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Feb 12, 2021
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Mark Twain Quotes

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

  • The secret of getting ahead is getting started.

  • There are basically two types of people. People who accomplish things, and people who claim to have accomplished things. The first group is less crowded.

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

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

  • If you tell the truth, you don’t have to remember anything.

  • Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to pause and reflect.

  • A person who won’t read has no advantage over one who can’t read.

  • The best way to cheer yourself up is to try to cheer somebody else up.

  • If it’s your job to eat a frog, it’s best to do it first thing in the morning. And If it’s your job to eat two frogs, it’s best to eat the biggest one first.

  • It’s not the size of the dog in the fight, it’s the size of the fight in the dog.

  • Kindness is the language which the deaf can hear and the blind can see.

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

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

  • 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.

  • Age is an issue of mind over matter. If you don’t mind, it doesn’t matter.

  • Go to Heaven for the climate, Hell for the company.

  • Suppose you were an idiot, and suppose you were a member of Congress; but I repeat myself.

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

  • Patriotism is supporting your country all the time, and your government when it deserves it.

  • Do the right thing. It will gratify some people and astonish the rest.

  • Don’t let schooling interfere with your education.

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

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

  • Buy land, they’re not making it anymore.

  • Apparently there is nothing that cannot happen today.

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

  • When you fish for love, bait with your heart, not your brain.

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

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

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

  • We have the best government that money can buy.

  • A man who carries a cat by the tail learns something he can learn in no other way.

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

  • Forgiveness is the fragrance that the violet sheds on the heel that has crushed it.

  • Humor is mankind’s greatest blessing.

  • Climate is what we expect, weather is what we get.

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

  • The reports of my death have been greatly exaggerated.

  • A man’s character may be learned from the adjectives which he habitually uses in conversation.

  • When your friends begin to flatter you on how young you look, it’s a sure sign you’re getting old.

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

  • I can live for two months on a good compliment.

  • Truth is stranger than fiction, but it is because Fiction is obliged to stick to possibilities; Truth isn’t.

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

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

  • All generalizations are false, including this one.

  • Loyalty to the Nation all the time, loyalty to the Government when it deserves it.

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

  • You can’t depend on your eyes when your imagination is out of focus.

  • Drag your thoughts away from your troubles… by the ears, by the heels, or any other way you can manage it.

  • There are lies, damned lies and statistics.

  • Cauliflower is nothing but cabbage with a college education.

  • Wrinkles should merely indicate where smiles have been.

  • Never pick a fight with people who buy ink by the barrel.

  • Denial ain’t just a river in Egypt.

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

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

  • If you hold a cat by the tail you learn things you cannot learn any other way.

  • I came in with Halley’s Comet in 1835. It is coming again next year, and I expect to go out with it. It will be the greatest disappointment of my life if I don’t go out with Halley’s Comet. The Almighty has said, no doubt: ‘Now here are these two unaccountable freaks; they came in together, they must go out together.’

  • American – Writer November 30, 1835 – April 21, 1910 See also: Quotes about

  • I came in with Halley’s Comet in 1835. It is coming again next year, and I expect to go out with it. It will be the greatest disappointment of my life if I don’t go out with Halley’s Comet. The Almighty has said, no doubt: ‘Now here are these two unaccountable freaks; they came in together, they must go out together.’

  • Man was made at the end of the week’s work, when God was tired.

  • Golf is a good walk spoiled.

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

  • Thunder is good, thunder is impressive; but it is lightning that does the work.

  • 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.

  • It’s no wonder that truth is stranger than fiction. Fiction has to make sense.

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

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

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

  • Do the thing you fear most and the death of fear is certain.

  • There is no distinctly American criminal class – except Congress.

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

  • A man cannot be comfortable without his own approval.

  • A person with a new idea is a crank until the idea succeeds.

  • The secret source of humor is not joy but sorrow; there is no humor in Heaven.

  • Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts.

  • The trouble ain’t that there is too many fools, but that the lightning ain’t distributed right.

  • Man is the only animal that blushes – or needs to.

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

  • Giving up smoking is the easiest thing in the world. I know because I’ve done it thousands of times.

  • Everything has its limit – iron ore cannot be educated into gold.

  • But who prays for Satan? Who, in eighteen centuries, has had the common humanity to pray for the one sinner that needed it most?

  • The lack of money is the root of all evil.

  • Thousands of geniuses live and die undiscovered – either by themselves or by others.

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

  • Work consists of whatever a body is obliged to do. Play consists of whatever a body is not obliged to do.

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

  • The man who does not read good books has no advantage over the man who cannot read them.

  • Laws control the lesser man… Right conduct controls the greater one.

  • Man will do many things to get himself loved, he will do all things to get himself envied.

  • Truth is the most valuable thing we have. Let us economize it.

  • There is a charm about the forbidden that makes it unspeakably desirable.

  • Civilization is the limitless multiplication of unnecessary necessities.

  • There is no sadder sight than a young pessimist.

  • Optimist: day dreamer more elegantly spelled.

  • The very ink with which history is written is merely fluid prejudice.

  • Work is a necessary evil to be avoided.

  • When in doubt tell the truth.

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

  • Action speaks louder than words but not nearly as often.

  • Everything human is pathetic. The secret source of humor itself is not joy but sorrow. There is no humor in heaven.

  • Patriot: the person who can holler the loudest without knowing what he is hollering about.

  • Facts are stubborn, but statistics are more pliable.

  • A man is never more truthful than when he acknowledges himself a liar.

  • The finest clothing made is a person’s own skin, but, of course, society demands something more than this.

  • When angry, count to four; when very angry, swear.

  • Honesty is the best policy – when there is money in it.

  • Sometimes too much to drink is barely enough.

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

  • Against the assault of laughter, nothing can stand.

  • Principles have no real force except when one is well-fed.

  • 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.

  • Noise proves nothing. Often a hen who has merely laid an egg cackles as if she laid an asteroid.

  • I never smoke to excess – that is, I smoke in moderation, only one cigar at a time.

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

  • Only one thing is impossible for God: To find any sense in any copyright law on the planet.

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

  • Loyalty to petrified opinion never yet broke a chain or freed a human soul.

  • God made the Idiot for practice, and then He made the School Board.

  • Be careless in your dress if you must, but keep a tidy soul.

  • Name the greatest of all inventors. Accident.

  • Don’t say the old lady screamed. Bring her on and let her scream.

  • It’s good sportsmanship to not pick up lost golf balls while they are still rolling.

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

  • It were not best that we should all think alike; it is difference of opinion that makes horse races.

  • If man could be crossed with the cat it would improve man, but deteriorate the cat.

  • It is better to take what does not belong to you than to let it lie around neglected.

  • Familiarity breeds contempt – and children.

  • When people do not respect us we are sharply offended; yet in his private heart no man much respects himself.

  • My books are like water; those of the great geniuses are wine. (Fortunately) everybody drinks water.

  • Education consists mainly of what we have unlearned.

  • Words are only painted fire; a look is the fire itself.

  • Necessity is the mother of taking chances.

  • To be good is noble; but to show others how to be good is nobler and no trouble.

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

  • Classic.’ A book which people praise and don’t read.

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

  • Truth is mighty and will prevail. There is nothing wrong with this, except that it ain’t so.

  • Lord save us all from old age and broken health and a hope tree that has lost the faculty of putting out blossoms.

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

  • I must have a prodigious quantity of mind; it takes me as much as a week sometimes to make it up.

  • All right, then, I’ll go to hell.

  • 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.

  • One of the most striking differences between a cat and a lie is that a cat has only nine lives.

  • I have never taken any exercise, except sleeping and resting, and I never intend to take any.

  • Let us make a special effort to stop communicating with each other, so we can have some conversation.

  • The more you explain it, the more I don’t understand it.

  • I was seldom able to see an opportunity until it had ceased to be one.

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

  • Only kings, presidents, editors, and people with tapeworms have the right to use the editorial ‘we.’

  • Do not tell fish stories where the people know you; but particularly, don’t tell them where they know the fish.

  • In the Spring, I have counted 136 different kinds of weather inside of 24 hours.

  • The first of April is the day we remember what we are the other 364 days of the year.

  • We are all alike, on the inside.

  • All emotion is involuntary when genuine.

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

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

  • No sinner is ever saved after the first twenty minutes of a sermon.

  • If the world comes to an end, I want to be in Cincinnati. Everything comes there ten years later.

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

  • Repartee is something we think of twenty-four hours too late.

  • The main difference between a cat and a lie is that a cat only has nine lives.

  • I make it a rule never to smoke while I’m sleeping.

  • It is easier to stay out than get out.

  • Nothing so needs reforming as other people’s habits.

  • There are times when one would like to hang the whole human race, and finish the farce.

  • A round man cannot be expected to fit in a square hole right away. He must have time to modify his shape.

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

  • 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.

  • The most interesting information comes from children, for they tell all they know and then stop.

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

  • Better a broken promise than none at all.

  • Ideally a book would have no order to it, and the reader would have to discover his own.

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

  • As an example to others, and not that I care for moderation myself, it has always been my rule never to smoke when asleep, and never to refrain from smoking when awake.

  • Water, taken in moderation, cannot hurt anybody.

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

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

  • India has 2,000,000 gods and worships them all. In religion, all other countries are paupers; India is the only millionaire.

  • American – Writer November 30, 1835 – April 21, 1910 See also: Quotes about

  • There are people who can do all fine and heroic things but one – keep from telling their happiness to the unhappy.

  • We Americans… bear the ark of liberties of the world.

  • It is my belief that nearly any invented quotation, played with confidence, stands a good chance to deceive.

  • 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.

  • Prosperity is the best protector of principle.

  • Why shouldn’t truth be stranger than fiction? Fiction, after all, has to make sense.

  • The educated Southerner has no use for an ‘r’, except at the beginning of a word.

  • The public is the only critic whose opinion is worth anything at all.

  • He is now rising from affluence to poverty.

  • To refuse awards is another way of accepting them with more noise than is normal.

  • What, sir, would the people of the earth be without woman? They would be scarce, sir, almighty scarce.

  • The more things are forbidden, the more popular they become.

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

  • I never let schooling interfere with my education.

  • What is the difference between a taxidermist and a tax collector? The taxidermist takes only your skin.

  • Fiction is obliged to stick to possibilities. Truth isn’t.

  • The Christian’s Bible is a drug store. Its contents remain the same, but the medical practice changes.

  • When red-haired people are above a certain social grade their hair is auburn.

  • Biographies are but the clothes and buttons of the man. The biography of the man himself cannot be written.

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

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

  • The wit knows that his place is at the tail of a procession.

  • Prophesy is a good line of business, but it is full of risks.

  • Humor must not professedly teach and it must not professedly preach, but it must do both if it would live forever.

  • Let us not be too particular; it is better to have old secondhand diamonds than none at all.

  • George Washington, as a boy, was ignorant of the commonest accomplishments of youth. He could not even lie.

  • The Public is merely a multiplied ‘me.’

  • It put our energies to sleep and made visionaries of us – dreamers and indolent… It is good to begin life poor; it is good to begin life rich – these are wholesome; but to begin it prospectively rich! The man who has not experienced it cannot imagine the curse of it.

  • Martyrdom covers a multitude of sins.

  • In ‘Huckleberry Finn,’ I have drawn Tom Blankenship exactly as he was. He was ignorant, unwashed, insufficiently fed; but he had as good a heart as ever any boy had.

  • How lucky Adam was. He knew when he said a good thing, nobody had said it before.

  • Few of us can stand prosperity. Another man’s, I mean.
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