Mark Twain Quotes

Mark Twain was one of the most beloved American authors of all time. Twain was known for his clever observations about life and human nature, as well as his biting sense of humor. His insights and observations are as relevant today as they were when he first uttered them over a century ago. Here are some of the best quotes from Mark Twain to help you live a fuller and more enlightened life.

  • 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
  • Don’t part with your illusions. When they are gone, you may still exist, but you have ceased to live.

    Mark Twain
  • It is better to keep your mouth closed and let people think you are a fool than to open it and remove all doubt.

    Mark Twain
  • Thunder is good, thunder is impressive; but it is lightning that does the work.

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

    Mark Twain
  • A person who won’t read has no advantage over one who can’t read.

    Mark Twain
  • The best way to cheer yourself up is to try to cheer somebody else up.

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

    Mark Twain
  • Get your facts first, then you can distort them as you please.

    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
  • Buy land, they’re not making it anymore.

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

    Mark Twain
  • A man who carries a cat by the tail learns something he can learn in no other way.

    Mark Twain
  • Do the right thing. It will gratify some people and astonish the rest.

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

    Mark Twain
  • Don’t let schooling interfere with your education.

    Mark Twain
  • Humor is mankind’s greatest blessing.

    Mark Twain
  • I can live for two months on a good compliment.

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

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

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

    Mark Twain
  • When you fish for love, bait with your heart, not your brain.

    Mark Twain
  • 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.

    Mark Twain
  • Never pick a fight with people who buy ink by the barrel.

    Mark Twain
  • The secret of getting ahead is getting started.

    Mark Twain
  • All generalizations are false, including this one.

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

    Mark Twain
  • A man is never more truthful than when he acknowledges himself a liar.

    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
  • It’s not the size of the dog in the fight, it’s the size of the fight in the dog.

    Mark Twain
  • Go to Heaven for the climate, Hell for the company.

    Mark Twain
  • All you need in this life is ignorance and confidence, and then success is sure.

    Mark Twain
  • Forgiveness is the fragrance that the violet sheds on the heel that has crushed it.

    Mark Twain
  • Never put off till tomorrow what you can do the day after tomorrow.

    Mark Twain
  • You can’t depend on your eyes when your imagination is out of focus.

    Mark Twain
  • Courage is resistance to fear, mastery of fear, not absence of fear.

    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
  • The reports of my death have been greatly exaggerated.

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

    Mark Twain
  • Denial ain’t just a river in Egypt.

    Mark Twain
  • We have the best government that money can buy.

    Mark Twain
  • Giving up smoking is the easiest thing in the world. I know because I’ve done it thousands of times.

    Mark Twain
  • Be careful about reading health books. You may die of a misprint.

    Mark Twain
  • There are lies, damned lies and statistics.

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

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

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

    Mark Twain
  • It usually takes me more than three weeks to prepare a good impromptu speech.

    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
  • There is no distinctly American criminal class – except Congress.

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

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

    Mark Twain
  • Patriotism is supporting your country all the time, and your government when it deserves it.

    Mark Twain
  • Loyalty to petrified opinion never yet broke a chain or freed a human soul.

    Mark Twain
  • In the first place, God made idiots. That was for practice. Then he made school boards.

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

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

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

    Mark Twain
  • It ain’t those parts of the Bible that I can’t understand that bother me, it is the parts that I do understand.

    Mark Twain
  • Do the thing you fear most and the death of fear is certain.

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

    Mark Twain
  • Facts are stubborn, but statistics are more pliable.

    Mark Twain
  • Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts.

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

    Mark Twain
  • If you hold a cat by the tail you learn things you cannot learn any other way.

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

    Mark Twain
  • Everything has its limit – iron ore cannot be educated into gold.

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

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

    Mark Twain
  • I never smoke to excess – that is, I smoke in moderation, only one cigar at a time.

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

    Mark Twain
  • There is no sadder sight than a young pessimist.

    Mark Twain
  • Golf is a good walk spoiled.

    Mark Twain
  • There is a charm about the forbidden that makes it unspeakably desirable.

    Mark Twain
  • Cauliflower is nothing but cabbage with a college education.

    Mark Twain
  • My mother had a great deal of trouble with me, but I think she enjoyed it.

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

    Mark Twain
  • Loyalty to the Nation all the time, loyalty to the Government when it deserves it.

    Mark Twain
  • 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.

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

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

    Mark Twain
  • I didn’t attend the funeral, but I sent a nice letter saying I approved of it.

    Mark Twain
  • I don’t give a damn for a man that can only spell a word one way.

    Mark Twain
  • A man cannot be comfortable without his own approval.

    Mark Twain
  • If the world comes to an end, I want to be in Cincinnati. Everything comes there ten years later.

    Mark Twain
  • India has 2,000,000 gods and worships them all. In religion, all other countries are paupers; India is the only millionaire.

    Mark Twain
  • It’s good sportsmanship to not pick up lost golf balls while they are still rolling.

    Mark Twain
  • Lord save us all from old age and broken health and a hope tree that has lost the faculty of putting out blossoms.

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

    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
  • I have never taken any exercise, except sleeping and resting, and I never intend to take any.

    Mark Twain
  • Under certain circumstances, urgent circumstances, desperate circumstances, profanity provides a relief denied even to prayer.

    Mark Twain
  • Often it does seem such a pity that Noah and his party did not miss the boat.

    Mark Twain
  • Principles have no real force except when one is well-fed.

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

    Mark Twain
  • Laws control the lesser man… Right conduct controls the greater one.

    Mark Twain
  • The secret source of humor is not joy but sorrow; there is no humor in Heaven.

    Mark Twain
  • God made the Idiot for practice, and then He made the School Board.

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

    Mark Twain
  • Work consists of whatever a body is obliged to do. Play consists of whatever a body is not obliged to do.

    Mark Twain
  • In the Spring, I have counted 136 different kinds of weather inside of 24 hours.

    Mark Twain
  • All emotion is involuntary when genuine.

    Mark Twain
  • Against the assault of laughter, nothing can stand.

    Mark Twain
  • Words are only painted fire; a look is the fire itself.

    Mark Twain
  • Only one thing is impossible for God: To find any sense in any copyright law on the planet.

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

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

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

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

    Mark Twain
  • When in doubt tell the truth.

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

    Mark Twain
  • Thousands of geniuses live and die undiscovered – either by themselves or by others.

    Mark Twain
  • Wrinkles should merely indicate where smiles have been.

    Mark Twain
  • Action speaks louder than words but not nearly as often.

    Mark Twain
  • 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.’

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

    Mark Twain
  • When your friends begin to flatter you on how young you look, it’s a sure sign you’re getting old.

    Mark Twain
  • Apparently there is nothing that cannot happen today.

    Mark Twain
  • The finest clothing made is a person’s own skin, but, of course, society demands something more than this.

    Mark Twain
  • Man was made at the end of the week’s work, when God was tired.

    Mark Twain
  • A person with a new idea is a crank until the idea succeeds.

    Mark Twain