photo of Mark TwainPhoto Credit: WikiMedia Commons

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.

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.

photo of author Mark Twain with quote

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
photo of author Mark Twain with quote

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

--Mark Twain
photo of author Mark Twain with quote

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
photo of author Mark Twain with quote

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
photo of author Mark Twain with quote

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
photo of author Mark Twain with quote

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

--Mark Twain

photo of author Mark Twain with quote

Facts are stubborn things, but statistics are pliable.

--Mark Twain
photo of author Mark Twain with quote

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
photo of author Mark Twain with quote

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

--Mark Twain
photo of author Mark Twain with quote

The lack of money is the root of all evil.

--Mark Twain
photo of author Mark Twain with quote

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

--Mark Twain
photo of author Mark Twain with quote

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

--Mark Twain
photo of author Mark Twain with quote

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.

--Mark Twain
photo of author Mark Twain with quote

Humor is mankind's greatest blessing.

--Mark Twain
photo of author Mark Twain with quote

Write what you know.

--Mark Twain
photo of author Mark Twain with quote

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

photo of author Mark Twain with quote

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.


photo of author Mark Twain with quote

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

--Mark Twain
photo of author Mark Twain with quote

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
photo of author Mark Twain with quote

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
photo of author Mark Twain with quote

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

--Mark Twain
photo of author Mark Twain with quote

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
photo of author Mark Twain with quote

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

--Mark Twain
photo of author Mark Twain with quote

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
photo of author Mark Twain with quote

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

--Mark Twain
photo of author Mark Twain with quote

Write without pay until somebody offers to pay.

--Mark Twain
photo of author Mark Twain with quote

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
photo of author Mark Twain with quote

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

--Mark Twain
photo of author Mark Twain with quote

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.

--Mark Twain
photo of author Mark Twain with quote

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

--Mark Twain
photo of author Mark Twain with quote

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

--Mark Twain
photo of author Mark Twain with quote

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

--Mark Twain
photo of author Mark Twain with quote

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

--Mark Twain
photo of author Mark Twain with quote

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

--Mark Twain
photo of author Mark Twain with quote

Comparison is the death of joy.

--Mark Twain
photo of author Mark Twain with quote

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

--Mark Twain
photo of author Mark Twain with quote

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

--Mark Twain
photo of author Mark Twain with quote

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
photo of author Mark Twain with quote

The reports of my death are greatly exaggerated.

--Mark Twain
photo of author Mark Twain with quote

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.

--Mark Twain
photo of author Mark Twain with quote

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
photo of author Mark Twain with quote

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

--Mark Twain
photo of author Mark Twain with quote

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
photo of author Mark Twain with quote

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

--Mark Twain
photo of author Mark Twain with quote

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

--Mark Twain
photo of author Mark Twain with quote

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

--Mark Twain
photo of author Mark Twain with quote

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

--Mark Twain
photo of author Mark Twain with quote

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
photo of author Mark Twain with quote

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

--Mark Twain
photo of author Mark Twain with quote

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

--Mark Twain
photo of author Mark Twain with quote

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

--Mark Twain
photo of author Mark Twain with quote

Be good and you will be lonesome.

--Mark Twain
photo of author Mark Twain with quote

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

--Mark Twain
photo of author Mark Twain with quote

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

--Mark Twain
photo of author Mark Twain with quote

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
photo of author Mark Twain with quote

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

--Mark Twain
photo of author Mark Twain with quote

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
photo of author Mark Twain with quote

A half-truth is the most cowardly of lies.

--Mark Twain
photo of author Mark Twain with quote

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

--Mark Twain
photo of author Mark Twain with quote

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

--Mark Twain
photo of author Mark Twain with quote

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

--Mark Twain
photo of author Mark Twain with quote

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

--Mark Twain
photo of author Mark Twain with quote

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

--Mark Twain
photo of author Mark Twain with quote

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

--Mark Twain
photo of author Mark Twain with quote

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
photo of author Mark Twain with quote

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

--Mark Twain
photo of author Mark Twain with quote

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
photo of author Mark Twain with quote

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
photo of author Mark Twain with quote

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

--Mark Twain
photo of author Mark Twain with quote

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

--Mark Twain
photo of author Mark Twain with quote

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

--Mark Twain
photo of author Mark Twain with quote

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

--Mark Twain
photo of author Mark Twain with quote

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

--Mark Twain

photo of author Mark Twain with quote

Education consists mainly of what we have unlearned.

--Mark Twain
photo of author Mark Twain with quote

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
photo of author Mark Twain with quote

Reality can be beaten with enough imagination.

--Mark Twain
photo of author Mark Twain with quote

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
photo of author Mark Twain with quote

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

--Mark Twain
photo of author Mark Twain with quote

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

--Mark Twain
photo of author Mark Twain with quote

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

--Mark Twain
photo of author Mark Twain with quote

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

--Mark Twain
photo of author Mark Twain with quote

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

--Mark Twain
photo of author Mark Twain with quote

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

--Mark Twain
photo of author Mark Twain with quote

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

--Mark Twain
photo of author Mark Twain with quote

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
photo of author Mark Twain with quote

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

--Mark Twain
photo of author Mark Twain with quote

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
photo of author Mark Twain with quote

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

--Mark Twain
photo of author Mark Twain with quote

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

--Mark Twain
photo of author Mark Twain with quote

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

--Mark Twain
photo of author Mark Twain with quote

Any emotion, if it is sincere, is involuntary.

--Mark Twain
photo of author Mark Twain with quote

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
photo of author Mark Twain with quote

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

--Mark Twain
photo of author Mark Twain with quote

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

--Mark Twain
photo of author Mark Twain with quote

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
photo of author Mark Twain with quote

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
photo of author Mark Twain with quote

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

--Mark Twain

We wish you a perfect day!