Ambrose Bierce (1842-1913) American author, editor, journalist

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Introduction: A social ceremony invented by the devil for the gratification of his servants and the plaguing of his enemies. (The Devil's Dictionary) - Ambrose Bierce
Painting: The art of protecting flat surfaces from the weather and exposing them to the critic. (The Devil's Dictionary) - Ambrose Bierce
Mythology: 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. (The Devil's Dictionary) - Ambrose Bierce
Commerce: A kind of transaction in which A plunders from B the goods of C, and for compensation B picks the pocket of D of money belonging to E. (The Devil's Dictionary) - Ambrose Bierce
Hope: Desire and expectation rolled into one. (The Devil's Dictionary) - Ambrose Bierce
Minister: An agent of a higher power with a lower responsibility. (The Devil's Dictionary) - Ambrose Bierce
Bigamy: A mistake in taste for which the wisdom of the future will adjudge a punishment called trigamy. (The Devil's Dictionary) - Ambrose Bierce
Duel: A formal ceremony preliminary to the reconciliation of two enemies. Great skill is necessary to its satisfactory observance; if awkwardly performed the most unexpected and deplorable consequences sometimes ensue. (The Devil's Dictionary) - Ambrose Bierce
Conservative: A statesman who is enamored of existing evils, as distinguished from the liberal, who wishes to replace them with others. (The Devil's Dictionary) - Ambrose Bierce