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Mark Twain quote

The citizen who thinks he sees that the commonwealth's political clothes are worn out, and yet holds his peace and does not agitate for a new suit, is disloyal, he is a traitor. That he may be the only one who thinks he sees this decay, does not excuse him: it is his duty to agitate anyway, and it is the duty of others to vote him down if they do not see the matter as he does.

MARK TWAIN, A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court

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

MARK TWAIN, More Tramps Abroad

The only reason why God created man is because he was disappointed with the monkey.

MARK TWAIN, Autobiographical Dictation

A man is never more truthful than when he acknowledges himself a liar.

MARK TWAIN, attributed, Mark Twain and I

A crowded police docket is the surest of all signs that trade is brisk and money plenty.

MARK TWAIN, Roughing It

I am not one of those who in expressing opinions confine themselves to facts.

MARK TWAIN, What Is Man?

Laws are sand, customs are rock. Laws can be evaded and punishment escaped, but an openly transgressed custom brings sure punishment.

MARK TWAIN, The Gorky Incident

A circle is a round straight line with a hole in the middle.

MARK TWAIN, "English as She Is Taught"

Always acknowledge a fault frankly. This will throw those in authority off their guard and give you opportunity to commit more.

MARK TWAIN, More Maxims of Mark

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

MARK TWAIN, "The Facts Concerning the Recent Resignation," Mark Twain's Sketches, New and Old

A man cannot be comfortable without his own approval.

MARK TWAIN, "What Is Man?", What Is Man? and Other Essays

Self-approval is acquired mainly from the approval of other people.

MARK TWAIN, Corn-Pone Opinions

The sole impulse which dictates and compels a man's every act: the imperious necessity of securing his own approval, in every emergency and at all costs.... It is our only spur, our whip, our goad, our impelling power; we have no other.

MARK TWAIN, "What Is Man?", What Is Man? and Other Essays

The air up there in the clouds is very pure and fine, bracing and delicious. And why shouldn't it be? --it is the same the angels breathe.

MARK TWAIN, Roughing It

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.

MARK TWAIN, Innocents Abroad

There is no God, no universe, no human race, no earthly life, no heaven, no hell. It is all a dream, a grotesque and foolish dream. Nothing exists but you. And you are but a thought--a vagrant thought, a useless thought, a homeless thought, wandering forlorn among the empty eternities!

MARK TWAIN, "The Mysterious Stranger", The Complete Short Stories

It will take mind and memory months and possibly years to gather together the details and thus learn and know the whole extent of the loss.

MARK TWAIN, Autobiography

Has the trade of interpreting the Lord's matters gone out, discouraged by the time-worn fact that nobody succeeds at it? No, it still flourishes; there was never a century nor a country that was short of experts who knew the Deity's mind and were willing to reveal it.

MARK TWAIN, "As Concerns Interpreting the Deity", What Is Man? And Other Philosophical Writings

There is no God, no universe, no human race, no earthly life, no heaven, no hell. It is all a Dream, a grotesque and foolish dream. Nothing exists but you. And You are but a Thought -- a vagrant Thought, a useless Thought, a homeless Thought, wandering forlorn among the empty eternities.

MARK TWAIN, The Mysterious Stranger

How empty is theory in the presence of fact!

MARK TWAIN, A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court

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.

MARK TWAIN, Tom Sawyer Abroad

Truth is stranger than fiction, but it is because Fiction is obliged to stick to possibilities; Truth isn't.

MARK TWAIN, Following the Equator

No sane man can be happy, for to him life is real, and he sees what a fearful thing it is. Only the mad can be happy, and not many of those. The few that imagine themselves kings or gods are happy, the rest are no happier than the sane.

MARK TWAIN, "The Mysterious Stranger", The Mysterious Stranger and Other Stories

Sanity and happiness are an impossible combination.

MARK TWAIN, "The Mysterious Stranger", The Mysterious Stranger and Other Stories

The less there is to justify a traditional custom, the harder it is to get rid of it.

MARK TWAIN, The Adventures of Tom Sawyer

Adam was but human--this explains it all. He did not want the apple for the apple's sake, he wanted it only because it was forbidden. The mistake was in not forbidding the serpent; then he would have eaten the serpent.

MARK TWAIN, Pudd'nhead Wilson

A sin takes on new and real terrors when there seems a chance that it is going to be found out.

MARK TWAIN, The Man That Corrupted Hadleyburg

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.

MARK TWAIN, Following the Equator

Be careless in your dress if you must, but keep a tidy soul.

MARK TWAIN, Following the Equator

Don't you know what that is? It's spring fever. That is what the name of it is. And when you've got it, you want--oh, you don't quite know what it is you do want, but it just fairly makes your heart ache, you want it so!

MARK TWAIN, Tom Sawyer, Detective

Mornings before daylight I slipped into cornfields and borrowed a watermelon, or a mushmelon, or a punkin, or some new corn, or things of that kind. Pap always said it warn’t no harm to borrow things if you was meaning to pay them back some time; but the widow said it warn’t anything but a soft name for stealing, and no decent body would do it.

MARK TWAIN, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn

In one place we came upon a large company of naked natives, of both sexes and all ages, amusing themselves with the national pastime of surf-bathing. Each heathen would paddle three or four hundred yards out to sea, (taking a short board with him), then face the shore and wait for a particularly prodigious billow to come along; at the right moment he would fling his board upon its foamy crest and himself upon the board, and here he would come whizzing by like a bombshell! It did not seem that a lightning express train could shoot along at a more hair-lifting speed. I tried surf-bathing once, subsequently, but made a failure of it. I got the board placed right, and at the right moment, too; but missed the connection myself. -- The board struck the shore in three quarters of a second, without any cargo, and I struck the bottom about the same time, with a couple of barrels of water in me. None but natives ever master the art of surf-bathing thoroughly.

MARK TWAIN, Roughing It

The man who does not read ... has no advantage over the man who can't read.

MARK TWAIN, attributed, The Wit & Wisdom of Mark Twain

The worst loneliness is to not be comfortable with yourself.

MARK TWAIN, attributed, Quotes to Remember

From the dome of St. Peter's one can see every notable object in Rome... He can see a panorama that is varied, extensive, beautiful to the eye, and more illustrious in history than any other in Europe.

MARK TWAIN, The Innocents Abroad

So the duke said these Arkansas lunkheads couldn't come up to Shakespeare; what they wanted was low comedy--and maybe something rather worse than low comedy, he reckoned.

MARK TWAIN, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn

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

MARK TWAIN, letter to J. H. Twichell, March 14, 1905

There are few things that are so unpardonably neglected in our country as poker. The upper class knows very little about it. Now and then you find ambassadors who have sort of a general knowledge of the game, but the ignorance of the people is fearful. Why, I have known clergymen, good men, kind-hearted, liberal, sincere, and all that, who did not know the meaning of a 'flush.' It is enough to make one ashamed of one's species.

MARK TWAIN, Life As I Find It

He is now fast rising from affluence to poverty.

MARK TWAIN, Henry Ward Beecher's Farm

It is best to read the weather forecast before we pray for rain.

MARK TWAIN, More Maxims of Mark

I have witnessed and greatly enjoyed the first act of everything which Wagner created, but the effect on me has always been so powerful that one act was quite sufficient; whenever I have witnessed two acts I have gone away physically exhausted; and whenever I have ventured an entire opera the result has been the next thing to suicide.

MARK TWAIN, Autobiography of Mark Twain

We all live in the protection of certain cowardices which we call our principles.

MARK TWAIN, More Maxims of Mark

We all do no end of feeling, and we mistake it for thinking. And out of it we get an aggregation which we consider a boon. Its name is public opinion. It is held in reverence. Some think it the voice of God.

MARK TWAIN, What Is Man? and Other Philosophical Writings

If you don't read the newspaper, you are uninformed. If you do read the newspaper, you are misinformed.

MARK TWAIN, attributed, Congressional Record, July 10, 2009

Modesty antedates clothes and will be resumed when clothes are no more.

MARK TWAIN, "Memoranda", Biography of Mark Twain

Right is right, and wrong is wrong, and a body ain't got no business doing wrong when he ain't ignorant and knows better.

MARK TWAIN, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn

You can't depend on your eyes when your imagination is out of focus.

MARK TWAIN, A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court

This is indeed India! the land of dreams and romance, of fabulous wealth and fabulous poverty, of splendor and rags, of palaces and hovels, of famine and pestilence, of genii and giants and Aladdin lamps, of tigers and elephants, the cobra and the jungle, the country of a hundred nations and a hundred tongues, of a thousand religions and two million gods, cradle of the human race, birthplace of human speech, mother of history, grandmother of legend, great-grandmother of tradition, whose yesterdays bear date with the mouldering antiquities of the rest of the nations -- the one sole country under the sun that is endowed with an imperishable interest for alien prince and alien peasant, for lettered and ignorant, wise and fool, rich and poor, bond and free, the one land that all men desire to see, and having seen once, by even a glimpse, would not give that glimpse for the shows of all the rest of the globe combined.

MARK TWAIN, Following the Equator

India has 2,000,000 gods, and worships them all. In religion all other countries are paupers; India is the only millionaire.

MARK TWAIN, Following the Equator

The trouble ain't that there is too many fools, but that the lightning ain't distributed right.

MARK TWAIN, Collected Tales, Sketches, Speeches & Essays



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