Quotes by Mark Twain

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Samuel Langhorne Clemens (November 30, 1835 April 21, 1910), better known by his pen name Mark Twain, was a famous and popular American humorist, novelist, writer and lecturer. more

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Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.

I have never let my schooling interfere with my education.
Let us endeavor so to live that when we come to die even the undertaker will be sorry.
It is better to keep your mouth closed and let people think you are a fool than to open it and remove all doubt.
Get your facts first, and then you can distort them as much as you please.
Why is it that we rejoice at birth and grieve at a funeral? It is because we are not the person involved.
Be careless in your dress if you must, but keep a tidy soul.
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.
Don't part with your illusions. When they are gone you may still exist, but you have ceased to live.
I was young and foolish then; now I am old and foolisher.
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.
By trying we can easily learn to endure adversity. Another man's, I mean.
The rule is perfect: in all matters of opinion our adversaries are insane.
There is nothing so annoying as a good example!!
Man will do many things to get himself loved; he will do all things to get himself envied.
Keep away from small 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.
I believe that our Heavenly Father invented man because he was disappointed in the monkey.
Grief can take care of itself; but to get the full value of a joy you must have somebody to divide it with.
Faith is believing what you know ain't so.
We are all alike, on the inside.
Thousands of geniuses live and die undiscovered -- either by themselves or by others.
Good friends, good books and a sleepy conscience: this is the ideal life. The conviction of the rich that the poor are happier is no more foolish than the conviction of the poor that the rich are.
If you pick up a starving dog and make him prosperous, he will not bite you; that is the principal difference between a dog and a man.
Adam was the luckiest man; he had no mother-in-law.
When angry, count four; when very angry, swear.
It is a time when one's spirit is subdued and sad, one knows not why; when the past seems a storm-swept desolation, life a vanity and a burden, and the future but a way to death.
When a person cannot deceive himself the chances are against his being able to deceive other people.
The man who does not read books has no advantage over the man that can not read them.
History is strewn thick with evidence that a truth is not hard to kill, but a lie, well told, is immortal.
Whoever has lived long enough to find out what life is, knows how deep a debt of gratitude we owe to Adam, the first great benefactor of our race. He brought death into the world.
A man who carries a cat by the tail learns something he can learn in no other way.
I have never taken any exercise except sleeping and resting.
We are always too busy for our children; we never give them the time or interest they deserve. We lavish gifts upon them; but the most precious gift, our personal association, which means so much to them, we give grudgingly.
The first half of life consists of the capacity to enjoy without the chance; the last half consists of the chance without the capacity.
Annihilation has no terrors for me, because I have already tried it before I was born --a hundred million years --and I have suffered more in an hour, in this life, than I remember to have suffered in the whole hundred million years put together. There was a peace, a serenity, an absence of all sense of responsibility, an absence of worry, an absence of care, grief, perplexity; and the presence of a deep content and unbroken satisfaction in that hundred million years of holiday which I look back upon with a tender longing and with a grateful desire to resume, when the opportunity comes.
When I was fourteen, my father was so ignorant I could hardly stand to have him around. When I got to be twenty-one, I was astonished at how much he had learned in seven years.
A lie can run around the world six times while the truth is still trying to put on its pants.
Forgiveness is the fragrance the violet sheds on the heel that has crushed it.
Forget and forgive. This is not difficult when properly understood. It means forget inconvenient duties, then forgive yourself for forgetting. By rigid practice and stern determination, it comes easy.
All say, How hard it is that we have to die -- a strange complaint to come from the mouths of people who have had to live.
The 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.
To stop smoking is the easiest thing I ever did. I ought to know; I've done it a thousand times.
Familiarity breeds contempt; and children.
Duties are not performed for duty's sake, but because their neglect would make the man uncomfortable. A man performs but one duty --the duty of contenting his spirit, the duty of making himself agreeable to himself.
He has been a doctor a year now and has had two patients, no, three, I think -- yes, it was three; I attended their funerals.
We never become really and genuinely our entire and honest selves until we are dead -- and not then until we have been dead years and years. People ought to start dead and then they would be honest so much earlier.
Courage is resistance to fear, mastery of fear -- not absence of fear.
Methuselah lived to be 969 years old . You boys and girls will see more in the next fifty years than Methuselah saw in his whole lifetime.
The difference between the right word and the almost right word is the difference between lightning and the lightning bug.
There is no God, no universe, no human race, no earthly life, no heaven, no hell. It is all a dream, a grotesque and foolish dream. Nothing exists but you. And you are but a thought --a vagrant thought, a useless thought, a homeless thought, wandering forlorn among the empty eternities!
Never let formal education get in the way of your learning.
Be good and you will be lonely.
Everyone is like a moon, and has a dark side which he never shows to anybody.
The trouble with the world is not that people know too little, but that they know so many things that ain't so.
When we remember that we are all mad, the mysteries disappear and life stands explained.
The secret source of humor itself is not joy but sorrow. There is no humor in heaven.
Heaven goes by favor; if it went by merit, you would stay out and your dog would go in.
Be careful about reading health books. You may die of a misprint.
Soap and education are not as sudden as a massacre, but they are more deadly in the long run. Training is everything. The peach was once a bitter almond; cauliflower is nothing but cabbage with a college education.
What is there that confers the noblest delight? What is that which swells a man's breast with pride above that which any other experience can bring to him? Discovery! To know that you are walking where none others have walked; that you are beholding what human eye has not seen before; that you are breathing a virgin atmosphere. To give birth to an idea, to discover a great thought -- an intellectual nugget, right under the dust of a field that many a brain-plough had gone over before. To find a new planet, to invent a new hinge, to find a way to make the lightning carry your messages. To be the first -- that is the idea.
We owe a deep debt of gratitude to Adam, the first great benefactor of the human race: he brought death into the world.
It is curious that physical courage should be so common in the world, and moral courage so rare.
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.
We need not worry so much about what man descends from; it's what he descends to that shames the human race.
Against the assault of laughter nothing can stand.
Laughter is the greatest weapon we have and we, as humans, use it the least.
Let us consider that we are all partially insane. It will explain us to each other; it will unriddle many riddles; it will make clear and simple many things which are involved in haunting and harassing difficulties and obscurities now.
I must have a prodigious quantity of mind; it takes me as much as a week, sometimes, to make it up.
It is better to deserve honors and not have them than to have them and not deserve them.
Happiness ain't a thing in itself --it's only a contrast with something that ain't pleasant. And so, as soon as the novelty is over and the force of the contrast dulled, it ain't happiness any longer, and you have to get something fresh.
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.
The cat, having sat upon a hot stove lid, will not sit upon a hot stove lid again. But he won't sit upon a cold stove lid, either.
The best way to cheer yourself up is to try to cheer somebody else up.
Education is the path from cocky ignorance to miserable uncertainty.
When your friends begin to flatter you on how young you look, it's a sure sign you're getting old.
I have found out that there ain't no surer way to find out whether you like people or hate them than to travel with them.
Nothing that grieves us can be called little: by the eternal laws of proportion a child's loss of a doll and a king's loss of a crown are events of the same size.
Under certain circumstances, profanity provides a relief denied even to prayer.
It is a good idea to obey all the rules when you're young just so you'll have the strength to break them when you're old.
The human race has but one really affective weapon, and that is laughter.
In the first place God made idiots. This was for practice. Then he made School Boards.
Man is a creature made at the end of the week's work when God was tired.
Golf is a good walk spoiled.
I did not attend his funeral; but I wrote a nice letter saying I approved of it. [About a politician who had recently died]
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.
Few things are harder to put up with than the annoyance of a good example.
It's not the size of the dog in the fight, it's the size of the fight in the dog.
Life would be infinitely happier if we could only be born at the age of eighty and gradually approach eighteen.
Don't go around saying the world owes you a living. The world owes you nothing. It was here first.
Let us so live that when we come to die even the undertaker will be sorry.
Suppose you were an idiot. And suppose you were a member of Congress. But I repeat myself.
Always do right. This will gratify some people and astonish the rest.
Wrinkles should merely indicate where smiles have been.
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.
A habit cannot be tossed out the window; it must be coaxed down the stairs a step at a time.
What is the most rigorous law of our being? Growth. No smallest atom of our moral, mental, or physical structure can stand still a year. It grows -- it must grow; nothing can prevent it.
Fortune knocks at every man's door once in a life, but in a good many cases the man is in a neighboring saloon and does not hear her.
My books are water; those of the great geniuses are wine -- everybody drinks water.
No real gentleman will tell the naked truth in the presence of ladies.
When I was younger, I could remember anything, whether it had happened or not.
France has neither winter nor summer nor morals. Apart from these drawbacks it is a fine country.
Warm summer sun, shine kindly here. Warm southern wind, blow softly here. Green sod above, lie light, lie light. Good night, dear Heart, Good night, good night.
He liked to like people, therefore people liked him.
You can't pray a lie.
If you have nothing to say, say nothing.
There are two times in a man's life when he should not speculate: when he can't afford it, and when he can.
To be good is noble, but to teach others how to be good is nobler and less trouble.
I have a higher and grander standard of principle than George Washington. He could not lie; I can, but I won t.
In the real world, nothing happens at the right place at the right time. It is the job of journalists and historians to correct that.
Accident is the name of the greatest of all inventors.
Apparently there is nothing that cannot happen today.
Such is the human race. Often it does seem such a pity that Noah and his party did not miss the boat.
If man had created man, he would be ashamed of his performance.
There is a great deal of human nature in people.
We have the best government that money can buy.
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.
It was the schoolboy who said, Faith is believing what you know ain't so.
I am a democrat only on principle, not by instinct -- nobody is that. Doubtless some people say they are, but this world is grievously given to lying.
What, then, is the true Gospel of consistency? Change. Who is the really consistent man? The man who changes. Since change is the law of his being, he cannot be consistent if he stick in a rut.
I don't like to commit myself about heaven and hell -- you see, I have friends in both places.
Of all God's creatures there is only one that cannot be made the slave of the lash. That one is the cat. If man could be crossed with a cat it would improve man, but it would deteriorate the cat.
There was never yet an uninteresting life. Such a thing is an impossibility. Inside of the dullest exterior there is a drama, a comedy, and a tragedy.
A banker is a fellow who lends his umbrella when the sun is shining and wants it back the minute it begins to rain.
Sometimes too much drink is barely enough.
The older we grow the greater becomes our wonder at how much ignorance one can contain without bursting one's clothes.
Let us not be too particular; it is better to have old secondhand diamonds than none at all.
Never tell the truth to people who are not worthy of it.
I am an old man and have known a great many troubles, but most of them never happened.
Life does not consist mainly, or even largely, of facts and happenings. It consists mainly of the storm of thought that is forever flowing through one's head.
Whenever you find that you are on the side of the majority, it is time to reform.
If you are speaking the truth you don't have to remember anything.
The man who is a pessimist before 48 knows too much; if he is an optimist after it, he knows too little.
The miracle, or the power, that elevates the few is to be found in their industry, application, and perseverance under the prompting of a brave, determined spirit.
Nothing so needs reforming as other people's habits.
I refused to attend his funeral. But I wrote a very nice letter explaining that I approved of it.
All you need in this life is ignorance and confidence, and then Success is sure.
One of the striking differences between a cat and a lie is that the cat has only nine lives.
True irreverence is disrespect for another man's god.
You cannot depend on your judgments when your imagination is out of focus.
There are people who can do all fine and heroic things but one: keep from telling their happiness to the unhappy.
Habit is habit, and not to be flung out of the window by any man, but coaxed downstairs a step at a time.
It could probably be shown by facts and figures that there is no distinctly native American criminal class except Congress.
He is useless on top of the ground; he ought to be under it, inspiring the cabbages.
He does not care for flowers. Calls them rubbish, and cannot tell one from another, and thinks it is superior to feel like that.
Evolution is the law of policies: Darwin said it, Socrates endorsed it, Cuvier proved it and established it for all time in his paper on The Survival of the Fittest. These are illustrious names, this is a mighty doctrine: nothing can ever remove it from its firm base, nothing dissolve it, but evolution.
Noise proves nothing, Often a hen who has laid an egg cackles as if she had laid an asteroid.
A classic is something that everybody wants to have read and nobody wants to read.
Good breeding consists in concealing how much we think of ourselves and how little we think of the other person.
A man cannot be made comfortable without his own approval.
History may not repeat itself, but it does rhyme a lot
The right word may be effective, but no word was ever as effective as a rightly timed pause.
Never do wrong when people are looking.
I have not a particle of confidence in a man who has no redeeming vices.
I never could tell a lie that anybody would doubt, nor a truth that anybody would believe.
Both marriage and death ought to be welcome: The one promises happiness, doubtless the other assures it.
Necessity is the mother of taking chances.
It is not best that we should all think alike; it is a difference of opinion that makes horse races.
There is no sadder sight than a young pessimist, except an old optimist.
Stars are good too. I wish I could get some to put in my hair. But I suppose I never can. You would be surprised to find how far off they are, for they do not look it. When they first showed last night I tried to knock some down with a pole, but it didn't reach, which astonished me. Then I tried clods till I was all tired out, but I never got one. I did make some close shots, for I saw the black blot of the clod sail right into thee midst of the golden clusters forty or fifty times, just barely missing them, and if I could've held out a little longer, maybe I could've got one.
The Pause; that impressive silence, that eloquent silence, that geometrically progressive silence which often achieves a desired effect where no combination of words, however so felicitous, could accomplish it.
It takes an enemy and a friend, working together, to hurt you to the heart. The one to slander you, and the other to get the news to you.
There are lies, damned lies, and statistics.
There's always something about your success that displeases even your best friends.
Never learn to do anything. If you don't learn, you will always find someone else to do it for you.
We have not the reverent feeling for the rainbow that a savage has, because we know how it is made. We have lost as much as we gained by prying into that matter.
You can't depend on your judgment when your imagination is out of focus.
There are times when one would like to hang the whole human race, and finish the farce.
We must annex those people. We can afflict them with our wise and beneficent government. We can introduce the novelty of thieves, all the way up from street-car pickpockets to municipal robbers and Government defaulters, and show them how amusing it is to arrest them and try them and then turn them loose -- some for cash and some for political influence. We can make them ashamed of their simple and primitive justice. We can make that little bunch of sleepy islands the hottest corner on earth, and array it in the moral splendor of our high and holy civilization. Annexation is what the poor islanders need. Shall we to men benighted, the lamp of life deny?
On with dance, let joy be unconfined, is my motto; whether there's any dance to dance or any joy to unconfined.
In Boston they ask, How much does he know? In New York, How much is he worth? In Philadelphia, Who were his parents?
It was wonderful to find America, but it would have been more wonderful to miss it.
Water, taken in moderation, cannot hurt anybody.
A powerful agent is the right word. Whenever we come upon one of those intensely right words... the resulting effect is physical as well as spiritual, and electrically prompt.
I do not like work even when someone else does it.
Thunder is impressive, but it is lightning that does the work.
If you tell the truth, you don't have to remember anything.
A joke, even if it be a lame one, is nowhere so keenly relished or quickly applauded as in a murder trial.
It is easier to stay out than get out.
Any so-called material thing that you want is merely a symbol: you want it not for itself, but because it will content your spirit for the moment.
Temperate temperance is best; intemperate temperance injures the cause of temperance.
Switzerland is simply a large, lumpy, solid rock with a thin skin of grass stretched over it.
Obscurity and competence: That is the life that is worth living.
Public opinion is held in reverence. It settles everything. Some think it is the voice of God.
Do not undervalue the headache. While it is at its sharpest it seems a bad investment; but when relief begins, the unexpired remainder is worth $4 a minute.
What a good thing Adam had. When he said a good thing, he knew nobody had said it before.
More than once I had seen a noble who had gotten his enemy at a disadvantage stop to pray before cutting his throat.
Few sinners are saved after the first twenty minutes of a sermon.
I find that principles have no real force except when one is well fed.
When people do not respect us we are sharply offended; yet deep down in his private heart no man much respects himself.
There is nothing in the world like a persuasive speech to fuddle the mental apparatus.
Let us be thankful for the fools. But for them the rest of us could not succeed.
I know all those people. I have friendly, social, and criminal relations with the whole lot of them.
I would rather have my ignorance than another man's knowledge, because I have so much of it.
Honesty is the best policy -- when there is money in it.
Damn the subjunctive. It brings all our writers to shame.
Where a blood relation sobs, an intimate friend should choke up, a distant acquaintance should sigh, a stranger should merely fumble sympathetically with his handkerchief.
Forgiveness is the fragrance that the violet sheds on the heel that has crushed it
Sacred cows make the best hamburger.
Man was made at the end of the week's work when God was tired.
There are several good protections against temptation, but the surest is cowardice.
When you cannot get a compliment in any other way pay yourself one.
Man is the only animal that blushes -- or needs to.
Be virtuous and you will be eccentric.
There are no people who are quite so vulgar as the over-refined.
If you don't like the weather in New England, just wait a few minutes.
Everybody talks about the weather, but nobody does anything about it.
Most writers regard the truth as their most valuable possession, and therefore are economical in its use.
There are no grades of vanity, there are only grades of ability in concealing it.
Often the surest way to convey misinformation is to tell the strict truth.
Truth is stranger than fiction, but it is because Fiction is obliged to stick to possibilities; Truth isn't.
We like a man to come right out and say what he thinks, if we agree with him.
Martyrdom covers a multitude of sins.
The master minds of all nations, in all ages, have sprung in affluent multitude from the mass of the nation, and from the mass of the nation only -- not from its privileged classes.
The lack of money is the root of all evils.
His money is twice tainted: taint yours and taint mine.
The man with a new idea is a crank until the idea succeeds.
My parents were neither very poor nor conspicuously honest.
If He Tom Sawyer had been a great and wise philosopher, like the writer of this book, he would now have comprehended that Work consists of whatever a body is obliged to do and Play consists of whatever a body is not obliged to do.
To do something, say something, see something, before anybody else -- these are things that confer a pleasure compared with which other pleasures are tame and commonplace, other ecstasies cheap and trivial.
It is a good and gentle religion, but inconvenient.
To cease smoking is the easiest thing I ever did, I ought to know because I've done it a thousand times.
It usually takes more than three weeks to prepare a good impromptu speech.
Between us, we cover all knowledge; he knows all that can be known and I know the rest.
Monarchies, aristocracies, and religions are all based upon that large defect in your race -- the individual's distrust of his neighbor, and his desire, for safety's or comfort's sake, to stand well in his neighbor's eye. These institutions will always remain, and always flourish, and always oppress you, affront you, and degrade you, because you will always be and remain slaves of minorities. There was never a country where the majority of the people were in their secret hearts loyal to any of these institutions.
The way it is now, the asylums can hold the sane people but if we tried to shut up the insane we would run out of building materials.
It isn't safe to sit in judgment upon another person's illusion when you are not on the inside. While you are thinking it is a dream, he may be knowing it is a planet.
A crank is someone with a new idea -- until it catches on.
Humor must not professedly teach and it must not professedly preach, but it must do both if it would live forever.
The trouble with you Chicago people is that you think you are the best people down here, whereas you are merely the most numerous.
When one has tasted it [Watermelon] he knows what the angels eat.
Often, the less there is to justify a traditional custom, the harder it is to get rid of it.
The human race is a race of cowards; and I am not only marching in that procession, but carrying a banner.
I can live for two months on a good compliment.
I have been complimented many times and they always embarrass me; I always feel that they have not said enough.
To arrive at a just estimate of a renowned man's character one must judge it by the standards of his time, not ours.
Put all your eggs in one basket and then watch that basket.
There comes a time in every rightly constructed boy's life when he has a raging desire to go somewhere and dig for hidden treasure.
Biographies are but the clothes and buttons of the man. The biography of the man himself cannot be written.
That's what an army is -- a mob; they don't fight with courage that's born in them, but with courage that's borrowed from their mass, and from their officers.
There isn't a single human characteristic that can be safely labeled as American.
I am admonished in many ways that time is pushing me inexorably along. I am approaching the threshold of age; in 1977 I shall be 142. This is no time to be flitting about the earth. I must cease from the activities proper to youth and begin to take on the dignities and gravities and inertia proper to that season of honorable senility which is on its way.
The true charm of pedestrianism does not lie in the walking, or in the scenery, but in the talking. The walking is good to time the movement of the tongue by, and to keep the blood and the brain stirred up and active; the scenery and the woodsy smells are good to bear in upon a man an unconscious and unobtrusive charm and solace to eye and soul and sense; but the supreme pleasure comes from the talk.
Wit and Humor -- if any difference, it is in duration -- lightning and electric light. Same material, apparently; but one is vivid, and can do damage -- the other fools along and enjoys elaboration.
An average English word is four letters and a half. By hard, honest labor I've dug all the large words out of my vocabulary and shaved it down till the average is three and a half... I never write metropolis for seven cents, because I can get the same money for city. I never write policeman, because I can get the same price for cop.... I never write valetudinarian at all, for not even hunger and wretchedness can humble me to the point where I will do a word like that for seven cents; I wouldn't do it for fifteen.
Work and play are words used to describe the same thing under differing conditions.
Of all Gods creatures there is only one that cannot be made the slave of the lash. That one is the cat. If man could be crossed with the cat it would improve man, but it would deteriorate the cat.
When I was a boy of 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 the old man had learned in seven years.
The difference between the almost right word and the right word is really a large mattertis the difference between the lightning-bug and the lightning.
Truth is neither alive nor dead; it just aggravates itself all the time.
You perceive I generalize with intrepidity from single instances. It is the tourist's custom.
A man can seldom -- very, very, seldom -- fight a winning fight against his training; the odds are too heavy.
Man is the only creature who has a nasty mind.
There was never a century nor a country that was short of experts who knew the Deity's mind and were willing to reveal it.
The highest perfection of politeness is only a beautiful edifice, built, from the base to the dome, of ungraceful and gilded forms of charitable and unselfish lying.
There are only two forces that can carry light to all the corners of the globe... the sun in the heavens and the Associated Press down here.
The man who is ostentatious of his modesty is twin to the statue that wears a fig-leaf.
I am opposed to millionaires, but it would be dangerous to offer me the position.
From his cradle to his grave a man never does a single thing which has any FIRST AND FOREMOST object but one -- to secure peace of mind, spiritual comfort, for HIMSELF.
There are German songs which can make a stranger to the language cry.
Nations do not think, they only feel. They get their feelings at second hand through their temperaments, not their brains. A nation can be brought -- by force of circumstances, not argument -- to reconcile itself to any kind of government or religion that can be devised; in time it will fit itself to the required conditions; later it will prefer them and will fiercely fight for them.
The banging and slamming and booming and crashing were something beyond belief. [On Lohengrin]
Hardly a man in the world has an opinion upon morals, politics or religion which he got otherwise than through his associations and sympathies. Broadly speaking, there are none but corn-pone opinions. And broadly speaking, Corn-Pone stands for Self-Approval. Self-approval is acquired mainly from the approval of other people. The result is Conformity.
It is difference of opinion that makes horse races.
Pessimism is only the name that men of weak nerve give to wisdom.
There is nothing sadder than a young pessimist.
If they had not landed there would be some reason for celebrating the fact.
Pity is for living, envy is for dead.
War talk by men who have been in a war is always interesting; whereas moon talk by a poet who has not been in the moon is likely to be dull.
In statesmanship get the formalities right, never mind about the moralities.
When the doctrine of allegiance to party can utterly up-end a man's moral constitution and make a temporary fool of him besides, what excuse are you going to offer for preaching it, teaching it, extending it, perpetuating it? Shall you say, the best good of the country demands allegiance to party? Shall you also say it demands that a man kick his truth and his conscience into the gutter, and become a mouthing lunatic, besides?
Fleas can be taught nearly anything that a Congressman can.
By common consent of all the nations and all the ages the most valuable thing in this world is the homage of men, whether deserved or undeserved.
Principles aren't of much account anyway, except at election time. After that you hang them up to let them season.
Prosperity is the best protector of principle.
When you ascend the hill of prosperity, may you not meet a friend.
Prosperity is the surest breeder of insolence I know.
There are many scapegoats for our sins, but the most popular is providence.
I cannot see how a man of any large degree of humorous perception can ever be religious -- except he purposely shut the eyes of his mind and keep them shut by force.
In his private heart no man much respects himself.
If the statistics are right, the Jews constitute but one percent of the human race. It suggests a nebulous dim puff of star dust lost in the blaze of the Milky Way …. Yet he has made a marvelous fight in the world, in all the ages; and has done it with his hands tied behind him.
No God and no religion can survive ridicule. No political church, no nobility, no royalty or other fraud, can face ridicule in a fair field, and live.
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.
Out of the unconscious lips of babes and sucklings are we satirized.
Scientists have odious manners, except when you prop up their theory; then you can borrow money of them.
What do we call love, hate, charity, revenge, humanity, forgiveness? Different results of the master impulse, the necessity of securing one's self-approval.
The most difficult We do not deal in facts when we are contemplating ourselves.