Inspiration and wisdom from divine felines

318 Inspiring Quotes by Mark Twain

Welcome to our collection of quotes by Mark Twain.

Wikipedia Summary for Mark Twain

Samuel Langhorne Clemens (November 30, 1835 – April 21, 1910), known by his pen name Mark Twain, was an American writer, humorist, entrepreneur, publisher, and lecturer. He was lauded as the "greatest humorist the United States has produced," and William Faulkner called him "the father of American literature". His novels include The Adventures of Tom Sawyer (1876) and its sequel, the Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (1884), the latter often called "The Great American Novel".

Twain was raised in Hannibal, Missouri, which later provided the setting for Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn. He served an apprenticeship with a printer and then worked as a typesetter, contributing articles to the newspaper of his older brother Orion Clemens. He later became a riverboat pilot on the Mississippi River before heading west to join Orion in Nevada. He referred humorously to his lack of success at mining, turning to journalism for the Virginia City Territorial Enterprise. His humorous story, "The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County", was published in 1865, based on a story that he heard at Angels Hotel in Angels Camp, California, where he had spent some time as a miner. The short story brought international attention and was even translated into French. His wit and satire, in prose and in speech, earned praise from critics and peers, and he was a friend to presidents, artists, industrialists, and European royalty.

Twain earned a great deal of money from his writings and lectures, but he invested in ventures that lost most of it—such as the Paige Compositor, a mechanical typesetter that failed because of its complexity and imprecision. He filed for bankruptcy in the wake of these financial setbacks, but in time overcame his financial troubles with the help of Henry Huttleston Rogers. He eventually paid all his creditors in full, even though his bankruptcy relieved him of having to do so. Twain was born shortly after an appearance of Halley's Comet, and he predicted that he would "go out with it" as well; he died the day after the comet made its closest approach to the Earth.

empty brown concrete stairs beside green grass under starry sky long-exposure photography

A discriminating irreverence is the creator and protector of human liberty.

--Mark Twain

multicolored abstract painting

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

--Mark Twain

Longer Version:

Clothes make the man. Naked people have little or no influence on society. You cannot depend on your eyes when your imagination is out of focus. As in the words of Wayne Dyer, when you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change. Sometimes to know with certainty that a particular thing is "true", will actually be the very thing that keeps you from attaining the things you seek to achieve.


green water in close up photography

A crime persevered in a thousand centuries ceases to be a crime, and becomes a virtue. This is the law of custom, and custom supersedes all other forms of law.

--Mark Twain

mountains under white mist at daytime

An ecstasy is a thing that will not go into words; it feels like music.

--Mark Twain

sunflower

A person who won't read has no advantage over one who can't read.

--Mark Twain

brown and white long coated small dog lying on green grass

I deal with temptation by yielding to it.

--Mark Twain

None

All say, ‘how hard it is that we have to die' -- a strange complaint to come from the mouths of those who have had to live.

--Mark Twain

gray and white bird on red and yellow leaves

All gods are better than their reputation.

--Mark Twain

boat docked near house

Be virtuous and you will be eccentric.

--Mark Twain

man in black and white striped shirt sitting on brown rock during daytime

Always tell the truth; then you don't have to remember anything.

--Mark Twain

selective-focus photograph of gray bird on tree branch

I am not given to exaggeration, and when I say a thing I mean it.

--Mark Twain

yellow, orange, red, green, and blue abstract painting

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

--Mark Twain

silhouette of flying bird

Peace by persuasion has a pleasant sound, but I think we should not be able to work it. We should have to tame the human race first, and history seems to show that that cannot be done.

--Mark Twain

high-angle photography of mountain at sunset

A classic is something that everybody wants to have read and nobody wants to read.

--Mark Twain

solid background

Custom is custom: it is built of brass, boiler-iron, granite; facts, reasonings, arguments have no more effect upon it than the idle winds have upon Gibraltar.

--Mark Twain

black wooden louver door window

A little citizenship ought to be taught at the mother's knee and in the nursery.

--Mark Twain

sunflower field during daytime

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

--Mark Twain

Longer Version:

A person that started in to carry a cat home by the tail was getting knowledge that was always going to be useful to him, and warn't ever going to grow dim or doubtful.


landscape photo of mountain during nighttime

I don't like to commit myself about Heaven and Hell, you see, I have friends in both places.

--Mark Twain

fawn pug in close up photography

Books are the liberated spirits of men.

--Mark Twain

white oriental lily flower

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

--Mark Twain

grayscale photography of mountain surrounded by trees

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

--Mark Twain

photo of brown parquet

Do not argue with an idiot. He will drag you down to his level and beat you with experience.

--Mark Twain

brown grass field near gray rocky mountain during daytime

Each nation knowing it has the only true religion and the only sane system of government, each despising all the others, each an ass and not suspecting it.

--Mark Twain

litter of dogs fall in line beside wall

A dollar picked up in the road is more satisfaction to you than the ninety-and-nine which you had to work for, and money won at faro or in stock snuggles into your heart in the same way.

--Mark Twain

selective focus of common poppy flower

A home without a cat -- and a well-fed, well-petted and properly revered cat -- may be a perfect home, perhaps, but how can it prove title?

--Mark Twain

black pug puppy on green textile

All our acts -- reasoned and unreasoned, are selfish.

--Mark Twain

yellow flower field under clear sky

I would rather go to bed with Lillian Russell stark naked than Ulysses S Grant in full military regalia.

--Mark Twain

blue and white striped textile

Custom is petrification, nothing but dynamite can dislodge it for a century.

--Mark Twain


woman in blue denim jacket and black pants standing beside train

Action speaks louder than words but not nearly as often.

--Mark Twain

green and blue chevron textile

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

--Mark Twain

sunset

Eloquence is the essential thing in a speech, not information.

--Mark Twain

library shelf near black wooden ladder

I have made it a rule never to smoke more than one cigar at a time.

--Mark Twain

Longer Version:

I have made it a rule never to smoke more than one cigar at a time. I have no other restriction as regards smoking. I do not know just when I began to smoke, I only know that it was in my father's lifetime, and that I was discreet. He passed from this life early in 1847, when I was a shade past 11; ever since then I have smoked publicly. 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 when awake.

I smoke in bed until I have to go to sleep; I wake up in the night, sometimes once, sometimes twice, sometimes three times, and I never waste any of these opportunities to smoke. This habit is so old and dear and precious to me that if I should break it I should feel as you, Sir, would feel if you should lose the only moral you've got.


rock mountain during starry night

Give every day the chance to become the most beautiful day of your life.

--Mark Twain

shallow focus photography of brown and black bird

Get a bicycle. You will not regret it, if you live.

--Mark Twain

fawn pug standing on textile

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 man.

--Mark Twain

empty brown concrete stairs beside green grass under starry sky long-exposure photography

Good decisions come from experience. Experience comes from making bad decisions.

--Mark Twain

body of water surrounded with plants under cloudy sky

Doesn't make any difference who we are or what we are, there's always somebody to look down on.

--Mark Twain

shooting star in night sky

Don't go around thinking the world owes you a living. It was here first.

--Mark Twain

Longer Version:

Don't go around saying the world owes you a living. The world owes you nothing. It was here first.


shallow focus photo of white rose

Reader, suppose you were an idiot. And suppose you were a member of Congress. But I repeat myself.

--Mark Twain

sunset

Anyone who can only think of one way to spell a word obviously lacks imagination.

--Mark Twain

man with LED headlight looking upward

Every time you stop a school, you will have to build a jail.

--Mark Twain

Longer Version:

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.


short-beak red bird on tree

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

--Mark Twain

dog on pier at water

Sanity and happiness are an impossible combination.

--Mark Twain

sunset highway

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

--Mark Twain

Longer Version:

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


brown and white wooden star print board

I can speak French but I cannot understand it.

--Mark Twain

adult black and tan dachshund

God created war so that Americans would learn geography.

--Mark Twain

yellow flowers

A powerful agent is the right word: it lights the reader's way and makes it plain.

--Mark Twain

Longer Version:

A powerful agent is the right word. Whenever we come upon one of those intensely right words in a book or newspaper the resulting effect is physical as well as spiritual, and electrically prompt.


scenery of aurora

I am pushing sixty. That is enough exercise for me.

--Mark Twain

pink rose

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

--Mark Twain

three people standing inside Big Ben building

An uneasy conscience is a hair in the mouth.

--Mark Twain

grassland landscape

The best way to cheer yourself is to try to cheer someone else up.

--Mark Twain

selective focus photo of brown guitar on white pillow

The universal brotherhood of man is our most precious possession.

--Mark Twain

Longer Version:

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


sunset

Drawing on my fine command of language, I said nothing.

--Mark Twain

macro shot photography of two votive candles

Climate is what we expect, weather is what we get.

--Mark Twain

yellow sunflowers under white clouds and blue sky

I could be an idiot, or I can serve in Congress, but I repeat myself.

--Mark Twain

silhouette photo of person holding flashlight under milk way

I did not attend his funeral, but I sent a nice letter saying I approved of it.

--Mark Twain

pink and white computer keyboard beside yellow framed sunglasses

The truth hurts, but silence kills.

--Mark Twain

yellow and red color textile

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

white and red flower with green leaves

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

--Mark Twain

purple flower in macro lens

Children are natural mimics who act like their parents despite every effort to teach them good manners.

--Mark Twain

Arizona landscape

A man will do many things to get himself loved. He will do all things to get himself envied.

--Mark Twain


clear drinking glass with beer

Alas! those good old days are gone, when a murderer could wipe the stain from his name and soothe his trouble to sleep simply by getting out his blocks and mortar and building an addition to a church.

--Mark Twain

low angle photography of purple sky

Anybody can have ideas -- the difficulty is to express them without squandering a quire of paper on an idea that ought to be reduced to one glittering paragraph.

--Mark Twain

water on seashore

A good and wholesome thing is a little harmless fun in this world; it tones a body up and keeps him human and prevents him from souring.

--Mark Twain

pink and white light illustration

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

gray elephant

Good citizenship would teach accuracy of thinking and accuracy of statement.

--Mark Twain

group of people waving their hands

Conservatism is the blind and fear-filled worship of dead radicals.

--Mark Twain

white flowers

A woman springs a sudden reproach upon you which provokes a hot retort, and then she will presently ask you to apologize.

--Mark Twain

black and white duck on brown wooden dock during daytime

A clean desk is a sign of a cluttered desk drawer.

--Mark Twain

body of water during daytime

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.

--Mark Twain

two person standing while watching sky

Do not complain about growing old. It is a privilege denied to many.

--Mark Twain

adult black and white dog leaning on wooden fence

Every one is a moon, and has a dark side which he never shows to anybody.

--Mark Twain

selective focus photography of sunflower

Every inventor is a crackpot until his idea succeeds.

--Mark Twain

pink flowers with white background

I can live for two months on a good compliment.

--Mark Twain

pink and teal striped textile

I always take Scotch whiskey at night as a preventive of toothache. I have never had the toothache; and what is more, I never intend to have it.

--Mark Twain

landscape photography of road at savannah

Continuous improvement is better than delayed perfection.

--Mark Twain

green mountain ]

I have been on the verge of being an angel all my life, but it's never happened yet.

--Mark Twain

green-leafed plant

A man is accepted into a church for what he believes and he is turned out for what he knows.

--Mark Twain

sunset

You should never trust a man who has only one way to spell a word.

--Mark Twain

sunflower field under white sky during daytime

As to the adjective: when in doubt, strike it out.

--Mark Twain

white stars cutout on black surface with red string

Don't use a five-dollar word when a fifty-cent word will do.

--Mark Twain

yellow flower field near bare trees during daytime

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

--Mark Twain

black, purple, and orange basketball court beside concrete buildings at daytime

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

--Mark Twain

flame illustration

An inglorious peace is better than a dishonorable war.

--Mark Twain

white Starbuck plastic cup on brown fabric armchair

A man with a hump backed uncle mustn't make fun of another man's cross eyed aunt.

--Mark Twain

silhouette of mountains during starry night

Everybody's private motto: It's better to be popular than right.

--Mark Twain

selective focus photo of brown and blue hourglass on stones

A clear conscience is the sure sign of a bad memory.

--Mark Twain

selective focus photo of four green humming birds with red flowers

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

--Mark Twain

mountains covered with fog

I can always tell which is the front end of a horse, but beyond that, my art is not above the ordinary.

--Mark Twain

pink petaled flower

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

--Mark Twain

green bird perching on stem

Nature knows no indecencies; man invents them.

--Mark Twain

green pine trees near mountain under blue sky during daytime

Cauliflower is nothing but cabbage with a college education.

--Mark Twain

person standing on rock formation during daytime

Consider the average intelligence of the common man, then realize 50% are even stupider.

--Mark Twain

woman holding brown umbrella

Fleas can be taught nearly anything a congressman can.

--Mark Twain

red blue yellow and red paint

′Classic′ -- a book which people praise and don't read.

--Mark Twain

man and woman kissing

In the spring, I have counted 136 different kinds of weather inside of 24 hours.

--Mark Twain

calm body of water and mountain

I am only human, although I regret it.

--Mark Twain

forest trees photograph

A thing long expected takes the form of the unexpected when at last it comes.

--Mark Twain

man in blue jacket and blue pants carrying black and red backpack standing on snow covered

A banker is a fellow who lends you his umbrella when the sun is shining, but wants it back the minute it begins to rain.

--Mark Twain

black wooden louver door window

A full belly is of little worth where the mind is starved, and the heart.

--Mark Twain


green lizard

I can last two months on a good compliment.

--Mark Twain

person wearing orange and gray Nike shoes walking on gray concrete stairs

A good memory and a tongue tied in the middle is a combination which gives immortality to conversation.

--Mark Twain


gray wooden house on green plains near mountain range at daytime

The report of my death was an exaggeration.

--Mark Twain

Longer Version:

The report of my illness grew out of his (James Clemens) illness. The report of my death was an exaggeration.


Arizona landscape

Few of us can stand prosperity. Another man's, I mean.

--Mark Twain

silhouette of person's hands forming heart

An open mind leaves a chance for someone to drop a worthwhile thought in it.

--Mark Twain

couple sitting on the field facing the city

And what is a man without energy? Nothing -- nothing at all.

--Mark Twain

sunset forest

Don't let schooling interfere with your education.

--Mark Twain

black wooden louver door window

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

--Mark Twain

shallow focus photography of condenser microphone

Adam was the luckiest man in the world. He had no mother-in-law.

--Mark Twain

silhouette photo of six persons on top of mountain

Apparently there is nothing that cannot happen today.

--Mark Twain

shallow focus photography of orange flower

Few things are more irritating than when someone who is wrong is also very effective in making his point.

--Mark Twain

snow-capped mountain at the horizon viewed from lake dock

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

--Mark Twain

None

In writing, I shall always confine myself strictly to the truth, except when it is attended with inconvenience.

--Mark Twain

forest trees photograph

A newspaper is not just for reporting the news as it is, but to make people mad enough to do something about it.

--Mark Twain

red rose with droplets

The true pioneer of civilization is not the newspaper, not religion, not the railroad -- but whiskey!

--Mark Twain

silhouette of man standing on hill during starry night

Adam did not want the apple for the apple's sake; he wanted it because it was forbidden.

--Mark Twain

gray wooden house on green plains near mountain range at daytime

Architects cannot teach nature anything.

--Mark Twain

two women making peace sign near the Golden Gate bridge

Data is like garbage. You'd better know what you are going to do with it before you collect it.

--Mark Twain

Luna eclipse during nighttime

A new oath holds pretty well; but... when it is become old, and frayed out, and damaged by a dozen annual retryings of its remains, it ceases to be serviceable; any little strain will snap it.

--Mark Twain

white rose enclosed photograph

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

--Mark Twain

sunset

All good things arrive unto them that wait -- and don't die in the meantime.

--Mark Twain

blue sky with stars during night time

I do not allow my schooling to interfere with my education.

--Mark Twain

green plant in tilt shift lens

Every time I reform in one direction I go overboard in another.

--Mark Twain

red and white no smoking sign

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

--Mark Twain

brown tree on surrounded by brown grass during golden hour

He was sunshine most always-I mean he made it seem like good weather.

--Mark Twain

brown sands

A country without a patent office and good patent laws is just a crab, and can't travel any way but sideways and backways.

--Mark Twain

person holding yellow petaled flower

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

--Mark Twain

silhouette of person on top of mountain pointing flashlight on sky filled with stars at night time

Never regret anything that made you smile.

--Mark Twain

blue and red bird during daytime

Against the assault of laughter, nothing can stand.

--Mark Twain

green and white bird on black wire during daytime

A person who has a cat by the tail knows a whole lot more about cats than someone who has just read about them.

--Mark Twain

rock formation in body of water

I do not fear death. I had been dead for billions and billions of years before I was born, and had not suffered the slightest inconvenience from it.

--Mark Twain

blue sky with stars during night time

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

--Mark Twain

person standing on top of mountain

Censorship is telling a man he can't have a steak just because a baby can't chew it.

--Mark Twain

tilt shift lens pink fetal flowers

An author values a compliment even when it comes from a source of doubtful competency.

--Mark Twain

person standing on rock beside body of water between green trees

Experience, the only logic sure to convince a diseased imagination and restore it to rugged health.

--Mark Twain

photography of yellow petaled flowers field

I cannot keep from talking, even at the risk of being instructive.

--Mark Twain

silhouette of hugging couple

Analyzing humor is like dissecting a frog: nobody really enjoys it, and the frog generally dies as a result.

--Mark Twain

brown and gray stick

Better a broken promise than none at all.

--Mark Twain

crack in wall

The unspoken word is capital. We can invest it or we can squander it.

--Mark Twain

green-leafed plant

Heaven goes by favor. If it went by merit, you would stay out and your dog would go in.

--Mark Twain

woman in white and black stripe long sleeve shirt standing beside brown concrete building during daytime

Congressman is the trivialist distinction for a full grown man.

--Mark Twain

man riding on boat on body of water

A sense of humor is the one thing no one will admit to not having.

--Mark Twain

white and black boat on sea during daytime

Buy land, they're not making it anymore.

--Mark Twain

gold round wall clock on white painted wall

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

--Mark Twain

person holding pocket watch

Do not tell fish stories where the people know you; but particularly, don't tell them where they know the fish.

--Mark Twain

minimalist photography of open door

Half of the results of a good intentions are evil; half the results of an evil intention are good.

--Mark Twain

photo of brown parquet

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

--Mark Twain

silhouette of person on top of mountain pointing flashlight on sky filled with stars at night time

Children and fools always speak the truth.

--Mark Twain

blue rose with water droplet

A group of men in evening clothes looks like a flock of crows, and is just about as inspiring.

--Mark Twain

Arizona landscape

A lie can make it half way around the world before the truth has time to put its boots on.

--Mark Twain

a couple holding hands with a wedding ring visible

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

--Mark Twain

two dragonflies on green cornate leaf

All human rules are more or less idiotic.

--Mark Twain

purple petaled flower on gray surface

December is the toughest month of the year. Others are July, January, September, April, November, May, March, June, October, August, and February.

--Mark Twain

rock formation under starry skies

Are you so unobservant as not to have found out that sanity and happiness are an impossible combination?

--Mark Twain

group of people waving their hands

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

--Mark Twain

brown and white butterfly on purple petaled flower

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

--Mark Twain

two children holding hands while walking in the middle of the fields

A man cannot be comfortable without his own approval.

--Mark Twain

Longer Version:

A man cannot be comfortable without his own approval. There is nothing more satisfying than that sense of being completely "at home" in your own skin. When you achieve that as a natural state of "being", then you can finally look beyond yourself and fully contribute all your talents to the world.


white and yellow flower in close up photography

A kindly courtesy does at least save one's feelings, even if it is not professing to stand for a welcome.

--Mark Twain

green leafed plants on forest

A gifted person ought to learn English (barring spelling and pronouncing) in thirty hours, French in thirty days, and German in thirty years.

--Mark Twain

white rose enclosed photograph

Forgiveness is the fragrance that the violet sheds on the heel that has crushed it.

--Mark Twain

leafless tree on snow covered ground

Better to keep your mouth closed and be thought a fool than to open it and remove all doubt.

--Mark Twain

boy and cat in front of moon

I don't want my girl to be so skinny she can knife me with her knee.

--Mark Twain

blooming yellow sunflower field

All you need in this life is ignorance and confidence; then success is sure.

--Mark Twain

Longer Version:

All you need in this life is ignorance and confidence; then success is sure. You can "already know for sure" things that could actually impede progress. Always be on the lookout for the things you did not know, that you did not know. Secondly, work on strengthening personal belief that a particular will be achieved regardless of any adversity that may show up, or evidence to the contrary.


close-up photography of heart shaped fairy lite on brown sand

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

--Mark Twain

laughing woman photo

He gossips habitually; he lacks the common wisdom to keep still that deadly enemy of man, his own tongue.

--Mark Twain

blue wooden door opened

I didn't have time to write a short letter, so I wrote a long one instead.

--Mark Twain

water droplets on green leaf

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

--Mark Twain

leafless tree on snow covered ground

A man who keeps company with glaciers comes to feel tolerably insignificant by and by.

--Mark Twain

Longer Version:

A man who keeps company with glaciers comes to feel tolerably insignificiant by and by. The Alps and the glaciers together are able to take every bit of conceit out of a man and reduce his self-importance to zero if he will only remain within the influence of their sublime presence long enough to give it a fair and reasonable chance to do its work.


red rose illustration

A railroad is like a lie you have to keep building it to make it stand.

--Mark Twain

yellow Labrador puppy running on field

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

--Mark Twain

closeup photo of white petaled flowers

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

--Mark Twain

red tulip in bloom close up photo

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

--Mark Twain

silhouette of three people up on mountain cliff

I have never let my schooling interfere with my education.

--Mark Twain

aerial's photo of metropolitan during night time\

A lie can travel half way around the world while the truth is putting on its shoes.

--Mark Twain

closeup photography of black and brown bird

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

--Mark Twain

woman on seashore near island under blue sky

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

yellow and red color textile

In a good bookroom you feel in some mysterious way that you are absorbing the wisdom contained in all the books through your skin, without even opening them.

--Mark Twain

yellow sunflower field under blue sky during daytime

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

silhouette of person standing beside bare tree under stary sky

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

--Mark Twain

silhouette of person wearing cowboy hat during sunset

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

--Mark Twain

lights pattern swirls

Never allow someone to be your priority while allowing yourself to be their option.

--Mark Twain

body of water

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

blue painted wall with white paint

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

silhouette of elephant on brown sand during sunset

Loyalty to country always. Loyalty to government, when it deserves it.

--Mark Twain

orange flowers

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

--Mark Twain

aerial photo of green trees

Wrinkles should merely indicate where the smiles have been.

--Mark Twain

woman in blue denim jacket and black pants standing beside train

Books are for people who wish they were somewhere else.

--Mark Twain

photography of yellow petaled flowers field

What would men be without women? Scarce, sir...mighty scarce.

--Mark Twain

white sand

When I was a boy of 14, my father was so ignorant I could hardly stand to have the old man around. But when I got to be 21, I was astonished at how much the old man had learned in seven years.

--Mark Twain

grayscale photography of mountain surrounded by trees

Don't part with your illusions. When they are gone you may still exist, but you have ceased to live.

--Mark Twain

woman standing on sunflower field

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

--Mark Twain

purple and black skies

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

--Mark Twain

white stars in the sky during night time

If you don't read the newspaper, you're uninformed. If you read the newspaper, you're mis-informed.

--Mark Twain

brown grass field during daytime

Always do what is right. It will gratify half of mankind and astound the other.

--Mark Twain

two person standing while watching sky

Courage is resistance to fear, mastery of fear - not absence of fear.

--Mark Twain

sunset

The trouble is not in dying for a friend, but in finding a friend worth dying for.

--Mark Twain

crack in wall

Kindness is a language which the deaf can hear and the blind can see.

--Mark Twain

black wooden louver door window

It's not the size of the dog in the fight, it's the size of the fight in the dog.

--Mark Twain

silhouette of person wearing cowboy hat during sunset

I've lived through some terrible things in my life, some of which actually happened.

--Mark Twain

blue sky

Education: the path from cocky ignorance to miserable uncertainty.

--Mark Twain

two women sitting on wooden dock over body of water

Name the greatest of all inventors. Accident.

--Mark Twain


purple and white clouds during night time

The easy confidence with which I know another man's religion is folly teaches me to suspect that my own is also.

--Mark Twain

man standing on sand while spreading arms beside calm body of water

The worst loneliness is to not be comfortable with yourself.

--Mark Twain

lights

The secret to getting ahead is getting started.

--Mark Twain

green fruit in macro lens photography

History doesn't repeat itself, but it does rhyme.

--Mark Twain

pink flower

Get your facts first, and then you can distort them as much as you please.

--Mark Twain

green leafed plants on forest

If animals could speak, the dog would be a blundering outspoken fellow; but the cat would have the rare grace of never saying a word too much.

--Mark Twain

brown rugby ball

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

--Mark Twain


landscape photography of mountains with cloudy skies during golden hour

Out of all the things I have lost, I miss my mind the most.

--Mark Twain

black textile in close up photography

April 1. This is the day upon which we are reminded of what we are on the other three hundred and sixty-four.

--Mark Twain

time lapse photography body of water

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

close-up photograph of black dreadnought acoustic guitar

To get the full value of joy you must have someone to divide it with.

--Mark Twain

brown and black jazz guitar with dim light

When angry, count four. When very angry, swear.

--Mark Twain

clear hour glass with brown frame

Of all the animals, man is the only one that is cruel. He is the only one that inflicts pain for the pleasure of doing it.

--Mark Twain

brown and black jazz guitar with dim light

Any emotion, if it is sincere, is involuntary.

--Mark Twain

shallow focus photo of white rose

I must have a prodigious amount of mind; it takes me as much as a week, sometimes, to make it up!

--Mark Twain

Close-up of a white line on green grass in a soccer field

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

--Mark Twain

yellow sunflower on white wall

The most interesting information come from children, for they tell all they know and then stop.

--Mark Twain

purple and white petaled flower

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

water color palette on white surface

The human race has only one really effective weapon and that is laughter.

--Mark Twain

brown and gray brick wall

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

green trees under white sky during daytime

The Bible has noble poetry in it... and some good morals and a wealth of obscenity, and upwards of a thousand lies.

--Mark Twain

pink concrete wall during daytime

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

--Mark Twain

laughing woman photo

Giving up smoking is the easiest thing in the world. I know because I've done it thousands of times.

--Mark Twain

man wearing black jacket standing on street

If voting made any difference they wouldn't let us do it.

--Mark Twain

silhouette photo of person holding flashlight under milk way

There is a charm about the forbidden that makes it unspeakably desirable.

--Mark Twain

elephants on green grass field during daytime

I've had a lot of worries in my life, most of which never happened.

--Mark Twain

Close-up of a white line on green grass in a soccer field

Eat a live frog first thing in the morning and nothing worse will happen to you the rest of the day.

--Mark Twain

wall

Of all God's creatures, there is only one that cannot be made slave of the leash. That one is the cat. If man could be crossed with the cat it would improve the man, but it would deteriorate the cat.

--Mark Twain

brown and white dog in close-up photography

Reality can be beaten with enough imagination.

--Mark Twain

white pendant lamp

There are many humorous things in the world; among them, the white man's notion that he is less savage than the other savages.

--Mark Twain

black and white duck on brown wooden dock during daytime

Education consists mainly of what we have unlearned.

--Mark Twain


three people paddling in canoe

All right, then, I'll go to hell.

--Mark Twain

selective photography of green leaf plant

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

--Mark Twain

red rose

It is better to deserve honors and not have them than to have them and not deserve them.

--Mark Twain

lights pattern swirls

My books are water; those of the great geniuses is wine. Everybody drinks water.

--Mark Twain

lights pattern swirls

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

--Mark Twain

brown desert under sunny sky

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

silhouette of man on top of hill overlooking lighted city at dawn

There was never yet an uninteresting life. Such a thing is an impossibility. Inside of the dullest exterior there is a drama, a comedy, and a tragedy.

--Mark Twain

round black clock on linen

It's easier to fool people than to convince them that they have been fooled.

--Mark Twain

orange and white floor tiles

In the beginning of a change the patriot is a scarce man, and brave, and hated and scorned. When his cause succeeds, the timid join him, for then it costs nothing to be a patriot.

--Mark Twain

wide lake over sunset view

If Christ were here there is one thing he would not be—a Christian.

--Mark Twain

pink and white flowers on white surface

Man is the only animal that blushes. Or needs to.

--Mark Twain

iceberg near mountain during day

The more I learn about people, the more I like my dog.

--Mark Twain

pink tulips in clear glass vase

Obscurity and a competence—that is the life that is best worth living.

--Mark Twain

black, purple, and orange basketball court beside concrete buildings at daytime

Thunder is good, thunder is impressive; but it is lightning that does the work.

--Mark Twain

red and white heart balloons

Worrying is like paying a debt you don't owe.

--Mark Twain

person doing yoga exercises

A half-truth is the most cowardly of lies.

--Mark Twain

man sitting on concrete brick with opened laptop on his lap

There's one way to find out if a man is honest: ask him; if he says yes, you know he's crooked.

--Mark Twain

white boat on sea under white sky during daytime

A person that started in to carry a cat home by the tail was getting knowledge that was always going to be useful to him, and warn't ever going to grow dim or doubtful.

--Mark Twain

silhouette of mountain

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

--Mark Twain

flat lay photography teacup on top of saucer

Why do you sit there looking like an envelope without any address on it?

--Mark Twain

bonfire on focus photography

Be good and you will be lonesome.

--Mark Twain

Blue to purple gradient

Never argue with a fool, onlookers may not be able to tell the difference.

--Mark Twain

person holding yellow sunflower bouquet

When you fish for love, bait with your heart, not your brain.

--Mark Twain

aerial photography of forest

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

--Mark Twain

green trees on forest during daytime

There isn't time, so brief is life, for bickerings, apologies, heartburnings, callings to account. There is only time for loving, and but an instant, so to speak, for that.

--Mark Twain

yellow sunflower under blue sky during daytime

What is Man? Man is a noisome bacillus whom Our Heavenly Father created because he was disappointed in the monkey.

--Mark Twain

pink and white tulips on white surface

Now and then we had a hope that if we lived and were good, God would permit us to be pirates.

--Mark Twain

sunset

Patriotism is supporting your country all the time and your government when it deserves it.

--Mark Twain

brown mountains under blue sky

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

--Mark Twain

people near body of water

I thoroughly disapprove of duels. If a man should challenge me, I would take him kindly and forgivingly by the hand and lead him to a quiet place and kill him.

--Mark Twain

brown rock formation

Under certain circumstances, profanity provides a relief denied even to prayer.

--Mark Twain

yellow wallpaper

Life does not consist mainly, or even largely, of facts or happenings. It consist mainly of the storm of thoughts that is forever flowing through one's head.

--Mark Twain


bonfire near mountain

The reports of my death are greatly exaggerated.

--Mark Twain

orange leaves tree

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 creatures that cannot.

--Mark Twain

selective focus photo of brown guitar on white pillow

Writing is easy. All you have to do is cross out the wrong words.

--Mark Twain

purple-petaled flower on selective focus photography

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

--Mark Twain

four orange, green, blue, and red paint rollers

Comparison is the death of joy.

--Mark Twain

yellow sunflower in close up photography

Never argue with an idiot. They will drag you down to their level and beat you with experience.

--Mark Twain

shallow focus photography of orange flower

That is just the way with some people. They get down on a thing when they don’t know nothing about it.

--Mark Twain

silhouette photo of aurora borealis

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

--Mark Twain

close-up photo of two men shaking hands near beach at sunset

Too much of anything is bad, but too much good whiskey is barely enough.

--Mark Twain

depth photography of purple petaled flowers

Religion was invented when the first con man met the first fool.

--Mark Twain


pink and green flower painting

He who asks is a fool for five minutes, but he who does not ask remains a fool forever.

--Mark Twain

concert photos

Ignorant people think it is the noise which fighting cats make that is so aggravating, but it ain't so; it is the sickening grammar that they use.

--Mark Twain

two women sitting on wooden dock over body of water

Write without pay until somebody offers to pay.

--Mark Twain

blue flowers in tilt shift lens

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

--Mark Twain

backdrop solid

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

time lapse photography of fire

When red-headed people are above a certain social grade their hair is auburn.

--Mark Twain

wallpaper plain

It is by the goodness of god that in our country we have those 3 unspeakably precious things: freedom of speech, freedom of conscience, and the prudence never to practice either of them.

--Mark Twain

blue rose in close up photography

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

--Mark Twain

glass window pane with yellow concrete wall

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.

--Mark Twain

black textile in close up photography

Don't wake up a woman in love. Let her dream, so that she does not weep when she returns to her bitter reality

--Mark Twain

red and yellow abstract painting

Good judgement is the result of experience and experience the result of bad judgement.

--Mark Twain

shallow focus photography of brown parquet flooring

Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness.

--Mark Twain

Longer Version:

Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts. Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one's lifetime.



person holding white ceramic cup with liquid

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

person walking on street while holding black umbrella near cars on road at nighttime

Write what you know.

--Mark Twain

gray wooden house on green plains near mountain range at daytime

Humor is mankind's greatest blessing.

--Mark Twain


red rose flower

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

--Mark Twain

laughing woman photo

We may not pay Satan reverence, for that would be indiscreet, but we can at least respect his talents.

--Mark Twain

boat docked near house

The lack of money is the root of all evil.

--Mark Twain

women's black and pink monokini

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

--Mark Twain

body of water during daytime

I can teach anybody how to get what they want out of life. The problem is that I can't find anybody who can tell me what they want.

--Mark Twain

pink and white flowers on white surface

Facts are stubborn things, but statistics are pliable.

--Mark Twain


brown mountains under blue sky

The older I get, the more clearly I remember things that never happened.

--Mark Twain

silhouette photo of couple standing on beach watching sunset

Jim said that bees won't sting idiots, but I didn't believe that, because I tried them lots of times myself and they wouldn't sting me.

--Mark Twain

assorted-color beach houses

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

stars across the sky view at the desert

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

--Mark Twain

photography of yellow petaled flowers field

A gentleman is someone who knows how to play the banjo and doesn't.

--Mark Twain

white flowers

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

multicolored abstract painting

Politicians and diapers must be changed often, and for the same reason.

--Mark Twain

yellow and white abstract painting

A jay hasn't got any more principle than a Congressman. A jay will lie, a jay will steal, a jay will deceive, a jay will betray; and four times out of five, a jay will go back on his solemnest promise.

--Mark Twain

shooting star in night sky

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

--Mark Twain

person holding gray leaf

Age is an issue of mind over matter. If you don't mind, it doesn't matter.

--Mark Twain

boy wearing American flag print eyeglasses sticking his mouth open

Sacred cows make the best hamburger.

--Mark Twain

We wish you a perfect day!