Mark Twain Quotes

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Pessimism is only the name that men of weak nerve give to wisdom. ~Mark Twain - Pessimism
Wrinkles should merely indicate where smiles have been. ~Mark Twain - Smile
Pity is for living, envy is for dead. ~Mark Twain - Pity
From his cradle to his grave a man never does a single thing which has any FIRST AND FOREMOST object but one -- to secure peace of mind, spiritual comfort, for HIMSELF. ~Mark Twain - Motives
Truth is stranger than fiction, but it is because Fiction is obliged to stick to possibilities; Truth isn't. ~Mark Twain - Truth
Nations do not think, they only feel. They get their feelings at second hand through their temperaments, not their brains. A nation can be brought -- by force of circumstances, not argument -- to reconcile itself to any kind of government or religion that can be devised; in time it will fit itself to the required conditions; later it will prefer them and will fiercely fight for them. ~Mark Twain - Nations
Put all your eggs in one basket and then watch that basket. ~Mark Twain - Caution
Why is it that we rejoice at birth and grieve at a funeral? It is because we are not the person involved. ~Mark Twain - Death and Dying
What is the most rigorous law of our being? Growth. No smallest atom of our moral, mental, or physical structure can stand still a year. It grows -- it must grow; nothing can prevent it. ~Mark Twain - Growth
He is useless on top of the ground; he ought to be under it, inspiring the cabbages. ~Mark Twain - Futility
I have a higher and grander standard of principle than George Washington. He could not lie; I can, but I won t. ~Mark Twain - Lies and Lying
There isn't a single human characteristic that can be safely labeled as ''American.'' ~Mark Twain - America
Be good and you will be lonely. ~Mark Twain - Loneliness
Against the assault of laughter nothing can stand. ~Mark Twain - Laughter
To do something, say something, see something, before anybody else -- these are things that confer a pleasure compared with which other pleasures are tame and commonplace, other ecstasies cheap and trivial. ~Mark Twain - Precedents
There's always something about your success that displeases even your best friends. ~Mark Twain - Success
Never let formal education get in the way of your learning. ~Mark Twain - Learning
Accident is the name of the greatest of all inventors. ~Mark Twain - Invention and Inventor
When you cannot get a compliment in any other way pay yourself one. ~Mark Twain - Compliments
We owe a deep debt of gratitude to Adam, the first great benefactor of the human race: he brought death into the world. ~Mark Twain - Death and Dying
It could probably be shown by facts and figures that there is no distinctly native American criminal class except Congress. ~Mark Twain - Government
If you don't like the weather in New England, just wait a few minutes. ~Mark Twain - Weather
The rule is perfect: in all matters of opinion our adversaries are insane. ~Mark Twain - Dissent
Forgiveness is the fragrance the violet sheds on the heel that has crushed it. ~Mark Twain - Forgiveness
A joke, even if it be a lame one, is nowhere so keenly relished or quickly applauded as in a murder trial. ~Mark Twain - Trials
When you ascend the hill of prosperity, may you not meet a friend. ~Mark Twain - Prosperity
She was not quite what you would call refined. She was not quite what you would call unrefined. She was the kind of person that keeps a parrot. ~Mark Twain - Birds
If to be interesting is to be uncommonplace, it is becoming a question, with me, if there are any commonplace people. ~Mark Twain - Commonplace
It is nobler to be good, and it is nobler to teach others to be good -- and less trouble! ~Mark Twain - Aristocracy
Nothing so needs reforming as other people's habits. ~Mark Twain - Reform
A man cannot be made comfortable without his own approval. ~Mark Twain - Aid and Assistance
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. ~Mark Twain - Fiction
As to the adjective, when in doubt strike it out. ~Mark Twain - Writers and Writing
On with dance, let joy be unconfined, is my motto; whether there's any dance to dance or any joy to unconfined. ~Mark Twain - Dance and Dancing
Don't part with your illusions. When they are gone you may still exist, but you have ceased to live. ~Mark Twain - Deception
It is 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 - Rules
Happiness ain't a thing in itself --it's only a contrast with something that ain't pleasant. And so, as soon as the novelty is over and the force of the contrast dulled, it ain't happiness any longer, and you have to get something fresh. ~Mark Twain - Happiness
Be virtuous and you will be eccentric. ~Mark Twain - Virtue
Man is the only creature who has a nasty mind. ~Mark Twain - Thoughts and Thinking
A big leather-bound volume makes an ideal razor strap. A thin book is useful to stick under a table with a broken caster to steady it. A large, flat atlas can be used to cover a window with a broken pane. And a thick, old-fashioned heavy book with a clasp is the finest thing in the world to throw at a noisy cat. ~Mark Twain - Books and Reading
Man will do many things to get himself loved; he will do all things to get himself envied. ~Mark Twain - Envy
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 $4 a minute. ~Mark Twain - Pain
There are times when one would like to hang the whole human race, and finish the farce. ~Mark Twain - Humankind
The Christian's Bible is a drug store. Its contents remain the same, but the medical practice changes. ~Mark Twain - Bible
Martyrdom covers a multitude of sins. ~Mark Twain - Martyrdom
I can live for two months on a good compliment. ~Mark Twain - Compliments
Training is everything. The peach was once a bitter almond; cauliflower is nothing, but cabbage with a college education. ~Mark Twain - Training
There was never a century nor a country that was short of experts who knew the Deity's mind and were willing to reveal it. ~Mark Twain - Theology
I have been complimented many times and they always embarrass me; I always feel that they have not said enough. ~Mark Twain - Compliments
The most difficult We do not deal in facts when we are contemplating ourselves. ~Mark Twain - Self-esteem
To stop smoking is the easiest thing I ever did. I ought to know; I've done it a thousand times. ~Mark Twain - Habit
A powerful agent is the right word. Whenever we come upon one of those intensely right words... the resulting effect is physical as well as spiritual, and electrically prompt. ~Mark Twain - Words
It is a good and gentle religion, but inconvenient. ~Mark Twain - Religion
Everyone is like a moon, and has a dark side which he never shows to anybody. ~Mark Twain - Secrets
I find that principles have no real force except when one is well fed. ~Mark Twain - Principles
I don't know of a single foreign product that enters this country untaxed, except the answer to prayer. ~Mark Twain - Taxes and Taxation
It is not best that we should all think alike; it is a difference of opinion that makes horse races. ~Mark Twain - Opinions
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. ~Mark Twain - Travel and Tourism
There is nothing you can say in answer to a compliment. I have been complimented myself a great many times, and they always embarrass me --I always feel that they have not said enough. ~Mark Twain - Compliments
A habit cannot be tossed out the window; it must be coaxed down the stairs a step at a time. ~Mark Twain - Habit
I am opposed to millionaires, but it would be dangerous to offer me the position. ~Mark Twain - Money
The public is the only critic whose opinion is worth anything at all. ~Mark Twain - Critics and Criticism
There is no sadder sight than a young pessimist, except an old optimist. ~Mark Twain - Optimism
Man was made at the end of the week's work when God was tired. ~Mark Twain - Creativity
Duties are not performed for duty's sake, but because their neglect would make the man uncomfortable. A man performs but one duty --the duty of contenting his spirit, the duty of making himself agreeable to himself. ~Mark Twain - Duty
Between us, we cover all knowledge; he knows all that can be known and I know the rest. ~Mark Twain - Knowledge
It is curious that physical courage should be so common in the world, and moral courage so rare. ~Mark Twain - Courage
Whoever has lived long enough to find out what life is, knows how deep a debt of gratitude we owe to Adam, the first great benefactor of our race. He brought death into the world. ~Mark Twain - Death and Dying
A man never reaches that dizzy height of wisdom that he can no longer be lead by the nose. ~Mark Twain - Wisdom
What, then, is the true Gospel of consistency? Change. Who is the really consistent man? The man who changes. Since change is the law of his being, he cannot be consistent if he stick in a rut. ~Mark Twain - Consistency
It ain't those parts of the Bible that I can't understand that bother me, it is the parts that I do understand. ~Mark Twain - Bible
It isn't safe to sit in judgment upon another person's illusion when you are not on the inside. While you are thinking it is a dream, he may be knowing it is a planet. ~Mark Twain - Illusion
No real gentleman will tell the naked truth in the presence of ladies. ~Mark Twain - Truth
Man is a creature made at the end of the week's work when God was tired. ~Mark Twain - Humankind
Get your facts first, and then you can distort them as much as you please. ~Mark Twain - Facts
Golf is a good walk spoiled. ~Mark Twain - Golf
Loyalty to petrified opinions never yet broke a chain or freed a human soul in this world -- and never will. ~Mark Twain - Conservatives
We like a man to come right out and say what he thinks, if we agree with him. ~Mark Twain - Thoughts and Thinking
Education is the path from cocky ignorance to miserable uncertainty. ~Mark Twain - Certainty
To succeed in the other trades, capacity must be shown; in the law, concealment of it will do. ~Mark Twain - Law and Lawyers
Reader, suppose you were an idiot. And suppose you were a member of Congress. But I repeat myself. ~Mark Twain - Congress
Principles aren't of much account anyway, except at election time. After that you hang them up to let them season. ~Mark Twain - Principles
I do not like work even when someone else does it. ~Mark Twain - Work
Temperate temperance is best; intemperate temperance injures the cause of temperance. ~Mark Twain - Moderation
A man can seldom -- very, very, seldom -- fight a winning fight against his training; the odds are too heavy. ~Mark Twain - Training
I believe that our Heavenly Father invented man because he was disappointed in the monkey. ~Mark Twain - Evolution
There are many scapegoats for our sins, but the most popular is providence. ~Mark Twain - Providence
When one has tasted it Watermelon
The right word may be effective, but no word was ever as effective as a rightly timed pause. ~Mark Twain - Words
I can teach anybody how to get what they want out of life. The problem is that I can't find anybody who can tell me what they want. ~Mark Twain - Desire
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 - Fortune
The difference between the right word and the almost right word is the difference between lightning and the lightning bug. ~Mark Twain - Words
All you need in this life is ignorance and confidence, and then Success is sure. ~Mark Twain - Success
The banging and slamming and booming and crashing were something beyond belief. On Lohengrin
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. ~Mark Twain - Law and Lawyers
Noise proves nothing, Often a hen who has laid an egg cackles as if she had laid an asteroid. ~Mark Twain - Complaints and Complaining
Life would be infinitely happier if we could only be born at the age of eighty and gradually approach eighteen. ~Mark Twain - Age and Aging
We must annex those people. We can afflict them with our wise and beneficent government. We can introduce the novelty of thieves, all the way up from street-car pickpockets to municipal robbers and Government defaulters, and show them how amusing it is to arrest them and try them and then turn them loose -- some for cash and some for ''political influence.'' We can make them ashamed of their simple and primitive justice. We can make that little bunch of sleepy islands the hottest corner on earth, and array it in the moral splendor of our high and holy civilization. Annexation is what the poor islanders need. ''Shall we to men benighted, the lamp of life deny?'' ~Mark Twain - Empire
Civilization is a limitless multiplication of unnecessary necessities. ~Mark Twain - Civilization
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. ~Mark Twain - Perseverance
There are no grades of vanity, there are only grades of ability in concealing it. ~Mark Twain - Vanity
No God and no religion can survive ridicule. No political church, no nobility, no royalty or other fraud, can face ridicule in a fair field, and live. ~Mark Twain - Ridicule
All I say is, kings is kings, and you got to make allowances. Take them all around, they're a mighty ornery lot. It's the way they're raised. ~Mark Twain - Kings
More than once I had seen a noble who had gotten his enemy at a disadvantage stop to pray before cutting his throat. ~Mark Twain - Prayer
I am an old man and have known a great many troubles, but most of them never happened. ~Mark Twain - Trials
I was young and foolish then; now I am old and foolisher. ~Mark Twain - Fools and Foolishness
Scientists have odious manners, except when you prop up their theory; then you can borrow money of them. ~Mark Twain - Science and Scientists
We are discreet sheep; we wait to see how the drove is going, and then go with the drove. ~Mark Twain - Conformity
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 - Enjoyment
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 - Doctors
When we remember that we are all mad, the mysteries disappear and life stands explained. ~Mark Twain - Insanity
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 - Boys
There was never yet an uninteresting life. Such a thing is an impossibility. Inside of the dullest exterior there is a drama, a comedy, and a tragedy. ~Mark Twain - Biography
Any so-called material thing that you want is merely a symbol: you want it not for itself, but because it will content your spirit for the moment. ~Mark Twain - Materialism
There is nothing so annoying as a good example!! ~Mark Twain - Example
I repeat, sir, that in whatever position you place a woman she is an ornament to society and a treasure to the world. As a sweetheart, she has few equals and no superiors; as a cousin, she is convenient; as a wealthy grandmother with an incurable distemper, she is precious; as a wet-nurse, she has no equal among men. What, sir, would the people of the earth be without woman? They would be scarce, sir, almighty scarce. ~Mark Twain - Women
The trouble with you Chicago people is that you think you are the best people down here, whereas you are merely the most numerous. ~Mark Twain - Hell
He liked to like people, therefore people liked him. ~Mark Twain - Popularity
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 - Speculation
Most writers regard the truth as their most valuable possession, and therefore are economical in its use. ~Mark Twain - Writers and Writing
If you tell the truth, you don't have to remember anything. ~Mark Twain - Truth
There are only two forces that can carry light to all the corners of the globe... the sun in the heavens and the Associated Press down here. ~Mark Twain - Media
Suppose you were an idiot. And suppose you were a member of Congress. But I repeat myself. ~Mark Twain - Politicians and Politics
Sometimes too much drink is barely enough. ~Mark Twain - Alcohol and Alcoholism
There is a great deal of human nature in people. ~Mark Twain - Human Nature
Monarchies, aristocracies, and religions are all based upon that large defect in your race -- the individual's distrust of his neighbor, and his desire, for safety's or comfort's sake, to stand well in his neighbor's eye. These institutions will always remain, and always flourish, and always oppress you, affront you, and degrade you, because you will always be and remain slaves of minorities. There was never a country where the majority of the people were in their secret hearts loyal to any of these institutions. ~Mark Twain - Institutions
The man who is a pessimist before 48 knows too much; if he is an optimist after it, he knows too little. ~Mark Twain - Optimism
The trouble with the world is not that people know too little, but that they know so many things that ain't so. ~Mark Twain - Knowledge
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 - Losers and Losing
If you are speaking the truth you don't have to remember anything. ~Mark Twain - Memory
~Mark Twain - Funerals
Annihilation has no terrors for me, because I have already tried it before I was born --a hundred million years --and I have suffered more in an hour, in this life, than I remember to have suffered in the whole hundred million years put together. There was a peace, a serenity, an absence of all sense of responsibility, an absence of worry, an absence of care, grief, perplexity; and the presence of a deep content and unbroken satisfaction in that hundred million years of holiday which I look back upon with a tender longing and with a grateful desire to resume, when the opportunity comes. ~Mark Twain - Death and Dying
I could have become a soldier if I had waited; I knew more about retreating than the man who invented retreating. ~Mark Twain - Soldier
Damn the subjunctive. It brings all our writers to shame. ~Mark Twain - Grammar
If they had not landed there would be some reason for celebrating the fact. ~Mark Twain - Pilgrims
There it is: it doesn't make any difference who we are or what we are, there's always somebody to look down on! somebody to hold in light esteem, somebody to be indifferent about. ~Mark Twain - Superiority
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. ~Mark Twain - Evolution
The man who is ostentatious of his modesty is twin to the statue that wears a fig-leaf. ~Mark Twain - Modesty
The Pause; that impressive silence, that eloquent silence, that geometrically progressive silence which often achieves a desired effect where no combination of words, however so felicitous, could accomplish it. ~Mark Twain - Silence
Often, the less there is to justify a traditional custom, the harder it is to get rid of it. ~Mark Twain - Custom
Few sinners are saved after the first twenty minutes of a sermon. ~Mark Twain - Preachers and Preaching
Wit is the sudden marriage of ideas which, before their union, were not perceived to have any relation. ~Mark Twain - Wit
To cease smoking is the easiest thing I ever did, I ought to know because I've done it a thousand times. ~Mark Twain - Smoking
A crime persevered in a thousand centuries ceases to be a crime, and becomes a virtue. This is the law of custom, and custom supersedes all other forms of law. ~Mark Twain - Crime and Criminals
Sacred cows make the best hamburger. ~Mark Twain - Customers
I know all those people. I have friendly, social, and criminal relations with the whole lot of them. ~Mark Twain - Taxes and Taxation
By law of periodical repetition, everything which has happened once must happen again and again -- and not capriciously, but at regular periods, and each thing in its own period, not another's and each obeying its own law. ~Mark Twain - Cycles
It is difference of opinion that makes horse races. ~Mark Twain - Opinions
Life does not consist mainly, or even largely, of facts and happenings. It consists mainly of the storm of thought that is forever flowing through one's head. ~Mark Twain - Life and Living
When angry, count four; when very angry, swear. ~Mark Twain - Anger
It usually takes more than three weeks to prepare a good impromptu speech. ~Mark Twain - Speech
Out of the unconscious lips of babes and sucklings are we satirized. ~Mark Twain - Sarcasm
Warm summer sun, shine kindly here. Warm southern wind, blow softly here. Green sod above, lie light, lie light. Good night, dear Heart, Good night, good night. ~Mark Twain - Nature
By common consent of all the nations and all the ages the most valuable thing in this world is the homage of men, whether deserved or undeserved. ~Mark Twain - Popularity
There is nothing sadder than a young pessimist. ~Mark Twain - Pessimism
Honesty is the best policy -- when there is money in it. ~Mark Twain - Honesty
When your friends begin to flatter you on how young you look, it's a sure sign you're getting old. ~Mark Twain - Age and Aging
Adam was the luckiest man; he had no mother-in-law. ~Mark Twain - Family
His money is twice tainted: taint yours and taint mine.'' ~Mark Twain - Money
Grief can take care of itself; but to get the full value of a joy you must have somebody to divide it with. ~Mark Twain - Friends and Friendship
Beautiful credit! The foundation of modern society. Who shall say that this is not the golden age of mutual trust, of unlimited reliance upon human promises? That is a peculiar condition of society which enables a whole nation to instantly recognize point and meaning in the familiar newspaper anecdote, which puts into the mouth of a distinguished speculator in lands and mines this remark: -- ''I wasn't worth a cent two years ago, and now I owe two millions of dollars.'' ~Mark Twain - Credit
Whenever you find that you are on the side of the majority, it is time to reform. ~Mark Twain - Majority
True irreverence is disrespect for another man's god. ~Mark Twain - Irreverence
Humor must not professedly teach and it must not professedly preach, but it must do both if it would live forever. ~Mark Twain - Humor
Everybody talks about the weather, but nobody does anything about it. ~Mark Twain - Weather
That's what an army is -- a mob; they don't fight with courage that's born in them, but with courage that's borrowed from their mass, and from their officers. ~Mark Twain - Army and Navy
All say, How hard it is that we have to die -- a strange complaint to come from the mouths of people who have had to live. ~Mark Twain - Death and Dying
Wit and Humor -- if any difference, it is in duration -- lightning and electric light. Same material, apparently; but one is vivid, and can do damage -- the other fools along and enjoys elaboration. ~Mark Twain - Wit
What do we call love, hate, charity, revenge, humanity, forgiveness? Different results of the master impulse, the necessity of securing one's self-approval. ~Mark Twain - Self-approval
I must have a prodigious quantity of mind; it takes me as much as a week, sometimes, to make it up. ~Mark Twain - Indecision
Always do right. This will gratify some people and astonish the rest. ~Mark Twain - Right and Rightness
He does not care for flowers. Calls them rubbish, and cannot tell one from another, and thinks it is superior to feel like that. ~Mark Twain - Flowers
Never put off until tomorrow what you can do the day after tomorrow. ~Mark Twain - Procrastination
We have the best government that money can buy. ~Mark Twain - Government
I have never let my schooling interfere with my education. ~Mark Twain - Education
Switzerland is simply a large, lumpy, solid rock with a thin skin of grass stretched over it. ~Mark Twain - Nations
The true charm of pedestrianism does not lie in the walking, or in the scenery, but in the talking. The walking is good to time the movement of the tongue by, and to keep the blood and the brain stirred up and active; the scenery and the woodsy smells are good to bear in upon a man an unconscious and unobtrusive charm and solace to eye and soul and sense; but the supreme pleasure comes from the talk. ~Mark Twain - Walking
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. ~Mark Twain - Friends and Friendship
Let us not be too particular; it is better to have old secondhand diamonds than none at all.'' ~Mark Twain - Age and Aging
A wise man does not waste so good a commodity as lying for naught. ~Mark Twain - Lies and Lying
I don't give a damn for man that can spell a word only one way. ~Mark Twain - Words
Barring that natural expression of villainy which we all have, the man looked honest enough. ~Mark Twain - Appearance
Denial ain't just a river in Egypt. ~Mark Twain - Denial
A crank is someone with a new idea -- until it catches on. ~Mark Twain - Ideas
In statesmanship get the formalities right, never mind about the moralities. ~Mark Twain - Politicians and Politics
Water, taken in moderation, cannot hurt anybody. ~Mark Twain - Alcohol and Alcoholism
I have never taken any exercise except sleeping and resting. ~Mark Twain - Exercise
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 - Duty
It is a time when one's spirit is subdued and sad, one knows not why; when the past seems a storm-swept desolation, life a vanity and a burden, and the future but a way to death. ~Mark Twain - Despair
Man is the only animal that blushes -- or needs to. ~Mark Twain - Blush
A man's house burns down. The smoking wreckage represents only a ruined home that was dear through years of use and pleasant associations. By and by, as the days and weeks go on, first he misses this, then that, then the other thing. And when he casts about for it he finds that it was in that house. Always it is an essential -- there was but one of its kind. It cannot be replaced. It was in that house. It is irrevocably lost. It will be years before the tale of lost essentials is complete, and not till then can he truly know the magnitude of his disaster. ~Mark Twain - Bereavement
Good breeding consists in concealing how much we think of ourselves and how little we think of the other person. ~Mark Twain - Ancestry
We are all alike, on the inside. ~Mark Twain - Equality
~Mark Twain - Opera
Never do wrong when people are looking. ~Mark Twain - Wrong
Let us so live that when we come to die even the undertaker will be sorry. ~Mark Twain - Life and Living
Habit is habit, and not to be flung out of the window by any man, but coaxed downstairs a step at a time. ~Mark Twain - Habit
Let us endeavor so to live that when we come to die even the undertaker will be sorry. ~Mark Twain - Death and Dying
A monarch, when good, is entitled to the consideration which we accord to a pirate who keeps Sunday School between crimes; when bad, he is entitled to none at all. ~Mark Twain - Royalty
The law of God, as quite plainly expressed in woman's construction, is this: There shall be no limit put upon your intercourse with the other sex sexually, at any time of life. During twenty-three days in every month (in the absence of pregnancy) from the time a woman is seven years old till she dies of old age, she is ready for action, and competent. As competent as the candlestick is to receive the candle. Competent every day, competent every night. Also, she wants that candle -- yearns for it, longs for it, hankers after it, as commanded by the law of God in her heart. ~Mark Twain - Sex
Familiarity breeds contempt; and children. ~Mark Twain - Familiarity
In the real world, nothing happens at the right place at the right time. It is the job of journalists and historians to correct that. ~Mark Twain - Journalism and Journalists
Hardly a man in the world has an opinion upon morals, politics or religion which he got otherwise than through his associations and sympathies. Broadly speaking, there are none but corn-pone opinions. And broadly speaking, Corn-Pone stands for Self-Approval. Self-approval is acquired mainly from the approval of other people. The result is Conformity. ~Mark Twain - Opinions
I would rather have my ignorance than another man's knowledge, because I have so much of it. ~Mark Twain - Ignorance
It takes an enemy and a friend, working together, to hurt you to the heart. The one to slander you, and the other to get the news to you. ~Mark Twain - Slander
My parents were neither very poor nor conspicuously honest. ~Mark Twain - Parents and Parenting
Good friends, good books and a sleepy conscience: this is the ideal life. The conviction of the rich that the poor are happier is no more foolish than the conviction of the poor that the rich are. ~Mark Twain - Friends and Friendship
We have not all had the good fortune to be ladies. We have not all been generals, or poets, or statesmen; but when the toast works down to the babies, we stand on common ground. ~Mark Twain - Babies
The master minds of all nations, in all ages, have sprung in affluent multitude from the mass of the nation, and from the mass of the nation only -- not from its privileged classes. ~Mark Twain - Masses
We have not the reverent feeling for the rainbow that a savage has, because we know how it is made. We have lost as much as we gained by prying into that matter. ~Mark Twain - Knowledge
It is better to be a young June-bug than an old bird of paradise. ~Mark Twain - Youth
The best way to cheer yourself up is to try to cheer somebody else up. ~Mark Twain - Cheerfulness
Obscurity and competence: That is the life that is worth living. ~Mark Twain - Obscurity
I did not attend his funeral; but I wrote a nice letter saying I approved of it. About a politician who had recently died
There are several good protections against temptation, but the surest is cowardice. ~Mark Twain - Coward and Cowardice
What a good thing Adam had. When he said a good thing, he knew nobody had said it before. ~Mark Twain - Plagiarism
Fleas can be taught nearly anything that a Congressman can. ~Mark Twain - Politicians and Politics
If man had created man, he would be ashamed of his performance. ~Mark Twain - Humankind
Both marriage and death ought to be welcome: The one promises happiness, doubtless the other assures it. ~Mark Twain - Marriage
Thunder is impressive, but it is lightning that does the work. ~Mark Twain - Work
There are no people who are quite so vulgar as the over-refined. ~Mark Twain - Vulgarity
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 - Conservatives
Why was the human race created? Or at least why wasn't something creditable created in place of it? God had His opportunity. He could have made a reputation. But no, He must commit this grotesque folly -- a lark which must have cost Him a regret or two when He came to think it over and observe effects. ~Mark Twain - Creation
As a thinker and planner the ant is the equal of any savage race of men; as a self-educated specialist in several arts she is the superior of any savage race of men; and in one or two high mental qualities she is above the reach of any man, savage or civilized! ~Mark Twain - Insects
Heaven goes by favor; if it went by merit, you would stay out and your dog would go in. ~Mark Twain - Heaven
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. ~Mark Twain - Freedom
One of the striking differences between a cat and a lie is that the cat has only nine lives. ~Mark Twain - Lies and Lying
Courage is resistance to fear, mastery of fear -- not absence of fear. ~Mark Twain - Courage
When people do not respect us we are sharply offended; yet deep down in his private heart no man much respects himself. ~Mark Twain - Respectability
The lack of money is the root of all evils. ~Mark Twain - Money
There are German songs which can make a stranger to the language cry. ~Mark Twain - Music
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! ~Mark Twain - Language
By trying we can easily learn to endure adversity. Another man s, I mean. ~Mark Twain - Adversity
We are always too busy for our children; we never give them the time or interest they deserve. We lavish gifts upon them; but the most precious gift, our personal association, which means so much to them, we give grudgingly. ~Mark Twain - Family
A good memory and a tongue tied in the middle is a combination which gives immortality to conversation. ~Mark Twain - Conversation
When the doctrine of allegiance to party can utterly up-end a man's moral constitution and make a temporary fool of him besides, what excuse are you going to offer for preaching it, teaching it, extending it, perpetuating it? Shall you say, the best good of the country demands allegiance to party? Shall you also say it demands that a man kick his truth and his conscience into the gutter, and become a mouthing lunatic, besides? ~Mark Twain - Politicians and Politics
Laughter is the greatest weapon we have and we, as humans, use it the least. ~Mark Twain - Laughter
History is strewn thick with evidence that a truth is not hard to kill, but a lie, well told, is immortal. ~Mark Twain - History and Historians
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. ~Mark Twain - Insanity
Never learn to do anything. If you don't learn, you will always find someone else to do it for you. ~Mark Twain - Learning
Stars are good too. I wish I could get some to put in my hair. But I suppose I never can. You would be surprised to find how far off they are, for they do not look it. When they first showed last night I tried to knock some down with a pole, but it didn't reach, which astonished me. Then I tried clods till I was all tired out, but I never got one. I did make some close shots, for I saw the black blot of the clod sail right into thee midst of the golden clusters forty or fifty times, just barely missing them, and if I could've held out a little longer, maybe I could've got one. ~Mark Twain - Perseverance
The human race has but one really affective weapon, and that is laughter. ~Mark Twain - Laughter
Methuselah lived to be 969 years old . You boys and girls will see more in the next fifty years than Methuselah saw in his whole lifetime. ~Mark Twain - Age and Aging
It was the schoolboy who said, ''Faith is believing what you know ain't so.'' ~Mark Twain - Faith
Don't go around saying the world owes you a living. The world owes you nothing. It was here first. ~Mark Twain - World
Often the surest way to convey misinformation is to tell the strict truth. ~Mark Twain - Truth
My mother had a great deal of trouble with me, but I think she enjoyed it. ~Mark Twain - Mothers
If you have nothing to say, say nothing. ~Mark Twain - Speakers and Speaking
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. ~Mark Twain - Action
Such is the human race. Often it does seem such a pity that Noah and his party did not miss the boat. ~Mark Twain - Humankind
Of all God's creatures there is only one that cannot be made the slave of the lash. That one is the cat. If man could be crossed with a cat it would improve man, but it would deteriorate the cat. ~Mark Twain - Cats
Truth is neither alive nor dead; it just aggravates itself all the time. ~Mark Twain - Truth
Be careless in your dress if you must, but keep a tidy soul. ~Mark Twain - Dress
There are lies, damned lies, and statistics. ~Mark Twain - Statistics
A classic is something that everybody wants to have read and nobody wants to read. ~Mark Twain - Books and Reading
I am a democrat only on principle, not by instinct -- nobody is that. Doubtless some people say they are, but this world is grievously given to lying. ~Mark Twain - Democracy
The cat, having sat upon a hot stove lid, will not sit upon a hot stove lid again. But he won't sit upon a cold stove lid, either. ~Mark Twain - Experience
I think a compliment ought to always precede a complaint, where one is possible, because it softens resentment and insures for the complaint a courteous and gentle reception. ~Mark Twain - Complaints and Complaining
People are much more willing to lend you books than bookcases. ~Mark Twain - Books and Reading
If you can't get a compliment any other way, pay yourself one. ~Mark Twain - Compliments
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. ~Mark Twain - Intelligence and Intellectuals
Work consists of whatever a body is obliged to do, and play consists of whatever a body is not obliged to do. ~Mark Twain - Work
O Lord our God, help us to tear their soldiers to bloody shreds with our shells; help us to cover their smiling fields with the pale forms of their patriot dead; help us to drown the thunder of the guns with the shrieks of their wounded, writhing in pain; help us to lay waste their humble homes with a hurricane of fire; help us to wring the hearts of their unoffending widows with unavailing grief... for our sakes who adore Thee, Lord, blast their hopes, blight their lives, protract their bitter pilgrimage, make heavy their steps, water their way with their tears, stain the white snow with the blood of their wounded feet! We ask it, in the spirit of love, of Him Who is the Source of Love, and Who is the ever-faithful refuge and friend of all that are sore beset and seek His aid with humble and contrite hearts. Amen. ~Mark Twain - War
The secret source of humor itself is not joy but sorrow. There is no humor in heaven. ~Mark Twain - Humor
It is better to keep your mouth closed and let people think you are a fool than to open it and remove all doubt. ~Mark Twain - Fools and Foolishness
Biographies are but the clothes and buttons of the man. The biography of the man himself cannot be written. ~Mark Twain - Biography
Keep away from small 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 - Ambition
The 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 - Health
My books are water; those of the great geniuses are wine -- everybody drinks water. ~Mark Twain - Books and Reading
If you pick up a starving dog and make him prosperous, he will not bite you; that is the principal difference between a dog and a man. ~Mark Twain - Gratitude
Few things are harder to put up with than the annoyance of a good example. ~Mark Twain - Example
Let us be thankful for the fools. But for them the rest of us could not succeed. ~Mark Twain - Success
There is nothing in the world like a persuasive speech to fuddle the mental apparatus. ~Mark Twain - Speakers and Speaking
Let us be grateful to Adam, our benefactor. He cut us out of the ''blessing'' of idleness and won for us the ''curse'' of labor. ~Mark Twain - Work
Be careful about reading health books. You may die of a misprint. ~Mark Twain - Health
Forget and forgive. This is not difficult when properly understood. It means forget inconvenient duties, then forgive yourself for forgetting. By rigid practice and stern determination, it comes easy. ~Mark Twain - Forgiveness
The highest perfection of politeness is only a beautiful edifice, built, from the base to the dome, of ungraceful and gilded forms of charitable and unselfish lying. ~Mark Twain - Manners
Virtue has never been as respectable as money. ~Mark Twain - Virtue
We never become really and genuinely our entire and honest selves until we are dead -- and not then until we have been dead years and years. People ought to start dead and then they would be honest so much earlier. ~Mark Twain - Death and Dying
An average English word is four letters and a half. By hard, honest labor I've dug all the large words out of my vocabulary and shaved it down till the average is three and a half... I never write ''metropolis'' for seven cents, because I can get the same money for ''city.'' I never write ''policeman,'' because I can get the same price for ''cop.''... I never write ''valetudinarian'' at all, for not even hunger and wretchedness can humble me to the point where I will do a word like that for seven cents; I wouldn't do it for fifteen. ~Mark Twain - Words
Necessity is the mother of taking chances. ~Mark Twain - Necessity
I cannot see how a man of any large degree of humorous perception can ever be religious -- except he purposely shut the eyes of his mind and keep them shut by force. ~Mark Twain - Religion
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. ~Mark Twain - Experience
It is easier to stay out than get out. ~Mark Twain - Temptation
I am admonished in many ways that time is pushing me inexorably along. I am approaching the threshold of age; in 1977 I shall be 142. This is no time to be flitting about the earth. I must cease from the activities proper to youth and begin to take on the dignities and gravities and inertia proper to that season of honorable senility which is on its way. ~Mark Twain - Age and Aging
The older we grow the greater becomes our wonder at how much ignorance one can contain without bursting one's clothes. ~Mark Twain - Age and Aging
The cross of the Legion of Honor has been conferred on me. However, few escape that distinction. ~Mark Twain - Awards
he knows what the angels eat. ~Mark Twain - Food and Eating
The man with a new idea is a crank until the idea succeeds. ~Mark Twain - Originality
When a person cannot deceive himself the chances are against his being able to deceive other people. ~Mark Twain - Deception
To be good is noble, but to teach others how to be good is nobler and less trouble. ~Mark Twain - Teachers and Teaching
The human race is a race of cowards; and I am not only marching in that procession, but carrying a banner. ~Mark Twain - Coward and Cowardice
It's not the size of the dog in the fight, it's the size of the fight in the dog. ~Mark Twain - Courage
I have not a particle of confidence in a man who has no redeeming vices. ~Mark Twain - Vice
When I was younger, I could remember anything, whether it had happened or not. ~Mark Twain - Memory
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 - Stock Market
I refused to attend his funeral. But I wrote a very nice letter explaining that I approved of it. ~Mark Twain - Sarcasm
Thousands of geniuses live and die undiscovered -- either by themselves or by others. ~Mark Twain - Genius
One may make their house a palace of sham, or they can make it a home, a refuge. ~Mark Twain - Home
Never tell the truth to people who are not worthy of it. ~Mark Twain - Truth
Let me make the superstitions of a nation and I care not who makes its laws or its songs either. ~Mark Twain - Superstition
It is better to deserve honors and not have them than to have them and not deserve them. ~Mark Twain - Honor
Apparently there is nothing that cannot happen today. ~Mark Twain - Impossibility
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 - America
Soap and education are not as sudden as a massacre, but they are more deadly in the long run. Training is everything. The peach was once a bitter almond; cauliflower is nothing but cabbage with a college education. ~Mark Twain - Education
I don't like to commit myself about heaven and hell -- you see, I have friends in both places. ~Mark Twain - Commitment
In his private heart no man much respects himself. ~Mark Twain - Respectability
The way it is now, the asylums can hold the sane people but if we tried to shut up the insane we would run out of building materials. ~Mark Twain - Insanity
Public opinion is held in reverence. It settles everything. Some think it is the voice of God. ~Mark Twain - Opinions
The man who does not read books has no advantage over the man that can not read them. ~Mark Twain - Books and Reading
France has neither winter nor summer nor morals. Apart from these drawbacks it is a fine country. ~Mark Twain - Nations
Prosperity is the best protector of principle. ~Mark Twain - Principles
A banker is a fellow who lends his umbrella when the sun is shining and wants it back the minute it begins to rain. ~Mark Twain - Bankers and Banking
A lie can run around the world six times while the truth is still trying to put on its pants. ~Mark Twain - Lies and Lying
I never could tell a lie that anybody would doubt, nor a truth that anybody would believe. ~Mark Twain - Truth
It was wonderful to find America, but it would have been more wonderful to miss it. ~Mark Twain - America
Where a blood relation sobs, an intimate friend should choke up, a distant acquaintance should sigh, a stranger should merely fumble sympathetically with his handkerchief. ~Mark Twain - Funerals
If He Tom Sawyer 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 Play consists of whatever a body is not obliged to do. ~Mark Twain - Philosophers and Philosophy
Under certain circumstances, profanity provides a relief denied even to prayer. ~Mark Twain - Prayer
The radical invents the views. When he has worn them out, the conservative adopts them. ~Mark Twain - Conservatives
Prosperity is the surest breeder of insolence I know. ~Mark Twain - Prosperity
Intellectual ''work'' is misnamed; it is a pleasure, a dissipation, and is its own highest reward. ~Mark Twain - Work
When I was fourteen, my father was so ignorant I could hardly stand to have him around. When I got to be twenty-one, I was astonished at how much he had learned in seven years. ~Mark Twain - Ignorance
In the first place God made idiots. This was for practice. Then he made School Boards. ~Mark Twain - Idiots
We need not worry so much about what man descends from; it's what he descends to that shames the human race. ~Mark Twain - Success
There is no God, no universe, no human race, no earthly life, no heaven, no hell. It is all a dream, a grotesque and foolish dream. Nothing exists but you. And you are but a thought --a vagrant thought, a useless thought, a homeless thought, wandering forlorn among the empty eternities! ~Mark Twain - Loneliness
A man who carries a cat by the tail learns something he can learn in no other way. ~Mark Twain - Knowledge
The human race was always interesting and we know by its past that it will always continue so, monotonously. ~Mark Twain - Humankind
A soiled baby, with a neglected nose, cannot be conscientiously regarded as a thing of beauty. ~Mark Twain - Babies
To arrive at a just estimate of a renowned man's character one must judge it by the standards of his time, not ours. ~Mark Twain - Character
There are people who can do all fine and heroic things but one: keep from telling their happiness to the unhappy. ~Mark Twain - Happiness
What is there that confers the noblest delight? What is that which swells a man's breast with pride above that which any other experience can bring to him? Discovery! To know that you are walking where none others have walked; that you are beholding what human eye has not seen before; that you are breathing a virgin atmosphere. To give birth to an idea, to discover a great thought -- an intellectual nugget, right under the dust of a field that many a brain-plough had gone over before. To find a new planet, to invent a new hinge, to find a way to make the lightning carry your messages. To be the first -- that is the idea. ~Mark Twain - Discovery
Faith is believing what you know ain't so. ~Mark Twain - Faith
War talk by men who have been in a war is always interesting; whereas moon talk by a poet who has not been in the moon is likely to be dull. ~Mark Twain - Poetry and Poets
Work and play are words used to describe the same thing under differing conditions. ~Mark Twain - Work

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