Mark Twain Quotes

If you tell the truth, you don't have to remember anything.
The human race has one really effective weapon, and that is laughter.
Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it's time to pause and reflect.
Principles have no real force except when one is well-fed.
In the first place, God made idiots. That was for practice. Then he made school boards.
We are chameleons, and our partialities and prejudices change place with an easy and blessed facility, and we are soon wonted to the change and happy in it.
The best way to cheer yourself up is to try to cheer somebody else up.
Keep away from people who try to belittle your ambitions. Small people always do that, but the really great make you feel that you, too, can become great.
We have a criminal jury system which is superior to any in the world and its efficiency is only marred by the difficulty of finding twelve men every day who don't know anything and can't read.
Work is a necessary evil to be avoided.
It is better to deserve honors and not have them than to have them and not deserve them.
The report of my death was an exaggeration.
Golf is a good walk spoiled.
We had the sky up there, and we used to lay on our backs and look up at them, and discuss whether they was made or just happened.
I never let schooling interfere with my education.
Suppose you were an idiot, and suppose you were a member of congress but I repeat myself.
The man who does not read good books has no advantage over the man who cannot read them.
To cease smoking is the easiset thing I ever did. I ought to know, I've done it a thousand times.
Humor is mankind's greatest blessing.
Some men worship rank, some worship heroes, some worship power, some worship God, and over these ideals they dispute, but they all worship money.
Fiction is obliged to stick to possibilities. Truth isn't.
The very ink with which history is written is merely fluid prejudice.
Describing her first day back in grade school after a long absence, a teacher said, It was like trying to hold 35 corks under water at the same time.
Behold, the fool saith, Put not all thine eggs in the one basket, -- which is but a manner of saying, Scatter your money and your attention, but the wise man saith, Put all your eggs in the one basket and -- watch that basket.
On his deathbed Death, the only immortal who treats us all alike, whose pity and whose peace and whose refuse are for all -- the soiled and the pure, the rich and the poor, the loved and the unloved.
Lord save us all from old age and broken health and a hope tree that has lost the faculty of putting out blossoms.
The secret source of humour itself is not joy, but sorrow. There is no humour in heaven.
Often, the surest way to convey misinformation is to tell the strict truth.
Man will do many things to get himself loved he will do all things to get himself envied.
I was gratified to be able to answer promptly. I said I don't know.
Let us so live that when we come to die even the undertaker will be sorry.
Irreverence is the champion of liberty and its one sure defense.
It is easier to stay out than get out.
I must have a prodigious quantity of mind it takes me as much as a week, sometimes, to make it up.
A lie can travel halfway around the world while the truth is putting on its shoes.
Never put off until tomorrow what you can do the day after tomorrow.
Love seems the swiftest, but it is the slowest of growths. No man or woman really knows what perfect love is until they have been married a quarter of a century.
A verb has a hard enough time of it in this world when it is all together. It's downright inhuman to split it up. But that's what those Germans do. They take part of a verb and put it down here, like a stake, and they take the other part of it and put it a way over yonder like another stake, and between these two limits they just shovel in German.
Language is a city to the building of which every human being brought a stone.
Nothing so needs reforming as other people's habits.
I've come loaded with statistics, for I've noticed that a man can't prove anything without statistics.
It were not best that we should all think alike it is the difference of opinion that makes horse races. - from Pudd'nhead Wilson
It is the difference of opinion that makes horse races.
I have a prejudice against people who print things in a foreign language and add no translation. When I am the reader, and the other considers me able to do the translating myself, he pays me the quite a nice compliment-- but if he would do the translating for me I would try to get along without the compliment. (A Tramp Abroad,1880)
Good breeding consists of concealing how much we think of ourselves and how little we think of the other person.
Many a small thing has been made large by the right kind of advertising.
When one has tasted watermelon he knows what the angels eat.
When we remember we are all mad, the mysteries disappear and life stands explained.
Why shoudn't truth be stranger than fiction Fiction, after all, has to stick to the possibilities.
You cannot depend on your eyes when your imagination is out of focus.
Courage is resistance to fear, mastery of fear - not absence of fear.
It is by the goodness of God that in our country we have those three unspeakably precious things freedom of speech, freedom of conscience, and the prudence never to practice either of them.
His ignorance covered the whole earth like a blanket, and there was hardly a hole in it anywhere.
If you pick up a starving dog and make him prosperous, he will not bite you. This is the principal difference between a dog and a man.
Truth is more of a stranger than fiction.
Habit is habit and not to be flung out of the window by any man, but coaxed downstairs a step at a time.
Quitting smoking is easy, I've done it hundreds of times.
A house without a cat, and a well-fed, well-petted, and properly revered cat, may be a perfect house, perhaps, but how can it prove its title --from The Tragedy of Pudd'nhead Wilson
I am not one of those who in expressing opinions confine themselves to facts.
I cannot keep from talking, even at the risk of being instructive.
A man with a new idea is a crank -- until the idea succeeds.
A man who carries a cat by the tail learns something he can learn in no other way.
Imagination is always the fabric of social life and the dynamic of history. The influence of real needs and compulsions, of real interests and materials, is indirect because the crowd is never conscious of it.
After all these years I see that I was mistaken about Eve in the beginning it is better to live outside the Garden with her than inside it without her.
Youth, large, lusty, loving- Youth, full of grace, force, fascination. Do you know that Old Age may come after you with equal grace, force, fascination
The holy passion of Friendship is of so sweet and steady and loyal and enduring a nature that it will last through a whole lifetime, if not asked to lend money.
Friendship is the marriage of the soul, and this marriage is liable to divorce.
A classic is a book which people praise and don't read.
Don't part with your illusions. When they are gone you may still exist, but you have ceased to live.
It takes your enemy and your friend, working together, to hurt you the one to slander you, and the other to get the news to you.
Do something every day that you don't want to do this is the golden rule for acquiring the habit of doing your duty without pain.
He would come in and say he changed his mind -- which was a gilded figure of speech, because he didn't have any.
The difference between the right word and the almost right word is the difference between lightning and a lightning bug.
In religion and politics people's beliefs and convictions are in almost every case gotten at second-hand, and without examination, from authorities who have not themselves examined the questions at issue but have taken them at second-hand from other non-examiners, whose opinions about them were not worth a brass farthing.
It's not that I'm afraid to die, I just don't want to be there when it happens.
When I was a child people simply looked about them and were moderately happy today they peer beyond the seven seas, bury themselves waist deep in tidings, and by and large what they see and hear makes them unutterably sad.
There are some books that refuse to be written. They stand their ground year after year and will not be persuaded. It isn't because the book is not there and worth being written -- it is only because the right form of the story does not present itself. There is only one right form for a story and if you fail to find that form the story will not tell itself.
I am an old man and have a great many troubles, But most of them never happened.
Always do right. This will gratify some people and astonish the rest.
There are lies, damned lies, and statistics.
If Christ were here now there is one thing he would not be--a christian.
A man is accepted into church for what he believes--and turned out for what he knows.
Kindness is a language which the deaf can hear, and the blind can read.
When I was a boy of fourteen, my father was so ignorant I could hardly stand to have the old man around. But when I got to be twenty-one, I was astonished at how much the old man had learned in seven years.
Loyalty to petrified opinion never yet broke a chain or freed a human soul.
There are times when one would like to hang the whole human race and finish the farce.
The rule is perfect in all matters of opinion our adversaries are insane.
Work consists of whatever a body is obliged to do. Play consists of whatever a body is not obliged to do.
The miracle, or the power, that elevates the few is to be found in their industry, application, and perseverance under the prompting of a brave, determined spirit.
Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness.
There is nothing so annoying as to have two people talking when you're busy interrupting.
Whenever you find that you are on the side of the majority, it is time to reform.
Facts are stubborn, but statistics are more pliable.
Drag your thoughts away from your troubles.. by the ears, by the heels, or any other way you can manage it.
I am opposed to millionaires, but it would be dangerous to offer me the position.
I thoroughly disapprove of duels. If a man should challenge me, I would take him kindly and forgivingly by the hand and lead him to a quiet place and kill him.
A classic is something that everybody wants to have read and nobody wants to read.
All you need in this life is ignorance and confidence then success is sure.
Pessimism is only the name that men of weak nerve give to wisdom.
I don't like to commit myself about heaven and hell you see, I have friends in both places.
By trying we can easily learn to endure adversity. Another man's, I mean.
The man who is a pessimist before 48 knows too much if he is an optimist after it, he knows too little.
The fact that man knows right from wrong proves his intellectual superiority to other creatures but the fact that he can do wrong proves his moral inferiority to any creature that cannot.
Cold If the thermometer had been an inch longer we'd all have frozen to death
Few things are harder to put up with than the annoyance of a good example.
Denial ain't just a river in Egypt.
It's not the size of the dog in the fight, it's the size of the fight in the dog.
Wagner's music is better than it sounds.
Civilization is a limitless multiplication of unnecessary necessaries.
The proper office of a friend is to side with you when you are wrong. Nearly anybody will side with you when you are right.
Be careful about reading health books. You may die of a misprint.
Necessity is the mother of taking chances.
To be good is noble, but to teach others how to be good is nobler--and less trouble.
Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.
Statistics show that we lose more fools on this day than on all other days of the year put together. This proves, by the numbers left in stock, that one Fourth of July per year is now inadequate, the country has grown so.
There are two times in a man's life when he should not speculate when he can't afford it, and when he can. - from Following the Equator
One of the most striking differences between a cat and a lie is that a cat has only nine lives.
There is no distinctly native American criminal class except Congress.
Providence protects children and idiots. I know because I have tested it.
There is no sadder sight than a young pessimist.
Tomorrow night I appear for the first time before a Boston audience of 4000 critics.
Some people get an eduction without going to college the rest get it after they get out.
Go and surprise the whole country by doing something right.
The trouble isn't that there are too many fools, but that the lightning isn't distributed right.
Religion consists of a set of things which the average man thinks he believes and wishes he was certain.
We are called the nation of inventors. And we are. We could still claim that title and wear its loftiest honors if we had stopped with the first thing we ever invented, which was human liberty.
There is no such thing as the Queen's English. The property has gone into the hands of a joint stock company and we own the bulk of the shares
We should be careful to get out of an experience only the wisdom that is in it - and stop there lest we be like the cat that sits down on a hot stove-lid. She will never sit down on a hot stove-lid again - and that is well but also she will never sit down on a cold one anymore.
What a good thing Adam had. When he said a good thing he knew nobody had said it before.
What counts is not necessarily the size of the dog in the fight, what counts is the size of the fight in the dog.
Few sinners are saved after the fiirst twenty minutes of a sermon.
Be good and you will be lonesome.
Everything has its limit--iron ore cannot be educated into gold. - 1906
Eloquence is the essential thing in a speech, not information.
Education consists mainly in what we have unlearned. - Notebook, 1898
Do the thing you fear most and the death of fear is certain.
Get your facts first, and then you can distort them as much as you please.
An Englishman is a person who does things because they have been done before. An American is a person who does things because they haven't been done before.
All schools, all colleges have two great functions to confer, and to conceal valuable knowledge. - Notebook, 1908
Against the assault of laughter, nothing can stand.
It is noble to teach oneself, but still nobler to teach others--and less trouble. - speech, 1906
Age is an issue of mind over matter. If you don't mind, it doesn't matter.
Cauliflower is nothing but Cabbage with a College Education.
Work and play are words used to describe the same thing under differing conditions.
It is discouraging to try and penetrate a mind like yours. You ought to get it out and dance on it. That would take some of the rigidity out of it.
Wrinkles should merely indicate where smiles have been.
The billiard table is better than the doctor.
A banker is a fellow who lends you his umbrella when the sun is shining, but wants it back the minute it begins to rain.
Barring that natural expression of villainy which we all have, the man looked honest enough.
Always acknowledge a fault. This will throw those in authority off their guard and give you an opportunity to commit more.
Clothes make the man. Naked people have little or no influence on society.
A man cannot be comfortable without his own approval.
Honesty is the best policy - when there is money in it.
Humor is the great thing, the saving thing. The minute it crops up, all our irritations and resentments slip away and a sunny spirit takes their place.
Don't go around saying the world owes you a living. The world owes you nothing. It was here first.
Grief can take care of itself, but to get the full value of a joy you must have somebody to divide it with.
I have never taken any exercise except sleeping and resting.
In Paris they simply stared when I spoke to them in French I never did succeed in making those idiots understand their language.
I didn't attend the funeral, but I sent a nice letter saying that I approved of it.
I don't give a damn for a man that can only spell a word one way.
In religion and politics, people's beliefs and convictions are in almost every case gotten at second hand, and without examination.
It could probably be shown by facts and figures that there is no distinctly American criminal class except Congress.
It is better to keep your mouth closed and let people think you are a fool than to open it and remove all doubt.
Just the omission of Jane Austen's books alone would make a fairly good library out of a library that hadn't a book in it.
It usually takes more than three weeks to prepare a good impromptu speech.
It is curious that physical courage should be so common in the world and moral courage so rare.
It was wonderful to find America, but it would have been more wonderful to miss it.
Most people are bothered by those passages of Scripture they do not understand, but the passages that bother me are those I do understand.
My mother had a great deal of trouble with me, but I think she enjoyed it.
Often it does seem a pity that Noah and his party did not miss the boat.
Part of the secret of success in life is to eat what you like and let the food fight it out inside.
Time cools, time clarifies no mood can be maintained quite unaltered through the course of hours.
There is something fascinating about science. One gets such wholesale returns of conjecture out of such a trifling investment of fact.
The right word may be effective, but no word was ever as effective as a rightly timed pause.
There are people who strictly deprive themselves of each and every eatable, drinkable, and smokable which has in any way acquired a shady reputation. They pay this price for health. And health is all they get for it. How strange it is. It is like paying out your whole fortune for a cow that has gone dry.
The worst loneliness is not to be comfortable with yourself.
Water, taken in moderation, cannot hurt anybody.
Under certain circumstances, profanity provides a relief denied even to prayer.
When you cannot get a compliment any other way pay yourself one.
I cannot call to mind a single instance where I have ever been irreverent, except toward the things which were sacred to other people.
The radical invents the views. When he has worn them out the conservative adopts them.
He had discovered a great law of human action, without knowing it - namely, that in order to make a man or a boy covet a thing, it is only necessary to make the thing difficult to obtain.
When in doubt, tell the truth.
When I was younger, I could remember anything, whether it had happened or not.
A human being has a natural desire to have more of a good thing than he needs.
There are several good protections against temptations, but the surest is cowardice.
Man is the Only Animal that Blushes. Or needs to.
The history of our race, and each individual's experience, are sown thick with evidence that a truth is not hard to kill and that a lie told well is immortal.
The universal brotherhood of man is our most precious possession.
We are always more anxious to be distinguished for a talent which we do not possess, than to be praised for the fifteen which we do possess.
Sane and intelligent human beings are like all other human beings, and carefully and cautiously and diligently conceal their private real opinions from the world and give out fictitious ones in their stead for general consumption.
When a person cannot deceive himself the chances are against his being able to deceive other people.
The radical of one century is the conservative of the next. The radical invents the views. When he has worn them out the conservative adopts them.
Familiarity breeds contempt - and children.
Our opinions do not really blossom into fruition until we have expressed them to someone else.
How little a thing can make us happy when we feel that we have earned it.
It was enough to make a body ashamed of the human race.
An enemy can partly ruin a man, but it takes a good-natured injudicious friend to complete the thing and make it perfect.
Training is everything. The peach was once a bitter almond cauliflower is nothing but cabbage with a college education.
Laws are sand, customs are rock. Laws can be evaded and punishment escaped but an openly transgressed custom brings sure punishment.
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