leeches, but must accept those designated by the programmers and showmen who have the reptiles on tap!” ~ Ambrose Bierce
  44. “Bore, n. A person who talks when you wish him to listen.” ~ Ambrose Bierce
  45. “A person who doubts himself is like a man who would enlist in the ranks of his enemies and bear arms agains himself. He makes his failure certain by himself being the first person to be convinced of it.” ~ Ambrose Bierce
  46. “Sweater, n.: garment worn by child when its mother is feeling chilly.” ~ Ambrose Bierce
  47. “I think that I think, therefore I think that I am.” ~ Ambrose Bierce

  48. “MIND, n. A mysterious form of matter secreted by the brain. Its chief activity consists in the endeavor to ascertain its own nature, the futility of the attempt being due to the fact that it has nothing but itself to know itself with.” ~ Ambrose Bierce
  49. “Knowledge is the small part of ignorance that we arrange and classify.” ~ Ambrose Bierce
  50. “You don’t have to be stupid to be a Christian, … but it probably helps.” ~ Ambrose Bierce
  51. “Scriptures – The sacred books of our holy religion, as distinguished from the false and profane writings on which all other faiths are based.” ~ Ambrose Bierce
  52. “Perseverance – a lowly virtue whereby mediocrity achieves an inglorious success.” ~ Ambrose Bierce
  53. “Saint: A dead sinner revised and edited.” ~ Ambrose Bierce

  54. “IMAGINATION, n. A warehouse of facts, with poet and liar in joint ownership.” ~ Ambrose Bierce
  55. “Consul – in American politics, a person who having failed to secure an office from the people is given one by the Administration on condition that he leave the country.” ~ Ambrose Bierce
  56. “Responsibility, n. A detachable burden easily shifted to the shoulders of God, Fate, Fortune, Luck or one’s neighbor. In the days of astrology it was customary to unload it upon a star.” ~ Ambrose Bierce quotes
  57. “A wedding is a ceremony at which two persons undertake to become one, one undertakes to become nothing, and nothing undertakes to become supportable.” ~ Ambrose Bierce
  58. “The only distinction that democracies reward is a high degree of conformity.” ~ Ambrose Bierce
  59. “Fear has no brains; it is an idiot.” ~ Ambrose Bierce

  60. “Money. A blessing that is of no advantage to us excepting when we part with it.” ~ Ambrose Bierce
  61. “Optimist – A proponent of the doctrine that black is white.” ~ Ambrose Bierce
  62. “Patriotism. Combustible rubbish ready to the torch of any one ambitious to illuminate his name.” ~ Ambrose Bierce
  63. “The covers of this book are too far apart.” ~ Ambrose Bierce
  64. “Alliance – in international politics, the union of two thieves who have their hands so deeply inserted in each other’s pockets that they cannot separately plunder a third.” ~ Ambrose Bierce
  65. “The partisan strife in which the people of the country are permitted to periodically engage does not tend to the development of ugly traits of character, but merely discloses those that preexist.” ~ Ambrose Bierce

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