Mark Twain Quotes

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1. “If you tell the truth, you don't have to remember anything.”

Tags : Lies Lying Memory Truth
Author : Mark Twain

2. “Courage is resistance to fear, mastery of fear - not absence of fear.”

Tags : Courage
Author : Mark Twain

3. “It's not the size of the dog in the fight, it's the size of the fight in the dog.”

Tags : Bravery Dog Famous Inspirational Valour
Author : Mark Twain

4. “It is curious that physical courage should be so common in the world and moral courage so rare.”

Tags : Bravery Character Courage Moral Courage
Author : Mark Twain

5. “I did not attend his funeral, but I sent a nice letter saying I approved of it.”

Tags : Classic Insult Funeral Funny Humor
Author : Mark Twain

6. “All you need in this life is ignorance and confidence; then success is sure. ”

Tags : Humor Success
Author : Mark Twain

7. “The easy confidence with which I know another man's religion is folly teaches me to suspect that my own is also.”

Tags : Humor Philosophy Religion
Author : Mark Twain

8. “Substitute 'damn' every time you're inclined to write 'very;' your editor will delete it and the writing will be just as it should be.”

Tags : Humor Writing
Author : Mark Twain

9. “The difference between the almost right word and the right word is really a large matter. ’tis the difference between the lightning bug and the lightning.”

Tags : Writing
Author : Mark Twain
Source : The Wit and Wisdom of Mark Twain

10. “The fear of death follows from the fear of life. A man who lives fully is prepared to die at any time.”

Tags : Death Life
Author : Mark Twain

11. “I do not fear death. I had been dead for billions and billions of years before I was born, and had not suffered the slightest inconvenience from it.”

Tags : Death Inspirational
Author : Mark Twain

12. “What would men be without women? Scarce, sir...mighty scarce.”

Tags : Humor Men Women
Author : Mark Twain

13. “It may have happened, it may not have happened but it could have happened.”

Tags : Plausibility Possibility
Author : Mark Twain

14. “Good friends, good books, and a sleepy conscience: this is the ideal life.”

Tags : Books Contentment Friends Friendship Life
Author : Mark Twain

15. “Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to reform (or pause and reflect).”

Tags : Individuality Majority Minority Pause Reflect Wisdom
Author : Mark Twain

16. “And always we had wars, and more wars, and still other wars--all over Europe, all over the world. "Sometimes in the private interest of royal families," Satan said, "sometimes to crush a weak nation; but never a war started by the aggressor for any clean purpose--there is no such war in the history of the race.”

Tags : History Of Mankind Life Stupidity War
Author : Mark Twain
Source : The Mysterious Stranger

17. “Some people get an education without going to college. The rest get it after they get out.”

Tags : College Education
Author : Mark Twain

18. “The Bible has noble poetry in it... and some good morals and a wealth of obscenity, and upwards of a thousand lies.”

Tags : Agnosticism Atheism Bible Christianity Mythology Truth
Author : Mark Twain

19. “Wit is the sudden marriage of ideas which before their union were not perceived to have any relation. ”

Tags : Cleverness Writing
Author : Mark Twain

20. “Why do you sit there looking like an envelope without any address on it?”

Tags : Classic Insult Simile
Author : Mark Twain

21. “A lie can travel half way around the world while the truth is putting on its shoes.”

Tags : Misattributed Mark Twain Truth
Author : Mark Twain

22. “When I was a boy of 14, my father was so ignorant I could hardly stand to have the old man around. But when I got to be 21, I was astonished at how much the old man had learned in seven years.”

Tags : Arrogance Humor Ignorance
Author : Mark Twain

23. “Everyone is a moon, and has a dark side which he never shows to anybody.”

Tags : Darkness Human Nature Moon
Author : Mark Twain

24. “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.”

Tags : Greatness
Author : Mark Twain

25. “God created war so that Americans would learn geography.”

Tags : Americans Geography War
Author : Mark Twain

26. “Reader, suppose you were an idiot. And suppose you were a member of Congress. But I repeat myself.”

Tags : Humor Politics
Author : Mark Twain

27. “Loyalty to country ALWAYS. Loyalty to government, when it deserves it.”

Tags : Patriotism Politics
Author : Mark Twain

28. “If voting made any difference they wouldn't let us do it.”

Tags : Democracy Government
Author : Mark Twain

29. “The government is merely a servant―merely a temporary servant; it cannot be its prerogative to determine what is right and what is wrong, and decide who is a patriot and who isn't. Its function is to obey orders, not originate them.”

Tags : Government
Author : Mark Twain

30. “It could probably be shown by facts and figures that there is no distinctly native American criminal class except Congress.”

Tags : America Congress Corruption Government
Author : Mark Twain

31. “Part of the secret of success in life is to eat what you like and let the food fight it out inside.”

Tags : Food
Author : Mark Twain

32. “Action speaks louder than words but not nearly as often.”

Tags : Actions Deeds
Author : Mark Twain

33. “′Classic′ - a book which people praise and don't read.”

Tags : Books Classic Reading
Author : Mark Twain

34. “I have never let my schooling interfere with my education.”

Tags : Education
Author : Mark Twain

35. “Education: the path from cocky ignorance to miserable uncertainty.”

Tags : Education
Author : Mark Twain

36. “I was gratified to be able to answer promptly, and I did. I said I didn’t know.”

Tags : Humor Knowledge
Author : Mark Twain

37. “Never tell the truth to people who are not worthy of it.”

Tags : Truth
Author : Mark Twain

38. “Truth is stranger than fiction, but it is because Fiction is obliged to stick to possibilities; Truth isn't.”

Tags : Books Truth
Author : Mark Twain
Source : Following the Equator: A Journey Around the World

39. “In a good bookroom you feel in some mysterious way that you are absorbing the wisdom contained in all the books through your skin, without even opening them.”

Tags : Bookroom Books Libraries Wisdom
Author : Mark Twain

40. “In Paris they just simply opened their eyes and stared when we spoke to them in French! We never did succeed in making those idiots understand their own language.”

Tags : French Humor Irony Language
Author : Mark Twain
Source : The Innocents Abroad

41. “It is just like man's vanity and impertinence to call an animal dumb because it is dumb to his dull perceptions. ”

Tags : Animal
Author : Mark Twain
Source : What Is Man?

42. “History doesn't repeat itself, but it does rhyme.”

Tags : History
Author : Mark Twain

43. “Sanity and happiness are an impossible combination.”

Tags : Happiness Sanity
Author : Mark Twain

44. “The man who does not read has no advantage over the man who cannot read.”

Tags : Aliteracy Literacy
Author : Mark Twain

45. “Heaven goes by favor. If it went by merit, you would stay out and your dog would go in.”

Tags : Animals Dogs Heaven
Author : Mark Twain

46. “The dog is a gentleman; I hope to go to his heaven not man's.”

Tags : Animals Dogs Heaven Inspirational Man Religion
Author : Mark Twain

47. “The fact that man knows right from wrong proves his intellectual superiority to the other creatures; but the fact that he can do wrong proves his moral inferiority to any creatures that cannot.”

Tags : Inferiority Man Recovery Right Wisdom Wrong
Author : Mark Twain
Source : What Is Man?

48. “Habit is habit, and not to be flung out of the window by any man, but coaxed down-stairs one step at a time.”

Tags : Habit Recovery
Author : Mark Twain

49. “Forgiveness is the fragrance that the violet sheds on the heel that has crushed it.”

Tags : Definitions Forgiveness
Author : Mark Twain

50. “The worst loneliness is to not be comfortable with yourself.”

Tags : Self Acceptance Self Esteem
Author : Mark Twain

51. “Kindness is a language which the deaf can hear and the blind can see.”

Tags : Inspirational Kindness
Author : Mark Twain

52. “To get the full value of joy you must have someone to divide it with.”

Tags : Appreciation Companionship Joy
Author : Mark Twain

53. “Facts are stubborn things, but statistics are pliable.”

Tags : Facts Statistics
Author : Mark Twain

54. “Never allow someone to be your priority while allowing yourself to be their option.”

Tags : Heartbreak
Author : Mark Twain

55. “Never put off till tomorrow what may be done day after tomorrow just as well.”

Tags : Humor Procrastination
Author : Mark Twain

56. “Don’t go around saying the world owes you a living. The world owes you nothing. It was here first.”

Tags : Living World
Author : Mark Twain

57. “Homer, in the second book of the Iliad says with fine enthusiasm, "Give me masturbation or give me death." Caesar, in his Commentaries, says, "To the lonely it is company; to the forsaken it is a friend; to the aged and to the impotent it is a benefactor. They that are penniless are yet rich, in that they still have this majestic diversion." In another place this experienced observer has said, "There are times when I prefer it to sodomy." Robinson Crusoe says, "I cannot describe what I owe to this gentle art." Queen Elizabeth said, "It is the bulwark of virginity." Cetewayo, the Zulu hero, remarked, "A jerk in the hand is worth two in the bush." The immortal Franklin has said, "Masturbation is the best policy." Michelangelo and all of the other old masters--"old masters," I will remark, is an abbreviation, a contraction--have used similar language. Michelangelo said to Pope Julius II, "Self-negation is noble, self-culture beneficent, self-possession is manly, but to the truly great and inspiring soul they are poor and tame compared with self-abuse." Mr. Brown, here, in one of his latest and most graceful poems, refers to it in an eloquent line which is destined to live to the end of time--"None knows it but to love it; none name it but to praise.”

Tags : Benjamin Franklin Caesar Cetewayo Homer Iliad Masturbation Michelangelo Onanism Queen Elizabeth Robinson Crusoe Sodomy The Iliad Zulu
Author : Mark Twain
Source : On Masturbation

58. “Clothes make the man. Naked people have little or no influence on society.”

Tags : Clothing
Author : Mark Twain

59. “What is Man? Man is a noisome bacillus whom Our Heavenly Father created because he was disappointed in the monkey.”

Tags : Creation Evolution Humor Mankind
Author : Mark Twain

60. “Persons attempting to find a motive in this narrative will be prosecuted; persons attempting to find a moral in it will be banished; persons attempting to find a plot in it will be shot.BY ORDER OF THE AUTHORperG.G., CHIEF OF ORDNANCE”

Tags : Authors Preface Reading Warning
Author : Mark Twain
Source : The Adventures of Huck Finn

61. “If you don't read the newspaper, you're uninformed. If you read the newspaper, you're mis-informed.”

Tags : Newspapers
Author : Mark Twain

62. “I think the Cincinnati Enquirer must be edited by children.”

Tags : Bad Reviews Cincinnati Enquirer Newspapers Twain
Author : Mark Twain

63. “Nothing so needs reforming as other people's habits. Fanatics will never learn that, though it be written in letters of gold across the sky. It is the prohibition that makes anything precious”

Tags : Prohibition True
Author : Mark Twain

64. “One frequently only finds out how really beautiful a women is, until after considerable acquaintance with her.”

Tags : Beauty Love Men And Women
Author : Mark Twain

65. “He denounced him openly as a charlatan--a fraud with no valuable knowledge of any kind, or powers beyond those of an ordinary and rather inferior human being.”

Tags : Charlatan Fraud Imbeciles Inferiority
Author : Mark Twain
Source : The Mysterious Stranger

66. “The signs of excessive indulgence in this destructive pastime are easily detectable. They are these: A disposition to eat, to drink, to smoke, to meet together convivially, to laugh, to joke, and tell indelicate stories— and mainly, a yearning to paint pictures.”

Tags : Fun Funny Joke Laugh Mark Twain Masturbation Smoke
Author : Mark Twain
Source : On Masturbation

67. “Giving up smoking is the easiest thing in the world. I know because I've done it thousands of times.”

Tags : Giving Up Humour Smoking
Author : Mark Twain

68. “The human race has only one really effective weapon and that is laughter.”

Tags : Laughter
Author : Mark Twain

69. “The two most important days in your life are the day you are born and the day you find out why.”

Tags : Birth Born Day Important Life Reasons Why True
Author : Mark Twain

70. “There is a charm about the forbidden that makes it unspeakably desirable.”

Tags : Sin Temptation
Author : Mark Twain

71. “It's better to keep your mouth shut and appear stupid than open it and remove all doubt”

Tags : Humorous
Author : Mark Twain

72. “Well, there are times when one would like to hang the whole human race and finish the farce.”

Tags : Death Of The Human Race Farce Human Race Humanity
Author : Mark Twain

73. “There spoke the race!" he said; "always ready to claim what it hasn't got, and mistake its ounce of brass filings for a ton of gold-dust. You have a mongrel perception of humor, nothing more; a multitude of you possess that. This multitude see the comic side of a thousand low-grade and trivial things--broad incongruities, mainly; grotesqueries, absurdities, evokers of the horse-laugh. The ten thousand high-grade comicalities which exist in the world are sealed from their dull vision. Will a day come when the race will detect the funniness of these juvenilities and laugh at them--and by laughing at them destroy them? For your race, in its poverty, has unquestionably one really effective weapon--laughter. Power, money, persuasion, supplication, persecution-- these can lift at a colossal humbug--push it a little--weaken it a little, century by century; but only laughter can blow it to rags and atoms at a blast. Against the assault of laughter nothing can stand. You are always fussing and fighting with your other weapons. Do you ever use that one? No; you leave it lying rusting. As a race, do you ever use it at all? No; you lack sense and the courage.”

Tags : Human Race Humor Perception
Author : Mark Twain
Source : The Mysterious Stranger

74. “Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts. Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one's lifetime.”

Tags : Travel
Author : Mark Twain
Source : The Innocents Abroad/Roughing It

75. “I have found out that there ain't no surer way to find out whether you like people or hate them than to travel with them.”

Tags : Humor Travel
Author : Mark Twain
Source : Tom Sawyer Abroad

76. “There isn’t a parallel of latitude but thinks it would have been the equator if it had had its rights.”

Tags : Earth Egoism Map Narcissm
Author : Mark Twain

77. “I haven't any right to criticize books, and I don't do it except when I hate them. I often want to criticize Jane Austen, but her books madden me so that I can't conceal my frenzy from the reader; and therefore I have to stop every time I begin. Every time I read Pride and Prejudice I want to dig her up and beat her over the skull with her own shin-bone.”

Tags : Austen Criticism Reading Writing
Author : Mark Twain

78. “I have been complimented many times and they always embarrass me; I always feel they have not said enough.”

Tags : Compliment
Author : Mark Twain

79. “Always do what is right. It will gratify half of mankind and astound the other.”

Tags : Morals
Author : Mark Twain

80. “I always take Scotch whiskey at night as a preventive of toothache. I have never had the toothache; and what is more, I never intend to have it.”

Tags : Drinking Health
Author : Mark Twain

81. “When red-headed people are above a certain social grade their hair is auburn.”

Tags : Class Elitism Humor Redheads
Author : Mark Twain

82. “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?”

Tags : Consequences Right And Wrong
Author : Mark Twain
Source : The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn

83. “Except for my daughters, I have not grieved for any death as I have grieved for his. His was a great and beautiful spirit, he was a man – all man, from his crown to his footsoles. My reverence for him was deep and genuine.”

Tags : Beautiful Brotherhood Death Eulogy Friend Friendship Funeral Grief Honor Ingersoll Inspirational Love Praise Respect Reverence Robert G Ingersoll Robert Green Ingersoll Robert Ingersoll
Author : Mark Twain

84. “When we set about accounting for a Napoleon or a Shakespeare or a Raphael or a Wagner or an Edison or other extraordinary person, we understand that the measure of his talent will not explain the whole result, nor even the largest part of it; no, it is the atmosphere in which the talent was cradled that explains; it is the training it received while it grew, the nurture it got from reading, study, example, the encouragement it gathered from self-recognition and recognition from the outside at each stage of its development: when we know all these details, then we know why the man was ready when his opportunity came.”

Tags : Encouragement Extraordinary Genius Learning Napoleon Bonaparte Nurture Raphael Richard Wagner Study Talent Thomas Edison Training William Shakespeare
Author : Mark Twain
Source : How Nancy Jackson Married Kate Wilson and Other Tales of Rebellious Girls and Daring Young Women

85. “Give a man a reputation as an early riser and he can sleep 'til noon.”

Tags : Reputation
Author : Mark Twain

86. “If animals could speak, the dog would be a blundering outspoken fellow; but the cat would have the rare grace of never saying a word too much.”

Tags : Animals Cats Dogs Grace Reticence
Author : Mark Twain

87. “I must have a prodigious amount of mind; it takes me as much as a week, sometimes, to make it up!”

Tags : Decisions Humor Mind
Author : Mark Twain

88. “I am an old man and have known a great many troubles, but most of them have never happened.”

Tags : Worry
Author : Mark Twain

89. “Drag your thoughts awayfrom your troubles...by the ears, by the heels,or any other way you can manage it.”

Tags : Worry
Author : Mark Twain

90. “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 man.”

Tags : Animals Dogs
Author : Mark Twain

91. “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.”

Tags : Beliefs Politics Religion
Author : Mark Twain

92. “I've had a lot of worries in my life, most of which never happened.”

Tags : Inspirational Positive Worries
Author : Mark Twain

93. “Man is the Reasoning Animal. Such is the claim. I think it is open to dispute. Indeed, my experiments have proven to me that he is the Unreasoning Animal... In truth, man is incurably foolish. Simple things which other animals easily learn, he is incapable of learning. Among my experiments was this. In an hour I taught a cat and a dog to be friends. I put them in a cage. In another hour I taught them to be friends with a rabbit. In the course of two days I was able to add a fox, a goose, a squirrel and some doves. Finally a monkey. They lived together in peace; even affectionately.Next, in another cage I confined an Irish Catholic from Tipperary, and as soon as he seemed tame I added a Scotch Presbyterian from Aberdeen. Next a Turk from Constantinople; a Greek Christian from Crete; an Armenian; a Methodist from the wilds of Arkansas; a Buddhist from China; a Brahman from Benares. Finally, a Salvation Army Colonel from Wapping. Then I stayed away for two whole days. When I came back to note results, the cage of Higher Animals was all right, but in the other there was but a chaos of gory odds and ends of turbans and fezzes and plaids and bones and flesh--not a specimen left alive. These Reasoning Animals had disagreed on a theological detail and carried the matter to a Higher Court.”

Tags : Animals Cats Dogs Doves Foxes Geese Man Monkeys Reasoning Religion Squirrels
Author : Mark Twain
Source : Letters from the Earth: Uncensored Writings

94. “The reports of my death are greatly exaggerated.”

Tags : Death Humor
Author : Mark Twain

95. “When I reflect upon the number of disagreeable people who have gone on to a better world, I am moved to lead a different life.”

Tags : Funny Lead A Different Life Mark Twain Pudd Nhead Wilson Reflect
Author : Mark Twain

96. “what is joy without sorrow? what is success without failure? what is a win without a loss? what is health without illness? you have to experience each if you are to appreciate the other. there is always going to be suffering. it’s how you look at your suffering, how you deal with it, that will define you.”

Tags : Balance
Author : Mark Twain

97. “To do good is noble. To tell others to do good is even nobler and much less trouble.”

Tags : Nobility Sharing
Author : Mark Twain

98. “There are those who scoff at the schoolboy, calling him frivolous andshallow: Yet it was the schoolboy who said 'Faith is believing what youknow ain't so'.”

Tags : Faith Humor Wit
Author : Mark Twain
Source : Pudd'nhead Wilson

99. “Obscurity and a competence—that is the life that is best worth living.”

Tags : Happiness Inspiration Life Wisdom
Author : Mark Twain
Source : Notebook

100. “A successful book is not made of what is in it, but what is left out of it.”

Tags : Books Humor On Writing Wit Writing
Author : Mark Twain

101. “My books are water; those of the great geniuses is wine. Everybody drinks water.”

Tags : Books Writing
Author : Mark Twain
Source : Notebook

102. “All right, then, I'll go to hell.”

Tags : Hell Resignation
Author : Mark Twain
Source : The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn

103. “Of all God's creatures, there is only one that cannot be made slave of the leash. That one is the cat. If man could be crossed with the cat it would improve the man, but it would deteriorate the cat.”

Tags : Cats
Author : Mark Twain

104. “A person that started in to carry a cat home by the tail was gitting knowledge that was always going to be useful to him, and warn't ever going to grow dim or doubtful.”

Tags : Cats Lesson
Author : Mark Twain
Source : Tom Sawyer Abroad

105. “Adam was but human—this explains it all. He did not want the apple for the apple's sake, he wanted it only because it was forbidden. The mistake was in not forbidding the serpent; then he would have eaten the serpent.”

Tags : Censorship Fallibility Humor Sin
Author : Mark Twain
Source : Pudd'nhead Wilson

106. “Wrinkles should merely indicate where the smiles have been.”

Tags : Age
Author : Mark Twain

107. “You can't depend on your eyes when your imagination is out of focus.”

Tags : Imagination
Author : Mark Twain
Source : A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court

108. “Be good and you will be lonesome.”

Tags : Goodness Loneliness
Author : Mark Twain
Source : Following the Equator: A Journey Around the World

109. “Most writers regard the truth as their most valuable possession, and therefore are economical in its use.”

Tags : Cynical Funny Humour Review
Author : Mark Twain

110. “When angry, count four. When very angry, swear.”

Tags : Anger
Author : Mark Twain

111. “Anger is an acid that can do more harm to the vessel in which it is stored than to anything on which it is poured.”

Tags : Anger
Author : Mark Twain

112. “High and fine literature is wine, and mine is only water; but everybody likes water.”

Tags : Literature Water Wine
Author : Mark Twain

113. “The more I learn about people, the more I like my dog.”

Tags : Animals Learn Like People
Author : Mark Twain

114. “I can last two months on a good compliment.”

Tags : Humor Self Realization
Author : Mark Twain

115. “Under certain circumstances, profanity provides a relief denied even to prayer."[Mark Twain, a Biography]”

Tags : Humor Prayer Profanity Relief You Ll Completely Understand Why
Author : Mark Twain

116. “Now and then we had a hope that if we lived and were good, God would permit us to be pirates.”

Tags : Aspirations Life
Author : Mark Twain
Source : Life on the Mississippi

117. “If Christ were here there is one thing he would not be—a Christian.”

Tags : Christ Christian Christianity Humor Wisdom Wit
Author : Mark Twain
Source : Notebook

118. “I once sent a dozen of my friends a telegram saying 'flee at once - all is discovered.' They all left town immediately.”

Tags : Attributed Friendship Humor
Author : Mark Twain

119. “A clear conscience is the sure sign of a bad memory.”

Tags : Conscience Humor Memory
Author : Mark Twain

120. “I have a higher and grander standard of principle than George Washington. He could not lie; I can, but I won't.”

Tags : Lies
Author : Mark Twain

121. “Do something everyday that you don't want to do; this is the golden rule for acquiring the habit of doing your duty without pain.”

Tags : Duty Golden Rule Twain
Author : Mark Twain

122. “All kings is mostly rapscallions, as fur as I can make out.”

Tags : Royalty
Author : Mark Twain
Source : The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn

123. “That is just the way with some people. They get down on a thing when they don’t know nothing about it.”

Tags : Knowledge People Prejudice
Author : Mark Twain
Source : The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn

124. “How empty is theory in the presence of fact!”

Tags : Fact Theory
Author : Mark Twain
Source : A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court

125. “Conservatism is the blind and fear-filled worship of dead radicals.”

Tags : Conservatism Mark Twain Politics Twain
Author : Mark Twain

126. “There is no distinctly native American criminal class save Congress.”

Tags : Political
Author : Mark Twain

127. “In asking me to contribute a mite to the memorial to Gutenberg you give me pleasure and do me honor. The world concedes without hesitation or dispute that Gutenberg’s invention is incomparably the mightiest event that has ever happened in profane history. It created a new and wonderful earth, and along with it a new hell. It has added new details, new developments and new marvels to both in every year during five centuries. It found Truth walking, and gave it a pair of wings; it found Falsehood trotting, and gave it two pair. It found Science hiding in corners and hunted; it has given it the freedom of the land, the seas and the skies, and made it the world’s welcome quest. It found the arts and occupations few, it multiplies them every year. It found the inventor shunned and despised, it has made him great and given him the globe for his estate. It found religion a master and an oppression, it has made it man’s friend and benefactor. It found War comparatively cheap but inefficient, it has made it dear but competent. It has set peoples free, and other peoples it has enslaved; it is the father and protector of human liberty, and it has made despotisms possible where they were not possible before. Whatever the world is, today, good and bad together, that is what Gutenberg’s invention has made it: for from that source it has all come. But he has our homage; for what he said to the reproaching angel in his dream has come true, and the evil wrought through his mighty invention is immeasurably outbalanced by the good it has brought to the race of men.”

Tags : Greater Good Oppression Print
Author : Mark Twain

128. “Man is the only animal that blushes. Or needs to.”

Tags : Blush Wordplay
Author : Mark Twain

129. “I conceive that the right way to write a story for boys is to write so that it will not only interest boys but strongly interest any man who has ever been a boy. That immensely enlarges the audience.”

Tags : Writing Philosophy
Author : Mark Twain

130. “Write without pay until somebody offers to pay.”

Tags : On Writing Writing Advice
Author : Mark Twain

131. “Patriotism is supporting your country all the time and your government when it deserves it.”

Tags : Patriotism
Author : Mark Twain

132. “My kind of loyalty was loyalty to one's country, not to its institutions or its officeholders. 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, they are its mere clothing, and clothing can wear out, become ragged, cease to be comfortable, cease to protect the body from winter, disease, and death.”

Tags : Patriotism
Author : Mark Twain
Source : A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court

133. “Don't part with your illusions. When they are gone you may still exist, but you have ceased to live.”

Tags : Illusions Life
Author : Mark Twain

134. “But it is a blessed provision of nature that at times like these, as soon as a man's mercury has got down to a certain point there comes a revulsion, and he rallies. Hope springs up, and cheerfulness along with it, and then he is in good shape to do something for himself, if anything can be done.”

Tags : Cheer Determination Grit Hope Will
Author : Mark Twain
Source : A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court

135. “They did not know it was impossible so they did it”

Tags : Impossible
Author : Mark Twain

136. “It's spring fever. That is what the name of it is. And when you've got it, you want—oh, you don't quite know what it is you do want, but it just fairly makes your heart ache, you want it so!”

Tags : Spring Springtime
Author : Mark Twain

137. “When I was younger, I could remember anything, whether it had happened or not; but my faculties are decaying now and soon I shall be so I cannot remember any but the things that never happened. It is sad to go to pieces like this but we all have to do it.”

Tags : Aging Humor
Author : Mark Twain

138. “The man who is a pessimist before 48 knows too much; if he is an optimist after it he knows too little.”

Tags : Optimism Pessimism
Author : Mark Twain

139. “Nothing so needs reforming as other people's habits.”

Tags : Habits
Author : Mark Twain

140. “A home without a cat — and a well-fed, well-petted and properly revered cat — may be a perfect home, perhaps, but how can it prove title?”

Tags : Cats Home
Author : Mark Twain
Source : Pudd'nhead Wilson

141. “Let us consider that we are all partially insane. It will explain us to each other; it will unriddle many riddles; it will make clear and simple many things which are involved in haunting and harassing difficulties and obscurities now.”

Tags : Insane Insanity
Author : Mark Twain

142. “A dog is der Hund the dog; a women is die Frau the wom[an]; a horse is das Pferd, the horse; now you put that dog in the Genitive case, & is he the same dog he was before? No sir; he is das Hundes; put him in the Dative case & what is he? Why, he is dem Hund. Now you snatch him into the accusative case & how is it with him? Why he is den Hunden? ... Read moreBut suppose he happens to be twins & you have to pluralize him – what then? Why sir they’ll swap that twin dog around thro’ the four cases till he’ll think he’s an entire International Dog Show all in his own person. I don’t like dogs, but I wouldn’t treat a dog like that. I wouldn’t even treat a borrowed dog that way.”

Tags : Germans Language
Author : Mark Twain

143. “I wish I could make him understand that a loving good heart is riches enough, and that without it intellect is poverty.”

Tags : Adam And Eve Inspirational Intellect Morality
Author : Mark Twain
Source : The Diary of Adam and Eve

144. “Don't say the old lady screamed. Bring her on and let her scream.”

Tags : On Writing Writing
Author : Mark Twain

145. “Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness.”

Tags : Open Mindedness Travel
Author : Mark Twain

146. “It was pitiful for a person born in a wholesome free atmosphere to listen to their humble and hearty outpourings of loyalty toward their king and Church and nobility; as if they had any more occasion to love and honor king and Church and noble than a slave has to love and honor the lash, or a dog has to love and honor the stranger that kicks him! Why, dear me, ANY kind of royalty, howsoever modified, ANY kind of aristocracy, howsoever pruned, is rightly an insult; but if you are born and brought up under that sort of arrangement you probably never find it out for yourself, and don't believe it when somebody else tells you. It is enough to make a body ashamed of his race to think of the sort of froth that has always occupied its thrones without shadow of right or reason, and the seventh-rate people that have always figured as its aristocracies -- a company of monarchs and nobles who, as a rule, would have achieved only poverty and obscurity if left, like their betters, to their own exertions... The truth was, the nation as a body was in the world for one object, and one only: to grovel before king and Church and noble; to slave for them, sweat blood for them, starve that they might be fed, work that they might play, drink misery to the dregs that they might be happy, go naked that they might wear silks and jewels, pay taxes that they might be spared from paying them, be familiar all their lives with the degrading language and postures of adulation that they might walk in pride and think themselves the gods of this world. And for all this, the thanks they got were cuffs and contempt; and so poor-spirited were they that they took even this sort of attention as an honor.”

Tags : Aristocracy Government Monarchy Religion Serfdom Slavery
Author : Mark Twain

147. “Hain't we got all the fools in town on our side? And hain't that a big enough majority in any town?”

Tags : Fools
Author : Mark Twain
Source : The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn

148. “If you must be indiscrete, be discrete in your indiscretion.”

Tags : Indiscretion Moderation
Author : Mark Twain

149. “Stars and shadows ain't good to see by.”

Tags : Light Shadows Sight Stars
Author : Mark Twain
Source : The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn

150. “Playing whist by the cabin lamps when it is storming outside is pleasant; walking the quarterdeck in the moonlight is pleasant; smoking in the breezy foretop is pleasant when one is not afraid to go up there; but these are all feeble and commonplace compared with the joy of seeing people suffering the miseries of seasickness.”

Tags : Humor Ships
Author : Mark Twain
Source : The Innocents Abroad

151. “Too much of anything is bad, but too much good whiskey is barely enough.”

Tags : Whiskey
Author : Mark Twain

152. “I notice that you use plain, simple language, short words and brief sentences. That is the way to write English―it is the modern way and the best way. Stick to it; don't let fluff and flowers and verbosity creep in. When you catch an adjective, kill it. No, I don't mean utterly, but kill most of them―then the rest will be valuable. They weaken when they are close together. They give strength when they are wide apart. An adjective habit, or a wordy, diffuse, flowery habit, once fastened upon a person, is as hard to get rid of as any other vice.”

Tags : Humor Writing
Author : Mark Twain

153. “Yes - en I's rich now, come to look at it. I owns myself, en I's wuth eight hund'd dollars. I wisht I had de money, I wouldn' want no mo'.”

Tags : Jim Wisdom
Author : Mark Twain
Source : The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn

154. “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.”

Tags : Grief Judgement Pain
Author : Mark Twain

155. “Censorship is telling a man he can't have a steak just because a baby can't chew it.”

Tags : Censorship
Author : Mark Twain

156. “Unconsciously we all have a standard by which we measure other men, and if we examine closely we find that this standard is a very simple one, and is this: we admire them, we envy them, for great qualities we ourselves lack. Hero worship consists in just that. Our heroes are men who do things which we recognize, with regret, and sometimes with a secret shame, that we cannot do. We find not much in ourselves to admire, we are always privately wanting to be like somebody else. If everybody was satisfied with himself, there would be no heroes.”

Tags : Heroes
Author : Mark Twain

157. “Grief can take care of itself, but to get the full value of joy you must have somebody to divide it with.”

Tags : Comradeship Living
Author : Mark Twain

158. “One should never use exclamation points in writing. It is like laughing at your own joke.”

Tags : Advice Clever Exclamation Point Writing
Author : Mark Twain

159. “Of all the various kinds of sexual intercourse, this has the least to recommend it. As an amusement, it is too fleeting; as an occupation, it is too wearing; as a public exhibition, there is no money in it. It is unsuited to the drawing room, and in the most cultured society it has long been banished from the social board. It has at last, in our day of progress and improvement, been degraded to brotherhood with flatulence. Among the best bred, these two arts are now indulged in only private--though by consent of the whole company, when only males are present, it is still permissible, in good society, to remove the embargo on the fundamental sigh.”

Tags : Fart Farting Flatulence Masturbation Onanism Self Abuse Sex
Author : Mark Twain
Source : On Masturbation

160. “Good judgement is the result of experience and experience the result of bad judgement.”

Tags : Paradox
Author : Mark Twain

161. “A newspaper is not just for reporting the news as it is, but to make people mad enough to do something about it.”

Tags : Corrective Actions Newspaper
Author : Mark Twain

162. “There are many humorous things in the world; among them, the white man's notion that he is less savage than the other savages.”

Tags : Civilization Savages
Author : Mark Twain
Source : Following the Equator: A Journey Around the World

163. “When the end of the world comes, I want to be in Cincinnati because it's always 20 years behind the times.”

Tags : Cincinnati Modernity
Author : Mark Twain

164. “I said it was a brutal thing."No, it was a human thing. You should not insult the brutes by such a misuse of that word; they have not deserved it.”

Tags : Brutality Brutes Evil Human Nature Moral Sense Morality
Author : Mark Twain
Source : The Mysterious Stranger

165. “When people do not respect us we are sharply offended; yet deep down in his private heart no man much respects himself.”

Tags : Offense Respect
Author : Mark Twain

166. “The first glance at the pillow showed me a repulsive sentinel perched upon each end of it--cockroaches as large as peach leaves--fellows with long, quivering antennae and fiery, malignant eyes. They were grating their teeth like tobacco worms, and appeared to be dissatisfied about something. I had often heard that these reptiles were in the habit of eating off sleeping sailors' toe nails down to the quick, and I would not get in the bunk any more. I lay down on the floor. But a rat came and bothered me, and shortly afterward a procession of cockroaches arrived and camped in my hair. In a few moments the rooster was crowing with uncommon spirit and a party of fleas were throwing double somersaults about my person in the wildest disorder, and taking a bite every time they stuck. I was beginning to feel really annoyed. I got up and put my clothes on and went on deck.The above is not overdrawn; it is a truthful sketch of inter-island schooner life.”

Tags : Bugs Exaggeration Humor Pests Sailing Sailor Schooner Ships
Author : Mark Twain
Source : Roughing It

167. “What a wee little part of a person's life are his acts and his words! His real life is led in his head, and is known to none but himself. All day long, the mill of his brain is grinding, and his thoughts, not those of other things, are his history. These are his life, and they are not written. Everyday would make a whole book of 80,000 words -- 365 books a year. Biographies are but the clothes and buttons of the man -- the biography of the man himself cannot be written.”

Tags : Biography Inner Life
Author : Mark Twain

168. “Tom said to himself that it was not such a hollow world, after all. 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 attain. If he had been a great and wise philosopher, like the writer of this book, he would now have comprehended that Work consists of whatever a body is obliged to do, and that Play consists of whatever a body is not obliged to do. And this would help him to understand why constructing artificial flowers or performing on a tread-mill is work, while rolling ten-pins or climbing Mont Blanc is only amusement. There are wealthy gentlemen in England who drive four-horse passenger-coaches twenty or thirty miles on a daily line, in the summer, because the privilege costs them considerable money; but if they were offered wages for the service, that would turn it into work and then they would resign.”

Tags : Work
Author : Mark Twain
Source : The Adventures of Tom Sawyer

169. “We have not the reverent feeling for the rainbow that the savage has, because we know how it is made. We have lost as much as we gained by prying into that matter.”

Tags : Awe Science
Author : Mark Twain

170. “We may not pay Satan reverence, for that would be indiscreet, but we can at least respect his talents.”

Tags : Satan
Author : Mark Twain

171. “You can find in a text whatever you bring, if you will stand between it and the mirror of you imagination. You may not see your ears, but they will be there.”

Tags : Fables Mark Twain
Author : Mark Twain
Source : The Celebrated Jumping Frog and Other Stories

172. “I followed the other Experiment around, yesterday afternoon, at a distance, to see what it might be for, if I could. But I was not able to make [it] out. I think it is a man. I had never seen a man, but it looked like one, and I feel sure that that is what it is. I realize that I feel more curiosity about it than about any of the other reptiles. If it is a reptile, and I suppose it is; for it has frowzy hair and blue eyes, and looks like a reptile. It has no hips; it tapers like a carrot; when it stands, it spreads itself apart like a derrick; so I think it is a reptile, though it may be architecture.”

Tags : Adam And Eve Architecture Experiment Garden Of Eden Man Reptiles Woman
Author : Mark Twain

173. “Did you think you had educated the superstition out of those people?''I certainly did think it.''Well, then, you may unthink it.”

Tags : Superstition
Author : Mark Twain

174. “When even the brightest mind in our world has been trained up from childhood in a superstition of any kind, it will never be possible for that mind, in its maturity, to examine sincerely, dispassionately, and conscientiously any evidence or any circumstance which shall seem to cast a doubt upon the validity of that superstition. I doubt if I could do it myself.”

Tags : Brainwashing Doubt Evidence Indoctrination Mind Reason Religion Superstition Theism
Author : Mark Twain
Source : The Autobiography of Mark Twain

175. “Herodotus says, "Very few things happen at the right time, and the rest do not happen at all: the conscientious historian will correct these defects.”

Tags : Creativity Historians History Truth
Author : Mark Twain

176. “Never have a battle of wits with an unarmed person.”

Tags : Conflict Mark Twain
Author : Mark Twain

177. “Right is right, and wrong is wrong, and a body ain’t got no business doing wrong when he ain’t ignorant and knows better.”

Tags : Ethics Morality
Author : Mark Twain
Source : The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn

178. “It was a dreadful thing to see. Humans beings can be awful cruel to one another.”

Tags : Cruelty Huck Finn Humans Mark Twain Mgg
Author : Mark Twain
Source : The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn

179. “Nothing exists but you. And you are but a thought.”

Tags : Atheism Inspirational
Author : Mark Twain

180. “Choosing not to read is like closing an open door to paradise”

Tags : Aliteracy
Author : Mark Twain

181. “Those who don't read good books have no advantage over those who can't.”

Tags : Aliteracy Books Reading
Author : Mark Twain

182. “Anyone who can only think of one way to spell a word obviously lacks imagination.”

Tags : Spelling
Author : Mark Twain

183. “I don't see any use in having a uniform and arbitrary way of spelling words. We might as well make all clothes alike and cook all dishes alike. Sameness is tiresome; variety is pleasing.”

Tags : Spelling
Author : Mark Twain

184. “Fainali, xen, aafte sam 20 iers ov orxogrefkl riform, wi wud hev a lojikl, kohirnt speling in ius xrewawt xe Ingliy-spiking werld.”

Tags : English Spelling
Author : Mark Twain

185. “I have been an author for 20 years and an ass for 55.”

Tags : Ass Author Live Years
Author : Mark Twain

186. “I love to hear myself talk, because I get so much instruction and moral upheaval out of it.”

Tags : Talk Talking
Author : Mark Twain
Source : Autobiography of Mark Twain: Volume 1, Reader's Edition

187. “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.”

Tags : Bad Reviews Jane Austen
Author : Mark Twain

188. “To me [Edgar Allen Poe's] prose is unreadable—like Jane Austin's [sic]. No there is a difference. I could read his prose on salary, but not Jane's. Jane is entirely impossible. It seems a great pity that they allowed her to die a natural death.”

Tags : Bad Reviews Jane Austen
Author : Mark Twain

189. “Everytime I read 'Pride and Prejudice' I want to dig her up and beat her over the skull with her own shin-bone.”

Tags : Bad Reviews Humor Jane Austen
Author : Mark Twain

190. “Once you've put one of his [Henry James] books down, you simply can't pick it up again.”

Tags : Bad Reviews
Author : Mark Twain

191. “There have been daring people in the world who claimed that Fenimore Cooper could write English, but they are all dead now.”

Tags : Bad Reviews Humor
Author : Mark Twain
Source : Fenimore Cooper's Literary Offenses

192. “Jane Austen's books, too, are absent from this library. Just that one omission alone would make a fairly good library out of a library that hadn't a book in it.”

Tags : Bad Reviews
Author : Mark Twain

193. “On a book by Henry James: "Once you put it down, you simply can't pick it up.”

Tags : Bad Reviews
Author : Mark Twain

194. “I am not one of those who in expressing opinions confine themselves to facts.”

Tags : Facts Opinions
Author : Mark Twain
Source : What Is Man?

195. “Our opinions do not really blossom into fruition until we have expressed them to someone else.”

Tags : Opinions
Author : Mark Twain

196. “I am persuaded that a coldly-thought-out and independent verdict upon a fashion in clothes, or manners, or literature, or politics, or religion, or any other matter that is projected into the field of our notice and interest, is a most rare thing -- if it has indeed ever existed.”

Tags : Fashion Identity Individuality Opinions
Author : Mark Twain
Source : Corn Pone Opinions

197. “And what does it amount to?" said Satan, with his evil chuckle. "Nothing at all. You gain nothing; you always come out where you went in. For a million years the race has gone on monotonously propagating itself and monotonously reperforming this dull nonsense--to what end? No wisdom can guess! Who gets a profit out of it? Nobody but a parcel of usurping little monarchs and nobilities who despise you; would feel defiled if you touched them; would shut the door in your face if you proposed to call; whom you slave for, fight for, die for, and are not ashamed of it, but proud; whose existence is a perpetual insult to you and you are afraid to resent it; who are mendicants supported by your alms, yet assume toward you the airs of benefactor toward beggar; who address you in the language of master to slave, and are answered in the language of slave to master; who are worshiped by you with your mouth, while in your heart--if you have one--you despise yourselves for it. The first man was a hypocrite and a coward, qualities which have not yet failed in his line; it is the foundation upon which all civilizations have been built.”

Tags : Civilization Cowardice Existence Hypocrisy Masters Monarchs Slaves
Author : Mark Twain
Source : The Mysterious Stranger

198. “It's lovely to live on a raft. We had the sky up there, all speckled with stars, and we used to lay on our backs and look up at them, and discuss about whether they was made or only just happened.”

Tags : Freedom Huck Finn Loveliness Raft Self Worth Stars Universe
Author : Mark Twain

199. “Yes. And I’m rich now when I think about it. I own myself, and I’m worth eight hundred dollars. I wish I had the money. Then I wouldn’t ever want anything else”

Tags : Freedom Mark Twain
Author : Mark Twain

200. “Evolution is the law of policies: Darwin said it, Socrates endorsed it, Cuvier proved it and established it for all time in his paper on 'The Survival of the Fittest.' These are illustrious names, this is a mighty doctrine: nothing can ever remove it from its firm base, nothing dissolve it, but evolution.”

Tags : Baron Georges Cuvier Biology Charles Darwin Cuvier Darwin Evolution Georges Cuvier Law Might Names Natural Selection Policy Science Socrates Survival Of The Fittest
Author : Mark Twain