Quotes and One-Liners 
 
"Classic." A book which people praise and don't read. Mark Twain

A dozen direct censures are easier to bear than one morganatic compliment. Mark Twain

A man may have no bad habits and have worse. Mark Twain

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

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

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

All say, "How hard it is that we have to die"--a strange complaint to come from the mouths of people who have had to live. Mark Twain

All schools, all colleges, have two great functions; to confer, and to conceal, valuable knowledge. The theological knowledge which they conceal cannot justly be regarded as less valuable than that which they reveal. That is, when a man is buying a basket of strawberries it can profit him to know that the bottom half of it is rotten. Mark Twain

All the talk used to be about doing people good, now it is about doing people. Mark Twain

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

An occultation of Venus is not half so difficult as an eclipse of the Sun, but because it comes seldom the world thinks it's a grand thing. Mark Twain

An uneasy conscience is a hair in the mouth. Mark Twain

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

As to the Adjective: when in doubt, strike it out. Mark Twain

At 50 a man can be an ass without being an optimist but not an optimist without being as ass. Mark Twain

Balloon: Thing to take meteroric observations and commit suicide with. Mark Twain

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

Behold, the fool saith, "Put not all thine eggs in the one basket"--which is but a manner of saying, "Scatter your money and your attention"; but the wise man saith, "Put all your eggs in the one basket and--watch that basket!" Mark Twain

Benefit of clergy: Half-rate on the railroad. Mark Twain

Better a broken promise than none at all. Mark Twain

By and by when each nation has 20,000 battleships and 5,000,000 soldiers we shall all be safe and the wisdom of statesmanship will stand confirmed. Mark Twain

By trying we can easily learn to endure adversity. Another man's, I mean. Mark Twain

Circumstances make man, not man circumstances. Mark Twain

Civilization is a limitless multiplication of unnecessary necessaries. Mark Twain

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

Consider well the proportions of things. It is better to be a young June bug than an old bird of paradise. Mark Twain

Courage is resistance to fear, mastery of fear--not absence of fear. Except a creature be part coward, it is not a compliment to say it is brave; it is merely a loose misapplication of the word. Consider the flea!--incomparably the bravest of all the creatures of God, if ignorance of fear were courage. Whether you are asleep or awake he will attack you, caring nothing for the fact that in bulk and strength you are to him as are the massed armies of the earth to a sucking child; he lives both day and night and all days and nights in the very lap of peril and the immediate presence of death, and yet is no more afraid than is the man who walks the streets of a city that was threatened by an earthquake ten centuries before. When we speak of Clive, Nelson, and Putnam as men who "didn't know what fear was," we ought always to add the flea--and put him at the head of the procession. Mark Twain

Difference between savage and civilized man: one is painted, the other gilded. Mark Twain

Do good when you can, and charge when you think they will stand it. Mark Twain

Do not put off till tomorrow what can be put off till day-after-tomorrow just as well. Mark Twain

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

Do not undervalue the headache. While it is at its sharpest it seems a bad investment; but when relief begins, the unexpired remainder is worth $4 a minute. Mark Twain

Do your duty today and repent tomorrow. Mark Twain

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

Each person is born to one possession which outvalues all his others -- his last breath. Mark Twain

Etiquette requires us to admire the human race. Mark Twain

Even popularity can be overdone. In Rome, along at first, you are full of regrets that Michelangelo died; but by and by, you only regret that you didn't see him do it. Mark Twain

Even the clearest and most perfect circumstantial evidence is likely to be at fault, after all, and therefore ought to be received with great caution. Take the case of any pencil, sharpened by any woman; if you have witnesses, you will find she did it with a knife; but if you take simply the aspect of the pencil, you will say she did it with her teeth. Mark Twain

Every man is wholly honest to himself and to God, but not to any one else. Mark Twain

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

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

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

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

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

First catch your Boer, then kick him. Mark Twain

Forget and forgive. This is not difficult, when properly understood. It means that you are to forget inconvenient duties, and forgive yourself for forgetting. In time, by rigid practice and stern determination, it comes easy. Mark Twain

Geological time is not money. Mark Twain

God's noblest work? Man. Who found it out? Man. Mark Twain

Golden rule: Made of hard metal so it could stand severe wear, it not being known at that time that butter would answer. Mark Twain

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

Good wine needs no bush; a jug is the thing. Mark Twain

Gratitude and treachery are merely the two extremities of the same procession. You have seen all of it that is worth staying for when the band and the gaudy officials have gone by. Mark Twain

Grief can take care of itself; but to get the full value of a joy you must have somebody to divide it with. Mark Twain

Habit is habit, and not to be flung out of the window by any man, but coaxed downstairs a step at a time. Mark Twain

Have a place for everything and keep the thing somewhere else. This is not advice, it is custom. Mark Twain

He had had much experience of physicians, and said "the only way to keep your health is to eat what you don't want, drink what you don't like, and do what you'd druther not." Mark Twain

He is useless on top of the ground; he ought to be under it, inspiring the cabbages. Mark Twain

He was as shy as a newspaper is when referring to its own merits. Mark Twain

Heroine: Girl in a book who is saved from drowning by a hero and marries him next week, but if it was to be over again ten years later it is likely she would rather have a life-belt and he would rather have her have it. Hero: Person in a book who does things which he can't and girl marries him for it. Mark Twain

Heroine: Girl who is perfectly charming to live with, in a book. Mark Twain

History is better than prophecy. In fact history is prophecy. And history says that wherever a weak and ignorant people possess a thing which a strong and enlightened people want, it must be yielded up peaceably. Mark Twain

Honesty is often the best policy, but sometimes the appearance of it is worth six of it. Mark Twain

Honesty was the best policy. Mark Twain

Honesty: The best of all the lost arts. Mark Twain

Hunger is the handmaid of genius. Mark Twain

I have traveled more than any one else, and I have noticed that even the angels speak English with an accent. Mark Twain

If the desire to kill and the opportunity to kill came always together, who would escape hanging? Mark Twain

If we had less statesmanship we could get along with fewer battleships. Mark Twain

If you pick up a starving dog and make him prosperous, he will not bite you. This is the principal difference between a dog and a man. Mark Twain

In literature imitations do not imitate. Mark Twain

In statesmanship get the formalities right, never mind about the moralities. Mark Twain

In the first place God made idiots. This was for practice. Then He made School Boards. Mark Twain

Is a person's public and private opinion the same? It is thought there have been instances. Mark Twain

It could probably be shown by facts and figures that there is no distinctly native American criminal class except Congress. Mark Twain

It is a solemn thought: Dead, the noblest man's meat is inferior to pork. Mark Twain

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

It is best to read the weather forecast before we pray for rain. Mark Twain

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

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

It is easier to stay out than get out. Mark Twain

It is easy to find fault, if one has that disposition. There was once a man who, not being able to find any other fault with his coal, complained that there were too many prehistoric toads in it. Mark Twain

It is hard enough luck being a monarch, without being a target also. Mark Twain

It is more trouble to make a maxim than it is to do right. Mark Twain

It is not best to use our morals weekdays, it gets them out of repair for Sunday. Mark Twain

It is not likely that any complete life has ever been lived which was not a failure in the secret judgment of the person that lived it. Mark Twain

It is often the case that the man who can't tell a lie thinks he is the best judge of one. Mark Twain

It is sound statesmanship to add two battleships every time our neighbor adds one and two stories to our skyscrapers every time he piles a new one on top of hisn to threaten our light. There is no limit to this soundness but the sky. Mark Twain

It is the difference of opinion that makes horse races. Mark Twain

It is the foreign element that commits our crimes. There is no native criminal class except Congress. Mark Twain

It is wiser to find out than to suppose. Mark Twain

It is your human environment that makes climate. Mark Twain

It takes a thousand men to invent a telegraph, or a steam engine, or a phonograph, or a photograph, or a telephone, or any other Important thing--and the last man gets the credit and we forget the others. He added his little mite--that is all he did. Mark Twain

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

It were not best that we should all think alike; it is difference of opinion that makes horse races. Mark Twain

JULY 4. Statistics show that we lose more fools on this day than in all the other days of the year put together. This proves, by the number left in stock, that one Fourth of July per year is now inadequate, the country has grown so. Mark Twain

Let me make the superstitions of a nation and I care not who makes its laws or its songs either. Mark Twain

Let us be grateful to Adam our benefactor. He cut us out of the "blessing" of idleness and won for us the "curse" of labor. Mark Twain

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

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

Let us not be too particular. It is better to have old second-hand diamonds than none at all. Mark Twain

Let us save the to-morrows for work. Mark Twain

Make it a point to do something every day that you don't want to do. This is the golden rule for acquiring the habit of doing your duty without pain. Mark Twain

Man is the Only Animal that Blushes. Or needs to. Mark Twain

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

Morals consist of political morals, commercial morals, ecclesiastical morals, and morals. Mark Twain

Names are not always what they seem. The common Welsh name Bzjxxllwcp is pronounced Jackson. Mark Twain

Nature makes the locust with an appetite for crops; man would have made him with an appetite for sand. Mark Twain

Necessity is the mother of "taking chances". Mark Twain

Nelson would have been afraid of ten thousand fleas, but a flea wouldn't be afraid of ten thousand Nelsons. Mark Twain

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

No man is straitly honest to any but himself and God. Mark Twain

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

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

None of us can have as many virtues as the fountain-pen, or half its cussedness; but we can try. Mark Twain

Nothing incites to money-crimes like great poverty or great wealth. Mark Twain

Nothing is made in vain, but the fly came near it. Mark Twain

Nothing is so ignorant as a man's left hand, except a lady's watch. Mark Twain

Nothing so needs reforming as other people's habits. Mark Twain

Obscurity and a competence. That is the life that is best worth living. Mark Twain

OCTOBER 12, THE DISCOVERY. It was wonderful to find America, but it would have been more wonderful to miss it. Mark Twain

October. This is one of the peculiarly dangerous months to speculate in stocks in. The others are July, January, September, April, November, May, March, June, December, August, and February. Mark Twain

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

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

Optimist: Day-dreamer in his small clothes. Mark Twain

Optimist: Day-dreamer more elegantly spelled. Mark Twain

Optimist: Person who travels on nothing from nowhere to happiness. Mark Twain

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

Pessimist: The optimist who didn't arrive. Mark Twain

Pity is for the living, envy is for the dead. Mark Twain

Prophecy: Two bull's eyes out of a possible million. Mark Twain

Prosperity is the best protector of principle. Mark Twain

Prosperity is the best protector of principle. Mark Twain

Public servant: Persons chosen by the people to distribute the graft. Mark Twain

Punjabi proverb. The altar-cloth of one eon is the doormat of the next. Mark Twain

Remark of Dr. Baldwin's, concerning upstarts: We don't care to eat toadstools that think they are truffles. Mark Twain

Sacred cows make the best hamburger. Mark Twain

Satan (impatiently) to New Comer. The trouble with you Chicago people is, that you think you are the best people down here; whereas you are merely the most numerous. Mark Twain

Senator: Person who makes laws in Washington when not doing time. Mark Twain

She was not quite what you would call refined. She was not quite what you would call unrefined. She was the kind of person that keeps a parrot. Mark Twain

Simple rules for saving money: To save half, when you are fired by an eager impulse to contribute to a charity, wait, and count forty. To save three-quarters, count sixty. To save it all, count sixty-five. Mark Twain

Slang in a woman's mouth is not obscene, it only sounds so. Mark Twain

Some of us cannot be optimists, but all of us can be bigamists. Mark Twain

Suppose you were an idiot. And suppose you were a member of Congress. But I repeat myself. Mark Twain

Taking the pledge will not make bad liquor good, but it will improve it. Mark Twain

Tell the truth or trump--but get the trick. Mark Twain

THANKSGIVING DAY. Let us all give humble, hearty, and sincere thanks now, but the turkeys. In the island of Fiji they do not use turkeys; they use plumbers. It does not become you and me to sneer at Fiji. Mark Twain

That George could refrain from telling the lie is not the remarkable feature, but that he could do it off-hand, that way. Mark Twain

The Autocrat of Russia possesses more power than any other man in the earth; but he cannot stop a sneeze. Mark Twain

The burnt child shuns the fire. Until next day. Mark Twain

The English are mentioned in the Bible: Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth. Mark Twain

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

The lack of money is the root of all evil. Mark Twain

The low level which commercial morality has reached in America is deplorable. We have humble God fearing Christian men among us who will stoop to do things for a million dollars that they ought not to be willing to do for less than 2 millions. Mark Twain

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

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

The new political gospel: Public office is private graft. Mark Twain

The old saw says, "Let a sleeping dog lie." Right. Still, when there is much at stake it is better to get a newspaper to do it. Mark Twain

The ordinary chestnut can beget a sickly and reluctant laugh, but it takes a horse chestnut to fetch the gorgeous big horse-laugh. Mark Twain

The principal difference between a cat and a lie is that the cat has only nine lives. Mark Twain

The real yellow peril: Gold. Mark Twain

The spirit of wrath -- not the words -- is the sin; and the spirit of wrath is cursing. We begin to swear before we can talk. Mark Twain

The time to begin writing an article is when you have finished it to your satisfaction. Mark Twain

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

The trouble ain't that there is too many fools, but that the lightning ain't distributed right. Mark Twain

The true Southern watermelon is a boon apart, and not to be mentioned with commoner things. It is chief of this world's luxuries, king by the grace of God over all the fruits of the earth. When one has tasted it, he knows what the angels eat. It was not a Southern watermelon that Eve took: we know it because she repented. Mark Twain

The universal brotherhood of man is our most precious possession, what there is of it. Mark Twain

The very ink with which all history is written is merely fluid prejudice. Mark Twain

There are 869 different forms of lying, but only one of them has been squarely forbidden. Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor. Mark Twain

There are many scapegoats for our sins, but the most popular one is Providence. Mark Twain

There are no people who are quite so vulgar as the over-refined ones. Mark Twain

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

There are several good protections against temptations, but the surest is cowardice. Mark Twain

There are those who scoff at the schoolboy, calling him frivolous and shallow. Yet it was the schoolboy who said "Faith is believing what you know ain't so." Mark Twain

There are three infallible ways of pleasing an author, and the three form a rising scale of compliment: 1--to tell him you have read one of his books; 2--to tell him you have read all of his books; 3--to ask him to let you read the manuscript of his forthcoming book. No. 1 admits you to his respect; No. 2 admits you to his admiration; No. 3 carries you clear into his heart. Mark Twain

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

There is a Moral Sense, and there is an Immoral Sense. History shows us that the Moral Sense enables us to perceive morality and how to avoid it, and that the Immoral Sense enables us to perceive immorality and how to enjoy it. Mark Twain

There is an old time toast which is golden for its beauty. "When you ascend the hill of prosperity may you not meet a friend." Mark Twain

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

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

There is no such thing as "the Queen's English." The property has gone into the hands of a joint stock company and we own the bulk of the shares! Mark Twain

There is this trouble about special providences--namely, there is so often a doubt as to which party was intended to be the beneficiary. In the case of the children, the bears, and the prophet, the bears got more real satisfaction out of the episode than the prophet did, because they got the children. Mark Twain

There isn't a Parallel of Latitude but thinks it would have been the Equator if it had its rights. Mark Twain

These wisdoms are for the luring of youth toward high moral altitudes. The author did not gather them from practice, but from observation. To be good is noble; but to show others how to be good is nobler and no trouble. Mark Twain

Time and tide wait for no man. A pompous and self-satisfied proverb, and was true for a billion years; but in our day of electric wires and water-ballast we turn it around: Man waits not for time nor tide. Mark Twain

To be good is noble, but to show others how to be good is nobler, and no trouble. Mark Twain

To create man was a quaint and original idea, but to add the sheep was tautology. Mark Twain

To succeed in the other trades, capacity must be shown; in the law, concealment of it will do. Mark Twain

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

True irreverence is disrespect for another man's god. Mark Twain

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

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

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

Vote: The only commodity that is peddleable without a license. Mark Twain

We all know about the habits of the ant, we know all about the habits of the bee, but we know nothing at all about the habits of the oyster. It seems almost certain that we have been choosing the wrong time for studying the oyster. Mark Twain

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

We are always more anxious to be distinguished for a talent which we do not possess, than to be praised for the fifteen which we do possess. Mark Twain

We can secure other people's approval, if we do right and try hard; but our own is worth a hundred of it, and no way has been found out of securing that. Mark Twain

We can't reach old age by another man's road. My habits protect my life but they would assassinate you. Mark Twain

We have a criminal jury system which is superior to any in the world; and its efficiency is only marred by the difficulty of finding twelve men every day who don't know anything and can't read. Mark Twain

We often feel sad in the presence of music without words; and often more than that in the presence of music without music. Mark Twain

We should be careful to get out of an experience only the wisdom that is in it -- and stop there; lest we be like the cat that sits down on a hot stove-lid. She will never sit down on a hot stove-lid again -- and that is well; but also she will never sit down on a cold one any more. Mark Twain

What are the proper proportions of a maxim? A minimum of sound to a maximum of sense. Mark Twain

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

What is the difference between a taxidermist and a tax collector? The taxidermist takes only your skin. Mark Twain

When a man arrives at great prosperity God did it: when he falls into disaster he did it himself. Mark Twain

When angry, count four; when very angry, swear. Mark Twain

When I reflect upon the number of disagreeable people who I know have gone to a better world, I am moved to lead a different life. Mark Twain

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

When in doubt, tell the truth. Mark Twain

When people do not respect us we are sharply offended; yet deep down in his private heart no man much respects himself. Mark Twain

When your watch gets out of order you have choice of two things to do: throw it in the fire or take it to the watch-tinker. The former is the quickest. Mark Twain

Wherefore being all of one mind, we do highly resolve that government of the grafted by the grafter for the grafter shall not perish from the earth. Mark Twain

Whoever has lived long enough to find out what life is, knows how deep a debt of gratitude we owe to Adam, the first great benefactor of our race. He brought death into the world. Mark Twain

Why is it that we rejoice at a birth and grieve at a funeral? It is because we are not the person involved. Mark Twain

Work and play are words used to describe the same thing under differing conditions. Mark Twain

Wrinkles should merely indicate where smiles have been. Mark Twain

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


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