Autodidact: self-taught



by V. L. Craven

Ambrose Bierce

Cobwebs from an Empty Skull
001. People who begin doing something from a selfish motive frequently drop it when they learn that it is a real benevolence.
002. The stupid elephant, not being able to make very much sense of this remark, essayed, after the manner of persons worsted at repartee, to set his foot upon his clever conqueror. In point of fact, he did set his foot upon him, and there wasn’t any more mouse.
003. ‘Life’—as a certain eminent philosopher in England wilt say, whenever there shall be an England to say it in—’is the definite combination of heterogeneous changes, both simultaneous and successive, in correspondence with external co-existences and sequences.’
004. [Entire fable  # VIII: it can be tricky keeping at being perpetually ticked off]
005. “Sir,” replied the pig, “if your penetration were equal to that of the knife you hold, you would know without inquiring; but I don’t mind telling you. I weep because know I shall be badly roasted.”
006. The lesson of this fable is that one cannot stick to his pure reason while quarrelling with bees.
007. The insipidity we observe in most of our acquaintances is largely due to our imperfect knowledge of them.
008. It is very foolish to bandy words with a cloud if you happen to be the sun.
009. MORAL, BY A KANGAROO.—People who are ungraceful of gait are always intolerant of mind.
010. A comprehensive philanthropy may be devoid of prejudices, but it has its preferences all the same.
011. Thereupon he leisurely consumed the property in dispute, shut his eyes, yawned, turned upon his back, thrust out his legs divergently, and died. For the meat had been carefully poisoned—a fact of which the raven was guiltily conscious.
012. There are several things mightier than brute force, and arsenic is one of them.
013. [Entire Story: Callow Youth exhibits an eccentric tendency, give it him hot. LXXV.]
014. The exquisite fancies of a remote age may not be imitated in this; not, perhaps, from a lack of talent, so much as from a fear of arrest.
015. [Entire fable: then a learned pig; I am now a learned man.” XCIV]
016. But the difficulty is, there are so many excellent reasons why these relatives should live in peace, that they won’t have time to state them all before the next fight.”

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