A discriminating irreverence is the creator and protector of human liberty.
Clothes make the man. Naked people have little or no influence on society.
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.
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.
An ecstasy is a thing that will not go into words; it feels like music.
A person who won't read has no advantage over one who can't read.
I deal with temptation by yielding to it.
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.
All gods are better than their reputation.
Be virtuous and you will be eccentric.
Always tell the truth; then you don't have to remember anything.
I am not given to exaggeration, and when I say a thing I mean it.
Biographies are but the clothes and buttons of the man. The biography of the man himself cannot be written.
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.
A classic is something that everybody wants to have read and nobody wants to read.
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.
A little citizenship ought to be taught at the mother's knee and in the nursery.
A man who carries a cat by the tail learns something he can learn in no other way.
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.
I don't like to commit myself about Heaven and Hell, you see, I have friends in both places.
Books are the liberated spirits of men.
Death is the starlit strip between the companionship of yesterday and the reunion of tomorrow.
A sincere compliment is always grateful to a lady, so long as you don't try to knock her down with it.
Do not argue with an idiot. He will drag you down to his level and beat you with experience.
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.
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.
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?
All our acts -- reasoned and unreasoned, are selfish.
I would rather go to bed with Lillian Russell stark naked than Ulysses S Grant in full military regalia.
Custom is petrification, nothing but dynamite can dislodge it for a century.
Action speaks louder than words but not nearly as often.
Children have but little charity for one another's defects.
Eloquence is the essential thing in a speech, not information.
I have made it a rule never to smoke more than one cigar at a time.
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.
Give every day the chance to become the most beautiful day of your life.
Get a bicycle. You will not regret it, if you live.
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.
Good decisions come from experience. Experience comes from making bad decisions.
Doesn't make any difference who we are or what we are, there's always somebody to look down on.
Don't go around thinking the world owes you a living. It was here first.
Don't go around saying the world owes you a living. The world owes you nothing. It was here first.
Reader, suppose you were an idiot. And suppose you were a member of Congress. But I repeat myself.
Anyone who can only think of one way to spell a word obviously lacks imagination.
Every time you stop a school, you will have to build a jail.
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.
Love is not a product of reasonings and statistics. It just comes-none knows whence-and cannot explain itself.
Sanity and happiness are an impossible combination.
Plain question and plain answer make the shortest road out of most perplexities.
Plain question and plain answer make the shortest road out of most perplexities..
I can speak French but I cannot understand it.
God created war so that Americans would learn geography.
A powerful agent is the right word: it lights the reader's way and makes it plain.
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.
I am pushing sixty. That is enough exercise for me.
Always acknowledge a fault. This will throw those in authority off their guard and give you an opportunity to commit more.
An uneasy conscience is a hair in the mouth.
The best way to cheer yourself is to try to cheer someone else up.
The universal brotherhood of man is our most precious possession.
The universal brotherhood of man is our most precious possession--what there is of it.
Drawing on my fine command of language, I said nothing.
Climate is what we expect, weather is what we get.
I could be an idiot, or I can serve in Congress, but I repeat myself.
I did not attend his funeral, but I sent a nice letter saying I approved of it.
The truth hurts, but silence kills.
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.
A crowded police docket is the surest of all signs that trade is brisk and money plenty.
Children are natural mimics who act like their parents despite every effort to teach them good manners.
A man will do many things to get himself loved. He will do all things to get himself envied.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Good citizenship would teach accuracy of thinking and accuracy of statement.
Conservatism is the blind and fear-filled worship of dead radicals.
A woman springs a sudden reproach upon you which provokes a hot retort, and then she will presently ask you to apologize.
A clean desk is a sign of a cluttered desk drawer.
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.
Do not complain about growing old. It is a privilege denied to many.
Every one is a moon, and has a dark side which he never shows to anybody.
Every inventor is a crackpot until his idea succeeds.
I can live for two months on a good compliment.
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.
Continuous improvement is better than delayed perfection.
I have been on the verge of being an angel all my life, but it's never happened yet.
A man is accepted into a church for what he believes and he is turned out for what he knows.
You should never trust a man who has only one way to spell a word.
As to the adjective: when in doubt, strike it out.
Don't use a five-dollar word when a fifty-cent word will do.
The fear of death follows from the fear of life. A man who lives fully is prepared to die at any time.
A cat is more intelligent than people believe, and can be taught any crime.
An inglorious peace is better than a dishonorable war.
A man with a hump backed uncle mustn't make fun of another man's cross eyed aunt.
Everybody's private motto: It's better to be popular than right.
A clear conscience is the sure sign of a bad memory.
A circle is a round straight line with a hole in the middle.
I can always tell which is the front end of a horse, but beyond that, my art is not above the ordinary.
I have been complimented many times and they always embarrass me; I always feel that they have not said enough.
Nature knows no indecencies; man invents them.
Cauliflower is nothing but cabbage with a college education.
Consider the average intelligence of the common man, then realize 50% are even stupider.
Fleas can be taught nearly anything a congressman can.
′Classic′ -- a book which people praise and don't read.
In the spring, I have counted 136 different kinds of weather inside of 24 hours.
I am only human, although I regret it.
A thing long expected takes the form of the unexpected when at last it comes.
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.
A full belly is of little worth where the mind is starved, and the heart.
I can last two months on a good compliment.
A good memory and a tongue tied in the middle is a combination which gives immortality to conversation.
The report of my death was an exaggeration.
The report of my illness grew out of his (James Clemens) illness. The report of my death was an exaggeration.
Few of us can stand prosperity. Another man's, I mean.
An open mind leaves a chance for someone to drop a worthwhile thought in it.
And what is a man without energy? Nothing -- nothing at all.
Don't let schooling interfere with your education.
A successful book is not made of what is in it, but what is left out of it.
Adam was the luckiest man in the world. He had no mother-in-law.
Apparently there is nothing that cannot happen today.
Few things are more irritating than when someone who is wrong is also very effective in making his point.
Good friends, good books and a sleepy conscience: this is the ideal life.
In writing, I shall always confine myself strictly to the truth, except when it is attended with inconvenience.
A newspaper is not just for reporting the news as it is, but to make people mad enough to do something about it.
The true pioneer of civilization is not the newspaper, not religion, not the railroad -- but whiskey!
Adam did not want the apple for the apple's sake; he wanted it because it was forbidden.
Architects cannot teach nature anything.
Data is like garbage. You'd better know what you are going to do with it before you collect it.
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.
When we remember we are all mad, the mysteries disappear and life stands explained.
All good things arrive unto them that wait -- and don't die in the meantime.
I do not allow my schooling to interfere with my education.
Every time I reform in one direction I go overboard in another.
Drag your thoughts away from your troubles... by the ears, by the heels, or any other way you can manage it.
He was sunshine most always-I mean he made it seem like good weather.
A country without a patent office and good patent laws is just a crab, and can't travel any way but sideways and backways.
Go to Heaven for the climate, Hell for the company.
Never regret anything that made you smile.
Against the assault of laughter, nothing can stand.
A person who has a cat by the tail knows a whole lot more about cats than someone who has just read about them.
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.
Everything has its limit -- iron ore cannot be educated into gold.
Censorship is telling a man he can't have a steak just because a baby can't chew it.
An author values a compliment even when it comes from a source of doubtful competency.
Experience, the only logic sure to convince a diseased imagination and restore it to rugged health.
I cannot keep from talking, even at the risk of being instructive.
Analyzing humor is like dissecting a frog: nobody really enjoys it, and the frog generally dies as a result.
Better a broken promise than none at all.
The unspoken word is capital. We can invest it or we can squander it.
Heaven goes by favor. If it went by merit, you would stay out and your dog would go in.
Congressman is the trivialist distinction for a full grown man.
A sense of humor is the one thing no one will admit to not having.
Buy land, they're not making it anymore.
A round man cannot be expected to fit in a square hole right away. He must have time to modify his shape.
Do not tell fish stories where the people know you; but particularly, don't tell them where they know the fish.
Half of the results of a good intentions are evil; half the results of an evil intention are good.
The right word may be effective, but no word was ever as effective as a rightly timed pause.
Children and fools always speak the truth.
A group of men in evening clothes looks like a flock of crows, and is just about as inspiring.
A lie can make it half way around the world before the truth has time to put its boots on.
I am not one of those who in expressing opinions confine themselves to facts.
All human rules are more or less idiotic.
December is the toughest month of the year. Others are July, January, September, April, November, May, March, June, October, August, and February.
Are you so unobservant as not to have found out that sanity and happiness are an impossible combination?
An honest man in politics shines more there than he would elsewhere.
A man is never more truthful than when he acknowledges himself a liar.
A man cannot be comfortable without his own approval.
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.
A kindly courtesy does at least save one's feelings, even if it is not professing to stand for a welcome.
A gifted person ought to learn English (barring spelling and pronouncing) in thirty hours, French in thirty days, and German in thirty years.
Forgiveness is the fragrance that the violet sheds on the heel that has crushed it.
Better to keep your mouth closed and be thought a fool than to open it and remove all doubt.
I don't want my girl to be so skinny she can knife me with her knee.
All you need in this life is ignorance and confidence; then success is sure.
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.
I am an old man and have known a great many troubles, but most of them have never happened.
He gossips habitually; he lacks the common wisdom to keep still that deadly enemy of man, his own tongue.
I didn't have time to write a short letter, so I wrote a long one instead.
Be careless in your dress if you must, but keep a tidy soul.
A man who keeps company with glaciers comes to feel tolerably insignificant by and by.
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.
A railroad is like a lie you have to keep building it to make it stand.
If you tell the truth, you don't have to remember anything.
Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to reform (or pause and reflect).
Never put off till tomorrow what may be done day after tomorrow just as well.
I have never let my schooling interfere with my education.
A lie can travel half way around the world while the truth is putting on its shoes.
Never tell the truth to people who are not worthy of it.
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.
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.
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.
Don’t go around saying the world owes you a living. The world owes you nothing. It was here first.
I was gratified to be able to answer promptly, and I did. I said I didn’t know.
Never allow someone to be your priority while allowing yourself to be their option.
But who prays for Satan? Who, in eighteen centuries, has had the common humanity to pray for the one sinner that needed it most?
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.
Loyalty to country always. Loyalty to government, when it deserves it.
Truth is stranger than fiction, but it is because Fiction is obliged to stick to possibilities; Truth isn't.
Wrinkles should merely indicate where the smiles have been.
Books are for people who wish they were somewhere else.
What would men be without women? Scarce, sir...mighty scarce.
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.
Don't part with your illusions. When they are gone you may still exist, but you have ceased to live.
You can't depend on your eyes when your imagination is out of focus.
Everyone is a moon, and has a dark side which he never shows to anybody.
If you don't read the newspaper, you're uninformed. If you read the newspaper, you're mis-informed.
Always do what is right. It will gratify half of mankind and astound the other.
Courage is resistance to fear, mastery of fear - not absence of fear.
The trouble is not in dying for a friend, but in finding a friend worth dying for.
Kindness is a language which the deaf can hear and the blind can see.
It's not the size of the dog in the fight, it's the size of the fight in the dog.
I've lived through some terrible things in my life, some of which actually happened.
Education: the path from cocky ignorance to miserable uncertainty.
Name the greatest of all inventors. Accident.
The easy confidence with which I know another man's religion is folly teaches me to suspect that my own is also.
The worst loneliness is to not be comfortable with yourself.
The secret to getting ahead is getting started.
History doesn't repeat itself, but it does rhyme.
Get your facts first, and then you can distort them as much as you please.
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.
The two most important days in your life are the day you are born and the day you find out why.
Out of all the things I have lost, I miss my mind the most.
April 1. This is the day upon which we are reminded of what we are on the other three hundred and sixty-four.
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.
To get the full value of joy you must have someone to divide it with.
When angry, count four. When very angry, swear.
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.
Any emotion, if it is sincere, is involuntary.
I must have a prodigious amount of mind; it takes me as much as a week, sometimes, to make it up!
It is curious that physical courage should be so common in the world and moral courage so rare.
The most interesting information come from children, for they tell all they know and then stop.
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.
The human race has only one really effective weapon and that is laughter.
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.
The Bible has noble poetry in it... and some good morals and a wealth of obscenity, and upwards of a thousand lies.
The dog is a gentleman; I hope to go to his heaven not man's.
Giving up smoking is the easiest thing in the world. I know because I've done it thousands of times.
If voting made any difference they wouldn't let us do it.
There is a charm about the forbidden that makes it unspeakably desirable.
I've had a lot of worries in my life, most of which never happened.
Eat a live frog first thing in the morning and nothing worse will happen to you the rest of the day.
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.
Reality can be beaten with enough imagination.
There are many humorous things in the world; among them, the white man's notion that he is less savage than the other savages.
Education consists mainly of what we have unlearned.
All right, then, I'll go to hell.
Part of the secret of success in life is to eat what you like and let the food fight it out inside.
It is better to deserve honors and not have them than to have them and not deserve them.
My books are water; those of the great geniuses is wine. Everybody drinks water.
It's better to keep your mouth shut and appear stupid than open it and remove all doubt
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.
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.
It's easier to fool people than to convince them that they have been fooled.
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.
If Christ were here there is one thing he would not be—a Christian.
Man is the only animal that blushes. Or needs to.
The more I learn about people, the more I like my dog.
Obscurity and a competence—that is the life that is best worth living.
Thunder is good, thunder is impressive; but it is lightning that does the work.
Worrying is like paying a debt you don't owe.
A half-truth is the most cowardly of lies.
There's one way to find out if a man is honest: ask him; if he says yes, you know he's crooked.
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.
In the first place God made idiots. This was for practice. Then he made school boards.
Why do you sit there looking like an envelope without any address on it?
Be good and you will be lonesome.
Never argue with a fool, onlookers may not be able to tell the difference.
When you fish for love, bait with your heart, not your brain.
Let us live so that when we come to die even the undertaker will be sorry.
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.
What is Man? Man is a noisome bacillus whom Our Heavenly Father created because he was disappointed in the monkey.
Now and then we had a hope that if we lived and were good, God would permit us to be pirates.
Patriotism is supporting your country all the time and your government when it deserves it.
Let us be thankful for the fools. But for them the rest of us could not succeed.
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.
Under certain circumstances, profanity provides a relief denied even to prayer.
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.
The reports of my death are greatly exaggerated.
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.
Writing is easy. All you have to do is cross out the wrong words.
Training is everything. The peach was once a bitter almond; cauliflower is nothing but cabbage with a college education.
Comparison is the death of joy.
Never argue with an idiot. They will drag you down to their level and beat you with experience.
That is just the way with some people. They get down on a thing when they don’t know nothing about it.
Often it does seem such a pity that Noah and his party did not miss the boat.
Too much of anything is bad, but too much good whiskey is barely enough.
Religion was invented when the first con man met the first fool.
He who asks is a fool for five minutes, but he who does not ask remains a fool forever.
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.
Write without pay until somebody offers to pay.
The man who is a pessimist before 48 knows too much; if he is an optimist after it he knows too little.
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.
When red-headed people are above a certain social grade their hair is auburn.
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.
Noise proves nothing. Often a hen who has laid an egg cackles as if she had laid an asteroid.
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.
Don't wake up a woman in love. Let her dream, so that she does not weep when she returns to her bitter reality
Good judgement is the result of experience and experience the result of bad judgement.
Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness.
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.
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!
Write what you know.
Humor is mankind's greatest blessing.
When a man loves cats, I am his friend and comrade, without further introduction.
We may not pay Satan reverence, for that would be indiscreet, but we can at least respect his talents.
The lack of money is the root of all evil.
The less there is to justify a traditional custom, the harder it is to get rid of it
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.
Facts are stubborn things, but statistics are pliable.
The older I get, the more clearly I remember things that never happened.
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.
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.
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.
A gentleman is someone who knows how to play the banjo and doesn't.
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.
Politicians and diapers must be changed often, and for the same reason.
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.
Few things are harder to put up with than the annoyance of a good example.
Age is an issue of mind over matter. If you don't mind, it doesn't matter.
Sacred cows make the best hamburger.