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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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.
Under certain circumstances, profanity provides a relief denied even to prayer.
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.
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.
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.
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.
My books are water; those of the great geniuses are wine -- everybody drinks water.
Sometimes too much drink is barely enough.
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.