Mark Twain quotes from A to Z

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  • A lie can travel half way around the world while the truth is putting on its shoes.
  • Against the assault of laughter nothing can stand.
  • Always do right. This will gratify some people and astonish the rest.
  • Be careful in your dress if you will, but keep a tidy soul.
  • Better a broken promise than none at all.
  • By trying we can easily endure adversity. Another man’s, I mean.
  • Clothes make the man. Naked people have little or no influence on society.
  • Courage is resistance to fear, mastery of fear, not absence of fear.
  • Education consists mainly of what we have unlearned.
  • Everything has its limit – iron ore cannot be educated into gold.
  • Familiarity breeds contempt – and children.
  • Few things are harder to put up with than the annoyance of a good example.
  • He is now rising from affluence to poverty. He is useless on top of the ground; he ought to be under it, inspiring the cabbages.
  • Honesty is the best policy – when there is money in it.
  • I have made a rule never to smoke more than one cigar at a time.
  • In the first place, God made idiots. That was for practice. Then he made school boards.
  • It is better to deserve honors and not have them than to have them and not deserve them.
  • Loyalty to petrified opinion never yet broke a chain or freed a human soul. Man – a creature made at the end of the week’s work when God was tired.
  • Man is the only creature that blushes – or needs to.
  • Man was made at the end of the week’s work when God was tired.
  • Man will do many things to get himself loved, he will do all things to get himself envied.
  • Many a small thing has been made large by the right kind of advertising.
  • Martyrdom covers a multitude of sins.
  • Necessity is the mother of taking chances.
  • Nothing so needs reforming as other people’s habits.
  • One of the most striking differences between a cat and a lie is that a cat has only nine lives.
  • Principles have no real force except when one is well-fed.
  • Prosperity is the best protector of principle.
  • Such is the human race, often it seems a pity that Noah…didn’t miss the boat.
  • Suppose you were an idiot, and suppose you were a member of Congress; but I repeat myself.
  • The more things are forbidden, the more popular they become.
  • The reports of my death have been greatly exaggerated.
  • The secret source of humor is not joy but sorrow; there is no humor in Heaven.
  • The very ink with which all history is written is merely fluid prejudice.
  • There are several good protections against temptation, but the surest is cowardice.
  • There is no sadder sight than a young pessimist.
  • Thunder is good, thunder is impressive; but it is lightning that does all the work.
  • To be good is noble; but to show others how to be good is nobler and no trouble.
  • Truth is the most valuable thing we have. Let us economize it.
  • When angry, count to four; when very angry, swear.
  • When in doubt, tell the truth.
  • When red-haired people are above a certain social grade, their hair is auburn.
  • When we remember we are all mad, the mysteries disappear and life stands explained.
  • When you fish for love, bait with your heart, not your brain.
  • Wrinkles should merely indicate where smiles have been.