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Mark Twain Quotations



Mark Twain Quotations

Mark Twain, Samuel Langhorne Clemens, 1909
Mark Twain in 1909

Mark Twain's real name was Samuel Langhorne Clemens (1835-1910). He was a self-educated printer, journalist, writer, and humourist, born in Florida, Missouri, and was brought up in Hannibal, Missouri. Twain published several masterpieces of fiction. He often combined humorous comment with anecdote, and enjoyed very great popularity as a novelist.

In the 1890s Twain lost most of his earnings in financial speculations and in the decline of his own publishing firm. To recover from the vicissitudes he started a world lecture tour.

During his long writing career, Twain produced a considerable number of essays. He was good at satire too.

LoA man is to tell the truth throughout the whole life

It's your human environment that makes climate. [Mark Twain] ◊

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

Exercise for imagination enriches life. It makes things wonderful and beautiful. [Mark Twain gist]

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

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

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

LoProsperity influences people of authority and children alike

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 isn't so." [With Mark Twain]

Happiness is [like] a Swedish sunset; it is there for all, but most of us look the other way and lose it. [With Mark Twain]

Year-long, enduring environment sees to human loyalty for most part. *

It is better to deserve honors and not have them than to have them and not deserve them. [Mark Twain]

If you tell the truth you don't have to remember anything. [Mark Twain]

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

Stand prosperity. Let out next to nothing if you want to thrive a whole lifetime. *

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

To make a man or a boy covet a thing, it is only necessary to make the thing difficult to obtain. [Mark Twain]

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. [Mark Twain]

First, God created idiots. That was just for practice. Then He created school boards. [Mark Twain]

Naked people have little or no influence on society. [Mark Twain]

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. [Mark Twain]

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

Familiarity breeds contempt - and children. [Mark Twain]

Always acknowledge a fault. This will throw those in authority off their guard. [With Mark Twain]

Principles have no real force except when one is well fed. [Mark Twain]

Truth [can be] more of a stranger than fiction. [With Mark Twain]

A lie can travel halfway round the world while the truth is putting on its shoes. [Mark Twain]

Honesty is the best policy - when there is money in it. [Mark Twain]

The human race has one really effective weapon, and that is laughter. [Mark Twain]

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. [Mark Twain]

LoMany rules and we ourselves have to die, the mainstream tends to remain

It must be well-nigh a maximum of sense to behave so that one escapes being hanged. [With Mark Twain]

Forget and forgive - let others toil at that too. *

It's more trouble to make others toil than you think. *

It's 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. [Mark Twain]

Forget and forgive. ... you are to forget inconvenient duties, and forgive yourself for forgetting. In time, by rigid practice and stern determination, it comes easy. [Mark Twain]

Golf [may be] a good walk spoiled. [With Mark Twain]

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

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

It's more trouble to make a maxim than it is to do right. [Mark Twain]

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

It's more trouble to think out a helpful norm or maxim than most people can handle alone.*

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

There's moral and there's moral. Let us all plumb the maxims that give common man help, not so much the other and most bitter lessons. *

Let us not be too particular; it is better to have old secondhand diamonds than none at all. [Mark Twain]

He had had much experience of physicians, and said "the only way to keep your health is to eat what you don't want, drink what you don't like, and do what you'd rather not." (Of course it is not always so, but anyway, on occasions this quote hits the bull's eye.) [Mark Twain]

Thanksgiving day. Let us all give humble, hearty, and sincere thanks now, but the turkeys. [Mark Twain] ◊◊

If you pick up a starving dog and make him thrive, he shouldn't bite - and this is a major difference between dog and man. [With Mark Twain](8)

You don't go to hell if you follow the mainstream. Most people appear to agree on that.* (11)



  1. Truth-tellers have moral worth.
  2. A long-lasting environment is necessary to influence children and impregnate them with principles conductive to a living.
  3. All rules are rigid helpers at best, and hearty ones may be stronger than fixed rules at times.

IN NUCEGood people have a sound moral and tell the truth. It is necessary to be rigid enough that way in order to evolve, actually.

Second Gist

  1. It's human to lend money, err and fail after that. I mean, stick to your assets and live well. Seek an alternative to lending and be meticulous about it.
  2. Year-long, enduring environment sees to it that most teenagers are made too frivolous and shallow deep inside - even wasting their money that could be used to offset old age's dire needs.
  3. It's more trouble to think out a perfectly cogent, helpful lifestyle on your own than the European family of peoples has ever managed. It's members shouldn't bite each others like mad dogs.
IN NUCESome good persons fail from being generous and lending money recklessly. Its effects may equal wasting one's good resources, which is erring. Thus, durable goodness needs to be carefully managed and protected for most part.

Mark Twain quotations, END MATTER

Mark Twain quotations, LITERATURE  


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