70 Thought-Provoking Mark Twain Quotes

Chances are, you already have a book that is full of Mark Twain quotes that reminds you of the simpler times. These stories, that are only a sentence long, are full of nostalgia, arduous lessons for life, or sometimes just plain ole’ humor.

Twain was known for wisdom and quick wit, and that’s exactly what we’ve tried to portray in this article. Read on as we take you through some of his most influential quotes. May his words encourage you to reach for the skies.

Insightful Mark Twain Quotes

1.”If you tell the truth, you don’t have to remember anything.”
2.”Good friends, good books, and a sleepy conscience: this is the ideal life.”
3.”Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to reform (or pause and reflect).”
4.”The man who does not read has no advantage over the man who cannot read.”
5.”Never put off till tomorrow what may be done the day after tomorrow just as well.”
6.”Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts. Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one’s lifetime.”
7.”′Classic′ – a book which people praise and don’t read.”
8.”I have never let my schooling interfere with my education.”
9.”Always do what is right. It will gratify half of mankind and astound the other.”
10.”The fear of death follows from the fear of life. A man who lives fully is prepared to die at any time.”

Mark Twain
11.”A lie can travel halfway around the world while the truth is putting on its shoes.”
12.”Never tell the truth to people who are not worthy of it.”
13.”Keep away from people who try to belittle your ambitions. Small people always do that, but the really great ones make you feel that you, too, can become great.”
14.”You believe in a book that has talking animals, wizards, witches, demons, sticks turning into snakes, burning bushes, food falling from the sky, people walking on water, and all sorts of magical, absurd and primitive stories, and you say that we are the ones that need help?”
15.”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.”
16.”Substitute ‘damn’ every time you’re inclined to write ‘very;’ your editor will delete it, and the writing will be just as it should be.”
17.”I haven’t any right to criticize books, and I don’t do it except when I hate them. I often want to criticize Jane Austen, but her books madden me so that I can’t conceal my frenzy from the reader, and therefore I have to stop every time I begin. Every time I read Pride and Prejudice I want to dig her up and beat her over the skull with her own shin-bone.”
18.”Reader, suppose you were an idiot. And suppose you were a member of Congress. But I repeat myself.”
19.”Don’t go around saying the world owes you a living. The world owes you nothing. It was here first.”
20.”After all these years, I see that I was mistaken about Eve in the beginning; it is better to live outside the Garden with her than inside it without her.”
21.”Adam was but human—this explains it all. He did not want the apple for the apple’s sake; he wanted it only because it was forbidden. The mistake was in not forbidding the serpent; then he would have eaten the serpent.”
22.”I did not attend his funeral, but I sent a nice letter saying I approved of it.”
23.”God created war so that Americans would learn geography.”
24.”I was gratified to be able to answer promptly, and I did. I said I didn’t know.”
25.”Never allow someone to be your priority while allowing yourself to be their option.”
26.”But who prays for Satan? Who, in eighteen centuries, has had the common humanity to pray for the one sinner that needed it most?”

Read ->  The 130 Best Quotes about Letting Go And Moving On

A Portrait of Mark

27.”Of all God’s creatures, there is only one that cannot be made slave of the leash. That one is the cat. If man could be crossed with the cat, it would improve the man, but it would deteriorate the cat.”
28.”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.”
29.”Loyalty to country ALWAYS. Loyalty to the government, when it deserves it.”
30.”Truth is stranger than fiction, but it is because Fiction is obliged to stick to possibilities; Truth isn’t.”
31.”I do not fear death. I had been dead for billions and billions of years before I was born and had not suffered the slightest inconvenience from it.”
32.”Wrinkles should merely indicate where the smiles have been.”
33.”Books are for people who wish they were somewhere else.”
34.”What would men be without women? Scarce, sir…mighty scarce.”
35.”Sanity and happiness are an impossible combination.”
36.”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.”
37.”Don’t part with your illusions. When they are gone, you may still exist, but you have ceased to live.”
38.Part of the secret of success in life is to eat what you like and let the food fight it out inside.”
39.”It is better to deserve honors and not have them than to have them and not deserve them.”
40.”Action speaks louder than words but not nearly as often.”
41.”My books are water; those of the great geniuses is wine. Everybody drinks water.”
42.”It’s better to keep your mouth shut and appear stupid than open it and remove all doubt.”
43.”Never argue with an idiot. They will only bring you down to their level and beat you with experience.”
44.”It’s easier to fool people than to convince them that they have been fooled.”
45.”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.”
46.”It takes your enemy and your friend, working together, to hurt you to the heart: the one to slander you and the other to get the news to you.”
47.”In the beginning of a change, the patriot is a scarce man, and brave, and hated and scorned. When his cause succeeds, the timid join him, for then it costs nothing to be a patriot.”
48.”The right word may be effective, but no word was ever as effective as a rightly timed pause.”
49.”If Christ were here, there is one thing he would not be—a Christian.”
50.”The more I learn about people, the more I like my dog.”
51.”Man is the only animal that blushes. Or needs to.”
52.”Obscurity and competence—that is the life that is best worth living.”
53.”Worrying is like paying a debt you don’t owe.”
54.”A half-truth is the most cowardly of lies.”
55.”Thunder is good, thunder is impressive, but it is lightning that does the work.”
56.”There’s one way to find out if a man is honest: ask him; if he says yes, you know he’s crooked.”
57.”In the first place, God made idiots. This was for practice. Then he made school boards.”
58.”Politicians and diapers must be changed often, and for the same reason.”
59.”Why do you sit there looking like an envelope without any address on it?”
60.”A person that started in to carry a cat home by the tail was getting knowledge that was always going to be useful to him, and wasn’t ever going to grow dim or doubtful.”
61.”Be good and you will be lonesome.”
62.”Never argue with a fool, onlookers may not be able to tell the difference.”
63.”There isn’t time, so brief is life, for bickerings, apologies, heartburnings, callings to account. There is only time for loving, and but an instant, so to speak, for that.”
64.”When you fish for love, bait with your heart, not your brain.”

Read ->  50 Greatest Quotes on Pursuing Your Dreams and Being a Visionary

Mark Twain with a Friend
65.”Few things are harder to put up with than the annoyance of a good example.”
66.”Let us live so that when we come to die, even the undertaker will be sorry.”
67.”It is by the goodness of God that in our country we have those 3 unspeakably precious things: freedom of speech, freedom of conscience, and the prudence never to practice either of them.”
68.”The secret of getting ahead is getting started. The secret of getting started is breaking your complex overwhelming tasks into small manageable tasks and starting on the first one.”
69.”What is joy without sorrow? What is success without failure? What is a win without a loss? What is health without illness? You have to experience each if you are to appreciate the other. There is always going to be suffering. it’s how you look at your suffering, how you deal with it, that will define you.”
70.”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 obscurities now.”

36 Quotes from MARK TWAIN that are Worth Listening To! | Life-Changing Quotes

Mark Twain was an American writer, humorist, entrepreneur, publisher, and lecturer. He  was lauded as the “greatest humorist the United States has produced,” with William Faulkner calling him “the father of American literature.”

Mark Twain’s novels include The Adventures of Tom Sawyer and its sequel, the Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. These are vivid sayings and quotes from Mark Twain. The best quotes and aphorisms of Mark will make you think about many things in life. Life quotes from Mark Twain are definitely worth your time.

Read ->  75 Meaningful Attitude Quotes That Will Improve Your Mindset


So there you have it! Inspiration in its finest form, a literary legend trying to persuade you to chase your wildest dreams. Hopefully, these quotes have ignited a spark within you, motivating you to pursue your true potential. If it hasn’t, watch this space, we have many more motivational articles coming out soon!

Related Articles

75 Insightful Destiny Quotes That Can Change Your Future

The Best Quotes about Knowledge

75 Quotes about Choice To Make Better Decisions

Leave a Comment