Twain (Samuel Langhorne Clemens) November 30, 1835 – April 21, 1910:
A classic is something that everybody wants to have read and nobody
wants to read.
A flea can be taught everything a congressman can.
A man cannot be comfortable without his own approval.
A man is accepted into a church for what he believes and he is turned
out for what he knows.
A man who doesn't read good books has no advantage over the man who
can't read them.
A patriot is mocked, scorned and hated; yet when his cause succeeds, all
men will join him, for then it costs nothing to be a patriot.
A thing long expected takes the form of the unexpected when at last it
All you need in this life is ignorance and confidence, and then success
Always do right. This will gratify some people and astonish the rest.
An ethical man is a Christian holding four aces.
As I slowly grow wise I briskly grow cautious.
Be careless in your dress, if you must; but keep a tidy soul.
Be good and you will be lonesome.
Be respectful to your superiors, if you have any.
Both marriage and death ought to be welcome: the one promises happiness,
doubtless the other assures it.
Clothes make the man. Naked people have little or no influence on
Courage is resistance to fear, mastery of fear, not absence of fear.
Don't go around saying the world owes you a living. The world owes you
nothing. It was here first.
Don't part with your illusions. When they are gone you may still exist,
but you have ceased to live.
Don't tell fish stories where the people know you; but particularly,
don't tell them where they know the fish.
Education: the path from cocky ignorance to miserable uncertainty.
Even popularity can be overdone. In Rome, along at first, you are full
of regrets that Michelangelo died; but by and by you only regret that
you didn't see him do it.
Everyone is a moon, and has a dark side which he never shows to anybody.
Familiarity breeds contempt- and children.
France has neither winter nor summer nor morals. Apart from these
drawbacks it is a fine country.
Go to Heaven for the climate, Hell for the company.
Good breeding consists in concealing how much we think of ourselves and
how little we think of the other person.
Grief can take care of itself, but to get the full value of a joy you
must have somebody to divide it with.
Half of the results of a good intention are evil; half the results of an
evil intention are good.
He is useless on top of the ground; he ought to be under it, inspiring
He was a sinking ship with no cargo to throw overboard.
Heaven for climate, hell for society.
Heaven goes by favor. If it went by merit, you would stay out and your
dog would go in.
Heaven is for spirituality; Hell is for fellowship.
Honesty is the best policy- when there is money in it.
I am opposed to millionaires, but it would be dangerous to offer me the
I believe that our Heavenly Father created the monkey because he was
disappointed in man.
I can live for two months on a good compliment.
I did not attend his funeral, but I wrote a nice letter saying I
approved of it.
I don't like to commit myself about heaven and hell- you see, I have
friends in both places.
I have never let my schooling interfere with my education.
I have never taken any exercise except sleeping and resting.
I have no color prejudices nor caste prejudices nor creed prejudices.
All I care to know is that a man is a human being, and that is enough
for me; he can't be any worse.
I would like to live in Manchester, England. The transition between
Manchester and death would be unnoticeable.
I'm glad I did it, partly because it was worth it, but mostly because I
shall never have to do it again.
I'm glad the old masters are dead and I only wish they had died sooner.
If a person offends you and you are in doubt as to whether it was
intentional or not, do not resort to extreme measures. Simply watch your
chance and hit him with a brick.
If man could be crossed with the cat it would improve man, but it would
deteriorate the cat.
If the desire to kill and the opportunity to kill came always together,
who would escape hanging?
If you pick up a starving dog and make him prosperous, he will not bite
you. This is the principal difference between a dog and a man.
In certain trying circumstances, urgent circumstances, desperate
circumstances, profanity furnishes a relief denied even to prayer.
In the first place, God made idiots. That was for practice. Then he made
Ironically, those people that complain of boredom tend to be incredibly
Irreverence is the champion of liberty and its one sure defense.
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 of them.
It takes your enemy and your friend, working together, to hurt you to
the heart, the one to slander you and the other to get the news to you.
It was wonderful to find America, but it would have been more wonderful
to miss it.
Let us be thankful for the fools. But for them the rest of us could not
Man is the only animal that blushes. Or needs to.
Most people are bothered by those passages of Scripture they do not
understand, but the passages that bother me are those I do understand.
Noise proves nothing. Often a hen who has merely laid an egg cackles as
if she had laid an asteroid.
Nothing so needs reforming as other people's habits.
Of all the animals, man is the only one that is cruel. He is the only
one that inflicts pain for the pleasure of doing it. It is a trait that
is not known to the higher animals.
Oh Death, where is thy sting? It has none. But life has.
One of the most striking differences between a cat and a lie is that a
cat has only nine lives.
Principles have no real force except when one is well fed.
Put all your eggs in the one basket and- watch that basket.
Reader, suppose you were an idiot. And suppose you were a member of
Congress. But I repeat myself.
Sane and intelligent human beings are like all other human beings, and
carefully and cautiously and diligently conceal their private real
opinions from the world and give out fictitious ones in their stead for
Sometimes I wonder whether the world is being run by smart people who
are putting us on or by imbeciles who really mean it.
Such is the human race, often it seems a pity that Noah... didn't miss
The Christian's Bible is a drug store. Its contents remain the same, but
the medical practice changes.
The dog is a gentleman; I hope to go to his heaven, not man's.
The first of April is the day we remember what we are the other 364 days
of the year.
The inability to forget is infinitely more devastating than the
inability to remember,
The man with a new idea is a crank until the idea succeeds.
The only 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.
The secret source of humor itself is not joy but sorrow. There is no
humor in heaven.
The surest way to convey misinformation is to tell the strict truth.
The very ink with which history is written is merely fluid prejudice.
There are several good precautions against temptation, but the surest is
There are three things which I consider excellent advice. First, don't
smoke to excess. Second, don't drink to excess. Third, don't marry to
There are times when one would like to hang the whole human race, and
finish the farce.
There are two times in a man's life when he should not speculate: when
he can't afford it, and when he can.
There has never been an intelligent person of the age of sixty who would
consent to live his life over again.
There is no distinctly American criminal class- except Congress.
Training is everything. The peach was once a bitter almond; cauliflower
is nothing but cabbage with a college education.
Truth is stranger than Fiction, but it is because Fiction is obliged to
stick to possibilities; Truth isn't.
Virtue has never been as respectable as money.
We've got so much taxation. I don't know of a single foreign product
that enters this country untaxed except the answer to prayer.
What a man misses mostly in heaven is company.
What is the difference between a taxidermist and a tax collector? The
taxidermist takes only your skin.
When a boy turns 13, put him in a barrel and feed him through a knot
hole. When he turns 16, plug up the hole.
When I think of the number of disagreeable people that I know who have
gone to a better world, I am sure hell won't be so bad at all.
When I was younger, I could remember anything, whether it happened or
When some men discharge an obligation you can hear the report for miles
When we remember that we are all mad, the mysteries disappear and life
Whenever you find that you are on the side of the majority, it is time
Wrinkles should merely indicate where smiles have been.
You can not depend on your eyes when your imagination is out of focus.
You can't reason someone out of something they weren't reasoned into.
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