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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So I became a newspaperman. I hated to do it but I couldnt find honest employment.

By his father he is English, by his mother he is Americanto my mind the blend which makes the perfect man.
The teacher reminded us that Romes liberties were not auctioned off in a day, but were bought slowly, gradually, furtively, little by little; first with a little corn and oil for the exceedingly poor and wretched, later with corn and oil for voters who were not quite so poor, later still with corn and oil for pretty much every man that had a vote to sellexactly our own history over again.
When you have prayed for victory you have prayed for many unmentioned results which follow victorymust follow it, cannot help but follow it. Upon the listening spirit of God the Father fell also the unspoken part of the prayer. He commandeth me to put it into words. Listen!O Lord our Father, our young patriots, idols of our hearts, go forth to battlebe Thou near them! With themin spiritwe also go forth from the sweet peace of our beloved firesides to smite the foe. O Lord our God, help us to tear their soldiers to bloody shreds with our shells; help us to cover their smiling fields with the pale forms of their patriot dead; help us to drown the thunder of the guns with the shrieks of their wounded, writhing in pain; help us to lay waste their humble homes with a hurricane of fire; help us to wring the hearts of their unoffending widows with anavailing grief; help us to turn them out roofless with their little children to wander unfriended the wastes of their desolated land in rags and hunger and thirst, sports of the sun flames of summer and the icy winds of winter, broken in spirit, worn with travail, imploring Thee for the refuge of the grave and denied itfor our sakes who adore Thee, Lord, blast their hopes, blight their lives, protract their bitter pilgrimage, make heavy their steps, water their way with their tears, stain the white snow with the blood of their wounded feet! We ask it, in the spirit of love, of Him Who is the Source of Love, and Who is the ever-faithful refuge and friend of all that are sore beset and seek His aid with humble and contrite hearts. Amen.
I think I can say, and say with pride, that we have some legislatures that bring higher prices than any in the world.
A jay hasnt got any more principle than a Congressman. A jay will lie, a jay will steal, a jay will deceive, a jay will betray; and four times out of five, a jay will go back on his solemnest promise.
To my mind Judas Iscariot was nothing but a low, mean, premature Congressman.
Say the report is exaggerated.
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.
The people of those foreign countries are very, very ignorant. They looked curiously at the costumes we had brought from the wilds of America. They observed that we talked loudly at table sometimes. They noticed that we looked out for expenses and got what we conveniently could out of a franc, and wondered where in the mischief we came from. In Paris they just simply opened their eyes and stared when we spoke to them in French! We never did succeed in making those idiots understand their own language.
It is terrible to speak well and be wrong. Mark Twain
Put your eggs in one basket - and watch that basket.
April 1. This is the day upon which we are reminded of what we are on the other three hundred and sixty- four.
The President, throned behind a cable locker with a national flag spread over it, announced the "Reader," who rose up and read that same old Declaration of Independence which we have all listened to so often without paying any attention to what it said; and after that the President piped the Orator of the Day to quarters and he made the same old speech about our national greatness which we so religiously believe and so fervently applaud. Now came the choir into court again, with the complaining instruments, and assaulted "Hail Columbia"; and when victory hung wavering in the scale, George returned with his dreadful wild-goose stop turned on and the choir won, of course. A minister pronounced the benediction, and the patriotic little gathering disbanded. The Fourth of July was safe, as far as the Mediterranean was concerned.
July 4. Statistics show that we lose more fools on this day than in all the other days of the year put together. This proves, by the number left in stock, that one Fourth of July per year is now inadequate, the country has grown so.
We [Americans] are the lavishest and showiest and most luxury-loving people on the earth; and at our masthead we fly one true and honest symbol, the gaudiest flag the world has ever seen.
The business of the Fourth of July is not perfect as it stands. See what it costs us every year with loss of life, the crippling of thousands with its fireworks and the burning down of property. It is not only sacred to patriotism and universal freedom but to the surgeon, the undertaker, the insurance offices--and they are working it for all it is worth.
Thanksgiving Day. Let us all give humble, hearty, and sincere thanks, now, but the turkeys. In the island of Fiji they do not use turkeys; they use plumbers. It does not become you and me to sneer at Fiji.
They have three Sundays a week in Tangier. The Muhammadans' comes on Friday, the Jews' on Saturday, and that of the Christian Consuls on Sunday.
The truth is the most valuable thing we have. Let us economize it.
The political and commercial morals of the United States are not merely food for laughter, they are an entire banquet.
I remember when I was a boy and I heard repeated time and time again the phrase, “My country, right or wrong, my country!” How absolutely absurd is such an idea. How absolutely absurd to teach this idea to the youth of the country.
I was a-trembling, because I’d got to decide, forever, betwixt two things, and I knowed it. I studied a minute, sort of holding my breath, and then says to myself, “All right, then, I’ll GO to hell.”
We said there warn’t no home like a raft, after all. Other places do seem so cramped up and smothery, but a raft don’t. You feel mighty free and easy and comfortable on a raft.
It takes some time to accept and realize that fact that while you have been growing old, your friends have not been standing still, in that matter.
Why is it that we rejoice at a birth and grieve at a funeral? Is it because we are not the person involved?
To promise not to do a thing is the surest way in the world to make a body want to go and do that very thing.
We wish to learn all the curious, outlandish ways of all the different countries, so that we can "show off" and astonish people when we get home. We wish to excite the envy of our untraveled friends with our strange foreign fashions which we can't shake off. All our passengers are paying strict attention to this thing, with the end in view which I have mentioned. The gentle reader will never, never know what a consummate ass he can become until he goes abroad. I speak now, of course, in the supposition that the gentle reader has not been abroad, and therefore is not already a consummate ass.
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.
My heart goes out to anyone who is making his first appearance before an audience of human beings.
If we should deal out justice only, in this world, who would escape? No, it is better to be generous, and in the end more profitable, for it gains gratitude for us, and love.
There's something in it when a body like the widow or the parson prays, but it don't work for me, and I reckon it don't work for only just the right kind.