Quotes by Mark Twain

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The Church has opposed every innovation and discovery from the day of Galileo down to our own time, when the use of anesthetics in childbirth was regarded as a sin because it avoided the biblical curse pronounced against Eve. more...

[The Bible is] a mass of fables and traditions, mere mythology. more...

Sacred cows make the best hamburger. more...

We consider that any man who can fiddle all through one of those Virginia Reels without losing his grip may be depended upon in any kind of musical emergency. more...

The coldest winter I ever spent was a summer in San Francisco. more...

There is nothing so annoying as a good example!! more...

We should be careful to get out of an experience only the wisdom that is in it - and stop there. more...

There will never be a "perfect" time to quit smoking. A time when you don't have any distractions or stress... If you had started today one year ago, this would not even be an issue for you today! Don't waste another year! more...

I have been an author for 20 years and an ass for 55. more...

Nothing spoils a good story like the arrival of an eyewitness. more...

Men write many fine and plausible arguments in support of monarchy, but the fact remains that where every man has a voice, brutal laws are impossible more...

We could use up two Eternities in learning all that is to be learned about our own world and the thousands of nations that have arisen and flourished and vanished from it. Mathematics alone would occupy me eight million years. more...

It is a dear and lovely disposition, and a most valuable one, that can brush away indignities and discourtesies and seek and find the pleasanter features of an experience. more...

That optimist of yours is always ready to turn hell's backyard into a play-ground. more...

...fry me an optimist for breakfast. more...

The pulpit and the optimist are always talking about the human race's steady march toward ultimate perfection. As usual, they leave out the statistics. It is the pulpit's way - the optimist's way. more...

Optimist: day-dreamer in his small clothes. more...

The trouble with most of us is that we know too much that ain't so. more...

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

The ignorant are afraid to betray surprise or admiration...they think it ill manners. more...

...ignorant as the unborne babe! ignorant as unborn twins! more...

We never knew an ignorant person yet but was prejudiced. more...

...one should be gentle with the ignorant, for they are the chosen of God. more...

Therein lies the defect of revenge: it's all in the anticipation; the thing itself is a pain, not a pleasure; at least the pain is the biggest end of it. more...

It may be called the Master Passion, the hunger for self-approval. more...

A marriage. . .will give a new gladness to the sunshine, a new fragrance to the flowers, a new beauty to the earth, and a new mystery to life. more...

Why was the human race created? Or at least why wasn't something creditable created in place of it? God had His opportunity. He could have made a reputation. But no, He must commit this grotesque folly - a lark which must have cost Him a regret or two when He came to think it over and observe effects. more...

One mustn't criticize other people on grounds where he can't stand perpendicular himself more...

Out of the depths of my happy heart wells a great tide of love and prayer for this priceless treasure that is confided to my lifelong keeping. You cannot see its waves as they flow toward you, darling, but in these lines you will hear...the distant beating of its surf. more...

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

If I were required to guess off-hand, and without collusion with higher minds, what is the bottom cause of the amazing material and intellectual advancement of the last fifty years, I should guess that it was the modern-born and previously non-existent disposition on the part of men to believe that a new idea can have value. more...

If the metrics you are looking at aren't useful in optimizing your strategy - stop looking at them. more...

All you drunkards: Put down the intoxicating Vanity Metrics. more...

If you need help identifying actionable analytics check out this post. more...

On with the dance, let the joy be unconfined. more...

Don't live in the past, don't ponder about the future, stay at the PRESENT moment NOW...always. more...

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

The solution to our water problems is more rain. more...

Be virtuous and you will be eccentric. more...

Virtue has never been as respectable as money. more...

As one boy said, 'I was thinking all these horrible thoughts about my parents when suddenly it hit me-if they're all that bad, how come I'm so wonderful' more...

People are much more willing to lend you books than bookcases. more...

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. more...

What a lumbering poor vehicle prose is for the conveying of a great thought! ... Prose wanders around with a lantern & laboriously schedules & verifies the details & particulars of a valley & its frame of crags & peaks, then Poetry comes, & lays bare the whole landscape with a single splendid flash. more...

I have thought many times since that if poets when they get discouraged would blow their brains out, they could write very much better when they got well. more...

You need not expect to get your book right the first time. Go to work and revamp or rewrite it. God only exhibits his thunder and lightning at intervals, and so they always command attention. These are God's adjectives. You thunder and lightning too much; the reader ceases to get under the bed, by and by. more...

No man has an appreciation so various that his judgment is good upon all varieties of literary work. more...

The critic's symbol should be the tumble-bug: he deposits his egg in somebody else's dung, otherwise he could not hatch it. more...

It makes one hope and believe that a day will come when, in the eye of the law, literary property will be as sacred as whiskey, or any other of the necessaries of life. It grieves me to think how far more profound and reverent a respect the law would have for literature if a body could only get drunk on it. more...

I don't believe any of you have ever read Paradise Lost, and you don't want to. That's something that you just want to take on trust. It's a classic ... something that everybody wants to have read and nobody wants to read. more...

There is only one expert who is qualified to examine the souls and the life of a people and make a valuable report - the native novelist. ... And when a thousand able novels have been written, there you have the soul of the people; and not anywhere else can these be had. more...

I have no liking for novels or stories - none in the world; and so, whenever I read one - which is not oftener than once in two years, and even in these same cases I seldom read beyond the middle of the book - my distaste for the vehicle always taints my judgment of the literature itself, as a matter of course; and also of course makes my verdict valuless. Are you saying "You have written stories yourself." Quite true: but the fact that an Indian likes to scalp people is no evidence that he likes to be scalped. more...

I will now claim - until dispossesed - that I was the first person in the world to apply the typewriter to literature. ... The early machine was full of caprices, full of defects- devilish ones. It had as many immoralities as the machine of today has virtues. After a year or two I found that it was degrading my character, so I thought I would give it to Howells. ... He took it home to Boston, and my morals began to improve, but his have never recovered. more...

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

The weakest of all weak things is a virtue that has not been tested in the fire. more...

If the bubble reputation can be obtained only at the cannon's mouth, I am willing to go there for it, provided the cannon is empty. If it is loaded my immortal and inflexible purpose is to get over the fence and go home. My invariable practice in war has been to bring out of every fight two-thirds more men than when I went in. This seems to me Napoleonic in its grandeur. more...

All war must be just the killing of strangers against whom you feel no personal animosity; strangers whom, in other circumstances, you would help if you found them in trouble, and who would help you if you needed it. more...

A wanton waste of projectiles. more...

An inglorious peace is better than a dishonorable war. more...

Citizenship is what makes a republic - monarchies can get along without it. more...

The test of any good fiction is that you should care something for the characters; the good to succeed, the bad to fail. The trouble with most fiction is that you want them all to land in hell, together, as quickly as possible. more...

I conceive that the right way to write a story for boys is to write so that it will not only interest boys but strongly interest any man who has ever been a boy. That immensely enlarges the audience. more...

It is no use to keep private information which you can't show off. more...

Experience of life (not of books) is the only capital usable in such a book as you have attempted; one can make no judicious use of this capital while it is new. more...

Well, my book is written-let it go. But if it were only to write over again there wouldn't be so many things left out. They burn in me; and they keep multiplying; but now they can't ever be said. And besides, they would require a library-and a pen warmed up in hell. more...

Let us guess that whenever we read a sentence & like it, we unconsciously store it away in our model-chamber; & it goes, with the myriad of its fellows, to the building, brick by brick, of the eventual edifice which we call our style. more...

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. more...

I never write "metropolis" for seven cents when I can write "city" and get paid the same. more...

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

I played Chess with him and would have beaten him sometimes only he always took back his last move, and ran the game out differently more...

Man is the only slave. And he is the only animal who enslaves. He has always been a slave in one form or another, and has always held other slaves in bondage under him in one way or another. In our day, he is always some man's slave for wages, and does that man's work; and this slave has other slaves under him for minor wages, and they do his work. The higher animals are the only ones who exclusively do their own work and provide their own living. more...

He could charm an audience an hour on a stretch without ever getting rid of an idea. more...

It is noble to teach oneself; it is still nobler to teach others. more...

The Germans are exceedingly fond of Rhine wines; they are put up in tall, slender bottles, and are considered a pleasant beverage. One tells them from vinegar by the label. more...

Indecency, vulgarity, obscenity - these are strictly confined to man; he invented them. Among the higher animals there is no trace of them. They hide nothing. They are not ashamed. more...

Adam and Eve entered the world naked and unashamed - naked and pure-minded. And no descendant of theirs has ever entered it otherwise. All have entered it naked, unashamed, and clean in mind. They entered it modest. They had to acquire immodesty in the soiled mind, there was no other way to get it. ... The convention mis-called "modesty" has no standard, and cannot have one, because it is opposed to nature and reason and is therefore an artificiality and subject to anyone's whim - anyone's diseased caprice. more...

The waves most washed me off the raft sometimes, but I hadn't any clothes on, and didn't mind. more...

The convention missionaries call "modesty" has no standard, and cannot have one, because it is opposed to nature and reason and is therefore an artificiality and subject to anybody's whim - anybody's diseased caprice. more...

There's nobody for me to attack in this matter even with soft and gentle ridicule-and I shouldn't ever think of using a grown up weapon in this kind of a nursery. Above all, I couldn't venture to attack the clergymen whom you mention, for I have their habits and live in the same glass house which they are occupying. I am always reading immoral books on the sly, and then selfishly trying to prevent other people from having the same wicked good time. more...

Diligence is a good thing, but taking things easy is much more restful. more...

I have been born more times than anybody except Krishna. more...

If the statistics are right, the Jews constitute but one percent of the human race. It suggests a nebulous dim puff of star dust lost in the blaze of the Milky Way. Properly the Jew ought hardly to be heard of, but he is heard of, has always been heard of. He is as prominent on the planet as any other people, and his commercial importance is extravagantly out of proportion to the smallness of his bulk. His contributions to the world's list of great names in literature, science, art, music, finance, medicine, and abstruse learning are also away out of proportion to the weakness of his numbers. more...

Creed and opinion change with time, and their symbols perish; but Literature and its temples are sacred to all creeds and inviolate. more...

Delicacy - a sad, sad false delicacy - robs literature of the two best things among its belongings: Family-circle narratives & obscene stories. more...

Comedy keeps the heart sweet; but we all know that there is wholesome refreshment for both mind and heart in an occasional climb among the pomps of the intellectual snow-summits built by Shakespeare and those others. more...

I told that girl, in the kindest, gentlest way, that I could not consent to deliver judgment upon any one's manuscript, because an individual's verdict was worthless. It might underrate a work of high merit and lose it to the world, or it might overrate a trashy production and so open the way for its infliction upon the world. I said that the great public was the only tribunal competent to sit in judgment upon a literary effort, and therefore it must be best to lay it before that tribunal in the outset, since in the end it must stand or fall by that mighty court's decision any way. more...

In literature imitations do not imitate. more...

Literature is well enough, as a time-passer, and for the improvement and general elevation and purification of mankind, but it has no practical value. more...

But in this country we have one great privilege which they don't have in other countries. When a thing gets to be absolutely unbearable the people can rise up and throw it off. That's the finest asset we've got - the ballot box. more...

A man can be a Christian or a patriot, but he can't legally be a Christian and a patriot - except in the usual way: one of the two with the mouth, the other with the heart. more...

The spirit of Christianity proclaims the brotherhood of the race and the meaning of that strong word has not been left to guesswork, but made tremendously definite - the Christian must forgive his brother man all crimes he can imagine and commit, and all insults he can conceive and utter - forgive these injuries how many times? - seventy times seven - another way of saying there shall be no limit to this forgiveness. That is the spirit and the law of Christianity. more...

Well - Patriotism has its laws. And it also is a perfectly definite one, there are not vaguenesses about it. It commands that the brother over the border shall be sharply watched and brought to book every time he does us a hurt or offends us with an insult. more...

Word it as softly as you please, the spirit of patriotism is the spirit of the dog and wolf. The moment there is a misunderstanding about a boundary line or a hamper of fish or some other squalid matter, see patriotism rise, and hear him split the universe with is war-whoop. The spirit of patriotism being in its nature jealous and selfish, is just in man's line, it comes natural to him - he can live up to all its requirements to the letter; but the spirit of Christianity is not in its entirety possible to him. more...

If you're looking for friends when you need them...it's too late. more...

A habit cannot be tossed out the window; it must be coaxed down the stairs a step at a time. more...

I respect a man who knows how to spell a word more than one way. more...

As I have said before, I never had any large respect for good spelling. That is my feeling yet. Before the spelling-book came with its arbitrary forms, men unconsciously revealed shades of their characters, and also added enlightening shades of expression to what they wrote by their spelling, and so it is possible that the spelling-book has been a doubtful benevolence to us. more...

I have carried a revolver; lots of us do, but they are the most innocent things in the world. more...

It is hopeless for the occasional visitor to try to keep up with Chicago-she outgrows his prophecies faster than he can make them. She is always a novelty; for she is never the Chicago you saw when you passed through the last time. more...

Satan (impatiently) to Newcomer: The trouble with you Chicago people is, that you think you are the best people down here; whereas you are merely the most numerous. more...

It is the Creator's Grand Army, and he is the Commander-in-Chief... With these facts before you, now try to guess man's chiefest pet name for this ferocious Commander-in-Chief? I will save you the trouble but you must not laugh. It is Our Father in Heaven. more...

...heaven for climate, and hell for society. more...

We may not doubt that society in heaven consists mainly of undesirable persons. more...

India is, the cradle of the human race, the birthplace of human speech, the mother of history, the grandmother of legend, and the great grand mother of tradition. our most valuable and most instructive materials in the history of man are treasured up in India only. more...

So far as I am able to judge, nothing has been left undone, either by man or nature, to make India the most extraordinary country that the sun visits on his rounds. Nothing seems to have been forgotten, nothing overlooked. more...

India has two million gods, and worships them all. In religion all other countries are paupers; India is the only millionaire. more...

It is a good and gentle religion, but inconvenient. more...

The editor of a newspaper cannot be independent, but must work with one hand tied behind him by party and patrons, and be content to utter only half or two-thirds of his mind . writers of all kinds are manacled servants of the public. We write frankly and fearlessly, but then we "modify" before we print. more...

I should have been glad to acquire some sort of idea of Hindu theology, ... but the difficulties were too great. more...

Our most valuable and most instructive materials in the history of man are treasured up in India. more...

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

There are laws to protect the freedom of the press's speech, but none that are worth anything to protect the people from the press more...

Do not fear the enemy, for your enemy can only take your life. It is far better that you fear the media, for they will steal your HONOR. That awful power, the public opinion of a nation, is created in America by a horde of ignorant, self-complacent simpletons who failed at ditching and shoemaking and fetched up in journalism on their way to the poorhouse. more...

The true charm of pedestrianism does not lie in the walking, or in the scenery, but in the talking. The walking is good to time the movement of the tongue by, and to keep the blood and the brain stirred up and active; the scenery and the woodsy smells are good to bear in upon a man an unconscious and unobtrusive charm and solace to eye and soul and sense; but the supreme pleasure comes from the talk. more...

Laughter is the greatest weapon we have and we, as humans, use it the least. more...

All Congresses and Parliaments have a kindly feeling for idiots, and a compassion for them, on account of personal experience and heredity. more...

It's my opinion that every one I know has morals, though I wouldn't like to ask. I know I have. But I'd rather teach them than practice them any day. "Give them to others"-that's my motto. more...

Morals consist of political morals, commercial morals, ecclesiastical morals, and morals. more...

We get our morals from books. I didn't get mine from books, but I know that morals do come from books- theoretically at least. more...

As by the fires of experience, so by commission of crime you learn real morals. Commit all crimes, familiarize yourself with all sins, take them in rotation (there are only two or three thousand of them), stick to it, commit two or three every day, and by and by you will be proof against them. When you are through you will be proof against all sins and morally perfect. You will be vaccinated against every possible commission of them. This is the only way. more...

It has always been a peculiarity of the human race that it keeps two sets of morals in stock-the private and the real, and the public and the artificial. more...

You can't keep a juvenile moral institution alive on two displays of its sash per year. more...

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

The most permanent lessons in morals are those which come, not of book teaching, but of experience. more...

Morals are not the important thing-nor enlightenment-nor civilization. A man can do absolutely well without them, but he can't do without something to eat. The supremest thing is the need of the body, not of the mind and spirit. more...

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

The Church worked hard at it night and day during nine centuries and imprisoned, tortured, hanged, and burned whole hordes and armies of witches, and washed the Christian world clean with their foul blood. Then it was discovered that there was no such thing as witches, and never had been. One doesn't know whether to laugh or to cry. Who discovered that there was no such thing as a witch - the priest, the parson? No, these never discover anything. more...

Rise early. It is the early bird that catches the worm. Don't be fooled by this absurd law; I once knew a man who tried it. He got up at sunrise and a horse bit him. more...

Wisdom teaches us that none but birds should go out early, and that not even birds should do it unless they are out of worms. more...

My philological studies have satisfied me that a gifted person ought to learn English (barring spelling and pronouncing) in thirty hours, French in thirty days, and German in thirty years. It seems manifest, then, that the latter tongue ought to be trimmed down and repaired. If it is to remain as it is, it ought to be gently and reverently set aside among the dead languages, for only the dead have time to learn it. more...

...mastery of the art and spirit of the Germanic language enables a man to travel all day in one sentence without changing cars. more...

It is easier for a cannibal to enter the Kingdom of Heaven through the eye of a rich man's needle that it is for any other foreigner to read the terrible German script. more...

A dream...I was trying to explain to St. Peter, and was doing it in the German tongue, because I didn't want to be too explicit. more...

In early times some sufferer had to sit up with a toothache, and he put in the time inventing the German language. more...

Never knew before what eternity was made for. It is to give some of us a chance to learn German. more...

I don't believe there is anything in the whole earth that you can't learn in Berlin except the German language. more...

...the circumstances and the atmosphere always have so much to do in directing a conversation, especially a German conversation, which is only a kind of an insurrection, anyway. more...

It's awful undermining to the intellect, German is; you want to take it in small doses, or first you know your brains all run together, and you feel them flapping around in your head same as so much drawn butter. more...

I would not rob you of your food or your clothes or your umbrella, but if I caught your German out I would take it. But I don't study any more,- I have given it up. more...

By reading keep in a state of excited igorance, like a blind man in a house afire; flounder around, immensely but unintelligently interested; don't know how I got in and can't find the way out, but I'm having a booming time all to myself.Don't know what a Schelgesetzentwurf is, but I keep as excited over it and as worried about it as if it were my own child. I simply live on the Sch.; it is my daily bread. I wouldn't have the question settled for anything in the world. more...

I can understand German as well as the maniac that invented it, but I talk it best through an interpreter. more...

It is not like studying German, where you mull along, in a groping, uncertain way, for thirty years; and at last, just as you think you've got it, they spring the subjunctive on you, and there you are. No- and I see now plainly enough, that the great pity about the German language is, that you can't fall off it and hurt yourself. There is nothing like that feature to make you attend strictly to business. more...

I don't speak German well but several experts have assured me that I write it like an angel. Maybe so, maybe so- I don't know. I've not yet made any acquaintances among the angels. That comes later, whenever it please the Deity. I'm not in any hurry. more...

[On Dutch flat poetry]: It is too smooth and blubbery; it reads like butter-milk gurgling from a jug. more...

How charmed I am when I overhear a German word which I understand! more...

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! more...

Monarchies, aristocracies, and religions are all based upon that large defect in your race - the individual's distrust of his neighbor, and his desire, for safety's or comfort's sake, to stand well in his neighbor's eye. These institutions will always remain, and always flourish, and always oppress you, affront you, and degrade you, because you will always be and remain slaves of minorities. There was never a country where the majority of the people were in their secret hearts loyal to any of these institutions. more...

What do we call love, hate, charity, revenge, humanity, forgiveness? Different results of the master impulse, the necessity of securing one's self-approval. more...

A man's house burns down. The smoking wreckage represents only a ruined home that was dear through years of use and pleasant associations. By and by, as the days and weeks go on, first he misses this, then that, then the other thing. And when he casts about for it he finds that it was in that house. Always it is an essential - here was but one of its kind. It cannot be replaced. It was in that house. It is irrevocably lost...It will be years before the tale of lost essentials is complete, and not till then can he truly know the magnitude of his disaster. more...

A joke, even if it be a lame one, is nowhere so keenly relished or quickly applauded as in a murder trial. more...

A wise man does not waste so good a commodity as lying for naught. more...

A monarch, when good, is entitled to the consideration which we accord to a pirate who keeps Sunday School between crimes; when bad, he is entitled to none at all. more...

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

Next to possessing genius one's self is the power of appreciating it in others. more...

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. more...

Next you'd see a raft sliding by, away off yonder, and maybe a galoot on it chopping. . . you'd see the ax flash and come down-you don't hear nothing; you see the ax go up again, and by the time it's above the man's head then you hear the k'chunk!-it had took all that time to come over the water. more...

Humor is man's greatest blessing. more...

Happiness ain't a thing in itself -it's only a contrast with something that ain't pleasant. And so, as soon as the novelty is over and the force of the contrast dulled, it ain't happiness any longer, and you have to get something fresh. more...

I am trying to get the hang of this new fangled writing machine, but I am not making a shining success of it. However, this is the first attempt I have ever made & yet I perceive I shall soon & easily acquire a fine facility in its use. ... The machine has several virtues. I believe it will print faster than I can write. One may lean back in his chair & work it. It piles an awful stack of words on one page. It don't muss things or scatter ink blots around. Of course it saves paper. more...

The master minds of all nations, in all ages, have sprung in affluent multitude from the mass of the nations, and from the mass of the nation only-not from its privileged classes. more...

By "trampling upon the helpless abroad" with unchecked surveillance, Americans have learned, "by a natural process, to endure with apathy the like at home." more...

You can't break a bad habit by throwing it out the window. You've got to walk it slowly down the stairs. more...

I have learned that there lies dormant in the souls of all men a penchant for some particular musical instrument an an unsuspected yearning to play on it, which are bound to wake up an demand attention someday. Therefore you who rail at such that disturb your slumbers with unsuccessful and demoralizing attempts to subjugate a guitar, beware! For sooner or later your own time will come. more...

....try the mustard, - a man can't know what turnips are in perfection without mustard. more...

I don't know anything about this man. Anyhow, I only know two things about him. One is, he has never been in jail, and the other is, I don't know why. more...

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. more...

Sagebrush is a very fair fuel, but as a vegetable it is a distinguished failure. Nothing can abide the taste of it but the jackass and his illegitimate child the mule. more...

Pity is for the living, envy is for the dead. more...

A soiled baby with a neglected nose cannot be conscientiously regarded as a thing of beauty. more...

I have achieved my seventy years in the usual way, by sticking strictly to a scheme of life which would kill anybody else....I will offer here, as a sound maxim, this: That we can't reach old age by another man's road. more...

Continuous improvement is better than delayed perfection. more...

We Americans are the most lavish and showiest and most luxury loving people on the earth; and at our masthead we fly one true and honest symbol, the gaudiest flag the world has ever seen. more...

A marriage...makes of two fractional lives a whole; it gives to two purposeless lives a work, and doubles the strength of each to perform it; it gives to two questioning natures a reason for living, and something to live for; it will give a new gladness to the sunshine, a new fragrance to the flowers, a new beauty to the earth, and a new mystery to life. more...

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 more...

War talk by men who have been in a war is always interesting; whereas moon talk by a poet who has not been in the moon is likely to be dull. more...

Remember this, take this to heart, live by it, die for it if necessary: that our patriotism is medieval, outworn, obsolete; that the modern patriotism, the true patriotism, the only rational patriotism, is loyalty to the Nation ALL the time, loyalty to the Government when it deserves it. more...

A sin takes on a new and real terror when there seems a chance that it is going to be found out. more...

Carlyle said 'a lie cannot live.' It shows that he did not know how to tell them. more...

Geniuses are people who dash off weird, wild, incomprehensible poems with astonishing facility, & then go & get booming drunk & sleep in the gutter. Genius elevates a man to ineffable speres [sic] far above the vulgar world, & fills his soul with a regal contempt for the gross & sordid things of earth. It is probably on account of this that people who have genius do not pay their board, as a general thing. more...

I am always on the side of the revolutionists, because there never was a revolution unless there were some oppressive and intolerable conditions against which to revolute. more...

The moral of it is this: If you are of any account, stay at home and make your way by faithful diligence; but if you are 'no account,' go away from home, and then you will have to work, whether you want to or not. Thus you become a blessing to your friends by ceasing to be a nuisance to them-if the people you go among suffer by the operation. more...

The silent colossal National Lie that is the support and confederate of all the tyrannies and shams and inequalities and unfairnesses that afflict the peoples - that is the one to throw bricks and sermons at. more...

Only laughter can blow [a colossal humbug] to rags and atoms at a blast. Against the assault of laughter nothing can stand. more...

I am not an American. I am the American. more...

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

True irreverence is disrespect for another man's god. more...

History has tried hard to teach us that we can't have good government under politicians. Now, to go and stick one at the very head of the government couldn't be wise. more...

Love your enemy, it will scare the hell out of them. more...

If God had meant for us to be naked, we'd have been born that way. more...

The gentle reader will never, never know what a consummate ass he can become until he goes abroad. more...

Priapism is what happens when someone gets strangulated to the point of hypoxia. more...

Going to law is losing a cow for the sake of a cat. more...

Not until you become a stranger to yourself will you be able to make acquaintance with the Friend. more...

The way it is now, the asylums can hold the sane people, but if we tried to shut up the insane we should run out of building materials. more...

The English are mentioned in the Bible; Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth. more...

I am the entire human race compacted together. I have found that there is no ingredient of the race which I do not possess in either a small way or a large way. more...

It is agreed, in this country, that if a man can arrange his religion so that it perfectly satisfies his conscience, it is not incumbent on him to care whether the arrangement is satisfactory to anyone else or not. more...

We all do no end of feeling, and we mistake it for thinking. more...

I think a compliment ought always to precede a complaint, where one is possible, because it softens resentment and insures for the complaint a courteous and gentle reception. more...

It is not worth while to try to keep history from repeating itself, for man's character will always make the preventing of the repetitions impossible. more...

The New York papers have long known that no large question is ever really settled until I have been consulted. more...

Let your secret sympathies and your compassion be always with the under dog in the fight - this is magnanimity; but bet on the other one - this is business. more...

Where prejudice exists it always discolors our thoughts. more...

If you invent two or three people and turn them loose in your manuscript, something is bound to happen to them - you can't help it; and then it will take you the rest of the book to get them out of the natural consequences of that occurrence, and so first thing you know, there's your book all finished up and never cost you an idea. more...

Whatever you have lived, you can write & by hard work & a genuine apprenticeship, you can learn to write well; but what you have not lived you cannot write, you can only pretend to write it... more...

Annihilation has no terrors for me, because I have already tried it before I was born -a hundred million years -and I have suffered more in an hour, in this life, than I remember to have suffered in the whole hundred million years put together. There was a peace, a serenity, an absence of all sense of responsibility, an absence of worry, an absence of care, grief, perplexity; and the presence of a deep content and unbroken satisfaction in that hundred million years of holiday which I look back upon with a tender longing and with a grateful desire to resume, when the opportunity comes. more...

That reminds me to remark, in passing, that the very first official thing I did, in my administration-and it was on the first day of it, too-was to start a patent office; for I knew that a country without a patent office and good patent laws was just a crab, and couldn't travel any way but sideways or backways. more...

She is not refined. She is not unrefined. She keeps a parrot more...

Only a government that is rich and safe can afford to be a democracy, for democracy is the most expensive and nefarious kind of government ever heard of on earth more...

If to be interesting is to be uncommonplace, it is becoming a question, with me, if there are any commonplace people more...

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

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

Italy is the home of art and swindling; home of religion and moral rottenness more...

We do not get ice-cream every where, and so, when we do, we are apt to dissipate to excess. more...

A baby is an angel whose wings decrease as his legs increase. more...

When whole races and peoples conspire to propagate gigantic mute lies in the interest of tyrannies and shams, why should we care anything about the trifling lies told by individuals? more...

Last week, I stated this woman was the ugliest woman I had ever seen. I have since been visited by her sister, and now wish to withdraw that statement. more...

There was a great difference in boats, of course. For a long time I was on a boat that was so slow we used to forget what year it was we left port in. more...

You want to be very careful about lying; otherwise you are nearly sure to get caught. more...

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

I'm merely running some errands. This is now off the record. more...

In the space of one hundred and seventy-six years the Mississippi has shortened itself two hundred and forty-two miles. Therefore, in the Old Silurian Period the Mississippi River was upward of one million three hundred thousand miles long, seven hundred and forty-two years from now the Mississippi will be only a mile and three-quarters long. There is something fascinating about science. One gets such wholesome returns of conjecture out of such a trifling investment of fact. more...

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

To be busy is man's only happiness. more...

The perfection of wisdom, and the end of true philosophy is to proportion our wants to our possessions, our ambitions to our capacities, we will then be a happy and a virtuous people. more...

Happiness ain't a thing in itself - it's only a contrast with something that ain't pleasant. more...

Men are like bank accounts. The more money, the more interest they generate. more...

I said there was but one solitary thing about the past worth remembering, and that was the fact that it is past-can't be restored. more...

The past does not repeat itself, but it rhymes. more...

History never repeats itself; at best it sometimes rhymes. more...

The funniest things are the forbidden. more...

Humorists of the 'mere' sort cannot survive. Humor is only a fragrance, a decoration. more...

The humorous writer professes to awaken and direct your love, your pity, your kindness-your scorn for untruth, pretension, imposture....He takes upon himself to be the week-day preacher. more...

Laughter without a tinge of philosophy is but a sneeze of humor. Genuine humor is replete with wisdom. more...

Humor is the great thing, the saving thing after all. The minute it crops up, all our hardnesses yield, all our irritations, and resentments flit away, and a sunny spirit takes their place. more...

Humor is the good natured side of a truth. more...

Humor must be one of the chief attributes of God. Plants and animals that are distinctly humorous in form and characteristics are God's jokes. more...

So you see, the quality of humor is not a personal or a national monopoly. It's as free as salvation, and, I am afraid, far more widely distributed. But it has its value, I think. The hard and sordid things of life are too hard and too sordid and too cruel for us to know and touch them year after year without some mitigating influence, some kindly veil to draw over them, from time to time, to blur the craggy outlines, and make the thorns less sharp and the cruelties less malignant. more...

I pity the fellow who has to create a dialect or paraphrase the dictionary to get laughs. I can't spell, but I have never stooped to spell cat with a 'k' to get at your funny bone. I love a drink, but I never encouraged drunkenness by harping on its alleged funny side. more...

Probably there is an imperceptible touch of something permanent that one feels instinctively to adhere to true humour, whereas wit may be the mere conversational shooting up of "smartness"-a bright feather, to be blown into space the second after it is launched...Wit seems to be counted a very poor relation to Humour....Humour is never artificial. more...

The true and lasting genius of humour does not drag you thus to boxes labelled 'pathos,' 'humour,' and show you all the mechanism of the inimitable puppets that are going to perform. How I used to laugh at Simon Tapperwit, and the Wellers, and a host more! But I can't do it now somehow; and time, it seems to me, is the true test of humour. It must be antiseptic. more...

What is it that strikes a spark of humor from a man? It is the effort to throw off, to fight back the burden of grief that is laid on each one of us. In youth we don't feel it, but as we grow to manhood we find the burden on our shoulders. Humor? It is nature's effort to harmonize conditions. The further the pendulum swings out over woe the further it is bound to swing back over mirth. more...

Humor, to be comprehensible to anybody, must be built upon a foundation with which he is familiar. If he can't see the foundation the superstructure is to him merely a freak - like the Flatiron building without any visible means of support - something that ought to be arrested. more...

English humor is hard to appreciate, though, unless you are trained to it. The English papers, in reporting my speeches, always put 'laughter' in the wrong place. more...

The inability to forget is far more devastating than the inability to remember. more...

If you can't get a compliment any other way, pay yourself one. more...

Information appears to stew out of me naturally, like the precious otter of roses out of the otter. more...

For all the talk you hear about knowledge being such a wonderful thing, instinct is worth forty of it for real unerringness. more...

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. more...

If we learned to walk and talk the way we learn to read and write, everyone would limp and stutter. more...

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

What a world of trouble those who never marry escape! There are many happy matches, it is true, and sometimes "my dear," and "my love" come from the heart; but what sensible bachelor, rejoicing in his freedom and years of discretion, will run the tremendous risk? more...

Both marriage and death ought to be welcome: the one promises happiness, doubtless the other assures it. more...

Men and women - even man and wife are foreigners. Each has reserves that the other cannot enter into, nor understand. These have the effect of frontiers. more...

Marriage - yes, it is the supreme felicity of life. I concede it. And it is also the supreme tragedy of life. The deeper the love the surer the tragedy. And the more disconsolating when it comes. more...

If husbands could realize what large returns of profit may be gotten out of a wife by a small word of praise paid over the counter when the market is just right, they would bring matters around the way they wish them much oftener than they usually do. Arguments are unsafe with wives, because they examine them; but they do not examine compliments. One can pass upon a wife a compliment that is three-fourths base more...

We are called the nation of inventors. And we are. We could still claim that title and wear its loftiest honors if we had stopped with the first thing we ever invented, which was human liberty. more...

Man is the only Patriot. He sets himself apart in his own country, under his own flag, and sneers at the other nations, and keeps multitudinous uniformed assassins on hand at heavy expense to grab slices of other people's countries, and keep them from grabbing slices of his. And in the intervals between campaigns he washes the blood off his hands and works for the universal brotherhood of man - with his mouth. more...

Each man must for himself alone decide what is right and what is wrong, which course is patriotic and which isn't. You cannot shirk this and be a man. To decide against your conviction is to be an unqualified and excusable traitor, both to yourself and to your country, let men label you as they may. more...

Patriotism is usually the refuge of the scoundrel. He is the man who talks the loudest. more...

...majority Patriotism is the customary Patriotism. more...

We teach them to take their patriotism at second-hand; to shout with the largest crowd without examining into the right or wrong of the matter - exactly as boys under monarchies are taught and have always been taught. We teach them to regard as traitors, and hold in aversion and contempt, such as do not shout with the crowd, and so here in our democracy we are cheering a thing which of all things is most foreign to it and out of place - the delivery of our political conscience into somebody else's keeping. This is patriotism on the Russian plan. more...

The soul and substance of what customarily ranks as patriotism is moral cowardice - and always has been. more...

[Patriotism] ...is a word which always commemorates a robbery. There isn't a foot of land in the world which doesn't represent the ousting and re-ousting of a longline of successive "owners" who each in turn, as "patriots" with proud swelling hearts defended it against the next gang of "robbers" who came to steal it and did - and became swelling-hearted patriots in their turn. more...

The political and commercial morals of the United States are not merely food for laughter, they are an entire banquet. more...

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

The new political gospel: public office is private graft. more...

...one of the first achievements of the legislature was to institute a ten-thousand-dollar agricultural fair to show off forty dollars' worth of pumpkins in - however, the Territorial legislature was usually spoken of as the "asylum". more...

When politics enter into municipal government, nothing resulting therefrom in the way of crimes and infamies is then incredible. It actually enables one to accept and believe the impossible... more...

To lodge all power in one party and keep it there is to insure bad government and the sure and gradual deterioration of the public morals. more...

All large political doctrines are rich in difficult problems - problems that are quite above the average citizen's reach. And that is not strange, since they are also above the reach of the ablest minds in the country; after all the fuss and all the talk, not one of those doctrines has been conclusively proven to be the right one and the best. more...

I was an arden Hayes man, but that was natural, for I was pretty young at the time, I have since convinced myself that the political opinioins of a nation are of next to no value, in any case, but that what little rag of value they posess is to be found among the old, rather than among the young. more...

Where every man in a state has a vote, brutal laws are impossible. more...

We are always too busy for our children; we never give them the time or interest they deserve. We lavish gifts upon them; but the most precious gift, our personal association, which means so much to them, we give grudgingly. more...

Religion consists in a set of things which the average man thinks he believes and wishes he was certain of. more...

In God We Trust. I don't believe it would sound any better if it were true. more...

There was no place in the land where the seeker could not find some small budding sign of pity for the slave. No place in all the land but one - the pulpit. It yielded last; it always does. It fought a strong and stubborn fight, and then did what it always does, joined the procession - at the tail end. Slavery fell. The slavery texts in the Bible remained; the practice changed; that was all. more...

So much blood has been shed by the Church because of an omission from the Gospel: "Ye shall be indifferent as to what your neighbor's religion is." Not merely tolerant of it, but indifferent to it. Divinity is claimed for many religions; but no religion is great enough or divine enough to add that new law to its code. more...

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. more...

Monarchies, aristocracies, and religions....there was never a country where the majority of the people were in their secret hearts loyal to any of these institutions. more...

The easy confidence with which I know another man's religion is folly teaches me to suspect that my own is also. I would not interfere with any one's religion, either to strengthen it or to weaken it. I am not able to believe one's religion can affect his hereafter one way or the other, no matter what that religion may be. But it may easily be a great comfort to him in this life-hence it is a valuable possession to him. more...

My land, the power of training! Of influence! Of education! It can bring a body up to believe anything. more...

We were good boys, good Presbyterian boys, and loyal and all that; anyway, we were good Presbyterian boys when the weather was doubtful; when it was fair, we did wander a little from the fold. more...

I do not know what we should do without the pulpit. We could better spare the sun-the moon, anyway. more...

I am quite sure now that often, very often, in matters concerning religion and politics a man's reasoning powers are not above the monkey's. more...

I was educated, I was trained, I was a Presbyterian and I knew how these things are done. I knew that in Biblical times if a man committed a sin the extermination of the whole surrounding nation-cattle and all-was likely to happen. I knew that Providence was not particular about the rest, so that He got somebody connected with the one He was after. more...

We don't cut up when mad men are bred by the old legitimate regular stock religions, but we can't allow wildcat religions to indulge in such disastrous experiments. more...

A religion that comes of thought, and study, and deliberate conviction, sticks best. The revivalized convert who is scared in the direction of heaven because he sees hell yawn suddenly behind him, not only regains confidence when his scare is over, but is ashamed of himself for being scared, and often becomes more hopelessly and malignantly wicked than he was before. more...

The Koran does not permit Mohammedans to drink. Their natural instincts do not permit them to be moral. They say the Sultan has eight hundred wives. This almost amounts to bigamy. more...

Apparently one of the most uncertain things in the world is the funeral of a religion. more...

I have a religion-but you will call it blasphemy. It is that there is a God for the rich man but none for the poor.....Perhaps your religion will sustain you,will feed you-I place no dependence in mine. Our religions are alike, though, in one respect-neither can make a man happy when he is out of luck. more...

It is a time when one's spirit is subdued and sad, one knows not why; when the past seems a storm-swept desolation, life a vanity and a burden, and the future but a way to death. more...

Now is the accepted time to make your regular annual good resolutions. Next week you can begin paving hell with them as usual. more...

When even the brightest mind in our world has been trained up from childhood in a superstition of any kind, it will never be possible for that mind, in its maturity, to examine sincerely, dispassionately, and conscientiously any evidence or any circumstance which shall seem to cast a doubt upon the validity of that superstition. I doubt if I could do it myself. more...

If the man doesn't believe as we do, we say he is a crank, and that settles it. I mean, it does nowadays, because now we can't burn him. more...

Independence-is loyalty to one's best self and principles, and this is often disloyalty to the general idols and fetishes. more...

The Creator made Italy from designs by Michelangelo. more...

...nothing so liberalizes a man and expands the kindly instincts that nature put in him as travel and contact with many kinds of people. more...

The gentle reader will never, never know what a consummate ass he can become until he goes abroad. I speak now, of course, in the supposition that the gentle reader has not been abroad, and therefore is not already a consummate ass. If the case be otherwise, I beg his pardon and extend to him the cordial hand of fellowship and call him brother. more...

There is no unhappiness like the misery of sighting land (and work) again after a cheerful, careless voyage. more...

It liberates the vandal to travel-you never saw a bigoted, opinionated, stubborn, narrow-minded, self-conceited, almighty mean man in your life but he had stuck in one place since he was born and thought God made the world and dyspepsia and bile for his especial comfort and satisfaction. more...

Travel has no longer any charm for me. I have seen all the foreign countries I want to except heaven & hell & I have only a vague curiosity about one of those. more...

I am technically "boss" of the family which I am carrying along-but I am grateful to know that it is only technically - that the real authority rests on the other side of the house. It is placed there by a beneficent Providence, who foresaw before I was born, or, if he did not, he has found it out since - that I am not in any way qualified to travel alone. more...

Always tell the truth. That way you don't have to remember what you said. more...

The statesmen will invent cheap lies, putting the blame upon the nation that is attacked, and every man will be glad of those conscience-soothing falsities, and will diligently study them, and refuse to examine any refutations of them; and thus he will by and by convince himself that the war is just, and will thank God for the better sleep he enjoys after this process of grotesque self-deception. more...

I have not professionally dealt in truth. Many when they come to die have spent all the truth that was in them, and enter the next world as paupers. I have saved up enough to make an astonishment there. more...

No real gentleman will tell the naked truth in the presence of ladies. more...

Familiarity breeds contempt. How accurate that is. The reason we hold truth in such respect is because we have so little opportunity to get familiar with it. more...

We are always hearing of people who are around seeking after the Truth. I have never seen a (permanent) specimen. I think he has never lived. But I have seen several entirely sincere people who thought they were (permanent) Seekers after the Truth. They sought diligently, persistently, carefully, cautiously, profoundly, with perfect honesty and nicely adjusted judgment- until they believed that without doubt or question they had found the Truth. That was the end of the search. The man spent the rest of his hunting up shingles wherewith to protect his Truth from the weather. more...

I don't mind what the opposition say of me so long as they don't tell the truth about me. But when they descend to telling the truth about me I consider that this is taking an unfair advantage. more...

All of us contain Music & Truth, but most of us can't get it out. more...

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

Truth is more of a stranger than fiction. more...

When in doubt, tell the truth. That maxim I did invent, but never expected it to be applied to me. I did say, "When you are in doubt," but when I am in doubt myself I use more sagacity. more...

My own luck has been curious all my literary life; I never could tell a lie that anyone would doubt, nor a truth that anybody would believe. more...

There have been innumerable Temporary Seekers after the Truth-have you ever heard of a permanent one? more...

It is not worth while to strain one's self to tell the truth to people who habitually discount everything you tell them, whether it is true or isn't. more...

Tell the truth or trump-but get the trick. more...

But it was ever thus, all through my life: whenever I have diverged from custom and principle and uttered a truth, the rule has been that the hearer hadn't strength of mind enough to believe it. more...

An injurious truth has no merit over an injurious lie. Neither should ever be uttered. The man who speaks an injurious truth, lest his soul be not saved if he do otherwise, should reflect that that sort of a soul is not strictly worth saving. more...

Often the surest way to convey misinformation is to tell the strict truth. more...

I like the truth sometimes, but I don't care enough for it to hanker after it. more...

Never learn to do anything: if you don't learn, you'll always find someone else to do it for you. more...

Let us be grateful to Adam: he cut us out of the blessing of idleness and won for us the curse of labor. more...

Two days overdue, THE WORLD'S WORK has not reached me. Pray make a note of this. I would rather not have to resort to violence. more...

The bane of Americans is overwork-and the ruin of any work is a divided interest. Concentrate-concentrate. One thing at a time. more...

In America, we hurry-which is well; but when the day's work is done, we go on thinking of losses and gains, we plan for the morrow, we even carry our business cares to bed with us...we burn up our energies with these excitements, and either die early or drop into a lean and mean old age at a time of life which they call a man's prime in Europe...What a robust people, what a nation of thinkers we might be, if we would only lay ourselves on the shelf occasionally and renew our edges! more...

What ought to be done to the man who invented the celebrating of anniversaries? Mere killing would be too light. more...

The first half of life consists of the capacity to enjoy with the chance; the last half consists of the chance without the capacity. more...

I had longed to be a butterfly, and I was one at last. I attended private parties in sumptuous evening dress, simpered and aired my graces like a born beau, and polkaed and schoisched with a step peculiar to myself - and the kangaroo. more...

On with dance, let joy be unconfined, is my motto; whether there's any dance to dance or any joy to unconfined. more...

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 more...

Eight grown Americans out of ten dread the coming of the Fourth, with its pandemonium and its perils, and they rejoice when it is gone-if still alive. more...

The business aspects of the Fourth of July is not perfect as it stands. See what it costs us every year with loss of life, the crippling of thousands with its fireworks, and the burning down of property. It is not only sacred to patriotism and universal freedom, but to the surgeon, the undertaker, the insurance offices - and they are working it for all it is worth. more...

I've seen many troubles in my time, only half of which ever came true. more...

Prediction is difficult- particularly when it involves the future. more...

Synergy - the bonus that is achieved when things work together harmoniously. more...

When a teacher calls a boy by his entire name, it means trouble. more...

Deep down in me I knowed it was a lie, and He knowed it. You can't pray a lie - I found that out. more...

You can tell German wine from vinegar by the label. more...

I asked Tom if countries always apologized when they had done wrong, and he says - "Yes; the little ones does". more...

I am opposed to millionaires, but it would be dangerous to offer me the position. more...

How stunning are the changes which age makes in a man while he sleeps! more...

It was on the 10th day of May - 1884 - that I confessed to age by mounting spectacles for the first time, and in the same hour I renewed my youth, to outward appearance, by mounting a bicycle for the first time. The spectacles stayed on. more...

I find no change of consequence in grown people, I do not miss the dead. It does not surprise me to hear that this friend or that friend died at such and such a time, because I fully expected that sort of news. But somehow I had made no calculation on the infants. It never occurred to me that infants grow up...These unexpected changes, from infancy to youth, and from youth to maturity, are by far the most startling things I meet with. more...

Whatever a man's age, he can reduce it several years by putting a bright-colored flower in his button-hole. more...

Age enlarges and enriches the powers of some musical instruments - notably those of the violin - but it seems to set a piano's teeth on edge. more...

Life was a fairy-tale, then, it is a tragedy now. When I was 43 and John Hay 41 he said life was a tragedy after 40, and I disputed it. Three years ago he asked me to testify again: I counted my graves, and there was nothing for me to say. I am old; I recognize it but I don't realize it. I wonder if a person ever really ceases to feel young - I mean, for a whole day at a time. more...

I am aware that I am very old now; but I am also aware that I have never been so young as I am now, in spirit, since I was fourteen and entertained Jim Wolf with the wasps. I am only able to perceive that I am old by a mental process; I am altogether unable to feel old in spirit. It is a pity, too, for my lapses from gravity must surely often be a reproach to me. When I am in the company of very young people I always feel that I am one of them, and they probably privately resent it. more...

If I had been helping the Almighty when he created man, I would have had him begin at the other end, and start human beings with old age. How much better to start old and have all the bitterness and blindness of age in the beginning! more...

Seventy is old enough. After that there is too much risk. more...

I was young and foolish then; now I am old and foolisher. more...

I saw men whom thirty years had changed but slightly; but their wives had grown old. These were good women; it is very wearing to be good. more...

When a man stands on the verge of seventy-two you know perfectly well that he never reached that place without knowing what this life is - heartbreaking bereavement. more...

As soon as a man recognizes that he has drifted into age, he gets reminiscent. He wants to talk and talk; and not about the present or the future, but about his old times. For there is where the pathos of his life lies - and the charm of it. The pathos of it is there because it was opulent with treasures that are gone, and the charm of it is in casting them up from the musty ledgers and remembering how rich and gracious they were. more...

Quitting smoking is easy, I've done it hundreds of times. more...

The most difficult We do not deal in facts when we are contemplating ourselves. more...

It shames the average man to be valued below his own estimate of his worth. more...

The old man laughed loud and joyously, shook up the details of his anatomy from head to foot, and ended by saying that such a laugh was money in a man's pocket, because it cut down the doctor's bills like everything. more...

To arrive at a just estimate of a renowned man's character one must judge it by the standards of his time, not ours. more...

It used to take me all vacation to grow a new hide in place of the one they flogged off me during school term. more...

There is no character, howsoever good and fine, but it can be destroyed by ridicule, howsoever poor and witless. more...

We are strange beings, we seem to go free, but we go in chains - chains of training, custom, convention, association, environment - in a word, Circumstance, and against these bonds the strongest of us struggle in vain. more...

Evolution is the law of policies: Darwin said it, Socrates endorsed it, Cuvier proved it and established it for all time in his paper on The Survival of the Fittest. These are illustrious names, this is a mighty doctrine: nothing can ever remove it from its firm base, nothing dissolve it, but evolution. more...

Darwin abolished special creations, contributed the Origin of Species and hitched all life together in one unbroken procession of Siamese Twins, the whole evolved by natural and orderly processes from one microscopic parent germ. more...

Man has been here 32,000 years. That it took a hundred million years to prepare the world for him is proof that that is what it was done for. I suppose it is, I dunno. If The Eiffel Tower were now to represent the world's age, the skin of paint on the pinnacle knob at its summit would represent man's share of that age; and anybody would perceive that the skin was what the tower was built for. I reckon they would, I dunno. more...

God made all the animals in a single day; he could have swept them all away in the flood and re-created them in one day when they were again needed. Therefore it was an odd idea to save specimens of them for eleven months in the ark, whilst aware that eight persons could not feed or water them by any human possibility. If they were to be preserved by miracle, the ark was not necessary - to let them swim would have answered the purpose and been more indubitably miraculous. more...

Baseball is the very symbol, the outward and visible expression of the drive and push and rush and struggle of the raging, tearing, booming nineteenth century. more...

Where are there are two desires in a man's heart he has no choice between the two but must obey the strongest, there being no such thing as free will in the composition of any human being that ever lived. more...

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. more...

You may say organize, organize, organize; but there may be so much organization that it will interfere with the work to be done. more...

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. more...

The institution of royalty in any form is an insult to the human race. more...

If there is a God, he is a malign thug. more...

I cannot help but notice that there is no problem between us that cannot be solved by your departure. more...

Man is a Religious Animal. He is the only Religious Animal. He is the only animal that has the True Religion - several of them. more...

My mother had a slender, small body, but a large heart-a heart so large that everybody's joys found welcome in it, and hospitable accommodation. more...

One may make their house a palace of sham, or they can make it a home, a refuge. more...

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

Don't wrestle with pigs. You both get dirty and the pig likes it. more...

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

One is apt to overestimate beauty when it is rare more...

Our Bible reveals to us the character of our god with minute and remorseless exactness... It is perhaps the most damnatory biography that exists in print anywhere. It makes Nero an angel of light and leading by contrast. more...

We have not all had the good fortune to be ladies. We have not all been generals, or poets, or statesmen; but when the toast works down to the babies, we stand on common ground. more...

Advertisements contain the only truths to be relied on in a newspaper. more...

Most people can't bear to sit in church for an hour on Sundays. How are they supposed to live somewhere very similar to it for eternity? more...

A baby is an inestimable blessing and bother. more...

Prohibition only drives drunkenness behind doors and into dark places, and does not cure it or even diminish it. more...

There is no God, no universe, no human race, no earthly life, no heaven, no hell. It is all a dream, a grotesque and foolish dream. Nothing exists but you. And you are but a thought -a vagrant thought, a useless thought, a homeless thought, wandering forlorn among the empty eternities! more...

Always obey your parents - when they are present. more...

There has been much tragedy in my life; at least half of it actually happened. more...

In religion and politics, people's belief's and convictions are in almost every case gotten at second hand, and without examination more...

It is a worthy thing to fight for one's freedom; it is another sight finer to fight for another man's. more...

After a few months' acquaintance with European 'coffee' one's mind weakens, and his faith with it, and he begins to wonder if the rich beverage of home, with it's clotted layer of yellow cream on top of it, is not a mere dream after all, and a thing which never existed. more...

Of all the unchristian beverages that ever passed my lips, Turkish coffee is the worst. The cup is small, it is smeared with grounds; the coffee is black, thick, unsavory of smell, and execrable in taste. The bottom of the cup has a muddy sediment in it half an inch deep. This goes down your throat, and portions of it lodge by the way, and produce a tickling aggravation that keeps you barking and coughing for an hour. more...

The average American's simplest and commonest form of breakfast consists of coffee and beefsteak. more...

At 50, a man can be an ass without being an optimist but not an optimist without being an ass more...

What a man misses mostly in heaven is company. more...

There are no standards of taste in wine... Each man's own taste is the standard, and a majority vote cannot decide for him or in any slightest degree affect the supremacy of his own standard. more...

The miracle or the power that elevates the few is to be found in their industry, application and perseverance under the promptings of a brave, determined spirit. more...

I try never to let my schooling get in the way of my education. more...

Never let formal education get in the way of your learning. more...

But we are all insane, anyway ... The suicides seem to be the only sane people. more...

I do see that there is an argument against suicide: the grief of the worshipers left behind, the awful famine in their hearts, these are too costly terms for the release. more...

If we were meant to talk more than listen, we would have two mouths and one ear. more...

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

Keep away from people who try to belittle your ambition. more...

The self taught man seldom knows anything accurately, and he does not know a tenth as much as he could have known if he had worked under teachers, and besides, he brags, and is the means of fooling other thoughtless people into going and doing as he himself has done. more...

There is no security in life, only opportunity. more...

When I was fourteen years old, I was amazed at how unintelligent my father was. By the time I turned twenty-one, I was astounded how much he had learned in the last seven years. more...

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

I am an anti-imperialist. I am opposed to having the eagle put its talons on any other land. more...

Man is the only animal that is cruel. It kills just for the sake of it. more...

Look at you in war...There has never been a just one, never an honorable one, on the part of the instigator of the war. more...

The statesmen will invent cheap lies, putting the blame upon the nation that is being attacked, and every man will be glad of these conscience-soothing falsities more...

I would rather have my ignorance than another man's knowledge, because I have so much of it. more...

We had a sunset of a very fine sort. The vast plain of the sea was marked off in bands of sharply-contrasted colors: great stretches of dark blue, others of purple, others of polished bronze; the billowy mountains showed all sorts of dainty browns and greens, blues and purples and blacks, and the rounded velvety backs of certain of them made one want to stroke them, as one would the sleek back of a cat. more...

We take a natural interest in novelties, but it is against nature to take an interest in familiar things. more...

Yesterday, everybody smoked his last cigar, took his last drink and swore his last oath. Today, we are a pious and exemplary community. Thirty days from now, we shall have cast our reformation to the winds and gone to cutting our ancient shortcomings considerably shorter than ever. more...

New Year's is a harmless annual institution, of no particular use to anybody save as a scapegoat for promiscuous drunks, and friendly calls and humbug resolutions. more...

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. more...

His money is twice tainted: taint yours and taint mine. more...

Between us, we cover all knowledge; he knows all that can be known and I know the rest. more...

The law of work seems unfair, but nothing can change it; the more enjoyment you get out of your work, the more money you will make. more...

Give an Irishman lager for a month and he's a dead man. An Irishman's stomach is lined with copper, and the beer corrodes it. But whiskey polishes the copper and is the saving of him. more...

He does not care for flowers. Calls them rubbish, and cannot tell one from another, and thinks it is superior to feel like that. more...

The house was as empty as a beer closet in premises where painters have been at work. more...

The world doesn't owe you anything. It was here first. more...

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

Hardly a man in the world has an opinion upon morals, politics or religion which he got otherwise than through his associations and sympathies. Broadly speaking, there are none but corn-pone opinions. And broadly speaking, Corn-Pone stands for Self-Approval. Self-approval is acquired mainly from the approval of other people. The result is Conformity. more...

Public opinion is held in reverence. It settles everything. Some think it is the voice of God. more...

Barring that natural expression of villainy which we all have, the man looked honest enough. more...

Prosperity is the surest breeder of insolence I know. more...

When you ascend the hill of prosperity, may you not meet a friend. more...

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

In forgiving, people are not being asked to forget. On the contrary, it is important to remember, so that we should not let such atrocities happen again. Forgiveness does not mean condoning what has been done. It means taking what happened seriously...drawing out the sting in the memory that threatens our entire existence. more...

It will take mind and memory months and possibly years to gather together the details, and thus learn and know the whole extent of the loss. more...

That is a simple rule, and easy to remember. When I, a thoughtful and unblessed Presbyterian, examine the Koran, I know that beyond any question every Mohammedan is insane; not in all things, but in religious matters. more...

If we should deal out justice only, in this world, who would escape? No, it is better to be generous, and in the end more profitable, for it gains gratitude for us, and love. more...

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

The proverb says, "Born lucky, always lucky," and I am very superstitious. As a small boy I was notoriously lucky. It was usual for one or two of our lads (per annum) to get drowned in the Mississippi or in Bear Creek, but I was pulled out in a 2/3 drowned condition 9 times before I learned to swim, and was considered to be a cat in disguise. more...

It is strange the way the ignorant and inexperienced so often and so undeservedly succeed when the informed and the experienced fail. more...

Such is luck! And such the treatment which honest, good perservance gets so often at the hands of unfair and malicious Nature! more...

They do say that when a man starts down hill everybody is ready to help him with a kick, and I suppose it is so. more...

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. more...

All people have had ill luck, but Jairus's daughter and Lazarus had the worst. more...

Indeed, none but the Deity can tell what is good luck and what is bad before the returns are all in. more...

It is best to read the weather forecast before praying for rain. more...

The vast majority of the race whether savage or civilized, are secretly kind at heart and shrink from inflicting pain, but in the presence of the aggressive and pitiless minority they don't dare to assert themselves. more...

There is not a single human characteristic that can be safely labeled as American. more...

A friend is someone who stays in when the rest of the world has gone out. more...

We write frankly and freely, but then we modify before we print. more...

Chastity - you can carry it too far. more...

Modesty antedates clothes and will be resumed when clothes are no more. more...

Modesty died when clothes were born. more...

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

If you have no will to change it, you have no right to criticize it. more...

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

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. more...

Gratitude is a debt which usually goes on accumulating like blackmail; the more you pay, the more is exacted. more...

The moral sense enables one to perceive morality, and avoid it. The immoral sense enables one to perceive immorality and enjoy it. more...

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

We despise no source that can pay us a pleasing attention. more...

To say a compliment well is a high art and few possess it. more...

Irreverence is the champion of liberty and its only sure defense. more...

'Don't you worry, and don't you hurry.' I know that phrase by heart, and if all other music should perish out of the world it would still sing to me. more...

In the real world, nothing happens at the right place at the right time. It is the job of journalists and historians to correct that. more...

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

In India, 'cold weather' is merely a conventional phrase and has come into use through the necessity of having some way to distinguish between weather which will melt a brass door-knob and weather which will only make it mushy. more...

Germany, the diseased world's bathhouse. more...

Had double chins all the way down to his stomach. more...

His ignorance covers the world like a blanket, and there's scarcely a hole in it anywhere. more...

He was a solemn, unsmiling, sanctimonious old iceberg who looked like he was waiting for a vacancy in the Trinity. more...

You take the lies out of him, and he'll shrink to the size of your hat; you take the malice out of him, and he'll disappear. more...

I could never learn to like her, except on a raft at sea with no other provisions in sight. more...

The good Lord didn't create anything without a purpose, but the fly comes close. more...

The church is always trying to get other people to reform, it might not be a bad idea to reform itself a little, by way of example more...

Irrevence is another person's disrespect to your god; there isn't any word that tells what your disrespect to his god is. more...

Concentration of power in a political machine is bad; and an Established Church is only a political machine; it was invented for that; it is nursed, cradled, preserved for that; it is an enemy to human liberty, and does no good which it could not better do in a split-up and scattered condition. more...

I purpose publishing these Letters here in the world before I return to you. Two editions. One, unedited, for Bible readers and their children; the other, expurgated, for persons of refinement more...

Blasphemy? No, it is not blashphemy. If God is as vast as that, he is above blasphemy; if he is as little as that, He is beneath it. more...

It was not that Adam ate the apple for the apple's sake, but because it was forbidden. It would have been better for us-oh infinitely better for us-if the serpent had been forbidden more...

Surely the ass who invented the first religion ought to be the first ass damned more...

We have to keep our God placated with prayer, and even then we are never sure of him-how much higher and finer is the Indian's God...Our illogical God is all-powerful in name, but impotent in fact; the Great Spirit is not all-powerful, but does the very best he can for his injun and does it free of charge more...

I have never seen what to me seemed an atom of proof that there is a future life. And yet-I am inclined to expect one. more...

Man is a marvelous curiosity...he thinks he is the Creator's pet...he even believes the Creator loves him; has passion for him; sits up nights to admire him; yes and watch over him and keep him out of trouble. He prays to him and thinks he listens. Isn't it a quaint idea. more...

Man is kind enough when he is not excited by religion more...

If you would beseech a blessing upon yourself, beware! lest without intent you invoke a curse upon a neighbor at the same time. more...

Our Congresses consist of Christians. In their private life they are true to every obligation of honor; yet in every session they violate them all, and do it without shame. Because honor to party is above honor to themselves. more...

In America-as elsewhere-free speech is confined to the dead. more...

Men are more compassionate/(nobler)/magnanimous/generous than God; for men forgive their dead, but God does not. more...

Dying man couldn't make up his mind which place to go to-both have their advantages, heaven for the climate, hell for the company! more...

Well, no doubt it's a blessed thing to have an imagination that can always make you satisfied, no matter how you are fixed. more...

...and last but not least, reflecting my feelings on proofreading...excuse any pages on my websites that have misspelled words or grammatical errors...I'm not a proofreader of any great merit. more...

I would not read the proof of one of my books for any fair & reasonable sum whatever, if I could get out of it. The proof-reading on the P & Pauper cost me the last rags of my religion. more...

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

One can enjoy a rainbow without necessarily forgetting the forces that made it. more...

The best cure for Christianity is reading the Bible. more...

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

There are no grades of vanity; there are only grades of ability in concealing it. more...

There has been only one Christian. They caught and curcified him-early. more...

Grown people everywhere are always likely to cling to the religion they were brought up in. more...

The slowness of one section of the world about adopting the valuable ideas of another section of it is a curious thing and unaccountable. more...

Few of us stand prosperity; another man's I mean. more...

God could create the world in six days because he didn't have to make it compatible with the previous version. Go to Heaven for the climate, Hell for the company more...

If you want love and abundance in your life, give it away. more...

Life is but a dream, a grotesque and foolish dream. more...

Throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover. more...

Concerning the difference between man and the jackass: some observers hold that there isn't any. But this wrongs the jackass. more...

We like a man to come right out and say what he thinks- if we agree with him. more...

It is better to give than receive- especially advice. more...

The law of work does seem utterly unfair-but there it is, and nothing can change it: the higher the pay in enjoyment the worker gets out of it, the higher shall be his pay in cash, too. more...

The cat, having sat upon a hot stove lid, will not sit upon a hot stove lid again. Nor upon a cold stove lid. more...

I simply can't resist a cat, particularly a purring one. They are the cleanest, cunningest, and most intelligent things I know, outside of the girl you love, of course. more...

When there was room on the ledge outside of the pots and boxes for a cat, the cat was there- in sunny weather- stretched at full length, asleep and blissful, with her furry belly to the sun and a paw curved over her nose. more...

If you shamefully misuse a cat once she will always maintain a dignified reserve toward you afterward. You will never get her full confidence again. more...

The man who sets out to carry a cat by its tail learns something that will always be useful and which never will grow dim or doubtful. more...

Fleas can be taught nearly anything a congressman can. more...

Baccarat is a game whereby the croupier gathers in money with a flexible sculling oar, then rakes it home. If I could have borrowed his oar I would have stayed. more...

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. more...

Courage is resistance to fear, mastery of fear - not absence of fear. So many look to eradicate fear from their lives, when that is an impossible task. You can certainly experience moments in absence of fear, however accept that fear will be with you whenever you are in the process of living creatively. The challenge is to go ahead regardless, simply notice the feeling and manage being courageous. more...

Don't part with your illusions. When they are gone you may still exist, but you have ceased to live. To live a fulfilled life, we need to keep creating the "what is next", of our lives. Without dreams and goals there is no living, only merely existing, and that is not why we are here. more...

Habit is habit and not to be flung out of the window by any man, but coaxed downstairs a step at a time. You cannot eliminate habits that no longer serve you. You can only replace them with new habits that support your goals. Moment by moment, you need to live with awareness and structure the habits that you include or exclude in your days. more...

It usually takes more than three weeks to prepare a good impromptu speech. Overnight success is a fallacy. It is preceded by a great deal of preparation. Ask any successful person how they came to this point in their lives, and they will have a story to tell. more...

Time cools, time clarifies; no mood can be maintained quite unaltered through the course of hours. When you make a decision to "be" a particular way, you can count on change and external circumstances to come along which will challenge that decision. Remain vigilant after declaring a major decision and manage yourself in relationship to the goal. Set up structures that support you staying on target. more...

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. more...

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. more...

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. Sometimes we are too close to the scene, to see clearly. We "know" ourselves so well that we cannot see how we are perceived by others. Our opinion of ourselves is only "one" opinion and it may not be the truth. more...

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. Once you are crystal clear about the intended end result that you seek to produce, all the ways that it can become a done deal start to reveal themselves to you. There are many who have accomplished exactly what you want to achieve and could show you the way. You are not ready to ask them because you are not clear and you have not determined which questions need answers. more...

If the desire to kill and the opportunity to kill always came together, who would escape hanging? Framed in a more positive light, this tells us also that if we wish to accomplish a particular thing then we need to increase our level of desire for that thing and to create or seek out the opportunities and right environment for it to happen without fail. more...

The man who doesn't read good books has no advantage over the man who can't read them. It is said that leaders are readers. However if they read trashy magazines for the majority of their time and they never run with the information that they glean from resourceful books, then they may as well have not taken any time to read at all. It is easier to stay out than get out. more...

I have spent most of my time worrying about things that have never happened. Worrying is not an action! In fact, it is action that alleviates concern and dissipates worries. Take more actions when you feel that worry is creeping in to steal your time. It need not be a huge action, any action in the direction you want to go will do. more...

When I was fourteen, my father was so ignorant I could hardly stand to have him around. When I got to be twenty-one, I was astonished at how much he had learned in seven years. See what happens when you "know it all", at any stage of life? Farther down the track you may see clearly how certain personal opinions, held onto too tightly, could be fogging up the view, and providing incorrect insight. Prosperity is the best protector of principle. more...

We are discreet sheep; we wait to see how the drove is going, and then go with the drove. more...

He had an uncommon fondness for cats. As an old man summering in New Hampshire, Twain even rented kittens from a nearby farm to keep him company until he returned home. "If man could be crossed with the cat," said Twain, "it would improve the man, but it would deteriorate the cat." There's always something about your success that displeases even your best friends. more...

Man can seldom - very, very, seldom - fight a winning fight against his training; the odds are too heavy. more...

My father was an amazing man. The older I got, the smarter he got. more...

Let your joy be unconfined! more...

Some people bring joy wherever they go, and some people bring joy whenever they go. more...

Love is an irreresisistible desire to be irresistibily desired. more...

Every improvement that is put upon the real estate is the result of an idea in somebody's head. The skyscraper is another idea; the railroad is another; the telephone and all those things are merely symbols which represent ideas. An andiron, a wash-tub, is the result of an idea that did not exist before. more...

It used to be a good hotel, but that proves nothing - I used to be a good boy. more...

All saints can do miracles, but few of them can keep a hotel. more...

There was never a century nor a country that was short of experts who knew the Deity's mind and were willing to reveal it. more...

Never do wrong when people are looking. more...

Of all the animals, man is the only one that lies. more...

There are people who think that honesty is always the best policy. This is a superstition. There are times when the appearance of it is worth six of it. more...

Yes, even I am dishonest. Not in many ways, but in some. Forty-one, I think it is. more...

All my life I have been honest-comparatively honest. I could never use money I had not made honestly-I could only lend it. more...

I would much prefer to suffer from the clean incision of an honest lancet than from a sweetened poison. more...

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

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

The insincerity of man-all men are liars, partial or hiders of facts, half tellers of truths, shirks, moral sneaks. When a merely honest man appears he is a comet-his fame is eternal-needs no genius, no talent-mere honesty more...

....honest men are few when it comes to themselves. more...

As a rule, we go about with masks, we go about looking honest, and we are able to conceal ourselves all through the day. more...

Except a person be part coward, it is not a compliment to say he is brave. more...

No God and no religion can survive ridicule. No political church, no nobility, no royalty or other fraud, can face ridicule in a fair field, and live. more...

Frankness is a jewel; only the young can afford it. more...

Temperate temperance is best; intemperate temperance injures the cause of temperance. more...

Warm summer sun, shine kindly here. Warm southern wind, blow softly here. Green sod above, lie light, lie light. Good night, dear Heart, Good night, good night. more...

The report of my death was an exaggeration. more...

Medicine has made all its progress during the past fifty years. ... How many operations that are now in use were known fifty years ago?-they were not operations, they were executions. more...

Fortune knocks at every man's door once in a life. more...

Temper is what gets most of us into trouble. Pride is what keeps us there. more...

There are German songs which can make a stranger to the language cry. more...

O Lord our God, help us to tear their soldiers to bloody shreds with our shells; help us to cover their smiling fields with the pale forms of their patriot dead; help us to drown the thunder of the guns with the shrieks of their wounded, writhing in pain; more...

Damn the subjunctive. It brings all our writers to shame. more...

The partitions of the houses were so thin we could hear the women occupants of adjoining rooms changing their minds. more...

Human beings seem to be a poor invention. If they are the noblest works of God where is the ignoblest? more...

I have no race prejudices, and I think I have no color prejudices or caste prejudices nor creed prejudices. Indeed I know it. I can stand any society. All that I care to know is that a man is a human being-that is enough for me; he can't be any worse. more...

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

It is governed by minorities, seldom or never by majorities. It suppresses its feelings and its beliefs and follows the handful that makes the most noise. Sometimes the noisy handful is right, sometimes wrong, but no matter, the crowd follows it. more...

Fortune knocks at every man's door once in a life, but in a good many cases the man is in a neighboring saloon and does not hear her. more...

To eat is human, to digest, divine more...

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

I wish to become rich, so that I can instruct the people and glorify honest poverty a little, like those kind hearted, fat, benevolent people do. more...

Whatever you say, say it with conviction more...

Weather is a literary specialty, and no untrained hand can turn out a good article on it more...

It was enough to make a body ashamed of the human race. more...

God's noblest work. Man who found it out? Man. more...

The kingly office is entitled to no respect. It was originally procured by the highwayman's methods. It remains a perpetuated crime, can never be anything but the symbol of a crime. It is no more entitled to respect than is the flag of a pirate. more...

We all do no end of feeling, and we mistake it for thinking. And out of it we get an aggregation which we consider a boon. Its name is public opinion. It is held in reverence. Some think it the voice of God. more...

It is wiser to find out than to suppose. more...

When I'm playful I use the meridians of longitude and parallels of latitude for a seine, and drag the Atlantic Ocean for whales. I scratch my head with the lightning and purr myself to sleep with the thunder. more...

Stars are good too. I wish I could get some to put in my hair. But I suppose I never can. You would be surprised to find how far off they are, for they do not look it. When they first showed last night I tried to knock some down with a pole, but it didn't reach, which astonished me. Then I tried clods till I was all tired out, but I never got one. I did make some close shots, for I saw the black blot of the clod sail right into thee midst of the golden clusters forty or fifty times, just barely missing them, and if I could've held out a little longer, maybe I could've got one. more...

All schools, all colleges have two great functions: to confer, and to conceal valuable knowledge. more...

In the laboratory there are no fustian ranks, no brummagem aristocracies; the domain of Science is a republic, and all its citizens are brothers and equals, its princes of Monaco and its stonemasons of Cromarty meeting, barren of man-made gauds and meretricious decorations, upon the one majestic level! more...

I have been scientifically studying the traits and dispositions of the "lower animals" (so-called,) and contrasting them with the traits and dispositions of man. I find the result profoundly humiliating to me. For it obliges me to renounce my allegiance to the Darwinian theory of the Ascent of Man from the Lower Animals; since it now seems plain to me that that theory ought to be vacated in favor of a new and truer one, this new and truer one to be named the Descent of Man from the Higher Animals. more...

Scientists have odious manners, except when you prop up their theory; then you can borrow money off them. more...

Such is professional jealousy; a scientist will never show any kindness for a theory which he did not start himself. more...

That is the way of the scientist. He will spend thirty years in building up a mountain range of facts with the intent to prove a certain theory; then he is so happy with his achievement that as a rule he overlooks the main chief fact of all-that all his accumulation proves an entirely different thing. more...

I never could do anything with figures, never had any talent for mathematics, never accomplished anything in my efforts at that rugged study, and to-day the only mathematics I know is multiplication, and the minute I get away up in that, as soon as I reach nine times seven- [He lapsed into deep thought, trying to figure nine times seven. Mr. McKelway whispered the answer to him.] I've got it now. It's eighty-four. Well, I can get that far all right with a little hesitation. After that I am uncertain, and I can't manage a statistic. more...

It is a good idea to obey all the rules when you're young just so you'll have the strength to break them when you're old. more...

Eating and sleeping are the only activities that should be allowed to interrupt a man's enjoyment of his cigar. more...

If I cannot smoke in heaven, then I shall not go. more...

When one reads Bibles, one is less surprised at what the Deity knows than at what He doesn't know. more...

To trust the God of the Bible is to trust an irascible, vindictive, fierce and ever fickle and changeful master. more...

In God We Trust. It is the choicest compliment that has ever been paid us, and the most gratifying to our feelings. It is simple, direct, gracefully phrased; it always sounds well - In God We Trust. I don't believe it would sound any better if it were true. more...

Nothing agrees with me. If I drink coffee, it gives me dyspepsia; if I drink wine, it gives me the gout; if I go to church, it gives me dysentery. more...

Ignorance is not not knowin' - Ignorance is knowin' what ain't so. more...

Strange a God who mouths Golden Rules and forgiveness, then invented hell; who mouths morals to other people and has none Himself; who frowns upon crimes yet commits them all; who created man without invitation, then tries to shuffle the responsibility for man's acts upon man, instead of honorably placing it where it belongs, upon Himself; and finally with altogether divine obtuseness, invites this poor, abused slave to worship Him! more...

Stripping away the irrational, the illogical, and the impossible, I am left with atheism. I can live with that. more...

If you have nothing to say, say nothing. more...

One learns peoples through the heart, not the eyes or the intellect. more...

The universal brotherhood of man is our most precious possession. more...

But who prays for Satan? Who in eighteen centuries, has had the common humanity to pray for the one sinner that needed it most, our one fellow and brother who most needed a friend yet had not a single one, the one sinner among us all who had the highest and clearest right to every Christian's daily and nightly prayers, for the plain and unassailable reason that his was the first and greatest need, he being among sinners the supremest? more...

Many people have the reasoning facility, but no one uses it in religious matters. more...

There is no other life; life itself is only a vision and a dream for nothing exists but space and you. If there was an all-powerful God, he would have made all good, and no bad. more...

A reputable lawyer will advise you to keep out of the law, make the best of a foolish bargain, and not get caught again. more...

A man accustomed to American food and American domestic cookery would not starve to death suddenly in Europe, but I think he would gradually waste away, and eventually die. more...

Foreigners cannot enjoy our food, I suppose, any more than we can enjoy theirs. It is not strange; for tastes are made, not born. I might glorify my bill of fare until I was tired; but after all, the Scotchman would shake his head and say, 'Where's your haggis?' and the Fijan would sigh and say, 'Where's your missionary?' more...

Evolution is a blind giant who rolls a snowball down a hill. The ball is made of flakes-circumstances. They contribute to the mass without knowing it. They adhere without intention, and without foreseeing what is to result. When they see the result they marvel at the monster ball and wonder how the contriving of it came to be originally thought out and planned. Whereas there was no such planning, there was only a law: the ball once started, all the circumstances that happened to lie in its path would help to build it, in spite of themselves. more...

Very well, then, where do we arrive? Where do we arrive with our respect, our homage, our filial affection? At Adam! At Adam, every time. We can't build a monument to a germ, but we can build one to Adam, who is in the way to turn myth in in fifty years and be entirely forgotten in two hundred. We can build a monument and save his name to the world forever, and we'll do it! more...

Jesus died to save men - a small thing for an immortal to do - and didn't save many, anyway. But if he had been damned for the race, that would have been act of a size proper to a god, and would have saved the whole race. more...

You can never find a Christian who has acquired this valuable knowledge, this saving knowledge, by any process but the everlasting and all-sufficient 'people say.' more...

Inherently, each one of us has the substance within to achieve whatever our goals and dreams define. What is different for each of us is the training, education, knowledge and insight to utilize what we already have. more...

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

A journalist is a reporter out of a job. more...

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

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

The ancients stole all our ideas from us. more...

Why should anybody want to save the human race, or damn it either? Does God want its society? Does Satan? more...

History doesn't repeat itself; it rhymes. more...

No one can write perfect English and keep it up through a stretch of ten chapters. It has never been done. more...

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

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

You may say a cat uses good grammar. Well, a cat does - but you let a cat get excited once; you let a cat get to pulling fur with another cat on a shed, nights, and you'll hear grammar that will give you the lockjaw. Ignorant people think it's the noise which fighting cats make that is so aggravating, but it ain't so; it's the sickening grammar they use. more...

Nothing so needs reforming as other people's habits. Fanatics will never learn that, though it be written in letters of gold across the sky. It is the prohibition that makes anything precious. more...

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

Our inner strengths, experiences, and truths cannot be lost, destroyed, or taken away. Every person has an inborn worth and can contribute to the human community. We all can treat one another with dignity and respect, provide opportunities to grow toward our fullest lives and help one another discover and develop our unique gifts. We each deserve this and we all can extend it to others. more...

Additional problems are the offspring of poor solutions. more...

There is no urge so great as for one man to edit another man's work. more...

Most men die at 27, we just bury them at 72. more...

How far we travel in life matters far less than those we meet along the way. more...

Unused talents gives you no advantage over someone who has no talent at all. more...

Whiskey is carried into committee rooms in demijohns and carried out in demagogues. more...

It was a place of sin, loose women, whiskey and gambling. It was no place for a good Presbyterian, and I did not long remain one. more...

A sound heart is a surer guide than an ill-trained conscience. more...

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

That's the difference between governments and individuals. Governments don't care, individuals do. more...

By common consent of all the nations and all the ages the most valuable thing in this world is the homage of men, whether deserved or undeserved. more...

It is just like man's vanity and impertinence to call an animal dumb because it is dumb to his dull perceptions. Heaven is by favor; if it were by merit your dog would go in and you would stay out. Of all the creatures ever made he (man) is the most detestable. Of the entire brood, he is the only one...that possesses malice. He is the only creature that inflicts pain for sport, knowing it to be pain. 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 creature that cannot. more...

There comes a time in every rightly constructed boy's life when he has a raging desire to go somewhere and dig for hidden treasure. more...

If you are with the quality, or at a funeral, or trying to go to sleep when you ain't sleepy - if you are anywheres where it won't do for you to scratch, why you will itch all over in upwards of a thousand places. more...

Well, Ben Rogers, if I was as ignorant as you I wouldn't let on. more...

I love to revel in philosophical matters-especially astronomy. I study astronomy more than any other foolishness there is. I am a perfect slave to it. I am at it all the time. I have got more smoked glass than clothes. I am as familiar with the stars as the comets are. I know all the facts and figures and have all the knowledge there is concerning them. I yelp astronomy like a sun-dog, and paw the constellations like Ursa Major. more...

Herschel removed the speckled tent-roof from the world and exposed the immeasurable deeps of space, dim-flecked with fleets of colossal suns sailing their billion-leagued remoteness. more...

He wa'n't no common dog, he wa'n't no mongrel; he was a composite. A composite dog is a dog that is made up of all the valuable qualities that's in the dog breed-kind of a syndicate; and a mongrel is made up of all riffraff that's left over. more...

Make your mark in New York and you are a made man. more...

The pause - that impressive silence, that eloquent silence, that geometrically progressive silence which often achieves a desired effect where no combination of words, howsoever felicitous, could accomplish it. more...

The old Irish when immersing a babe at baptism left out the right arm so that it would remain pagan for good fighting more...

Wine is a clog to the pen, not an inspiration. more...

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

But that's always the way; it don't make no difference whether you do right or wrong, a person's conscience ain't got no sense, and just goes for him anyway. If I had a yaller dog that didn't know no more than a person's conscience does I would pison him. It takes up more room than all the rest of a person's insides, and yet ain't no good, nohow. more...

Comedy keeps the heart sweet. more...

Nothing exists but you. And you are but a thought. more...

It takes me a long time to lose my temper, but once lost I could not find it with a dog. more...

My father was a Saint Bernard, my mother was a Collie, but I am a Presbyterian. more...

There are no wild animals until man makes them so. more...

We were surprised how closely the cuckoo imitated the clock-and yet, of course, it could never have heard a clock. more...

Epitaphs are cheap, and they do a poor chap a world of good after he is dead, especially if he had hard luck while he was alive. I wish they were used more. more...

I am persuaded that the world has been tricked into adopting some false and most pernicious notions about consistency - and to such a degree that the average man has turned the rights and wrongs of things entirely around and is proud to be "consistent," unchanging, immovable, fossilized, where it should be his humiliation. more...

Customs do not concern themselves with right or wrong or reason. But they have to be obeyed; one reasons all around them until he is tired, but he must not transgress them, it is sternly forbidden. more...

Ah, if he could only die temporarily! more...

Switzerland would me a mighty big place if it were ironed flat. more...

Nothing seems to please a fly so much as to be taken for a currant; and if it can be baked in a cake and palmed off on the unwary, it dies happy. more...

One must travel, to learn. Every day, now, old Scriptural phrases that never possessed any significance for me before, take to themselves a meaning. more...

If you want me to give you a two-hour presentation, I am ready today. If you want only a five-minute speech, it will take me two weeks to prepare. more...

Everytime I read 'Pride and Prejudice' I want to dig her up and beat her over the skull with her own shin-bone. more...

It is a gratification to me to know that I am ignorant of art... Because people who understand art find nothing in pictures but blemishes... more...

It is a mistake that there is no bath that will cure people's manners, but drowning would help. more...

If Christians should vote their duty to God at the polls, they would carry every election, and do it with ease. They would elect every clean candidate in the United States, and defeat every soiled one. Their prodigious power would be quickly realized and recognized, and afterward there would be no unclean candidates upon any ticket, and graft would cease. more...

If the Christians of America could be persuaded to vote God and a clean ticket, it would bring about a moral revolution that would be incalculably beneficent. It would save the country. more...

Focus more on your desire than on your doubt, and the dream will take care of itself. more...

Truth is such a precious article - let us all economize in its use. more...

Who knows, he may grow up to be President someday, unless they hang him first!" Aunt Polly about Tom Sawyer more...

If you should rear a duck in the heart of the Sahara, no doubt it would swim if you brought it to the Nile. more...

There are too many stars in some places and not enough in others. more...

A man's first duty is to his own conscience and honor; the party and country come second to that, and never first. more...

Conscience, man's moral medicine chest. more...

In all the ages, three-fourths of the support of the great charities has been conscience money. more...

Every citizen of the republic ought to consider himself an unofficial policeman, and keep unsalaried watch and ward over the laws and their execution. more...

That cat will write her autograph all over your leg if you let her. more...

Write without pay until someone offers pay. If nobody offers within three years, the candidate may look upon this as a sign that sawing wood is what he was intended for. more...

The happy phrasing of a compliment is one of the rarest of human gifts, and the happy delivery of it another. more...

Never put off until tomorrow what you can avoid altogether. A clean desk is a sign of a cluttered desk drawer. All you need in this life is ignorance and confidence, and then success is sure. more...

Never run after you own hat - others will be delighted to do it; why spoil their fun? more...

Stars and shadows ain't good to see by. more...

What's the use you learning to do right , when it's troublesome to do right and it ain't no trouble to do wrong, and the wages is just the same? more...

Wherefore, I beseech you let the dog and the onions and these people of the strange and godless names work out their several salvations from their piteous and wonderful difficulties without help of mine, for indeed their trouble is sufficient as it is, whereas an I tried to help I should but damage their cause the more and yet mayhap not live myself to see the desolation wrought. more...

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

When some men discharge an obligation, you can hear the report for miles around. more...

They all laid their heads together like as many lawyers when they are gettin' ready to prove that a man's heirs ain't got any right to his property. more...

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

For instance, take this sample: he has imagined a heaven, and has left entirely out of it the supremest of all his delights, the one ecstasy that stands first and foremost in the heart of every individual of his race - and of ours - sexual intercourse!It is as if a lost and perishing person in a roasting desert should be told by a rescuer he might choose and have all longed-for things but one, and he should elect to leave out water! more...

Every one knew he could foretell wars and famines, though that was not so hard, for there was always a war, and generally a famine somewhere. more...

You know that kind of quiver that trembles around through you when you are seeing something so strange and enchanting and wonderful that it is just a fearful joy to be alive and look at it; and you know how you gaze, and your lips turn dry and your breath comes short, but you wouldn't be anywhere but there, not for the world. more...

Give a man a reputation as an early riser and he can sleep 'til noon. more...

One frequently only finds out how really beautiful a really beautiful woman is after considerable acquaintance with her; and the rule applies to Niagara Falls, to majestic mountains, and to mosques-especially to mosques. more...

Do something everyday that you don't want to do. more...

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

Man is the Reasoning Animal. Such is the claim. I think it is open to dispute. Indeed, my experiments have proven to me that he is the Unreasoning Animal... In truth, man is incurably foolish. Simple things which other animals easily learn, he is incapable of learning. Among my experiments was this. In an hour I taught a cat and a dog to be friends. I put them in a cage. In another hour I taught them to be friends with a rabbit. In the course of two days I was able to add a fox, a goose, a squirrel and some doves. Finally a monkey. They lived together in peace; even affectionately. more...

Never miss an opportunity to shut up. more...

If one is honest there is no need to remember. more...

Eventually, I sickened of people, myself included, who didn't think enough of themselves to make something of themselves- people who did only what they had to and never what they could have done. I learned from them the infected loneliness that comes at the end of every misspent day. I knew I could do better. more...

The longing of my heart is a fairy portrait of myself: I want to be pretty; I want to eliminate facts and fill up the gap with charms. more...

The darling mispronunciations of childhood! - dear me, there's no music that can touch it; and how one grieves when it wastes away and dissolves into correctness, knowing it will never visit his bereaved ear again. more...

He had only one vanity; he thought he could give advice better than any other person. more...

I saw a startling sight today, a politician with his hands in his own pockets. more...

Architects cannot teach nature anything. more...

The ability to find solutions to life's challenges is what makes us grow as a person. more...

He had the calm confidence of a Christian with four aces. more...

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

Life is short. Forgive quickly, kiss slowly and love truly. more...

The pitifulest thing out is a mob; that's what an army is-a mob; they don't fight with courage that's born in them, but with courage that's borrowed from their mass, and from their officers. But a mob without any MAN at the head of it is BENEATH pitifulness. more...

When the end of the world comes, I want to be in Kentucky, because everything there happens 20 years after it happens anywhere else. more...

If I had more time, I would have written less. more...

I knew a man who grabbed a cat by the tail and learned forty percent more about cats than the man who didn't. more...

I like a thin book because it will Steady a Table, a leather volume because it will Strop a Razor, and a heavy book because it can be Thrown at a Cat. more...

Sometimes my feelings are so hot that I have to take the pen and put them out on paper to keep them from setting me afire inside; then all that ink and labor are wasted because I can't print the results more...

If you don't like the weather in New England now, just wait a few minutes. more...

Authorship is not a trade, it is an inspiration; authorship does not keep an office, its habitation is all out under the sky, and everywhere the winds are blowing and the sun is shining and the creatures of God are free. more...

I haven't a particle of confidence in a man who has no redeeming petty vices whatsoever. more...

You thunder and lightning too much; the reader ceases to get under the bed, by and by. more...

Simplified spelling is all right, but, like chastity, you can carry it too far. more...

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. When you are seeking to bring big plans to fruition it is important with whom you regularly associate. Hang out with friends who are like-minded and who are also designing purpose-filled lives. Similarly be that kind of a friend for your friends. more...

What's your name?" "Becky Thatcher. What's yours? Oh, I know. It's Thomas Sawyer." "That's the name they lick me by. I'm Tom when I'm good. You call me Tom, will you?" "Yes more...

I once sent a dozen of my friends a telegram saying 'flee at once - all is discovered.' They all left town immediately. more...

I have too much respect for the truth to drag it out on every trifling occasion. more...

The joy of killing! the joy of seeing killing done - these are traits of the human race at large. more...

When everyone is looking for gold, it's a good time to be in the pick and shovel business. more...

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

But death was sweet, death was gentle, death was kind; death healed the bruised spirit and the broken heart, and gave them rest and forgetfulness; death was man's best friend; when man could endure life no longer, death came and set him free. more...

Explore. Dream. Discover. more...

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

If you want to change the future, you must change what you're doing in the present. more...

There was things which he stretched, but mainly he told the truth. more...

I was born with Halley's Comet and I expect to die upon its return more...

Total abstinence is so excellent a thing that it cannot be carried to too great an extent. In my passion for it I even carry it so far as to totally abstain from total abstinence itself. more...

There is nothing to be learned from the second kick of a mule. more...

We had the sky up there, all speckled with stars, and we used to lay on our backs and look up at them, and discuss about whether they was made, or only just happened - Jim he allowed they was made, but I allowed they happened; I judged it would have took too long to make so many. Jim said the moon could a laid them; well that looked kind of reasonable, so I didn't say nothing against it, because I've seen a frog lay most as many, so of course It could be done. more...

The most outrageous lies that can be invented will find believers if a person only tells them with all his might. more...

Habit is habit, and not to be flung out of the window by any man, but coaxed down-stairs one step at a time. more...

It may have happened, it may not have happened but it could have happened. more...

Dates are hard to remember because they consist of figures; figures are monotonously unstriking in appearance, and they don't take hold, they form no pictures, and so they give the eye no chance to help. Pictures are the thing. Pictures can make dates stick. more...

There are two things nobody should ever have to watch being made, sausage and laws. more...

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. more...

You aim for the palace and get drowned in the sewer. more...

It's not the good that die young, it's the lucky. more...

In a museum in Havana, there are two skulls of Christopher Columbus, one when he was a boy and one when he was a man more...

Two things seemed pretty apparent to me. One was that in order to be a pilot a man had to learn more than any one man ought to learn; and the other was that he must learn it all over again in a different way every 24 hours. more...

I admire the serene assurance of those who have religious faith. It is wonderful to observe the calm confidence of a Christian with four aces. more...

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

I wish I could make him understand that a loving good heart is riches enough, and that without it intellect is poverty. more...

I was dead for millions of years before I was born and it never inconvenienced me a bit. more...

A better idea than my own is to listen. more...

Whose property is my body? Probably mine. I so regard it. If I experiment with it, who must be answerable? I, not the State. If I choose injudiciously, does the state die? Oh, no. more...

Man never creates, he only recombines the lines and colors of his own existance. more...

If you take epitaphs seriously, we ought to bury the living and resurrect the dead. more...

The proverb says that Providence protects children and idiots. This is really true. I know because I have tested it. more...

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

Every man is a moon and has a side which he turns toward nobody: you have to slip around behind it if you want to see it. more...

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

Behold, the fool saith, "Put not all thine eggs in the one basket" - which is but a matter of saying, "Scatter your money and your attention"; but the wise man saith, "Pull all your eggs in the one basket and - WATCH THAT BASKET." - Pudd'nhead Wilson's Calendar more...

I think the Cincinnati Enquirer must be edited by children. more...

in order to make a man or boy covet a thing, it is only necessary to make the thing difficult to attain. more...

Solomon, who was one of the Deity's favorites, had a copulation cabinet composed of seven hundred wives and three hundred concubines. To save his life he could not have kept two of these young creatures satisfactorily refreshed, even if he had fifteen experts to help him. Necessarily almost the entire thousand had to go hungry for years and years on a stretch. Conceive of a man hardhearted enough to look daily upon all that suffering and not be moved to mitigate it. more...

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! more...

You cant reach old age by another man's road, my habits protect my life but they would assassinate you more...

If you don't know how to pronounce a word, say it loudly. Do not compound mispronunciation with inaudibility more...

France has usually been governed by prostitutes more...

S'pose a man was to come to you and say Pollyvoo-franzy - what would you think? more...

Sometimes you gwyne to git hurt, en sometimes you gwyne to git sick; but every time you's gwyne to git well agin. more...

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. more...

Humor is tragedy plus time. more...

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. more...

Names are not always what they seem. more...

The humorous story is told gravely; the teller does his best to conceal the fact that he even dimly suspects that there is anything funny about it. more...

High and fine literature is wine, and mine is only water; but everybody likes water. more...

All men have heard of the Mormon Bible, but few except the "elect" have seen it, or, at least, taken the trouble to read it. I brought away a copy from Salt Lake. The book is a curiosity to me, it is such a pretentious affair, and yet so "slow," so sleepy; such an insipid mess of inspiration. It is chloroform in print. If Joseph Smith composed this book, the act was a miracle - keeping awake while he did it was, at any rate. more...

Life should begin with age and it's privileges and accumulations, and end with youth and it's capacity to splendidly enjoy such advantages. more...

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

Homely truth is unpalatable. more...

what is joy without sorrow? what is success without failure? what is a win without a loss? what is health without illness? you have to experience each if you are to appreciate the other. there is always going to be suffering. it's how you look at your suffering, how you deal with it, that will define you. more...

I cannot see how a man of any large degree of humorous perception can ever be religious - unless he purposely shut the eyes of his mind & keep them shut by force. more...

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

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. more...

The exquisitely bad is as satisfying to the soul as the exquisitely good. Only the mediocre is unendurable. more...

It is my belief that nearly any invented quotation, played with confidence, stands a good chance to deceive. more...

when we badly want a thing, we go to hunting for good and righteous reasons for it; we give it that fine name to comfort our consciences, whereas we privately know we are only hunting for plausible ones. more...

It's not as bad as it sounds. more...

I persuaded him to throw the dirk away; and it was as easy as persuading a child to give up some bright fresh new way of killing itself. more...

Of the demonstrably wise there are but two: those who commit suicide, & those who keep their reasoning faculties atrophied with drink. more...

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

But it is a blessed provision of nature that at times like these, as soon as a man's mercury has got down to a certain point there comes a revulsion, and he rallies. Hope springs up, and cheerfulness along with it, and then he is in good shape to do something for himself, if anything can be done. more...

The introduction of homeopathy forced the old school doctor to stir around and learn something of a rational nature about his business. You may honestly feel grateful that homeopathy survived the attempts of the allopaths to destroy it. more...

Some of the worst things in my life never even happened. more...

Honesty: The best of all the lost arts. more...

The source of all humor is not laughter, but sorrow. more...

I was armed to the teeth with a pitiful little Smith & Wesson's seven-shooter, which carried a ball like a homopathic pill, and it took the whole seven to make a dose for an adult. But I thought it was grand. It appeared to me to be a dangerous weapon. It had only one fault - you could not hit anything with it. more...

The citizen who sees his society's democratic clothes being worn out and does not cry it out, is not a patriot, but a traitor. more...

A little lie can travel half way 'round the world while Truth is still lacing up her boots. more...

Memories which someday will become all beautiful when the last annoyance that encumbers them shall have faded out of our minds. more...

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. more...

Our heroes are men who do things which we recognize, with regret, and sometimes with a secret shame, that we cannot do. more...

One frequently only finds out how really beautiful a women is, until after considerable acquaintance with her. more...

At noon I observed a bevy of nude young native women bathing in the sea, and I went and sat down on there clothes to keep them from being stolen. more...

Whatever thing men call great, look for it in Joan of Arc, and there you will find it. more...

It is our nature to conform; it is a force which not many can successfully resist. What is its seat? The inborn requirement of self-approval. more...

Armor is heavy, yet it is a proud burden, and a man standeth straight in it. more...

In my age, as in my youth, night brings me many a deep remorse. I realize that from the cradle up I have been like the rest of the race - never quite sane in the night. more...

It's lovely to live on a raft. We had the sky up there, all speckled with stars, and we used to lay on our backs and look up at them, and discuss about whether they was made or only just happened. more...

There are two types of speakers: those that are nervous and those that are liars. more...

Courage is not the absence of fear, but the mastery of it. more...

Agassiz does recommend authors to eat fish, because the phosphorus in it makes brains. But I cannot help you to a decision about the amount you need to eat. Perhaps a couple of whales would be enough. more...

One of the brightest gems in the New England weather is the dazzling uncertainty of it. more...

To us, our house was not unsentient matter - it had a heart, and a soul, and eyes to see us with; and approvals and solicitudes and deep sympathies; it was of us, and we were in its confidence, and lived in its grace and in the peace of its benediction. more...

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

To be great, truly great, you have to be the kind of person who makes the others around you great. more...

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

No church property is taxed and so the infidel and the atheist and the man without religion are taxed to make up the deficit. more...

I have always been rather better treated in San Francisco than I actually deserved. more...

When you want genuine music - music that will come right home to you like a bad quarter, suffuse your system like strychnine whisky, go right through you like Brandreth's pills, ramify your whole constitution like the measles, and break out on your hide like the pin-feather pimples on a picked goose, - when you want all this, just smash your piano, and invoke the glory-beaming banjo! more...

I would like to live in Manchester, England. The transition between Manchester and death would be unnoticeable. more...

No one can tell me what is a good cigar-for me. I am the only judge... There are no standards-no real standards. Each man's preference is the only standard for him, the only one which he can accept, the only one which can command him. more...

I smoke in moderation. Only one cigar at a time. more...

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

Life is short, break the rules. more...

What a curious kind of fool a girl is. Never been licked in school. What's a licking? more...

There is no such thing as a new idea. We simply take a lot of old ideas and put them into a sort of mental kaleidoscope. more...

The Indian may seem poor to we rich Westerners but in matters of the spirit it is we who are the paupers and they who are millionaires. more...

The principle of give and take is the principle of diplomacy - give one and take ten more...

We don't care to eat toadstools that think they are truffles. more...

Let us swear while we may, for in heaven it will not be allowed more...

The thing for us to do is just to do our duty, and not worry about whether anybody sees us do it or not. more...

But old fools is the biggest fools there is. more...

I have tried getting up early, and I have tried getting up late-and the latter agrees with me best. more...

But the people cannot have wells, and so they take rain-water. Neither can they conveniently have cellars or graves, the town being built upon "made ground"; so they do without both, and few of the living complain, and none of the others. more...

I don't know of a single foreign product that enters this country untaxed, except the answer to prayer. more...

Written things are not for speech; their form is literary; they are stiff, inflexible, and will not lend themselves to happy and effective delivery with the tongue-where their purpose is to merely entertain, not instruct; they have to be limbered up, broken up, colloquialized and turned into common forms of premeditated talk-otherwise they will bore the house and not entertain it. more...

The fear of lightning is one of the most distressing infirmities a human being can be afflicted with. It is mostly confined to women, but now and then you find it in a little dog, and sometimes a man. more...

As to the human race. There are many pretty and winning things about the human race. It is perhaps the poorest of all the inventions of all the gods but it has never suspected it once. There is nothing prettier than its naive and complacent appreciation of itself. It comes out frankly and proclaims without bashfulness or any sign of a blush that it is the noblest work of God. It has had a billion opportunities to know better, but all signs fail with this ass. I could say harsh things about it but I cannot bring myself to do it-it is like hitting a child. more...

There isn't any way to libel the human race. more...

What a man sees in the human race is merely himself in the deep and honest privacy of his own heart. Byron despised the race because he despised himself. I feel as Byron did, and for the same reason. more...

The human race consists of the damned and the ought-to-be damned. more...

Is the human race a joke? Was it devised and patched together in a dull time when there was nothing important to do? more...

The symbol of the race ought to be a human being carrying an ax, for every human being has one concealed about him somewhere, and is always seeking the opportunity to grind it. more...

Damn these human beings; if I had invented them I would go hide my head in a bag. more...

We all belong to the nasty stinking little human race, & of course it is not nice for God's beloved vermin to scoff at each other... Oh, we are a nasty little lot-& to think there are people who would like to save us & continue us. It won't happen if I have any influence. more...

I have damaged my intellect trying to imagine why a man should want to invent a repeating clock, and how another man could be found to lust after it and buy it. The man who can guess these riddles is far on the way to guess why the human race was invented - which is another riddle which tires me. more...

Can it be possible that the painters make John the Baptist a Spaniard in Madrid and an Irishman in Dublin? more...

We need not worry so much about what man descends from; it's what he descends to that shames the human race. more...

There's always something about your success that displeases even your best friends. more...

I was warned to stop smoking, which I did, for two or three days, but it was too lonesome, and I have resumed - in a modified way - 4 smokes a day instead of 40. This will have a good effect. On the bank balance. more...

Custom is, to think a handsome thing in private but tame it down in the utterance. more...

It is human to exaggerate the merits of the dead. more...

The existing phrasebooks are inadequate. They are well enough as far as they go, but when you fall down and skin your leg they don't tell you what to say. more...

It is my heart-warmed and world-embracing Christmas hope and aspiration that all of us, the high, the low, the rich, the poor, the admired, the despised, the loved, the hated, the civilized, the savage (every man and brother of us all throughout the whole earth), may eventually be gathered together in a heaven of everlasting rest and peace and bliss, except the inventor of the telephone. more...

Wit and Humor - if any difference, it is in duration - lightning and electric light. Same material, apparently; but one is vivid, and can do damage - the other fools along and enjoys elaboration. more...

There is nothing more awe-inspiring than a miracle except the credulity that can take it at par. more...

Make your vocation your vacation. That is the secret to success. more...

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

France has neither winter nor summer nor morals. Apart from these drawbacks it is a fine country. more...

By law of periodical repetition, everything which has happened once must happen again and again - and not capriciously, but at regular periods, and each thing in its own period, not another's and each obeying its own law. more...

I am a democrat only on principle, not by instinct, nobody is that. Doubtless some people say they are, but this world is grievously given to lying. more...

Where a blood relation sobs, an intimate friend should choke up, a distant acquaintance should sigh, a stranger should merely fumble sympathetically with his handkerchief. more...

If man had created man, he would be ashamed of his performance. more...

It isn't safe to sit in judgment upon another person's illusion when you are not on the inside. While you are thinking it is a dream, he may be knowing it is a planet. more...

As a thinker and planner the ant is the equal of any savage race of men; as a self-educated specialist in several arts she is the superior of any savage race of men; and in one or two high mental qualities she is above the reach of any man, savage or civilized! more...

The highest perfection of politeness is only a beautiful edifice, built, from the base to the dome, of ungraceful and gilded forms of charitable and unselfish lying. more...

My parents were neither very poor nor conspicuously honest. more...

More than once I had seen a noble who had gotten his enemy at a disadvantage stop to pray before cutting his throat. more...

To do something, say something, see something, before anybody else - these are things that confer a pleasure compared with which other pleasures are tame and commonplace, other ecstasies cheap and trivial. more...

Principles aren't of much account anyway, except at election time. After that you hang them up to let them season. more...

Out of the unconscious lips of babes and sucklings are we satirized. more...

Intellectual 'work' is misnamed; it is a pleasure, a dissipation, and is its own highest reward. more...

You perceive I generalize with intrepidity from single instances. It is the tourist's custom. more...

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

I know all those people. I have friendly, social, and criminal relations with the whole lot of them. more...

There are no people who are quite so vulgar as the over-refined. more...

A good legible label is usually worth, for information, a ton of significant attitude and expression in a historical picture. more...

We Americans worship the almighty dollar! Well, it is a worthier god than Heredity Privilege. more...

My experience with horses is that they never throw away a chance to go lame. more...

Often a quite assified remark becomes sanctified by use and petrified by custom; it is then a permanency, its term of activity a geologic period. more...

An uneasy conscience is a hair in the mouth. more...

A person who has during all time maintained the imposing position of spiritual head of four-fifths of the human race, and political head of the whole of it, must be granted the possession of executive abilities of the loftiest order. more...

What marriage is to morality, a properly conducted licensed liquor traffic is to sobriety. more...

Ethical man: A Christian holding four aces. more...

When someone dies, it is like when your house burns down; it isn't for years that you realize the full extent of your loss. more...

Old habits cannot be thrown out the upstairs window. They have to be coaxed downstairs one step at a time. more...

Shall we go on conferring our Civilization upon the peoples that sit in darkness, or shall we give those poor things a rest? more...

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

We laugh and laugh. Then cry and cry- Then feebler laugh, Then die. more...

Oh Death where is thy sting! It has none. But life has. more...

To my mind that literature is best and most enduring which is characterized by a noble simplicity. more...

Some men worship rank, some worship heroes, some worship power, some worship God, and over these ideals they dispute-but they all worship money. more...

Astonishing things can be done with the human memory if you will devote it faithfully to one particular line of business. more...

isn't so astonishing, the number of things that I can remember, as the number of things I can remember that aren't so. more...

Talking of patriotism, what humbug it is; it is a word which always commemorates a robbery. more...

The radical of one century is the conservative of the next. more...

The Moral Sense teaches us what is right, and how to avoid it-when unpopular. more...

You must not pay a person a compliment, and then straightway follow it with a criticism. more...

You feel mighty free and easy and comfortable on a raft. more...

To forget pain is to be painless; to forget care is to be rid of it; to go abroad is to accomplish both. more...

To go abroad has something of the same sense that death brings. I am no longer of ye-what ye say of me is now of no consequence. more...

The people of those foreign countries are very, very ignorant. They looked curiously at the costumes we had brought from the wilds of America. They observed that we talked loudly at table sometimes. They noticed that we looked out for expenses and got what we conveniently could out of a franc, and wondered where in the mischief we came from. In Paris they just simply opened their eyes and stared when we spoke to them in French! We never did succeed in making those idiots understand their own language. more...

A jay hasnt 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. more...

By his father he is English, by his mother he is Americanto my mind the blend which makes the perfect man. more...

So I became a newspaperman. I hated to do it but I couldnt find honest employment. more...

I am admonished in many ways that time is pushing me inexorably along. I am approaching the threshold of age; in 1977 I shall be 142. This is no time to be flitting about the earth. I must cease from the activities proper to youth and begin to take on the dignities and gravities and inertia proper to that season of honorable senility which is on its way. more...

...the person that had took a bull by the tail once had learnt sixty or seventy times as much as a person that hadn't, and said 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. Chances are, he isn't likely to carry the cat that way again, either. But if he wants to, I say let him! more...

Beautiful credit! The foundation of modern society. Who shall say that this is not the golden age of mutual trust, of unlimited reliance upon human promises? That is a peculiar condition of society which enables a whole nation to instantly recognize point and meaning in the familiar newspaper anecdote, which puts into the mouth of a distinguished speculator in lands and mines this remark: - I wasn't worth a cent two years ago, and now I owe two millions of dollars. more...

I was exceedingly delighted with the waltz, and also with the polka. These differ in name, but there the difference ceases more...

A myriad of men are born; they labor and sweat and struggle; ...they squabble and scold and fight; they scramble for little mean advantages over each other; age creeps upon them; infirmities follow; ...those they love are taken from them, and the joy of life is turned to aching grief. It comes at last-the only unpoisoned gift earth ever had for them-and they vanish from a world where they were of no consequence, ...a world which will lament them a day and forget them forever. more...

Nations do not think, they only feel. They get their feelings at second hand through their temperaments, not their brains. A nation can be brought - by force of circumstances, not argument - to reconcile itself to any kind of government or religion that can be devised; in time it will fit itself to the required conditions; later it will prefer them and will fiercely fight for them. more...

Switzerland is simply a large, lumpy, solid rock with a thin skin of grass stretched over it. more...

I never could keep a promise. I do not blame myself for this weakness, because the fault must lie in my physical organization. It is likely that such a very liberal amount of space was given to the organ which enables me to make promises that the organ which should enable me to keep them was crowded out. But I grieve not. I like no half-way things. I had rather have one faculty nobly developed than two faculties of mere ordinary capacity. more...

From his cradle to his grave a man never does a single thing which has any FIRST AND FOREMOST object but one - to secure peace of mind, spiritual comfort, for HIMSELF. more...

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. more...

The law of God, as quite plainly expressed in woman's construction, is this: There shall be no limit put upon your intercourse with the other sex sexually, at any time of life. During twenty-three days in every month (in the absence of pregnancy) from the time a woman is seven years old till she dies of old age, she is ready for action, and competent. As competent as the candlestick is to receive the candle. Competent every day, competent every night. Also, she wants that candle - yearns for it, longs for it, hankers after it, as commanded by the law of God in her heart. more...

The blunting effects of slavery upon the slaveholder's moral perceptions are known and conceded the world over; and a priveleged class, an aristocracy, is but a band of slaveholders under another name. more...

Man is the only creature who has a nasty mind. more...

An average English word is four letters and a half. By hard, honest labor I've dug all the large words out of my vocabulary and shaved it down till the average is three and a half... I never write metropolis for seven cents, because I can get the same money for city. I never write policeman, because I can get the same price for cop.... I never write valetudinarian at all, for not even hunger and wretchedness can humble me to the point where I will do a word like that for seven cents; I wouldn't do it for fifteen. more...

Duties are not performed for duty's sake, but because their neglect would make the man uncomfortable. A man performs but one duty - the duty of contenting his spirit, the duty of making himself agreeable to himself. more...

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

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

My first American ancestor, gentlemen, was an Indian-an early Indian. Your ancestors skinned him alive, and I am an orphan. All those Salem witches were ancestors of mine. Your people made it tropical for them. . . . The first slave brought into New England out of Africa was an ancestor of mine-for I am a mixed breed, an infinitely shaded and exquisite Mongrel. more...

He was such a good man that people hated to see him coming. more...

I have criticized absent people so often, and then discovered, to my humiliation, that I was talking with their relatives, that I have grown superstitious about that sort of thing and dropped it. more...

There are only two types of speakers in the world. 1. The nervous and 2. Liars. more...

There is nothing like instances to grow hair on a bald-headed argument. more...

The reason most people don't go to church is because they've already been. more...

One compliment can keep me going for a whole month. more...

Never refuse to do a kindness unless the act would work great injury to yourself, and never refuse to take a drink - under any circumstances. more...

I'm pushing 60 years of age...and that's enough exercise for me. more...

If you send a damned fool to St. Louis, and you don't tell them he's a damned fool, they'll never find out. more...

If all the fools in this world should die, lordly God how lonely I should be. more...

The humorist who invented trial by jury played a colossal practical joke upon the world, but since we have the system we ought to try and respect it. A thing which is not thoroughly easy to do, when we reflect that by command of the law a criminal juror must be an intellectual vacuum, attached to a melting heart and perfectly macaronian bowels of compassion. more...

...there isn't often anything in Wagner opera that one would call by such a violent name as acting. more...

I have attended operas, whenever I could not help it, for fourteen years now; I am sure I know of no agony comparable to the listening to an unfamiliar opera. more...

I have witnessed and greatly enjoyed the first act of everything which Wagner created, but the effect on me has always been so powerful that one act was quite sufficient; whenever I have witnessed two acts I have gone away physically exhausted; and whenever I have ventured an entire opera the result has been the next thing to suicide. more...

I have never heard enough classical music to be able to enjoy it; & the simple truth is, I detest it. Not mildly, but will all my heart. To me an opera is the very climax & cap-stone of the absurd, the fantastic the unjustifiable. I hate the very name of opera - partly because of the nights of suffering I have endured in its presence, & partly because I want to love it and can't. more...

There ought to be a room in every house to swear in. It's dangerous to have to repress an emotion like that. more...

It is no harm to be an ass, if one is content to bray and not kick. more...

Figures often beguile me, particularly when I have the arranging of them myself; in which case the remark attributed to Disraeli would often apply with justice and force: "There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics." more...

When the human race has once acquired a superstition, nothing short of death is ever likely to remove it. more...

The frankest and freest product of the human mind and heart is a love letter; the writer gets his limitless freedom of statement and expression from his sense that no stranger is going to see what he is writing. more...

Those that respect the law and love sausage should watch neither being made. more...

Newport, Rhode Island, that breeding place-that stud farm, so to speak-of aristocracy; aristocracy of the American type. more...

The human race was always interesting and we know by its past that it will always continue so, monotonously. more...

Pessimism is only the name that men of weak nerve give to wisdom. more...

A man never reaches that dizzy height of wisdom when he can no longer be led by the nose. more...

From the dome of St. Peter's one can see every notable object in Rome... He can see a panorama that is varied, extensive, beautiful to the eye, and more illustrious in history than any other in Europe. more...

I am personally acquainted with hundreds of journalists, and the opinion of the majority of them would not be worth tuppence in private, but when they speak in print it is the newspaper that is talking (the pygmy scribe is not visible) and then their utterances shake the community like the thunders of prophecy. more...

It{California} is the land where the fabled Aladdin's Lamp lies buried-and she {San Francisco} is the new Aladdin who shall seize it from its obscurity and summon the genie and command him to crown her with power and greatness and bring to her feet the hoarded treasures of the earth. more...

I fell in love with the most cordial and sociable city in the Union. more...

I have done more for San Francisco than any of its old residents. Since I left there it has increased in population fully 300,000. I could have done more - I could have gone earlier - it was suggested. more...

Of the delights of this world, man cares most for sexual intercourse, yet he has left it out of his heaven. more...

I repeat, sir, that in whatever position you place a woman she is an ornament to society and a treasure to the world. As a sweetheart, she has few equals and no superiors; as a cousin, she is convenient; as a wealthy grandmother with an incurable distemper, she is precious; as a wet-nurse, she has no equal among men. What, sir, would the people of the earth be without woman? They would be scarce, sir, almighty scarce. more...

I wrote 'Tom Sawyer' and 'Huck Finn' for adults exclusively, and it always distressed me when I find that boys and girls have been allowed access to them. The mind that becomes soiled in youth can never again be washed clean. more...

In all the ages the Roman Church has owned slaves, bought and sold slaves, authorized and encouraged her children to trade in them. . . . There were the texts; there was no mistaking their meaning; . . . she was doing in all this thing what the Bible had mapped out for her to do. So unassailable was her position that in all the centuries she had no word to say against human slavery. more...

The poetry is all in the anticipation, for there is none in reality. more...

Each of you, for himself, by himself and on his own responsibility, must speak. more...

Patriotism is merely a religion-love of country, worship of country, devotion to the country's flag and honor and welfare. more...

My kind of loyalty was loyalty to one's country, not to its institutions or its office-holders. more...

When the doctrine of allegiance to party can utterly up-end a man's moral constitution and make a temporary fool of him besides, what excuse are you going to offer for preaching it, teaching it, extending it, perpetuating it? Shall you say, the best good of the country demands allegiance to party? Shall you also say it demands that a man kick his truth and his conscience into the gutter, and become a mouthing lunatic, besides? more...

If all men were rich, all men would be poor. more...

I begin to see that a man's got to be in his own heaven to be happy. more...

And always we had wars, and more wars, and still other wars - all over Europe, all over the world. "Sometimes in the private interest of royal families," Satan said, "sometimes to crush a weak nation; but never a war started by the aggressor for any clean purpose - there is no such war in the history of the race." more...

I found out that I was a Christian for revenue only and I could not bear the thought of that, it was so ignoble. more...

The exercise of an extraordinary gift is the supremest pleasure in life. more...

A pilot must have a memory developed to absolute perfection. But there are two higher qualities which he also must have. He must have good and quick judgment and decision, and a cool, calm courage that no peril can shake. more...

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

Change is the handmaiden Nature requires to do her miracles with. more...

Each season brings a world of enjoyment and interest in the watching of its unfolding, its gradual harmonious development, its culminating graces-and just as one begins to tire of it, it passes away and a radical change comes, with new witcheries and new glories in its train. more...

To one in sympathy with nature, each season, in its turn, seems the loveliest. more...

My axiom is, to succeed in business: avoid my example. more...

When we do not know a person - and also when we do - we have to judge his size by the size and nature of his achievements, as compared with the achievements of others in his special line of business - there is no other way. more...

I've come loaded with statistics, for I've noticed that a man can't prove anything without statistics. No man can. more...

There is not a single celebrated Southern name in any of the departments of human industry except those of war, assassination, lynching, murder, the duel, repudiation, & massacre. more...

The minute we get reconciled to a person, how willing we are to throw aside little needless punctilios and pronounce his name right. more...

We called him Barney for short. We couldn't use his real name, there wasn't time. more...

If it would not look too much like showing off, I would tell the reader where New Zealand is. more...

It's so damned humiliating. more...

It is discouraging to try to penetrate a mind like yours. You ought to get it out and dance on it. That would take some of the rigidity out of it. more...

Don't look at the world with your hands in your pockets. To write about it you have to reach out and touch it. more...

He has been a doctor a year now and has had two patients - no, three, I think - yes, it was three; I attended their funerals. more...

Honest poverty is a gem that even a king might be proud to call his own - but I wish to sell out more...

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

The frankest and freest and privatest product of the human mind and heart is a love letter... more...

When majority is insane, sane must go to asylum. more...

It takes a heap of sense to write good nonsense more...

The secret of success is making your vocation your vacation. more...

Let us consider that we are all insane. It will explain us to each other. It will unriddle many riddles more...

Cold! If the thermometer had been an inch longer we'd all have frozen to death! more...

You don't know about me without you have read a book by the name of The Adventures of Tom Sawyer; but that ain't no matter. That book was made by Mr. Mark Twain, and he told the truth, mainly. There was things which he stretched, but mainly he told the truth. That is nothing. I never seen anybody but lied one time or another, without it was Aunt Polly, or the widow, or maybe Mary. Aunt Polly-Tom's Aunt Polly, she is-and Mary, and the Widow Douglas is all told about in that book, which is mostly a true book, with some stretchers, as I said before. more...

Just because you're taught that something's right and everyone believes it's right, it don't make it right. more...

Some things you can't find out; but you will never know you can't by guessing and supposing: no, you have to be patient and go on experimenting until you find out that you can't find out. more...

Never have a battle of wits with an unarmed person. more...

The mind that becomes soiled in youth can never again be washed clean. I know this by my own experience, & to this day I cherish an unappeased bitterness against the unfaithful guardians of my young life, who not only permitted but compelled me to read an unexpurgated Bible through before I was 15 years old. None can do that and ever draw a clean sweet breath again on this side of the grave. more...

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

Choosing not to read is like closing an open door to paradise more...

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

When ill luck begins, it does not come in sprinkles, but in showers. more...

I felt so lonesome I most wished I was dead. The stars were shining, and the leaves rustled in the woods ever so mournful; and I heard an owl, away off, who-whooing about somebody that was dead, and a whippowill and a dog crying about somebody that was going to die; more...

She kept up her compliments, and I kept up my determination to deserve them or die. more...

We wish to learn all the curious, outlandish ways of all the different countries, so that we can "show off" and astonish people when we get home. We wish to excite the envy of our untraveled friends with our strange foreign fashions which we can't shake off. more...

Schoolboy days are no happier than the days of afterlife, but we look back upon them regretfully because we have forgotten our punishments at school and how we grieved when our marbles were lost and our kites destroyed - because we have forgotten all the sorrows and privations of the canonized ethic and remember only its orchard robberies, its wooden-sword pageants, and its fishing holidays. more...

Let us draw the curtain of charity over the rest of this scene more...

But death was sweet, death was gentle, death was kind; death healed the bruised spirit and the broken heart, and gave them rest and forgetfulness; death was man's best friend; when man could endure life no longer, death came and set him free. more...

Figures don't lie, but liars figure. more...

They did not know it was impossible so they did it more...

Behind every successful man, there is a woman - And behind every unsuccessful man, there are two. more...

Those who do not read have no advantage over those who cannot read. more...

Love is madness, if thwarted it develops fast. more...

Some people get an education without going to college. The rest get it after they get out. more...

Sing like no one is listening, LOVE LIKE YOU'VE NEVER BEEN HURT, dance like nobody's watcbing, and live like it's heaven on earth. more...

If you tell the truth you do not need a good memory! more...

The air up there in the clouds is very pure and fine, bracing and delicious. And why shouldn't it be?-it is the same the angels breathe. more...

Heaven is by favor; if it were by merit your dog would go in and you would stay out. Of all the creatures ever made (man) is the most detestable. Of the entire brood, he is the only one... that possesses malice. He is the only creature that inflicts pain for sport, knowing it to be pain. more...

A good lawyer knows the law; a clever one takes the judge to lunch. more...

I was standing in our dining-room thinking of nothing in particular, when a cablegram was put into my hand. It said, 'Susy was peacefully released today.' It is one of the mysteries of our nature that a man, all unprepared, can receive a thunder-stroke like that and live. more...

Never let the truth get in the way of a good story. more...

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

To get the right word in the right place is a rare achievement. more...

The signs of excessive indulgence in this destructive pastime are easily detectable. They are these: A disposition to eat, to drink, to smoke, to meet together convivially, to laugh, to joke, and tell indelicate stories- and mainly, a yearning to paint pictures. more...

While the rest of the species is descended from apes, redheads are descended from cats. more...

Now what I contend is that my body is my own, at least I have always so regarded it. If I do harm through my experimenting with it, it is I who suffer, not the state. more...

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

He liked to like people, therefore people liked him. more...

The secret of getting ahead is getting started more...

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. more...

How slow and still the time did drag along. more...

But it warn't no time to be sentimentering. more...

I admire him, I frankly confess it; and when his time is come I shall buy a piece of the rope for a keepsake. more...

The older we grow the greater becomes our wonder at how much ignorance one can contain without bursting one's clothes. more...

It is better to be a young June-bug than an old bird of paradise. more...

Methuselah lived to be 969 years old . You boys and girls will see more in the next fifty years than Methuselah saw in his whole lifetime. more...

It is human life. We are blown upon the world; we float buoyantly upon the summer air a little while, complacently showing off our grace of form and our dainty iridescent colors; then we vanish with a little puff, leaving nothing behind but a memory - and sometimes not even that. I suppose that at those solemn times when we wake in the deeps of the night and reflect, there is not one of us who is not willing to confess that he is really only a soap-bubble, and as little worth the making. more...

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

Tomorrow night I appear for the first time before a Boston audience - 4000 critics. more...

I would have written a shorter letter, but I did not have the time. more...

I'm glad I did it, partly because it was worth it, but mostly because I shall never have to do it again. more...

The secret to success: find out where people are going and get there first more...

The worst loneliness is not to be comfortable with yourself. more...

Be good and you will be lonely. more...

We can't reach old age by another man's road. more...

Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. more...

There are only two forces that can carry light to all the corners of the globe... the sun in the heavens and the Associated Press down here. more...

If work were so pleasant, the rich would keep it for themselves. more...

The altar cloth of one aeon is the doormat of the next. more...

We are chameleons, and our partialities and prejudices change place with an easy and blesses facility, and we are soon wonted to the change and happy in it. more...

Courage is not the lack of fear. It is acting in spite of it. more...

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 application of the word. Consider the flea! - incomparably the bravest of all the creatures of God, if ignorance of fear were courage. more...

It has been reported that I was seriously ill-it was another man; dying-it was another man; dead-the other man again...As far as I can see, nothing remains to be reported, except that I have become a foreigner. When you hear it, don't you believe it. And don't take the trouble to deny it. Merely just raise the American flag on our house in Hartford and let it talk. more...

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. more...

The Impartial Friend: Death, the only immortal who treats us all alike, whose pity and whose peace and whose refuge are for all-the soiled and the pure, the rich and the poor, the loved and the unloved. more...

Pity is for the living, envy is for the dead. Death, the refuge, the solace, the best and kindliest and most prized friend and benefactor of the erring, the forsaken, the old and weary and broken of heart. more...

Manifestly, dying is nothing to a really great and brave man. more...

How lovely is death; and how niggardly it is doled out. more...

It is a solemn thought: dead, the noblest man's meat is inferior to pork. more...

I think we never become really and genuinely our entire and honest selves until we are dead-and not then until we have been dead years and years. People ought to start dead, and they would be honest so much earlier. more...

No real estate is permanently valuable but the grave. more...

A distinguished man should be as particular about his last words as he is about his last breath. He should write them out on a slip of paper and take the judgment of his friends on them. He should never leave such a thing to the last hour of his life, and trust to an intellectual spurt at the last moment to enable him to say something smart with his latest gasp and launch into eternity with grandeur. more...

You cannot have all chiefs; you gotta have Indians too. Perfect love cannot be without equality. A friend to everybody and to nobody is the same thing. We are all alike, on the inside. more...

Supposing is good, but finding out is better. more...

It was the schoolboy who said, ""Faith is believing what you know ain't so."" more...

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

A human being has a natural desire to have more of a good thing than he needs. more...

When one has tasted watermelon he knows what the angels eat. more...

Forget and forgive. This is not difficult when properly understood. more...

We adore titles and heredities in our hearts and ridicule them with our mouths. This is our democratic privilege. more...

All gods are better than their reputation. more...

The gods offer no rewards for intellect. There was never one yet that showed any interest in it... more...

Man proposes, but God blocks the game. more...

If God is what people say there can be no one in the universe so unhappy as He; for He sees unceasingly myriads of His creatures suffering unspeakable miseries-and besides this foresees how they are going to suffer during the remainder of their lives. One might as well say, "As unhappy as God." more...

God puts something good and loveable in every man His hands create. more...

No man that has ever lived has done a thing to please God-primarily. It was done to please himself, then God next. more...

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

The motto stated a lie. If this nation has ever trusted in God, that time has gone by; for nearly half a century almost its entire trust has been in the Republican party and the dollar-mainly the dollar. I recognize that I am only making an assertion and furnishing no proof; I am sorry, but this is a habit of mine; sorry also that I am not alone in it; everybody seems to have this disease. more...

More than once I have been humiliated by my resemblance to God the father; He is always longing for the love of His children and trying to get it on the cheapest and laziest terms He can invent. more...

Now I can only pray that there may be a God - and a heaven - or something better. more...

God pours out love upon all with a lavish hand - but He reserves vengeance for His very own. more...

It is the will of God that we must have critics and missionaries and congressmen and humorists, and we must bear the burden more...

We grant God the possession of all the qualities of mind except the one that keeps the others healthy; that watches over their dignity; that focuses their vision true-humor. more...

Leaving out the gamblers, the burglars, and the plumbers, perhaps we do put our trust in God after a fashion. But, after all, it is an overstatement. If the cholera or black plague should come to these shores, perhaps the bulk of the nation would pray to be delivered from it, but the rest would put their trust in The Health Board... more...

What God lacks is convictions- stability of character. He ought to be a Presbyterian or a Catholic or something- not try to be everything. more...

None of us can be as great as God, but any of us can be as good. more...

God, so atrocious in the Old Testament, so attractive in the New-the Jekyl and Hyde of sacred romance. more...

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

Our opinions do not really blossom into fruition until we have expressed them to someone else. more...

We catched fish, and talked, and we took a swim now and then to keep off sleepiness. It was kind of solemn, drifting down the big still river, laying on our backs looking up at the stars, and we didn't ever feel like talking loud, and it warn't often that we laughed, only a kind of low chuckle. We had mighty good weather, as a general thing, and nothing ever happened to us at all, that night, nor the next, nor the next. more...

In my nostrils still lives the breath of flowers that perished twenty years ago. more...

Good judgment comes from experience. And where does experience come from? Experience comes from bad judgment. more...

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

There is not an acre of ground on the globe that is in possession of its rightful owner, or that has not been taken away from owner after owner, cycle afer cycle, by force and bloodshed. more...

If a person offends you, and you are in doubt as to whether it was intentional or not, do not resort to extreme measures; simply watch your chance, and hit him with a brick. more...

The easy part of being an artist is figuring out the message that everyone else is ready to hear. The hard part is waiting for the proper lull to make the announcement. more...

A few fly bites cannot stop a spirited horse. more...

Yes - en I's rich now, come to look at it. I owns myself, en I's wuth eight hund'd dollars. I wisht I had de money, I wouldn' want no mo'. more...

The Mississippi River will always have its own way; no engineering skill can persuade it to do otherwise... more...

Great things can happen when you don't care who gets the credit. more...

No child should be permitted to grow up without exercise for imagination. It enriches life for him. It makes things wonderful and beautiful. more...

I have traveled more than anyone else, and I have noticed that even the angels speak English with an accent. more...

We can achieve what we can conceive and believe. more...

College is a place where a professor's lecture notes go straight to the students' lecture notes, without passing through the brains of either. more...

Books are the liberated spirits of men. more...

Training- training is everything; training is all there is to a person. We speak of nature; it is folly; there is no such thing as nature; what we call by that misleading name is merely heredity and training. We have no thoughts of our own, no opinions of our own; they are transmitted to us, trained into us. more...

Genius has no youth, but starts with the ripeness of age and old experience. more...

Annihilation has no terrors for me, because I have already tried it before I was born -a hundred million years -and I have suffered more in an hour, in this life, than I remember to have suffered in the whole hundred million years put together. more...

The writing begins when you've finished. Only then do you know what you're trying to say. more...

I have spent most of my life worrying about things that have never happened. more...

The difference between those that succeed and those that fail is, those that succeeded tried. more...

Benaras is older than history, older than tradition, older even than legend, and looks twice as old as all of them put together! more...

How empty is theory in the presence of fact! more...

Ours is a terrible religion. The fleets of the world could swim in spacious comfort in the innocent blood it has spilt. more...

The nation is divided, half patriots and half traitors, and no man can tell which from which. more...

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

Kindness is a language herd by deaf men and felt by blind men. more...

The only very marked difference between the average civilized man and the average savage is that the one is gilded and the other is painted. more...

I have been reading the morning paper. I do it every morning-knowing well that I shall find in it the usual depravities and basenesses and hypocrisies and cruelties that make up civilization, and cause me to put in the rest of the day pleading for the damnation of the human race. I cannot seem to get my prayers answered, yet I do not despair. more...

There is a great difference between feeding parties to wild beasts and stirring up their finer feelings in an inquisition. One is the system of degraded barbarians, the other of enlightened civilized people. more...

Would it not be prudent to get our civilization tools together, and see how much stock is left on hand in the way of Glass Beads and Theology, and Maxim Guns and Hymn Books, and Trade Gin and Torches of Progress and Enlightenment (patent adjustable ones, good to fire villages with, upon occasion), and balance the books, and arrive at the profit and loss, so that we may intelligently decide whether to continue the business or sellout the property and start a new Civilization Scheme on the proceeds. more...

Is it, perhaps, possible that there are two kinds of Civilization-one for home consumption and one for the heathen market? more...

There is no salvation for us but to adopt Civilization and lift ourselves down to its level. more...

Every civilization carries the seeds of its own destruction, and the same cycle shows in them all. The Republic is born, flourishes, decays into plutocracy, and is captured by the shoemaker whom the mercenaries and millionaires make into a king. The people invent their oppressors, and the oppressors serve the function for which they are invented. more...

The peoples furthest from civilization are the ones where equality between man and woman are furthest apart-and we consider this one of the signs of savagery. more...

My idea of our civilization is that it is a shoddy, poor thing and full of cruelties, vanities, arrogances, meannesses and hypocrisies. more...

If you will notice, there is seldom a telegram in a paper which fails to show up one or more members & beneficiaries of our Civilization as promenading with his shirt-tail up & the rest of his regalia in the wash. more...

Civilization largely consists in hiding human nature. When the barbarian learns to hide it we account him enlightened. more...

The smallest minds and the selfishest souls and the cowardliest hearts that God makes. more...

Congressman is the trivialist distinction for a full grown man. more...

The lightning there is peculiar; it is so convincing, that when it strikes a thing it doesn't leave enough of that thing behind for you to tell whether-Well, you'd think it was something valuable, and a Congressman had been there. more...

There is probably no pleasure equal to the pleasure of climbing a dangerous Alp; but it is a pleasure which is confined strictly to people who can find pleasure in it. more...

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. more...

We must put up with our clothes as they are - they have their reason for existing. They are on us to expose us - to advertise what we wear them to conceal. They are a sign; a sign of insincerity; a sign of suppressed vanity; a pretense that we desire gorgeous colors and the graces of harmony and form; and we put them on to propagate that lie and back it up. more...

Strip the human race, absolutely naked, and it would be a real democracy. But the introduction of even a rag of tiger skin, or a cowtail, could make a badge of distinction and be the beginning of a monarchy. more...

A policeman in plain clothes is a man; in his uniform he is ten. Clothes and title are the most potent thing, the most formidable influence, in the earth. They move the human race to willing and spontaneous respect for the judge, the general, the admiral, the bishop, the ambassador, the frivolous earl, the idiot duke, the sultan, the king, the emperor. No great title is efficient without clothes to support it. more...

We recognize that there are no trivial occurrences in life if we get the right focus on them. more...

It is at our mother's knee that we acquire our noblest and truest and highest ideals. more...

You meet people who forget you. You forget people you meet. But sometimes you meet those people you can't forget. Those are your 'friends more...

The secret of making progress is to get started. more...

To be satisfied with what one has; that is wealth. As long as one sorely needs a certain additional amount, that man isn't rich. more...

Life becomes fully understandable only the moment we realise that we are all mad. more...

Human beings can be awful cruel to one another. more...

I cherish the dreams of yesterday and dare not dwell on the err's of my past whose fate has been long decided, and effect I can not change. For the dreams of yesterday are the challenges of today, and the hope for tomorrow. more...

A brown spotted lady-bug climbed the dizzy height of a grass blade, and Tom bent down close to it and said, "Lady-bug, lady-bug, fly away home, your house is on fire, your children's alone," and she took wing and went off to see about it - which did not surprise the boy, for he knew of old that this insect was credulous about conflagrations, and he had practised upon its simplicity more than once. more...

I hate to hear people say this Judge will vote so and so, because he is a Democrat - and this one so and so because he is a Republican. It is shameful. The Judges have the Constitution for their guidance; they have no right to any politics save the politics of rigid right and justice when they are sitting in judgment upon the great matters that come before them. more...

Only he who has seen better days and lives to see better days again knows their full value. more...

In Boston they ask, how much does he know? In New York, how much is he worth? In Philadelphia, who were his parents? more...

Genius, like gold and precious stones, is chiefly prized because of its rarity. more...

Experience is an author's most valuable asset; experience is the thing that puts the muscle and the breath and the warm blood into the book he writes. more...

Recipe for a long life: Only smoke while awake. Only run when being chased. more...

Yes, always avoid violence. In this age of charity and kindliness, the time has gone by for such things. Leave dynamite to the low and unrefined. more...

An honest politician is an oxymoron. more...

The North thinks it knows how to make corn bread, but this is a gross superstition. Perhaps no bread in the world is quite as good as Southern corn bread, and perhaps no bread in the world is quite as bad as the Northern imitation of it. more...

Some civilized women would lose half their charm without dress and some would lose all of it. more...

In Marseilles they make half the toilet soap we consume in America, but the Marseillaise only have a vague theoretical idea of its use, which they have obtained from books of travel. more...

When you catch an adjective, kill it. No, I don't mean utterly, but kill most of them-then the rest will be valuable. They weaken when they are close together. They give strength when they are far apart. more...

Every man feels that his experience is unlike that of anybody else and therefore he should write it down- he finds also that everybody else has thought and felt on some points precisely as he has done, and therefore he should write it down. more...

It's not the parts of the Bible I don't know that worries me...it's the parts that I do. more...

If it is a Miracle, any sort of evidence will answer, but if it is a Fact, proof is necessary more...

I do not wish any reward but to know I have done the right thing. more...

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

the more I know about people, the better I like my dogs. more...

The difference between fiction and nonfiction is that fiction must be absolutely believable. more...

Our best built certainties are but sand-houses and subject to damage from any wind of doubt that blows more...

Love seems the swiftest, but it is the slowest of growths more...

Saturday morning was come, and all the summer world was bright and fresh, and brimming with life. There was a song in every heart; and if the heart was young, the music issued at the lips. There was cheer in every face and a spring in every step. The locust-trees were in bloom, and the fragrance of the blossoms filled the air. Cardiff Hill, beyond the village and above, it was green with vegetation, and it lay just far enough away to seem a Delectable Land, dreamy, reposeful, and inviting. more...

His head was an hour-glass; it could stow an idea, but it had to do it a grain at a time, not the whole idea at once. more...

Success is a journey, not a destination. It requires constant effort, vigilance and reevaluation. more...

Don't dream your life, but live your dream more...

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

a fully belly is little worth where the mind is starved. more...

There is no such thing as an ordinary life. more...

The rain ...falls upon the just and the unjust alike; a thing which would not happen if I were superintending the rain's affairs. No, I would rain softly and sweetly on the just, but if I caught a sample of the unjust outdoors, I would drown him. more...

One should never use exclamation points in writing. It is like laughing at your own joke. more...

There is nothing more frustrating than a good example. more...

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

I never write Metropolis for seven cents because I can get the same price for city. I never write policeman because I can get the same money for cop. more...

Suddenly the nickel-clad horse takes the bit in its mouth and goes slanting for the curbstone defying all prayers and all your powers to change its mind - your heart stands still, your breath hangs fire, your legs forget to work. more...

Conformity-the natural instinct to passively yield to that vague something recognized as authority. more...

Go and surprise the whole country by doing something right. more...

You can't pray a lie - I found that out. more...

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

There is nothing training can't cannot do. Nothing is above its reach. more...

But the elastic heart of youth cannot be compressed into one constrained shape long at a time. more...

Never argue with stupid people, they will drag you down to their level and then beat you with experience. more...

It is better to be alone than unwelcome. - Eve more...

I am only human, although I regret it. more...

The offspring of riches: Pride, vanity, ostentation, arrogance, tyranny more...

I have seen slower people than I am and more deliberate... and even quieter, and more listless, and lazier people than I am. But they were dead. more...

Tom said to himself that it was not such a hollow world, after all. He had discovered a great law of human action, without knowing it - namely, that in order to make a man or a boy covet a thing, it is only necessary to make the thing difficult to attain. more...

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

To someone with a hammer, everything looks like a nail. more...

Comparison is the death of joy. more...

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

The more you join with people in their joys and their sorrows, the more nearer and dearer they come to be to you. more...

It has been said that a Scotchman has not seen the world until he has seen Edinburgh; and I think that I may say that an American has not seen the United States until he has seen Mardi Gras in New Orleans. more...

When you catch an adjective, kill it. more...

An Englishman is a person who does things because they have been done before. An American is a person who does things because they haven't been done before. more...

A great, great deal has been said about the weather, but very little has ever been done. more...

Well enough for old folks to rise early, because they have done so many mean things all their lives they can't sleep anyhow. more...

A mine is a hole in the ground with a liar on top. more...

There are some books that refuse to be written. They stand their ground year after year and will not be persuaded. It isn't because the book is not there and worth being written - it is only because the right form of the story does not present itself. There is only one right form for a story and if you fail to find that form the story will not tell itself. more...

Reality can be beaten with enough imagination. more...

The difference between a Miracle and a Fact is exactly the difference between a mermaid and a seal. more...

We have not the reverent feeling for the rainbow that the savage has, because we know how it is made. We have lost as much as we gained by prying into that matter. more...

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

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

I wonder if God created man because He was disappointed with the monkey. more...

I was sorry to have my name mentioned as one of the great authors, because they have a sad habit of dying off. Chaucer is dead, Spencer is dead, so is Milton, so is Shakespeare, and I'm not feeling so well myself. more...

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

Once you've put one of his [Henry James] books down, you simply can't pick it up again. more...

Use the right word, not its second cousin. more...

To get the right word in the right place is a rare achievement. To condense the diffused light of a page of thought into the luminous flash of a single sentence, is worthy to rank as a prize composition just by itself...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. more...

Gold in its native state is but dull, unornamental stuff, and only lowborn metals excite the admiration of the ignorant with an ostentatious glitter. However, like the rest of the world, I still go on underrating men of gold and glorifying men of mica. more...

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. more...

Every person is a book, each year a chapter, more...

Kings cannot ennoble thee, thou good, great soul, for One who is higher than kings hath done that for thee; but a king can confirm thy nobility to men. more...

I couldn't bear to think about it; and yet, somehow, I couldn't think about nothing else. more...

If a cat sits on a hot stove, that cat won't sit on a hot stove again. That cat won't sit on a cold stove either. That cat just don't like stoves. more...

Now he found out a new thing-namely, that to promise not to do a thing is the surest way in the world to make a body want to go and do that very thing. more...

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. more...

Man is the only animal that deals in that atrocity of atrocities War. He is the only one that gathers his brethren about him and goes forth in cold blood and calm pulse to exterminate his kind. He is the only animal that for sordid wages will march out... and help to slaughter strangers of his own species who have done him no harm and with whom he has no quarrel.... And in the intervals between campaigns he washes the blood off his hands and works for the universal brotherhood of man with his mouth. more...

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. more...

There are some few people I respect and admire, but I don't think much of the species. more...

The only difference between reality and fiction is that fiction needs to be credible. more...

The time to begin writing an article is when you have finished it to your satisfaction. By that time you begin to clearly and logically perceive what it is you really want to say. more...

The average man don't like trouble and danger. more...

There warn't anybody at the church, except maybe a hog or two, for there warn't any lock on the door, and hogs likes a puncheon floor in summer-time because it's cool. If you notice, most folks don't go to church only when they've got to; but a hog is different. more...

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

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

Until I came to New Mexico, I never realized how much beauty water adds to a river. more...

I believe I have no prejudices whatsoever. All I need to know is that a man is a member of the human race. That's bad enough for me. more...

Don't explain your author, read him right and he explains himself. more...

Talent without work is useless, thank God more...

A banker is somebody who lends you an umbrella & takes it away as soon as it starts raining. more...

All kings is mostly rapscallions, as fur as I can make out. more...

I like Joan of Arc best of all my books; and it is the best; I know it perfectly well. more...

[I] shall never use profanity except in discussing house rent and taxes. Indeed, upon second thought, I will not use it then, for it is unchristian, inelegant, and degrading-though to speak truly I do not see how house rent and taxes are going to be discussed worth a cent without it. more...

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

If smoking cigars is not permitted in heaven, I won't go. more...

Education that consists in learning things and not the meaning of them is feeding upon the husks and not the corn more...

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

The proper office of a friend is to side with you when you are in the wrong. Nearly anybody will side with you when you are in the right. more...

When the Lord finished the world, he pronounced it good. That is what I said about my first work, too. But Time, I tell you, Time takes the confidence out of these incautious opinions. It is more than likely that He thinks about the world, now, pretty much as I think about the Innocents Abroad. The fact is, there is a trifle too much water in both. more...

No one can tell me what is a good cigar - for me. I am the only judge. People who claim to know say that I smoke the worst cigars in the world. They bring their own cigars when they come to my house. more...

I pledged myself to smoke but one cigar a day. I kept the cigar waiting until bedtime, then I had a luxurious time with it. But desire persecuted me every day and all day long. I found myself hunting for larger cigars...within the month my cigar had grown to such proportions I could have used it as a crutch. more...

France has neither winter, nor summer, nor morals. France is miserable because it is filled with Frenchmen, and Frenchmen are miserable because they live in France. more...

I felt it was my duty to praise all of God's works with fervent enthusiasm. At the same time I killed flies in my house in a spirit of hatred, exasperation and contempt. My praise to God for all his works was dishonest, the act of killing the fly was honest. more...

For we were little Christian children and early learned the value of forbidden fruit. more...

The devil's aversion to holy water is a light matter compared with a despots dread of a newspaper that laughs. more...

The heart is the real fountain of youth. more...

Begin with the determination to succeed and the work is half done already. more...

If your only tool is a hammer, everything starts to look like a nail. more...

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. These object lessons should teach us that ninety-nine parts of all things that proceed from the intellect are plagiarisms, pure and simple; and the lesson ought to make us modest. But nothing can do that. more...

The physician who knows only medicine, knows not even medicine. more...

I simply can't resist a cat, particularly a purring one. more...

I ordinarily smoke fifteen cigars during my five hours' labours, and if my interest reaches the enthusiastic point, I smoke more. I smoke with all my might, and allow no intervals. more...

There is no use in your walking five miles to fish when you can depend on being just as unsuccessful near home. more...

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

It is better to support schools than jails. more...

When the world is made to be idiot-proof, the world will become overpopulated with idiots. more...

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

All publishers are Columbuses. The successful author is their America. The reflection that they-like Columbus-didn't discover what they expected to discover, and didn't discover what they started out to discover, doesn't trouble them. All they remember is that they discovered America; they forget that they started out to discover some patch or corner of India. more...

How superbly brave is the Englishman in the presence of the awfulest forms of danger and death; and how abject in the presence of any and all forms of hereditary rank. more...

Everybody lies...every day, every hour, awake, asleep, in his dreams, in his joy, in his mourning. If he keeps his tongue still his hands, his feet, his eyes, his attitude will convey deception. more...

Explaining humor is a lot like dissecting a frog, you learn a lot in the process, but in the end you kill it. more...

Most writers regard the truth as their most valuable possession, and therefore are economical in its use. more...

Life is short, Break the Rules. Forgive quickly, Kiss SLOWLY. Love truly. Laugh uncontrollably And never regret ANYTHING That makes you smile. more...

I do not want Michael Angelo for breakfast-but for luncheon-for dinner- for tea-for supper-for between meals. more...

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

To do good is noble. To tell others to do good is even nobler and much less trouble. more...

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. more...

One of life's most over-valued pleasures is sexual intercourse; of one of life's least appreciated pleasures in defecation. more...

A man has no business to be depressed by a disappointment, anyway; he ought to make up his mind to get even. more...

The trouble with the world is not that people know too little; it's that they know so many things that just aren't so. more...

I have been studying the traits and dispositions of the "lower animals" (so called) and contrasting them with the traits and dispositions of man. I find the result humiliating to me. more...

There is nothing so annoying as having two people talking when you're busy interrupting. more...

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

A tax is a fine for doing well, a fine is a tax for doing wrong. more...

How many of you believe in telekinesis? Raise my hand. more...

If you must be indiscrete, be discrete in your indiscretion. more...

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

The two Testaments are interesting, each in its own way. The Old one gives us a picture of these people's Deity as he was before he got religion, the other one gives us a picture of him as he appeared afterward. more...

Against a diseased imagination demonstration goes for nothing. more...

Nevertheless we have this curious spectacle: daily the trained parrot in the pulpit gravely delivers himself of these ironies, which he has acquired at second-hand and adopted without examination, to a trained congregation which accepts them without examination, and neither the speaker nor the hearer laughs at himself. It does seem as if we ought to be humble when we are at a bench-show, and not put on airs of intellectual superiority there. more...

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. more...

It is a time when one's spirit is subdued and sad, one knows not why; when the past seems a storm-swept desolation, life a vanity and a burden, and the future but a way to death. It is a time when one is filled with vague longings; when one dreams of flight to peaceful islands in the remote solitudes of the sea, or folds his hands and says, What is the use of struggling, and toiling and worrying any more? let us give it all up. more...

The so-called Christian nations are the most enlightened and progressive ... but in spite of their religion, not because of it. The Church has opposed every innovation and discovery from the day of Galileo down to our own time, when the use of anesthetic in childbirth was regarded as a sin because it avoided the biblical curse pronounced against Eve. And every step in astronomy and geology ever taken has been opposed by bigotry and superstition. The Greeks surpassed us in artistic culture and in architecture five hundred years before Christian religion was born. more...

When an honest writer discovers an imposition it is his simple duty to strip it bare and hurl it down from its place of honor, no matter who suffers by it; any other course would render him unworthy of the public confidence. more...

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

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

To succeed in life, you need two things: ignorance and confidence. more...

The secret of getting ahead is getting started. more...

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

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

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

It is better to keep your mouth closed and let people think you are a fool than to open it and remove all doubt. more...

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

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

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

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. more...

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. more...

In the first place, God made idiots. That was for practice. Then he made school boards. more...

If it's your job to eat a frog, it's best to do it first thing in the morning. And If it's your job to eat two frogs, it's best to eat the biggest one first. more...

Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to pause and reflect. more...

The best way to cheer yourself up is to try to cheer somebody else up. more...

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

Apparently there is nothing that cannot happen today. more...

There are basically two types of people. People who accomplish things, and people who claim to have accomplished things. The first group is less crowded. more...

The lack of money is the root of all evil. more...

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

My mother had a great deal of trouble with me, but I think she enjoyed it. more...

Do the right thing. It will gratify some people and astonish the rest. more...

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

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

All generalizations are false, including this one. more...

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

It's no wonder that truth is stranger than fiction. Fiction has to make sense. more...

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

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 rather not. more...

Loyalty to the country always. Loyalty to the government when it deserves it. more...

It's good sportsmanship to not pick up lost golf balls while they are still rolling. more...

A man's character may be learned from the adjectives which he habitually uses in conversation. more...

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

But who prays for Satan? Who, in eighteen centuries, has had the common humanity to pray for the one sinner that needed it most? more...

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. more...

Suppose you were an idiot, and suppose you were a member of Congress; but I repeat myself. more...

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

Facts are stubborn, but statistics are more pliable. more...

The finest clothing made is a person's own skin, but, of course, society demands something more than this. more...

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

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

Many a small thing has been made large by the right kind of advertising. more...

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

The very ink with which history is written is merely fluid prejudice. more...

Be careful about reading health books. You may die of a misprint. more...

Loyalty to petrified opinion never yet broke a chain or freed a human soul. more...

Denial ain't just a river in Egypt. more...

Don't let schooling interfere with your education. more...

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

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

Wrinkles should merely indicate where smiles have been. more...

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

Humor is mankind's greatest blessing. more...

I never smoke to excess - that is, I smoke in moderation, only one cigar at a time. more...

If man could be crossed with the cat it would improve man, but deteriorate the cat. more...

All emotion is involuntary when genuine. more...

Let us make a special effort to stop communicating with each other, so we can have some conversation. more...

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

Grief can take care if itself, but to get the full value of a joy you must have somebody to divide it with. more...

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. more...

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

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

Life would be infinitely happier if we could only be born at the age of eighty and gradually approach eighteen. more...

Laws control the lesser man... Right conduct controls the greater one. more...

It ain't those parts of the Bible that I can't understand that bother me, it is the parts that I do understand. more...

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

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

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

It usually takes me more than three weeks to prepare a good impromptu speech. more...

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

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

When angry, count to four; when very angry, swear. more...

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

I can live for two months on a good compliment. more...

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

A person with a new idea is a crank until the idea succeeds. more...

Do the thing you fear most and the death of fear is certain. more...

My books are like water; those of the great geniuses are wine. (Fortunately) everybody drinks water. more...

Cauliflower is nothing but cabbage with a college education. more...

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

Always do right. This will gratify some people and astonish the rest. more...

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

The reports of my death have been greatly exaggerated. more...

I didn't attend the funeral, but I sent a nice letter saying I approved of it. more...

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

When your friends begin to flatter you on how young you look, it's a sure sign you're getting old. more...

Against the assault of laughter, nothing can stand. more...

Wit is the sudden marriage of ideas which, before their union, were not perceived to have any relation. more...

Sometimes too much to drink is barely enough. more...

What a wee little part of a person's life are his acts and his words! His real life is led in his head, and is known to none but himself. more...

George Washington, as a boy, was ignorant of the commonest accomplishments of youth. He could not even lie. more...

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

It is just like man's vanity and impertinence to call an animal dumb because it is dumb to his dull perceptions. more...

Thousands of geniuses live and die undiscovered - either by themselves or by others. more...

When in doubt tell the truth. more...

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

I've never let my school interfere with my education. more...

There is no sadder sight than a young pessimist. more...

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

Honesty is the best policy - when there is money in it. more...

Name the greatest of all inventors. Accident. more...

When a person cannot deceive himself the chances are against his being able to deceive other people. more...

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

The first of April is the day we remember what we are the other 364 days of the year. more...

I was seldom able to see an opportunity until it had ceased to be one. more...

Only one thing is impossible for God: To find any sense in any copyright law on the planet. more...

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

The Christian's Bible is a drug store. Its contents remain the same, but the medical practice changes. more...

Humor must not professedly teach and it must not professedly preach, but it must do both if it would live forever. more...

What, sir, would the people of the earth be without woman? They would be scarce, sir, almighty scarce. more...

Civilization is the limitless multiplication of unnecessary necessities. more...

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

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. more...

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

Good breeding consists in concealing how much we think of ourselves and how little we think of the other person. more...

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

Buy land, they're not making it anymore. more...

There are people who can do all fine and heroic things but one - keep from telling their happiness to the unhappy. more...

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

There is no distinctly American criminal class - except Congress. more...

Only kings, presidents, editors, and people with tapeworms have the right to use the editorial 'we.' more...

Action speaks louder than words but not nearly as often. more...

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

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

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

Work is a necessary evil to be avoided. more...

The more things are forbidden, the more popular they become. more...

The wit knows that his place is at the tail of a procession. more...

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 from smoking when awake. more...

I don't like to commit myself about heaven and hell - you see, I have friends in both places. more...

Man was made at the end of the week's work, when God was tired. more...

The man who does not read good books has no advantage over the man who cannot read them. more...

It was wonderful to find America, but it would have been more wonderful to miss it. more...

I have never taken any exercise, except sleeping and resting, and I never intend to take any. more...

Work consists of whatever a body is obliged to do. Play consists of whatever a body is not obliged to do. more...

A man cannot be comfortable without his own approval. more...

Golf is a good walk spoiled. more...

To refuse awards is another way of accepting them with more noise than is normal. more...

Martyrdom covers a multitude of sins. more...

Prophesy is a good line of business, but it is full of risks. more...

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

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

The secret source of humor is not joy but sorrow; there is no humor in Heaven. more...

Ideally a book would have no order to it, and the reader would have to discover his own. more...

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

He is now rising from affluence to poverty. more...

There are lies, damned lies and statistics. more...

All you need is ignorance and confidence and the success is sure. more...

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

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

We have the best government that money can buy. more...

Words are only painted fire; a look is the fire itself. more...

Optimist: day dreamer more elegantly spelled. more...

When I was younger I could remember anything, whether it happened or not. more...

It ain't what you don't know that gets you into trouble. It's what you know for sure that just ain't so. more...

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

If the world comes to an end, I want to be in Cincinnati. Everything comes there ten years later. more...

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

Truth is mighty and will prevail. There is nothing wrong with this, except that it ain't so. more...

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

It is easier to stay out than get out. more...

Water, taken in moderation, cannot hurt anybody. more...

The human race is a race of cowards; and I am not only marching in that procession but carrying a banner. more...

Let us not be too particular; it is better to have old secondhand diamonds than none at all. more...

God made the Idiot for practice, and then He made the School Board. more...

Never pick a fight with people who buy ink by the barrel. more...

'Classic.' A book which people praise and don't read. more...

Soap and education are not as sudden as a massacre, but they are more deadly in the long run. more...

Prosperity is the best protector of principle. more...

Necessity is the mother of taking chances. more...

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

The rule is perfect: in all matters of opinion our adversaries are insane. more...

Principles have no real force except when one is well-fed. more...

I make it a rule never to smoke while I'm sleeping. more...

If you hold a cat by the tail you learn things you cannot learn any other way. more...

Lord save us all from old age and broken health and a hope tree that has lost the faculty of putting out blossoms. more...

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

No sinner is ever saved after the first twenty minutes of a sermon. more...

To be good is noble; but to show others how to be good is nobler and no trouble. more...

I have never let my schooling interfere with my education. more...

Don't say the old lady screamed. Bring her on and let her scream. more...

I don't give a damn for a man that can only spell a word one way. more...

I must have a prodigious quantity of mind; it takes me as much as a week sometimes to make it up. more...

Man is the only animal that blushes - or needs to. more...

The more you explain it, the more I don't understand it. more...

There are times when one would like to hang the whole human race, and finish the farce. more...

Education consists mainly of what we have unlearned. more...

There are several good protections against temptation, but the surest is cowardice. more...

Why shouldn't truth be stranger than fiction? Fiction, after all, has to make sense. more...

We are all alike, on the inside. more...

We Americans... bear the ark of liberties of the world. more...

Repartee is something we think of twenty-four hours too late. more...

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

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

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

Familiarity breeds contempt - and children. more...

Nothing so needs reforming as other people's habits. more...

The educated Southerner has no use for an 'r', except at the beginning of a word. more...

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

I never let schooling interfere with my education. more...

The public is the only critic whose opinion is worth anything at all. more...

How lucky Adam was. He knew when he said a good thing, nobody had said it before. more...

Fiction is obliged to stick to possibilities. Truth isn't. more...

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

Better a broken promise than none at all. more...

The main difference between a cat and a lie is that a cat only has nine lives. more...

The Public is merely a multiplied 'me.' more...

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. more...

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

The wise thing is for us diligently to train ourselves to lie thoughtfully, judiciously; to lie with a good object, and not an evil one; to lie for others' advantage, and not our own; to lie healingly, charitably, humanely, not cruelly, hurtfully, maliciously; to lie gracefully and graciously, not awkwardly and clumsily; to lie firmly, frankly, squarely, with head erect, not haltingly, tortuously, with pusillanimous mien, as being ashamed of our high calling. more...

I have a higher and grander standard of principle than George Washington. He could not lie; I can, but I won't. more...

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'. more...

Now when I had mastered the language of this water, and had come to know every trifling feature that bordered the great river as familiarly as I knew the letters of the alphabet, I had made a valuable acquisition. But I had lost something, too. I had lost something which could never be restored me while I lived. All the grace, the beauty, the poetry, had gone out of the majestic river! more...

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. more...

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

The Germans have an inhuman way of cutting up their verbs. Now a verb has a hard time enough of it in this world when it's all together. It's downright inhuman to split it up. But that's just what those Germans do. They take part of a verb and put it down here, like a stake, and they take the other part of it and put it away over yonder like another stake, and between these two limits they just shovel in German. from "Disappearance of Literature more...

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. more...

I am not interested to know whether vivisection produces results that are profitable to the human race or doesn't...The pain which it inflicts upon unconsenting animals is the basis of my enmity toward it, and it is to me sufficient justification of the enmity without looking further. more...

I do not like an injurious lie, except when it injures somebody else. more...

The only difference between a tax man and a taxidermist is that the taxidermist leaves the skin. more...

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

A big leather-bound volume makes an ideal razorstrap. A thing book is useful to stick under a table with a broken caster to steady it. A large, flat atlas can be used to cover a window with a broken pane. And a thick, old-fashioned heavy book with a clasp is the finest thing in the world to throw at a noisy cat. more...

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

Write without pay until somebody offers to pay. more...

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

Sometimes I wonder whether the world is being run by smart people who are putting us on or by imbeciles who really mean it. more...

All I care to know about a man is that he is a human being... he can't be any worse. more...

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

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

Sane and intelligent human beings are like all other human beings, and carefully and cautiously and diligently conceal their private real opinions from the world and give out fictitious ones in their stead for general consumption. more...

There are things which some people never attempt during their whole lives, but one of these is not poetry. Poetry attacks all human beings sooner or later, and, like the measles, is mild or violent according to the age of the sufferer. more...

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. more...

Sufficient unto the day is one baby. As long as you are in your right mind don't you ever pray for twins. Twins amount to a permanent riot; and there ain't any real difference between triplets and a insurrection. - The Babies speech 1879 more...

The face of the water, in time, became a wonderful book- a book that was a dead language to the uneducated passenger, but which told its mind to me without reserve, delivering its most cherished secrets as clearly as if it uttered them with a voice. And it was not a book to be read once and thrown aside, for it had a new story to tell every day. more...

Learning softeneth the heart and breedeth gentleness and charity. more...

To me [Edgar Allen Poe's] prose is unreadable-like Jane Austin's [sic]. No there is a difference. I could read his prose on salary, but not Jane's. Jane is entirely impossible. It seems a great pity that they allowed her to die a natural death. more...

Education: the path from cocky ignorance to miserable uncertainty. more...

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

Wilson stopped and stood silent. Inattention dies a quick and sure death when a speaker does that. more...

There is nothing in the world like persuasive speech to fuddle the mental apparatus. more...

I am a great and sublime fool. But then I am God's fool, and all His works must be contemplated with respect. more...

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

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 anymore. more...

To believe yourself brave is to be brave; it is the one only essential thing. more...

for business reasons, I must preserve the outward signs of sanity. more...

Ah, that shows you the power of music, that magician of magician, who lifts his wand and says his mysterious word and all things real pass away and the phantoms of your mind walk before you clothed in flesh. more...

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

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

Books are for people who wish they were somewhere else. more...

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

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. more...

Most people are bothered by those passages of Scripture they do not understand, but the passages that bother me are those I do understand. more...

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

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. more...

I said nothing of the sort. more...

When in doubt tell the truth. It will confound your enemies and astound your friends. more...

One of the proofs of the immortality of the soul is that myriads have believed it. They also believed the world was flat. more...

Bridgeport?" Said I. "Camelot," Said he. more...

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

I wasn't worth a cent two years ago, and now I owe two million dollars. more...

I reverently believe that the maker who made us all makes everything in New England, but the weather. I don't know who makes that, but I think it must be raw apprentices in the weather-clerks factory who experiment and learn how, in New England, for board and clothes, and then are promoted to make weather for countries that require a good article, and will take their custom elsewhere if they don't get it. more...

Travel is lethal to prejudice. more...

It is poison - rank poison - to knuckle down to care and hardships. They must come to us all, albeit in different shapes, and we may not escape them. It is not possible. But we may swindle them out of half of their puissance with a stiff upper lip. more...

Self-approval is acquired mainly from the approval of other people. more...

The sole impulse which dictates and compels a man's every act: the imperious necessity of securing his own approval, in every emergency and at all costs.... It is our only spur, our whip, our goad, our impelling power; we have no other. more...

There is no family in America without a clock, and consequently there is no fair pretext for the usual Sunday medley of dreadful sounds that issues from our steeples. more...

What is the most rigorous law of our being? Growth. No smallest atom of our moral, mental, or physical structure can stand still a year. It grows-it must grow smaller or larger, better or worse-it cannot stand still. In other words, we change-and must change, constantly, and keep on changing as long as we live. What, then, is the true Gospel of consistency? Change. Who is the really consistent man? The man who changes. Since change is the law of his being, he cannot be consistent if he's stuck in a rut. more...

There are those who imagine that the unlucky accidents of life?life's "experiences"?are in some way useful to us. I wish I could find out how. I never know one of them to happen twice. They always change off and swap around and catch you on your inexperienced side. more...

God only exhibits his thunder and lightning at intervals, and so they always command attention. more...

Is not this insanity plea becoming rather common? Is it not so common that the reader confidently expects to see it offered in every criminal case that comes before the courts?... Really, what we want now, is not laws against crime, but a law against insanity. more...

Labor in loneliness is irksome. more...

My mind changes often ... People who have no mind can easily be steadfast and firm, but when a man is loaded down to the guards with it, as I am, every heavy sea of foreboding or inclination, maybe of indolence, shifts the cargo. more...

Unexpected money is a delight. The same sum is a bitterness when you expected more. more...

In truth I care little about any party's politics?the man behind it is the important thing. more...

What a man wants with religion in these breadless times, surpasses my comprehension. more...

Men are easily dealt with-but when you get the women started, you are in for it, you know. more...

When a humorist ventures upon the grave concerns of life he must do his job better than another man or he works harm to his cause. more...

I always did hate for anyone to know what my plans or hopes or prospects were?for, if I kept people in ignorance in these matters, no one could be disappointed but myself, if they were not realized. more...

We chase phantoms half the days of our lives. It is well if we learn wisdom even then, and save the other half. more...

Who would find out that I am a natural fool if I kept always cool and never let nature come to the surface? Nobody. more...

My interest in my work dies a sudden and violent death when the work is done. more...

People who always feel jolly, no matter where they are or what happens to them?who have the organ of hope preposterously developed?who are endowed with an uncongealable sanguine temperament?who never feel concerned about the price of corn?and who cannot, by any possibility, discover any but the bright side of a picture?are very apt to go to extremes, and exaggerate with 40-horse microscopic power. more...

I am as prompt as a clock, if I only know the day a thing is wanted?otherwise I am a natural procrastinaturalist. more...

Human nature is the same everywhere; it deifies success, it has nothing but scorn for defeat. more...

Low comedies are written for the drawing-room, the kitchen and the stable, and if you cut out the kitchen and the stable the drawing-room can't support the play by itself. more...

I never made a success of a lecture delivered in a church yet. People are afraid to laugh in a church. They can't be made to do it in any possible way. more...

In my experience, previously counted chickens never do hatch. more...

The kernel, the soul ? let us go further and say the substance, the bulk, the actual and valuable material of all human utterances ? is plagiarism. For substantially all ideas are second-hand, consciously and unconsciously drawn from a million outside sources, and daily used by the garnerer with a pride and satisfaction born of the superstition that he originated them; whereas there is not a rag of originality about them anywhere except the little discoloration they get from his mental and moral calibre and his temperament, and which is revealed in characteristics of phrasing. more...

The citizen who thinks he sees that the commonwealth's political clothes are worn out, and yet holds his peace and does not agitate for a new suit, is disloyal, he is a traitor. That he may be the only one who thinks he sees this decay, does not excuse him: it is his duty to agitate anyway, and it is the duty of others to vote him down if they do not see the matter as he does. more...

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

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

Nearly all black and brown skins are beautiful, but a beautiful white skin is rare. more...

An injurious lie is an uncommendable thing; and so, also, and in the same degree, is an injurious truth a fact that is recognized by the law of libel . more...

It is a pity we can't escape from life when we are young. more...

when the human race is not grotesque it is because it is asleep and losing its opportunity. more...

Guides cannot master the subtleties of the American joke. more...

Not a single right is indestructible: a new might can at any time abolish it, hence, man possesses not a single permanent right. God is Might (and He is shifty, malicious, and uncertain). more...

Persons who think there is no such thing as luck good or bad are entitled to their opinion, although I think they ought to be shot for it. more...

Brooklyn praise is half slander. more...

I wish Europe would let Russia annihilate Turkey a little-not much, but enough to make it difficult to find the place again without a divining-rod or a diving-bell. more...

Pilgrim's Progress , about a man that left his family, it didn't say why. I read considerable in it now and then. The statements was interesting, but tough. more...

Surely the test of a novel's characters is that you feel a strong interest in them and their affairs the good to be successful, the bad to suffer failure. Well, in John Ward, you feel no divided interest, no discriminating interest you want them all to land in hell together, and right away. more...

when you recollect something which belonged in an earlier chapter, do not go back, but jam it in where you are . Discursiveness does not hurt an autobiography in the least. more...

an Autobiography is the truest of all books; for while it inevitably consists mainly of extinctions of the truth, shirkings of the truth, partial revealments of the truth, with hardly an instance of plain straight truth, the remorseless truth is there, between the lines, where the author-cat is raking dust upon it which hides from the disinterested spectator neither it nor its smell... the result being that the reader knows the author in spite of his wily diligences. more...

When grown-up persons indulge in practical jokes, the fact gauges them. They have lived narrow, obscure, and ignorant lives, and at full manhood they still retain and cherish a job lot of left-over standards and ideals that would have been discarded with their boyhood if they had then moved out into the world and a broader life. more...

from the beginning of my sojourn in this world there was a persistent vacancy in me where the industry ought to be. (Ought to was is better, perhaps, though the most of the authorities differ as to this. more...

my sister...was an interested and zealous invalid during sixty-five years, tried all the new diseases as fast as they came out, and always enjoyed the newest one more than any that went before; my brother had accumulated forty-two brands of Christianity before he was called away. more...

Whenever the human race assembles to a number exceeding four, it cannot stand free speech. more...

He [George Washington Cable] has taught me to abhor and detest the Sabbath day and hunt up new and troublesome ways to dishonor it. more...

It is a mystery that is hidden from me by reason that the emergency requiring the fathoming of it hath not in my life-days occurred, and so, not having no need to know this thing, I abide barren of the knowledge. more...

None but the dead have free speech. more...

it is not wise to keep the fire going under a slander unless you can get some large advantage out of keeping it alive. Few slanders can stand the wear of silence. more...

I am always reading immoral books on the sly, and then selfishly trying to prevent other people from having the same wicked good time. more...

As I slowly grow wise I briskly grow cautious. more...

There has never been a Protestant boy nor a Protestant girl whose mind the Bible has not soiled. more...

Man is a Religious Animal. He is the only Religious Animal. He is the only animal that has the True Religion-several of them. He is the only animal that loves his neighbor as himself and cuts his throat if his theology isn't straight. He has made a graveyard of the globe in trying his honest best to smooth his brother's path to happiness and heaven....The higher animals have no religion. And we are told that they are going to be left out in the Hereafter. I wonder why? It seems questionable taste. more...

The fact is, the king was a good deal more than a king, he was a man; and when a man is a man, you can't knock it out of him. more...

Words are only painted fire, a look is the fire itself. She gave that look, and carried it away to the treasury of heaven, where all things that are divine belong. more...

Never be haughty to the humble, never be humble to the haughty. more...

But they (the infantry) had no use for boys of twelve and thirteen, and before I had a chance in another war, the desire to kill people to whom I had not been introduced had passed away. more...

There is no such thing as material covetousness. All covetousness is spiritual. ...Any so-called material thing that you want is merely a symbol: you want it not for itself, but because it will content your spirit for the moment. more...

Which is him?" The grammar was faulty, maybe, but we could not know, then, that it would go in a book someday. more...

Be respectful to your superiors, if you have any. more...

I cannot call to mind a single instance where I have ever been irreverent, except toward the things which were sacred to other people. more...

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. more...

Will a day come when the race will detect the funniness of these juvenilities and laugh at them-and by laughing at them destroy them? For your race, in its poverty, has unquestionably one really effective weapon-laughter. Power, Money, Persuasion, Supplication, Persecution-these can lift at a colossal humbug,-push it a little- crowd it a little-weaken it a little, century by century: but only Laughter can blow it to rags and atoms at a blast. Against the assault of Laughter nothing can stand. - "The Chronicle of Young Satan," Mysterious Stranger Manuscripts more...

I was born lazy. I am no lazier now than I was forty years ago, but that is because I reached the limit forty years ago. You can't go beyond possibility. more...

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

She remained both girl and woman to the last day of her life. Under a grave and gentle exterior burned inextinguishable fires of sympathy, energy, devotion, enthusiasm, and absolutely limitless affection. more...

Persons attempting to find a motive in this narrative will be prosecuted; persons attempting to find a moral in it will be banished; persons attempting to find a plot in it will be shot. BY ORDER OF THE AUTHOR per G.G., CHIEF OF ORDNANCE more...

It's easy to make friends, but hard to get rid of them. more...

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

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. more...

You can't reason with your heart; it has its own laws, and thumps about things which the intellect scorns. more...

Nature knows no indecencies; man invents them. more...

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. more...

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. more...

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

There are people who strictly deprive themselves of each and every eatable, drinkable, and smokable which has in any way acquired a shady reputation. They pay this price for health. And health is all they get for it. How strange it is. It is like paying out your whole fortune for a cow that has gone dry. more...

We despise all reverences and all objects of reverence which are outside the pale of our list of sacred things. And yet, with strange inconsistency, we are shocked when other people despise and defile the things which are holy to us. more...

God created war so that Americans would learn geography. more...

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. more...

In Paris they just simply opened their eyes and stared when we spoke to them in French! We never did succeed in making those idiots understand their own language. more...

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

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

Wagner's music is better than it sounds. more...

It was a splendid population - for all the slow, sleepy, sluggish-brained sloths stayed at home - you never find that sort of people among pioneers - you cannot build pioneers out of that sort of material. It was that population that gave to California a name for getting up astounding enterprises and rushing them through with a magnificent dash and daring and a recklessness of cost or consequences, which she bears unto this day - and when she projects a new surprise the grave world smiles as usual and says, "Well, that is California all over. more...

No man's life, liberty, or property are safe while the legislature is in session. more...

Fame is a vapor, popularity an accident; the only earthly certainty is oblivion. more...

Distance lends enchantment to the view. more...

The history of our race, and each individual's experience, are sown thick with evidence that a truth is not hard to kill and that a lie told well is immortal. more...

I do not like work even when someone else is doing it. more...

How little a thing can make us happy when we feel that we have earned it. more...

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

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

I think I can say, and say with pride, that we have some legislatures that bring higher prices than any in the world. more...

Perhaps no poet is a conscious plagiarist, but there seems to be warrant for suspecting that there is no poet who is not at one time or another an unconscious one. more...

There is nothing in either savage or civilized history that is more utterly complete, more remorselessly sweeping than the Father of Mercy's campaign among the Midianites. The official report deals only in masses, all the virgins, all the men, all the babies. all 'creatures that breathe,' all houses. all cities. It gives you just one vast picture ...as far as the eye can reach, of charred ruins and storm-swept desolation... Would you expect this same conscienceless God, this moral bankrupt, to become a teacher of morals, of gentleness, of meekness, of righteousness, of purity? more...

Christianity will doubtless still survive in the earth ten centuries hence- stuffed and in a museum. more...

The Christian Bible is a drug store. It's contents have remained the same but the medical practice continues. For 1,800 years these changes were slight-scarcely noticeable... The dull and ignorant physician day and night, and all the days and all the nights, drenched his patient with vast and hideous doses of the most repulsive drugs to be found in the store's stock. He kept him religion sick for eighteen centuries, and allowed him not a well day during all that time. more...

Preachers are always pleasant company when they are off duty. more...

The world has corrected the Bible. The church never corrects it; and also never fails to drop in at the tail of the procession-and take the credit of the correction. more...

Missionarying was a better thing in those days than it is in ours. All you had to do was to cure the head savage's sick daughter by a miracle- a miracle like the miracle of Lourdes in our day, for instance- and immediately that head savage was your convert, and filled to the eyes with a new convert's enthusiasm. You could sit down and make yourself easy now. He would take the ax and convert the rest of the nation himself. more...

I bring you this stately matron named Christendom, returning bedraggled, besmirched, and dishonored from pirate raids in Kiao-Chow, Manchuria, South Africa, and the Phillipines, with her soul full of meanness, her pocket full of boodle, and her mouth full of pious hypocrisies. Give her soap and a towel, but hide the looking-glass. more...

It was the most earnest ambition I ever had....Not that I ever really wanted to be a preacher, but because it never occurred to me that a preacher could be damned. It looked like a safe job. more...

Man is without doubt the most interesting fool there is. He concedes that God made the angels immune from pain and death, and that he could have been similarly kind to man, but denies that he was under any moral obligation to do so. more...

I cannot see the short, white curls Upon the forehead of an Ox, But what I see them dripping with That poor thing's blood, and hear the ax; When I see calves and lambs, I see Them led to death; I see no bird Or rabbit cross the open field But what a sudden shot is heard; A shout that tells me men aim true, For death or wound, doth chill me through. W.H. Davies I have been studying the traits and dispositions of the "lower animals" (so called) and contrasting them with the traits and dispositions of man. I find the result humiliating to me. more...

These are the true and only God, mighty and supreme. more...

America cannot have an empire abroad and a Republic at home. more...

I find that the further I go back, the better things were, whether they happened or not. more...

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

... all the modern inconveniences ... more...

... an experienced, industrious, ambitious, and often quite often picturesque liar. more...

But soft you, the fair Ophelia: Ope not thy ponderous and marble jaws, But get thee to a nunnery - go! more...

They spell it da Vinci and pronounce it da Vinchy. Foreigners always spell better than they pronounce. more...

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

Against the assault of laughter nothing can stand. more...

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

Any emotion, if it is sincere, is involuntary. more...

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

Man was made at the end of the week's work when God was tired. more...

If man could be crossed with the cat, it would improve man but deteriorate the cat. more...

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

Lord save us all from a hope tree that has lost the faculty of putting out blossoms. more...

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

It is not best that we should all think alike; it is a difference of opinion that makes horse races. more...

The difference between the right word and the almost right word is the difference between lightning and a lightning bug. more...

By trying we can easily endure adversity. Another man's, I mean. more...

I have never taken any exercise except sleeping and resting. more...

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

Wit is the sudden marriage of ideas which before their union were not perceived to have any relation. more...

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

What a good thing Adam had. When he said a good thing he knew nobody had said it before. more...

There ain't no way to find out why a snorer can't hear himself snore. more...

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

Who are the oppressors? The few: the King, the capitalist, and a handful of other overseers and superintendents. Who are the oppressed? The many: the nations of the earth; the valuable personages; the workers; they that make the bread that the soft-handed and idle eat. more...

I wonder how much it would take to buy a soap bubble, if there were only one in the world. more...

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

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

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. more...

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

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

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. more...

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. more...

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

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. more...

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. more...

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. more...

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

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

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. more...

Hain't we got all the fools in town on our side? And hain't that a big enough majority in any town? more...

To place man properly at the present time, he stands somewhere between the angels and the French. more...

You believe in a book that has talking animals, wizards, witches, demons, sticks turning into snakes, burning bushes, food falling from the sky, people walking on water, and all sorts of magical, absurd and primitive stories, and you say that we are the ones that need help? more...

I said there was nothing so convincing to an Indian as a general massacre. If he could not approve of the massacre, I said the next surest thing for an Indian was soap and education. Soap and education are not as sudden as a massacre, but they are more deadly in the long run; because a half-massacred Indian may recover, but if you educate him and wash him, it is bound to finish him some time or other. more...

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

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

Human pride is not worthwhile; there is always something lying in wait to take the wind out of it. more...

I haven't any right to criticize books, and I don't do it except when I hate them. I often want to criticize Jane Austen, but her books madden me so that I can't conceal my frenzy from the reader; and therefore I have to stop every time I begin. Every time I read Pride and Prejudice I want to dig her up and beat her over the skull with her own shin-bone. more...

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. more...

When we think of friends, and call their faces out of the shadows, and their voices out of the echoes that faint along the corridors of memory, and do it without knowing why save that we love to do it, we content ourselves that that friendship is a Reality, and not a Fancy-that it is builded upon a rock, and not upon the sands that dissolve away with the ebbing tides and carry their monuments with them. more...

Tea is an affront to lunch and an insult to dinner. more...

Knowledge becomes wisdom only after it has been put to good use. more...

There is no such thing as a new idea. It is impossible. We simply take a lot of old ideas and put them into a sort of mental kaleidoscope. We give them a turn and they make new and curious combinations. We keep on turning and making new combinations indefinitely; but they are the same old pieces of colored glass that have been in use through all the ages. more...

The conviction of the rich that the poor are happier is no more foolish than the conviction of the poor that the rich are. more...

A photograph is a most important document, and there is nothing more damning to go down to posterity than a silly, foolish smile caught and fixed forever. more...

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. more...

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.... more...

We are discreet sheep; we wait to see how the drove is going, and then go with the drove. We have two opinions: one private, which we are afraid to express; and another one - the one we use - which we force ourselves to wear to please Mrs. Grundy, until habit makes us comfortable in it, and the custom of defending it presently makes us love it, adore it, and forget how pitifully we came by it. Look at it in politics. more...

I never can think of Judas Iscariot without losing my temper. To my mind Judas Iscariot was nothing but a low, mean, premature, Congressman. more...

Praise is well, compliment is well, but affection-that is the last and most precious reward that any man can win, whether by character or achievement. more...

One thing at a time, is my motto - and just play that thing for all it is worth, even if it's only tto pair and a jack. more...

In this age of inventive wonders all men have come to believe that in some genius' brain sleeps the solution of the grand problem of aerial navigation-and along with that belief is the hope that that genius will reveal his miracle before they die, and likewise a dread that he will poke off somewhere and die himself before he finds out that he has such a wonder lying dormant in his brain. We all know the air can be navigated-therefore, hurry up your sails and bladders-satisfy us-let us have peace. more...

I could forgive the boy, now, if he'd committed a million sins! more...

I deal with temptation by yielding to it. more...

Moralists and philosophers have adjudged those who throw temptation in the way of the erring, equally guilty with those who are thereby led into evil more...

Hardly a man in the world has an opinion upon morals, political, or religion which he got otherwise than through his associations and sympathies. more...

Truth is neither alive nor dead; it just aggravates itself all the time.... more...

If there was two birds sitting on a fence, he would bet you which one would fly first. more...

When all is said and done, the one sole condition that makes spiritual happiness and preserves it is the absence of doubt. more...

Circumstances make man, not man circumstances. more...

The primary rule of business success is loyalty to your employer. That's all right as a theory. What is the matter with loyalty to yourself? more...

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

Always do what's right. That will gratify some and surprise the rest. more...

Whenever he was out of luck and a little down-hearted, he would fall to mourning over the loss of a wonderful cat he used to own (for where women and children are not, men of kindly impulses take up with pets, for they must love something) more...

Soap and education are not as sudden as a massacre, but they are more deadly in the long run. Training is everything. The peach was once a bitter almond; cauliflower is nothing but cabbage with a college education. more...

If men bore children, there would only be one born in each family. more...

Nothing helps scenery like bacon and eggs. more...

In religion, India is the only millionaire... the One land that all men desire to see, and having seen once, by even a glimpse, would not give that glimpse for all the shows of all the rest of the globe combined. more...

Tell me about a person's family, friends, and community, and I'll tell you what his opinions are. more...

Each man is afraid of his neighbor's disapproval - a thing which, to the general run of the human race, is more dreaded than wolves and death. more...

You can't make a life over. Society wouldn't let you if you would. more...

Suppose . . . burglars had made entry into this . . . [library]. Picture them seated here on this floor, pouring the light of their dark-lanterns over some books they found, and thus absorbing moral truths and getting moral uplift. The whole course of their lives would have been changed. As it was, they kept straight on in their immoral way and were sent to jail. For all I know, they may next be sent to Congress. more...

Out of the public schools comes the greatness of the nation. more...

This morning arrives a letter from my ancient silver-mining comrade, Calvin H. Higbie, a man whom I have not seen nor had communication with for forty-four years. . . . [Footnote: Roughing It is dedicated to Higbie.] . . . I shall allow myself the privilege of copying his punctuation and his spelling, for to me they are a part of the man. He is as honest as the day is long. He is utterly simple-minded and straightforward, and his spelling and his punctuation are as simple and honest as he is himself. He makes no apology for them, and no apology is needed. more...

Why waste your money looking up your family tree? Just go into politics and your opponent will do it for you. more...

This is the fairest picture on our planet, the most enchanting to look upon, the most satisfying to the eye and spirit. To see the sun sink down, drowned in his pink and purple and golden floods, and overwhelm Florence with tides of color that make all the sharp lines dim and faint and turn the solid city to a city of dreams, is a sight to stir the coldest nature, and make a sympathetic one drunk with ecstasy. more...

There are those who would misteach us that to stick in a rut is consistency - and a virtue, and that to climb out of the rut is inconsistency - and a vice. more...

I can't do no literary work for the rest of this year because I'm meditating another lawsuit and looking around for a defendant. more...

He charged nothing for his preaching and it was worth it too. more...

I could have become a soldier if I had waited; I knew more about retreating than the man who invented retreating. more...

The first time a student realizes that a little learning is a dangerous thing is when he brings home a poor report card. more...

More than one cigar at a time is excessive smoking. more...

Those who do not read the news are uninformed. Those who do are misinformed. more...

We are all ignorant; just about different things. more...

Imagine, if you will, that I am an idiot. Then, imagine that I am also a Congressman. But, alas, I repeat myself. more...

Worrying is paying interest on a debt you might not even owe. more...

There is one notable thing about our Christianity: bad, bloody, merciless, money-grabbing, and predatory. The invention of hell measured by our Christianity of today, bad as it is, hypocritical as it is, empty and hollow as it is, neither the deity nor his son is a Christian, nor qualified for that moderately high place. Ours is a terrible religion. The fleets of the world could swim in spacious comfort in the innocent blood it has spilled. more...

There are several kinds of stories, but only one difficult kind-the humorous. more...

You need not expect to get your book right the first time. more...

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. more...

School gets in the way of my learning. more...

Perhaps it will be simplest to throw away the tags and generalize India with one all-comprehensive name, as the Land of Wonders. more...

The catfish is Plenty good enough fish for anyone more...

When I want to read something nice, I sit down and write it myself. more...

The only people that a bank will loan money to is the very people who don't need it. more...

Don't go to sleep, so many people die there. more...

Intellectual food is like any other; it is pleasanter and more beneficial to take it with a spoon than a shovel. more...

It were not best that we should all think alike. more...

A German joke is no laughing matter. more...

To stand still is to fall behind. more...

I was born modest, but it didn't last. more...

As a boy, I once saw a cart of melons that sorely tempted me. I sneaked up to the cart and stole a melon. I went into the alley to devour it, but no sooner had I set my teeth into it, than I paused, a strange feeling coming over me. I came to a quick conclusion. Firmly, I walked up to that cart, replaced the melon - and took a ripe one. more...

The less a man knows the bigger the noise he makes and the higher the salary he commands. more...

Humor is like a frog; if you dissect it, it dies. more...

Mine was a trained Presbyterian conscience and knew but the one duty - to hunt and harry its slave upon all pretexts and on all occasions, particularly when there was no sense nor reason in it. more...

Presbyterianism without infant damnation would be like the dog on the train that couldn't be identified because it had lost its tag. more...

It has taken a weary long time to persuade American Presbyterians to give up infant damnation and try to bear it the best they can. more...

This is a Christian country. Why, so is hell. Inasmuch as Strait is the way and narrow is the gate, and few - few - are they that enter in thereat has had the natural effect of making hell the only really prominent Christian community in any of the worlds; but we don't brag of this and certainly it is not proper to brag and boast that America is a Christian country when we all know that certainly five-sixths of our population could not enter in at the narrow gate. more...

Of the 417 commandments, only a single one of the 417 has found ministerial obedience; multiply and replenish the earth. To it sinner & saint, scholar & ignoramus, Christian & savage are alike loyal. more...

This is the only sane clerical the earthquake has exposed to view yet. more...

For England must not fall: it would mean an inundation of Russian & German political degradations which would envelop the globe & steep it in a sort of Middle-Age night & slaverly which would last till Christ comes again - which I hope he will not do; he made trouble enough before. more...

It is easy to see that the inventor of the heaven did not originate the idea, but copied it from the show-ceremonies of some sorry little sovereign State up in the back settlements of the Orient somewhere. more...

The choir always tittered and whispered all through the service. There was once a church choir that was not ill-bred, but I have forgotten where it was. more...

One must keep one's character. Earn a character first if you can, and if you can't, then assume one. From the code of morals I have been following and revising and revising for 72 years I remember one detail. All my life I have been honest - comparatively honest. I could never use money I had not made honestly - I could only lend it. more...

When one's character begins to fall under suspicion and disfavor, how swift, then, is the work of disintegration and destruction. more...

After all these years, I see that I was mistaken about Eve in the beginning; ... I should be sorry to have that voice fall silent and pass out of my life. more...

I speak French with timidity, and not flowingly-except when excited. When using that language I have often noticed that I have hardly ever been mistaken for a Frenchman, except, perhaps, by horses; never, I believe, by people. more...

Look at the mother of Washington! She raised a boy that could not tell a lie-could not tell a lie! But he never had any chance. It might have been different if he had belonged to the Washington Newspaper Correspondents' Club more...

What do you think of the human mind? I mean, in case you think there is a human mind. more...

That is the way we are made: we don't reason, where we feel; we just feel. more...

No sane man can be happy, for to him life is real, and he sees what a fearful thing it is. more...

When you got to the table you couldn't go right to eating, but you had to wait for the widow to tuck down her head and grumble a little over the victuals, though there warn't really anything the matter with them. That is, nothing only everything was cooked by itself. In a barrel of odds and ends it is different; things get mixed up, and the juice kind of swaps around, and the things go better. more...

It is the will of God that we must have critics, and missionaries, and Congressmen, and humorists, and we must bear the burden. Meantime, I seem to have been drifting into criticism myself. But that is nothing. At the worst, criticism is nothing more than a crime, and I am not unused to that. more...

All gentle cant and philosophizing to the contrary notwithstanding, no people in this world ever did achieve their freedom by goody-goody talk and moral suasion: it being immutable law that all revolutions that will succeed, must begin in blood. more...

Knighterrantry is a most chuckleheaded trade, and it is tedious hard work, too, but I begin to see that there is money in it, after all, if you have luck. Not that I would ever engage in it, as a business, for I wouldn't. No sound and legitimate business can be established on a basis of speculation. A successful whirl in the knighterrantry line-now what is it when you blow away the nonsense and come down to the cold facts? It's just a corner in pork, that's all. more...

We have to be despised by somebody whom we regard as above us, or we are not happy; we have to have somebody to worship and envy,or we cannot be content. In America we manifest this in all the ancient and customary ways. In public we scoff at titles and hereditary privilege, but privately we hanker after them, and when we get a chance we buy them for cash and a daughter. more...

Demagogue-a vessel containing beer and other liquids. more...

The election makes me think of a story of a man who was dying. He had only two minutes to live, so he sent for a clergyman and asked him, "Where is the best place to go to?" He was undecided about it. So the minister told him that each place had its advantages-heaven for climate, and hell for society. more...

You may call a jay a bird. Well, so he is, in a measure-because he's got feathers on him, and don't belong to no church, perhaps;but otherwise he is just as much a human as you be. And I'll tell you for why. A jay's gifts and instincts, and feelings, and interests, cover the whole ground. A jay hasn't got any more principle than a Congressman. more...

I went to the circus, and loafed around the back side till the watchman went by, and then dived in under the tent. I had my twenty-dollar gold piece and some other money, but I reckoned I better save it.... I ain't opposed to spending money on circuses, when there ain't no other way, but there ain't no use in wasting it on them. more...

Geological time is not money. more...

Some authorities hold that the young ought not to lie at all. That, of course, is putting it rather stronger than necessary; still, while I cannot go quite so far as that, I do maintain, and I believe I am right, that the young ought to be temperate in the use of this great art until practice and experience shall give them that confidence, elegance and precision which alone can make the accomplishment graceful and profitable. more...

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. more...

No throne exists that has a right to exist, and no symbol of it, flying from any flagstaff, is righteously entitled to wear any device but the skull and crossbones of that kindred industry which differs from royalty only businesswise-merely as retail differs from wholesale. more...

A jackass has that kind of strength, and puts it to a useful purpose, and is valuable to the world because he is a jackass; but anobleman is not valuable because he is a jackass. It is a mixture that is always ineffectual, and should never have been attempted in the first place. And yet, once you start a mistake, the trouble is done and you never know what is going to come of it. more...

If the bubble reputation can be obtained only at the cannon's mouth, I am willing to go there for it, provided the cannon is empty. more...

Sometimes I lifted a chicken that warn't roosting comfortable, and took him along. Pap always said, take a chicken when you get achance, because if you don't want him yourself you can easy find somebody that does, and a good deed ain't ever forgot. I never see papa when he didn't want the chicken himself, but that is what he used to say, anyway. more...

No temperance society which is well officered and which has the real good of our fellow-men in view, will ever get drunk save in the seclusion of its temperance hall. more...

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

To be human is to have one's little modicum of romance secreted away in one's composition. One never ceases to make a hero of one's self, (in private,) during life, but only alters the style of heroism from time to time as the drifting years belittle certain gods of his admiration and raise up others in their stead. more...

If you had made the acquiring of ignorance the study of your life, you could not have graduated with higher honor than you could to-day. more...

Protestant parents still keep a Bible handy in the house, so that the children can study it, and one of the first things the little boys and girls learn is to be righteous and holy and not piss against the wall. They study those passages more than they study any others, except those which incite to masturbation. Those they hunt out and study in private. more...

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

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

The cayote is a living, breathing allegory of Want. He is always hungry. He is always poor, out of luck and friendless. The meanest creatures despise him, and even the fleas would desert him for a velocipede. more...

I have at last, after several months' experience, made up my mind that [New York] is a splendid desert-a domed and steepled solitude, where the stranger is lonely in the midst of a million of his race. more...

A private should preserve a respectful attitude toward his superiors, and should seldom or never proceed so far as to offer suggestions to his general in the field. If the battle is not being conducted to suit him, it is better for him to resign. By the etiquette of war, it is permitted to none below the rank of newspaper correspondent to dictate to the general in the field. more...

Franklin said once in one of his inspired flights of malignity- Early to bed and early to rise Make a man healthy and wealth and wise. As if it were any object to a boy to be healthy and wealthy and wise on such terms. more...

If there is one thing that is really cheerful in the world, it is cheerfulness. I have noticed it often. And I have noticed that when a man is right down cheerful, he is seldom unhappy for the time being. Such is the nature of man. more...

My father and I were always on the most distant terms when I was a boy-a sort of armed neutrality, so to speak. At irregular intervals this neutrality was broken, and suffering ensued; but I will be candid enough to say that the breaking and the suffering were always divided up with strict impartiality between us-which is to say, my father did the breaking, and I did the suffering. more...

What is there in Rome for me to see that others have not seen before me? What is there for me to touch that others have not touched? What is there for me to feel, to learn, to hear, to know, that shall thrill me before it pass to others? What can I discover?-Nothing. Nothing whatsoever. One charm of travel dies here. more...

If your mother tells you to do a thing, it is wrong to reply that you won't. It is better and more becoming to intimate that you will do as she bids you, and then afterwards act quietly in the matter according to the dictates of your better judgment. more...

The first half of my life I went to school, the second half of my life I got an education. more...

If true, rarely beautiful. If beautiful, rarely true. more...

The unexamined life may not be worth living, but the life too closely examined may not be lived at all. more...

Man seems to be a rickety poor sort of thing, any way you take him; a kind of British Museum of infirmities and inferiorities. He is always undergoing repairs. A machine that was as unreliable as he is would have no market. more...

I think that the reason why we Americans seem to be so addicted to trying to get rich suddenly is merely because the opportunity to make promising efforts in that direction has offered itself to us with a frequency out of all proportion to the European experience. more...

Every man has a secret ambition: To outsmart horses, fish and women. more...

In the small town of Hannibal, Missouri, when I was a boy, everybody was poor, but didn't know it; and everybody was comfortable and did know it. more...

We can't always have the beautiful aspect of things. Let us make the most of our sights that are beautiful and let the others go more...

Music is a good thing; and after all that soul-butter and hogwash, I never see it freshen up things so, and sound so honest and bully. more...

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

I heard a Californian student in Heidelberg say, in one of his calmest moods, that he would rather decline two drinks than one German adjective. more...

I will remark in the way of general information, that in California, that land of felicitous nomenclature, the literary name of this sort of stuff is "hogwash" more...

Between believing a thing and thinking you KNOW is only a small step and quickly taken. more...

What is the real function, the essential function, the supreme function, of language? Isn't it merely to convey ideas and emotions? Certainly. Then if we can do it with words of fonetic brevity and compactness, why keep the present cumbersome forms? more...

The timid man yearns for full value and demands a tenth. The bold man strikes for double value and compromises on par. more...

Warm summer sun, shine kindly here. more...

The humorous story is American, the comic story is English, the witty story is French. The humorous story depends for its effect upon the manner of the telling;the comic and the witty story upon the matter. more...

I like a good story well told. That is the reason I am sometimes forced to tell them myself. more...

Pessimist: The optimist who didn't arrive. more...

You can go to heaven if you want. I'd rather stay in Bermuda. more...

A man may have no bad habits and have worse more...

I am not an economist. I am an honest man! more...

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

It's better to be an optimist who is sometimes wrong than a pessimist who is always right more...

For the majority of us, the past is a regret, the future an experiment more...

There is nothing that saps one's confidence as the knowing how to do a thing more...

It is your human environment that makes climate more...

I have learned that human existence is essentially tragic. It is only the love of God, disclosed and enacted in Christ, that redeems the human tragedy and makes it tolerable. No, more than tolerable. Wonderful. more...

There is nothing in the world like a persuasive speech to fuddle the mental apparatus and upset the convictions and debauch the emotions of an audience not practiced in the tricks and delusions of oratory more...

Men think they think upon the great political questions, and they do; but they think with their party, not independently; they read its literature, but not that of the other side more...

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

Hunger is the handmaid of genius more...

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

Sometimes people do get hurt more...

Progressive improvement beats delayed perfection. more...

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

The piano may do for love-sick girls who lace themselves to skeletons, and lunch on chalk, pickles and slate pencils, but give me the banjo. more...

In the South the war is what A.D. is elsewhere; they date from it. more...

What work I have done I have done because it has been play. If it had been work I shouldn't have done it. more...

Note that venerable proverb: Children and fools always speak the truth. The deduction is plain: adults and wise persons never speak it. more...

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. more...

Never tell a lie-except for practice. more...

Heaven knows insanity was disreputable enough, long ago; but now that the lawyers have got to cutting every gallows rope and picking every prison lock with it, it is become a sneaking villainy that ought to hang and keep on hanging its sudden possessors until evil-doers should conclude that the safest plan was to never claim to have it until they came by it legitimately. The very calibre of the people the lawyers most frequently try to save by the insanity subterfuge ought to laugh the plea out of the courts, one would think. more...

But we are all insane, anyway. Note the mountain-climbers. more...

Really, what we want now, is not laws against crime, but a law against insanity. That is where the true evil lies. more...

Once I talked to the inmates of an insane asylum in Hartford. I have talked to idiots a thousand times, but only once to the insane... more...

No one is sane, straight along, year in and year out, and we all know it. Our insanities are of varying sorts, and express themselves in varying forms-fortunately harmless forms as a rule. more...

...we all know that in all matters of mere opinion that [every] man is insane-just as insane as we are...we know exactly where to put our finger upon his insanity: it is where his opinion differs from ours....All Democrats are insane, but not one of them knows it. None but the Republicans. All the Republicans are insane, but only the Democrats can perceive it. The rule is perfect: in all matters of opinion our adversaries are insane. more...

The average American may not know who his grandfather was. But the American was, however, one degree better off than the average Frenchman who, as a rule, was in considerable doubt as to who his father was. more...

What is there that confers the noblest delight? What is that which swells a man's breast with pride above that which any other experience can bring to him? Discovery! more...

Your actions speak so much louder than words. more...

The work that is really a man's own work is play and not work at all. more...

When a man's dog turns against hime, it is time for his wife to pack her trunk and go home to mamma. more...

What is the most rigorous law of our being? Growth. No smallest atom of our moral, mental, or physical structure can stand still a year. It grows - it must grow; nothing can prevent it. more...

A public library is the most enduring of memorials, the trustiest monument for the preservation of an event or a name or an affection; for it, and it only, is respected by wars and revolutions, and survives them. more...

I was a-trembling, because I'd got to decide, forever, betwixt two things, and I knowed it. more...

[Do you worry unnecessarily about the future? Remember most fears are just False Evidence Appearing Real. Don't let unfounded fears rob you of the joys of life or you too will say...] There has been much tragedy in my life; [and] at least half of it actually happened. more...

There is nothing training cannot do. Nothing is above its reach. It can turn bad morals to good; it can destroy bad principles and recreate good ones; it can lift men to angelship. more...

My advice to girls: first, don't smoke - to excess; second, don't drink - to excess; third, don't marry - to excess. more...

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

I was in one of the most grand attitudes I ever struck, with my arm stretched up pointing to the sun. It was a noble effect. You could see the shudder sweep the mass like a wave. more...

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

What, then, is the true Gospel of consistency? Change. Who is the really consistent man? The man who changes. Since change is the law of his being, he cannot be consistent if he stick in a rut. more...

In German, a young lady has no sex, but a turnip has more...

Every man is a moon; he has a side no one sees. more...

One holds a bottle of red wine by the neck, a woman by the waist, and a bottle of champagne by the derriere. more...

A little starvation can really do more for the average sick man than can the best medicines and the best doctors. more...

It is a good thing to write for the amusement of the public, but it is a far higher and nobler thing to write for their instruction, their profit, their actual and tangible benefit. more...

God has put something noble and good into every heart His hand created. more...

When the time comes that a man has had his dinner, then the true man comes to the surface more...

It now seems plain to me that that theory ought to be vacated in favor of a new and truer one...the Descent of Man from the Higher Animals. more...

Put no trust in the benefits to accrue from early rising, as set forth by the infatuated Franklin ... more...

I shall never use profanity except in discussing house rent and taxes. more...

You are a coward when you even seem to have backed down from a thing you openly set out to do more...

I was born modest; not all over, but in spots. more...

Go to bed early, get up early-this is wise. more...

Shut the door not that it lets in the cold but that it lets out the coziness. more...

Every generalization is dangerous, especially this one. more...

For a male person bric-a-brac hunting is about as robust a business as making doll-clothes. more...

I am content to be a bric-a-bracker and a Ceramiker. more...

The very "marks" on the bottom of a piece of rare crockery are able to throw me into a gibbering ecstasy. more...

There's plenty of boys that will come hankering and gruvvelling around when you've got an apple, and beg the core off you; but when they're got one, and you beg for the core, and remind them how you give them a core one time, they take a mouth at you, and say thank you 'most to death, but there ain't a-going to be no core. more...

It was in Warwick Castle that I came across the curious stranger whom I am going to talk about. He attracted me by three things: his candid simplicity, his marvelous familiarity with ancient armor, and the restfulness of his company-for he did all the talking. more...

This is the year 1492. I am eighty-two years of age. The things I am going to tell you are things which I saw myself as a child and as a youth. more...

My brother had just been appointed Secretary of Nevada Territory-an office of such majesty that it concentrated in itself the duties and dignities of Treasurer, Comptroller, Secretary of State, and Acting Governor in the Governor's absence. A salary of eighteen hundred dollars a year and the title of "Mr. Secretary," gave to the great position an air of wild and imposing grandeur. I was young and ignorant, and I envied my brother. more...

It was in 1590-winter. Austria was far away from the world, and asleep; it was still the Middle Ages in Austria, and promised to remain so forever. Some even set it away back centuries upon centuries and said that by the mental and spiritual clock it was still the Age of Belief in Austria. But they meant it as a compliment, not a slur, and it was so taken, and we were all proud of it. I remember it well, although I was only a boy; and I remember, too, the pleasure it gave me. more...

In the ancient city of London, on a certain autumn day in the second quarter of the sixteenth century, a boy was born to a poor family of the name of Canty, who did not want him. more...

Do you reckon Tom Sawyer was satisfied after all them adventures? more...

If you've got a nice fresh corpse, fetch him out! more...

In other localities certain places in the streams are much better than others, but at Niagara one place is just as good as another, for the reason that the fish do not bite anywhere. more...

We love old travelers: we love to hear them prate, drivel and lie; we love them for their asinine vanity, their ability to bore, their luxuriant fertility of imagination, their startling, brilliant, overwhelming mendacity. more...

An enemy can partly ruin a man, but it takes a good-natured injudicious friend to complete the thing and make it perfect. more...

The worst thing you can do to a man is to tell him he can have what he wants. more...

A banquet is probably the most fatiguing thing in the world except ditchdigging. It is the insanest of all recreations. The inventor of it overlooked no detail that could furnish weariness, distress, harassment, and acute and long-sustained misery of mind and body. more...

I prefer milk because I am a Prohibitionist, but I do not go to it for inspiration. more...

I thought tamarinds were made to eat, but that was probably not the idea. I ate several, and it seemed to me that they were rather sour that year. They pursed up my lips, till they resembled the stem-end of a tomato, and I had to take my sustenance through a quill for twenty-four hours. They sharpened my teeth till I could have shaved with them, and gave them a 'wire edge' that I was afraid would stay; but a citizen said 'no, it will come off when the enamel does' - which was comforting, at any rate. I found, afterward, that only strangers eat tamarinds - but they only eat them once. more...

Thanksgiving Day - Let 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. more...

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

Be good and you'll be lonesome more...

Education is what you must acquire without any interference from your schooling. more...

A gentleman is a man who can play the banjo, but doesn't. more...

How unfortunate and how narrowing a thing it is for a man to have wealth who makes a god of it instead of a servant more...

The problem with quotes on the internet, is everybody has one, and most of them are wrong. more...

I have stopped smoking now and then, for a few months at a time, but it was not on principle, it was only to show off; it was to pulverize those critics who said I was a slave to my habits and couldn't break my bonds. more...

All human rules are more or less idiotic. more...

The best of us would rather be popular than right. more...

Who is this Renaissance? Where did he come from? Who gave him permission to cram the Republic with his execrable daubs? more...

I am losing enough sleep to supply a worn-out army. more...

You are about as happy as you make up your mind to be. more...

The highest pleasure to be got out of freedom, and having nothing to do, is labor. more...

Inherited ideas are a curious thing, and interesting to observe and examine. more...

Do your duty today and repent tomorrow. more...

The jury system puts a ban upon intelligence and honesty and a premium upon ignorance, stupidity and perjury. more...

Never mistake motion for progress. more...

Circumstance - which moves by laws of its own, regardless of parties and policies, and whose decrees are final and must be obeyed by all - and will be more...

The xmas holidays have this high value: that they remind Forgetters of the Forgotten, & repair damaged relationships. more...

I'm in favor of progress; it's change I don't like. more...

I have never examined the subject of humor until now. I am surprised to find how much ground it covers. I have got its divisions and frontiers down on a piece of paper. I find it defined as a production of the brain, as the power of the brain to produce something humorous, and the capacity of percieving humor. more...

If we had less statemanship we could get along with fewer battleships. more...

Those who say truth is stranger than fiction have wasted their time on poorly written fiction. more...

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. more...

I have never taken any exercise, except sleeping and resting, and I never intend to take any. Exercise is loathsome. And it cannot be any benefit when you are tired; and I was always tired. more...

What is the chief end of man?-to get rich. In what way?-dishonestly if we can; honestly if we must. Who is God, the one and only true? Money is God. Gold and Greenbacks and Stock-father, son, and ghosts of same, three persons in one; These are the true and only God, mighty and supreme. more...

A lie can travel halfway around the world while the truth is putting on its shoes. more...

There are three kinds of lies - lies, damned lies and statistics. more...

If there are no cigars in heaven, I shall not go. more...

The idea that no gentleman ever swears is all wrong. He can swear and still be a gentleman if he does it in a nice and benevolent and affectionate way. more...

I have seen an entire family lifted out of poverty and into affluence by the simple boon of a broken leg. I have had people come to me on crutches, with tears in their eyes, to bless this beneficient institution. In all my experiences of life, I have seen nothing so seraphic as the look that comes into a freshly mutilated man's face when he feels in his vest pocket with his remaining hand and finds his accident ticket all right. more...

Enthusiasm is caught, not taught. more...

Always do right. This will gratify some people, and astonish the rest. more...

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

Classic.' A book which people praise and don't read. more...

Education consists mainly in what we have unlearned. more...

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

Good friends, good books and a sleepy conscience: this is the ideal life. The conviction of the rich that the poor are happier is no more foolish than the conviction of the poor that the rich are. more...

He is now fast rising from affluence to poverty. more...

Humor must not professedly teach, and it must not professedly preach, but it must do both if it would live forever. By forever, I mean thirty years. more...

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

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

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

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

Loyalty to the nation all the time, loyalty to the government when it deserves it. more...

Man - a creature made at the end of the week's work when God was tired. more...

Only kings, presidents, editors, and people with tapeworms have the right to use the editorial "we. more...

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

Such is the human race, often it seems a pity that Noah... didn't miss the boat. more...

The Public is merely a multiplied "me. more...

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

I'll risk forty dollars that he can outjump any frog in Calaveras county. more...

I don't see no p'ints about that frog that's any better'n any other frog. more...

He was ignorant of the commonest accomplishments of youth. He could not even lie. more...

Formerly, if you killed a man, it was possible that you were insane-but now, if you, having friends and money, kill a man, it is evidence that you are a lunatic. more...

Is not this insanity plea becoming rather common? Is it not so common that the reader confidently expects to see it offered in every criminal case that comes before the courts? Really, what we want now, is not laws against crime, but a law against insanity. more...

This poor little one-horse town. more...

We haven't all had the good fortune to be ladies; we haven't all been generals, or poets, or statesmen; but when the toast works down to the babies, we stand on common ground. more...

Among the three or four million cradles now rocking in the land are some which this nation would preserve for ages as sacred things, if we could know which ones they are. more...

Loyalty to petrified opinions never yet broke a chain or freed a human soul in this world - and never will. more...

He has taught me to abhor and detest the Sabbath day and hunt up new and troublesome ways to dishonor it. more...

An experienced, industrious, ambitious, and often quite picturesque liar. more...

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. more...

Weather is a literary specialty, and no untrained hand can turn out a good article on it. more...

James Ross Clemens, a cousin of mine, was seriously ill two or three weeks ago in London, but is well now. The report of my illness grew out of his illness; the report of my death was an exaggeration. more...

Humor is the great thing, the saving thing. The minute it crops up, all our hardnesses yield, all our irritations and resentments flit away and a sunny spirit takes their place. more...

It should, it seems to me, be our pleasure and duty to make those people free, and let them deal with their own domestic questions in their own way. And so I am an anti-imperialist. I am opposed to having the eagle put its talons on any other land. more...

Definition of a classic - something that everybody wants to have read and nobody wants to read. more...

Whose property is my body? Probably mine. I so regard it. If I experiment with it, who must be answerable? I, not the State. If I choose injudiciously, does the State die? Oh no. more...

...eaven for climate, Hell for society. more...

also given as: Heaven for climate, Hell for companionship. more...

To create man was a fine and original idea; but to add the sheep was a tautology. more...

He is a stranger to me, but he is a most remarkable man - and I am the other one. Between us, we cover all knowledge; he knows all that can be known, and I know the rest. more...

The only reason why God created man is because he was disappointed with the monkey. more...

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

Laws are sand, customs are rock. Laws can be evaded and punishment escaped, but an openly transgressed custom brings sure punishment. more...

You tell me whar a man gits his corn pone, en I'll tell you what his 'pinions is. more...

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

A critic never made or killed a book or a play. The people themselves are the final judges. It is their opinion that counts. After all, the final test is truth. But the trouble is that most writers regard truth as their most valuable possession and therefore are most economical in its use. more...

Adam, at Eve's grave: Wheresoever she was, THERE was Eden. more...

They spell it Vinci and pronounce it Vinchy. Foreigners always spell better than they pronounce. more...

Enough, enough, enough! Say no more! Lump the whole thing! say that the Creator made Italy from designs by Michael Angelo! more...

Virtue never has been as respectable as money. more...

Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts. more...

He had discovered a great law of human action, without knowing it - namely, that in order to make a man or a boy covet a thing, it is only necessary to make the thing difficult to obtain. more...

Work consists of whatever a body is OBLIGED to do, and...Play consists of whatever a body is not obliged to do. more...

To promise not to do a thing is the surest way in the world to make a body want to go and do that very thing. more...

Probable nor'east to sou'west winds, varying to the soutard and westard and eastard and points between; high and low barometer, sweeping round from place to place; probable areas of rain, snow, hail, and drought, succeeded or preceded by earthquakes with thunder and lightning. more...

Persons attempting to find a motive in this narrative will be prosecuted; persons attempting to find a moral in it will be banished; persons attempting to find a plot in it will be shot. BY ORDER OF THE AUTHOR. more...

You don't know about me without you have read a book by the name of The Adventures of Tom Sawyer; but that ain't no matter. That book was made by Mr. Mark Twain, and he told the truth, mainly. There was things which he stretched, but mainly he told the truth. more...

Jim was most ruined for a servant, because he got stuck up on account of having seen the devil and been rode by witches. more...

Pilgrim's Progress, about a man that left his family, it didn't say why. I read considerable in it now and then. The statements was interesting, but tough. more...

We said there warn't no home like a raft, after all. Other places do seem so cramped up and smothery, but a raft don't. You feel mighty free and easy and comfortable on a raft. more...

To be, or not to be; that is the bare bodkin. more...

H'aint we got all the fools in town on our side? And ain't that a big enough majority in any town? more...

I was a-trembling, because I'd got to decide, forever, betwixt two things, and I knowed it. I studied a minute, sort of holding my breath, and then says to myself, All right, then, I'll GO to hell. more...

But I reckon I got to light out for the Territory ahead of the rest, because Aunt Sally she's going to adopt me and sivilize me and I can't stand it. I been there before. more...

Whenever the literary German dives into a sentence, that is the last you are going to see of him till he emerges on the other side of his Atlantic with his verb in his mouth. more...

I have no race prejudices nor caste prejudices nor creed prejudices. All I care to know is that a man is a human being, and that is enough for me; he can't be any worse. more...

A Jewish beggar is not impossible, perhaps; such a thing may exist, but there are few men that can say they have seen that spectacle. more...

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 creature that cannot. more...

But the truth is, that when a Library expels a book of mine and leaves an unexpurgated Bible lying around where unprotected youth and age can get hold of it, the deep unconscious irony of it delights me and doesn't anger me. more...

Herodotus says, Very few things happen at the right time, and the rest do not happen at all. The conscientious historian will correct these defects. more...

He spoke of humor, and thought it must be one of the chief attributes of God. He cited plants and animals that were distinctly humorous in form and in their characteristics. These he declared were God's jokes. more...

Only laughter can blow to rags and atoms at a blast. Against the assault of laughter nothing can stand. more...

There is no God, no universe, no human race, no earthly life, no heaven, no hell. It is all a Dream, a grotesque and foolish dream. Nothing exists but you. And You are but a Thought - a vagrant Thought, a useless Thought, a homeless Thought, wandering forlorn among the empty eternities. more...

The bicycle had what is called the 'wabbles', and had them very badly. In order to keep my position, a good many things were required of me, and in every instance the thing required was against nature. Against nature, but not against the laws of nature. more...

Try as you may, you don't get down as you would from a horse, you get down as you would from a house afire. You make a spectacle of yourself every time. more...

The self-taught man seldom knows anything accurately, and he does not know a tenth as much as he could have known if he had worked under teachers; more...

There are those who imagine that the unlucky accidents of life-life's experiences-are in some way useful to us. I wish I could find out how. I never know one of them to happen twice. They always change off and swap around and catch you on your inexperienced side. more...

Before taking final leave of me, my instructor inquired concerning my physical strength, and I was able to inform him that I hadn't any. more...

I started out alone to seek adventures. You don't really have to seek them-that is nothing but a phrase-they come to you. more...

The trade of critic, in literature, music, and the drama, is the most degraded of all trades. more...

God's inhumanity to man makes countless thousands mourn. more...

France has usually been governed by prostitutes. more...

The radical invents the views. When he has worn them out the conservative adopts them. more...

Death, the only immortal who treats us all alike, whose pity and whose peace and whose refuge are for all - the soiled and the pure, the rich and the poor, the loved and the unloved. more...

Surely the test of a novel's characters is that you feel a strong interest in them and their affairs-the good to be successful, the bad to suffer failure. Well, in John Ward, you feel no divided interest, no discriminating interest-you want them all to land in hell together, and right away. more...

Some men worship rank, some worship heroes, some worship power, some worship God, & over these ideals they dispute & cannot unite - but they all worship money. more...

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

Whenever you find that you are on the side of the majority, it is time to reform. more...

Not a single right is indestructible: a new might can at any time abolish it, hence, man possesses not a single permanent right. God is Might (and He is shifty, malicious, and uncertain). more...

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 more...

...when you recollect something which belonged in an earlier chapter, do not go back, but jam it in where you are. Discursiveness does not hurt an autobiography in the least. more...

You cannot lay bare your private soul and look at it. You are too much ashamed of yourself. It is too disgusting. For that reason I confine myself to drawing the portraits of others. more...

We have been housekeeping a fortnight, now-long enough to have learned how to pronounce the servants' names, but not how to spell them. We shan't ever learn to spell them; they were invented in Hungary and Poland, and on paper they look like the alphabet out on a drunk. more...

....it is not wise to keep the fire going under a slander unless you can get some large advantage out of keeping it alive. Few slanders can stand the wear of silence. more...

The late Bill Nye once said I have been told that Wagner's music is better than it sounds. more...

All creatures kill-there seems to be no exception; but of the whole list, man is the only one that kills for fun; he is the only one that kills in malice, the only one that kills for revenge. more...

I still believe, in spite of everything, that people are truly good at heart. more...

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

Persons who think there is no such thing as luck-good or bad-are entitled to their opinion, although I think they ought to be shot for it. more...

Howells applauded, and was full of praises and endorsement, which was wise in him and judicious. If he had manifested a different spirit I would have thrown him out of the window. I like criticism, but it must be my way. more...

Anyone who stops learning is old, whether twenty or eighty. Anyone who keeps learning stays young. The greatest thing you can do is keep your mind young. more...

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. more...

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

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

Humor is the great thing, the saving thing. The minute it crops up, all our irritations and resentments slip away and a sunny spirit takes their place. more...

I have been through some terrible things in my life, some of which actually happened. more...

I have spent most of my life worrying about things that have never happened more...

I was gratified to be able to answer promptly. I said I don't know. more...

I would rather have my ignorance than another man's knowledge, because I have got so much more of it. more...

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. more...

In Paris they simply stared when I spoke to them in French; I never did succeed in making those idiots understand their own language. more...

In religion and politics, people's beliefs and convictions are in almost every case gotten at second hand, and without examination. more...

Life does not consist mainly - or even largely - of facts and happenings. It consists mainly of the storm of thoughts that are forever blowing through one's mind. more...

Men write many fine and plausible arguments in support of monarchy, but the fact remains that where every man has a voice, brutal laws are impossible. more...

Never put off until tomorrow what you can do the day after tomorrow. more...

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

The first half of life consists of the capacity to enjoy without the the chance; the last half consists of the chance without the capacity. more...

The man who doesn't read good books has no advantage over the man who can't read them. more...

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. more...

When you cannot get a compliment any other way pay yourself one. more...

You cannot depend on your eyes when your imagination is out of focus. more...

It takes your enemy and your friend, working together, to hurt you: the one to slander you, and the other to get the news to you. more...

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

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

Of all the creatures that were made, man is the most detestable. Of the entire brood he is the only one-the solitary one-that possesses malice. That is the basest of all instincts, passions, vices-the most hateful. He is the only creature that has pain for sport, knowing it to be pain. Also-in all the list he is the only creature that has a nasty mind. more...

I asked tom if countries always apologize when they had done wrong, and he says, 'Yes, the little one does. more...

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. more...

Love seems the swiftest but it is the slowest of all growths. No man or woman really knows what perfect love is until they have been married a quarter of a century. more...

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

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. more...

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. more...

New Year's Day: Now is the accepted time to make your regular annual good resolutions. Next week you can begin paving hell with them as usual. more...

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. more...

New Year's is a harmless annual institution, of no particular use to anybody save as a scapegoat for promiscuous drunks, and friendly calls and humbug resolutions. more...

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! more...

Each man must for himself alone decide what is right and what is wrong, which course is patriotic and which isn't. You cannot shirk this and be a man. To decide against your conviction is to be an unqualified and excusable traitor, both to yourself and to your country, let men label you as they may. more...

Of the demonstrably wise there are but two; those who commit suicide, and those who keep their reasoning faculties atrophied with drink. more...

In certain trying circumstances, urgent circumstances, desperate circumstances, profanity furnishes a relief denied even to prayer. more...

I have been studying the traits and dispositions of the lower animals (so called) and contrasting them with the traits and dispositions of man. I find the result humiliating to me. more...

Heaven is by favor; if it were by merit your dog would go in and you would stay out. Of all the creatures ever made [man] is the most detestable. Of the entire brood, he is the only one... that possesses malice. He is the only creature that inflicts pain for sport, knowing it to be pain. more...

I am not interested to know whether vivisection produces results that are profitable to the human race or doesn't.... The pain which it inflicts upon unconsenting animals is the basis of my enmity toward it, and it is to me sufficient justification of the enmity without looking further. more...

The man who does not read good books has no advantage over the man who can't read them. more...

The man who carries a cat by the tail learns something that can be learned in no other way. more...

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 anymore. more...

There comes a time in every rightly constructed boy's life that he has a raging desire to go somewhere and dig for hidden treasure. more...

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

Civilization is a limitless multiplication of unnecessary necessaries. more...

Sacred cows make the best hamburgers. more...

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

The air up there in the clouds is very pure and fine, bracing and delicious. And why shouldn't it be? - it is the same the angels breathe. more...

But when the time comes that a man has had his dinner, then the true man comes to the surface. more...

A dollar picked up in the road is more satisfaction to us than the 99 which we had to work for, and the money won at Faro or in the stock market snuggles into our hearts in the same way. more...

God: The most popular scapegoat for our sins. more...

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

It is in the heart that the values lie. I wish I could make him understand that a loving heart is riches, and riches enough, and that without it intellect is poverty. more...

Truth is the most valuable thing we have, so I try to conserve it. more...

Truth is mighty and will prevail. There is nothing the matter with this, except that it ain't so. more...

I am different from Washington; I have a higher, grander standard of principle. Washington could not lie. I can lie, but I won't. more...

Humor is the great thing, the saving thing. The minute it crops up, all our irritation and resentments slip away, and a sunny spirit takes their place. more...

Yes, Agassiz does recommend authors to eat fish, because the phosphorus in it makes brain. So far you are correct. But I cannot help you to a decision about the amount you need to eat - at least, not with certainty. If the specimen composition you send is about your fair usual average, I should judge that a couple of whales would be all you would want for the present. Not the largest kind, but simply good middling-sized whales. more...

But that's always the way; it don't make no difference whether you do right or wrong, a person's conscience ain't got no sense, and just goes for him anyway. If I had a yaller dog that didn't know no more than a person's conscience does I would pison him. It takes up more room than all the rest of a person's insides, and yet ain't no good, nohow. more...

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

If we should deal out justice only, in this world, who would escape? No, it is better to be generous, and in the end more profitable, for it gains gratitude for us, and love. more...

When a German dives into a sentence, you won't see him again until he emerges at the other end with the verb between his teeth. more...

In the real world, the right thing never happens in the right place and the right time. It is the job of journalists and historians to make it appear that it has. more...

Anatomists see no beautiful women in all their lives, but only a ghastly sack of bones with Latin names to them, and a network of nerves and muscles and tissues inflamed by disease. more...

It is discouraging to try to penetrate a mind like yours. You ought to get it out and dance on it. That would take some of the rigidity out of it. more...

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. more...

My mother had a slender, small body, but a large heart - a heart so large that everybody's joys found welcome in it, and hospitable accommodation. more...

All religions issue bibles against him, and say most injurious things about him, but we never hear his side. more...

There are few things that are so unpardonably neglected in our country as poker. The upper class knows very little about it. Now and then you find ambassadors who have sort of a general knowledge of the game, but the ignorance of the people is fearful. Why, I have known clergymen, good men, kind-hearted, liberal, sincere, and all that, who did not know the meaning of a flush. It is enough to make one ashamed of the species. more...

I have no color prejudices nor caste prejudices nor creed prejudices. All I care to know is that a man is a human being, and that is enough for me; he can't be any worse. more...

The proper proportions of a maxim: a minimum of sound to a maximum of sense. more...

Man is a Religious Animal. He is the only Religious Animal. He is the only animal that has the True Religion - several of them. He is the only animal that loves his neighbor as himself and cuts his throat if his theology isn't straight. He has made a graveyard of the globe in trying his honest best to smooth his brother's path to happiness and heaven. more...

Strange...a God who could make good children as easily as bad, yet preferred to make bad ones; who made them prize their bitter life, yet stingily cut it short; mouths Golden Rules and forgiveness multiplied seventy times seven and invented Hell; who mouths morals to other people and has none himself; who frowns upon crimes yet commits them all; who created man without invitation, then tries to shuffle the responsibility for man's acts upon man, instead of honorably placing it where it belongs, upon himself; and finally with altogether divine obtuseness, invites this poor, abused slave to worship him! more...

We do not deal much in facts when we are contemplating ourselves. more...

What a hero Tom was become now! He did not go skipping and prancing, but moved with a dignified swagger as became a pirate who felt that the public eye was on him. more...

I was warned to stop smoking, which I did, for two or three days, but it was too lonesome, and I have resumed ? in a modified way ? 4 smokes a day instead of 40. This will have a good effect. On the bank balance. more...

But I... never could make a good impromptu speech without several hours to prepare it. more...

In the spring I have counted one hundred and thirty-six different kinds of weather inside of four and twenty hours. more...

There are no grades of vanity, there are only grades of ability in concealing it. more...

The true charm of pedestrianism does not lie in the walking, or in the scenery, but in the talking. The walking is good to time the movement of the tongue by, and to keep the blood and the brain stirred up and active; the scenery and the woodsy smells are good to bear in upon a man an unconscious and unobtrusive charm and solace to eye and soul and sense; but the supreme pleasure comes from the talk. more...

Man is the only animal that deals in that atrocity of atrocities, War. He is the only one that gathers his brethren about him and goes forth in cold blood and calm pulse to exterminate his kind. He is the only animal that for sordid wages will march out... and help to slaughter strangers of his own species who have done him no harm and with whom he has no quarrel.... And in the intervals between campaigns he washes the blood off his hands and works for the universal brotherhood of man - with his mouth. more...

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

I have often noticed that you shun exertion. There comes the difference between us. I court exertion. I love work. Why, sir, when I have a piece of work to perform, I go away to myself, sit down in the shade, and muse over the coming enjoyment. more...

The serene confidence which a Christian feels in four aces. more...

If I were settled I would quit all nonsense & swindle some girl into marrying me. But I wouldn't expect to be 'worthy' of her. I wouldn't have a girl that I was worthy of. She wouldn't do. She wouldn't be respectable enough. more...

To do something, say something, see something, before anybody else-these are things that confer a pleasure compared with which other pleasures are tame and commonplace, other ecstasies cheap and trivial. more...

To the Late Cain, This Book is Dedicated, Not on account of respect for his memory, for it merits little respect; not on account of sympathy with him, for his bloody deed placed him without the pale of sympathy, strictly speaking; but out of a mere human commiseration for him in that it was his misfortune to live in a dark age that knew not the beneficent Insanity Plea. more...

When the peremptory challenges were all exhausted, a jury of twelve men were impaneled-a jury who swore that they had neither heard, read, talked about, nor expressed an opinion concerning a murder which the very cattle in the corrals, the Indians in the sage-brush, and the stones in the street were cognizant of ! more...

The jury system puts a ban upon intelligence and honesty, and a premium upon ignorance, stupidity, and perjury. more...

They [Women in the U.S.] live in the midst of a country where there is no end to the laws and no beginning to the execution of them. more...

To my mind Judas Iscariot was nothing but a low, mean, premature Congressman. more...

The chances are that a man cannot get into congress now without resorting to arts and means that should render him unfit to go there. more...

The widder eats by a bell; she goes to bed by a bell; she gits up by a bell-everything's so awful reg'lar a body can't stand it. more...

I am a great & sublime fool. But then I am God's fool, & all His works must be contemplated with respect. more...

Anywhere is better than Paris. Paris the cold, Paris the drizzly, Paris the rainy, Paris the damnable. More than a hundred years ago somebody asked Quin, 'Did you ever see such a winter in all your life before?' 'Yes,' said he, 'Last summer.' I judge he spent his summer in Paris. more...

A pretty air in an opera is prettier there than it could be anywhere else, I suppose, just as an honest man in politics shines more than he would elsewhere. more...

In the matter of intellect the ant must be a strangely overrated bird. During many summers, now, I have watched him, when I ought to have been in better business, and I have not yet come across a living ant that seemed to have any more sense than a dead one. I refer to the ordinary ant, of course; I have had no experience of those wonderful Swiss and African ones which vote, keep drilled armies, hold slaves, and dispute about religion. more...

What chance has the ignorant, uncultivated liar against the educated expert? What chance have I... against a lawyer? more...

All the modern inconveniences. more...

Persons attempting to find a motive in this narrative will be prosecuted; persons attempting to find a moral in it will be banished; persons attempting to find a plot in it will be shot. more...

You don't know about me, without you have read a book by the name of 'The Adventures of Tom Sawyer,' but that ain't no matter. That book was made by Mr. Mark Twain, and he told the truth, mainly. more...

I thought a minute, and says to myself, hold on,-s'pose you'd a done right and give Jim up; would you felt better than what you do now? No, says I, I'd feel bad-I'd feel just the same way I do now. Well, then, says I, what's the use you learning to do right, when it's troublesome to do right and ain't no trouble to do wrong, and the wages is just the same? more...

All kings is mostly rapscallions. more...

Hain't we got all the fools in town on our side? and ain't that a big enough majority in any town? more...

You can't pray a lie. more...

I reckon I got to light out for the Territory ahead of the rest, because Aunt Sally she's going to adopt me and sivilize me and I can't stand it. I been there before. more...

The difference between the almost-right word & the right word is really a large matter-it's the difference between the lightning-bug & the lightning. more...

Here I was, in a country where a right to say how the country should be governed was restricted to six persons in each thousand of its population.... I was become a stockholder in a corporation where nine hundred and ninety-four of the members furnished all the money and did all the work, and the other six elected themselves a permanent board of direction and took all the dividends. It seemed to me that what the nine hundred and ninety-four dupes needed was a new deal. more...

The master minds of all nations, in all ages, have sprung in affluent multitude from the mass of the nation, and from the mass of the nation only-not from its privileged classes. more...

Don't you know, there are some things that can beat smartness and foresight? Awkwardness and stupidity can. The best swordsman in the world doesn't need to fear the second best swordsman in the world; no, the person for him to be afraid of is some ignorant antagonist who has never had a sword in his hand before; he doesn't do the thing he ought to. more...

Dying man couldn't make up his mind which place to go to-both have their advantages, 'heaven for climate, hell for company! more...

Bill Styles... spoke of the low grade of legislative morals. 'Kind of discouraging. You see, it's so hard to find men of a so high type of morals that they'll stay bought. more...

In the first place God made idiots. This was for practice. Then he made proofreaders. more...

Cheer up-the worst is yet to come. more...

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? more...

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. more...

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. more...

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. more...

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. more...

It were not best that we should all think alike; it is difference of opinion that makes horseraces. more...

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. more...

I've thought it all over... and there ain't no way to find out why a snorer can't hear himself snore. more...

I asked Tom if countries always apologized when they had done wrong, and he says: 'Yes; the little ones does. more...

He saw nearly all things as through a glass eye, darkly. more...

He is the only animal that loves his neighbor as himself, and cuts his throat if his theology isn't straight. more...

Talking of patriotism what humbug it is; it is a word which always commemorates a robbery. There isn't a foot of land in the world which doesn't represent the ousting and re-ousting of a long line of successive 'owners,' who each in turn, as 'patriots,' with proud swelling hearts defended it against the next gang of 'robbers' who came to steal it and did-and became swelling-hearted patriots in their turn. more...

Be good and you will be lonesome. more...

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

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. more...

Faith is believing what you know ain't so. more...

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! more...

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

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

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

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

Always do right. This will gratify some people & astonish the rest. more...

I would throw out the old maxim, 'My country, right or wrong,' and instead I would say, 'My country when she is right. more...

The language [German] which enables a man to travel all day in one sentence without changing cars. more...

In all matters of opinion our adversaries are insane. more...

Life does not consist mainly-or even largely- of facts and happenings. It consists mainly of the storm of thoughts that is forever blowing through one's head. more...

News is history in its first and best form, its vivid and fascinating form... history is the pale and tranquil reflection of it. more...

[Man] has imagined a heaven, and has left entirely out of it the supremest of all his delights, the one ecstasy that stands first and foremost in the heart of every individual of his race- and of ours-sexual intercourse! It is as if a lost and perishing person in a roasting desert should be told by a rescuer he might choose and have all longed for things but one, and he should elect to leave out water! more...

[The Bible] is full of interest. It has noble poetry in it; and some clever fables; and some blood-drenched history; and some good morals; and a wealth of obscenity; and upwards of a thousand lies. more...

Man is the Religious Animal. He is the only Religious Animal. He is the only animal that has the True Religion-several of them. more...

I believe that our Heavenly Father invented man because he was disappointed in the monkey. more...

Annihilation has no terrors for me, because I have already tried it before I was born-a hundred million years-and I have suffered more in an hour, in this life, than I remember to have suffered in the whole hundred million years put together. There was a peace, a serenity, an absence of all sense of responsibility, an absence of worry, an absence of care, grief, perplexity; and the presence of a deep content and unbroken satisfaction in that hundred million years of holiday which I look back upon with a tender longing and with a grateful desire to resume, when the opportunity comes. more...

God made man, without man's consent, and made his nature, too; made it vicious instead of angelic, and then said, Be angelic, or I will punish you and destroy you. But no matter, God is responsible for everything man does, all the same; He can't get around that fact. There is only one Criminal, and it is not man. more...

[Christian nations are the most enlightened and progressive] in spite of their religion, not because of it. The Church has opposed every innovation and discovery from the day of Galileo down to our own time, when the use of anesthetics in child-birth was regarded as a sin because it avoided the biblical curse pronounced against Eve. more...

[To his wife Olivia, who had repeated his swearing:] You got the words right, Livy, but you don't know the tune. more...

A lawyer one day spoke to him [Mark Twain] with his hands in his pockets. 'Is it not a curious sight to see a lawyer with his hands in his own pockets?' remarked the humorist in his quiet drawl. more...

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

I have no respect for a man who can spell a word only one way. more...

If you don't like the weather in New England, just wait a few minutes. more...

Twenty-four years ago I was strangely handsome; in San Francisco in the rainy season I was often mistaken for fair weather. more...

Praise is well, compliment is well, but affection - that is the last and final and most precious reward that any man can win, whether by character or achievement. more...

There isn't a single human characteristic that can be safely labeled as American. more...

We [Americans] are the lavishest and showiest and most luxury-loving people on the earth; and at our masthead we fly one true and honest symbol, the gaudiest flag the world has ever seen. more...

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

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

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. more...

The vast majority of the race, whether savage or civilized, are secretly kind-hearted and shrink from inflicting pain, but in the presence of the aggressive and pitiless minority they don't dare to assert themselves. more...

A person [Satan] who has during all time maintained the imposing position of spiritual head of fourfifths of the human race, and political head of the whole of it, must be granted the possession of executive abilities of the loftiest order. more...

Good breeding consists in concealing how much we think of ourselves and how little we think of ourselves and how little we think of other persons. more...

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

We laugh and laugh. Then cry and cry - Then feebler laugh, Then die. more...

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

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

The noblest work of God? Man. Who found it out? Man. more...

The pitifulest thing out is a mob; that's what an army is - a mob; they don't fight with courage that's born in them, but with courage that's borrowed from their mass, and from their officers. more...

Some men worship rank, some worship heroes, some worship power, some worship God, and over these ideals they dispute - but they all worship money. more...

It is not best that we use our morals week days; it gets them out of repair for Sundays. more...

Morals are an acquirement - like music, like a foreign language, like piety, poker, paralysis - no man is born with them. more...

The moral sense enables one to perceive morality - and avoid it. The immoral sense enables one to perceive immorality and enjoy it. more...

Each man is afraid of his neighbor's disapproval - a thing which, to the general run of the race, is more dreaded than wounds and death. more...

The man who is a pessimist before forty-eight knows too much; if he is an optimist after it, he knows too little. more...

The radical of one century is the conservative of the next. The radical invents the views. When he has worn them out, the conservative adopts them. more...

The Moral Sense teaches us what is right, and how to avoid it - when unpopular. more...

Intemperate temperance injures the cause of temperance, while temperate temperance helps it in its fight against intemperate intemperance. more...

A man can seldom - very, very, seldom - fight a winning fight against his training: the odds are too heavy. more...

To go abroad has something of the same sense that death brings. I am no longer of ye - what ye say of me is now of no consequence. more...

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

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. more...

Life should begin with age and its privileges and accumulations, and end with youth and its capacity to splendidly enjoy such advantages. more...

Troubles are only mental; it is the mind that manufactures them, and the mind can gorge them, banish them, abolish them. more...

To string incongruities and absurdities together in a wandering and sometimes purposeless way, and seem innocently unaware that they are absurdities, is the basis of the American art, if my position is correct. more...

There are no accidents, all things have a deep and calculated purpose; sometimes the methods employed by Providence seem strange and incongruous, but we have only to be patient and wait for the result: then we recognize that no others would have answered the purpose, and we are rebuked and humbled. more...

No public interest is anything other or nobler than a massed accumulation of private interests. more...

Broad, wholesome, charitable views .. can not be acquired by vegetating in one's little corner of the earth. more...

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

I never felt so fervently thankful, so soothed, so tranquil, so filled with the blessed peace, as I did yesterday when I learned that Michael Angelo was dead. more...

The calamity that comes is never the one we had prepared ourselves for. more...

A man who carries a cat by the tail is getting experience that will always be helpful. He isn't likely to grow dim or doubtful. Chances are, he isn't likely to carry the cat that way again, either. But if he wants to, I say let him! more...

I have been cautioned to talk but be careful not to say anything. I do not consider this a difficult task. more...

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

All scenery in California requires distance to give it its highest charm. more...

Heroine: girl who is perfectly charming to live with, in a book. more...

There are women who have an indefinable charm in their faces which makes them beautiful to their intimates, but a cold stranger who tried to reason the matter out and find this beauty would fail. more...

A healthy and wholesome cheerfulness is not necessarily impossible to any occupation. more...

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

Civilizations proceed from the heart rather than from the head. more...

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

We must put up with clothes as they are they have their reason for existing. They are on us to expose us to advertise what we wear them to conceal. more...

An occasional compliment is necessary to keep up one's self-respect. more...

Do not offer a compliment and ask a favor at the same time. A compliment that is charged for is not valuable. more...

If there is one thing that will make a man peculiarly and insufferable self-conceited, it is to have his stomach behave itself, the first day at sea, when nearly all his comrades are seasick. more...

All the territorial possessions of all the political establishments in the earth-including America, of course- consist of pilferings from other people's wash. No tribe, howsoever insignificant, and no nation, howsoever mighty occupies a foot of land that was not stolen. more...

It is my custom to keep on talking until I get the audience cowed. more...

Only when a republic's life is in danger should a man uphold his government when it is wrong. There is no other time. more...

I never did a thing in all my life, virtuous or otherwise that I didn't repent of within twenty-four hours. more...

Ignorance, intolerance, egotism, self-assertion, opaque perception, dense and pitiful chuckle headedness - and an almost pathetic unconsciousness of it all, that is what I was at nineteen and twenty. more...

It is easier to manufacture seven facts out of whole cloth than one emotion. more...

History teaches us that whenever a weak and ignorant people possess a thing which a strong and enlightened people want, it must be yielded up peaceably. more...

God's great cosmic joke on the human race was requiring that men and women live together in marriage more...

You try to tell me anything about the newspaper business! Sir, I have been through it from Alpha to Omaha, and I tell you that the less a man knows the bigger the noise he makes and the higher the salary he commands. more...

Conductor, when you receive a fare, Punch in the presence of the passenjare. A blue trip slip for an eight-cent fare, A buff trip slip for a six-cent fare, A pink trip slip for a three-cent fare, Punch in the presence of the passenjare! Punch, brothers! punch with care! Punch in the presence of the passenjare! more...

No one has ever seen a Republican mass meeting that was devoid of the perception of the ludicrous. more...

In prayer we call ourselves 'worms of the dust', but it is only on a sort of tacit understanding that the remark shall not be taken at par. more...

I've dealt with many crises in my life, but few will ever happen. more...

The lie, as a virtue, a principle, is eternal; the lie, as a recreation, a solace, a refuge in time of need, the fourth Grace, the tenth Muse, man's best and surest friend is immortal more...

Eternal rest sounds comforting in the pulpit; well, you try it once, and see how heavy time will hang on your hands. more...

the rumors of the White Sox demise are greatly exaggerated. more...

And so I am become a knight of the Kingdom of Dreams and Shadows more...

The two Great Unknowns, the two Illustrious Conjecturabilities! They are the best known unknown persons that have ever drawn breath upon the planet. more...

When an audience does not complain, it is a compliment, and when it does, it is a compliment, too, if unaccompanied by violence. more...

Honor is a harder master than the law. more...

One must keep one's character. Earn a character first if you can, and if you can't, then assume one. more...

There's some human instinct which makes a man treasure what he is not to make any use of, because everybody does not possess it. more...

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

If a spectacle is going to be particularly imposing I prefer to see it through somebody else's eyes, because that man will always exaggerate. Then I can exaggerate his exaggeration, and my account of the thing will be the most impressive. more...

The castle-building habit, the day-dreaming habit - how it grows! what a luxury it becomes; how we fly to its enchantments at every idle moment, how we revel in them, steep our souls in them, intoxicate ourselves with their beguiling fantasies - oh, yes, and how soon and how easily our dream-life and our material life become so intermingled and so fused together that we can't quite tell which is which, anymore. more...

And how moving is the eloquence of the untaught when it is the heart that is speaking! more...

Sum all the gifts that man is endowed with, and we give our greatest share of admiration to his energy. And today, if I were a heathen, I would rear a statue to Energy and fall down and worship it! more...

When a person is accustomed to one hundred and thirty-eight in the shade, his ideas about cold weather are not valuable. more...

Was it my conspicuousness that distressed me? Not at all. It was merely that I was not beautifully conspicuous but uglily conspicuous - it makes all the difference in the world. more...

It is not in the least likely that any life has ever been lived which was not a failure in the secret judgment of the person who lived it. more...

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. more...

What is the most rigorous law of our being? Growth. more...

This autobiography of mine is a mirror, and I am looking at myself in it all the time. Incidentally I notice the people that pass along at my back - I get glimpses of them in the mirror - and whenever they say or do anything that can help advertise me and flatter me and raise me in my own estimation, I set these things down in my autobiography. more...

The late Bill Nye once said, 'I have been told that Wagner's music is better than it sounds. more...

A man may plan as much as he wants to, but nothing of consequence is likely to come of it until the magician circumstance steps in and takes the matter off his hands. more...

I am living a new and exalted life of late. It steeps me in a sacred rapture to see a portrait develop and take soul under my hand. First, I throw off a study - just a mere study, a few apparently random lines - and to look at it you would hardly ever suspect who it was going to be; even I cannot tell, myself. more...

I believe I have had the most trouble with a portrait which I painted in installments - the head on one canvas and the bust on another. more...

No, I have no desire for riches. Honest poverty and a conscience, torpid through virtuous inaction, are more to me than corner lots and praise. more...

The dreamer's valuation of a thing lost - not another man's - is the only standard to measure it by, and his grief for it makes it large and great and fine, and is worthy of our reverence in all cases. more...

Now, isn't imagination a precious thing? It peoples the earth with all manner of wonders... more...

Definite speech means clarity of mind. more...

You don't know about me, without you have read a book by the name of 'The Adventures of Tom Sawyer,' but that ain't no matter. That book was made by a Mr. Mark Twain, and he told the truth, mainly. more...

In my schoolboy days I had no aversion to slavery. I was not aware there was anything wrong about it. No-one arraigned it in my hearing; the local papers said nothing against it; the local pulpit taught us that God approved it, that it was a holy thing, and that the doubter need only look in the Bible if he wished to settle his mind. more...

And I urge upon you this - which I think is wisdom - if you find you can't make seventy by any but an uncomfortable road, don't you go. more...

Compliments make me vain: & when I am vain, I am insolent & overbearing. It is a pity, too, because I love compliments. I love them even when they are not so. My child, I can live on a good compliment two weeks with nothing else to eat. more...

Education is what remains when what is learned has been taken away. more...

God was left out of the Constitution but was furnished a front seat on the coins of the country. more...

I am dead to adverbs; they cannot excite me. To misplace an adverb is a thing which I am able to do with frozen indifference; it can never give me a pang. There are subtleties which I cannot master at all - they confuse me, they mean absolutely nothing to me - and this adverb plague is one of them. more...

If you can't stand solitude, perhaps others find you boring as well. more...

I'm the only person who has ever found the right way to build an autobiography. more...

It is not what a man knows, but what he thinks of in time. more...

My memory was never loaded with anything but blank cartridges. more...

Perfect grammar - persistent, continuous, sustained - is the fourth dimension, so to speak; many have sought it, but none has found it. more...

Public Servant: Persons chosen by the people to distribute the graft. more...

Start it at no particular time of your life; wander at your free will all over your life; talk only about the thing which interests you for the moment; drop it the moment its interest threatens to pale. more...

That which was hard to endure is sweet to remember. more...

To be satisfied with what one has; that is wealth. more...

We had an abundance of mangoes, papaias and bananas here, but the pride of the islands, the most delicious fruit known to men, cherimoya, was not in season. It has a soft pulp, like a pawpaw, and is eaten with a spoon. more...

When I take up one of Jane Austen's books ... I feel like a barkeep entering the kingdom of heaven. I know what his sensation would be and his private comments. He would not find the place to his taste, and he would probably say so. more...

Writing is the easiest thing in the world.... Just try it sometime. I sit up with a pipe in my mouth and a board on my knees and I scribble away. more...

If they [the dead] should speak, it would be found that in matters of opinion no departed person was exactly what he had passed for in life. They would realise, deep down, that they, and whole nations along with them, are not really what they seem to be-and never can be. more...

We regret the things we don't do more than the things we do. more...

The law is a system that protects everybody who can afford to hire a good lawyer. more...

Whenever we come upon one of those intensely right words in a book or a newspaper the resulting effect is physical as well as spiritual, and electrically prompt: it tingles exquisitely around through the walls of the mouth and tastes as tart and crisp and good as the autumn-butter that creams the sumac-berry. One has no time to examine the word and vote upon its rank and standing, the automatic recognition of its supremacy is so immediate. more...

Life ain't about how fast you run or how high you climb, It's all about how good you bounce. A man cannot be comfortable without his own approval. more...

If I'd seen a playwright ever write an' play at the same time, I'd have given 'em more of a chance at cards. Can I get an 'amen?' more...

It is impossible that a genius - at least a literary genius - can ever be discovered by his intimates; they are so close to him that he is out of focus to them and they can't get at his proportions; they can't perceive that there is any considerable difference between his bulk and their own. more...

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

Benefit of clergy: Half-rate on the railroad. more...

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. more...

First catch your Boer, then kick him. more...

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

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

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. more...

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. more...

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

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

Let us save the tomorrows for work. more...

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

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

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

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

The real yellow peril: Gold. more...

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. more...

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. more...

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. more...

If you do read the newspaper you are misinformed. more...

I am admonished in many ways that time is pushing me inexorably along. I am approaching the threshold of age; in 1977 I shall be 142. more...

Frankenstein took some flesh and bones and blood and made a man out of them; the man ran away and fell to raping and robbing and murdering everywhere, and Frankenstein was horrified and in despair, and said, I made him, without asking his consent, and it makes me responsible for every crime he commits. I am the criminal, he is innocent. more...

There is one notable thing about our Christianity: bad, bloody, merciless, money-grabbing and predatory as it is - in our country particularly, and in all other Christian countries in a somewhat modified degree - it is still a hundred times better than the Christianity of the Bible, with its prodigious crime- the invention of Hell. more...

I can speak French but I cannot understand it. more...

Human Beings are the only animals that blush, or need to. more...

Truth is more of a stranger than fiction. When in doubt, tell the truth. If you tell the truth, you don't have to remember anything. Most writers regard the truth as their most valuable possession, and therefore are economical in its use. more...

If horses knew their strength we should not ride anymore. more...

The best minds will tell you that when a man has begotten a child he is morally bound to tenderly care for it, protect it from hurt, shield it from disease, clothe it, feed it, bear with its waywardness, lay no hand upon it save in kindness and for its own good, and never in any case inflict upon it a wanton cruelty. God's treatment of his earthly children, every day and every night, is the exact opposite of all that, yet those best minds warmly justify these crimes, condone them, excuse them, and indignantly refuse to regard them as crimes at all, when he commits them. more...

One day man by the slow processes of evolution shall develop into something really fine and high - some billions of years hence, say. more...

The future interests me - I'm going to spend the rest of my life there. more...

A man who is not born with the novel-writing gift has a troublesome time of it when he tries to build a novel. I know this from experience. He has no clear idea of his story; in fact he has no story. He merely has some people in his mind, and an incident or two, also a locality, and he trusts he can plunge those people into those incidents with interesting results. more...

There are no witches. The witch text remains; only the practice has changed. Hell fire is gone, but the text remains. Infant damnation is gone, but the text remains. More than two hundred death penalties are gone from the law books, but the texts that authorized them remain. more...

If science exterminates a disease which has been working for God, it is God that gets the credit and all the pulpits break into grateful advertising-raptures and call attention to how good he is. Yes, he has done it. Perhaps he waited a thousand years before doing it. They forget to say that he is the slowest mover in the universe, that his Eye That Never Sleeps, might as well, since it takes a century to see what any other eye can see in a week. more...

Where was the use, originally, in rushing this whole globe through in six days? It is likely that if more time had been taken in the first place, the world would have been made right, and this ceaseless improving and repairing would not be necessary now. But if you hurry a world or a house, you are nearly sure to find out by and by that you have left out a towhead, or a broom-closet, or some other little convenience, here and there, which has got to be supplied, no matter how much expense or vexation it may cost. more...

Who are we to create a heaven and hell for ourselves, excluding animals and plants in the bargain, just because we have the power to rationalize? more...

There is more real pleasure to be gotten out of a malicious act, where your heart is in it, than out of thirty acts of a nobler sort. more...

... No photograph ever was good, yet, of anybody - hunger and thirst and utter wretchedness overtake the outlaw who invented it! It transforms into desperadoes the weakest of men; depicts sinless innocence upon the pictured faces of ruffians; gives the wise man the stupid leer of a fool, and the fool an expression of more than earthly wisdom. more...

The [Kodak is] the only witness I have encountered in my long experience that I couldn't bribe. more...

Hotels are the only proper places for lecturers. When I am ill-natured I so enjoy the freedom of a hotel where I can ring up a domestic and give him a quarter and then break furniture over him. more...

The southerner talks music. more...

You perceive, now, that these things are all impossible except in a dream. You perceive that they are pure and puerile insanities, the silly creations of an imagination that is not conscious of its freaks - in a word, that they are a dream, and you the maker of it. The dream-marks are all present; you should have recognized them earlier. more...

You can't reason someone out of something that they weren't reasoned into in the first place. more...

I'm all for prosperity. It's change I object to. more...

So avoid using the word 'very' because it's lazy. A man is not very tired, he is exhausted. Don't use very sad, use morose. Language was invented for one reason, boys - to woo women - and, in that endeavor, laziness will not do. It also won't do in your essays. What you do today is important, because you are sacrificing a day of your life for it. 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. more...

Learn from the mistakes of others - you won't live long enough to make them all yourself. He's opposed to millionaires, but it would be dangerous to offer him the position. more...

The truth hurts, but silence kills. more...

I told you this would happen. But, no, you had to go for the buffet, didn't you? more...

Cats are the wildest of the tame and the tamest of the wild more...

A Patriot is someone who stands for his country always, and for his government when it is deserved. more...

Why is it that, among men, physical courage is a trait so plenteous yet moral courage is a trait so rare? more...

Every man is in his own person the whole human race without a detail lacking....I knew I should not find in any philosophy a single thought which had not passed through my own head, nor a single thought which had not passed through the heads of millions and millions of men before I was born. more...

There isn't anything so grotesque or so incredible that the average human being can't believe it. more...

The only people who should use the possessive 'we' are kings, newspaper editors, and persons with tapeworms. more...

In love, you pay as you leave. more...

And so when I couldn't stand it no longer, I lit out. I got into my old rags and my sugar-hogshead again, and was free and satisfied. more...

A Christian's first duty is to God. It then follows, as a matter of course, that it is his duty to carry his Christian code to the polls and vote them... If Christians should vote their duty to God at the polls, they would carry every election, and do it with ease... it would bring about a moral revolution that would be incalculably beneficent. It would save the country. more...

...many foolish persons, wanderers from other parts, have the vain fashion of graving their names and the obscure places whence they come, upon its stones, which is silly and marketh the doer for a fool. more...

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

Canadian girls are so pretty it's a relief now and then to see a plain one. more...

An adventure is something that while it's happening you wish it wasn't. more...

Learning to play two pairs is worth about as much as a college education, and about as costly. more...

Loyalty is a word which has worked vast harm; for it has been made to trick men into being "loyal" to a thousand iniquities, whereas the true loyalty should have been to themselves - in which case there would have ensured a rebellion, and the throwing off of that deceptive yoke. more...

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. more...

The old saw says - 'Let a sleeping dog lie.' Experience knows better; experience says, If you want to convince do it yourself. more...

After my marriage she edited everything I wrote. And what is more, she not only edited my works, she edited me. more...

It is yet another Civilized Power, with its banner of the Prince of Peace in one hand and its loot-basket and its butcher-knife in the other. Is there no salvation for us but to adopt Civilization and lift ourselves down to its level?. more...

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

A half-educated physician is not valuable. He thinks he can cure everything. more...

The problem with education is school. more...

A man who chooses not to read is just as ignorant as a man who cannot read. more...

There is a sumptuous variety about the New England weather... In the spring I have counted one hundred and twenty-six different kinds of weather inside of four and twenty hours. more...

You can have brilliant ideas, but if you can't get them across, your ideas won't get you anywhere. Lee Iacocca Love is the irresistible desire to be irresistibly desired. more...

You have noticed that the human being is a curiosity. In times past he has had (and worn out and flung away) hundreds and hundreds of religions; today he has hundreds and hundreds of religions, and launches not fewer than three new ones every year. I could enlarge on that number and still be within the facts. more...

The Bible is full of interest. It has noble poetry in it; and some clever fables; and some blood-drenched history; and some good morals; and a wealth of obscenity; and upwards of a thousand lies. This Bible is built mainly out of fragments of older Bibles that had their day and crumbled to ruin. So it noticeably lacks in originality, necessarily. Its three or four most imposing and impressive events all happened in earlier Bibles; there are only two new things in it: hell, for one, and that singular heaven I have told you about. more...

It is believed by everyone that when he was in heaven he was stern, hard, resentful, jealous and cruel, but that when he came down to earth, he became the opposite... sweet, gentle merciful, forgiving. He was a thousand billion times crueler than ever he was in the Old Testament... Meek and gentle? By and by we will examine that popular sarcasm by the light of the hell which he invented. more...

...Man is a marvelous curiosity. When he is at his very very best he is a sort of low grade nickel-plated angel; at his worst he is unspeakable, unimaginable; and first and last and all the time he is a sarcasm. Yet he blandly and in all sincerity calls himself the 'noblest work of God.' more...

Whenever a copyright law is to be made or altered, then the idiots assemble. more...

It's easy to endure adversity - if it happens to someone else. more...

There is in life only one moment and in eternity only one. It is so brief that it is represented by the fleeting of a luminous mote through the thin ray of sunlight - and it is visible but a fraction of a second. The moments that preceded it have been lived, are forgotten and are without value; the moments that have not been lived have no existence and will have no value except in the moment that each shall be lived. While you are asleep you are dead; and whether you stay dead an hour or a billion years the time to you is the same. more...

There ain't anything that is so interesting to look at as a place that a book has talked about. more...

The secret source of humor is not joy but sorrow. more...

My faculties are decaying now and soon I shall be so I cannot remember any but the things that never happened. more...

The cost of living hasn't effected its popularity. more...

Everything human is pathetic more...

But we love the Old Travelers. We love to hear them prate and drivel and lie. more...

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

It is curious and interesting to notice what an attraction a fussy, mincing, nickel-plated word has for you. more...

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. more...

The average woman would rather have beauty than brains, because the average man can see better than he can think. more...

Don't just sit there and worry. Be proactive. Do something - anything - about what's worrying you so you can gain information, focus and control over the situation. I've suffered a great many catastrophes in my life. Most of them never happened. more...

Forgiveness is the smell that lavender gives out when you tread on it more...

There are three kinds of liars: liars, damned liars, and statisticians more...

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

People who love sausage and respect the law should never watch either being made. more...

You can't no more teach what you ain't learned than you can come from where you ain't been. more...

The idea that a baby doesn't amount to anything! Why, one baby is just a house and a front yard full by itself. One baby can, furnish more business than you and your whole Interior Department can attend to. He is enterprising, irrepressible, brimful of lawless activities. more...

The man who isn't a pessimist is a damned fool. more...

The truth is a precious commodity. That's why I use it so sparingly. more...

Children and fools always speak the truth more...

All men are ignorant, just on different subjects. more...

When your opinions start to coincide with those of the majority, it is time to reconsider your opinions. more...

I was educated once - it took me years to get over it. more...

Experience comes from bad judgment. more...

The Book of Mormon is chloroform in print more...

No amount of evidence will ever persuade an idiot more...

If ignorance is bliss, why isn't the world happier? more...

The water is clearer than the air, and the air is the air that angels breathe. more...

The reason why truth is so much stranger than fiction is that there is no requirement for it to be consistent. more...

Too bad that youth is wasted on the young. more...

The Bible is a wonderful book; you can prove anything you want with it. more...

The two most important days if your life are the day you are born...and the day you find out why having multiple screens for your computer is so awesome because now reports and grants are like a billion times easier! more...

Wherein lies a poet's claim to originality? That he invents his incidents? No. That he was present when his episodes had their birth? No. That he was first to repeat them? No. None of these things has any value. He confers on them their only originality that has any value, and that is his way of telling them. more...

Politicians, old buildings, and prostitutes become respectable with age. more...

It is so unsatisfactory to read a noble passage and have no one you love at hand to share the happiness with you. And it is unsatisfactory to read to one's self anyhow - for the uttered voice so heightens the expression. more...

The writing begins when you"ve finished. Only then do you know what you're trying to say. more...

In our day we don't allow a hundred and thirty years to elapse between glimpses of a marvel. If somebody should discover a creek in the county next to the one that the North Pole is in, Europe and America would start fifteen costly expeditions thither; one to explore the creek, and the other fourteen to hunt for each other. more...

If there wasn't anything to find out, it would be dull. Even trying to find out and not finding out is just as interesting as trying to find out and finding out; and I don't know but more so. more...

God cures and the doctor sends the bill. more...

Most of the things I worried about in life never happened. more...

Tight pants are just uncomfortable. more...

You cannot have a theory without principles. Principles is another name for prejudices. more...

Our lives, our liberty, and our property are never in greater danger than when Congress is in session. more...

Ignorance is not, not knowing something. It is knowing what isn't so. more...

Your road is everything that a road ought to be...and yet you will not stay in it half a mile, for the reason that little, seductive, mysterious roads are always branching out from it on either hand, and as these curve sharply also and hide what is beyond, you cannot resist the temptation to desert your own chosen path and explore them. more...

Does the human being reason? No; he thinks, muses, reflects, but does not reason...that is, in the two things which are the peculiar domain of the heart, not the mind, politics and religion. He doesn't want to know the other side. He wants arguments and statistics for his own side, and nothing more. more...

Travel is fatal to bigotry. more...

A "classic" is a book that everybody praises but nobody has read more...

If I can capture truth in its simplest form, beauty will follow like a sledgehammer. more...

The most successful people are those who do all year long what they would otherwise do on their summer vacation. more...

It is a shameful thing to insult a child. more...

The observance of Thanksgiving Day-as a function-has become general of late years. The Thankfulness is not so general. This is natural. Two-thirds of the nation have always had hard luck and a hard time during the year, and this has a calming effect upon their enthusiasm. more...

To gnaw on is human, towards digest, divine. more...

If ever you've been down in the dumps, hear these iconic authors share with you more than their writing wisdom. more...

Always obey your parents. When they are present. This is the best policy in the long run. Because if you don't, they will make you. Most parents think they know better than you do, and you can generally make more by humoring that superstition than you can by acting on your own better judgment. more...

When congress is in session no American is safe. more...

Faith is believing things you know aint true more...

I am trying to get the hang of this new fangled writing machine, but I am not making a shining success of it. However, this is the first attempt I have ever made & yet I perceive I shall soon & easily acquire a fine facility in its use. ... The machine has several virtues. I believe it will print faster than I can write. One may lean back in his chair & work it. It piles an awful stack of words on one page. It don't muss things or scatter ink blots around. Of course it saves paper. more...

Don't you know that the very thing a man dreads is the thing that always happens? more...

Man is the Reasoning Animal. Such is the claim. I think it is open to dispute. more...

Like most people, I often feel mean, and act accordingly. more...

There's a good spot tucked away somewhere in everybody. You'll be a long time finding it, sometimes. more...

They say that you can't live by bread alone, but I can live on compliments. more...

As a rule we develop a borrowed European idea forward, and ... Europe develops a borrowed American idea backwards. more...

When one has tasted watermelons, one knows what angels eat. It was not a Southern watermelon that Eve took; we know it because she repented. more...

Strange is the man who practices his religion. more...

We must look for our own blame to find our own personality. more...

Water is an individual, an animal, and is alive, remove the hydrogen and it is an animal and is alive; the remaining oxygen is also an individual, an animal, and is alive. Recapitulation: the two individuals combined, constitute a third individual-and yet each continues to be an individual....here was mute Nature explaining the sublime mystery of the Trinity so luminously that even the commonest understanding could comprehend it, whereas many a trained master of words had labored to do it with speech and failed. more...

Not all the Greek runners in the original Olympics were totally naked. Some wore shoes. more...

Braveness is resistance to concern, mastery of panic - not absense of anxiety. more...

The human being places sexual intercourse above all other joys, but leaves it out of his heaven. more...

God was left out of the Constitution, but was furnished a front seat in this nations currency. ("In God we Trust") is a lie, this nations trust has always been with the dollar. more...

If we read the words and attitudes of the past through the pompous "wisdom" of the considered moral judgments of the present, we will find nothing but error. more...

Good exercise for the heart: reach out and help your neighbor more...

Good fathers not only tell us how to live, they show us. more...

It must be well-nigh a maximum of sense to behave so that one escapes being hanged. more...

Thanksgiving day. Let us all give humble, hearty, and sincere thanks now, but the turkeys. more...

There are two reasons why anybody buys anything. The real reason, and the reason they give you. more...

Time spent with your children is time wisely spent. more...

To avoid being drawn into error, keep a firm grip on the truth. more...

To avoid lying, do nothing that needs covering. more...

Today's burdens can strengthen you for tomorrow. more...

Tough times teach trust. more...

There's something in it when a body like the widow or the parson prays, but it don't work for me, and I reckon it don't work for only just the right kind. more...

Every year you wait, long ago gets farther away. more...

There is no accounting for human beings. more...

No man, deep down in the privacy of his heart, has any considerable respect for himself. more...

A pessimist is a well-informed optimist. more...

The person who has no opinion will seldom be wrong. more...

Such is professional jealousy; a scientist will never show any kindness for a theory which he did not start himself. There is no feeling of brotherhood among these people. Indeed, they always resent it when I call them brother. To show how far their ungenerosity can carry them, I will state that I offered to let Prof. H-y publish my great theory as his own discovery; I even begged him to do it; I even proposed to print it myself as his theory. Instead of thanking me, he said that if I tried to fasten that theory on him he would sue me for slander. more...

That is their way, those plagues, those scientists - peg, peg, peg - dig, dig, dig - plod, plod, plod. I wish I could catch a cargo of them for my place; it would be an economy. Yes, for years, you see. They never give up. Patience, hope, faith, perseverance; it is the way of all the breed. more...

Cooper's art has some defects. In one place in 'Deerslayer,' and in the restricted space of two-thirds of a page, Cooper has scored 114 offences against literary art out of a possible 115. It breaks the record. more...

I used to think my father was an idiot, until I turned twenty-one... Then I thought he was a genus. more...

Experience teaches us only one thing at a time - and hardly that, in my case. more...

Life does not consist mainly - or even largely - of facts and happenings. more...

It consists mainly of the storm of thoughts that is forever blowing through one's head. more...

When I was 17, my father was so stupid, I didn't want to be seen with him in public. When I was 24, I was amazed at how much the old man had learned in just 7 years. more...

If I were going to construct a God I would furnish him with some ways and qualities and characteristics which the Present One lacks... He would spend some of His eternities in trying to forgive Himself for making man unhappy when He could have made him happy with the same effort and He would spend the rest of them in studying astronomy. more...

I believe that our Heavenly Father invented man because he was disappointed in the monkey. I believe that whenever a human being, of even the highest intelligence and culture, delivers an opinion upon a matter apart from his particular and especial line of interest, training and experience, it will always be an opinion of so foolish and so valueless a sort that it can be depended upon to suggest to our Heavenly Father that the human being is another disappointment and that he is no considerable improvement upon the monkey. more...

Among other common lies, we have the silent lie - the deception which one conveys by simply keeping still and concealing the truth. Many obstinate truth-mongers indulge in this dissipation, imagining that if they speak no lie, they lie not at all. more...

Congress: America's only true criminal class. more...

... the English alphabet is pure insanity..., It can hardly spell any word in the language with any degree of certainty. more...

I notice that you use plain, simple language, short words and brief sentences. That is the way to write English - it is the modern way and the best way. Stick to it; don't let fluff and flowers and verbosity creep in. more...

The equator was wisely put where it is, because if it had been run through Europe all the kings would have tried to grab it. more...

I do not see how astronomers can help feeling exquisitely insignificant, for every new page of the Book of the Heavens they open reveals to them more and more that the world we are so proud of is to the universe of careening globes as is one mosquito to the winged and hoofed flocks and herds that darken the air and populate the plains and forests of all the earth. If you killed the mosquito would it be missed? Verily, What is Man, that he should be considered of God? more...

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. more...

Constellations have always been troublesome things to name. If you give one of them a fanciful name, it will always refuse to live up to it; it will always persist in not resembling the thing it has been named for. more...

When you catch an adjective, kill it - perhaps the best possible advice for budding writers. more...

The only certainties in life are death and taxes. more...

Denial is much more then an Egyptian River. more...

My heart goes out to anyone who is making his first appearance before an audience of human beings. more...

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

Some people give their problems swimming lessons instead of drowning them. more...

Tis Better to Sit there and LOOK the fool, than to open your mouth and prove it. more...

The true charm of pedestrians does not lie in the walking, or in the scenery, but in the talking. more...

Take your mind out every now and then and dance on it. It is getting all caked up. more...

To be vested with enormous authority is a fine thing; but to have the on-looking world consent to it is finer. more...

Do right and you will be conspicuous. more...

History may not repeat, but it often rhymes. more...

There ain't nothing more to write about and I'm rotten glad of it, because if I'd know'd what trouble it was to make a book, I wouldn't a tackled it. more...

Every time I read a Jane Austen novel, I feel like a bartender at the gates of heaven. more...

Nothing so focuses the mind as the prospect of being hanged. more...

Man is the only animal that deals in that atorcity of atrocities, War. He is the only one that gathers his brethren about him and goes forth in cold blood and calm pulse to exterminate his kind. more...

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. more...

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

It is an important thing, in our never-ending pursuit of happiness, to stop and just be happy for a while. more...

Hero: Person in a book who does things which he can't and girl marries him for it. more...

Being rich ain't what it's cracked up to be. It's just worry and worry, and sweat and sweat, and a-wishing you was dead all the time. more...

We like to read about rich people in the newspapers; the papers know it, and they do their best to keep this appetite liberally fed. more...

What is the chief end of man?-to get rich. In what way?-dishonestly if we can; honestly if we must. more...

The average man is what his environment and his superstitions have made him; and their function is to make him an ass. He can't add up three or four new circumstances together and perceive what they mean; it is beyond him. He is not capable of observing for himself; he has to get everything at second-hand. If what are miscalled the lower animals were as silly as man is, they would all perish from the earth in a year. more...

When angry, count to a hundred. more...

It is easy to make plans in this world; even a cat can do it; and when one is out in those remote oceans it is noticeable that a cat's plans and a man's are worth about the same. There is much the same shrinkage in both, in the matter of values. more...

Do one thing every day you don't want to do. more...

Wagner has some great moments, but a lot of miserable half hours. more...

If the world ends, I'll just head on down to Kentucky because they're always 20 years behind. more...

What a lie it is to call this a free country, where none but the unworthy and undeserving may swear. more...

We all like to see people sea-sick when we are not ourselves. more...

The best and most telling speech is not the actual impromptu one but the counterfeit of it. more...

I thoroughly believe that any man who's got anything worthwhile to say will be heard if he only says it often enough. more...

A street in Constantinople is a picture which one ought to see once-not oftener. more...

When it comes down to pure ornamental cursing, the native American is gifted above the sons of men. more...

We are all beggars, each in his own way. more...

There's always a hole in theories somewhere if you look close enough. more...

There isn't anything you can't stand if you are only born and bred to it. more...

There is only one good sex. The female one. more...

There is no humor in heaven. more...

The country is the real thing, the substantial thing, the eternal thing, it is the thing to watch over and care for and be loyal to; institutions are extraneous. . . . more...

Seasickness: at first you are so sick you are afraid you will die, and then you are so sick you are afraid you won't die. more...

Reputation is a hall-mark: it can remove doubt from pure silver, and it can also make the plated article pass for pure. more...

Ours is the "land of the free"-nobody denies that-nobody challenges it. (Maybe it is because we won't let other people testify.) more...

Our consciences take no notice of pain inflicted on others until it reaches a point where it gives pain to us. more...

One of my theories is that the hearts of men are about alike, no matter what their skin color. more...

No one is willing to acknowledge a fault in himself when a more agreeable motive can be found for the estrangement of his acquaintances. more...

Never waste a lie; you never know when you may need it. more...

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

In all my travels the thing that has impressed me the most is the universal brotherhood of man-what there is of it. more...

I like criticism, but it must be my way. more...

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

Great enterprises usually promise vastly more than they perform. more...

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

Beautiful credit! The foundation of modern society. more...

Adam was the author of sin, and I wish he had taken out an international copyright on it. more...

A historian who would convey the truth has got to lie. Often he must enlarge the truth by diameters, otherwise his reader would not be able to see it. more...

A banquet is probably the most fatiguing thing in the world except ditch digging. more...

All religions issue bibles again Satan, and say the most injurious things against him, but we never hear his side. more...

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

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

None but an ass pays a compliment and asks a favour at the same time. There are many asses. more...

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

Too much is just enough. more...

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

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. more...

Man is the only religious animal. In the Holy task of smoothing his brother's path to the happiness of heaven, he has turned the globe into a graveyard. more...

A proud man is one who waits for a vacancy in the Trinity. more...

Your friends may love you in private but your enemies will hate you in public. more...

Rags, wretchedness, poverty and dirt, those signs and symbols that indicate the presence of [Muslim] rule more surely than the crescent-flag itself, abound. more...

I will gradually drop this subject of graveyards. I have been trying all I could to get down to the sentimental part of it, but I cannot accomplish it. I think there is no genuinely sentimental part to it. It is all grotesque, ghastly, horrible. more...

Greece is a bleak, unsmiling desert, without agriculture, manufactures or commerce, apparently. What supports its poverty-stricken people or its Government, is a mystery. more...

Imagination labors best in distant fields. more...

There is nothing but that frail breastwork of earth between the people and destruction. more...

Many of the cemeteries are beautiful, and are kept in perfect order. When one goes from the levee or the business streets [of New Orleans] to it, to a cemetery, he observes to himself that if those people down there would live as neatly while they are alive as they do after they are dead, they would find many advantages in it; and besides, their quarter would be the wonder and admiration of the business world. more...

I am able to say that while I am not ruggedly well, I am not ill enough to excite an undertaker. more...

It takes some little time to accept and realize the fact that while you have been growing old, your friends have not been standing still, in that matter. more...

The community is eminently Portuguese - that is to say, it is slow, poor, shiftless, sleepy, and lazy. more...

You ought never to sass old people- unless they sass you first. more...

It's a good thing for a dog to have fleas; keeps his mind off being a dog. more...

Write without pay until somebody offers to pay you. If nobody offers within three years, sawing wood is what you were intended for. more...

Forget and forgive. This is not difficult when properly understood. It means forget inconvenient duties, then forgive yourself for forgetting. By rigid practice and stern determination, it comes easy. more...

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

There was worlds of reputation in it, but no money. more...

There are many scapegoats for our sins, but the most popular is providence. more...

Drop this mean and sordid and selfish devotion to the saving of your shabby little souls, and hunt up something to do that's got some dignity to it! Risk your souls! Risk them in good causes; then if you lose them, why should you care? Reform! more...

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 that she did it with her teeth. more...

Every inventor is a crackpot until his idea succeeds. more...

I should be sorry to think it was the publishers themselves they got up this entire little flutter to enable them to unload a book that was taking too much room in their cellars, but you can never tell what a publisher will do. I have been one myself. more...

Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to reform. "It ain't what you don't know that gets you into trouble. It's what you know for certain that just ain't true." Thinking that you know the future. more...

The higher animals get their teeth without pain or inconvenience. Man gets his through months and months of cruel torture; he will never get a set which can really be depended on 'till a dentist makes him one. more...

God rewards gamblers and fools. The crucial thing, when you win, is knowing which you were. more...

We have infinite trouble in solving man-made mysteries; it is only when we set out to discover "the secret of God" that our difficulties disappear. more...

I have only one moral precept; never smoke more than five cigars at a time. more...

There are some natures which never grow large enough to speak out and say a bad act is a bad act, until they have inquired into the politics or the nationality of the man who did it. more...

Trial by jury is the palladium of our liberties. I do not know what a palladium is, but I am sure it is a good thing! more...

When one has tasted it Watermelon he knows what the angels eat. more...

Warm summer sun, shine friendly here; Warm southern wind, blow kindly here; Green sod above, rest light, rest light - Good night, dear heart, good night, good night. more...

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

One gains at least two to three times more experience grabbing the tiger by the tail than reading about it in a book. more...

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

The machine has several virtues... One may lean back in his chair and work it. It piles an awful stack of words on one page. It don't muss things or scatter ink blots around. more...

Human beings are the only creatures who blush - or who need to. more...

Narrative should flow as flows the brook down through the hills and the leafy woodlands...a brook that never goes straight for a minute, but goes and goes briskly, sometimes ungrammatically, and sometimes fetching a horseshoe of &190; of a mile around and at the end of the circuit flowing within a yard of the path that it traversed an hour before; but always going and always following at least one law, always loyal to that law, the law of narrative, which has no law. Nothing to do but make the trip; the how of it is not important, so that the trip is made. more...

There are those who imagine that the unlucky accidents of life life's "experiences" are in some way useful to us. I wish I could find out how. I never know one of them to happen twice. They always change off and swap around and catch you on your inexperienced side. more...

In truth I care little about any party's politics the man behind it is the important thing. more...

I always did hate for anyone to know what my plans or hopes or prospects were for, if I kept people in ignorance in these matters, no one could be disappointed but myself, if they were not realized. more...

People who always feel jolly, no matter where they are or what happens to them who have the organ of hope preposterously developed who are endowed with an uncongealable sanguine temperament who never feel concerned about the price of corn and who cannot, by any possibility, discover any but the bright side of a picture are very apt to go to extremes, and exaggerate with 40-horse microscopic power. more...

I am as prompt as a clock, if I only know the day a thing is wanted otherwise I am a natural procrastinaturalist. more...

The kernel, the soul let us go further and say the substance, the bulk, the actual and valuable material of all human utterances is plagiarism. For substantially all ideas are second-hand, consciously and unconsciously drawn from a million outside sources, and daily used by the garnerer with a pride and satisfaction born of the superstition that he originated them; whereas there is not a rag of originality about them anywhere except the little discoloration they get from his mental and moral calibre and his temperament, and which is revealed in characteristics of phrasing. more...

I do love compliments, yet I'm often embarrassed to say what I think to the person when I get a compliment. I so often feel that they have not gone far enough. more...

The government is merely a servantmerely 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. more...

I notice that you use plain, simple language, short words and brief sentences. That is the way to write Englishit is the modern way and the best way. Stick to it; don't let fluff and flowers and verbosity creep in. When you catch an adjective, kill it. No, I don't mean utterly, but kill most of themthen the rest will be valuable. They weaken when they are close together. They give strength when they are wide apart. An adjective habit, or a wordy, diffuse, flowery habit, once fastened upon a person, is as hard to get rid of as any other vice. more...

I hope all of us may eventually be together in everlasting peace and bliss - except the inventor of the telephone . more...

Never argue with people who buy ink by the gallon.... more...

That is an editor. He is trying to think of a word. He props his feet on a chair, which is the editor's way; then he can think better. I do not care much for this one; his ears are not alike; still, editor suggests the sound of Edward, and he will do. I could make him better if I had a model, but I made this one from memory. But is no particular matter; they all look alike, anyway. They are conceited and troublesome, and don't pay enough. more...

Another editor. That thing behind his ear is his pencil. Whenever he finds a bright thing in your manuscript he strikes it out with that. That does him good, and makes him smile and show his teeth, the way he is doing in the picture. This one has just been striking out a smart thing, and now he is sitting there with his thumbs in his vest-holes, gloating. They are full of envy and malice, editors are. more...

This editor is a critic. He has pulled out his carving-knife and his tomahawk and is starting after a book which he is going to have for breakfast. more...

That is a society editor, sitting there elegantly dressed, with his legs crossed in that indolent way, observing the clothes the ladies wear, so that he can describe them for his paper and make them out finer than they are and get bribes for it and become wealthy. more...

I am not the editor of a newspaper and shall always try to do right and be good so that God will not make me one. more...

In Austria an editor who can write well is valuable, but he is not likely to remain so unless he can handle a sabre with charm. more...

I hate editors, for they make me abandon a lot of perfectly good English words. more...

If we could imagine such a man, that is a man who could invent the fly and send him out on his mission and furnish him with his orders: Depart into the uttermost corners of the earth and, diligently do your appointed work. Persecute the sick child, settle upon its eyes, its face, its hands, and gnaw and pester and sting, worry and fret and madden the worn and tried mother who watches by the child and humbly prays for mercy and relief with the pathetic faith of the deceived and the unteachable. more...

Heaven is the very last place to come to rest and don't you be afraid to bet on that! more...

It is plain that there is one moral law for heaven and another for the earth. The pulpit assures us that wherever we see suffering and sorrow, which we can relieve and do not, we sin, heavily. There was never yet a case of suffering or sorrow which God could not relieve. Does He sin then? more...

As for the dinosaur - But Noah's conscience was easy; it was not named in his cargo list and he and the boys were not aware that there was such a creature. He said he could not blame himself for not knowing about the dinosaur, because it was an American animal and America had not then been discovered. more...

More than two hundred death penalties are gone from the law books, but the [biblical] texts that authorised them remain. more...

Those people.... early stricken of God, intellectually - the departmental interpreters of the laws in Washington... can always be depended on to take any reasonably good law and interpret the common sense all out of it. more...

We have an insanity plea that would have saved Cain. more...

If we only had some God in the country's laws, instead of being in such a sweat to get him into the Constitution, it would be better all around. more...

The laws of Nature, that is to say the laws of God, plainly made every human being a law unto himself, we must steadfastly refuse to obey those laws, and we must as steadfastly stand by the conventions which ignore them, since the statutes furnish us peace, fairly good government, and stability, and therefore are better for us than the laws of God, which would soon plunge us into confusion and disorder and anarchy if we should adopt them. more...

It would not be possible for Noah to do in our day what he was permitted to do in his own ... The inspector would come and examine the Ark, and make all sorts of objections. more...

...the administration of the law can never go lax where every individual sees to it that it grows not lax in his own case, or in cases which fall under his eyes. more...

You see, he knew his own laws just as other people so often know the laws: by words, not by effects. They take a meaning, and get to be very vivid, when you come to apply them to yourself. more...

The laws of Nature take precedence of all human laws. The purpose of all human laws is one - to defeat the laws of Nature. This is the case among all the nations, both civilized and savage. It is a grotesquerie, but when the human race is not grotesque it is because it is asleep and losing its opportunity. more...

The banging and slamming and booming and crashing were something beyond belief. [On Lohengrin] more...

An American has not seen the United States until he has seen Mardi-Gras in New Orleans. more...

The cigar-box which the European calls a 'lift' needs but to be compared with our elevators to be appreciated. The lift stops to reflect between floors. That is all right in a hearse, but not in elevators. The American elevator acts like a man's patent purge-it works. more...

You may honestly feel grateful that homeopathy survived the attempts of the allopaths (orthodoxy) to destroy it. more...

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

[N]o country can be well governed unless its citizens as a body keep religiously before their minds that they are the guardians of the law and that the law officers are only the machinery for its execution, nothing more. more...

When you feel like tellin a feller to go to the devil - tell him to go to Chicago - it'll anser every purpose, and is perhaps, a leetle more expensive. more...

Make your vacation your vocation. more...

When a library expels a book of mine and leaves an unexpurgated Bible lying around where unprotected youth and age can get hold of it, the deep unconscious irony of it delights me and doesn't anger me. more...

Etiquette requires us to admire the human race. more...

That's just the way: a person does a low-down thing, and then he don't want to take no consequences of it. Thinks as long as he can hide it, it ain't no disgrace. more...

To do right is wonderful. To teach others to do right is even more wonderful-and much easier. more...

I hope all of us may eventually be together in everlasting peace and bliss - except the inventor of the ? telephone . more...

We find not much in ourselves to admire, we are always privately wanting to be like somebody else. If everybody was satisfied with himself, there would be no heroes more...

The more I know people, the more I love my dog. more...

Don't wait the time is never just right. more...

Love heightens all senses - except the common. more...

Cherimoya, the most delicious fruit known to men. more...

Lump the whole thing! say that the Creator made Italy from designs by Michel Angelo! more...

For months the great pleasure excursion to Europe and the Holy Land was chatted about in the newspapers everywhere in America and discussed at countless firesides. more...

The two Great Unknowns, the two Illustrious Conjecturabilities! They are the best known unknown persons that have ever drawn breath upon the planet. (the Devil and Shakespeare.) more...

Wagner's music is better than it sounds. more...

The history of our race, and each individual's experience, are sown thick with evidence that a truth is not hard to kill and that a lie told well is immortal. more...

The ungentle laws and customs touched upon in this tale are historical, and the episodes which are used to illustrate them are also historical. more...

Well, it was the next spring after me and Tom Sawyer set our old nigger Jim free the time he was chained up for a runaway slave down there on Tom's uncle Silas's farm in Arkansaw. more...

I was sorry to have my name mentioned as one of the great authors, because they have a sad habit of dying off. Chaucer is dead, Spencer is dead, so is Milton, so is Shakespeare, and I'm not feeling so well myself. more...

It was in Warwick Castle that I came across the curious stranger whom I am going to talk about. He attracted me by three things: his candid simplicity, his marvelous familiarity with ancient armor, and the restfulness of his company - for he did all the talking. more...

The very marks on the bottom of a piece of rare crockery are able to throw me into a gibbering ecstasy. more...

There are laws to protect the freedom of the press's speech, but none that are worth anything to protect the people from the press. more...

That is just the way with some people. They get down on a thing when they do' know nothing about it. more...

It is a time when one's spirit is subdued and sad, one knows not why; when the past seems a storm-swept desolation, life a vanity and a burden, and the future but a way to death. It is a time when one is filled with vague longings; when one dreams of flight to peaceful islands in the remote solitudes of the sea, or folds his hands and says, What is the use of struggling, and toiling and worrying any more? let us give it all up. more...

It's not the good that die young, it's the lucky. more...

what is joy without sorrow? what is success without failure? what is a win without a loss? what is health without illness? you have to experience each if you are to appreciate the other. there is always going to be suffering. it's how you look at your suffering, how you deal with it, that will define you. more...

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. more...

But death was sweet, death was gentle, death was kind; death healed the bruised spirit and the broken heart, and gave them rest and forgetfulness; death was man's best friend; when man could endure life no longer, death came and set him free. more...

We catched fish, and talked, and we took a swim now and then to keep off sleepiness. It was kind of solemn, drifting down the big still river, laying on our backs looking up at the stars, and we did' ever feel like talking loud, and it war' often that we laughed, only a kind of low chuckle. We had mighty good weather, as a general thing, and nothing ever happened to us at all, that night, nor the next, nor the next. more...

Right is right, and wrong is wrong, and a body ai' got no business doing wrong when he ai' ignorant and knows better. more...

Just because you're taught that something's right and everyone believes it's right, it do' make it right. more...

He said that man's heart was the only bad heart in the animal kingdom; that man was the only animal capable of feeling malice, envy, vindictiveness, revengefulness, hatred, selfishness, the only animal that loves drunkenness, almost the only animal that could endure personal uncleanliness and a filthy habitation, the sole animal in whom was fully developed the base instinct called patriotism, the sole animal that robs, persecutes, oppresses and kills members of his own tribe, the sole animal that steals and enslaves the members of any tribe. more...

the size of a misfortune is not determinable by an outsider's measurement of it but only by the measurements applied to it by the person specially affected by it. more...

In religion and politics people's beliefs and convictions are in almost every case gotten at second-hand, and without examination, from authorities who have not themselves examined the questions at issue but have taken them at second-hand from other non-examiners, whose opinions about them were not worth a brass farthing. more...

The man with a new idea is a crank until the idea succeeds. more...

Be careful when reading health books; you may die of a misprint. more...

Adam was the only man who, when he said a good thing, knew that nobody had said it before him. more...

It is not best that we should all think alike; it is difference of opinion that make horseraces. more...

Warm summer sun, shine kindly here; Warm southern wind, blow softly here; Green sod above, lie light, lie light - Good night, dear heart, good night, good night. more...

Except a creature be part coward it is not a compliment to say it is brave; it is merely a loose application of the word. Consider the flea! - incomparably the bravest of all the creatures of God, if ignorance of fear were courage. more...

We have no permanent brains until we are forty. Then they begin to harden, presently they petrify, then business begins. Since forty I have been regular about going to bed and getting up - and that is one of the main things. more...

The art of prophecy is very difficult, especially with respect to the future. more...

We write frankly and freely but then we modify' before we print. more...

A big leather-bound volume makes an ideal razorstrap. A thin book is useful to stick under a table with a broken caster to steady it. A large, flat atlas can be used to cover a window with a broken pane. And a thick, old-fashioned heavy book with a cl more...

Wit is the sudden marriage of ideas which before their marriage were not perceived to have any relationship. more...

In the weltering hell of the Moorooroo plain The Yatala Wangary withers and dies, And the Worrow Wanilla, demented with pain, To the Woolgoolga woodlands Despairingly flies. more...

India has 2,000,000 gods, and worships them all. In religion other countries are paupers; India is the only millionaire. more...

Only kings, editors, and people with tapeworm have the right to use the editorial we. more...

Put all your eggs in the one basket and - Watch That Basket. more...

There is nothing you can say in answer to a compliment. I have been complimented myself a great many times, and they always embarrass me - I always feel that they have not said enough. more...

What is there that confers the noblest delight? What is that which swells a man's breast with pride above that which any other experience can bring to him? Discovery! To know that you are walking where none others have walked... more...

As a rule we develop a borrowed European idea forward, and... Europe develops a borrowed American idea backwards. more...

Don't, like the cat, try to get more out of an experience than there is in it. The cat, having sat upon a hot stove lid, will not sit upon a hot stove lid again. Nor upon a cold stove lid. more...

Happiness ain't a thing in itself - it's only a contrast with something that ain't pleasant.... And so, as soon as the novelty is over and the force of the contrast dulled, it ain't happiness any longer, and you have to get something fresh. more...

I reverently believe that the Maker who made us all makes everything in New England but the weather. I don't know who makes that, but I think it must be raw apprentices in the weather-clerk's factory... more...

As a thinker and planner the ant is the equal of any savage race of men; as a self-educated specialist in several arts she is the superior of any savage race of men; and in one or two high mental qualities she is above the reach of any man... more...

Any so-called material thing that you want is merely a symbol: you want it not for itself, but because it will content your spirit for the moment. more...

To do something, say something, see something, before anybody else - these are things that confer a pleasure compared with which other pleasures are tame and commonplace, other ecstacies cheap and trivial. more...

I find that principles have no real force except when one is well fed. more...

Scientists have odious manners, except when you prop up their theory; then you can borrow money of them. more...

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

By hard, honest labor I've dug all the large words out of my vocabulary and shaved it down till the average is three and a half.... I never write metropolis for seven cents, because I can get the same money for city. more...

There is nothing in the world like a persuasive speech to fuddle the mental apparatus. more...

Why was the human race created? God had His opportunity. He could have made a reputation. But no, He must commit this grotesque folly - a lark which must have cost Him a regret or two when He came to think it over and observe effects. more...

O Lord our God, help us to tear their soldiers to bloody shreds with our shells; help us to cover their smiling fields with the pale forms of their patriot dead; help us to drown the thunder of the guns with the shrieks of their wounded... more...

Be Yourself is about the worst advice you can give to people. more...

Don't you worry, and don't you hurry.'I know that phrase by heart, and if all other music should perish out of the world it would still sing to me. more...

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

A coin, sleeve button, or a collar button dropped in a bedroom will hide itself and be hard to find. A handkerchief in bed 'can't' be found. more...

A hypocritical Boston tycoon once told Mark Twain, 'Before I die I mean to make a pilgrimage to the top of Mount Sinai in the Holy Land and read the Ten Commandments aloud.' 'Why don't you stay right home in Boston,' suggested Twain, 'and keep them? more...

A man never reaches that dizzy height of wisdom that he can no longer be lead by the nose. more...

A thoroughly beautiful woman and a thoroughy homely woman are creations which I love to gaze upon, and which I cannot tire of gazing upon, for each is perfect in her own line. more...

An ethical man is a Christian holding four aces. more...

Adam was the luckiest man; he had no mother-in-law. more...

All I say is, kings is kings, and you got to make allowances. Take them all around, they're a mighty ornery lot. It's the way they're raised. more...

After a few months' acquaintance with European coffee, one's mind weakens, and his faith with it, and he begins to wonder if the rich beverage of home, with its clotted layer of yellow cream on top of it, is not a mere dream after all, and a thing which never existed. more...

Are you going to hang him anyhow - and try him afterward? more...

At bottom he [Carlyle] was probably fond of them [the Americans], but he was always able to conceal it. more...

Each person is born to one possession which out values all his others - his last breath. more...

By his father he is English, by his mother he is American - to my mind the blend which makes the perfect man. more...

God puts something good and something lovable in every man His hands create. more...

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

Half of the results of a good intention are evil, half the results of an evil intention are good. more...

Hardly a man in the world has an opinion upon morals, politics or religion which he got otherwise than through his associations and sympathies. Broadly speaking, there are none but corn-pone opinions. And broadly speaking, Corn-Pone stands for Self-Approval. Self-approval is acquired mainly from the approval of other people. The result is Conformity. more...

Few sinners have been saved after the first twenty minutes of a sermon. more...

Education does not mean teaching people to know what they do not know; it means teaching them to behave as they do not behave. more...

History is strewn thick with evidence that a truth is not hard to kill, but a lie, well told, is immortal. more...

Education is the path from cocky ignorance to miserable uncertainty. more...

Honest poverty is a gem that even a king might be proud to call his own, but I wish to sell out. more...

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

Fleas can be taught nearly anything that a congressman can. more...

Humor is the great thing, the saving thing, after all. The minute it crops up, all our hardnesses yield, all our irritations and resentments flit away, and a sunny spirit takes their place. more...

I am a democrat only on principle, not by instinct - nobody is that. Doubtless some people say they are, but this world is grievously given to lying. more...

Have a place for everything and keep the things somewheres else. That is not advice, it is merely custom. more...

How superbly brave is the Englishman in the presence of the awfulest forms of danger & death; & how abject in the presence of any & all forms of hereditary rank. more...

Happiness is like a Swedish sunset - it is there for all, but most of us look the other way and lose it. more...

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. more...

I admire him [Cecil Rhodes], I frankly confess it; and when his time comes I shall buy a piece of the rope for a keepsake. more...

He has been a doctor a year now and has had two patients, no, three, I think - yes, it was three; I attended their funerals. more...

I cannot see how a man of any large degree of humorous perception can ever be religious - except he purposely shut the eyes of his mind and keep them shut by force. more...

I do not like work even when someone else does it. more...

I did not attend his funeral; but I wrote a nice letter saying I approved of it. more...

I am prepared to meet anyone, but whether anyone is prepared for the great ordeal of meeting me is another matter. more...

I have not a particle of confidence in a man who has no redeeming vices. more...

I find that the further I go back, the better things, whether they happened or not. more...

I think a compliment ought to always precede a complaint, where one is possible, because it softens resentment and insures for the complaint a courteous and gentle reception. more...

If He Tom Sawyer had been a great and wise philosopher, like the writer of this book, he would now have comprehended that Work consists of whatever a body is obliged to do and Play consists of whatever a body is not obliged to do. more...

I'm glad that the old masters are all dead, and I only wish they had died sooner. more...

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

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

I never could tell a lie that anybody would doubt, nor a truth that anybody would believe. more...

It is better to be a young June Bug than an old Bird of Paradise. more...

It is better to deserve honours and not have them than to have them and not to deserve them. more...

I was born excited. more...

I'll take Heaven for the climate and Hell for society. more...

If to be interesting is to be uncommonplace, it is becoming a question, with me, if there are any commonplace people. more...

In a museum in Havana there are two skulls of Christopher Columbus - 'one when he was a boy and one when he was a man. more...

In the South, the war is what A.D. is elsewhere: they date from it. more...

Man is a museum of diseases, a home of impurities; he comes today and is gone tomorrow; he begins as dirt and departs as stench. more...

Intellectual work is misnamed; it is a pleasure, a dissipation, and is its own highest reward. more...

Make money and the whole world will conspire to call you a gentleman. more...

It is nobler to be good, and it is nobler to teach others to be good - and less trouble! more...

My advice to women is: First, don't smoke - to excess; Second, don't drink - to excess; Third, don't marry - to excess. more...

Methuselah lived to be 969 years old. You boys and girls will see more in the next fifty years than Methuselah saw in his whole lifetime. more...

Noise proves nothing. Often a hen who has merely laid an egg crackles as if she laid an asteroid. more...

Monarchies, aristocracies, and religions are all based upon that large defect in your race - the individual's distrust of his neighbor, and his desire, for safety's or comfort's sake, to stand well in his neighbor's eye. more...

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. more...

Nothing helps scenery like ham and eggs. more...

Most people are bothered by scripture they don't understand, but what bothers me are those I do understand. more...

Obscurity and a competence - that is a life that is best worth living. more...

It was the schoolboy who said, Faith is believing what you know ain't so. more...

Man is the master of the unspoken word, which spoken, is master of him. more...

Now, what I contend is that my body is my own, at least I have always so regarded it. If I do harm through my experimenting with it, it is I who suffer, not the state. more...

Modesty antedates clothes and will be resumed when clothes are no more. Modesty died when clothes were born. Modesty died when false modesty was born. more...

Often, the less there is to justify a traditional custom, the harder it is to get rid of it. more...

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

Public opinion is held in reverence. It settles everything. Some think it is the voice of God. more...

Nothing was made in vain, but the fly came near it. more...

Providence protects children and idiots. I know because I have tested it. more...

Reports of my death are greatly exaggerated. more...

Of the delights of this world man cares most for sexual intercourse, yet he has left it out of his heaven. more...

Satan hasn't a single salaried helper; the Opposition employ a million. more...

The cross of the Legion of Honour has been conferred upon me. However, few escape that distinction. more...

Pilgrim's Progress, about a man who left his family, it didn't say why. The statements was interesting, but tough. more...

One learns people through the heart, not the eyes or the intellect. more...

Some of his words were not Sunday-school words. more...

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

Rail-splitting produced an unparalleled president in Lincoln. But gold hasn't produced even a good A-1 congressman. more...

Such is the human race. Often it does seem such a pity that Noah and his party did not miss the boat. more...

The Germans are exceedingly fond of Rhine wines. One tells them from the vinegar by the label. more...

Surgeons and anatomists see no beautiful women in all their lives, but only a ghastly stack of bones with Latin names to them, and a network of nerves and muscles and tissues inflamed by disease. more...

The principle of give and take is the principle of diplomacy - give one and take ten. more...

The convention missionaries call modesty has no standard, and cannot have one, because it is opposed to nature and reason and is therefore an artificiality and subject to anybody's whim - anybody's diseased caprice. more...

The Pause; that impressive silence, that eloquent silence, that geometrically progressive silence which often achieves a desired effect where no combination of words, however so felicitous, could accomplish it. more...

The report of my death is exaggerated. more...

The face of the water, in time, became a wonderful book - a book that was a dead language to the uneducated passenger, but which told its mind to me without reserve, delivering its most cherished secrets as clearly as if it uttered them with a voice. more...

The miracle, or the power, that elevates the few is to be found in their industry, application, and perseverance under the promptings of a brave, determined spirit. more...

The banging and slamming and booming and crashing were something beyond belief. The racking and pitiless pain of it remains stored up in my memory alongside the memory of the time that I had my teeth fixed. more...

The gentle reader will never, never know what a consummate ass he can become, until he goes abroad. more...

The lack of money is the root of all evils. more...

The church is always trying to get other people to reform; it might not be a bad idea to reform itself. more...

The only way to stay healthy is to eat what you don't want, drink what you don't like, and do what you'd rather not. more...

The trouble with the world is not that people know too little, but that they know so many things that ain't so. more...

There is nothing so annoying as to have two people talking when you're busy interrupting. more...

Thrusting my nose firmly between his teeth, I threw him heavily to the ground on top of me. more...

They make a mouth at you and say thank you 'most to death, but there ain't-a-going to be no core. more...

There is a great deal of human nature in people. more...

There it is: it doesn't make any difference who we are or what we are, there's always somebody to look down on! somebody to hold in light esteem, somebody to be indifferent about. more...

To be good is noble, but to teach others how to be good is nobler and less trouble. more...

There is no use in walking five miles to fish when you can depend on being just as unsuccessful near home. more...

Tonight I appear for the first time before a Boston audience - 4000 critics. more...

To stop smoking is the easiest thing I ever did. I ought to know; I've done it a thousand times. more...

We like a man to come right out and say what he thinks, if we agree with him. more...

Truth is neither alive nor dead; it just aggravates itself all the time. more...

Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover. more...

We never become really and genuinely our entire and honest selves until we are dead - and not then until we have been dead years and years. People ought to start dead and then they would be honest so much earlier. more...

We ought never to do wrong when people are looking. more...

We owe a deep debt of gratitude to Adam, the first great benefactor of the human race: he brought death into the world. more...

Whem I'm playful I use the meridians and parallels of latitude for a seine, and drag the Atlantic Ocean for whales! I scratch my head with the lightning and purr myself to sleep with the thunder! more...

What, sir, would the people of the earth be without woman? They would be scarce, sir, mighty scarce. Then let us cherish her; protect her; let us give her our support, our encouragement, our sympathy, ourselves - if we get a chance. more...

What is there in Rome for me to see that others have not seen before me? What is there for me to touch that others have not touched? What is there for me to feel, to learn, to hear, to know, that shall thrill me before it pass to others? more...

When I was younger, I could remember anything whether it had happened or not; but my faculties are decaying... soon I [won't] remember anything but the things that never happened. It is sad to go to pieces like this but we all have to do it. more...

When a man's dog turns against him it is time for a wife to pack her trunk and go home to mama. more...

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

When one has tasted it he knows what the angels eat. more...

Woman is unrivaled as a wet nurse. more...

Wit, by itself, is of little account. It becomes a moment only when grounded on wisdom. more...

Words in haste do friendships waste. more...

[He was] a solemn, unsmiling, sanctimonious old iceberg who looked like he was waiting for a vacancy in the Trinity. more...

You may have noticed that the less I know about a subject the more confidence I have, and the more new light I throw on it. more...

Say the report is exaggerated. more...

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. more...

The teacher reminded us that Romes liberties were not auctioned off in a day, but were bought slowly, gradually, furtively, little by little; first with a little corn and oil for the exceedingly poor and wretched, later with corn and oil for voters who were not quite so poor, later still with corn and oil for pretty much every man that had a vote to sell exactly our own history over again. more...

So I became a newspaperman. I hated to do it but I couldn't find honest employment. more...

Put all your eggs in one basket and then watch that basket. more...

We are chameleons, and our partialities and prejudices change place with an easy and blessed facility, and we are soon wonted to the change and happy in it. more...

I refused to attend his funeral. But I wrote a very nice letter explaining that I approved of it. more...

I was exceedingly delighted with the waltz, and also with the polka. These differ in name, but there the difference ceases - the dances are precisely the same. You have only to spin around with frightful velocity and steer clear of the furniture... more...

A lie can run around the world six times while the truth is still trying to put on its pants. more...

By what right has the dog come to be regarded as a noble animal? The more brutal and cruel and unjust you are to him the more your fawning and adoring slave he becomes; whereas, if you shamefully misuse a cat once she will always maintain a dignified reserve toward you afterward-you will never get her full confidence again. more...

Few sinners are saved after the first twenty minutes of a sermon. more...

The cat, having sat upon a hot stove lid, will not sit upon a hot stove lid again. But he won't sit upon a cold stove lid, either. more...

...gratitude is a debt which usually goes on accumulating like blackmail; the more you pay, the more is exacted. In time, you are made to realize that the kindness done you is become a curse and you wish it had not happened. more...

To cease smoking is the easiest thing I ever did. I ought to know, I've done it a thousand times. more...

History may not repeat itself, but it does rhyme a lot. more...

It is at our mother's knee that we acquire our noblest and truest and highest ideals, but there is seldom any money in them. more...

A crank is someone with a new idea - until it catches on. more...

When I was fourteen, my father was so ignorant I could hardly stand to have him around. When I got to be twenty-one, I was astonished at how much he had learned in seven years. more...

You cannot depend on your judgments when your imagination is out of focus. more...

The way it is now, the asylums can hold the sane people but if we tried to shut up the insane we would run out of building materials. more...

The human race has but one really affective weapon, and that is laughter. more...

Humanity has unquestionably one really effective weapon - laughter. Power, money, persuasion, supplication, persecution - these can lift at a colossal humbug - push it a little - weaken it a little, century by century; but only laughter can blow it to rags and atoms at a blast. Against the assault of laughter nothing can stand. more...

A myriad of men are born; they labor and sweat and struggle; they squabble and scold and fight; they scramble for little mean advantages over each other; age creeps upon them; infirmities follow; those they love are taken from them, and the joy of life is turned to aching grief. It comes at last-the only unpoisoned gift earth ever had for them-and they vanish from a world where they were of no consequence, a world which will lament them a day and forget them forever. more...

The newspaper that obstructs the law on a trivial pretext, for money's sake, is a dangerous enemy to the public weal. That awful power, the public opinion of a nation, is created in America by a horde of ignorant, self-complacent simpletons who failed at ditching and shoemaking and fetched up in journalism on their way to the poorhouse. more...

Obscurity and competence: That is the life that is worth living. more...

If they had not landed there would be some reason for celebrating the fact. more...

Who prays for Satan? Who, in 1,800 years, has had the common humanity to pray for the one sinner that needed it most? more...

A big leather-bound volume makes an ideal razor strap. A thin book is useful to stick under a table with a broken caster to steady it. A large, flat atlas can be used to cover a window with a broken pane. And a thick, old-fashioned heavy book with a clasp is the finest thing in the world to throw at a noisy cat. more...

We had the sky up there, and we used to lay on our backs and look up at them, and discuss whether they was made or just happened. more...

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

Of the delights of this world, man cares most for sexual intercourse. He will go to any length for it-risk fortune, character, reputation, life itself. more...

The blunting effects of slavery upon the slaveholder's moral perceptions are known and conceded the world over; and a privileged class, an aristocracy, is but a band of slaveholders under another name. more...

In Nevada, for a time, the lawyer, the editor, the banker, the chief desperado, the chief gambler, and the saloon-keeper occupied the same level of society, and it was the highest. more...

The common eye sees only the outside of things, and judges by that, but the seeing eye pierces through and reads the heart and the soul, finding there capacities which the outside didn't indicate or promise, and which the other kind of eye couldn't detect. more...

Man - a figment of God's imagination. more...

If books are not good company, where shall I find it? more...

The true Southern watermelon is a boon apart, and not to be mentioned with commoner things. It is chief of this world'd luxuries, king by 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. more...

You can't throw too much style into a miracle. more...

He was endowed with a stupidity which by the least little stretch would go around the globe four times and tie. more...

It is higher and nobler to be kind. more...

The Mississippi River towns are comely, clean, well built, and pleasing to the eye, and cheering to the spirit. The Mississippi Valley is as reposeful as a dreamland, nothing worldly about it . . . nothing to hang a fret or a worry upon. more...

Being made merely in the image of God but not otherwise resembling him enough to be mistaken by anybody but a very near sighted person. more...

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

My kind of loyalty was loyalty to one's country, not to its institutions or its officeholders. The country is the real thing, the substantial thing, the eternal thing; it is the thing to watch over, and care for, and be loyal to; institutions are extraneous, they are its mere clothing, and clothing can wear out, become ragged, cease to be comfortable, cease to protect the body from winter, disease, and death. more...

To be a patriot, one had to say, and keep on saying, "Our Country, right or wrong," and urge on the little war. Have you not perceived that that phrase is an insult to the nation? more...

I came in with Halley's Comet in 1835. It is coming again next year, and I expect to go out with it. It will be the greatest disappointment of my life if I don't go out with Halley's Comet. The Almighty has said, no doubt: "Now here are these two unaccountable freaks; they came in together, they must go out together. more...

Satan hasn't a single salaried helper; the Opposition employs a million. more...

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? more...

Education: that which reveals to the wise, and conceals from the stupid, the vast limits of their knowledge. more...

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

whenever the literary german dives into a sentence, this is the last you are going to see of him till he emerges on the other side of his atlantic with his verb in his mouth. more...

If we would learn what the human race really is at bottom, we need only observe it in election times. more...

great people are those who make others feel that they, too, can become great. more...

I notice that you use plain, simple language, short words and brief sentences. That is the way to write English?it is the modern way and the best way. Stick to it; don't let fluff and flowers and verbosity creep in. When you catch an adjective, kill it. No, I don't mean utterly, but kill most of them?then the rest will be valuable. They weaken when they are close together. They give strength when they are wide apart. An adjective habit, or a wordy, diffuse, flowery habit, once fastened upon a person, is as hard to get rid of as any other vice. more...

A half-truth is the most cowardly of lies. more...

How often we recall with regret that Napoleon once shot at a magazine editor and missed him and killed a publisher. But we remember with charity that his intentions were good. more...

I know the look of an apple that is roasting and sizzling on the hearth on a winter's evening, and I know the comfort that comes of eating it hot, along with some sugar and a drench of cream... I know how the nuts taken in conjunction with winter apples, cider, and doughnuts, make old people's tales and old jokes sound fresh and crisp and enchanting. more...

New Orleans food is as delicious as the less criminal forms of sin. more...

A mighty porterhouse steak an inch and a half thick, hot and sputtering from the griddle; dusted with fragrant pepper; enriched with little melting bits of butter of the most impeachable freshness and genuineness; the precious juices of the meat trickling out and joining the gravy, archipelagoed with mushrooms; a township or two of tender, yellowish fat gracing an out-lying district of this ample county of beefsteak; the long white bone which divides the sirloin from the tenderloin still in its place. more...

Steal a chicken if you get a chance, Huck, because if you don't want it, someone else does and a good deed ain't never forgotten. more...

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. more...

There is something fascinating about science. One gets such wholesale returns of conjecture out of such a trifling investment of fact. more...

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

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

Unconsciously we all have a standard by which we measure other men, and if we examine closely we find that this standard is a very simple one, and is this: we admire them, we envy them, for great qualities we ourselves lack. Hero worship consists in just that. Our heroes are men who do things which we recognize, with regret, and sometimes with a secret shame, that we cannot do. We find not much in ourselves to admire, we are always privately wanting to be like somebody else. If everybody was satisfied with himself, there would be no heroes. more...

He said that man's heart was the only bad heart in the animal kingdom; that man was the only animal capable of feeling malice, envy, vindictiveness, revengefulness, hatred, selfishness, the only animal that loves drunkenness, almost the only animal that could endure personal uncleanliness and a filthy habitation, the sole animal in whom was fully developed the base instinct called patriotism, the sole animal that robs, persecutes, oppresses and kills members of his own tribe, the sole animal that steals and enslaves the members of any tribe. more...

there was no crime in unconscious plagiarism; that I committed it everyday, that he committed it everyday, that every man alive on earth who writes or speaks commits it every day and not merely once or twice but every time he open his mouth... there is nothing of our own in it except some slight change born of our temperament, character, environment, teachings and associations more...

the size of a misfortune is not determinable by an outsider's measurement of it but only by the measurements applied to it by the person specially affected by it. more...

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

In religion and politics people's beliefs and convictions are in almost every case gotten at second-hand, and without examination, from authorities who have not themselves examined the questions at issue but have taken them at second-hand from other non-examiners, whose opinions about them were not worth a brass farthing. more...

To be, or not to be; that is the bare bodkin That makes calamity of so long life; more...

It is sound judgment to put on a bold face and play your hand for a hundred times what it is worth; forty-nine times out of fifty nobody dares to call it, and you roll in the chips. more...

I take my only exercise acting as a pallbearer at the funerals of my friends who exercise regularly. more...

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. more...

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

You have heretofore found out, by my teachings, that man is a fool; you are now aware that woman is a damned fool. more...

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. more...

Whiskey is for drinking; water is for fighting over. more...

Wheresoever she was, there was Eden. more...

Thou shalt not commit adultry is a command which makes no distinction between the following persons. They are all required to obey it: children at birth. Children in the cradle. School children. Youths and maidens. Fresh adults. Older ones. Men and women of 40. Of 50. Of 60. Of 70. Of 80. Of 100. The command does not distribute its burden equally, and cannot. It is not hard upon the three sets of children. more...

Man has imagined a heaven, and has left entirely out of it the supremest of all his delights...sexual intercourse!...His heaven is like himself: strange, interesting, astonishing, grotesque. I give you my word, it has not a single feature in it that he actually values. more...

If everyone was satisfied with himself, there would be no heroes. more...

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. more...

Many public-school children seem to know only two dates-1492 and 4th of July; and as a rule they don't know what happened on either occasion. more...

But I reckon I got to light out for the Territory ahead of therest, because Aunt Sally she's going to adopt me and sivilize me, and I can't stand it. I been there before. more...

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. more...

The radical of one century is the conservative of the next. The radical invents the views. When he has worn them out, the conservative adopt. more...

I don't want no better book than what your face is. more...

Just the omission of Jane Austen's books alone would make a fairly good library out of a library that hadn't a book in it. more...

What a wee little part of a person's life are his acts and his words! His real life is led in his head, and is known to none but himself. All day long, the mill of his brain is grinding, and his thoughts, not those of other things, are his history. These are his life, and they are not written. Everyday would make a whole book of 80,000 words - 365 books a year. Biographies are but the clothes and buttons of the man - the biography of the man himself cannot be written. more...

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

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. more...

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. more...

What work I have done I have done because it has been play. If it had been work I shouldn't have done it. . . . The work that is really a man's own work is play and not work at all. . . . When we talk about the great workers of the world we really mean the great players of the world. more...

Of course, no man is entirely in his right mind at any time. more...

I don't see any use in having a uniform and arbitrary way of spelling words. We might as well make all clothes alike and cook all dishes alike. Sameness is tiresome; variety is pleasing. more...

Tom appeared on the sidewalk with a bucket of whitewash and a long-handled brush. He surveyed the fence, and all gladness left him and a deep melancholy settled down upon his spirit. Thirty yards of board fence nine feet high. Life to him seemed hollow, and existence but a burden. more...

Love seems the swiftest, but it is the slowest of all growths. No man or woman really knows what perfect love is until they have been married a quarter of a century. more...

Teaching is like trying to hold 35 corks underwater at once. more...

Women cannot receive even the most palpably judicious suggestion without arguing it; that is, married women. more...

If you have to swallow a frog, don't stare at it too long. more...

None but the dead are permitted to tell the truth. more...

I'm a very old man. I've had lots of problems. Most of them never happened..! more...

Crowds stand around all day long and criticise that bridge, and find fault with it, and tell with unlimited frankness how it ought to have been planned, and how they would have built it had the city granted them the $14,000 it cost. It is really refreshing to hang around these and listen to them. A foreigner would come to the conclusion that all America was composed of inspired professional bridge builders. more...

It didn't take me long to make up my mind that these liars warn't no kings nor dukes at all, but just low-down humbugs and frauds. But I never said nothing, never let on; kept it to myself; it's the best way; then you don't have no quarrels, and don't get into no trouble. If they wanted us to call them kings and dukes, I hadn't no objections, 'long as it would keep peace in the family; and it warn't no use to tell Jim, so I didn't tell him. If I never learnt nothing else out of pap, I learnt that the best way to get along with his kind of people is to let them have their own way. more...

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

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

Never put off till tomorrow what you can do the day after tomorrow. more...

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

Dance like nobody's looking. more...

Whenever you find that you are on the side of the majority, it is time to pause and reflect. more...

One must travel, to learn. more...


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