Mark Twain Quotes & Wallpapers

Mark Twain
Total Quotes: 2961


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. Mark Twain
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Under certain circumstances, profanity provides a relief denied even to prayer. Mark Twain
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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. Mark Twain
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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.... Mark Twain
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Circumstances make man, not man circumstances. Mark Twain
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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. Mark Twain
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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. Mark Twain
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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. Mark Twain
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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. Mark Twain
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If true, rarely beautiful. If beautiful, rarely true. Mark Twain
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The unexamined life may not be worth living, but the life too closely examined may not be lived at all. Mark Twain
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Every man has a secret ambition: To outsmart horses, fish and women. Mark Twain
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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. Mark Twain
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Between believing a thing and thinking you KNOW is only a small step and quickly taken. Mark Twain
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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? Mark Twain
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It's better to be an optimist who is sometimes wrong than a pessimist who is always right Mark Twain
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A person who has a cat by the tail knows a whole lot more about cats than someone who has just read about them. Mark Twain
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...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. Mark Twain
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You are a coward when you even seem to have backed down from a thing you openly set out to do Mark Twain
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Never mistake motion for progress. Mark Twain
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If we had less statemanship we could get along with fewer battleships. Mark Twain
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Enthusiasm is caught, not taught. Mark Twain
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Classic.' A book which people praise and don't read. Mark Twain
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It were not best that we should all think alike; it is difference of opinion that makes horse-races. Mark Twain
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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. Mark Twain
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An experienced, industrious, ambitious, and often quite picturesque liar. Mark Twain
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Definition of a classic - something that everybody wants to have read and nobody wants to read. Mark Twain
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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. Mark Twain
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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. Mark Twain
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The radical invents the views. When he has worn them out the conservative adopts them. Mark Twain
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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. Mark Twain
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Whenever you find that you are on the side of the majority, it is time to reform. Mark Twain
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If you pick up a starving dog and make him prosperous, he will not bite you. This is the principal difference between a dog and a man. Mark Twain
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In religion and politics, people's beliefs and convictions are in almost every case gotten at second hand, and without examination. Mark Twain
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We have a criminal jury system which is superior to any in the world; and its efficiency is only marred by the difficulty of finding twelve men every day who don't know anything and can't read. Mark Twain
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I asked tom if countries always apologize when they had done wrong, and he says, 'Yes, the little one does. Mark Twain
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When I was a boy of fourteen, my father was so ignorant I could hardly stand to have the old man around. But when I got to be twenty-one, I was astonished at how much the old man had learned in seven years. Mark Twain
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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. Mark Twain
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Adam was but human-this explains it all. He did not want the apple for the apple's sake, he wanted it only because it was forbidden. The mistake was in not forbidding the serpent: then he would have eaten the serpent. Mark Twain
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Thanksgiving Day. Let us all give humble, hearty, and sincere thanks, now, but the turkeys. In the island of Fiji they do not use turkeys; they use plumbers. It does not become you and me to sneer at Fiji. Mark Twain
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There is no such thing as 'the Queen's English.' The property has gone into the hands of a joint stock company and we own the bulk of the shares! Mark Twain
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There are two times in a man's life when he should not speculate: when he can't afford to, and when he can. Mark Twain
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[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! Mark Twain
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Twenty-four years ago I was strangely handsome; in San Francisco in the rainy season I was often mistaken for fair weather. Mark Twain
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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. Mark Twain
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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. Mark Twain
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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. Mark Twain
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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. Mark Twain
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No one has ever seen a Republican mass meeting that was devoid of the perception of the ludicrous. Mark Twain
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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. Mark Twain
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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 Mark Twain
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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. Mark Twain
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Now, isn't imagination a precious thing? It peoples the earth with all manner of wonders... Mark Twain
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Definite speech means clarity of mind. Mark Twain
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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. Mark Twain
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God was left out of the Constitution but was furnished a front seat on the coins of the country. Mark Twain
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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. Mark Twain
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I'm the only person who has ever found the right way to build an autobiography. Mark Twain
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Perfect grammar - persistent, continuous, sustained - is the fourth dimension, so to speak; many have sought it, but none has found it. Mark Twain
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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. Mark Twain
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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. Mark Twain
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The old saw says - 'Let a sleeping dog lie.' Experience knows better; experience says, If you want to convince do it yourself. Mark Twain
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After my marriage she edited everything I wrote. And what is more, she not only edited my works, she edited me. Mark Twain
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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. Mark Twain
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A powerful agent is the right word: it lights the reader's way and makes it plain. Mark Twain
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To avoid lying, do nothing that needs covering. Mark Twain
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Experience teaches us only one thing at a time - and hardly that, in my case. Mark Twain
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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? Mark Twain
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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. Mark Twain
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One of my theories is that the hearts of men are about alike, no matter what their skin color. Mark Twain
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