QUOTATIONS FROM MARK TWAIN





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Aim and object of the law and lawyers

was to defeat justice



All life seems to be sacred except

human life



Always trying to build a house by

beginning at the top



Believed it; because she desired to

believe it



Best intentions and the frailest

resolution



But it is an ill-wind that blows nobody

good



But there are liars everywhere this

year



Cayote is a living, breathing allegory

of Want



Children were clothed in nothing but

sunshine



Contempt of Court on the part of a

horse



Fertile in invention and elastic in

conscience



Fun--but of a mild type



Grief that is too deep to find help in

moan or groan or outcry



Haughty humility



I was not scared, but I was

considerably agitated



I had a delicacy about going home and

getting thrashed



If the man doesn't believe as we do, we

say he is a crank



Imagination to help his memory



Invariably allowed a half for shrinkage

in his statements



It used to be a good hotel, but that

proves nothing



It is easier to stay out than get out



It had cost something to upholster

these women



Keg of these nails--of the true cross



Let me take your grief and help you

carry it



Life a vanity and a burden, and the

future but a way to death



Man is the only animal that blushes--or

needs to



Man was not a liar he only missed it by

the skin of his teeth



Money is most difficult to get when

people need it most



Native canoe is an irresponsible

looking contrivance



No people who are quite so vulgar as

the over-refined ones



No nation occupies a foot of land that

was not stolen



Nothing that glitters is gold



Notion that he is less savage than the

other savages



Nursed his woe and exalted it



Ostentatious of his modesty



Otherwise they would have thought I was

afraid, which I was



People talk so glibly of "feeling,"

"expression," "tone,"



Pity is for the living, Envy is for the

dead



Predominance of the imagination over

the judgment



Profound respect for chastity--in other

people



Prosperity is the best protector of

principle



Received with a large silence that

suggested doubt



Road, which did not seem to know its

own mind exactly



Room to turn around in, but not to

swing a cat



Scenery in California requires distance



Seventy is old enough--after that,

there is too much risk



Sleep that heals all heart-aches and

ends all sorrows



Slept, if one might call such a

condition by so strong a name



Smell about them which is peculiar but

not entertaining



Takes your enemy and your friend,

working together, to hurt you



The man with a new idea is a Crank

until the idea succeeds



To a delicate stomach even imaginary

smoke can convey damage



Tourists showing how things ought to be

managed



Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry

and narrow-mindedness



Uncomplaining impoliteness



Very pleasant man if you were not in

his way



Virtuous to the verge of eccentricity



Wasn't worth a cent two years ago, and

now I owe two millions



We ought never to do wrong when people

are looking



We must create, a public opinion, said

Senator Dilworthy



Well provided with cigars and other

necessaries of life



What's a fair wind for us is a head

wind to them



Whichever one they get is the one they

want



Worth while to get tired out, because

one so enjoys resting



Wrinkles should merely indicate where

smiles have been



Your absence when you are present





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A FEW SELECTED BOOKS





FOLLOWING THE EQUATOR




Against nature to take an interest in familiar things

Age after age, the barren and meaningless process

All life seems to be sacred except human life

But there are liars everywhere this year

Capacity must be shown (in other work); in the law, concealment of it will do

Christmas brings harassment and dread to many excellent people

Climate which nothing can stand except rocks

Creature which was everything in general and nothing in particular

Custom supersedes all other forms of law

Death in life; death without its privileges

Every one is a moon, and has a dark side

Exercise, for such as like that kind of work

Explain the inexplicable

Faith is believing what you know ain't so

Forbids betting on a sure thing

Forgotten fact is news when it comes again

Get your formalities right--never mind about the moralities

Give thanks that Christmas comes but once a year

Good protections against temptations; but the surest is cowardice

Goody-goody puerilities and dreary moralities

Habit of assimilating incredibilities

Human pride is not worth while

Hunger is the handmaid of genius

If the man doesn't believe as we do, we say he is a crank

Inherited prejudices in favor of hoary ignorances

It is easier to stay out than get out

Man is the only animal that blushes--or needs to

Meddling philanthropists

Melt a brass door-knob and weather which will only make it mushy

Moral sense, and there is an Immoral Sense

Most satisfactory pet--never coming when he is called

Natural desire to have more of a good thing than he needs

Neglected her habits, and hadn't any

Never could tell a lie that anybody would doubt

No nation occupies a foot of land that was not stolen

No people who are quite so vulgar as the over-refined ones

Notion that he is less savage than the other savages

Only way to keep your health is to eat what you don't want

Ostentatious of his modesty

Otherwise they would have thought I was afraid, which I was

Pity is for the living, Envy is for the dead

Prosperity is the best protector of principle

Received with a large silence that suggested doubt

Seventy is old enough--after that, there is too much risk

Silent lie and a spoken one

Sinking vessel, with no freight in her to throw over

Takes your enemy and your friend, working together, to hurt you

Thankfulness is not so general

The man with a new idea is a Crank until the idea succeeds

This is a poor old ship, and ought to be insured and sunk

To a delicate stomach even imaginary smoke can convey damage

Tourists showing how things ought to be managed

Wrinkles should merely indicate where smiles have been





THE INNOCENTS ABROAD




Ancient painters never succeeded in denationalizing themselves

Apocryphal New Testament

Astonishing talent for seeing things that had already passed

Bade our party a kind good-bye, and proceeded to count spoons

Base flattery to call them immoral

Bones of St Denis

But it is an ill-wind that blows nobody good

Buy the man out, goodwill and all

By dividing this statement up among eight

Carry soap with them

Chapel of the Invention of the Cross

Christopher Colombo

Clustered thick with stony, mutilated saints

Commend me to Fennimore Cooper to find beauty in the Indians

Conceived a sort of unwarrantable unfriendliness

Confer the rest of their disastrous patronage on some other firm

Creator made Italy from designs by Michael Angelo!

Cringing spirit of those great men

Diffident young man, mild of moustache, affluent of hair

Expression

Felt that it was not right to steal grapes

Fenimore Cooper Indians

Filed away among the archives of Russia--in the stove

For dismal scenery, I think Palestine must be the prince

Free from self-consciousness--which is at breakfast

Fumigation is cheaper than soap

Fun--but of a mild type

Getting rich very deliberately--very deliberately indeed

Guides

Have a prodigious quantity of mind

He never bored but he struck water

He ought to be dammed--or leveed

Holy Family always lived in grottoes

How tame a sight his country's flag is at home

I am going to try to worry along without it

I carried the sash along with me--I did not need the sash

I had a delicacy about going home and getting thrashed

I was not scared, but I was considerably agitated

Is, ah--is he dead?

It is a hopeless, dreary, heart-broken land

It is inferior--for coffee--but it is pretty fair tea

It used to be a good hotel, but that proves nothing

It was warm.  It was the warmest place I ever was in

Joshua

Journals so voluminously begun

Keg of these nails--of the true cross

Lean and mean old age

Man peculiarly and insufferably self-conceited: not seasick

Marks the exact centre of the earth

Nauseous adulation of princely patrons

Never did succeed in making those idiots understand their own language

Never left any chance for newspaper controversies

Never uses a one-syllable word when he can think of a longer one

No satisfaction in being a Pope in those days

Not afraid of a million Bedouins

Not bring ourselves to think St John had two sets of ashes

Old Travelers

One is apt to overestimate beauty when it is rare

Only solitary thing one does not smell in Turkey

Oriental splendor!

Original first shoddy contract mentioned in history

Overflowing his banks

People talk so glibly of "feeling," "expression," "tone,"

Perdition catch all the guides

Picture which one ought to see once--not oftener

Polite hotel waiter who isn't an idiot

Relic matter a little overdone?

Room to turn around in, but not to swing a cat

Saviour, who seems to be of little importance any where in Rome

Self-satisfied monarch, the railroad conductor of America

Sentimental praises of the Arab's idolatry of his horse

She assumes a crushing dignity

Shepherd's Hotel, which is the worst on earth

Smell about them which is peculiar but not entertaining

Some people can not stand prosperity

Somewhat singular taste in the matter of relics

St Charles Borromeo, Bishop of Milan

St Helena, the mother of Constantine

Starving to death

Stirring times here for a while if the last trump should blow

Tahoe means grasshoppers.  It means grasshopper soup

The information the ancients didn't have was very voluminous

The Last Supper

There was a good deal of sameness about it

They were like nearly all the Frenchwomen I ever saw --homely

They were seasick.   And I was glad of it

Those delightful parrots who have "been here before"

To give birth to an idea

Toll the signal for the St Bartholomew's Massacre

Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry and narrow-mindedness

Uncomplaining impoliteness

Under the charitable moon

Used fine tooth combs--successfully

Venitian visiting young ladies

Wandering Jew

Wasn't enough of it to make a pie

We all like to see people seasick when we are not, ourselves

Well provided with cigars and other necessaries of life

What's a fair wind for us is a head wind to them

Whichever one they get is the one they want

Who have actually forgotten their mother tongue in three months

Worth while to get tired out, because one so enjoys resting





ROUGHING IT




Aim and object of the law and lawyers was to defeat justice

American saddle

Cayote is a living, breathing allegory of Want

Children were clothed in nothing but sunshine

Contempt of Court on the part of a horse

Feared a great deal more than the almighty

Fertile in invention and elastic in conscience

Give one's watch a good long undisturbed spell

He was nearly lightnin' on superintending

He was one of the deadest men that ever lived

Hotel clerk who was crusty and disobliging

I had never seen lightning go like that horse

Juries composed of fools and rascals

List of things which we had seen and some other people had not

Man was not a liar he only missed it by the skin of his teeth

Most impossible reminiscences sound plausible

Native canoe is an irresponsible looking contrivance

Never knew there was a hell!

Nothing that glitters is gold

Profound respect for chastity--in other people

Scenery in California requires distance

Slept, if one might call such a condition by so strong a name

Useful information and entertaining nonsense

Virtuous to the verge of eccentricity





THE GILDED AGE




Accidental murder resulting from justifiable insanity

Always trying to build a house by beginning at the top

Appropriation

Beautiful credit!  The foundation of modern society

Believed it; because she desired to believe it

Best intentions and the frailest resolution

Big babies with beards

Cheap sentiment and high and mighty dialogue

Conscious superiority

Does your doctor know any thing

Enjoy icebergs--as scenery but not as company

Erie RR: causeway of cracked rails and cows, to the West

Fever of speculation

Final resort of the disappointed of her sex, the lecture platform

Geographical habits

Get away and find a place where he could despise himself

Gossips were soon at work

Grand old benevolent National Asylum for the Helpless

Grief that is too deep to find help in moan or groan or outcry

Haughty humility

Having no factitious weight of dignity to carry

Imagination to help his memory

Invariably advised to settle--no matter how, but settle

Invariably allowed a half for shrinkage in his statements

Is this your first visit?

It had cost something to upholster these women

Large amount of money necessary to make a small hole

Later years brought their disenchanting wisdom

Let me take your grief and help you carry it

Life a vanity and a burden, and the future but a way to death

Mail train which has never run over a cow

Meant no harm they only wanted to know

Money is most difficult to get when people need it most

Never sewed when she could avoid it.  Bless her!

Nursed his woe and exalted it

Predominance of the imagination over the judgment

Question was asked and answered--in their eyes

Riches enough to be able to gratify reasonable desires

Road, which did not seem to know its own mind exactly

Sarcasms of fate

Sleep that heals all heart-aches and ends all sorrows

Small gossip stood a very poor chance

Sun bothers along over the Atlantic

Think a Congress of ours could convict the devil of anything

Titles never die in America

Too much grace and too little wine

Understood the virtues of "addition, division and silence"

Unlimited reliance upon human promises

Very pleasant man if you were not in his way

Wasn't worth a cent two years ago, and now I owe two millions

"We must create, a public opinion," said Senator Dilworthy

We'll make you think you never was at home before

We've all got to come to it at last, anyway!

Widened, and deepened, and straightened--(Public river Project)

Wished that she could see his sufferings now

Your absence when you are present





MARK TWAIN'S SPEECHES




A little pride always goes along with a teaspoonful of brains

Ain't any real difference between triplets and an insurrection

Chastity, you can carry it too far

Classic: everybody wants to have read and nobody wants to read

Don't know anything and can't do anything

Dwell on the particulars with senile rapture

Future great historian is lying--and doubtless will continue to

Head is full of history, and some of it is true, too

Humor enlivens and enlightens his morality

I shall never be as dead again as I was then

If can't make seventy by any but an uncomfortable road: don't go

Kill a lot of poets for writing about "Beautiful Spring"

Live upon the property of their heirs so long

Morality is all the better for his humor

Morals: rather teach them than practice them any day

Never been in jail, and the other is, I don't know why

Never to smoke when asleep, and never to refrain when awake

Patriotism is usually the refuge of the scoundrel

Please state what figure you hold him at--and return the basket

Principles is another name for prejudices

She bears our children--ours as a general thing

Some civilized women would lose half their charm without dress

The Essex band done the best it could

Time-expired man, to use Kipling's military phrase

To exaggerate is the only way I can approximate to the truth

Two kinds of Christian morals, one private and the other public

What, sir, would the people of the earth be without woman?

When in doubt, tell the truth

Women always want to know what is going on





SKETCHES NEW AND OLD




A wood-fire is not a permanent thing

Accessory before the fact to his own murder

Aggregate to positive unhappiness

Always brought in 'not guilty'

Apocryphal was no slouch of a word, emanating from the source

Assertion is not proof

Early to bed and early to rise

I am useless and a nuisance, a cumberer of the earth

I never was so scared before and survived it

If I had sprung a leak now I had been lost

Just about cats enough for three apiece all around

Looked a look of vicious happiness

Lucid and unintoxicated intervals

No matter how absurd and unreasonable their demands

No public can withstand magnanimity

Not because I was afraid, but because I wanted to (go out the window)

Permanent reliable enemy

Science only needed a spoonful of supposition to build a mountain

State of mind bordering on impatience

Walking five miles to fish

Was a good deal annoyed when it appeared he was going to die





TWAIN'S LETTERS V1 1835-1866




A mighty national menace to sham

All talk and no cider

Condition my room is always in when you are not around

Deprived of the soothing consolation of swearing

Frankness is a jewel; only the young can afford it

Genius defies the laws of perspective

Hope deferred maketh the heart sick

I never greatly envied anybody but the dead

In the long analysis of the ages it is the truth that counts

Just about enough cats to go round

Moral bulwark reared against hypocrisy and superstition

The coveted estate of silence, time's only absolute gift

We went outside to keep from getting wet

What a pleasure there is in revenge!

When in doubt, tell the truth

When it is my turn, I don't





TWAIN'S LETTERS V4 1886-1900




And I have been an author for 20 years and an ass for 55

Argument against suicide

Conversationally being yelled at

Dead people who go through the motions of life

Die in the promptest kind of a way and no fooling around

Heroic endurance that resembles contentment

Honest men must be pretty scarce

I wonder how they can lie so.  It comes of practice, no doubt

If this is going to be too much trouble to you

One should be gentle with the ignorant

Sunday is the only day that brings unbearable leisure

Symbol of the human race ought to be an ax

What a pity it is that one's adventures never happen!





If you wish to read the entire context of any of these quotations, select a short segment and copy it into your clipboard memory--then open the appropriate eBook and paste the phrase into your computer's find or search operation.


These quotations were collected from the works of Mark Twain by David Widger while preparing etexts for Project Gutenberg. Comments and suggestions will be most welcome.

--And many thanks for your persistence in reading all the way to the end of this page.        D.W.