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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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.

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.
A man cannot be made comfortable without his own approval.
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.
History may not repeat itself, but it does rhyme a lot
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.
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.
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.

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