Mark Twain Quotes on Life, Death, Travel, Politics, Truth & Love

“I was seldom able to see an opportunity until it had ceased to be one.” — Mark Twain

“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!” — Mark Twain

“How far we travel in life matters far less than those we meet along the way.” — Mark Twain

“I don’t like to commit myself about heaven and hell – you see, I have friends in both places.” — Mark Twain

“Whiskey is for drinking; water is for fighting over.” — Mark Twain

“The average woman would rather have beauty than brains, because the average man can see better than he can think.” — Mark Twain

“No man’s life, liberty, or property are safe while the legislature is in session.” — Mark Twain

“There is nothing to be learned from the second kick of a mule.” — Mark Twain

“I can live for two months on a good compliment.” — Mark Twain

“Make your vacation your vocation.” — Mark Twain

“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.” — Mark Twain

“Quitting smoking is easy, I’ve done it hundreds of times.” — Mark Twain

“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.” — Mark Twain

“Supposing is good, but finding out is better.” — Mark Twain

“Sometimes I wonder whether the world is being run by smart people who are putting us on or by imbeciles who really mean it.” — Mark Twain

“It’s no wonder that truth is stranger than fiction. Fiction has to make sense.” — Mark Twain

“There are only two types of speakers in the world. 1. The nervous and 2. Liars.” — Mark Twain

“We are all ignorant; just about different things.” — Mark Twain

“When we remember we are all mad, the mysteries disappear and life stands explained.” — Mark Twain

“I can teach anybody how to get what they want out of life. The problem is that I can’t find anybody who can tell me what they want.” — Mark Twain

“There are lies, damned lies and statistics.” — Mark Twain

“Writing is easy. All you have to do is cross out the wrong words.” — Mark Twain

“Many a small thing has been made large by the right kind of advertising.” — Mark Twain

“Don’t part with your illusions. When they are gone you may still exist, but you have ceased to live.” — Mark Twain

“The more I learn about people, the more I like my dog.” — Mark Twain

“If you want love and abundance in your life, give it away.” — Mark Twain

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.” — Mark Twain

“Some people get an education without going to college. The rest get it after they get out.” — Mark Twain

“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.” — Mark Twain

“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.” — Mark Twain

“The right word may be effective, but no word was ever as effective as a rightly timed pause.” — Mark Twain

“The inability to forget is far more devastating than the inability to remember.” — Mark Twain

“A man cannot be comfortable without his own approval.” — Mark Twain

“Knowledge becomes wisdom only after it has been put to good use.” — Mark Twain

“Don’t wait the time is never just right.” — Mark Twain

“You can’t reason someone out of something that they weren’t reasoned into in the first place.” — Mark Twain

“Never let formal education get in the way of your learning.” — Mark Twain

“Prediction is difficult- particularly when it involves the future.” — Mark Twain

“There is no security in life, only opportunity.” — Mark Twain

“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.” — Mark Twain

“Some of the worst things in my life never even happened.” — Mark Twain

“To succeed in life, you need two things: ignorance and confidence.” — Mark Twain

“Denial ain’t just a river in Egypt.” — Mark Twain

“I’m in favor of progress; it’s change I don’t like.” — Mark Twain

“Great things can happen when you don’t care who gets the credit.” — Mark Twain

“A habit cannot be tossed out the window; it must be coaxed down the stairs a step at a time.” — Mark Twain

“A half-truth is the most cowardly of lies.” — Mark Twain

“One must travel, to learn.” — Mark Twain

“The worst loneliness is to not be comfortable with yourself.” — Mark Twain

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

“The reports of my death are greatly exaggerated.” — Mark Twain

“Good exercise for the heart: reach out and help your neighbor.” — Mark Twain

“Focus more on your desire than on your doubt, and the dream will take care of itself.” — Mark Twain

“The world doesn’t owe you anything. It was here first.” — Mark Twain

“To someone with a hammer, everything looks like a nail.” — Mark Twain

“To stand still is to fall behind.” — Mark Twain

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

“Go to bed early, get up early-this is wise.” — Mark Twain

“If you have nothing to say, say nothing.” — Mark Twain

“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.” — Mark Twain

“Do something everyday that you don’t want to do; this is the golden rule for acquiring the habit of doing your duty without pain.” — Mark Twain

“Most men die at 27, we just bury them at 72.” — Mark Twain

“It’s better to be an optimist who is sometimes wrong than a pessimist who is always right.” — Mark Twain

“If I had more time, I would have written less.” — Mark Twain

“An open mind leaves a chance for someone to drop a worthwhile thought in it.” — Mark Twain

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

“Religion was invented when the first con man met the first fool.” — Mark Twain

“We regret the things we don’t do more than the things we do.” — Mark Twain

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

“A tax is a fine for doing well, a fine is a tax for doing wrong.” — Mark Twain

“The secret of making progress is to get started.” — Mark Twain

“Do the thing you fear most and the death of fear is certain.” — Mark Twain

“If you want to change the future, you must change what you’re doing in the present.” — Mark Twain

“A good lawyer knows the law; a clever one takes the judge to lunch.” — Mark Twain

“When I was younger, I could remember anything, whether it had happened or not; but my faculties are decaying now and soon I shall be so I cannot remember any but the things that never happened. It is sad to go to pieces like this but we all have to do it.” — Mark Twain

“Never miss an opportunity to shut up.” — Mark Twain

“Figures don’t lie, but liars figure.” — Mark Twain

“Behind every successful man, there is a woman – And behind every unsuccessful man, there are two.” — Mark Twain

“Good judgement is the result of experience and experience the result of bad judgement.” — Mark Twain

“Never argue with a fool, onlookers may not be able to tell the difference.” — Mark Twain

“Buy land, they’re not making it anymore.” — Mark Twain

“Of all God’s creatures, there is only one that cannot be made slave of the leash. That one is the cat. If man could be crossed with the cat it would improve the man, but it would deteriorate the cat.” — Mark Twain

“He who asks is a fool for five minutes, but he who does not ask remains a fool forever.” — Mark Twain

“Data is like garbage. You’d better know what you are going to do with it before you collect it.” — Mark Twain

“Synergy – the bonus that is achieved when things work together harmoniously.” — Mark Twain

“I didn’t have time to write a short letter, so I wrote a long one instead.” — Mark Twain

“Politicians and diapers must be changed often, and for the same reason.” — Mark Twain

“Out of all the things I have lost, I miss my mind the most.” — Mark Twain

“I have spent most of my life worrying about things that have never happened.” — Mark Twain

“Life is short, break the rules.” — Mark Twain

“Human beings can be awful cruel to one another.” — Mark Twain

“When I am king they shall not have bread and shelter only, but also teachings out of books, for a full belly is little worth where the mind is starved.” — Mark Twain

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

“I did not attend his funeral, but I sent a nice letter saying I approved of it.” — Mark Twain

“Give every day the chance to become the most beautiful day of your life.” — Mark Twain

“Don’t wrestle with pigs. You both get dirty and the pig likes it.” — Mark Twain

“Courage is not the lack of fear. It is acting in spite of it.” — Mark Twain

“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.” — Mark Twain

“Be respectful to your superiors, if you have any.” — Mark Twain

“My books are water; those of the great geniuses is wine. Everybody drinks water.” — Mark Twain

“It usually takes me two or three days to prepare an impromptu speech.” — Mark Twain

“No amount of evidence will ever persuade an idiot.” — Mark Twain

“Suppose you were an idiot, and suppose you were a member of Congress; but I repeat myself.” — Mark Twain

“It’s easy to make friends, but hard to get rid of them.” — Mark Twain

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

“The truth hurts, but silence kills.” — Mark Twain

“A successful book is not made of what is in it, but what is left out of it.” — Mark Twain

“Facts are stubborn things, but statistics are pliable.” — Mark Twain

“There was never yet an uninteresting life. Such a thing is an impossibility. Inside of the dullest exterior there is a drama, a comedy, and a tragedy.” — Mark Twain

“Nature knows no indecencies; man invents them.” — Mark Twain

“Do not complain about growing old. It is a privilege denied to many.” — Mark Twain

“Humor is mankind’s greatest blessing.” — Mark Twain

“Life would be infinitely happier if we could only be born at the age of eighty and gradually approach eighteen.” — Mark Twain

“A gentleman is someone who knows how to play the banjo and doesn’t.” — Mark Twain

“Life does not consist mainly, or even largely, of facts or happenings. It consist mainly of the storm of thoughts that is forever flowing through one’s head.” — Mark Twain

“I am an old man and have known a great many troubles, but most of them have never happened.” — Mark Twain

“Wrinkles should merely indicate where smiles have been.” — Mark Twain

“Of all the animals, man is the only one that is cruel. He is the only one that inflicts pain for the pleasure of doing it.” — Mark Twain

“In the beginning of a change the patriot is a scarce man, and brave, and hated and scorned. When his cause succeeds, the timid join him, for then it costs nothing to be a patriot.” — Mark Twain

“When angry, count four. When very angry, swear.” — Mark Twain

“There is nothing so annoying as having two people talking when you’re busy interrupting.” — Mark Twain

“Any emotion, if it is sincere, is involuntary.” — Mark Twain

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

“Don’t dream your life, but live your dream.” — Mark Twain

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

“A man’s character may be learned from the adjectives which he habitually uses in conversation.” — Mark Twain

“The human race has one really effective weapon, and that is laughter.” — Mark Twain

“The difference between the right word and the almost right word is the difference between lightning and a lightning bug.” — Mark Twain

“Do the right thing. It will gratify some people and astonish the rest.” — Mark Twain

“Success is a journey, not a destination. It requires constant effort, vigilance and reevaluation.” — Mark Twain

“Never put off till tomorrow what may be done day after tomorrow just as well.” — Mark Twain

“All you need in this life is ignorance and confidence; then success is sure.” — Mark Twain

“Forgiveness is the fragrance that the violet sheds on the heel that has crushed it.” — Mark Twain

“The trouble is not in dying for a friend, but in finding a friend worth dying for.” — Mark Twain

“Just because you’re taught that something’s right and everyone believes it’s right, it don’t make it right.” — Mark Twain

“Good decisions come from experience. Experience comes from making bad decisions.” — Mark Twain

“The best way to cheer yourself up is to try to cheer somebody else up.” — Mark Twain

“History doesn’t repeat itself, but it does rhyme.” — Mark Twain

“Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness.” — Mark Twain

“In the first place God made idiots. This was for practice. Then he made school boards.” — Mark Twain

“They did not know it was impossible so they did it.” — Mark Twain

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

“Age is an issue of mind over matter. If you don’t mind, it doesn’t matter.” — Mark Twain

“Education consists mainly of what we have unlearned.” — Mark Twain

“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.” — Mark Twain

“But who prays for Satan? Who, in eighteen centuries, has had the common humanity to pray for the one sinner that needed it most?” — Mark Twain

“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.” — Mark Twain

“It’s better to keep your mouth shut and appear stupid than open it and remove all doubt.” — Mark Twain

“Clothes make the man. Naked people have little or no influence on society.” — Mark Twain

“Be careful about reading health books. You may die of a misprint.” — Mark Twain

“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.” — Mark Twain

“Get your facts first, and then you can distort them as much as you please.” — Mark Twain

“I have found out that there ain't no surer way to find out whether you like people or hate them than to travel with them.” — Mark Twain

“The secret of getting ahead is getting started. The secret of getting started is breaking your complex overwhelming tasks into small manageable tasks, and starting on the first one.” — Mark Twain

“Write without pay until somebody offers to pay.” — Mark Twain

“Courage is resistance to fear, mastery of fear, not absence of fear.”

“Courage is resistance to fear, mastery of fear, not absence of fear.” — Mark Twain

“It’s easier to fool people than to convince them that they have been fooled.” — Mark Twain

“Loyalty to country always. Loyalty to government, when it deserves it.” — Mark Twain

“God created war so that Americans would learn geography.” — Mark Twain

“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.” — Mark Twain

“When you fish for love, bait with your heart, not your brain.” — Mark Twain

“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.” — Mark Twain

“Education: the path from cocky ignorance to miserable uncertainty.” — Mark Twain

“Explore. Dream. Discover.” — Mark Twain

“I've lived through some terrible things in my life, some of which actually happened.” — Mark Twain

“A clear conscience is the sure sign of a bad memory.” — Mark Twain

“It is better to deserve honors and not have them than to have them and not deserve them.” — Mark Twain

“Life is short, break the rules, forgive quickly, kiss slowly, love truly, laugh uncontrollably, and never regret anything that made you smile.” — Mark Twain

“Name the greatest of all inventors. Accident.” — Mark Twain

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

“You can't depend on your eyes when your imagination is out of focus.” — Mark Twain

“A lie can travel half way around the world while the truth is putting on its shoes.” — Mark Twain

Books are for people who wish they were somewhere else.” — Mark Twain

“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.” — Mark Twain

“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.” — Mark Twain

“Don’t go around saying the world owes you a living. The world owes you nothing. It was here first.” — Mark Twain

“I have never let my schooling interfere with my education.” — Mark Twain

“Continuous improvement is better than delayed perfection.” — Mark Twain

“If you don't read the newspaper, you're uninformed. If you read the newspaper, you're mis-informed.” — Mark Twain

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

“Go to heaven for the climate and hell for the company.” — Mark Twain

“To get the full value of joy you must have someone to divide it with.” — Mark Twain

“If voting made any difference they wouldn’t let us do it.” — Mark Twain

“Anger is an acid that can do more harm to the vessel in which it is stored than to anything on which it is poured.” — Mark Twain

“Write what you know.” — Mark Twain

Sanity and happiness are an impossible combination.” — Mark Twain

“The fear of death follows from the fear of life. A man who lives fully is prepared to die at any time.” — Mark Twain

“Reality can be beaten with enough imagination.” — Mark Twain

“Kindness is a language which the deaf can hear and the blind can see.” — Mark Twain

“Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to pause and reflect.” — Mark Twain

“Never allow someone to be your priority while allowing yourself to be their option.” — Mark Twain

“Everyone is a moon, and has a dark side which he never shows to anybody.” — 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

“If you tell the truth, you don’t have to remember anything.” — Mark Twain

“The man who does not read has no advantage over the man who cannot read.” — Mark Twain

“Worrying is like paying a debt you don't owe.” — Mark Twain

“Never argue with stupid people, they will drag you down to their level and then beat you with experience.” — Mark Twain

“The secret to getting ahead is getting started.” — Mark Twain

“The two most important days in your life are the day you are born and the day you find out why.” — Mark Twain

“To the rest of the world the name of Henry VIII brought a shiver, and suggested an ogre whose nostrils breathed destruction and whose hand dealt scourgings and death; but to this boy the name brought only sensations of pleasure, the figure it invoked wore a countenance that was all gentleness and affection. He called to mind a long succession of loving passages between his father and himself, and dwelt fondly upon them, his unstinted tears attesting how deep and real was the grief that possessed his heart.”

“In a moment all the heavy sorrow and misery which sleep had banished were upon him again, and he realized that he was no longer a petted prince in a palace, with the adoring eyes of a nation upon him, but a pauper, an outcast, clothed in rags, prisoner in a den fit only for beasts, and consorting with beggars and thieves.”

“Death—and a violent death—for these poor unfortunates! The thought wrung Tom’s heart-strings. The spirit of compassion took control of him, to the exclusion of all other considerations; he never thought of the offended laws, or of the grief or loss which these three criminals had inflicted upon their victims, he could think of nothing but the scaffold and the grisly fate hanging over the heads of the condemned. His concern made him even forget, for the moment, that he was but the false shadow of a king, not the substance.”

“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. On the same day another English child was born to a rich family of the name of Tudor, who did want him.”

″‘Then shall the king’s law be law of mercy from this day, and never more be law of blood! Up from thy knees and away! To the Tower and say the king decrees the duke of Norfolk shall not die!’ The words were caught up and carried eagerly from lip to lip far and wide over the hall, and as Hertford hurried from the presence, another prodigious shout burst forth— ‘The reign of blood is ended! Long live Edward, King of England!‘”

“It may be history, it may be only a legend, a tradition. It may have happened, it may not have happened: but it could have happened. It may be that the wise and the learned believed it in the old days; it maybe that only the unlearned and the simple loved it and credited it.”

“When I am come to mine own again, I will always honor little children, remembering how that these trusted me and believed me in my time of trouble; whilst they that were older, and thought themselves wiser, mocked at me and held me for a liar.”

“He is mad; but he is my son, and England’s heir; and, mad or sane, still shall reign!”

“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.”

“Now were he impostor and called himself prince, look you that would be natural; that would be reasonable. But lived ever an impostor yet, who, being called prince by the king, prince by the court, prince by all, denied his dignity and pleaded against his exaltation? No! By the soul of St. Swithin, no! This is the true prince, gone mad.”

“To skip any one of the billion acts in Columbus’s chain would have wholly changed his life. I have examined his billion of possible careers, and in only one of them occurs the discovery of America.”

“Among you boys you have a game: you stand a row of bricks on end a few inches apart; you push a brick, it knocks its neighbor over, the neighbor knocks over the next brick--and so on till all the row is prostrate. That is human life.”

″... we had taken his silence as a sort of encouragement; necessarily, then, this talk of his was a disappointment to us, for it showed we had made no impression upon him... we knew then how the missionary must feel when he has been cherishing a glad hope and has seen it blighted.”

“It gave an appalling idea of the value of an hour, and I thought I could never waste one again without remorse and terror.”

“Only the mad can be happy, and not many of those.”

“I said it was a brutal thing.” “No, it was a human thing. You should not insult the brutes by such a misuse of that word; they have not deserved it.”

″‘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.‘”

“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.”

“Are you so unobservant as not to have found out that sanity and happiness are an impossible combination? No sane man can be happy, for to him life is real, and he sees what a fearful thing it is.”

“Foreordain it? No. The man’s circumstances and environment order it. His first act determines the second and all that follow after.”

″... 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.”

“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.”

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

“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.”

“A woman’s intuition is better than a man’s.”

″... a woman will never do again what has been done before.”

“To the young American, here or elsewhere, the paths to fortune are innumerable and all open; There is invitation in the air and success in all his wide horizon.”

“I wasn’t worth a cent two years ago, and now I owe two millions of dollars.”

“Nobody knows anything, really, you know, and a woman can guess a good deal nearer than a man.”

“Unless you can get the ear of a Senator, or a Congressman, or a Chief of a Bureau or Department, and persuade him to use his ‘influence’ in your behalf, you cannot get an employment of the most trivial nature in Washington.”

“An ugly woman would ruin me, the disease would be sure to strike in and kill me at the sight of her. I think a pretty physician, with engaging manners, would coax a fellow to live through almost anything.”

“And one of the first and most startling things you find out is, that every individual you encounter in the City of Washington ... from the highest bureau chief, clear down to the maid who scrubs Department halls, the night watchmen of the public buildings... represents Political Influence.”

“He has no traditions to bind him or guide him; and his impulse is to break away from the occupation his father has followed, and make a new way for himself.”

″... Miss Alice is a great friend of Harry’s, who is always trying to build a house by beginning at the top.”

“Washington dreamed his way along the street, his fancy flitting from grain to hogs, from hogs to banks, from banks to eye-water, from eye-water to Tennessee Land, and lingering but a feverish moment upon each of these fascinations.”

“He brought us clear down to the ground, nearly. He’s an honest soul, and means the very best in the world, but I’m afraid, I’m afraid he’s too flighty.”

″... no 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.”

“By and by Tom’s reading wrought such a strong effect upon him that he began to act the prince, unconsciously. His speech and manners became curiously ceremonious and courtly, to the vast admiration and amusement of his intimates. But Tom’s influence among these young people began to grow, now, day by day; and in time he came to be looked up to, by them, with a sort of wondering awe, as a superior being.”

“He lay down upon a sumptuous divan, and proceeded to instruct himself with honest zeal.”

“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.”

“The law roasted her to death at a slow fire.”

“Yet little Tom was not unhappy. He had a hard time of it but did not know it. It was the sort of time that all the Offal Court boys had, therefore he supposed it was the correct and comfortable thing.”

“Yes, King Edward VI lived only a few years, poor boy, but he lived them worthily.”

“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.”

“A person’s conscience ain’t got no sense, and just goes for him anyway.”

“It’s the little things that smooths people’s roads the most.”

“Look here, if you’re telling the truth you needn’t be afraid--nobody’ll hurt you.”

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

“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. That was my fix exactly.”

“I knowed very well why [the words] wouldn’t come. It was because my heart warn’t right; it was because I warn’t square; it was because I was playing double. I was letting on to give up sin, but away inside of me I was holding on to the biggest one of all.”

“I was mighty down-hearted; so I made up my mind I wouldn’t ever go anear that house again, because I reckoned I was to blame, somehow.”

“Then her conscience reproached her, and she yearned to say something kind and loving; but she judged that this would be construed into a confession that she had been in the wrong, and discipline forbade that. So she kept silence, and went about her affairs with a troubled heart.”

“But the elastic heart of youth cannot be compressed into one constrained shape long at a time. Tom presently began to drift insensibly back into the concerns of his life again. What if he turned his back, now, and disappeared mysteriously? . . . [H]e would join the Indians . . . He would be a pirate! That was it! Now his future lay plain before him, and glowing with unimaginable splendor.”

“There was not even a zephyr stirring; the dead noonday heat had even stilled the songs of the birds; nature lay in a trance that was broken by no sound but the occasional far-off hammering of a woodpecker, and this seemed to render the pervading silence and sense of loneliness the more profound. The boy’s soul was steeped in melancholy; his feelings were in happy accord with his surroundings.”

“Saturday morning was come, and all the summer world was bright and fresh, and brimming with life. There was a song in every heart . . . 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.”

“When in doubt, tell the truth.”

“′Classic′ - a book which people praise and don’t read.”

“Nothing so needs reforming as other people’s habits.”

“You ought never to “sass” old people—unless they “sass” you first.”

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

“Say, Becky, was you ever engaged?” “What’s that?” “Why, engaged to be married.” “No.” “Would you like to?” “I reckon so. I don’t know. What is it like?” “Like? Why it ain’t like anything. You only just tell a boy you won’t ever have anybody but him, ever ever ever, and then you kiss and that’s all. Anybody can do it.”

“Tom was a glittering hero once more—the pet of the old, the envy of the young. His name even went into immortal print, for the village paper magnified him. There were some that believed he would be President, yet, if he escaped hanging.”

“Oh come, now, you don’t mean to let on that you like it?” The brush continued to move. “Like it? Well I don’t see why I oughtn’t to like it. Does a boy get a chance to whitewash a fence every day?” That put the thing in a new light. Ben stopped nibbling his apple. Tom swept his brush daintily back and forth—stepped back to note the effect—added a touch here and there—criticized the effect again—Ben watching every move and getting more and more interested, more and more absorbed. Presently he said: “Say, Tom, let me whitewash a little.”

Tom told me what his plan was, and I see in a minute it was worth fifteen of mine for style, and would make Jim just as free a man as mine would, and maybe get us all killed besides. So I was satisfied, and said we would waltz in on it.

“All right then, I’ll go to hell”

“All kings is mostly rapscallions, as fur as I can make out.”

“I don’t want no better book than what your face is.”

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

“The average man don’t like trouble and danger.”

“You can’t pray a lie – I found that out.”

“I do not wish any reward but to know I have done the right thing.”

“I couldn’t bear to think about it; and yet, somehow, I couldn’t think about nothing else.”

“I couldn’t bear to think about it; and yet, somehow, I couldn’t think about nothing else.” — Mark Twain

“Explosive and was expected to blow him up.”

“Five and twenty sturdy budges, bulks, files, clapperdogeons and maunders, counting the dells and doxies and other morts. Most are here, the rest are wandering eastward, along the winter lay. We follow at dawn.”

“Their garment? Have they but one?” “Ah, good your Worship, what would they do with more? Truly they have not two bodies each.”

“The world is made wrong; kings should go to school to their own laws, at times, and so learn mercy.”

“And when he awoke in the morning and looked upon the wretchedness about him, his dream had had its usual effect: it had intensified the sordidness of his surroundings a thousandfold.”

“Foo-foo the First, King of the Mooncalves!”

“Let us change the tense for convenience.”

“What God wills, will happen; thou canst not hurry it, thou canst not alter it; therefore wait, and be patient”

“It does us all good to unbend sometimes.”

“When I am come to mine own again, I will always honor little children, remembering how that these trusted me and believed me in my time of trouble; whilst they that were older, and thought themselves wiser, mocked at me and held me for a liar.”

“Learning softeneth the heart and breedeth gentleness and charity.”

“What dost thou know of suffering and oppression? I and my people know, but not thou.”

“Loose him and forbear!”

“By and by Tom’s reading wrought such a strong effect upon him that he began to act the prince, unconsciously. His speech and manners became curiously ceremonious and courtly, to the vast admiration and amusement of his intimates. But Tom’s influence among these young people began to grow, now, day by day; and in time he came to be looked up to, by them, with a sort of wondering awe, as a superior being.”

“But when weariness finally forced him to be silent, he was no longer of use to his tormentors, and they sought amusement elsewhere.”

“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.”

“But hunger is pride’s master.”

“I am not in the humor for it.”

“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 have entered it modest. ”

“Human history in all ages is red with blood, and bitter with hate, and stained with cruelties; but not since Biblical times have these features been without a limit of some kind.

″ It is curious -- the way the human mind works. The Christian begins with this straight proposition, this definite proposition, this inflexible and uncompromising proposition: God is allknowing, and all-powerful.”

“He is a marvel -- man is! I would I knew who invented him.”

″ Man is an experiment, the other animals are another experiment. Time will show whether they were worth the trouble.”

“Life was not a valuable gift, but death was. [...] Death was man’s best friend; when man could endure life no longer, death came and set him free.”

“Many men pray, not many of them like to do it. A few pray long, the others make a short cut.”

″ It shows you that when people have left a reproachful vacancy in a contract they can be as shady about it in Bibles as elsewhere.”

” Each human being shall have all of these in him, and they will constitute his nature. In some, there will be high and fine characteristics which will submerge the evil ones, and those will be called good men; in others the evil characteristics will have dominion, and those will be called bad men.”

“It is most difficult to understand the disposition of the Bible God, it is such a confusion of contradictions; of watery instabilities and iron firmness; of goody-goody abstract morals made out of words, and concreted hell-born ones made out of acts; of fleeting kindness repented of in permanent malignities.”

“The tiger -- yes. The law of his nature is ferocity. The law of his nature is the Law of God. He cannot disobey it.”

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