355 Mark Twain Quotes About Humor, Life, Love And Travel

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Last updated on June 4th, 2024


Mark Twain Quotes About Humor, Life, Romance, Work, Woman, And Travel


“Of all the creatures that were made, man is the most detestable. Of the entire brood, he is the only one–the solitary one–that possesses malice. That is the basest of all instincts, passions, vices–the most hateful. He is the only creature that has pain for sport, knowing it to be pain. Also–in all the list he is the only creature that has a nasty mind.”

– Mark Twain (Autobiography of Mark Twain)

Mark Twain Quotes

Mark Twain Quotes About Family, Life, Success, And Virtues: Samuel Langhorne Clemens (1835 – 1910) known by the pen name Mark Twain, was an American writer, humorist, essayist, entrepreneur, publisher, and lecturer. He was born in Florida, Missouri, in 1835 during the appearance of Haley’s Comet, and he died during the next appearance of Haley’s Comet, 75 years later.

Mark Twain is best known for his use of humor and satire in his writing, often using these techniques to comment on the social issues of his time. In The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, for example, Twain uses humor to criticize the hypocrisy of Southern society and the institution of slavery.

His first success as a writer came when his humorous tall tale “The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County” was published on November 18, 1865, in the New York weekly The Saturday Press, bringing him national attention. His novels and memoirs include:

The Innocents Abroad (1869), The Adventures of Tom Sawyer (1876) and its sequel, Life on the Mississippi (1883), Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (1884), with the latter often called the “Great American Novel”. Twain also wrote A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court (1889) and Pudd’nhead Wilson (1894).

He was obsessed with cats — they appear frequently in his stories — and seemed to prefer their company to that of people. “If man could be crossed with the cat,” he once wrote, “it would improve man, but it would deteriorate the cat.” Twain is considered one of America’s greatest writers and humorists.

William Faulkner called him “the father of American literature”. Mark Twain was a strong supporter of putting an end to slavery. He also supported women’s rights and suffrage. Through these Twain’s quotations, we can come face to face with the amazing writing style of that great writer.

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Life was not a valuable gift, but death was. Life was a fever-dream made up of joys embittered by sorrows, pleasure poisoned by pain; a dream that was a nightmare-confusion of spasmodic and fleeting delights, ecstasies, exultations, happinesses, interspersed with long-drawn miseries, griefs, perils, horrors, disappointments, defeats, humiliations, and despairs–the heaviest curse devisable by divine ingenuity; but death was sweet, death was gentle, death was kind; death healed the bruised spirit and the broken heart, and gave them rest and forgetfulness; death was man’s best friend; when man could endure life no longer, death came and set him free.

– Mark Twain (Letters from The Earth)

The best swordsman in the world doesn’t need to fear the second best swordsman in the world; no, the person for him to be afraid of is some ignorant antagonist who has never had a sword in his hand before; he doesn’t do the thing he ought to do, and so the expert isn’t prepared for him.

– Mark Twain (A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court)

Because people who understand art find nothing in pictures but blemishes, and surgeons and anatomists see no beautiful women in all their lives, but only a ghastly stack of bones with Latin names to them, and a network of nerves and muscles and tissues.

– Mark Twain (“Academy of Design,” Letter to San Francisco Alta California, 1867)

Man is the only Slave. And he is the only animal who enslaves. He has always been a slave in one form or another and has always held other slaves in bondage under him in one way or another.

– Mark Twain (Essay: The Lowest Animal)

When a man stands on the verge of seventy-two you know perfectly well that he never reached that place without knowing what this life is — heartbreaking bereavement.

– Mark Twain (“Books, Authors, and Hats,” Mark Twain’s Speeches)

Travel has no longer any charm for me. I have seen all the foreign countries I want to except heaven & hell & I have only a vague curiosity about one of those.

– Mark Twain (Letter to W. D. Howells, 1891)

Keep away from people who try to belittle your ambitions. Small people always do that, but the really great make you feel that you, too, can become great.

– Mark Twain (Morally We Roll Along by Gay MacLaren, 1938)

Age enlarges and enriches the powers of some musical instruments — notably those of the violin — but it seems to set a piano’s teeth on edge.

– Mark Twain (Rambling Notes of an Idle Excursion)

Life should begin with age and its privileges and accumulations, and end with youth and its capacity to splendidly enjoy such advantages.

– Mark Twain (Letter to Edward Dimmitt, 1901)

Honor is a harder master than the law. It cannot compromise for less than 100 cents on the dollar and its debts never outlaw.

– Mark Twain (A Biography)

He was endowed with a stupidity which by the least little stretch would go around the globe four times and tie.

– Mark Twain (Mark Twain in Eruption)

On the whole, it is better to deserve honors and not have them than to have them and not deserve them.

– Mark Twain (Mark Twain’s Notebook, 1902-1903)

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

– Mark Twain (Mark Twain’s Speeches)

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

– Mark Twain (Puddn’head Wilson’s Calendar)

Thousands of geniuses live and die undiscovered either by themselves or by others.

– Mark Twain (Autobiography of Mark Twain)

Cold! If the thermometer had been an inch longer we’d all have frozen to death.

– Mark Twain (Mark Twain and I, Opie Read)

Never put off till tomorrow what may be done the day after tomorrow just as well.

– Mark Twain (Autographed Card on An Auction Site, 2002)

How stunning are the changes which age makes in a man while he sleeps!

– Mark Twain (Letter to William Dean Howells, 1887)

A successful book is not made of what is in it, but of what is left out of it.

– Mark Twain (Letter to Henry H. Rogers, 1897)

An honest man in politics shines more there than he would elsewhere.

– Mark Twain (A Tramp Abroad)

The public is the only critic whose judgment is worth anything at all.

– Mark Twain (A General Reply, The Galaxy, 1870)

One learns people through the heart, not the eyes or the intellect.

– Mark Twain (What Paul Bourget Thinks of Us)

An honest man in politics shines more than he would elsewhere.

– Mark Twain (A Tramp Abroad)

Wrinkles should merely indicate where smiles have been.

– Mark Twain (Following the Equator)

The heart is the real fountain of youth.

– Mark Twain (Notebook, 1898)

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Mark Twain Quotes About Authority, Character, And Virtues

There is no pleasure comparable to making a vow in the presence of one who appreciates that vow, in the presence of men who honor and appreciate you for making the vow, and men who admire you for making the vow. There is only one pleasure higher than that, and that is to get outside and break the vow. A vow is a pledge of some kind or other for the protection of your own morals and principles or somebody else’s, and generally, by the irony of fate, it is for the protection of your own morals.

– Mark Twain (Speech, 16 June 1899)

There is no character, howsoever good and fine, but it can be destroyed by ridicule, howsoever poor and witless. Observe the ass, for instance: his character is about perfect, he is the choicest spirit among all the humbler animals, yet see what ridicule has brought him to. Instead of feeling complimented when we are called an ass, we are left in doubt.

– Mark Twain (Pudd’nhead Wilson)

Courage is resistance to fear, mastery of fear–not absence of fear. Except a creature be part coward, it is not a compliment to say he is brave; it is merely a loose misapplication of the word.

– Mark Twain (Pudd’nhead Wilson’s Calendar)

Of all the animals, man is the only one that is cruel. He is the only one who inflicts pain for the pleasure of doing it. It is a trait that is not known to the higher animals.

– Mark Twain (The Lowest Animal)

The timid man yearns for full value and demands a tenth. The bold man strikes for double value and compromises on par.

– Mark Twain (Following the Equator)

Divine forgiveness — all mortal attributes, intellect, power, majesty, are poor & mean & human in the presence of it.

– Mark Twain (Mark Twain’s Letters, Vol:5, 1872-1873)

Reputation is a hallmark: it can remove doubt from pure silver, and it can also make the plated article pass for pure.

– Mark Twain (Unmailed letter, 1886)

To arrive at a just estimate of a renowned man’s character one must judge it by the standards of his time, not ours.

– Mark Twain (Personal Reflections of Joan of Arc)

The human race is a race of cowards, and I am not only marching in that procession but carrying a banner.

– Mark Twain (Mark Twain in Eruption)

It is curious–curious that physical courage should be so common in the world, and moral courage so rare.

– Mark Twain (Mark Twain in Eruption)

The most permanent lessons in morals are those which come, not of booky teaching, but of experience.

– Mark Twain (A Tramp Abroad)

Perseverance is a principle that should be commendable in those who have the judgment to govern it.

– Mark Twain (The Enemy Conquered; or Love Triumphant)

I never did a thing in all my life, virtuous or otherwise that I didn’t repent of within twenty-four hours.

– Mark Twain (The Facts Concerning the Recent Carnival Crime in Connecticut)

A crime persevered in a thousand centuries ceases to be a crime, and becomes a virtue.

– Mark Twain (Following the Equator)

You cannot have a theory without principles. Principles is another name for prejudices.

– Mark Twain (Speech: Literature, 4/5/1900)

The man who is ostentatious of his modesty is twin to the statue that wears a fig leaf.

– Mark Twain (Following the Equator)

There are several good protections against temptation, but the surest is cowardice.

– Mark Twain (Following the Equator)

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

– Mark Twain (More Maxims of Mark by Johnson, 1927)

Everyone is a moon and has a dark side which he never shows to anybody.

– Mark Twain (Following the Equator)

Every man is wholly honest to himself and to God, but not to anyone else.

– Mark Twain (More Maxims of Mark by Merle Johnson)

To believe yourself brave is to be brave; it is the one only essential thing.

– Mark Twain (Personal Recollections of Joan of Arc)

One should be gentle with the ignorant, for they are the chosen of God.

– Mark Twain (Letter to W. D. Howells, 5/12/1899)

Forget and forgive. This is not difficult when properly understood.

– Mark Twain (Pudd’nhead Wilson’s New Calendar)

Honesty is the best policy–when there is money in it.

– Mark Twain (Speech, 30/3/1901)

Words are only painted fire; a look is the fire itself.

– Mark Twain (A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court)

Virtue has never been as respectable as money.

– Mark Twain (Innocents Abroad)

Be virtuous and you will be eccentric.

– Mark Twain (A Curious Dream, 1872)

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Top Mark Twain Quotes About Friendship, Life, Love And Time

When we think of friends, and call their faces out of the shadows, and their voices out of the echoes that faint along the corridors of memory, and do it without knowing why save that we love to do it, we content ourselves that that friendship is a Reality, and not a Fancy–that it is built upon a rock, and not upon the sands that dissolve away with the ebbing tides and carry their monuments with them.

– Mark Twain (Letter to Mary Mason Fairbanks)

The frankest and freest product of the human mind and heart is a love letter; the writer gets his limitless freedom of statement and expression from his sense that no stranger is going to see what he is writing.

– Mark Twain (An Autobiography, 1959 preface)

When a blood relative sobs, an intimate friend should choke up, a distant acquaintance should sigh, a stranger should merely fumble sympathetically with his handkerchief.

– Mark Twain (Letters from the Earth)

Life does not consist mainly — or even largely — of facts and happenings. It consists mainly of the storm of thoughts that is forever blowing through one’s head.

– Mark Twain (Autobiography of Mark Twain)

The holy passion of Friendship is of so sweet and steady and loyal and enduring a nature that it will last through a whole lifetime, if not asked to lend money.

– Mark Twain (Pudd’nhead Wilson’s Calendar)

It is in the heart that the values lie. I wish I could make him understand that a loving heart is riches, and riches enough, and that without it intellect is poverty.

– Mark Twain (Eve’s Diary)

Joy: It is the epitome of life. The first half of it consists of the capacity to enjoy without the chance; the last half consists of the chance without the capacity.

– Mark Twain (Letter to Edward Dimmitt, 7/19/1901)

The romance of life is the only part of it which is overwhelmingly valuable, and romance dies with youth. After that, life is a drudge, & indeed a sham.

– Mark Twain (Letter to Will Bowen, 6/6/1900)

True love is the only heart disease that is best left to “run on”–the only affection of the heart for which there is no help, and none desired.

– Mark Twain (Mark Twain’s Notebook)

The proper office of a friend is to side with you when you are in the wrong. Nearly anybody will side with you when you are in the right.

– Mark Twain (Notebook, 1898)

It is at our mother’s knee that we acquire our noblest and truest and highest ideals, but there is seldom any money in them.

– Mark Twain (A Biography)

Love is not a product of reasonings and statistics. It just comes–none knows whence–and cannot explain itself.

– Mark Twain (Eve’s Diary)

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 (Letter to Joe Goodman, April 1891)

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.

– Mark Twain (Adventures of Tom Sawyer)

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

– Mark Twain (Autobiography with Letters by William L. Phelps)

You can’t reason with your heart; it has its own laws and thumps about things that the intellect scorns.

– Mark Twain (A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court)

Only he who has seen better days and lives to see better days again knows their full value.

– Mark Twain (Notebook, 1902)

Do not put off until tomorrow what can be put off till the day after tomorrow just as well.

– Mark Twain (More Maxims of Mark by Johnson, 1927)

When we remember we are all mad, the mysteries disappear and life stands explained.

– Mark Twain (Notebook, 1898)

Life is at best a dream and at worst a nightmare from which you cannot escape.

– Mark Twain (Mysterious Stranger Manuscripts)

The course of free love never runs smoothly. I suppose we have all tried it.

– Mark Twain (Notebook, 1904)

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

– Mark Twain (Mark Twain’s Notebook)

God puts something good and loveable in every man His hands create.

– Mark Twain (The American Vandal speech, 1868)

Life: we laugh and laugh, then cry and cry, then feebler laugh, then die.

– Mark Twain (Notebook, 1898)

For the majority of us, the past is a regret, the future an experiment.

– Mark Twain (‘Mark Twain and I’ by Opie Read)

All large political doctrines are rich in difficult problems.

– Mark Twain (Who Is Mark Twain)

Life was a fairy-tale, then, it is a tragedy now.

– Mark Twain (Letter to William Gordon, 24/1/1906)

Love is madness; if thwarted it develops fast.

– Mark Twain (The Memorable Assassination)

Let us save tomorrows for work.

– Mark Twain (More Maxims of Mark by Johnson)

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Mark Twain Quotes About God, Nature, Religion, And Science

Man is a Religious Animal. He is the only Religious Animal. He is the only animal that has a True Religion–several of them. He is the only animal that loves his neighbor as himself and cuts his throat if his theology isn’t straight. He has made a graveyard of the globe in trying his honest best to smooth his brother’s path to happiness and heaven…The higher animals have no religion. And we are told that they are going to be left out in the Hereafter.

– Mark Twain (The Lowest Animal)

The laws of Nature take precedence of all human laws. The purpose of all human laws is one — to defeat the laws of Nature. This is the case among all the nations, both civilized and savage. It is a grotesquerie, but when the human race is not grotesque it is because it is asleep and losing its opportunity.

– Mark Twain (Autobiography of Mark Twain, Vol:2)

The scientist. He will spend thirty years building up a mountain range of facts with the intent to prove a certain theory; then he is so happy in his achievement that as a rule, he overlooks the main chief fact of all–that his accumulation proves an entirely different thing.

– Mark Twain (Essay: The Bee)

Constellations have always been troublesome things to name. If you give one of them a fanciful name, it will always refuse to live up to it; it will always persist in not resembling the thing it has been named for.

– Mark Twain (Following the Equator)

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 the cat it would improve man, but it would deteriorate the cat.

– Mark Twain (Notebook, 1894)

Nature makes the locust with an appetite for crops; man would have made him with an appetite for sand — I mean a man with the least little bit of common sense.

– Mark Twain (Following the Equator)

A man’s treatment of a dog is no indication of the man’s nature, but his treatment of a cat is. It is a crucial test. None but the humane treat a cat well.

– Mark Twain (Winter-end Excursion to the Sutherd)

Every star, unless it has a family of planets, floats in an immeasurable solitude like a mustard seed in the mid-Atlantic.

– Mark Twain (Side-Lights on Astronomy by Simon Newcomb, 1906)

There are two times in a man’s life when he should not speculate: when he can’t afford it, and when he can.

– Mark Twain (Following the Equator)

Religion consists in a set of things which the average man thinks he believes and wishes he was certain.

– Mark Twain (Notebook, 1879)

Zeal and sincerity can carry a new religion further than any other missionary except fire and sword.

– Mark Twain (Christian Science)

The gods offer no rewards for intellect. There was never one yet that showed any interest in it…

– Mark Twain (Mark Twain’s Notebook)

A scientist will never show any kindness for a theory which he did not start himself.

– Mark Twain (A Tramp Abroad)

Apparently one of the most uncertain things in the world is the funeral of a religion.

– Mark Twain (Following the Equator)

Nature’s attitude toward all life is profoundly vicious, treacherous & malignant.

– Mark Twain (Mark Twain’s Notebook)

None of us can be as great as God, but any of us can be as good.

– Mark Twain (Mark Twain’s Notebook, 1902-1903)

God’s inhumanity to man makes countless thousands mourn.

– Mark Twain (Notebook, 1898)

The noblest work of God? Man. Who found it out? Man.

– Mark Twain (Mark Twain’s Autobiography)

Man is kind enough when he is not excited by religion.

– Mark Twain (A Horse’s Tale)

Nature knows no indecencies; man invents them.

– Mark Twain (Mark Twain’s Notebook)

All gods are better than their reputation.

– Mark Twain (Inscription: 23/12/1902)

Man proposes, but God blocks the game.

– Mark Twain (Letter to Jean Clemens, 19/6/1908)

Architects cannot teach nature anything.

– Mark Twain (Memorable Midnight Experience)

All gods are better than their conduct.

– Mark Twain (Twain’s Notebook, 1902-03)

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Mark Twain Quotes About Government, Humanity & Patriotism

Man is the only Patriot. He sets himself apart in his own country, under his own flag, and sneers at the other nations, and keeps multitudinous uniformed assassins on hand at heavy expense to grab slices of other people’s countries, and keep them from grabbing slices of his. And in the intervals between campaigns, he washes the blood off his hands and works for “the universal brotherhood of man”- with his mouth.

– Mark Twain (The Lowest Animal)

My kind of loyalty was loyalty to one’s country, not to its institutions or its officeholders. The country is the real thing, the substantial thing, the eternal thing; it is the thing to watch over, care for, and be loyal to; institutions are extraneous, they are its mere clothing, and clothing can wear out, become ragged, cease to be comfortable, cease to protect the body from winter, disease, and death.

– Mark Twain (A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court)

There is a moral sense and there is an immoral sense. History shows that the moral sense enables us to see morality and how to avoid it and that the immoral sense enables us to perceive immorality and how to enjoy it.

– Mark Twain (Pudd’nhead Wilson’s New Calendar)

Strip the human race, absolutely naked, and it would be a real democracy. But the introduction of even a rag of tiger skin, or a cow tail, could make a badge of distinction and be the beginning of a monarchy.

– Mark Twain (Mark Twain’s Notebook)

Man was created a bloody animal and I think he will always thirst for blood and will manage to have it. I think he is far and away the worst animal that exists; and the only untamable one.

– Mark Twain (‘My Father Mark Twain’ by Clara Clemens)

I am always on the side of the revolutionists because there never was a revolution unless there were some oppressive and intolerable conditions against which to revolute.

– Mark Twain (New York Tribune, 15/4/1906)

Man is the only animal that robs his helpless fellow of his country — takes possession of it and drives him out of it or destroys him. Man has done this in all the ages.

– Mark Twain (The Lowest Animal)

War talk by men who have been in a war is always interesting; whereas moon talk by a poet who has not been in the moon is likely to be dull.

– Mark Twain (Life on the Mississippi)

Man has been here 32,000 years. That it took a hundred million years to prepare the world for him is proof that that is what it was done for.

– Mark Twain (Was the World Made for Man)

The true patriotism, the only rational patriotism, is loyalty to the Nation ALL the time, loyalty to the Government when it deserves it.

– Mark Twain (The Czar’s Soliloquy)

A man’s first duty is to his own conscience and honor; the party and country come second to that, and never first.

– Mark Twain (A Biography)

The government is not best which secures mere life and property–there is a more valuable thing–manhood.

– Mark Twain (Mark Twain’s Notebook)

That’s the difference between governments and individuals. Governments don’t care, individuals do.

– Mark Twain (A Tramp Abroad)

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

– Mark Twain (More Maxims of Mark by Johnson)

The universal brotherhood of man is our most precious possession–what there is of it.

– Mark Twain (Mark Twain’s Notebook)

Patriotism is usually the refuge of the scoundrel. He is the man who talks the loudest.

– Mark Twain (Education and Citizenship speech, 5/14/1908)

Every man is in his own person the whole human race without a detail lacking.

– Mark Twain (Mark Twain in Eruption)

Citizenship is what makes a republic; monarchies can get along without it.

– Mark Twain (Speech, 4 March 1906)

If man had created man he would be ashamed of his performance.

– Mark Twain (Mark Twain’s Notebook, 1902-03)

Evolution is a blind giant who rolls a snowball down a hill.

– Mark Twain (The Secret History of Eddypus)

Circumstances make man, not man circumstances.

– Mark Twain (Mark Twain’s Notebook)

No man can serve two masters.

– Mark Twain (Wit and Wisdom of Mark Twain)

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Mark Twain Quotes About Family, Kids, Marriage, And Women

We easily perceive that the people furthest from civilization are the ones where equality between man and woman is furthest apart–and we consider this one of the signs of savagery. But we are so stupid that we can’t see that we thus plainly admit that no civilization can be perfect until exact equality between man and woman is included.

– Mark Twain (Notebook, 1895)

Arguments are unsafe with wives because they examine them, but they do not examine compliments. One can pass upon a wife a compliment that is three-fourths base metal; she will not even bite it to see if it is good; all she notices is the size of it, not the quality.

– Mark Twain (Hellfire Hotchkiss)

If husbands could realize what large returns of profit may be gotten out of a wife by a small word of praise paid over the counter when the market is just right, they would bring matters around the way they wish them much oftener than they usually do.

– Mark Twain (Hellfire Hotchkiss)

After all these years, I see that I was mistaken about Eve in the beginning; it is better to live outside the Garden with her than inside it without her… I should be sorry to have that voice fall silent and pass out of my life.

– Mark Twain (Adam’s Diary)

Sufficient unto the day is one baby. As long as you are in your right mind don’t you ever pray for twins. Twins amount to a permanent riot, and there ain’t any real difference between triplets and an insurrection.

– Mark Twain (Speech: The Babies, 1879)

There are women who have an indefinable charm in their faces that makes them beautiful to their intimates, but a cold stranger who tried to reason the matter out and find this beauty would fail.

– Mark Twain (A Tramp Abroad)

Marriage — yes, it is the supreme felicity of life. I concede it. And it is also the supreme tragedy of life. The deeper the love the surer the tragedy. And the more disconsolating when it comes.

– Mark Twain (Letter to Father Fitz-Simon, 5/6/1908)

Love seems the swiftest, but it is the slowest of all growths. No man or woman really knows what perfect love is until they have been married a quarter of a century.

– Mark Twain (Mark Twain’s Notebook, 1894)

Adam was not alone in the Garden of Eden, however, and does not deserve all the credit; much is due to Eve, the first woman, and Satan, the first consultant.

– Mark Twain (Notebook, 1867)

Men and women — even man and wife are foreigners. Each has reserves that the other cannot enter into, nor understand. These have the effect of frontiers.

– Mark Twain (Notebook, 1904)

There is nothing comparable to the endurance of a woman. In military life, she would tire out an army of men, either in camp or on the march.

– Mark Twain (Mark Twain’s Autobiography)

The most useful and interesting letters we get here from home are from children seven or eight years old. This is petrified truth.

– Mark Twain (An Open Letter to the American People, 17/2/1866)

It is easier for a needle to go through a camel’s eye than for a rich woman to sprain her ankle & keep it out of the papers.

– Mark Twain (Letter to Carolyn Wells, 15/4/1906)

Women cannot receive even the most palpably judicious suggestion without arguing it; that is, married women.

– Mark Twain (Experience of the McWilliamses with Membraneous Croup)

Both marriage and death ought to be welcome: the one promises happiness, doubtless the other assures it.

– Mark Twain (Letter to Will Bowen, 4/11/1888)

What, Sir, would the people of the earth be without woman? They would be scarce, sir, almighty scarce.

– Mark Twain (Speech, 11/1/1868)

A sincere compliment is always grateful to a lady, so long as you don’t try to knock her down with it.

– Mark Twain (Answers to Correspondents)

It is a wise child that knows its own father, and an unusual one that unreservedly approves of him.

– Mark Twain (More Maxims of Mark by Johnson)

Some civilized women would lose half their charm without dress, and some would lose all of it.

– Mark Twain (Speech: ‘Woman, God Bless Her’)

Adam and Eve had many advantages, but the principal one was that they escaped teething.

– Mark Twain (Pudd’nhead Wilson’s Calendar)

What marriage is to morality, a properly conducted licensed liquor traffic is to sobriety.

– Mark Twain (Mark Twain’s Notebook, 1895)

Separately, foreign marriages and whisky are bad; mixed, they are fatal.

– Mark Twain (Letter to Olivia Clemens, 3/6/1895)

Nothing is so ignorant as a man’s left hand, except a lady’s watch.

– Mark Twain (Pudd’nhead Wilson’s New Calendar)

Children have but little charity for one another’s defects.

– Mark Twain (Autobiography of Mark Twain)

A baby is an inestimable blessing and bother.

– Mark Twain (Letter to Annie Webster, 1876)

Familiarity breeds contempt–and children.

– Mark Twain (Notebook, 1894)

Wherever she was, there was Eden.

– Mark Twain (Adam’s Diary)

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Inspirational Mark Twain Quotes About Body, Mind And Spirit

The mind exercises a powerful influence over the body. From the beginning of time, the sorcerer, the interpreter of dreams, the fortune-teller, the charlatan, the quack, the wild medicine man, the educated physician, the mesmerist, and the hypnotist have made use of the client’s imagination to help them in their work. They have all recognized the potency and availability of that force.

– Mark Twain (Christian Science)

Diseases: From cradle to grave these enemies are always at work; they know no rest, night or day. They are an army: an organized army; a besieging army; an assaulting army; an army that is alert, watchful, eager, merciless; an army that never relents, never grants a truce.

– Mark Twain (Letters from the Earth)

If I had been helping the Almighty when he created man, I would have had him begin at the other end, and start human beings with old age. How much better to start old and have all the bitterness and blindness of age in the beginning!

– Mark Twain (A Biography)

Your mind is merely a machine, nothing more. You have no command over it, it has no command over itself–it is worked solely from the outside. That is the law of its make; it is the law of all machines.

– Mark Twain (Letter: What is Man, 4/17/1909)

Drag your thoughts away from your troubles–by the ears, by the heels, or any other way, so you can manage it; it’s the healthiest thing a body can do.

– Mark Twain (The American Claimant)

I saw men whose thirty years had changed but slightly, but their wives had grown old. These were good women; it is very wearing to be good.

– Mark Twain (Life on the Mississippi)

Troubles are only mental; it is the mind that manufactures them, and the mind can gorge them, banish them, abolish them.

– Mark Twain (Which Was It)

The practical mind, the unsentimental mind has large abilities, but no imagination. It is always winter there.

– Mark Twain (Three Thousand Years Among the Microbes)

We are all erring creatures, and mainly idiots, but God made us so and it is dangerous to criticize.

– Mark Twain (Letter to the President of Western Union, New York, 1902)

Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to reform (or pause and reflect).

– Mark Twain (Notebook, 1904)

There are three kinds of people — Commonplace Men, Remarkable Men, and Lunatics.

– Mark Twain (Following the Equator)

Man will do many things to get himself loved, he will do all things to get himself envied.

– Mark Twain (Following the Equator)

A great soul, with a great purpose, can make a weak body strong and keep it so.

– Mark Twain (Personal Recollections of Joan of Arc)

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

– Mark Twain (More Maxims of Mark by Johnson)

No man has a wholly undiseased mind; in one way or another, all men are mad.

– Mark Twain (The Memorable Assassination)

The weakest of all weak things is a virtue that has not been tested in the fire.

– Mark Twain (The Man That Corrupted Hadleyburg)

Spirit…has fifty times the strength and staying power of brawn and muscle.

– Mark Twain (Saint Joan of Arc essay, 1904)

The calamity that comes is never the one we had prepared ourselves for.

– Mark Twain (Letter to Olivia Clemens, 16/8/1896)

I have talked to idiots a thousand times, but only once to the insane…

– Mark Twain (Isabel Lyon’s Journal, 2/15/1906)

Change is the handmaiden Nature requires to do her miracles with.

– Mark Twain (Roughing It)

Memory…little threads that hold life’s patches of meaning together.

– Mark Twain (Morals and Memory speech)

I was young and foolish then; now I am old and foolisher.

– Mark Twain (A Biography)

Of course, no man is entirely in his right mind at any time.

– Mark Twain (The Mysterious Stranger)

Seventy is old enough. After that, there is too much risk.

– Mark Twain (Following the Equator)

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Mark Twain Quotes About Animals, Books, Beauty, And Writers

Every civilization carries the seeds of its own destruction, and the same cycle shows in them all. The Republic is born, flourishes, decays into a plutocracy, and is captured by the shoemaker whom the mercenaries and millionaires make into a king. The people invent their oppressors, and the oppressors serve the function for which they are invented.

– Mark Twain (Mark Twain in Eruption)

We are chameleons, and our partialities and prejudices change places with an easy and blessed facility, and we are soon wonted to the change and happy in it. We do not regret our old, yellow fangs and tushes after we have worn nice fresh uniform store teeth for a while.

– Mark Twain (Speech, 9/19/1906)

An autobiography that leaves out the little things and enumerates only the big ones is no proper picture of the man’s life at all; his life consists of his feelings and his interests, with here and there an incident apparently big or little to hang the feelings on.

– Mark Twain (An Autobiography)

One frequently only finds out how really beautiful a really beautiful woman is after considerable acquaintance with her; and the rule applies to Niagara Falls, to majestic mountains, and to mosques–especially to mosques.

– Mark Twain (Innocents Abroad)

It is always the way; words will answer as long as it is only a person’s neighbor who is in trouble, but when that person gets into trouble himself, it is time that the King rise up and do something.

– Mark Twain (Personal Reflections of Joan of Arc)

Experience is an author’s most valuable asset; experience is the thing that puts the muscle, the breath, and the warm blood into the book he writes.

– Mark Twain (Is Shakespeare Dead)

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.

– Mark Twain (Pudd’nhead Wilson’s Calendar)

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 (Pudd’nhead Wilson)

Noise proves nothing. Often a hen who has merely laid an egg cackles as if she had laid an asteroid.

– Mark Twain (Following the Equator)

Some people scorn a cat and think it not an essential; but the Clemens tribe are not of these.

– Mark Twain (Quoted in ‘UC’s Bancroft Library celebrating Twain,’ San Francisco Chronicle)

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

– Mark Twain (Pudd’nhead Wilson)

When a man loves cats, I am his friend and comrade, without further introduction.

– Mark Twain (Who Is Mark Twain)

A cat is more intelligent than people believe and can be taught any crime.

– Mark Twain (Notebook, 1895)

Angels are as fond of that as a fire company; look at the old masters.

– Mark Twain (A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court)

The dog is a gentleman; I hope to go to his heaven, not man’s.

– Mark Twain (Letter to William D. Howells, 2/4/1899)

To get the right word in the right place is a rare achievement.

– Mark Twain (Letter to Emeline Beach, 10/2/1868)

I would rather be picturesque than pretty, any time.

– Mark Twain (Letter to Joseph Twichell, 31/7/1897)


–a book that people praise and don’t read.

– Mark Twain (Pudd’nhead Wilson’s New Calendar)

One is apt to overestimate beauty when it is rare.

– Mark Twain (Innocents Abroad)

An autobiography is the truest of all books.

– Mark Twain (Letter to W.D. Howells, 14/3/1904)

It is more satisfactory to be pretty than right.

– Mark Twain (Missing Maxims Returned to Twain Papers)

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Short Mark Twain Quotes About Knowledge, Work And Success

Celebrity is what a boy or a youth longs for more than for any other thing. He would be a clown in a circus; he would be a pirate, he would sell himself to Satan, in order to attract attention and be talked about and envied. True, it is the same with every grown-up person; I am not meaning to confine this trait to the boys.

– Mark Twain (Autobiography of Mark Twain, Vol: 2, 2013)

Our conscience takes no notice of pain inflicted on others until it reaches a point where it gives pain to us. In all cases without exception, we are absolutely indifferent to another person’s pain until his sufferings make us uncomfortable.

– Mark Twain (What is Man)

Where there are two desires in a man’s heart he has no choice between the two but must obey the strongest, there being no such thing as free will in the composition of any human being that ever lived.

– Mark Twain (Mark Twain in Eruption)

The fact that man knows right from wrong proves his intellectual superiority to the other creatures, but the fact that he can do wrong proves his moral inferiority to any creature that cannot.

– Mark Twain (What Is Man)

When I am king, they shall not have bread and shelter only, but also teachings out of books, for a full belly is little worth where the mind is starved.

– Mark Twain (The Prince and the Pauper)

The primary rule of business success is loyalty to your employer. That’s all right–as a theory. What is the matter with loyalty to yourself?

– Mark Twain (Speech, 3/30/1901)

Great books are weighed and measured by their style and matter and not by the trimmings and shadings of their grammar.

– Mark Twain (A Biography)

Every great invention takes a livelihood away from 50,000 men–& within ten years creates a livelihood for half a million.

– Mark Twain (Letter to W. D. Howells, 3/31/1888)

Man has just one stupendous superiority. In his intellect he is supreme. The Higher Animals cannot touch him there.

– Mark Twain (The Lowest Animal)

We chase phantoms for half the days of our lives. It is well if we learn wisdom even then, and save the other half.

– Mark Twain (Letter to Orion Clemens, 21/2/1868)

It is good to obey all the rules when you’re young, so you’ll have the strength to break them when you’re old.

– Mark Twain (Quoted by Dorothy Quick in Advance Magazine, 2/1940)

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

– Mark Twain (Notebook, 1885)

In order to make a man or a boy covet a thing, it is only necessary to make the thing difficult to attain.

– Mark Twain (Adventures of Tom Sawyer)

Human nature is the same everywhere; it deifies success, and it has nothing but scorn for defeat.

– Mark Twain (Personal Recollections of Joan of Arc)

A man never reaches that dizzy height of wisdom that he can no longer be led by the nose.

– Mark Twain (Notebook)

Wit, by itself, is of little account. It becomes of moment only when grounded on wisdom.

– Mark Twain (Quoted in Abroad with Mark Twain and Eugene Field, Fisher)

Plain question and plain answer make the shortest road out of most perplexities.

– Mark Twain (Life on the Mississippi)

All you need in this life is ignorance and confidence, and then Success is sure.

– Mark Twain (Notebook, 1887)

You can’t depend on your judgment when your imagination is out of focus.

– Mark Twain (Mark Twain’s Notebook, 1935)

The man with a new idea is a Crank until the idea succeeds.

– Mark Twain (Following the Equator)

Inventors are the creators of the world–after God.

– Mark Twain (Mark Twain: The Man and His Work)

Name the greatest of all inventors. Accidents

– Mark Twain (Mark Twain’s Notebook)

Blessed is the man who has found his work?

– Mark Twain (‘A Humorist’s Confession’,
The New York Times, 26/11/1905)

It is wiser to find out than suppose.

– Mark Twain (More Maxims of Mark)

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Mark Twain Quotes About Charity, Culture, Joy, And Sadness

The size of a misfortune is not determinable by an outsider’s measurement of it but only by the measurements applied to it by the person specially affected by it. The king’s lost crown is a vast matter to the king but of no consequence to the child. The lost toy is a great matter to the child but in the king’s eyes, it is not a thing to break the heart about.

– Mark Twain (Mark Twain’s Autobiography)

Hardship: It is poison. They must come to us all, albeit in different shapes — and we may not escape them — it is not possible — but we may swindle them out of half of their puissance with a stiff upper lip.

– Mark Twain (Letter to Will Bowen, 25/8/1866)

Nothing that grieves us can be called little: by the eternal laws of proportion, a child’s loss of a doll and a king’s loss of a crown are events of the same size.

– Mark Twain (Which Was the Dream)

Never refuse to do a kindness unless the act would cause great injury to yourself, and never refuse to take a drink– under any circumstances.

– Mark Twain (Mark Twain’s Notebook)

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.

– Mark Twain (The Mysterious Stranger)

Do something every day that you don’t want to do; this is the golden rule for acquiring the habit of doing your duty without pain.

– Mark Twain (Following the Equator)

The older we grow the greater becomes our wonder at how much ignorance one can contain without bursting one’s clothes.

– Mark Twain (Mark Twain’s Speeches, 1910)

There are people who can do all fine and heroic things but one: keep from telling their happiness to the unhappy.

– Mark Twain (Pudd’nhead Wilson’s New Calendar)

Both marriage and death ought to be welcome: the one promises happiness, doubtless the other assures it.

– Mark Twain (Letter to Will Bowen, 11/4/1888)

Happiness is a Swedish sunset–it is there for all, but most of us look the other way and lose it.

– Mark Twain (Notebook, 1899)

Each person is born with one possession that outvalues all his others- his last breath.

– Mark Twain (Pudd’nhead Wilson’s New Calendar)

It’s noble to be good, but to show others how to be good is nobler and no trouble.

– Mark Twain (Following the Equator)

What is human life? The first third a good time; the rest remembering about it.

– Mark Twain (More Maxims of Mark by Johnson)

Clothes make the man. Naked people have little or no influence in society.

– Mark Twain (More Maxims of Mark by Johnson)

Civilizations proceed from the heart rather than from the head.

– Mark Twain (Letter to Alvert Sonnichsen, 18/3/1901)

Sanity and happiness are an impossible combination.

– Mark Twain (The Mysterious Stranger)

Happy is he who forgets what cannot be changed.

– Mark Twain (Quoted in Our Famous Guest,
Mark Twain in Vienna, Dolmetsch)

The wronger a conspiracy is, the better it is.

– Mark Twain (Tom Sawyer’s Conspiracy)

Conscience, man’s moral medicine chest.

– Mark Twain (Mark Twain’s Autobiography)

Modesty died when clothes were born.

– Mark Twain (A Biography)

Do your duty and repent tomorrow.

– Mark Twain (More Maxims of Mark by Johnson)

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Famous Mark Twain Quotes About Death, Education And Wealth

When even the brightest mind in our world has been trained up from childhood in a superstition of any kind, it will never be possible for that mind, in its maturity, to examine sincerely, dispassionately, and conscientiously any evidence or any circumstance which shall seem to cast doubt upon the validity of that superstition. I doubt if I could do it myself.

– Mark Twain (Is Shakespeare Dead)

To die one’s self is a thing that must be easy, & light of consequence; but to lose a part of one’s self–well, we know how deep that pang goes, we who have suffered that disaster, received that wound which cannot heal.

– Mark Twain (Letter to Will Bowen, 11/4/1888)

It is good to begin life poor; it is good to begin life rich — these are wholesome, but to begin it poor and prospectively rich! The man who has not experienced it cannot imagine the curse of it.

– Mark Twain (Autobiography of Mark Twain)

Death, the only immortal who treats us all alike, whose pity and whose peace and whose refuge are for all–the soiled and the pure, the rich and the poor, the loved and the unloved.

– Mark Twain (Last written Statement; Moments with Mark Twain, Paine)

Some men worship rank, some worship heroes, some worship power, some worship God, & over these ideals, they dispute & cannot unite–but they all worship money.

– Mark Twain (Mark Twain’s Notebook)

Every time you stop a school, you will have to build a jail. What you gain at one end you lose at the other. It’s like feeding a dog on his own tail. It won’t fatten the dog.

– Mark Twain (Speech 11/23/1900)

Death, the refuge, the solace, the best and kindliest and most prized friend and benefactor of the erring, the forsaken, the old and weary and broken of heart.

– Mark Twain (Adam speech, 1883)

Honest poverty is a gem that even a King might be proud to call his own, but I wish to sell out. I have sported that kind of jewelry long enough.

– Mark Twain (Letter to San Francisco Alta California, 26/5/1867)

We like to read about rich people in the newspapers; the papers know it, and they do their best to keep this appetite liberally fed.

– Mark Twain (Mark Twain in Eruption)

Whereas principle is a great and noble protection against showy and degrading vanities and vices, poverty is worth six of it.

– Mark Twain (The $30,000 Bequest)

Training is everything. The peach was once a bitter almond; cauliflower is nothing but Cabbage with a College Education.

– Mark Twain (The Tragedy of Pudd’nhead Wilson and the Comedy of the Extraordinary Twins)

How unfortunate and how narrowing a thing it is for a man to have wealth who makes a god of it instead of a servant.

– Mark Twain (Open Letter to Commodore Vanderbilt, 1869)

If we would learn what the human race really is at the bottom, we need only observe it in election times.

– Mark Twain (Mark Twain’s Autobiography)

Death is the starlit strip between the companionship of yesterday and the reunion of tomorrow.

– Mark Twain (On the Monument erected to Mark Twain & Ossip Gabrilowitsch)

In the first place, God made idiots. This was for practice. Then He made school boards.

– Mark Twain (Following the Equator)

It is noble to teach oneself, but still nobler to teach others–and less trouble.

– Mark Twain (Doctor Van Dyke speech, 1906)

The offspring of riches: Pride, vanity, ostentation, arrogance, tyranny.

– Mark Twain (A Biography)

Nothing incites to money crimes like great poverty or great wealth.

– Mark Twain (More Maxims of Mark by Johnson)

When you ascend the hill of prosperity, may you not meet a friend.

– Mark Twain (Pudd’nhead Wilson’s New Calendar)

The institution of royalty in any form is an insult to the human race.

– Mark Twain (Notebook, 1888)

Everything has its limit–iron ore cannot be educated into gold.

– Mark Twain (What is Man)

There never was a throne that did not represent a crime.

– Mark Twain (A Biography)

Favored above Kings and Emperors is the stillborn child.

– Mark Twain (Notebook, 1898)

How lovely is death; and how niggardly it is doled out.

– Mark Twain (Letter to Olivia Clemens, 8/19/1896)

Education consists mainly of what we have unlearned.

– Mark Twain (Mark Twain’s Notebook, 1898)

No real estate is permanently valuable but the grave.

– Mark Twain (Notebook, 1898)

If all men were rich, all men would be poor.

– Mark Twain (Mark Twain’s Notebook)

Prosperity is the best protector of principle.

– Mark Twain (Following the Equator)

The lack of money is the root of all evil.

– Mark Twain (More Maxims of Mark by Johnson)

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Captivating Mark Twain Quotes About Humor And Truth

I don’t think there ever was a lazy man in this world. Every man has some sort of gift, and he prizes that gift beyond all others. But whatever it is, he takes a native delight in exploiting that gift, and you will find it is difficult to beguile him away from it.

– Mark Twain (Sydney Morning Herald, 9/17/1895)

But such is human life. Here today and gone tomorrow. A dream — a shadow — a ripple on the water — a thing for invisible gods to sport with for a season and then toss idly by — idly by. It is rough.

– Mark Twain (San Francisco letter to Virginia City Territorial Enterprise, 1/28/1866)

When in doubt, tell the truth. That maxim I did invent, but never expected it to be applied to me. I did say, “When you are in doubt,” but when I am in doubt myself I use more sagacity.

– Mark Twain (Speech: When in Doubt, Tell the Truth, 3/8/1906)

It is the epitome of life. The first half of life consists of the capacity to enjoy without the chance; the last half consists of the chance without the capacity.

– Mark Twain (Letter to Edward Dimmit, 19/7/1901)

Lawyers are like other people–fools on average; but it is easier for an ass to succeed in that trade than any other.

– Mark Twain (‘Sam Clemens of Hannibal’, Dixon Wecter)

Human beings seem to be a poor invention. If they are the noblest works of God where is the ignoblest?

– Mark Twain (Notebook, 1896)

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

– Mark Twain (Pudd’nhead Wilson’s New Calendar)

His ignorance covered the whole earth like a blanket, and there was hardly a hole in it anywhere.

– Mark Twain (Mark Twain in Eruption)

None but an ass pays a compliment and asks a favor at the same time. There are many asses.

– Mark Twain (Notebook, 1902)

Truth is mighty and will prevail. There is nothing the matter with this, except that it ain’t so.

– Mark Twain (Notebook, 1898)

We recognize that there are no trivial occurrences in life if we get the right focus on them.

– Mark Twain (Autobiography of Mark Twain, Vol.:1)

When we remember we are all mad, the mysteries disappear and life stands explained.

– Mark Twain (Notebook, 1898)

In the first place, God made idiots. This was for practice. Then he made proofreaders.

– Mark Twain (Notebook, 1892-1893)

A man’s private thought can never be a lie; what he thinks, is to him the truth, always.

– Mark Twain (Letter to Louis Pendleton, 4/8/1888)

Truth is stranger than fiction–to some people, but I am measurably familiar with it.

– Mark Twain (Following the Equator)

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

– Mark Twain (Mark Twain and I, Opie Read)

Often the surest way to convey misinformation is to tell the strict truth.

– Mark Twain (Pudd’nhead Wilson’s New Calendar)

No real gentleman will tell the naked truth in the presence of ladies.

– Mark Twain (A Double-Barreled Detective Story)

Let us swear while we may, for in Heaven it will not be allowed.

– Mark Twain (Notebook, 1898)

Truth is the most valuable thing we have. Let us economize it.

– Mark Twain (Following the Equator)

If you tell the truth you don’t have to remember anything.

– Mark Twain (Notebook, 1894)

Never tell the truth to people who are not worthy of it.

– Mark Twain (Notebook, 1902)

Tell the truth or trump–but get the trick.

– Mark Twain (Pudd’nhead Wilson’s Calendar)

When in doubt, tell the truth.

– Mark Twain (Following the Equator)

Heaven for climate, and hell for society.

– Mark Twain (Speech, 1910)

The funniest things are the forbidden.

– Mark Twain (Notebook, 1879)


Funny Mark Twain Quotes That Will Make You Laugh Now

To ask a doctor, builder, or sculptor for his autograph would be in no way rude. To ask one of those for a specimen of his work, however, is quite another thing, and the request might be justifiably refused. It would never be fair to ask a doctor for one of his corpses to remember him by.

– Mark Twain (Chicago Daily Tribune, 1902)

Always obey your parents, when they are present. Most parents think they know more than you do, and you can generally make more by humoring that superstition than you can by acting on your own better judgment.

– Mark Twain (Advice to Youth, 4/15/1882)

Sometimes my feelings are so hot that I have to take the pen and put them out on paper to keep them from setting me afire inside; then all that ink and labor are wasted because I can’t print the results.

– Mark Twain (A Biography)

It is a free press…There are laws to protect the freedom of the press’s speech, but none that are worth anything to protect the people from the press.

– Mark Twain (License of the Press speech)

After all these years, I see that I was mistaken about Eve in the beginning; it is better to live outside the Garden with her than inside it without her.

– Mark Twain (Adam’s Diary)

In order to know a community, one must observe the style of its funerals and know what manner of men they bury with most ceremonies.

– Mark Twain (Roughing It)

If the man doesn’t believe as we do, we say he is a crank, and that settles it. It means it does nowadays because now we can’t burn him.

– Mark Twain (Following the Equator)

Novelists nearly always fail in depicting women when they make them act. For a woman will never do again what has been done before.

– Mark Twain (The Gilded Age)

It is the will of God that we must have critics and missionaries and congressmen and humorists, and we must bear the burden.

– Mark Twain (Mark Twain’s Autobiography)

We like to read about rich people in the papers; the papers know it, and they do their best to keep this appetite liberally fed.

– Mark Twain (Mark Twain in Eruption)

India has two million gods and worships them all. In religion all other countries are paupers; India is the only millionaire.

– Mark Twain (Following the Equator)

A delightful woman looks just as if she’d stepped out of the New Testament, and hadn’t got used to her surroundings yet…

– Mark Twain (Isabel Lyon’s Journal, 1/8/1906)

Ah, well, I am a great and sublime fool. But then I am God’s fool, and all His work must be contemplated with respect.

– Mark Twain (A Biography)

Everything human is pathetic. The secret source of Humor itself is not joy but sorrow. There is no humor in heaven.

– Mark Twain (Following the Equator)

April Fool: This is the day upon which we are reminded of what we are on the other three hundred and sixty-four.

– Mark Twain (Pudd’nhead Wilson’s Calendar)

Women cannot receive even the most palpably judicious suggestion without arguing it; that is, married women.

– Mark Twain (Experience of the McWilliamses)

But only Laughter can blow it to rags and atoms at a blast. Against the assault of Laughter, nothing can stand.

– Mark Twain (The Chronicle of Young Satan)

Only one thing is impossible for God: to find any sense in any copyright law on the planet.

– Mark Twain (Mark Twain’s Notebook, 1902-1903)

I believe our Heavenly Father invented man because he was disappointed in the monkey.

– Mark Twain (Mark Twain in Eruption)

When you are in politics you are in a wasp’s nest with a short shirt-tail, as the saying is.

– Mark Twain (The Chronicle of Young Satan)

Let us be thankful for the fools, but for them, the rest of us could not succeed.

– Mark Twain (Following the Equator)

I am glad the old masters are all dead, and I only wish they had died sooner.

– Mark Twain (‘Academy of Design’ letter, 28/7/1867)

Man is the Reasoning Animal. Such is the claim. I think it is open to dispute.

– Mark Twain (The Lowest Animal)

If all the fools in this world should die, lordly God how lonely I should be.

– Mark Twain (Letter to Olivia Clemens, 23/1/1885)

There is no sadder sight than a young pessimist, except an old optimist.

– Mark Twain (Notebook, 1902-1903)

Man was made at the end of the week’s work when God was tired.

– Mark Twain (Notebook, 1903)

You can straighten a worm, but the crook is in him and only waiting.

– Mark Twain (More Maxims of Mark by Merle Johnson)

When a teacher calls a boy by his entire name it means trouble.

– Mark Twain (Mark Twain in Eruption)

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

– Mark Twain (Following the Equator)

Humor is only a fragrance, a decoration.

– Mark Twain (Mark Twain’s Autobiography)

Humor is mankind’s greatest blessing.

– Mark Twain (A Biography)


Famous Quotes Which Are Misattributed To Mark Twain

The secret of getting ahead is getting started. The secret of getting started is breaking your complex overwhelming tasks into small manageable tasks, and starting on the first one.

– Anonymous, Misattributed To Mark Twain

A conspiracy is nothing but a secret agreement of a number of men for the pursuance of policies which they dare not admit in public.

– Ossip Gabrilowitsch (Sedition), Misattributed To Mark Twain

Sometimes I wonder whether the world is being run by smart people who are putting us on or by imbeciles who really mean it.

– Laurence J. Peter (The Peter Principle), Misattributed To Mark Twain

Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do.

– Sarah Brown, Misattributed to Mark Twain, H. Jackson Brown Jr.

If you don’t read the newspaper, you’re uninformed. If you read the newspaper, you’re misinformed.

– Anonymous, Misattributed to Mark Twain

The two most important days in your life are the day you are born and the day you find out why.

– Anonymous, Misattributed To Mark Twain

Politicians are a lot like diapers. They should be changed frequently and for the same reasons.

– Robin Williams, Misattributed To Mark Twain

It is better to keep your mouth shut and appear stupid than to open it and remove all doubt.

– Anonymous, Misattributed to Mark Twain, A. Lincoln, Ben Franklin, Galileo

The man who does not read good books is no better than the man who can’t read them.

– The Dodge Idea (1914), Misattributed to Mark Twain,
Quin Ryan, Abigail Van Buren, Ralph Keyes

Insanity is doing the same thing, over and over again, but expecting different results.

– Narcotics Anonymous, Misattributed to Mark Twain, Einstein, G.B. Shaw

It is not the size of the dog in the fight that counts, but the fight in the dog that wins.

– Arthur G. Lewis (Stub Ends of Thought and Verse), Misattributed to Mark Twain

Be careful about reading health books. Some fine day you’ll die of a misprint.

– Markus Herz, Misattributed to Mark Twain

Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity.

– Robert J. Hanlon, Misattributed to Mark Twain

Everybody talks about the weather, but nobody does anything about it.

– Charles Dudley Warner, Misattributed to Mark Twain

Never put off until tomorrow what you can do the day after tomorrow.

– Anonymous, Misattributed to Mark Twain, Oscar Wilde

Be careful about reading health books. You may die of a misprint.

– Anonymous, Misattributed to Mark Twain

The coldest winter I ever spent was a summer in San Francisco.

– Anonymous, Misattributed to Mark Twain

Aging is a matter of mind. If you don’t mind, it doesn’t matter.

– Anonymous, Misattributed to Mark Twain

There are three types of lies — lies, damn lies, and statistics.

– Benjamin Disraeli, Misattributed to Mark Twain

Go to Heaven for the climate, Hell for the company.

– Benjamin Franklin Wade, Misattributed to Mark Twain, James M. Barrie

If I had more time, I would have written a shorter letter.

– Blaise Pascal, Misattributed to Mark Twain

Why not go out on a limb? Isn’t that where the fruit is?

– Frank Scully, Misattributed to Mark Twain

Never let schooling interfere with your education.

– Grant Allen (Post-Prandial Philosophy, 1894),
Misattributed to Mark Twain

The secret of getting ahead is getting started.

– Anonymous, Misattributed to Mark Twain, Agatha Christie

Wagner’s music is better than it sounds.

– Edgar Wilson Nye, Misattributed to Mark Twain

We hope you have surely liked these Mark Twain quotes about Life, Funny Mark Twain quotes, and Mark Twain travel quotes. He was praised as the “greatest humorist the United States has produced”. Millions of readers throughout the world still remember him for his unique style of writing. Feel free to share your thoughts about Mark Twain’s quotes in the comment section below.

“It is good to obey all the rules when you’re young, so you’ll have the strength to break them when you’re old.”

– Mark Twain (Advance Magazine, 1940)

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