100+ Mark Twain's Quotes

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Mark Twain's Quotes

A banker is a fellow who lends
you his umbrella when the sun
is shining, but wants it back
the minute it begins to rain.

A lie can travel halfway around
the world while the truth is
putting on its shoes.

A man cannot be comfortable
without his own approval.

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

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

An Englishman is a person who does
things because they have been done
before. An American is a person who
does things because they haven't
been done before.

Barring that natural expression of
villainy which we all have, the man
looked honest enough.

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

By trying we can easily learn
to endure adversity - another
man's I mean.

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

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

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.

Don't go around saying the world
owes you a living. The world owes
you nothing. It was here first.

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

Education: that which reveals to
the wise, and conceals from the
stupid, the vast limits of their

Facts are stubborn things, but
statistics are more pliable.

Fiction is obliged to stick
to possibilities. Truth isn't.

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

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

Habit is habit and not to be flung
out of the window by any man, but
coaxed downstairs a step at a time.

Honesty is the best policy -
when there is money in it.

Humor is the great thing, the
saving thing. The minute it
crops up, all our irritations
and resentments slip away and a
sunny spirit takes their place.

I am opposed to millionaires, but
it would be dangerous to offer me
the position.

I didn't attend the funeral, but
I sent a nice letter saying that
I approved of it.

I don't give a damn for a
man that can only spell a
word one way.

I have never let my schooling
interfere with my education.

I have never taken any exercise
except sleeping and resting.

I thoroughly disapprove of duels.
If a man should challenge me, I
would take him kindly and forgivingly
by the hand and lead him to a quiet
place and kill him.

I was gratified to be able
to answer promptly. I said
I don't know.

If you pick up a starving dog and
make him prosperous, he will not
bite you. This is the principal
difference between a dog and a man.

If you tell the truth you don't
have to remember anything.

In Paris they simply stared when
I spoke to them in French; I never
did succeed in making those idiots
understand their language.

In religion and politics, people's
beliefs and convictions are in almost
every case gotten at second hand,
and without examination.

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

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

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

It is better to keep your mouth
closed and let people think you
are a fool than to open it and
remove all doubt.

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

It is easier to stay
out than get out.

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

It was wonderful to find America,
but it would have been more
wonderful to miss it.

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.

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.

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

Most people are bothered by those
passages of Scripture they do not
understand, but the passages that
bother me are those I do understand.

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

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

Often it does seem a pity that
Noah and his party did not miss
the boat.

Part of the secret of success
in life is to eat what you like
and let the food fight it out

Suppose you were an idiot and
suppose you were a member of
Congress. But I repeat myself.

The best way to cheer yourself is
to try to cheer someone else up.

The difference between the right
word and the almost right word is
the difference between lightning
and a lightning bug.

The human race has one really
effective weapon, and that is

The man who doesn't read good
books has no advantage over
the man who can't read them.

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

The universal brotherhood
of man is our most precious

The worst loneliness is
not to be comfortable
with yourself.

There are people who strictly deprive
themselves of each and every eatable,
drinkable, and smokable which has in
any way acquired a shady reputation.
They pay this price for health. And
health is all they get for it. How
strange it is. It is like paying out
your whole fortune for a cow that has
gone dry.

There is something fascinating about
science. One gets such wholesale
returns of conjecture out of such a
trifling investment of fact.

Time cools, time clarifies; no
mood can be maintained quite
unaltered through the course
of hours.

Truth is more of a
stranger than fiction.

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

Water, taken in moderation,
cannot hurt anybody.

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.

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

When in doubt, tell the truth.

When we remember we are all mad,
the mysteries disappear and life
stands explained.

When you cannot get a compliment
any other way pay yourself one.

Whenever you find that you are
on the side of the majority, it
is time to reform.

I cannot call to mind a single
instance where I have ever been
irreverent, except toward the
things which were sacred to other

He had discovered a great law of human
action, without knowing it - namely,
that in order to make a man or a boy
covet a thing, it is only necessary to
make the thing difficult to obtain.

The radical invents the views. When
he has worn them out the conservative
adopts them.

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

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

The history of our race, and each
individual's experience, are sown
thick with evidence that a truth is
not hard to kill and that a lie told
well is immortal.

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

The universal brotherhood of man
is our most precious possession,
what there is of it.

By trying we can easily learn
to endure adversity. Another
man's, I mean.

It is by the goodness of God that
in our country we have those three
unspeakably precious things: freedom
of speech, freedom of conscience,
and the prudence never to practice
either of them.

It takes your enemy and your friend,
working together, to hurt you: the
one to slander you, and the other to
get the news to you.

Man is the Only Animal that
Blushes. Or needs to.

There are several good protections
against temptations, but the surest
is cowardice.

The rule is perfect: in all matters
of opinion our adversaries are insane.

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

Sane and intelligent human beings
are like all other human beings,
and carefully and cautiously and
diligently conceal their private
real opinions from the world and
give out fictitious ones in their
stead for general consumption.

We are always more anxious to be
distinguished for a talent which
we do not possess, than to be
praised for the fifteen which we
do possess.

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

The report of my death was
an exaggeration.

The radical of one century is the
conservative of the next. The radical
invents the views. When he has worn them
out the conservative adopts them.

Familiarity breeds contempt -
and children.

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

What a good thing Adam had. When he
said a good thing he knew nobody had
said it before.

An enemy can partly ruin a man, but it
takes a good-natured injudicious friend
to complete the thing and make it perfect.

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.

Few things are harder to put up with
than the annoyance of a good example.

Training is everything. The peach was
once a bitter almond; cauliflower is
nothing but cabbage with a college

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

A classic is something that everybody
wants to have read and nobody wants
to read.

It was enough to make a body
ashamed of the human race.

How little a thing can make us happy
when we feel that we have earned it.

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

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

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


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