Mark Twain Quotations

I’ve been collecting quotations for years and figured I’d put my collections online for others to use as they wish. I’m starting with Mark Twain because we’re coming up on the 100th anniversary of his death and he’ll be in the news for a while. Enjoy these quotations, use the comment form to share any Twain quotations you don’t find here.

More on Mark Twain http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mark_twain.

Politicians and diapers must be changed often, and for the same reason.
— Mark Twain

If the world ends, I’ll just head on down to Kentucky because they’re always 20 years behind.

— Mark Twain

Reader, suppose you were an idiot. And suppose you were a member of Congress. But I repeat myself.
— Mark Twain

It could probably be shown by facts and figures that there is no distinctively native American criminal class except Congress.
— Mark Twain

Familiarity breeds contempt–and children.
— Mark Twain

Principles aren’t of much account, anyway, except at election time.
— Mark Twain

Adam and Eve had many advantages, but the principal one was that they escaped teething.
— Mark Twain

The man who doesn’t read good books has no advantage over the man who can’t read them.
— Mark Twain

Everything has its limit–iron cannot be educated into gold.
— Mark Twain

There ain’t no way to find out why a snorer can’t hear himself snore.
— Mark Twain

Where prejudice exists it always discolors our thoughts.
— Mark Twain

Truth is stranger than fiction, but it is because fiction is obliged to stick to possibilities; truth isn’t.
— Mark Twain

Wagner’s music is better than it sounds.
— Mark Twain

Temperate temperance is best; intemperate temperance injures the cause of temperance.
— Mark Twain

What a lie it is to call this a free country, where none but the unworthy and undeserving may swear.
— Mark Twain

We can’t reach old age by another man’s road. My habits protect my life but they would assassinate you.
— Mark Twain

We all like to see people sea-sick when we are not ourselves.
— Mark Twain

Truth is mighty and will prevail. There is nothing that matter with this, except that it ain’t so.
— Mark Twain

There are only two forces that can carry light to all corners of the globe–only two–the sun in the heavens and the Associated Press down here.
— Mark Twain

The idea that no gentleman ever swears is all wrong. He can swear and still be a gentleman if he does it in a nice and benevolent and affectionate way.
— Mark Twain

The gentle reader will never, never know what a consummate ass he can become until he goes abroad.
— Mark Twain

The best and most telling speech is not the actual impromptu one but the counterfeit of it.
— Mark Twain

The altar-cloth of one aeon is the doormat of the next.
— Mark Twain

Taking the pledge will not make bad liquor good, but it will improve it.
— Mark Twain

Some men worship rank, some worship heroes, some worship God, and over these ideas they dispute–but they all worship money.
— Mark Twain

Repartee is something we think of twenty-four hours too late.
— Mark Twain

Principles have no real force except when one is well fed.
— Mark Twain

Pessimist: the optimist who didn’t arrive.
— Mark Twain

Names are not always what they seem. The common Welsh name Bzjxxlwcp is pronounced Jackson.
— Mark Twain

My own luck has been curious all my literary life; I never could tell a lie that anyone would doubt, not a truth that anybody would believe.
— Mark Twain

Learning began with talk and is therefore older than books. Our opinions do not really blossom into fruition until we have expressed them to someone else.
— Mark Twain

It were not best that we should all think alike.
— Mark Twain

It isn’t so astonishing the number of things that I can remember, as the number of things that I can remember that aren’t so.
— Mark Twain

It is strange the way the ignorant and inexperienced so often and undeservedly succeed when the informed and experienced fail.
— Mark Twain

It is not best that we use our morals weekdays; it gets them out of repair for Sundays.
— Mark Twain

It is because they do not think at all; they only think they think.
— Mark Twain

In certain trying circumstances, urgent circumstances, desperate circumstances, profanity furnishes a relief denied even to prayer.
— Mark Twain

If you should rear a duck in the heart of the Sahara, no doubt it would swim if you brought it to the Nile.
— Mark Twain

If all men were rich, all men would be poor.
— Mark Twain

I thoroughly believe that any man who’s got anything worthwhile to say will be heard if he only says it often enough.
— Mark Twain

I have seen slower people than I am–and more deliberate… and even quieter, and more listless, and lazier people than I am. But they were dead.
— Mark Twain

I don’t mind what the opposition say of me so long as they don’t tell the truth about me.
— Mark Twain

I am not one of those who in expressing opinions confine themselves to facts.
— Mark Twain

He was a preacher, too… and never charged nothing for his preaching, and it was worth it, too.
— Mark Twain

He has been a doctor a year now, and has had two patients–no, three, I think; yes, it was three. I attended their funerals.
— Mark Twain

God was left out of the Constitution but was furnished a front seat on the coins of the country.
— Mark Twain

An honest man in politics shines more than he would elsewhere.
— Mark Twain

A street in Constantinople is a picture which one ought to see once–not oftener.
— Mark Twain

A sin takes on new and real terrors when there seems a chance that it is going to be found out.
— Mark Twain

A round man cannot be expected to fit into a square hole right away. He must have time to modify his shape.
— Mark Twain

You shouldn’t try to teach a pig to sing. You waste your time and it annoys the pig.
— Mark Twain

You may have noticed that the less I know about a subject the more confidence I have, and the more new light I throw on it.
— Mark Twain

You cannot depend on your eyes when your imagination is out of focus.
— Mark Twain

You can’t reason with the heart; it has its own laws, and thumps about things which the intellect scorns.
— Mark Twain

You can’t pray a lie.
— Mark Twain

Yes, even I am dishonest. Not in many ways, but in some. Forty-one I think it is.
— Mark Twain

Wrinkles should merely indicate where smiles have been.
— Mark Twain

Work consists of whatever a body is obliged to do… Play consists of whatever a body is not obliged to do.
— Mark Twain

Words are only painted fire; a look is the fire itself.
— Mark Twain

Women cannot receive even the most palpably judicious suggestion without arguing it, that is, married women.
— Mark Twain

Wit is the sudden marriage of ideas which, before their union, were not perceived to have any relation.
— Mark Twain

Why shouldn’t truth be stranger than fiction? Fiction, after all, has to stick to possibilities.
— Mark Twain

Why is it that we rejoice at a birth and grieve at a funeral? It is because we are not the person involved.
— Mark Twain

Whiskey is carried into committee rooms in demijohns and carried out in demagogues.
— Mark Twain

Where every man in a state has a vote, brutal laws are impossible.
— Mark Twain

Whenever you find that you are on the side of the majority, it is time to reform (or pause and reflect).
— Mark Twain

When you fish for love, bait with your heart, not with your brain.
— Mark Twain

When red headed people are above a certain social grade their hair is auburn.
— Mark Twain

When it comes down to pure ornamental cursing, the native American is gifted above the sons of men.
— Mark Twain

When in doubt tell the truth.
— Mark Twain

When I was younger, I could remember anything, whether it had happened or not.
— Mark Twain

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.
— Mark Twain

When I reflect upon the number of disagreeable people who I know have gone to a better world, I am moved to lead a different life.
— Mark Twain

When angry, count four; when very angry, swear.
— Mark Twain

When a teacher calls a boy by his entire name it means trouble.
— Mark Twain

When a person cannot deceive himself the chances are against his being able to deceive other people.
— Mark Twain

When a man’s dog turns against him it is time for a wife to pack her trunk and go home to mama.
— Mark Twain

Whatever a man’s age, he can reduce it several years by putting a bright-colored flower in his button-hole.
— Mark Twain

What’s the use you learning to do right, when it’s troublesome to do right and ain’t no trouble to do wrong, and the wages is just the same?
— Mark Twain

What work I have done I have done because it has been play. If it had been work I shouldn’t have done it.
— Mark Twain

What is the difference between a taxidermist and a tax collector? Answer: A taxidermist takes only your skin.
— Mark Twain

What a man misses mostly in heaven is company.
— Mark Twain

What a good thing Adam had–when he said a good thing, he knew nobody had said it before.
— Mark Twain

Well enough for old folks to rise early, because they have done so many mean things all their lives they can’t sleep anyhow.
— Mark Twain

We ought never to do wrong when people are looking.
— Mark Twain

We must put up with clothes as they are–they have their reason for existing. They are on us to expose us–to advertise what we wear them to conceal.
— Mark Twain

We have nine children now–half boys and half girls.
— Mark Twain

We get our morals from books. I didn’t get mine from books, but I know that morals do come from books–theoretically, at least.
— Mark Twain

We do not deal much in facts when we are contemplating ourselves.
— Mark Twain

We are discreet sheep; we wait to see how the drove is going, and then go with the drove.
— Mark Twain

We are all beggars, each in his own way.
— Mark Twain

We all do no end of feeling, and we mistake it for thinking.
— Mark Twain

Water taken in moderation cannot hurt anybody.
— Mark Twain

Virtue has never been as respectable as money.
— Mark Twain

Under certain circumstances, profanity provides a relief denied even to prayer.
— Mark Twain

Truth is the most valuable thing we have. Let us economize it.
— Mark Twain

Troubles are only mental; it is the mind that manufactures them, and the mind can forget them, banish them, abolish them.
— Mark Twain

Too much of anything is bad, but too much of good whiskey is barely enough.
— Mark Twain

Tomorrow night I appear for the first time before a Boston audience–4000 critics.
— Mark Twain

To promise not to do a thing is the surest way in the world to make a body want to go and do that very thing.
— Mark Twain

To cease smoking is the easiest thing I ever did. I ought to know because I’ve done it a thousand times.
— Mark Twain

To believe yourself brave is to be brave; it is the only essential thing.
— Mark Twain

To be good is noble, but to teach others how to be good is nobler–and less trouble.
— Mark Twain

Thunder is good, thunder is impressive; but it is lightening that does the work.
— Mark Twain

Thousands of geniuses live and die undiscovered–either by themselves or by others.
— Mark Twain

They spell it Vinci and pronounce it Vinchy; foreigners always spell better than they pronounce.
— Mark Twain

There’s one way to find out if a man is honest: ask him; if he says yes, you know he is crooked.
— Mark Twain

There’s always a hole in theories somewhere if you look close enough.
— Mark Twain

There’s a good spot tucked away somewhere in everybody. You’ll be a long time finding it, sometimes.
— Mark Twain

There isn’t anything you can’t stand if you are only born and bred to it.
— Mark Twain

There is probably no pleasure equal to the pleasure of climbing a dangerous Alp; but it is a pleasure which is confined strictly to people who can find pleasure in it.
— Mark Twain

There is only one good sex. The female one.
— Mark Twain

There is nothing so annoying as to have two people go right on talking when you’re interrupting.
— Mark Twain

There is nothing like instances to grow hair on a bald-headed argument.
— Mark Twain

There is nothing in the world like a persuasive speech to fuddle the mental apparatus.
— Mark Twain

There is no sadder sight than a young pessimist, except an old optimist.
— Mark Twain

There is no humor in heaven.
— Mark Twain

There is a lot to say in her favor, but the other is more interesting.
— Mark Twain

There is a great deal of human nature in people.
— Mark Twain

There has been only one Christian. They caught and crucified him–early.
— Mark Twain

There comes a time in every rightly constructed boy’s life when he has a raging desire to go somewhere and dig for hidden treasure.
— Mark Twain

There are two times in a man’s life when he should not speculate: when he can’t afford it, and when he can.
— Mark Twain

There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics.
— Mark Twain

There are those who would misteach us that to stick in a rut is consistency–and a virtue; and that to climb out of the rut is inconsistency–and a vice.
— Mark Twain

There are several good protections against temptation, but the surest is cowardice.
— Mark Twain

There are people who think that honesty is always the best policy. This is a superstition: there are times when the appearance of it is worth six of it.
— Mark Twain

There are no people who are quite so vulgar as the over-refined.
— Mark Twain

There are no grades of vanity, there are only grades of ability in concealing it.
— Mark Twain

There are many humorous things in the world: among them the white man’s notion that he is less savage than the other savages.
— Mark Twain

The work that is really a man’s own work is play and not work at all.
— Mark Twain

The very ink with which all history is written is merely fluid prejudice.
— Mark Twain

The true charm of pedestrianism does not lie in the walking, or the scenery, but in the talking.
— Mark Twain

The surest way to convey misinformation is to tell the strict truth.
— Mark Twain

The right word may be effective, but no word was ever as effective as a rightly timed pause.
— Mark Twain

The reports of my death are greatly exaggerated.
— Mark Twain

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.
— Mark Twain

The public is the only critic whose opinion is worth anything at all.
— Mark Twain

The partitions of the houses were so thin we could hear the women occupants of adjoining rooms changing their minds.
— Mark Twain

The only way to keep your health is to eat what you don’t want, drink what you don’t like, and do what you’d rather not.
— Mark Twain

The older we grow the greater becomes our wonder at how much ignorance one can contain without bursting one’s clothes.
— Mark Twain

The more things are forbidden, the more popular they become.
— Mark Twain

The man with a new idea is a crank until the idea succeeds.
— Mark Twain

The man who is a pessimist before 48 knows too much; if he is an optimist after it, he knows too little.
— Mark Twain

The less a man knows the bigger the noise he makes and the higher the salary he commands.
— Mark Twain

The lack of money is the root of all evil.
— Mark Twain

The institution of Royalty in any form is an insult to the human race.
— Mark Twain

The humorous story is American, the comic story is English, the witty story is French. The humorous story depends for its effect upon the manner of the telling; the comic story and the witty story upon the matter.
— Mark Twain

The human race is a race of cowards; and I am not only marching in that procession but carrying a banner.
— Mark Twain

The house was as empty as a beer closet in a premises where painters have been at work.
— Mark Twain

The holy passion of friendship is of so sweet and steady and loyal and enduring a nature that it will last through a lifetime if not asked to lend money.
— Mark Twain

The heart is the real Fountain of Youth.
— Mark Twain

The first half of my life I went to school, the second half of my life I got an education.
— Mark Twain

The first half of life consists of the capacity to enjoy without the chance; the last half consists of the chance without the capacity.
— Mark Twain

The elastic heart of youth cannot be compressed into one constrained shape long at a time.
— Mark Twain

The difference between the right word and the almost right word is the difference between lightning and the lightning bug.
— Mark Twain

The country is the real thing, the substantial thing, the eternal thing, it is the thing to watch over and care for and be loyal to; institutions are extraneous. . . .
— Mark Twain

The best way to cheer yourself is to try to cheer somebody else up.
— Mark Twain

That’s the difference between governments and individuals. Governments don’t care, individuals do.
— Mark Twain

Switzerland is simply a large, humpy, solid rock, with a thin skin of grass stretched over it.
— Mark Twain

Such is the human race. Often it does seem a pity that Noah… didn’t miss the boat.
— Mark Twain

Such a laugh was money in a man’s pocket, because it cut down on the doctor’s bills like everything.
— Mark Twain

Spirit… has fifty times the strength and staying-power of brawn and muscle.
— Mark Twain

Some civilized women would lose half their charm without dress and some would lose all of it.
— Mark Twain

Soap and education are not as sudden as a massacre, but they are more deadly in the long run.
— Mark Twain

Simplified spelling is all right, but, like chastity, you can carry it too far.
— Mark Twain

Shut the door not that it lets in the cold but that it lets out the coziness.
— Mark Twain

Seasickness: at first you are so sick you are afraid you will die, and then you are so sick you are afraid you won’t die.
— Mark Twain

Scientists have odious manners, except when you prop up their theory; then you can borrow money of them.
— Mark Twain

Satan hasn’t a single salaried helper; the Opposition employs a million.
— Mark Twain

Reputation is a hall-mark: it can remove doubt from pure silver, and it can also make the plated article pass for pure.
— Mark Twain

Remember the poor, it costs nothing.
— Mark Twain

Religion consists in a set of things which the average man thinks he believes and wishes he was certain.
— Mark Twain

Put all your eggs in one basket–and watch that basket!
— Mark Twain

Prosperity is the best protector of principle.
— Mark Twain

People ought to start dead and then they would be honest so much earlier.
— Mark Twain

Ours is the “land of the free”–nobody denies that–nobody challenges it. (Maybe it is because we won’t let other people testify.)
— Mark Twain

Our consciences take no notice of pain inflicted on others until it reaches a point where it gives pain to us.
— Mark Twain

Only when a republic’s life is in danger should a man uphold his government when it is wrong. There is no other time.
— Mark Twain

Only presidents, editors, and people with tapeworms have the right to use the editorial “we”.
— Mark Twain

One of the striking differences between a cat and a lie is that a cat has only nine lives.
— Mark Twain

One of the proofs of the immortality of the soul is that myriads have believed it–they also believed the world was flat.
— Mark Twain

One of my theories is that the hearts of men are about alike, no matter what their skin color.
— Mark Twain

One mustn’t criticize other people on grounds where he can’t stand perpendicular himself.
— Mark Twain

One is apt to overestimate beauty when it is rare.
— Mark Twain

Often, the less there is to justify a traditional custom the harder it is go get rid of it.
— Mark Twain

Of all animals, man is the only one that is cruel. He is the only one that inflicts pain for the pleasure of doing it.
— Mark Twain

October. This is one of the peculiarly dangerous months to speculate in stocks in. The others are July, January, September, April, November, May, March, June, December, August, and February.
— Mark Twain

Nothing that grieves us can be called little: by the eternal laws of proportion a child’s loss of a doll and a king’s loss of a crown are events of the same size.
— Mark Twain

Nothing so needs reforming as other people’s habits.
— Mark Twain

Nothing helps scenery like ham and eggs.
— Mark Twain

Noise proves nothing. Often a hen who has merely laid an egg cackles as if she had laid an asteroid.
— Mark Twain

No one is willing to acknowledge a fault in himself when a more agreeable motive can be found for the estrangement of his acquaintances.
— Mark Twain

Never waste a lie; you never know when you may need it.
— Mark Twain

Never tell the truth to people who are not worthy of it.
— Mark Twain

Never tell a lie–except for practice.
— Mark Twain

Never put off until tomorrow what you can do the day after tomorrow.
— Mark Twain

Never learn to do anything: if you don’t learn, you’ll always find someone else to do it for you.
— Mark Twain

Necessity is the mother of taking chances.
— Mark Twain

My mother had a great deal of trouble with me, but I think she enjoyed it.
— Mark Twain

My memory was never loaded with anything but blank cartridges.
— Mark Twain

My kind of loyalty was loyalty to one’s country, not to… its office holders.
— Mark Twain

My books are water; those of the great geniuses are wine–everybody drinks water.
— Mark Twain

My advice to girls: first, don’t smoke–to excess; second, don’t drink–to excess; third, don’t marry–to excess.
— Mark Twain

Most writers regard truth as their most valuable possession, and therefore are most economical in its use.
— Mark Twain

Modesty died when clothes were born.
— Mark Twain

Martyrdom covers a multitude of sins.
— Mark Twain

Many when they come to die have spent all the truth that was in them, and enter the next world as paupers. I have saved up enough to make an astonishment there.
— Mark Twain

Many a small thing has been made large by the right kind of advertising.
— Mark Twain

Man was made at the end of the week’s work when God was tired.
— Mark Twain

Man is the Reasoning Animal. Such is the claim. I think it is open to dispute.
— Mark Twain

Man is the only animal that blushes. Or needs to.
— Mark Twain

Life would be infinitely happier if we could only be born at the age of eighty and gradually approach eighteen.
— Mark Twain

Let us swear while we may, for in heaven it will not be allowed.
— Mark Twain

Let us so live that when we come to die even the undertaker will be sorry.
— Mark Twain

Let us not be too particular: it is better to have old second-hand diamonds than none at all.
— Mark Twain

Laws are sand, customs are rock. Laws can be evaded and punishment escaped, but an openly transgressed custom brings sure punishment.
— Mark Twain

Laughter without a tinge of philosophy is but a sneeze of humor. Genuine humor is replete with wisdom.
— Mark Twain

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.
— Mark Twain

Its name is Public Opinion. It is held in reverence. It settles everything. Some think it is the voice of God.
— Mark Twain

It’s a good idea to obey all the rules when you’re young just so you’ll have the strength to break them when you’re old.
— Mark Twain

It usually takes more than three weeks to prepare a good impromptu speech.
— Mark Twain

It used to be a good hotel, but that proves nothing–I used to be a good boy.
— Mark Twain

It takes me a long time to lose my temper, but once lost I could not find it with a dog.
— Mark Twain

It is the will of God that we must have critics, and missionaries, and congressmen, and humorists, and we must bear the burden.
— Mark Twain

It is the difference of opinion that makes horse races.
— Mark Twain

It is just like man’s vanity and impertinence to call an animal dumb because it is dumb to his dull perceptions.
— Mark Twain

It is human to exaggerate the merits of the dead.
— Mark Twain

It is easy to find fault, if one has that disposition. There was once a man who, not being able to find any other fault with his coal, complained that there were too many prehistoric toads in it.
— Mark Twain

It is better to support schools than jails.
— Mark Twain

It is better to keep your mouth shut and appear stupid than to open it and remove all doubt.
— Mark Twain

It is better to deserve honors and not have them than to have them and not deserve them.
— Mark Twain

It is better to be a young June-bug than an old bird of paradise.
— Mark Twain

It is at our mother’s knee that we acquire our noblest and truest and highest ideals, but there is seldom any money in them.
— Mark Twain

It is a wise child that knows its own father, and an unusual one that reservedly approves of him.
— Mark Twain

It is a pity that we cannot escape from life when we are young.
— Mark Twain

It has always been my rule never to smoke when asleep, and never to refrain when awake.
— Mark Twain

It ain’t what you don’t know that’s so harmful, it’s what you know that just ain’t so.
— Mark Twain

It ain’t those parts of the Bible that I can’t understand that bother me, it’s the parts that I do understand.
— Mark Twain

Is it, perhaps, possible that there are two kinds of civilization–one for home consumption and one for the heathen market?
— Mark Twain

In writing, I shall always confine myself strictly to the truth, except when it is attended with inconvenience.
— Mark Twain

In the first place, God made idiots. That was for practice. Then he made school boards.
— Mark Twain

In religion and politics, people’s beliefs and convictions are in almost every case gotten at second-hand, and without examination.
— Mark Twain

In our country we have those three unspeakably precious things: freedom of speech, freedom of conscience, and the prudence never to practice either.
— Mark Twain

In God We Trust. I don’t believe it would sound any better if it were true.
— Mark Twain

In Boston they ask, How much does he know? In New York, How much is he worth? In Philadelphia, Who were his parents?
— Mark Twain

In all my travels the thing that has impressed me the most is the universal brotherhood of man–what there is of it.
— Mark Twain

If you tell the truth you don’t have to remember anything.
— Mark Twain

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.
— Mark Twain

If you don’t like the weather in New England, just wait a few minutes.
— Mark Twain

If you can’t get a compliment any other way, pay yourself one.
— Mark Twain

If we had less statesmanship, we would get along with fewer battleships.
— Mark Twain

If man could be crossed with a cat, it would improve man, but it would deteriorate the cat.
— Mark Twain

If I cannot swear in heaven I shall not stay there.
— Mark Twain

If Christ were here now there is one thing he would not be–a Christian.
— Mark Twain

If all the fools in this world should die, lordy God, how lonely I should be.
— Mark Twain

If a person offends you, and you are in doubt as to whether it was intentional or not, do not resort to extreme measures; simply watch your chance and hit him with a brick.
— Mark Twain

If a man doesn’t believe as we do, we say he is a crank, and that settles it. I mean, it does nowadays, because now we can’t burn him.
— Mark Twain

I would rather have my ignorance than another man’s knowledge, because I have got so much more of it.
— Mark Twain

I would rather go to bed with Lillian Russell stark naked than Ulysses S. Grant in full military regalia.
— Mark Twain

I wonder how much it would take to buy a soap bubble, if there were only one in the world.
— Mark Twain

I was seldom able to see an opportunity until it had ceased to be one.
— Mark Twain

I was gratified to be able to answer promptly, and I did. I said that I didn’t know.
— Mark Twain

I was born modest; not all over, but in spots.
— Mark Twain

I saw a cat yesterday with 4 legs–and yet it was only a yellow cat, and rather small, too, for its size. They were not all fore legs–several of them were hind legs; indeed almost a majority of them were.
— Mark Twain

I owe a friend a dozen chickens, and I believe it will be cheaper to send eggs instead, and let them develop on the road.
— Mark Twain

I never did a thing in all my life, virtuous or otherwise, that I didn’t repent of in twenty-four hours.
— Mark Twain

I like criticism, but it must be my way.
— Mark Twain

I like a good story well told. That is the reason I am sometimes forced to tell them myself.
— Mark Twain

I haven’t a particle of confidence in a man who has no redeeming petty vices.
— Mark Twain

I have told him all I know about it. And now he knows nothing about it himself.
— Mark Twain

I have never let my schooling interfere with my education.
— Mark Twain

I have made it a rule never to smoke more than one cigar at a time.
— Mark Twain

I have been complimented many times and they always embarrass me; I always feel that they have not said enough.
— Mark Twain

I have been cautioned to talk but be careful not to say anything. I do not consider this a difficult task.
— Mark Twain

I have been an author for 20 years and an ass for 55.
— Mark Twain

I have a prodigious quantity of mind; it takes me as much as a week sometimes to make it up.
— Mark Twain

I don’t like to commit myself about heaven and hell–you see, I have friends in both places.
— Mark Twain

I do not like work even when someone else does it.
— Mark Twain

I did not attend his funeral, but I wrote a nice letter saying I approved it.
— Mark Twain

I could have become a soldier if I had waited; I knew more about retreating than the man who invented retreating.
— Mark Twain

I can live for two months on a good compliment.
— Mark Twain

I believe that our Heavenly Father invented Man because he was disappointed in the monkey.
— Mark Twain

I am losing enough sleep to supply a worn-out army.
— Mark Twain

I am glad the old masters are all dead, and I only wish they had died sooner.
— Mark Twain

I am different from Washington; I have a higher, grander standard of principle. Washington could not lie. I can lie, but I won’t.
— Mark Twain

I am an old man and have known a great many troubles, but most of them never happened.
— Mark Twain

I’m opposed to millionaires, but it would be dangerous to offer me the position.
— Mark Twain

How often we recall, with regret, that Napoleon once shot at a magazine editor and missed him and killed a publisher. But we remember with charity that his intentions were good.
— Mark Twain

Honesty: the best of all lost arts.
— Mark Twain

Honest poverty is a gem that even a king might be proud to call his own, but I wish to sell out.
— Mark Twain

Heroine: girl who is perfectly charming to live with, in a book.
— Mark Twain

Heaven goes by favor; if it went by merit, you would stay out and your dog would go in.
— Mark Twain

Heaven for climate, hell for society.
— Mark Twain

He goes by the brand, yet imagines he goes by the flavor.
— Mark Twain

Have a place for everything and keep the thing somewhere else; this is not advice, it is merely custom.
— Mark Twain

Half of the results of a good intentions are evil; half the results of an evil intention are good.
— Mark Twain

Hain’t we got all the fools in town on our side? And hain’t that a big enough majority in any town?
— Mark Twain

Grief can take care of itself, but to get the full value of joy you must have somebody to divide it with.
— Mark Twain

Great enterprises usually promise vastly more than they perform.
— Mark Twain

Good friends, good books and a sleepy conscience: this is the ideal life.
— Mark Twain

Good breeding consists of concealing how much we think of ourselves and how little we think of the other person.
— Mark Twain

Golf is a good walk spoiled.
— Mark Twain

Get your facts first, and then you can distort them as much as you please.
— Mark Twain

Get a bicycle. You will not regret it. If you live.
— Mark Twain

Genius has no youth, but starts with the ripeness of age and old experience.
— Mark Twain

Fortune knocks at every man’s door once in a life, but in a good many cases the man is in a neighboring saloon and does not hear her.
— Mark Twain

For business reasons, I must preserve the outward signs of sanity.
— Mark Twain

Fleas can be taught nearly anything a Congressman can.
— Mark Twain

Few things are harder to put up with than a good example.
— Mark Twain

Few of us can stand prosperity. Another man’s, I mean.
— Mark Twain

Everyone is a moon, and has a dark side which he never shows to anybody.
— Mark Twain

Everybody’s private motto: It’s better to be popular than right.
— Mark Twain

Everybody talks about the weather, but nobody does anything about it.
— Mark Twain

Every time I reform in one direction I go overboard in another.
— Mark Twain

Even Noah got no salary for the first six months–partly on account of the weather and partly because he was learning navigation.
— Mark Twain

Eternal rest sounds comforting in the pulpit; well, you try it once, and see how heavy time will hang on your hands.
— Mark Twain

Epitaphs are cheap, and they do a poor chap a world of good after he is dead, especially if he had hard luck while he was alive. I wish they were used more.
— Mark Twain

Eloquence is the essential thing in a speech, not information.
— Mark Twain

Earn a character first if you can. And if you can’t, assume one.
— Mark Twain

Don’t tell fish stories where the people know you; but particularly, don’t tell them where they know the fish.
— Mark Twain

Don’t go around saying the world owes you a living; the world owes you nothing, it was here first.
— Mark Twain

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.
— Mark Twain

Do not undervalue the headache. While it is at its sharpest it seems a bad investment; but when relief begins, the unexpired remainder is worth four dollars a minute.
— Mark Twain

Do not offer a compliment and ask a favor at the same time. A compliment that is charged for is not valuable.
— Mark Twain

Custom is petrification; nothing but dynamite can dislodge it for a century.
— Mark Twain

Courage is resistance to fear, mastery of fear–not absence of fear.
— Mark Twain

Concerning the difference between man and the jackass: some observers hold that there isn’t any. But this wrongs the jackass.
— Mark Twain

Cold! If the thermometer had been an inch longer we’d have frozen to death.
— Mark Twain

Clothes make the man. Naked people have little or no influence in society.
— Mark Twain

Classic: A book which people praise and don’t read.
— Mark Twain

Civilizations proceed from the heart rather than from the head.
— Mark Twain

Civilization: A limitless multiplication of unnecessary necessaries.
— Mark Twain

Circumstances make man, not man circumstances.
— Mark Twain

Children have but little charity for one another’s defects.
— Mark Twain

By trying, we can easily learn to endure adversity. Another man’s, I mean.
— Mark Twain

Between believing a thing and thinking you know is only a small step and quickly taken.
— Mark Twain

Beautiful credit! The foundation of modern society.
— Mark Twain

Be virtuous and you will be eccentric.
— Mark Twain

Be good and you will be lonesome.
— Mark Twain

Be careless with your dress if you will, but keep a tidy soul.
— Mark Twain

Be careful about reading health books. You may die of a misprint.
— Mark Twain

As to the adjective: when it doubt, strike it out.
— Mark Twain

An uneasy conscience is a hair in the mouth.
— Mark Twain

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.
— Mark Twain

An author values compliment even when it comes from a source of doubtful competency.
— Mark Twain

Always obey your superiors–if you have any.
— Mark Twain

Always obey your parents when they are present.
— Mark Twain

Always do right. This will gratify some people and astonish the rest.
— Mark Twain

Always acknowledge a fault frankly. This will throw those in authority off their guard and give you an opportunity to commit more.
— Mark Twain

All you need in this life is ignorance and confidence, and then Success is sure.
— Mark Twain

Against the assault of laughter nothing can stand.
— Mark Twain

Adam was the author of sin, and I wish he had taken out an international copyright on it.
— Mark Twain

A soiled baby with a neglected nose, cannot be conscientiously regarded as a thing of beauty.
— Mark Twain

A scientist will never show any kindness for a theory which he did not start himself.
— Mark Twain

A railroad is like a lie–you have to keep building it to make it stand.
— Mark Twain

A lie can travel half way around the world while the truth is putting on its shoes.
— Mark Twain

A human being has a natural desire to have more of a good thing than he needs.
— Mark Twain

A historian who would convey the truth has got to lie. Often he must enlarge the truth by diameters, otherwise his reader would not be able to see it.
— Mark Twain

A great law of human action–in order to make a man or a boy covet a thing, it is only necessary to make the thing difficult to attain.
— Mark Twain

A good and wholesome thing is a little harmless fun in this world; it tones a body up and keeps him human and prevents him from souring.
— Mark Twain

A crime persevered in a thousand centuries ceased to be a crime, and becomes a virtue. This is the law of custom, and custom supersedes all other forms of law.
— Mark Twain

A cat is more intelligent than people believe, and can be taught any crime.
— Mark Twain

A banquet is probably the most fatiguing thing in the world except ditch digging.
— Mark Twain

A baby is an inestimable blessing and bother.
— Mark Twain

“Rise early. It is the early bird that catches the worm.” Don’t be fooled by this absurd saw; I once knew a man who tried it. He got up at sunrise and a horse bit him.
— Mark Twain

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