Quotations by Mark Twain

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Mark Twain, American author and humorist

Samuel Langhorne Clemens (November 30, 1835 - April 21, 1910), better known by his pen name Mark Twain, was an American author and humorist. He wrote The Adventures of Tom Sawyer (1876) and its sequel, Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (1885), the latter often called "the Great American Novel.

Twain was born shortly after a visit by Halley's Comet, and he predicted that he would "go out with it," too. He died the day following the comet's subsequent return. He was lauded as the "greatest American humorist of his age", and William Faulkner called Twain "the father of American literature." (Source: Wikipedia)


Mark Twain, American author and humorist
  1. If you tell the truth, you don't have to remember anything.

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

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

  4. The man who does not read has no advantage over the man who cannot read.

  5. Never put off till tomorrow what may be done day after tomorrow just as well.

  6. Go to heaven for the climate and hell for the company.

  7. I have never let my schooling interfere with my education.

  8. 'Classic' - a book which people praise and don't read.

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

  10. Never tell the truth to people who are not worthy of it.

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

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

  13. 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.

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

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

  16. 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.

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

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

  19. God created war so that Americans would learn geography.

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

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

  22. Wrinkles should merely indicate where the smiles have been.

  23. Loyalty to country ALWAYS. Loyalty to government, when it deserves it.

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

  25. Life is short, Break the Rules.
    Forgive quickly, Kiss SLOWLY.
    Love truly. Laugh uncontrollably
    And never regret ANYTHING
    That makes you smile.

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

  27. Never allow someone to be your priority while allowing yourself to be their option.

  28. Books are for people who wish they were somewhere else.

  29. What would men be without women? Scarce, sir...mighty scarce.

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

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

  32. Sanity and happiness are an impossible combination.

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

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

  35. The trouble is not in dying for a friend, but in finding a friend worth dying for.

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

  37. If you don't read the newspaper, you're uninformed. If you read the newspaper, you're mis-informed.

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

  39. Name the greatest of all inventors. Accident.

  40. I've lived through some terrible things in my life, some of which actually happened.

  41. You believe in a book that has talking animals, wizards, witches, demons, sticks turning into snakes, burning bushes, food falling from the sky, people walking on water, and all sorts of magical, absurd and primitive stories, and you say that we are the ones that need help?

  42. It's not the size of the dog in the fight, it's the size of the fight in the dog.

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

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

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

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

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

  48. Education: the path from cocky ignorance to miserable uncertainty.

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

  50. The secret to getting ahead is getting started.

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

  52. The worst loneliness is to not be comfortable with yourself.

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

  54. A clear conscience is the sure sign of a bad memory.

  55. April 1. This is the day upon which we are reminded of what we are on the other three hundred and sixty-four.

  56. 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.

  57. History doesn't repeat itself, but it does rhyme.

  58. Sometimes I wonder whether the world is being run by smart people who are putting us on or by imbeciles who really mean it.

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

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

  61. When I was 14, my father was so ignorant I could hardly stand to have the old man around. But when I got to be 21, I was astonished at how much he had learned in 7 years.


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