Mark Twain – Quotes

‘Classic.’ A book which people praise and don’t read.” — Mark Twain

A man cannot be comfortable without his own approval.” — Mark Twain

A man is never more truthful than when he acknowledges himself a liar.” — Mark Twain

A man who carries a cat by the tail learns something he can learn in no other way.” — Mark Twain

A man’s character may be learned from the adjectives which he habitually uses in conversation.” — Mark Twain

A person who won’t read has no advantage over one who can’t read.” — Mark Twain

A person with a new idea is a crank until the idea succeeds.” — Mark Twain

A round man cannot be expected to fit in a square hole right away. He must have time to modify his shape.” — Mark Twain

Action speaks louder than words but not nearly as often.” — Mark Twain

Against the assault of laughter, nothing can stand.” — Mark Twain

Age is an issue of mind over matter. If you don’t mind, it doesn’t matter.” — Mark Twain

All emotion is involuntary when genuine.” — Mark Twain

All generalizations are false, including this one.” — Mark Twain

All right, then, I’ll go to hell.” — Mark Twain

All you need in this life is ignorance and confidence, and then success is sure.” — Mark Twain

Anger is an acid that can do more harm to the vessel in which it is stored than to anything on which it is poured.” — Mark Twain

Apparently there is nothing that cannot happen today.” — Mark Twain

As an example to others, and not that I care for moderation myself, it has always been my rule never to smoke when asleep, and never to refrain from smoking when awake.” — Mark Twain

Be careful about reading health books. You may die of a misprint.” — Mark Twain

Be careless in your dress if you must, but keep a tidy soul.” — Mark Twain

Better a broken promise than none at all.” — Mark Twain

Biographies are but the clothes and buttons of the man. The biography of the man himself cannot be written.” — Mark Twain

But who prays for Satan? Who, in eighteen centuries, has had the common humanity to pray for the one sinner that needed it most?” — Mark Twain

Buy land, they’re not making it anymore.” — Mark Twain

By trying we can easily learn to endure adversity. Another man’s, I mean.” — Mark Twain

Cauliflower is nothing but cabbage with a college education.” — Mark Twain

Civilization is the limitless multiplication of unnecessary necessities.” — Mark Twain

Climate is what we expect, weather is what we get.” — Mark Twain

Clothes make the man. Naked people have little or no influence on society.” — Mark Twain

Courage is resistance to fear, mastery of fear, not absence of fear.” — Mark Twain

Denial ain’t just a river in Egypt.” — Mark Twain

Do not tell fish stories where the people know you; but particularly, don’t tell them where they know the fish.” — Mark Twain

Do the right thing. It will gratify some people and astonish the rest.” — Mark Twain

Do the thing you fear most and the death of fear is certain.” — Mark Twain

Don’t go around saying the world owes you a living. The world owes you nothing. It was here first.” — Mark Twain

Don’t let schooling interfere with your education.” — Mark Twain

Don’t part with your illusions. When they are gone, you may still exist, but you have ceased to live.” — Mark Twain

Don’t say the old lady screamed. Bring her on and let her scream.” — Mark Twain

Drag your thoughts away from your troubles… by the ears, by the heels, or any other way you can manage it.” — Mark Twain

Education consists mainly of what we have unlearned.” — Mark Twain

Everything has its limit – iron ore cannot be educated into gold.” — Mark Twain

Everything human is pathetic. The secret source of humor itself is not joy but sorrow. There is no humor in heaven.” — Mark Twain

Facts are stubborn, but statistics are more pliable.” — Mark Twain

Familiarity breeds contempt – and children.” — Mark Twain

Few of us can stand prosperity. Another man’s, I mean.” — Mark Twain

Few things are harder to put up with than the annoyance of a good example.” — Mark Twain

Fiction is obliged to stick to possibilities. Truth isn’t.” — Mark Twain

Forgiveness is the fragrance that the violet sheds on the heel that has crushed it.” — Mark Twain

George Washington, as a boy, was ignorant of the commonest accomplishments of youth. He could not even lie.” — Mark Twain

Get your facts first, and then you can distort them as much as you please.” — Mark Twain

Get your facts first, then you can distort them as you please.” — Mark Twain

Giving up smoking is the easiest thing in the world. I know because I’ve done it thousands of times.” — Mark Twain

Go to Heaven for the climate, Hell for the company.” — Mark Twain

God made the Idiot for practice, and then He made the School Board.” — Mark Twain

Golf is a good walk spoiled.” — Mark Twain

Good breeding consists in concealing how much we think of ourselves and how little we think of the other person.” — Mark Twain

Good friends, good books and a sleepy conscience: this is the ideal life.” — Mark Twain

Grief can take care if itself, but to get the full value of a joy you must have somebody to divide it with.” — Mark Twain

He is now rising from affluence to poverty.” — Mark Twain

Honesty is the best policy – when there is money in it.” — Mark Twain

How lucky Adam was. He knew when he said a good thing, nobody had said it before.” — Mark Twain

Humor is mankind’s greatest blessing.” — Mark Twain

Humor must not professedly teach and it must not professedly preach, but it must do both if it would live forever.” — Mark Twain

I am an old man and have known a great many troubles, but most of them never happened.” — Mark Twain

I came in with Halley’s Comet in 1835. It is coming again next year, and I expect to go out with it. It will be the greatest disappointment of my life if I don’t go out with Halley’s Comet. The Almighty has said, no doubt: ‘Now here are these two unaccountable freaks; they came in together, they must go out together.’” — Mark Twain

I can live for two months on a good compliment.” — Mark Twain

I didn’t attend the funeral, but I sent a nice letter saying I approved of it.” — Mark Twain

I don’t give a damn for a man that can only spell a word one way.” — Mark Twain

I don’t like to commit myself about heaven and hell – you see, I have friends in both places.” — Mark Twain

I have been complimented many times and they always embarrass me; I always feel that they have not said enough.” — Mark Twain

I have never let my schooling interfere with my education.” — Mark Twain

I have never taken any exercise, except sleeping and resting, and I never intend to take any.” — Mark Twain

I make it a rule never to smoke while I’m sleeping.” — Mark Twain

I must have a prodigious quantity of mind; it takes me as much as a week sometimes to make it up.” — Mark Twain

I never let schooling interfere with my education.” — Mark Twain

I never smoke to excess – that is, I smoke in moderation, only one cigar at a time.” — Mark Twain

I was gratified to be able to answer promptly, and I did. I said I didn’t know.” — Mark Twain

I was seldom able to see an opportunity until it had ceased to be one.” — Mark Twain

I’ve never let my school interfere with my education.” — Mark Twain

Ideally a book would have no order to it, and the reader would have to discover his own.” — Mark Twain

If it’s your job to eat a frog, it’s best to do it first thing in the morning. And If it’s your job to eat two frogs, it’s best to eat the biggest one first.” — Mark Twain

If man could be crossed with the cat it would improve man, but deteriorate the cat.” — Mark Twain

If the world comes to an end, I want to be in Cincinnati. Everything comes there ten years later.” — Mark Twain

If you hold a cat by the tail you learn things you cannot learn any other way.” — Mark Twain

If you tell the truth, you don’t have to remember anything.” — Mark Twain

In ‘Huckleberry Finn,’ I have drawn Tom Blankenship exactly as he was. He was ignorant, unwashed, insufficiently fed; but he had as good a heart as ever any boy had.” — Mark Twain

In the Spring, I have counted 136 different kinds of weather inside of 24 hours.” — Mark Twain

In the first place, God made idiots. That was for practice. Then he made school boards.” — Mark Twain

It ain’t those parts of the Bible that I can’t understand that bother me, it is the parts that I do understand.” — Mark Twain

It ain’t what you don’t know that gets you into trouble. It’s what you know for sure that just ain’t so.” — Mark Twain

It is better to deserve honors and not have them than to have them and not deserve them.” — Mark Twain

It is better to keep your mouth closed and let people think you are a fool than to open it and remove all doubt.” — Mark Twain

It is better to take what does not belong to you than to let it lie around neglected.” — Mark Twain

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.” — Mark Twain

It is curious that physical courage should be so common in the world and moral courage so rare.” — Mark Twain

It is easier to stay out than get out.” — Mark Twain

It is just like man’s vanity and impertinence to call an animal dumb because it is dumb to his dull perceptions.” — Mark Twain

It put our energies to sleep and made visionaries of us – dreamers and indolent… It is good to begin life poor; it is good to begin life rich – these are wholesome; but to begin it prospectively rich! The man who has not experienced it cannot imagine the curse of it.” — Mark Twain

It usually takes me more than three weeks to prepare a good impromptu speech.” — Mark Twain

It was wonderful to find America, but it would have been more wonderful to miss it.” — Mark Twain

It were not best that we should all think alike; it is difference of opinion that makes horse races.” — Mark Twain

It’s good sportsmanship to not pick up lost golf balls while they are still rolling.” — Mark Twain

It’s no wonder that truth is stranger than fiction. Fiction has to make sense.” — Mark Twain

It’s not the size of the dog in the fight, it’s the size of the fight in the dog.” — Mark Twain

Kindness is the language which the deaf can hear and the blind can see.” — Mark Twain

Laws control the lesser man… Right conduct controls the greater one.” — Mark Twain

Let us endeavor so to live so that when we come to die even the undertaker will be sorry.” — Mark Twain

Let us make a special effort to stop communicating with each other, so we can have some conversation.” — Mark Twain

Let us not be too particular; it is better to have old secondhand diamonds than none at all.” — Mark Twain

Life would be infinitely happier if we could only be born at the age of eighty and gradually approach eighteen.” — Mark Twain

Lord save us all from old age and broken health and a hope tree that has lost the faculty of putting out blossoms.” — Mark Twain

Loyalty to petrified opinion never yet broke a chain or freed a human soul.” — Mark Twain

Loyalty to the country always. Loyalty to the government when it deserves it.” — Mark Twain

Man is the only animal that blushes – or needs to.” — Mark Twain

Man was made at the end of the week’s work, when God was tired.” — Mark Twain

Man will do many things to get himself loved, he will do all things to get himself envied.” — Mark Twain

Many a small thing has been made large by the right kind of advertising.” — Mark Twain

Martyrdom covers a multitude of sins.” — Mark Twain

My books are like water; those of the great geniuses are wine. (Fortunately) everybody drinks water.” — Mark Twain

My mother had a great deal of trouble with me, but I think she enjoyed it.” — Mark Twain

Name the greatest of all inventors. Accident.” — Mark Twain

Necessity is the mother of taking chances.” — Mark Twain

Never pick a fight with people who buy ink by the barrel.” — Mark Twain

Never put off till tomorrow what you can do the day after tomorrow.” — Mark Twain

No sinner is ever saved after the first twenty minutes of a sermon.” — Mark Twain

Noise proves nothing. Often a hen who has merely laid an egg cackles as if she laid an asteroid.” — Mark Twain

Nothing so needs reforming as other people’s habits.” — Mark Twain

Often it does seem such a pity that Noah and his party did not miss the boat.” — Mark Twain

One of the most striking differences between a cat and a lie is that a cat has only nine lives.” — Mark Twain

Only kings, presidents, editors, and people with tapeworms have the right to use the editorial ‘we.’” — Mark Twain

Only one thing is impossible for God: To find any sense in any copyright law on the planet.” — Mark Twain

Optimist: day dreamer more elegantly spelled.” — Mark Twain

Part of the secret of a success in life is to eat what you like and let the food fight it out inside.” — Mark Twain

Patriot: the person who can holler the loudest without knowing what he is hollering about.” — Mark Twain

Patriotism is supporting your country all the time, and your government when it deserves it.” — Mark Twain

Principles have no real force except when one is well-fed.” — Mark Twain

Prophesy is a good line of business, but it is full of risks.” — Mark Twain

Prosperity is the best protector of principle.” — Mark Twain

Repartee is something we think of twenty-four hours too late.” — Mark Twain

She was not quite what you would call refined. She was not quite what you would call unrefined. She was the kind of person that keeps a parrot.” — Mark Twain

Soap and education are not as sudden as a massacre, but they are more deadly in the long run.” — Mark Twain

Sometimes too much to drink is barely enough.” — Mark Twain

Substitute ‘damn’ every time you’re inclined to write ‘very’; your editor will delete it and the writing will be just as it should be.” — Mark Twain

Suppose you were an idiot, and suppose you were a member of Congress; but I repeat myself.” — Mark Twain

The Christian’s Bible is a drug store. Its contents remain the same, but the medical practice changes.” — Mark Twain

The Public is merely a multiplied ‘me.’” — Mark Twain

The best way to cheer yourself up is to try to cheer somebody else up.” — Mark Twain

The difference between the almost right word and the right word is really a large matter – ’tis the difference between the lightning-bug and the lightning.” — Mark Twain

The educated Southerner has no use for an ‘r’, except at the beginning of a word.” — Mark Twain

The fear of death follows from the fear of life. A man who lives fully is prepared to die at any time.” — Mark Twain

The finest clothing made is a person’s own skin, but, of course, society demands something more than this.” — Mark Twain

The first of April is the day we remember what we are the other 364 days of the year.” — Mark Twain

The human race has one really effective weapon, and that is laughter.” — Mark Twain

The human race is a race of cowards; and I am not only marching in that procession but carrying a banner.” — Mark Twain

The lack of money is the root of all evil.” — Mark Twain

The main difference between a cat and a lie is that a cat only has nine lives.” — Mark Twain

The man who does not read good books has no advantage over the man who cannot read them.” — Mark Twain

The man who is a pessimist before 48 knows too much; if he is an optimist after it, he knows too little.” — Mark Twain

The more things are forbidden, the more popular they become.” — Mark Twain

The more you explain it, the more I don’t understand it.” — Mark Twain

The most interesting information comes from children, for they tell all they know and then stop.” — Mark Twain

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.” — Mark Twain

The public is the only critic whose opinion is worth anything at all.” — Mark Twain

The reports of my death have been greatly exaggerated.” — Mark Twain

The right word may be effective, but no word was ever as effective as a rightly timed pause.” — Mark Twain

The rule is perfect: in all matters of opinion our adversaries are insane.” — Mark Twain

The secret of getting ahead is getting started.” — Mark Twain

The secret source of humor is not joy but sorrow; there is no humor in Heaven.” — Mark Twain

The trouble ain’t that there is too many fools, but that the lightning ain’t distributed right.” — Mark Twain

The very ink with which history is written is merely fluid prejudice.” — Mark Twain

The wit knows that his place is at the tail of a procession.” — Mark Twain

There are basically two types of people. People who accomplish things, and people who claim to have accomplished things. The first group is less crowded.” — Mark Twain

There are lies, damned lies and statistics.” — Mark Twain

There are people who can do all fine and heroic things but one – keep from telling their happiness to the unhappy.” — Mark Twain

There are several good protections against temptation, but the surest is cowardice.” — Mark Twain

There are times when one would like to hang the whole human race, and finish the farce.” — Mark Twain

There is a charm about the forbidden that makes it unspeakably desirable.” — Mark Twain

There is no distinctly American criminal class – except Congress.” — Mark Twain

There is no sadder sight than a young pessimist.” — Mark Twain

Thousands of geniuses live and die undiscovered – either by themselves or by others.” — Mark Twain

Thunder is good, thunder is impressive; but it is lightning that does the work.” — Mark Twain

To be good is noble; but to show others how to be good is nobler and no trouble.” — Mark Twain

To refuse awards is another way of accepting them with more noise than is normal.” — Mark Twain

Training is everything. The peach was once a bitter almond; cauliflower is nothing but cabbage with a college education.” — Mark Twain

Truth is mighty and will prevail. There is nothing wrong with this, except that it ain’t so.” — Mark Twain

Truth is stranger than fiction, but it is because Fiction is obliged to stick to possibilities; Truth isn’t.” — Mark Twain

Truth is the most valuable thing we have. Let us economize it.” — Mark Twain

Under certain circumstances, urgent circumstances, desperate circumstances, profanity provides a relief denied even to prayer.” — Mark Twain

Water, taken in moderation, cannot hurt anybody.” — Mark Twain

We Americans… bear the ark of liberties of the world.” — Mark Twain

We are all alike, on the inside.” — Mark Twain

We have the best government that money can buy.” — Mark Twain

What a wee little part of a person’s life are his acts and his words! His real life is led in his head, and is known to none but himself.” — Mark Twain

What is the difference between a taxidermist and a tax collector? The taxidermist takes only your skin.” — Mark Twain

What, sir, would the people of the earth be without woman? They would be scarce, sir, almighty scarce.” — Mark Twain

When I was younger I could remember anything, whether it happened or not.” — Mark Twain

When a person cannot deceive himself the chances are against his being able to deceive other people.” — Mark Twain

When angry, count to four; when very angry, swear.” — Mark Twain

When in doubt tell the truth.” — Mark Twain

When people do not respect us we are sharply offended; yet in his private heart no man much respects himself.” — Mark Twain

When red-haired people are above a certain social grade their hair is auburn.” — Mark Twain

When we remember we are all mad, the mysteries disappear and life stands explained.” — Mark Twain

When you fish for love, bait with your heart, not your brain.” — Mark Twain

When your friends begin to flatter you on how young you look, it’s a sure sign you’re getting old.” — Mark Twain

Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to pause and reflect.” — Mark Twain

Why is it that we rejoice at a birth and grieve at a funeral? It is because we are not the person involved.” — Mark Twain

Why shouldn’t truth be stranger than fiction? Fiction, after all, has to make sense.” — Mark Twain

Wit is the sudden marriage of ideas which, before their union, were not perceived to have any relation.” — Mark Twain

Words are only painted fire; a look is the fire itself.” — Mark Twain

Work consists of whatever a body is obliged to do. Play consists of whatever a body is not obliged to do.” — Mark Twain

Work is a necessary evil to be avoided.” — Mark Twain

Wrinkles should merely indicate where smiles have been.” — Mark Twain

You can’t depend on your eyes when your imagination is out of focus.” — Mark Twain