AuthorQuotes

Top 110 Mark Twain Quotes

Mark Twain real name is Samuel Langhorne Clemens. He was an American writer, humorist, entrepreneur, publisher, and lecturer. Born on November 30, 1835, in Florida, Missouri. He was the sixth of seven children of Jane. Twain was fascinated with science and scientific inquiry. Twain’s writings and lectures enabled him to recover financially. He passed through a period of deep depression which began in 1896 when his daughter Susy died of meningitis.

He summed up his views of revolutions in the following statement:

I am said to be a revolutionist in my sympathies, by birth, by breeding and by principle. I am always on the side of the revolutionists, because there never was a revolution unless there were some oppressive and intolerable conditions against which to revolute

Mark Twain
  1. If you tell the truth, you don’t have to remember anything.
  2. Good friends, good books, and a sleepy conscience: this is the ideal life.
  3. Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to reform.
  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. Classic′ – a book which people praise and don’t read.
  7. I have never let my schooling interfere with my education.
  8. The fear of death follows from the fear of life. A man who lives fully is prepared to die at any time.
  9. Never tell the truth to people who are not worthy of it.
  10. Don’t go around saying the world owes you a living. The world owes you nothing. It was here first.
  11. Everyone is a moon, and has a dark side which he never shows to anybody.
  12. Always do what is right. It will gratify half of mankind and astound the other.
  13. I’ve lived through some terrible things in my life, some of which actually happened.
  14. 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?
  15. The secret to getting ahead is getting started.
  16. Get your facts first, and then you can distort them as much as you please.
  17. 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.
  18. Comparison is the death of joy.
  19. Censorship is telling a man he can’t have a steak just because a baby can’t chew it.
  20. Religion was invented when the first con man met the first fool.
  21. The government is merely a servant―merely a temporary servant; it cannot be its prerogative to determine what is right and what is wrong, and decide who is a patriot and who isn’t. Its function is to obey orders, not originate them.
  22. Ignorant people think it is the noise which fighting cats make that is so aggravating, but it ain’t so; it is the sickening grammar that they use.
  23. Human beings can be awful cruel to one another.
  24. What gets us into trouble is not what we don’t know. It’s what we know for sure that just ain’t so.
  25. When people do not respect us we are sharply offended; yet deep down in his private heart no man much respects himself.
  26. I wish I could make him understand that a loving good heart is riches enough, and that without it intellect is poverty.
  27. A man’s character may be learned from the adjectives which he habitually uses in conversation.
  28. There are several good protections against temptations, but the surest is cowardice.
  29. Whiskey is for drinking; water is for fighting over.
  30. Among other common lies, we have the silent lie—the deception which one conveys by simply keeping still and concealing the truth. Many obstinate truth-mongers indulge in this dissipation, imagining that if they speak no lie, they lie not at all.
  31. Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts.
  32. When red-headed people are above a certain social grade their hair is auburn.
  33. Noise proves nothing. Often a hen who has laid an egg cackles as if she had laid an asteroid.
  34. Don’t wake up a woman in love. Let her dream, so that she does not weep when she returns to her bitter reality.
  35. Age is an issue of mind over matter. If you don’t mind, it doesn’t matter.
  36. The secret of getting ahead is getting started. The secret of getting started is breaking your complex overwhelming tasks into small manageable tasks, and starting on the first one.
  37. Good judgement is the result of experience and experience the result of bad judgement.
  38. I am an old man and have known a great many troubles, but most of them have never happened.
  39. Humor is mankind’s greatest blessing.
  40. The lack of money is the root of all evil.
  41. 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.
  42. When a man loves cats, I am his friend and comrade, without further introduction.
  43. Facts are stubborn things, but statistics are pliable.
  44. The less there is to justify a traditional custom, the harder it is to get rid of it.
  45. Do something everyday that you don’t want to do; this is the golden rule for acquiring the habit of doing your duty without pain.
  46. A gentleman is someone who knows how to play the banjo and doesn’t.
  47. Grief can take care of itself, but to get the full value of joy you must have somebody to divide it with.
  48. Familiarity breeds contempt and children.
  49. There is nothing so annoying as having two people talking when you’re busy interrupting.
  50. Don’t say the old lady screamed. Bring her on and let her scream.
  51. Right is right, and wrong is wrong, and a body ain’t got no business doing wrong when he ain’t ignorant and knows better.
  52. There are three things men can do with women: love them, suffer them, or turn them into literature.
  53. Every person is a book, each year a chapter.
  54. Anyone who can only think of one way to spell a word obviously lacks imagination.
  55. Plain question and plain answer make the shortest road out of most perplexities.
  56. High and fine literature is wine, and mine is only water; but everybody likes water.
  57. They did not know it was impossible so they did it.
  58. Never be haughty to the humble, never be humble to the haughty.
  59. 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.
  60. One of the most striking differences between a cat and a lie is that a cat has only nine lives.
  61. You can’t reason with your heart; it has its own laws, and thumps about things which the intellect scorns.
  62. Never have a battle of wits with an unarmed person.
  63. Good breeding consists of concealing how much we think of ourselves and how little we think of the other person.
  64. The test of any good fiction is that you should care something for the characters; the good to succeed, the bad to fail. The trouble with most fiction is that you want them all to land in hell together, as quickly as possible.
  65. There are some few people I respect and admire, but I don’t think much of the species.
  66. How little a thing can make us happy when we feel that we have earned it.
  67. Nothing exists but you. And you are but a thought.
  68. Human pride is not worthwhile; there is always something lying in wait to take the wind out of it.
  69. The proper office of a friend is to side with you when you are in the wrong. Nearly anybody will side with you when you are in the right.
  70. Let us endeavor so to live that when we come to die even the undertaker will be sorry.
  71. There is something fascinating about science. One gets such wholesale returns of conjecture out of such a trifling investment of fact.
  72. The trouble ain’t that there is too many fools, but that the lightning ain’t distributed right.
  73. I don’t want no better book than what your face is.
  74. How often we recall with regret that Napoleon once shot at a magazine editor and missed him and killed a publisher. But we remember with charity that his intentions were good.
  75. The trouble with the world is not that people know too little; it’s that they know so many things that just aren’t so.
  76. I think that to one in sympathy with nature, each season, in turn, seems the loveliest.
  77. A classic is something that everybody wants to have read and nobody wants to read.
  78. Fame is a vapor, popularity an accident; the only earthly certainty is oblivion.
  79. I don’t see any use in having a uniform and arbitrary way of spelling words. We might as well make all clothes alike and cook all dishes alike. Sameness is tiresome; variety is pleasing.
  80. 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.
  81. Really great people make you feel that you, too, can become great.
  82. When ill luck begins, it does not come in sprinkles, but in showers.
  83. Necessity is the mother of taking chances.
  84. To a man with a hammer, everything looks like a nail.
  85. 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.
  86. It is higher and nobler to be kind.
  87. If you don’t like the weather in New England now, just wait a few minutes.
  88. If you want me to give you a two-hour presentation, I am ready today. If you want only a five-minute speech, it will take me two weeks to prepare.
  89. Those who don’t read good books have no advantage over those who can’t.
  90. I am a great and sublime fool. But then I am God’s fool, and all His works must be contemplated with respect.
  91. Love is not a product of reasonings and statistics. It just comes-none knows whence-and cannot explain itself.
  92. No man is a failure who has friends.
  93. If you must be indiscrete, be discrete in your indiscretion.
  94. The rule is perfect: in all matters of opinion our adversaries are insane.
  95. You can’t throw too much style into a miracle.
  96. All kings is mostly rapscallions, as fur as I can make out.
  97. You meet people who forget you. You forget people you meet. But sometimes you meet those people you can’t forget. Those are your ‘friends.
  98. How empty is theory in the presence of fact!
  99. A person who won’t read has no advantage over one who can’t read.
  100. Some people get an education without going to college. The rest get it after they get out.
  101. The very ink with which all history is written is merely fluid prejudice.
  102. A fully belly is little worth where the mind is starved.
  103. 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.
  104. Heaven is by favor; if it were by merit your dog would go in and you would stay out. Of all the creatures ever made (man) is the most detestable. Of the entire brood, he is the only one… that possesses malice. He is the only creature that inflicts pain for sport, knowing it to be pain.
  105. Having faith is believing in something you just know ain’t true.
  106. Well, there are times when one would like to hang the whole human race and finish the farce.
  107. Don’t you worry your pretty little mind. People throw rocks at things that shine and life makes love look hard.
  108. Golf is a good walk spoiled.
  109. The human race is a race of cowards; and I am not only marching in that procession but carrying a banner.
  110. I am not given to exaggeration, and when I say a thing I mean it.

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