Mark Twain Quotes About Life

Mark Twain (November 30, 1835 - April 21 1910) was called the father of American literature by William Faulkner. Raised in Missouri, he was a river boat pilot before heading west to take part in mining. He did not find success in mining, but rather by writing and public-speaking. His wit, humor, and story-telling made him an international celebrity.

Famous books by Mark Twain

  • The Adventures of Tom Sawyer (1876)
  • Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (1884)

Quotes by Mark Twain

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

Never put off till tomorrow what may be done day after tomorrow just as well.

′Classic′ - a book which people praise and don't read.

I have never let my schooling interfere with my education.

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.

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.

Reader, suppose you were an idiot. And suppose you were a member of Congress. But I repeat myself -- Mark Twain

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

Never argue with a fool, onlookers may not be able to tell the difference.

Never allow someone to be your priority while allowing yourself to be their option.

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

Truth is stranger than fiction, but it is because Fiction is obliged to stick to possibilities; Truth isn't.

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

Sanity and happiness are an impossible combination.

What would men be without women? Scarce, sir...mighty scarce.

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.

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

-- Mark Twain

You can't depend on your eyes when your imagination is out of focus.

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 man.

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

Always do what is right. It will gratify half of mankind and astound the other.

Courage is resistance to fear, mastery of fear - not absence of fear.

Kindness is a language which the deaf can hear and the blind can see.

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

Education: the path from cocky ignorance to miserable uncertainty. -- Mark Twain

The best way to cheer yourself is to try to cheer someone else up.

Name the greatest of all inventors. Accident.

The worst loneliness is to not be comfortable with yourself.

All you need in this life is ignorance and confidence; then success is sure.

A clear conscience is the sure sign of a bad memory.

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.

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.

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.

I didn't have time to write a short letter, so I wrote a long one instead.

Out of all the things I have lost, I miss my mind the most.

Never argue with stupid people, they will drag you down to their level and then beat you with experience.

To get the full value of joy you must have someone to divide it with.

Any emotion, if it is sincere, is involuntary.

It is curious that physical courage should be so common in the world and moral courage so rare.

The most interesting information come from children, for they tell all they know and then stop.

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

The human race has only one really effective weapon and that is laughter.

The dog is a gentleman; I hope to go to his heaven not man's.

If voting made any difference they wouldn't let us do it.

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

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

Reality can be beaten with enough imagination.

Education consists mainly of what we have unlearned.

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

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

Action speaks louder than words but not nearly as often.

My books are water; those of the great geniuses is wine. Everybody drinks water.

It's better to keep your mouth shut and appear stupid than open it and remove all doubt.

It's easier to fool people than to convince them that they have been fooled.

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

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

The more I learn about people, the more I like my dog.

Man is the only animal that blushes. Or needs to.

Worrying is like paying a debt you don't owe.

A half-truth is the most cowardly of lies.

There's one way to find out if a man is honest: ask him; if he says yes, you know he's crooked.

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

A successful book is not made of what is in it, but what is left out of it.

-- Mark Twain

Writing is easy. All you have to do is cross out the wrong words.

He who asks is a fool for five minutes, but he who does not ask remains a fool forever.

Write without pay until somebody offers to pay.

A man cannot be comfortable without his own approval.

Good judgement is the result of experience and experience the result of bad judgement.

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

Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness.

Write what you know.

The lack of money is the root of all evil.

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.

A gentleman is someone who knows how to play the banjo and doesn't. -- Mark Twain

Familiarity breeds contempt and children.

It's easy to make friends, but hard to get rid of them.

It usually takes me two or three days to prepare an impromptu speech.

It is easier to stay out than to get out.

If you tell the truth you do not need a good memory! -- Mark Twain

Explaining humor is a lot like dissecting a frog, you learn a lot in the process, but in the end you kill it.

The only difference between a tax man and a taxidermist is that the taxidermist leaves the skin.

Habit is habit, and not to be flung out of the window by any man, but coaxed down-stairs one step at a time.

Most writers regard the truth as their most valuable possession, and therefore are economical in its use.

Every person is a book, each year a chapter.

Anyone who can only think of one way to spell a word obviously lacks imagination.

Many public-school children seem to know only two dates—1492 and 4th of July; and as a rule they don't know what happened on either occasion.

Work like you don't need the money. Dance like no one is watching. And love like you've never been hurt.

Give every day the chance to become the most beautiful day of your life.