Famous Quotes & Sayings

Mark Twain Quotes & Sayings

Enjoy the top 100 famous quotes, sayings and quotations by Mark Twain.

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Mark Twain Quotes 1071758

spiritual wants and instincts are as various in the human family as are physical appetites, complexions, and features, and a man is only at his best, morally, when he is equipped with the religious garment whose color and shape and size most nicely accommodate themselves to the spiritual complexion, angularities, and stature of the individual who wears it; and, besides, I was afraid of a united Church; it makes a mighty power, the mightiest conceivable, and then when it by and by gets into selfish hands, as it is always bound to do, it means death to human liberty and paralysis to human thought. — Mark Twain

Mark Twain Quotes 999462

I think a compliment ought always to precede a complaint, where one is possible, because it softens resentment and insures for the complaint a courteous and gentle reception. — Mark Twain

Mark Twain Quotes 679637

Start it at no particular time of your life; wander at your free will all over your life; talk only about the thing which interests you for the moment; drop it the moment its interest threatens to pale. — Mark Twain

Mark Twain Quotes 1291968

To be busy is man's only happiness. — Mark Twain

Mark Twain Quotes 501192

The election makes me think of a story of a man who was dying. He had only two minutes to live, so he sent for a clergyman and asked him, "Where is the best place to go to?" He was undecided about it. So the minister told him that each place had its advantages
heaven for climate, and hell for society. — Mark Twain

Mark Twain Quotes 891109

It is said, in this country, that if a man can arrange his religion so that it perfectly satisfies his conscience, it is not incumbent upon him to care whether the arrangement is satisfactory to anyone else or not. — Mark Twain

Mark Twain Quotes 1068874

Old Man: The impulse which moves a person to do things - The only impulse that ever moves a person to do things
Young Man: The only one! Is there but one?
O.M. That is all
Y.M. Well, certainly that is a strange doctrine. What is the sole impulse that ever moves a person to do a thing?
O.M. The impulse to CONTENT HIS OWN SPIRIT - the NECESSITY of contenting his own spirit and WINNING ITS APPROVAL. — Mark Twain

Mark Twain Quotes 1485193

A clean desk is a sign of a cluttered desk drawer. — Mark Twain

Mark Twain Quotes 1005180

An inglorious peace is better than a dishonorable war. — Mark Twain

Mark Twain Quotes 309781

The educated Southerner has no use for an 'r', except at the beginning of a word. — Mark Twain

Mark Twain Quotes 364738

I have tried getting up early, and I have tried getting up late-and the latter agrees with me best. — Mark Twain

Mark Twain Quotes 1365276

The finest clothing made is a person's own skin, but, of course, society demands something more than this. — Mark Twain

Mark Twain Quotes 1621368

There are those who imagine that the unlucky accidents of life
life's "experiences"
are in some way useful to us. I wish I could find out how. I never knew one of them to happen twice. They always change off and swap around and catch you on your inexperienced side. — Mark Twain

Mark Twain Quotes 1559959

I think the Cincinnati Enquirer must be edited by children. — Mark Twain

Mark Twain Quotes 1367975

It is no use to keep private information which you can't show off. — Mark Twain

Mark Twain Quotes 1860192

The main difference between a cat and a lie is that a cat only has nine lives. — Mark Twain

Mark Twain Quotes 1506852

Adam did not want the apple for the apple's sake; he wanted it because it was forbidden. — Mark Twain

Mark Twain Quotes 440010

Manifestly, dying is nothing to a really great and brave man. — Mark Twain

Mark Twain Quotes 192510

Explore. Dream. Discover. — Mark Twain

Mark Twain Quotes 430457

To my mind that literature is best and most enduring which is characterized by a noble simplicity. — Mark Twain

Mark Twain Quotes 519953

It is best to read the weather forecast before praying for rain. — Mark Twain

Mark Twain Quotes 900914

She went to the open door and stood in it and looked out among the tomato vines and "jimpson" weeds that constituted the garden. No Tom. So she lifted up her voice at an angle calculated for distance and shouted: — Mark Twain

Mark Twain Quotes 412505

Agassiz does recommend authors to eat fish, because the phosphorus in it makes brains. But I cannot help you to a decision about the amount you need to eat. Perhaps a couple of whales would be enough. — Mark Twain

Mark Twain Quotes 623725

Most of the things I worried about in life never happened. — Mark Twain

Mark Twain Quotes 697940

The source of all humor is not laughter, but sorrow. — Mark Twain

Mark Twain Quotes 486688

When grown-up persons indulge in practical jokes, the fact gauges them. They have lived narrow, obscure, and ignorant lives, and at full manhood they still retain and cherish a job lot of left-over standards and ideals that would have been discarded with their boyhood if they had then moved out into the world and a broader life. — Mark Twain

Mark Twain Quotes 1663359

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

Mark Twain Quotes 2077345

She makes me wash, they make me comb all to thunder; she won't let me sleep in the woodshed ... the widder [widow] eats by a bell; she goes to bed by a bell; she wakes up by a bell-everything's so awful reg'lar a body can't stand it — Mark Twain

Mark Twain Quotes 503093

There are some books that refuse to be written. They stand their ground year after year and will not be persuaded. It isn't because the book is not there and worth being written
it is only because the right form of the story does not present itself. There is only one right form for a story and if you fail to find that form the story will not tell itself. — Mark Twain

Mark Twain Quotes 1078063

Two things seemed pretty apparent to me. One was that in order to be a pilot a man had to learn more than any one man ought to learn; and the other was that he must learn it all over again in a different way every 24 hours. — Mark Twain

Mark Twain Quotes 336534

Is a person's public and private opinion the same? It is thought there have been instances. — Mark Twain

Mark Twain Quotes 150618

No one can tell me what is a good cigar - for me. I am the only judge. People who claim to know say that I smoke the worst cigars in the world. They bring their own cigars when they come to my house. — Mark Twain

Mark Twain Quotes 151994

A man has no business to be depressed by a disappointment, anyway; he ought to make up his mind to get even. — Mark Twain

Mark Twain Quotes 168985

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. — Mark Twain

Mark Twain Quotes 170393

One gains at least two to three times more experience grabbing the tiger by the tail than reading about it in a book. — Mark Twain

Mark Twain Quotes 190263

We adore titles and heredities in our hearts and ridicule them with our mouths. This is our democratic privilege. — Mark Twain

Mark Twain Quotes 249747

Do good when you can, and charge when you think they will stand it. — Mark Twain

Mark Twain Quotes 253167

One ought always to lie, when one can do good by it; — Mark Twain

Mark Twain Quotes 279222

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

Mark Twain Quotes 306057

If I can capture truth in its simplest form, beauty will follow like a sledgehammer. — Mark Twain

Mark Twain Quotes 306502

Education is what you must acquire without any interference from your schooling. — Mark Twain

Mark Twain Quotes 322360

Tea is an affront to lunch and an insult to dinner. — Mark Twain

Mark Twain Quotes 332242

Great books are weighted and measured by their style and matter, and not the trimmings and shadings of their grammar. — Mark Twain

Mark Twain Quotes 341468

Don't go to sleep, so many people die there. — Mark Twain

Mark Twain Quotes 361816

There's no such thing as an uninteresting life, such a thing is an impossibility. Beneath the dullest exterior, there is a drama, a comedy, a tragedy. — Mark Twain

Mark Twain Quotes 368279

The gentle reader will never, never know what a consummate ass he can become until he goes abroad. I speak now, of course, in the supposition that the gentle reader has not been abroad, and therefore is not already a consummate ass. If the case be otherwise, I beg his pardon and extend to him the cordial hand of fellowship and call him brother. I shall always delight to meet an ass after my own heart when I have finished my travels. — Mark Twain

Mark Twain Quotes 374230

Man is a Religious Animal. He is the only Religious Animal. He is the only animal that has the True Religion
several of them. He is the only animal that loves his neighbor as himself and cuts his throat if his theology isn't straight. He has made a graveyard of the globe in trying his honest best to smooth his brother's path to happiness and heaven ... The higher animals have no religion. And we are told that they are going to be left out in the Hereafter. I wonder why? It seems questionable taste. — Mark Twain

Mark Twain Quotes 392257

Gratitude and treachery are merely the two extremities of the same procession. You have seen all of it that is worth staying for when the band and the gaudy officials have gone by. — Mark Twain

Mark Twain Quotes 432818

But there are some infelicities. Such as 'like' for 'as,' and the addition of an 'at' where it isn't needed. I heard an educated gentleman say, 'Like the flag-officer did.' His cook or his butler would have said, 'Like the flag-officer done.' You hear gentlemen say, 'Where have you been at? — Mark Twain

Mark Twain Quotes 446063

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

Mark Twain Quotes 527118

B Y AND BY, WHEN WE GOT UP, WE TURNED OVER THE TRUCK THE GANG had stole off of the wreck, and found boots, and blankets, and clothes, and all sorts of other things, and a lot of books, and a spyglass, and three boxes of seegars. — Mark Twain

Mark Twain Quotes 574189

The Germans have an inhuman way of cutting up their verbs. Now a verb has a hard time enough of it in this world when it's all together. It's downright inhuman to split it up. But that's just what those Germans do. They take part of a verb and put it down here, like a stake, and they take the other part of it and put it away over yonder like another stake, and between these two limits they just shovel in German.
from Disappearance of Literature — Mark Twain

Mark Twain Quotes 586739

I would like to live in Manchester, England. The transition between Manchester and death would be unnoticeable. — Mark Twain

Mark Twain Quotes 662260

An experienced, industrious, ambitious, and often quite often picturesque liar. — Mark Twain

Mark Twain Quotes 696984

Now a witness was called who testified that he found Muff Potter washing in the brook, at an early hour of the morning that the murder was discovered, and that he immediately sneaked away. After some further questioning, counsel for the prosecution said: "Take the witness." The prisoner raised his eyes for a moment, but dropped them again when his own counsel said: "I have no questions to ask him." The next witness proved the finding of the knife near the corpse. Counsel for the prosecution said: "Take the witness." "I have no questions to ask him," Potter's lawyer replied. A third witness swore he had often seen the knife in Potter's possession. "Take the witness." Counsel for Potter declined to question him. The faces of the audience began to betray annoyance. Did this attorney mean to throw away his client's life without an effort? — Mark Twain

Mark Twain Quotes 736221

Denial ain't just a river in Egypt. — Mark Twain

Mark Twain Quotes 793510

Greece is a bleak, unsmiling desert, without agriculture, manufactures or commerce, apparently. What supports its poverty-stricken people or its Government, is a mystery. — Mark Twain

Mark Twain Quotes 811105

Suddenly the nickel-clad horse takes the bit in its mouth and goes slanting for the curbstone defying all prayers and all your powers to change its mind - your heart stands still, your breath hangs fire, your legs forget to work. — Mark Twain

Mark Twain Quotes 819315

The law of work seems unfair, but nothing can change it; the more enjoyment you get out of your work, the more money you will make. — Mark Twain

Mark Twain Quotes 839656

One compliment can keep me going for a whole month. — Mark Twain

Mark Twain Quotes 862255

The first time a student realizes that a little learning is a dangerous thing is when he brings home a poor report card. — Mark Twain

Mark Twain Quotes 867334

There are two kinds of patriotism
monarchical patriotism and republican patriotism. In the one case the government and the king may rightfully furnish you their notions of patriotism; in the other, neither the government nor the entire nation is privileged to dictate to any individual what the form of his patriotism shall be. The gospel of the monarchical patriotism is: "The King can do no wrong." We have adopted it with all its servility, with an unimportant change in the wording: "Our country, right or wrong!" We have thrown away the most valuable asset we had:
the individual's right to oppose both flag and country when he (just he, by himself) believed them to be in the wrong. We have thrown it away; and with it all that was really respectable about that grotesque and laughable word, Patriotism. — Mark Twain

Mark Twain Quotes 919042

In statesmanship get formalities right, never mind about the moralities. — Mark Twain

Mark Twain Quotes 930334

Why shouldn't truth be stranger than fiction? Fiction, after all, has to make sense. — Mark Twain

Mark Twain Quotes 934792

A thistle grows about here which has needles on it that would pierce through leather, I think; if one touches you, you can find relief in nothing but profanity. — Mark Twain

Mark Twain Quotes 1023325

Heaven is the very last place to come to rest and don't you be afraid to bet on that! — Mark Twain

Mark Twain Quotes 1041717

The pulpit and the optimist are always talking about the human race's steady march toward ultimate perfection. As usual, they leave out the statistics. It is the pulpit's way - the optimist's way. — Mark Twain

Mark Twain Quotes 1126954

I never can think of Judas Iscariot without losing my temper. To my mind Judas Iscariot was nothing but a low, mean, premature, Congressman. — Mark Twain

Mark Twain Quotes 1134062

The nation is divided, half patriots and half traitors, and no man can tell which from which. — Mark Twain

Mark Twain Quotes 1140740

We met a great many other interesting people, among them Lewis Carroll, author of the immortal "Alice"
but he was only interesting to look at, for he was the silliest and shyest full-grown man I have ever met except "Uncle Remus. — Mark Twain

Mark Twain Quotes 1177234

If we had less statemanship we could get along with fewer battleships. — Mark Twain

Mark Twain Quotes 1191382

If you must be indiscrete, be discrete in your indiscretion. — Mark Twain

Mark Twain Quotes 1241237

I always did hate for anyone to know what my plans or hopes or prospects were-for, if I kept people in ignorance in these matters, no one could be disappointed but myself, if they were not realized. — Mark Twain

Mark Twain Quotes 1309953

He had a dream and it shot him. — Mark Twain

Mark Twain Quotes 1319409

I felt very good; I judged I had done it pretty neat
I reckoned Tom Sawyer couldn't a done it no neater himself. Of course he would a throwed more style into it, but I can't do that very handy, not being brung up with it. — Mark Twain

Mark Twain Quotes 1416177

The minute we get reconciled to a person, how willing we are to throw aside little needless punctilios and pronounce his name right. — Mark Twain

Mark Twain Quotes 1436946

Don't live in the past, don't ponder about the future, stay at the PRESENT moment NOW ... always. — Mark Twain

Mark Twain Quotes 1454565

That is a society editor, sitting there elegantly dressed, with his legs crossed in that indolent way, observing the clothes the ladies wear, so that he can describe them for his paper and make them out finer than they are and get bribes for it and become wealthy. — Mark Twain

Mark Twain Quotes 1472557

He who asks is a fool for five minutes, but he who does not ask remains a fool forever. — Mark Twain

Mark Twain Quotes 1475174

Man - a figment of God's imagination. — Mark Twain

Mark Twain Quotes 1493188

When majority is insane, sane must go to asylum. — Mark Twain

Mark Twain Quotes 1505127

Humor is like a frog; if you dissect it, it dies. — Mark Twain

Mark Twain Quotes 1509575

When the Lord finished the world, he pronounced it good. That is what I said about my first work, too. But Time, I tell you, Time takes the confidence out of these incautious opinions. It is more than likely that He thinks about the world, now, pretty much as I think about the Innocents Abroad. The fact is, there is a trifle too much water in both. — Mark Twain

Mark Twain Quotes 1579193

In a barrel of odds and ends it is different; things get mixed up, and the juice kind of swaps around, and the things go better. — Mark Twain

Mark Twain Quotes 1594127

Do right for your own sake, and be happy in knowing that your neighbor will certainly share in the benefits resulting. — Mark Twain

Mark Twain Quotes 1611781

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

Mark Twain Quotes 1667762

Irreverence is the champion of liberty and its only sure defense. — Mark Twain

Mark Twain Quotes 1724104

The old lady whirled round, and snatched her skirts out of danger. The lad fled on the instant, scrambled up the high board-fence, and disappeared over it. — Mark Twain

Mark Twain Quotes 1741315

Too bad that youth is wasted on the young. — Mark Twain

Mark Twain Quotes 1756983

Travel is lethal to prejudice. — Mark Twain

Mark Twain Quotes 1921450

It is no harm to be an ass, if one is content to bray and not kick. — Mark Twain

Mark Twain Quotes 1932169

People don't really read your books, they only say they do, to keep you from feeling bad. — Mark Twain

Mark Twain Quotes 1959075

Never refuse to do a kindness unless the act would work great injury to yourself, and never refuse to take a drink - under any circumstances. — Mark Twain

Mark Twain Quotes 2036812

So then I didn't care no more about him, because I don't take no stock in dead people. — Mark Twain

Mark Twain Quotes 2048338

The worst loneliness is to not be comfortable with yourself. — Mark Twain

Mark Twain Quotes 2060521

These coins are not very valuable. Jack went out to get a napoleon changed, so as to have money suited to the general cheapness of things, and came back and said he had "swamped the bank, had bought eleven quarts of coin, and the head of the firm had gone on the street to negotiate for the balance of the change." I bought nearly half a pint of their money for a shilling myself. I am not proud on account of having so much money, though. I care nothing for wealth. — Mark Twain

Mark Twain Quotes 2193780

All emotion is involuntary when genuine. — Mark Twain

Mark Twain Quotes 2208973

Men and women
even man and wife are foreigners. Each has reserves that the other cannot enter into, nor understand. These have the effect of frontiers. — Mark Twain

Mark Twain Quotes 2260377

Loyalty to a petrified opinion never yet broke a chain or freed a human soul. — Mark Twain

Mark Twain Quotes 2264438

On with dance, let joy be unconfined, is my motto; whether there's any dance to dance or any joy to unconfined. — Mark Twain