Aphorisms Galore!

Mark Twain

real name Samuel L. Clemens; American author; b. 1835; d. 1910

Aphorisms Attributed to This Aphorist

tiny.ag/yh5kxuzq  ·   Fair (158 ratings)  ·  submitted 1997

Loyalty to petrified opinion never yet broke a chain or freed a human soul.

Mark Twain, (inscription beneath his bust in the Hall of Fame), in Law and Politics

tiny.ag/qnvx9otp  ·   Fair (205 ratings)  ·  submitted 1997

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.

Mark Twain, in Vice and Virtue

tiny.ag/mbwozhf6  ·   Fair (191 ratings)  ·  submitted 1997

If you tell the truth you don't have to remember anything.

Mark Twain, in Vice and Virtue

tiny.ag/r0a9zwmr  ·   Fair (121 ratings)  ·  submitted 1997

In Paris they simply stared when I spoke to them in French; I never did succeed in making those idiots understand their language.

Mark Twain, in Wisdom and Ignorance

tiny.ag/zzcxms0q  ·   Fair (166 ratings)  ·  submitted 1997

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.

Mark Twain, in Law and Politics

tiny.ag/2guiksyw  ·   Fair (136 ratings)  ·  submitted 1997

It usually takes more than three weeks to prepare a good impromptu speech.

Mark Twain, in Work and Recreation

tiny.ag/okkjfcye  ·   Fair (342 ratings)  ·  submitted 1997

Just the omission of Jane Austen's books alone would make a fairly good library out of a library that hadn't a book in it.

Mark Twain, in Art and Literature

tiny.ag/q2py4esl  ·   Fair (158 ratings)  ·  submitted 1997

Let us so live that when we come to die, even the undertaker will be sorry.

Mark Twain, in Life and Death and Vice and Virtue

tiny.ag/maz6ijau  ·   Fair (731 ratings)  ·  submitted 1997

The Mysterious Stranger (paperback)

Life is but a dream, a grotesque and foolish dream.

Mark Twain, The Mysterious Stranger, in Life and Death

tiny.ag/fvxbdltz  ·   Fair (439 ratings)  ·  submitted 1997

I'm opposed to millionaires, but it would be dangerous to offer me the position.

Mark Twain, in Wealth and Poverty

tiny.ag/gymh6otw  ·   Fair (146 ratings)  ·  submitted 1997

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

Mark Twain, in Altruism and Cynicism

tiny.ag/ne1vhxlr  ·   Fair (119 ratings)  ·  submitted 1997

Never tell the truth to those unworthy of it.

Mark Twain, in Altruism and Cynicism

tiny.ag/mwkuerjp  ·   Fair (340 ratings)  ·  submitted 1997

Noise proves nothing. Often a hen who has merely laid an egg cackles as if she had laid an asteroid.

Mark Twain, in Work and Recreation

tiny.ag/mwoxawkr  ·   Fair (138 ratings)  ·  submitted 1997

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

Mark Twain, in Law and Politics

tiny.ag/7do2rifh  ·   Fair (140 ratings)  ·  submitted 1997

The fact that man knows right from wrong proves his intellectual superiority to other creatures; but the fact that he can do wrong proves his moral inferiority to any creature that cannot.

Mark Twain, What is Man?, 1906, in Altruism and Cynicism

tiny.ag/edsop9bf  ·   Fair (282 ratings)  ·  submitted 1997

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

Mark Twain, in Happiness and Misery

tiny.ag/byjgwlzg  ·   Fair (142 ratings)  ·  submitted 1997

The man who does not read good books has no advantage over the man who cannot read them.

Mark Twain, in Wisdom and Ignorance

tiny.ag/h5blv72l  ·   Fair (133 ratings)  ·  submitted 1997

Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.

Mark Twain, in Success and Failure

tiny.ag/bucadpxy  ·   Fair (340 ratings)  ·  submitted 1997

I was gratified to be able to answer promptly. I said, "I don't know."

Mark Twain, in Wisdom and Ignorance

tiny.ag/ftbq0ees  ·   Fair (412 ratings)  ·  submitted 1997

Everything human is pathetic. The secret source of humor itself is not joy but sorrow.

Mark Twain, in Happiness and Misery