Welcome to our collection of quotes (with shareable picture quotes) by Mark Twain. We hope you enjoy pondering them and that you will share them widely.
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.
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.
A gentleman is someone who knows how to play the banjo and doesn't.
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.
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.
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.
The older I get, the more clearly I remember things that never happened.
Facts are stubborn things, but statistics are pliable.
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.
The less there is to justify a traditional custom, the harder it is to get rid of it
The lack of money is the root of all evil.
We may not pay Satan reverence, for that would be indiscreet, but we can at least respect his talents.
When a man loves cats, I am his friend and comrade, without further introduction.
Let us consider that we are all partially insane. It will explain us to each other; it will unriddle many riddles; it will make clear and simple many things which are involved in haunting and harassing difficulties and obscurities now.
Humor is mankind's greatest blessing.
Write what you know.
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!
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.
Good judgement is the result of experience and experience the result of bad judgement.
Don't wake up a woman in love. Let her dream, so that she does not weep when she returns to her bitter reality
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.
Noise proves nothing. Often a hen who has laid an egg cackles as if she had laid an asteroid.
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.
When red-headed people are above a certain social grade their hair is auburn.
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.
The man who is a pessimist before 48 knows too much; if he is an optimist after it he knows too little.
Write without pay until somebody offers to pay.
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.
He who asks is a fool for five minutes, but he who does not ask remains a fool forever.
The government is merely a servant―merely a temporary servant; it cannot be its prerogative to determine what is right and what is wrong, and decide who is a patriot and who isn't. Its function is to obey orders, not originate them.
Religion was invented when the first con man met the first fool.
Too much of anything is bad, but too much good whiskey is barely enough.
Often it does seem such a pity that Noah and his party did not miss the boat.
That is just the way with some people. They get down on a thing when they don’t know nothing about it.
Never argue with an idiot. They will drag you down to their level and beat you with experience.
Comparison is the death of joy.
Training is everything. The peach was once a bitter almond; cauliflower is nothing but cabbage with a college education.
Writing is easy. All you have to do is cross out the wrong words.
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.
The reports of my death are greatly exaggerated.
When I was younger, I could remember anything, whether it had happened or not; but my faculties are decaying now and soon I shall be so I cannot remember any but the things that never happened. It is sad to go to pieces like this but we all have to do it.
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.
Under certain circumstances, profanity provides a relief denied even to prayer.
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.
Let us be thankful for the fools. But for them the rest of us could not succeed.
Patriotism is supporting your country all the time and your government when it deserves it.
Now and then we had a hope that if we lived and were good, God would permit us to be pirates.
What is Man? Man is a noisome bacillus whom Our Heavenly Father created because he was disappointed in the monkey.
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.
Let us live so that when we come to die even the undertaker will be sorry.
When you fish for love, bait with your heart, not your brain.
Never argue with a fool, onlookers may not be able to tell the difference.
Be good and you will be lonesome.
Why do you sit there looking like an envelope without any address on it?
In the first place God made idiots. This was for practice. Then he made school boards.
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.
Politicians and diapers must be changed often, and for the same reason.
There's one way to find out if a man is honest: ask him; if he says yes, you know he's crooked.
A half-truth is the most cowardly of lies.
Worrying is like paying a debt you don't owe.
Thunder is good, thunder is impressive; but it is lightning that does the work.
Obscurity and a competence—that is the life that is best worth living.
The more I learn about people, the more I like my dog.
Man is the only animal that blushes. Or needs to.
If Christ were here there is one thing he would not be—a Christian.
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.
It's easier to fool people than to convince them that they have been fooled.
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 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.
It's better to keep your mouth shut and appear stupid than open it and remove all doubt
My books are water; those of the great geniuses is wine. Everybody drinks water.
It is better to deserve honors and not have them than to have them and not deserve them.
Part of the secret of success in life is to eat what you like and let the food fight it out inside.
All right, then, I'll go to hell.
Education consists mainly of what we have unlearned.
There are many humorous things in the world; among them, the white man's notion that he is less savage than the other savages.
Reality can be beaten with enough imagination.
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.
Eat a live frog first thing in the morning and nothing worse will happen to you the rest of the day.
I've had a lot of worries in my life, most of which never happened.
There is a charm about the forbidden that makes it unspeakably desirable.
If voting made any difference they wouldn't let us do it.
Giving up smoking is the easiest thing in the world. I know because I've done it thousands of times.
The dog is a gentleman; I hope to go to his heaven not man's.
The Bible has noble poetry in it... and some good morals and a wealth of obscenity, and upwards of a thousand lies.
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 human race has only one really effective weapon and that is laughter.
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 most interesting information come from children, for they tell all they know and then stop.
It is curious that physical courage should be so common in the world and moral courage so rare.
I must have a prodigious amount of mind; it takes me as much as a week, sometimes, to make it up!
Any emotion, if it is sincere, is involuntary.
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.
When angry, count four. When very angry, swear.
To get the full value of joy you must have someone to divide it with.
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.
April 1. This is the day upon which we are reminded of what we are on the other three hundred and sixty-four.
Out of all the things I have lost, I miss my mind the most.
Quotes by Mark Twain are featured in:
Words Of Wisdom Quotes