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1. Do not put off till tomorrow what can be put off till day-after-tomorrow
just as well.
2. I was young and foolish then; now I am old an foolisher.
3. An uneasy conscience is a hair in the mouth.
4. The trouble ain't that there is too many fools, but that the lightning
ain't distributed right.
5. Life would be infinitely happier if we could only be born at the age of
eighty and gradually approach eighteen.
6. The lack of money is the root of all evil.
7. By and by when each nation has 20,000 battleships and 5,000,000 soldiers
we shall all be safe and the wisdom of statesmanship will stand confirmed.
8. Do not tell fish stories where the people know you; but particularly,
don't tell them where they know the fish.
9. At 50 a man can be an ass without being an optimist but not an optimist
without being as ass.
10. Necessity is the mother of "taking chances"
11. Civilization is a limitless multiplication of unnecessary necessaries.
12. Honesty: The best of all the lost arts.
13. The low level which commercial morality has reached in America is
deplorable. We have humble God fearing Christian men among us who will stoop
to do things for a million dollars that they ought not to be willing to do
for less than 2 millions.
14. Prophecy: Two bull's eyes out of a possible million.
15. A baby is an inestimable blessing and bother.
16. Always acknowledge a fault frankly. This will throw those in authority
off their guard and give you opportunity to commit more.
17. Senator: Person who makes laws in Washington when not doing time.
18. Clothes make the man. Naked people have little or no influence in
19. But we are fearfully and wonderfully made, and we glorious Americans
will occasionally astonish the God that created us when we get a fair start.
20. None but an ass pays a compliment and asks a favor at the same time.
There are many asses.
21. All the talk used to be about doing people good, now it is about doing
22. I like the truth sometimes, but I don't care enough for it to hanker
23. The average American may not know who his grandfather was. But the
American was, however, one degree better off than the average Frenchman who,
as a rule, was in considerable doubt as to who his father was.
24. Difference between savage and civilized man: one is painted, the other
25. If we had less statesmanship we could get along with fewer battleships.
26. Some of us cannot be optimists, but all of us can be bigamists.
27. It is better to take what does not belong to you than to let it lie
28. Do your duty today and repent tomorrow.
29. A banker is a fellow who lends you his umbrella when the sun is shining
and wants it back the minute it begins to rain.
30. What is the difference between a taxidermist and a tax collector? The
taxidermist takes only your skin.
31. It is the foreign element that commits our crimes. There is no native
criminal class except Congress
32. We all live in the protection of certain cowardices which we call our
33. Everybody's private motto: It's better to be popular than right.
34. It is better to give than receive- especially advice.
35. You should never do anything wicked and lay it on your brother, when it
is just as convenient to lay it on some other boy.
36. Twain on the afterlife: I am silent on the subject because of necessity.
I have friends in both places.
37. Patriot: The person who can holler the loudest without knowing what he
is hollering about.
38. When a man arrives at great prosperity God did it: when he falls into
disaster he did it himself.
39. Morals consist of political morals, commercial morals, ecclesiastical
morals, and morals.
40. Never tell the truth to people who are not worthy of it.
41. It is best to read the weather forecast before we pray for rain.
42. Sufficient unto the day is one baby. As long as you are in your right
mind don't you ever pray for twins. Twins amount to a permanent riot; and
there ain't any real difference between triplets and a insurrection.
43. There are three things which I consider excellent advice. First, don't
smoke to access. Second, don't drink to excess. Third, don't marry to
44. It is just like man's vanity and impertinence to call an animal dumb
because it is dumb to his dull perceptions.
45. Work and play are words used to describe the same thing under differing
46. Many a small thing has been made large by the right kind of advertising.
47. All things change except barbers, the ways of barbers, and the
surroundings of barbers. These never change.
48. One is apt to overestimate beauty when it is rare.
49. What is human life? The first third a good time; the rest remembering
50. You ought never to "sass" old people- unless they "sass" you first.
51. When one reads Bibles, one is less surprised at what the Deity knows
than at what He doesn't know.
52. Why is it that we rejoice at a birth and grieve at a funeral? It is
because we are not the person involved.
53. Be respectful to your superiors, if you have any.
54. Classic- a book which people praise and don't read.
55. Noise proves nothing. Often a hen who has merely laid an egg cackles as
if she had laid an asteroid.
56. You can straighten a worm, but the crook is in him and only waiting.
57. All modern American literature comes from one book by Mark Twain called
- Ernest Hemingway
58. Concerning the difference between man and the jackass: some observers
hold that there isn't any. But this wrongs the jackass.
59. We all live in the protection of certain cowardices which we call our
60. I was gratified to be able to answer promptly, and I did. I said I
61. It all began with Adam. He was the first man to tell a joke- or a lie.
How lucky Adam was. He knew when he said a good thing, nobody had said it
before. Adam was not alone in the Garden of Eden, however, and does not
deserve all the credit; much is due to Eve, the first woman, and Satan, the
62. It's noble to be good. It's nobler to teach others to be good, and less
63. We can't reach old age by another man's road. My habits protect my life
but they would assassinate you.
64. It is very wearing to be good.
65. Most people are bothered by those passages of Scripture they do not
understand, but the passages that bother me are those I do understand.
66. No man is straitly honest to any but himself and God.
67. 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
68. The timid man yearns for full value and demands a tenth. The bold man
strikes for double value and compromises on par.
69. Between believing a thing and thinking you know is only a small step and
70. If I had been helping the Almighty when he created man, I would have had
him begin at the other end, and start human beings with old age. How much
better to start old and have all the bitterness and blindness of age in the
71. The blunting effects of slavery upon the slaveholder's moral perceptions
are known and conceded the world over; and a priveleged class, an
aristocracy, is but a band of slaveholders under another name.
72. We think boys are rude, unsensitive animals but it is not so in all
cases. Each boy has one or two sensitive spots, and if you can find out
where they are located you have only to touch them and you can scorch him as
73. To believe yourself brave is to be brave; it is the one only essential
74. Let your sympathies and your compassion be always with the under dog in
the fight- this is magnanimity; but bet on the other one- this is business.
75. The universal brotherhood of man is our most precious possession- what
there is of it.
76. Ignorant people think it's the noise which fighting cats make that is so
aggravating, but it ain't so; it's the sickening grammar they use.
77. Twain on Cain: ...it was his misfortune to live in a dark age that knew
not the beneficent Insanity Plea.
78. The best way to cheer yourself up is to try to cheer somebody else up.
79. Familiarity breeds contempt -- and children.
80. Chastity- you can carry it too far.
81. ...great books are weighed and measured by their style and matter and
not by the trimmings and shadings of their grammer.
82. There has been only one Christian. They caught him and crucified him -
83. Circumstance -- which moves by laws of its own, regardless of parties
and policies, and whose decrees are final and must be obeyed by all -- and
84. My idea of our civilization is that it is a shoddy, poor thing and full
of cruelties, vanities, arrogances, meannesses and hypocrisies.
85. My experience with Providence has not been of a nature to give me great
confidence in his judgment, and I consider that my wife crept in while his
attention was occupied elsewhere.
86. There are two times in a man's life when he should not speculate: when
he can't afford it, and when he can.
87. The church is always trying to get other people to reform; it might not
be a bad idea to reform itself a little, by way of example.
88. When one's character begins to fall under suspicion and disfavor, how
swift, then, is the work of disintegration and destruction.
89. It is your human environment that makes climate.
90. For years my pet aversion had been the cuckoo clock...Some sounds are
hatefuller than others, but no sound is quite so inane, and silly, and
aggravating as the "hoo'hoo" of a cuckoo clock, I think. I bought one, and
am carrying it home to a certain person; for I have always said that if the
opportunity ever happened, I would do that man an ill turn.
91. Modesty died when clothes were born.
92. Of the 417 commandments, only a single one of the 417 has found
ministerial obedience; multiply and replenish the earth. To it sinner &
saint, scholar & ignoramus, Christian & savage are alike loyal.
93. Communism is idiocy. They want to divide up the property. Suppose they
did it - it requires brains to keep money as well as make it. In a precious
little while the money would be back in the former owner's hands and the
communist would be poor again.
94. I have been complimented many times and they always embarrass me; I
always feel that they have not said enough.
95. There is nothing that saps one's confidence as the knowing how to do a
96. There comes a time in every rightly constructed boy's life when he has a
raging desire to go somewhere and dig for hidden treasure.
97. If Christ were here there is one thing he would not be- a Christian.
98. Children have but little charity for one another's defects.
99. Blasphemy? No, it is not blasphemy. If God is as vast as that, he is
above blasphemy; if He is as little as that, He is beneath it.
100. I am an old man and have known a great many troubles, but most of them
101. Of Teddy Roosevelt...He would go to Halifax for half a chance to show
off and he would go to hell for a whole one.
102. The primary rule of business success is loyalty to your employer.
That's all right-as a theory. What is the matter with loyalty to yourself?
103. The calamity that comes is never the one we had prepared ourselves for.
104. Change is the handmaiden Nature requires to do her miracles with.
105. Remember the poor-it costs nothing.
106. Satan (impatiently) to New Comer. The trouble with you Chicago people
is, that you think you are the best people down here; whereas you are merely
the most numerous.
107. One of the most striking differences between a cat and a lie is that a
cat has only nine lives.
108. Nothing agrees with me. If I drink coffee, it gives me dyspepsia; if I
drink wine, it gives me the gout; if I go to church, it gives me dysentery.
109. Citizenship is what makes a republic; monarchies can get along without
110. We are discreet sheep; we wait to see how the drove is going, and then
go with the drove.
111. Suppose you were an idiot. And suppose you were a member of Congress.
But I repeat myself.
112. Good friends, good books and a sleepy conscience: this is the ideal
113. An occasional compliment is necessary to keep up one's self-respect.
The plan of the newspaper is good and wise; when you can't get a compliment
any other way, pay yourself one.
114. In all the ages, three-fourths of the support of the great charities
has been conscience money.
115. A policeman in plain clothes is a man; in his uniform he is ten.
Clothes and title are the most potent thing, the most formidable influence,
in the earth. They move the human race to willing and spontaneous respect
for the judge, the general, the admiral, the bishop, the ambassador, the
frivolous earl, the idiot duke, the sultan, the king, the emperor. No great
title is efficient without clothes to support it.
116. 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.
117. Conscience, man's moral medicine chest.
118. Fleas can be taught nearly anything that a Congressman can.
119. Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to
reform (or pause and reflect).
120. A dozen direct censures are easier to bear than one morganatic
121. Every civilization carries the seeds of its own destruction, and the
same cycle shows in them all. The Republic is born, flourishes, decays into
plutocracy, and is captured by the shoemaker whom the mercenaries and
millionaires make into a king. The people invent their oppressors, and the
oppressors serve the function for which they are invented.
122. We are strange beings, we seem to go free, but we go in chains --
chains of training, custom, convention, association, environment -- in a
word, Circumstance -- and against these bonds the strongest of us struggle
123. Of all God's creatures there is only one that cannot be made the slave
of the last. That one is the cat. If man could be crossed with the cat it
would improve man, but it would deteriorate the cat.
124. The approach of Christmas brings harrassment and dread to many
excellent people. They have to buy a cart-load of presents, and they never
know what to buy to hit the various tastes; they put in three weeks of hard
and anxious work, and when Christmas morning comes they are so dissatisfied
with the result, and so disappointed that they want to sit down and cry.
Then they give thanks that Christmas comes but once a year.
125. ....every citizen of the republic ought to consider himself an
unofficial policeman, and keep unsalaried watch and ward over the laws and
126. The radical of one century is the conservative of the next. The radical
invents the views. When he has worn them out the conservative adopts them.
127. Was it my conspicuousness that distressed me? Not at all. It was merely
that I was not beautifully conspicuous but uglily conspicuous-it makes all
the difference in the world.
128. He had a good memory, and a tongue tied in the middle. This a
combination which gives immortality to conversation.
129. If you tell the truth you don't have to remember anything.
130. 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.
131. Do not offer a compliment and ask a favor at the same time. A
compliment that is charged for is not valuable.
132. There is a great difference between feeding parties to wild beasts and
stirring up their finer feelings in an inquisition. One is the system of
degraded barbarians, the other of enlightened civilized people.
133. Twain on the Civil War: In the South the war is what AD is elsewhere;
they date from it.
134. A man is accepted into a church for what he believes and he is turned
out for what he knows.
135. This is a Christian country. Why, so is hell. Inasmuch as "Strait is
the way and narrow is the gate, and few-few-are they that enter in thereat"
has had the natural effect of making hell the only really prominent
Christian community in any of the worlds; but we don't brag of this and
certainly it is not proper to brag and boast that America is a Christian
country when we all know that certainly five-sixths of our population could
not enter in at the narrow gate.
136. A healthy and wholeseome cheerfulness is not necessarily impossible to
137. A man's character may be learned from the adjectives which he
habitually uses in conversation.
138. We are chameleons, and our partialities and prejudices change places
with an easy and blessed facility, and we are soon wonted to the change and
happy in it. We do not regret our old, yellow fangs and tushes after we have
worn nice fresh uniform store teeth a while.
139.A cat is more intelligent than people believe, and can be taught any
140. Wrinkles should merely indicate where the smiles have been.
141. Experience is an author's most valuable asset; experience is the thing
that puts the muscle and the breath and the warm blood into the book he
142. ...armaments were not created chiefly for the protection of the nations
but for their enslavement
143. We do no benevolences whose first benefit is not for ourselves.
144. Bible: It is full of interest. It has noble poetry in it; and some
clever fables; and some blood-drenched history; and some good morals; and a
wealth of obscenity; and upwards of a thousand lies.
145. An author values a compliment even when it comes from a source of
146. What ought to be done to the man who invented the celebrating of
anniversaries? Mere killing would be too light. Anniversaries are very well
up to a certain point, while one's babies are in the process of growing up:
they are joy-flags that make gay the road and prove progress; and one looks
down the fluttering rank with pride. Then presently one notices that the
flagstaffs are in process of a mysterious change of some sort - change of
shape. Yes, they are turning into milestones. They are marking something
lost now, not gained. From that time on it were best to suppress taking
notice of anniversaries.
147. Man is the only animal that blushes. Or needs to.
148. Now and then we had a hope that if we lived and were good, God would
permit us to be pirates.
149. It is wiser to find out than to suppose
150. There are women who have an indefinable charm in their faces which
makes them beautiful to their intimates, but a cold stranger who tried to
reason the matter out and find this beauty would fail.
151. 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.
152. It is a wise child that knows its own father, and an unusual one that
unreservedly approves of him.
153. A successful book is not made of what is in it, but what is left out of
154. Life should begin with age and its privileges and accumulations, and
end with youth and its capacity to splendidly enjoy such advantages.
155. Prosperity is the best protector of principle.
156. We have an insanity plea that would have saved Cain.
157. I simply can't resist a cat, particularly a purring one. They are the
cleanest, cunningest, and most intelligent things I know, outside of the
girl you love, of course
158. One must keep one's character. Earn a character first if you can, and
if you can't, then assume one. From the code of moals I have been following
and revising and revising for 72 years I remember one detail. All my life I
have been honest- comparatively honest. I could never use money I had not
made honestly- I could only lend it.
159. The proverb says that Providence protects children and idiots. This is
really true. I know because I have tested it.
160. You can never find a Christian who has acquired this valuable
knowledge, this saving knowledge, by any process but the everlasting and
all-sufficient "people say". In all my seventy-two years and a half I have
never come across such another ass as this human race is.
161. Concentration of power in a political machine is bad; and an
Established Church is only a political machine; it was invented for that; it
is nursed, cradled, preserved for that; it is an enemy to human liberty, and
does no good which it could not better do in a split-up and scattered
162. There is no salvation for us but to adopt Civilization and lift
ourselves down to its level.
163. Comedy keeps the heart sweet...
164. It is a talent by itself to pay compliments gracefully and have them
ring true. It's an art by itself.
165. Conformity-the natural instinct to passively yield to that vague
something recognized as authority.
166. I learned long ago never to say the obvious thing, but leave the
obvious thing to commonplace and inexperienced people to say.
167. ...when a man is known to have no settled convictions of his own he
can't convict other people.
168. My kind of loyalty was loyalty to one's country, not to its
institutions or its officeholders. The country is the real thing, the
substantial thing, the eternal thing; it is the thing to watch over, and
care for, and be loyal to; institutions are extraneous, they are its mere
clothing, and clothing can wear out, become ragged, cease to be comfortable,
cease to protect the body from winter, disease, and death.
169. Courage is resistance to fear, mastery of fear - not absence of fear.
Except a creature be part coward, it is not a compliment to say he is brave;
it is merely a loose misapplication of the word.
170. A conspiracy is nothing but a secret agreement of a number of men for
the pursuance of policies which they dare not admit in public.
171. There are several good protections against temptation, but the surest
172. The public is the only critic whose opinion is worth anything at all.
173. There isn't anything you can't stand, if you are only born and bred to
174. Death is the starlit strip between the companionship of yesterday and
the reunion of tomorrow.
175. When a person cannot deceive himself the chances are against his being
able to deceive other people.
176. Delicacy - a sad, sad false delicacy - robs literature of the two best
things among its belongings: Family-circle narratives & obscene stories.
177. On [a long sea] voyage, with its eternal monotonies, people's
intellects deteriorate...The mind gradually becomes inert, dull, blunted; it
loses its accustomed interest in intellectual things; nothing but horse-play
can rouse it.
178. Man was made at the end of the week's work when God was tired.
179. There is no such thing as material covetousness. All covetousness is
spiritual. ...Any so-called material thing that you want is merely a symbol:
you want it not for itself, but because it will content your spirit for the
180. Now in Hannibal where I was brought up, we never talked about money.
There was not enough money in the first place to furnish a topic of
181. Courtship lifts a young fellow far and away above his common earthly
self and by an impulse natural to those lofty regions he puts on his halo
and his heavenly war paint and plays archangel as if he were born to it. He
is working a deception, but is not aware of it.
182. The human race is a race of cowards; and I am not only marching in that
procession but carrying a banner.
183. The critic's symbol should be the tumble-bug: he deposits his egg in
somebody else's dung, otherwise he could not hatch it.
184. Have a place for everything and keep the thing somewhere else; this is
not advice, it is merely custom.
185. No real estate is permanently valuable but the grave.
186. He had discovered a great law of human action, without knowing it-
namely, in order to make a man or a boy covet a thing, it is only necessary
to make the thing difficult to attain.
187. ...the principle of give and take- give one and take ten- the principle
188. If there wasn't anything to find out, it would be dull. Even trying to
find out and not finding out is just as interesting as trying to find out
and finding out; and I don't know but more so.
189. Human beings feel dishonor the most, sometimes, when they most deserve
190. Shut the door. Not that it lets in the cold but that it lets out the
191. Wine is a bad thing. It makes you quarrel with your neighbor, it makes
you shoot at your landlord, it makes you miss him.
192. ...a man's first duty is to his own conscience and honor; the party and
country come second to that, and never first.
193. ...when all is said and done, the one sole condition that makes
spiritual happiness and preserves it is the absence of doubt.
194. 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.
195. Man seems to be a rickety poor sort of a thing, any way you take him; a
kind of British Museum of infirmities and inferiorities. He is always
undergoing repairs. A machine that was as unreliable as he is would have no
196. Pity is for the living, envy is for the dead.
197. Custom is petrification; nothing but dynamite can dislodge it for a
198. ...one mustn't criticize other people on grounds where he can't stand
199. It is curious -- curious that physical courage should be so common in
the world, and moral courage so rare.
200. Let us not be too particular. It is better to have old, second hand
diamonds than none at all.
201. The difference between the right word and the almost right word is the
difference between lightning and the lightning bug.
202. I thoroughly disapprove of duels. I consider them unwise and I know
they are dangerous. Also, sinful. If a man should challenge me, I would take
him kindly and forgivingly by the hand and lead him to a quiet retired spot
and kill him.
203. You are a coward when you even seem to have backed down from a thing
you openly set out to do.
204. A man with a hump-backed uncle mustn't make fun of another man's
205. Diligence is a good thing, but taking things easy is much more-restful.
206. A human being has a natural desire to have more of a good thing than he
207. Death, the refuge, the solace, the best and kindliest and most prized
friend and benefactor of the erring, the forsaken, the old and weary and
broken of heart.
208.The dog is a gentleman; I hope to go to his heaven, not man's.
209. I have never let my schooling interfere with my education.
210. Consider well the proportion of things. It is better to be a young
June-bug than an old bird of paradise.
211. All war must be just the killing of strangers against whom you feel no
personal animosity; strangers whom, in other circumstances, you would help
if you found them in trouble, and who would help you if you needed it.
212. There are no grades of vanity, there are only grades of ability in
213. ...virtue has never been as respectable as money.
214. The Moral Sense teaches us what is right, and how to avoid it- when
215. A nation is only an individual multiplied.
216. And what can be more obscene than our own imaginations?
217. Both marriage and death ought to be welcome: the one promises
happiness, doubtless the other assures it.
218. The weakest of all weak things is a virtue that has not been tested in
219. A sin takes on a new and real terror when there seems a chance that it
is going to be found out.
220. ...our best built certainties are but sand-houses and subject to damage
from any wind of doubt that blows.
221. I asked Tom if countries always apologized when they had done wrong,
and he says - "Yes; the little ones does."
222. Twain on dictionaries: I have studied it often, but I never could
discover the plot.
223. Manifestly, dying is nothing to a really great and brave man.
224. Hannibal has had a hard time of it ever since I can recollect, and I
was "raised" there. First, it had me for a citizen, but I was too young then
to really hurt the place.
225. Everyone is a moon, and has a dark side which he never shows to
226. The heart is the real Fountain of Youth. While that remains young the
Waterbury of Time must stand still.
227. An inglorious peace is better than a dishonorable war.
228. In discarding the monkey and substituting man, our Father in Heaven did
the monkey an undeserved injustice.
229. I have a prodigious quantity of mind; it takes me as much as a week
sometimes to make it up.
230. It is the creator of wrong; wrong cannot exist until Moral Sense brings
it into being.
231. God's great cosmic joke on the human race was requiring that men and
women live together in marriage.
232. We do not deal much in facts when we are contemplating ourselves.
233. Everything has its limit-iron ore cannot be educated into gold.
234. One cannot have everything the way he would like it. A man has no
business to be depressed by a disappointment, anyway; he ought to make up
his mind to get even.
235. People are different. And it is the best way.
236. Never refuse to do a kindness unless the act would work great injury to
yourself, and never refuse to take a drink- under any circumstances.
237. Heaven goes by favor. If it went by merit, you would stay out and your
dog would go in.
238. Education consists mainly in what we have unlearned.
239. Zeal and sincerity can carry a new religion further than any other
missionary except fire and sword.
240. There are no people who are quite so vulgar as the over-refined.
241. There isn't time - so brief is life - for bickerings, apologies,
heartburnings, callings to account. there is only time for loving - & but an
instant, so to speak, for that.
242. Necessity knows no law.
243. The rain is famous for falling on the just and unjust alike, but if I
had the management of such affairs I would rain softly and sweetly on
thejust, but if I caught a sample of the unjust out doors I would drown him.
244. There is no unhappiness like the misery of sighting land (and work)
again after a cheerful, careless voyage.
245. A thing long expected takes the form of the unexpected when at last it
246. We've got so much taxation. I don't know of a single foreign product
that enters this country untaxed except the anser to prayer.
247. It takes me along time to lose my temper, but once lost I could not
find it with a dog.
248. If man had created man he would be ashamed of his performance.
249. It is easier to stay out than get out.
250.Terror is an efficiacious agent only when it doesn't last. In the long
run there is more terror in threats than in execution, for when you getused
to terror your emotions get dulled.
251. How empty is theory in the presence of fact.
252. Men think they think upon the great political questions, and they do;
but they think with their party,not independently; they read its literature,
but not that of the other side.
253. Titles- another artificiality- are a part of clothing. They and the
[clothes] conceal the wearer's inferiority and make him seem great and a
wonder, when at bottom there is nothing remarkable about him.
254. ...nothing so liberalizes a man and expands the kindly instincts that
nature put in him as travel and contact with many kind of people.
255. I have not professionally dealt in truth. Many when they come to die
have spent all the truth that was in them, and enter the next world as
paupers. I have saved up enough to make an astonishment there.
256. The burnt child shuns the fire. Until next day.
257. A man is never more truthful than when he acknowledges himself as a
258. The man who is a pessimist before 48 knows too much; if he is an
optimist after it, he knows too little.
259. Every man is in his own person the whole human race without a detail
lacking....I knew I should not find in any philosophy a single thought which
had not passed through my own head, nor a single thought which had not
passed through the heads of millions and millions of men before I was born.
260. A half-educated physician is not valuable. He thinks he can cure
261. I have no race prejudices, and I think I have no color prejudices or
caste prejudices nor creed prejudices. Indeed I know it. I can stand any
society. 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.
262. ...the world will not stop and think- it never does, it is not its way;
its way is to generalize from a single sample.
263. For the majority of us, the past is a regret, the future an experiment
264. There is more real pleasure to be gotten out of a malicious act, where
your heart is in it, than out of thirty acts of a nobler sort.
265. Only he who has seen better days and lives to see better days again
knows their full value.
267. 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.
268. ...when a teacher calls a boy by his entire name it means trouble.
269. All crimes should be punished with humiliations- public exposure in
ridiculous and grotesque situations- and never in any other way. Death makes
a hero of the villian, and he is envied by some spectators and imitators.
270. Human pride is not worthwhile; there is always something lying in wait
to take the wind out of it.
271. All good things arrive unto them that wait - and don't die in the
272. No real gentleman will tell the naked truth in the presence of ladies.
273. Travel has no longer any charm for me. I have seen all the foreign
countries I want to except heaven & hell & I have only a vague curiosity
about one of those.
274. Moralists and philosophers have adjudged those who throw temptation in
the way of the erring, equally guilty with those who are thereby led into
275. The system of refusing the mere act of drinking and leaving the desire
in full force, is unintelligent war tactics, it seems to me.
276. Nothing so needs reforming as other people's habits.
277. Perseverance is a principle that should be commendable in those who
have judgment to govern it.
278. Anybody can write the first line of a poem, but is a very difficult
task to make the second line rhyme with the first.
279. No matter how healthy a man's morals may be when he enters the White
House, he comes out again with a pot-marked soul.
280. If you beseech a blessing upon yourself, beware! lest without intent
you invoke a curse upon a neighbor at the same time.
281. "I was obliged to eat [apples], I was so hungry. It was against my
principles, but I find that principles have no real force except when one is
282. Nature knows no indecencies; man invents them.
283. Thousands of geniuses live and die undiscovered - either by themselves
or by others.
284. The gods offer no rewards for intellect. There was never one yet that
showed any interest in it...
285. Be good and you will be lonesome.
286. That's the difference between governments and individuals. Governments
don't care, individuals do.
287. He gossips habitually; he lacks the common wisdom to keep still that
deadly enemy of man, his own tongue.
288. God, so atrocious in the Old Testament, so attractive in the New- the
Jekyl and Hyde of sacred romance.
289. I have found out there ain't no surer way to find out whether you like
people or hate them than to travel with them.
290. A man's private thought can never be a lie; what he thinks, is to him
the truth, always.
291. The poetry is all in the anticipation, for there is none in reality.
292. The political and commercial morals of the United States are not merely
food for laughter, they are an entire banquet.
293. Whatever you say, say it with conviction.
294. ...to make a pledge of any kind is to declare war against nature; for a
pledge is a chain that is always clanking and reminding the wearer of it
that he is not a free man.
295. There is probably no pleasure equal to the pleasure of climbing a
dangerous Alp; but it is a pleasure which is confined strictly to people who
can find pleasure in it.
296. Troubles are only mental; it is the mind that manufactures them, and
the mind can gorge them, banish them, abolish them.
297. Distance lends enchantment to the view.
298. All of us contain Music & Truth, but most of us can't get it out.
299. I said there was but one solitary thing about the past worth
remembering and that was the fact that it is past- can't be restored.
300. ...there is a good side and a bad side to most people, and in
accordance with your own character and disposition you will bring out one of
them and the other will remain a sealed book to you.
301. Twain on Polygamy: No man can serve two masters.
302. The more things are forbidden, the more popular they become.
303. I can live for two months on a good compliment.
304. The average American girl possesses the valuable qualities of
naturalness, honesty, and inoffensive straightforwardness; she is nearly
barren of troublesome conventions and artificialities; consequently, her
presence and her ways are unembarrassing, and one is acquainted with her and
on the pleasantest terms with her before he knows how it came about.
305. If God is what people say there can be no one in the universe so
unhappy as He; for He sees unceasingly myriads of His creatures suffering
unspeakable miseries-- and besides this foresees how they are going to
suffer during the remainder of their lives. One might as well say, "As
unhappy as God."
306. Golf is a good walk spoiled.
307. Nothing that grieves us can be called little: by the eternal laws of
proportion a child's loss of a doll and a king's loss of a crown are events
of the same size.
308. For all the talk you hear about knowledge being such a wonderful thing,
instinct is worth forty of it for real unerringness.
309. It is at our mother's knee that we acquire our noblest and truest and
highest ideals, but there is seldom any money in them.
310. Don't part with your illusions. When they are gone you may still exist,
but you have ceased to live.
311. You can't depend on your judgement when your imagination is out of
312. Next to possessing genius one's self is the power of appreciating it in
313. How blind and unreasoning and arbitrary are some of the laws of nature-
most of them in fact!
314. A genuine expert can always foretell a thing that is 500 years away
easier than he can a thing that's only 500 seconds off.
315. I am quite sure now that often, very often, in matters concerning
religion and politics a man's reasoning powers are not above the monkey's.
316. Men's minds are too ready to excuse guilt in themselves.
317. I have never seen what to me seemed an atom of proof that there is a
future life. And yet -- I am inclined to expect one.
318. Every little (bit) counts. We are very glad to have it, thin as the
slice may be.
319.Let us consider that we are all partially insane. It will explain us to
each other; it will unriddle many riddles; it will make clear and simple
many things which are involved in haunting and harassing difficulties and
320. No man that has ever lived has done a thing to please God -- primarily.
It was done to please himself, then God next.
321. Independence .... is loyalty to one's best self and principles, and
this is often disloyalty to the general idols and fetishes.
322. Name the greatest of all inventors. Accidents
323. A great and priceless thing is a new interest! How it takes possession
of a man! how it clings to him, how it rides him!
324. A most moving and pulse-stirring honor-the heartfelt grope of the hand,
and the welcome that does not descend from the pale, gray matter of the
brain but rushes up with the red blood of the heart.
325. ...never run after your own hat- others will be delighted to do it. Why
spoil their fun?
326. What a man misses mostly in heaven is company.
327. The very ink with which all history is written is merely fluid
328. Be careful about reading health books. You may die of a misprint.
329. It is the will of God that we must have critics and missionaries and
congressmen and humorists, and we must bear the burden
330. Each man is afraid of his neighbor's disapproval - a thing which, to
the general run of the human race, is more dreaded than wolves and death.
331. Such is human-nature. The man who drinks beer at home always criticizes
the champagne, and finds fault with the Burgundy when he is invited out to
332. 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.
333. Frankness is a jewel; only the young can afford it.
334. ...a great soul, with a great purpose, can make a weak body strong and
keep it so.
335. It usually takes more than three weeks to prepare a good impromptu
336. If all men were rich, all men would be poor.
337. We are all inconsistent. We are offended and resent it when people do
not respect us; and yet in his private heart no man much respects himself.
338. I could have made a neat retort but didn't, for I was flurried and
didn't think of it till I was downstairs.
339. It is a blessed thing to have an imagination that can always make you
satisfied, no matter how you are fixed.
340. Fortune knocks at every man's door once in a life, but in a good many
cases the man is in a neighboring saloon and does not hear her.
341. Wrinkles should merely indicate where smiles have been.
342. Twain on statesmanship: Get the formalities right, never mind about the
343. I ran away twice; once at about 13, & once at 17. There is not much
satisfaction in it, even as a recollection. It was a couple of
disappointments, particularly the first one. The heroics squish out of such
things so promptly.
344. The altar cloth of one aeon is the doormat of the next.
345. Carlyle said "a lie cannot live". It shows that he did not know how to
346. When you fish for love, bait with your heart, not your brain.
347. I never did a thing in all my life, virtuous or otherwise that I didn't
repent of within twenty-four hours.
348. The offspring of riches: Pride, vanity, ostentation, arrogance,
349. No one is willing to acknowledge a fault in himself when a more
agreeable motive can be found for the estrangement of his acquaintenances.
350. On the whole, it is better to deserve honors and not have them than to
have them and not deserve them.
351. It is not worthwhile to try to keep history from repeating itself, for
man's character will always make the preventing of the repetitions
352. Marriage-yes, it is the supreme felicity of life. I concede it. And it
is also the supreme tragedy of life. The deeper the love the surer the
tragedy. And the more disconsolating when it comes.
353. Man's mind clumsily and tediously and laboriously patches little
trivialities together and gets a result -- such as it is.
354. We are all missionaries (propagandists of our views). Each of us
disapproves of the other missionaries.
355. When the human race has once acquired a supersitition nothing short of
death is ever likely to remove it.
356. Spirit...has fifty times the strength and staying-power of brawn and
357. Be careless in your dress if you must, but keep a tidy soul.
358.What do you call love, hate, charity, revenge, humanity, magnanimity,
forgiveness? Different results of the one master impulse: the necessity of
securing one's self-approval.
359. The proper office of a friend is to side with you when you are in the
wrong. Nearly anybody will side with you when you are in the right.
360. It is a free press...There are laws to protect the freedom of the
press's speech, but none that are worth anything to protect the people from
361. Human nature cannot be studied in cities except at a disadvantage-- a
village is the place. There you can know your man inside and out-- in a city
you but know his crust; and his crust is usually a lie.
362. Heaven for climate, hell for society.
363. Sanity and happiness are an impossible combination.
364. Of a much praised book by Henry James- once you put it down, you simply
can't pick it up.
365. No man has a wholly undiseased mind; in one way or another all men are
366. I am not an editor of a newspaper and shall always try to do right and be
good so that God will not make me one.