American Writer, Humorist
Mark Twain, pen name of Samuel Langhorne Clemens
American Writer, Humorist
I never made a success of a lecture delivered in a church yet. People are afraid to laugh in a church. They can't be made to do it in any possible way.
I shall never use profanity except in discussing house rent and taxes.
I was born lazy. I am no lazier now than I was forty years ago, but that is because I reached the limit forty years ago. You can't go beyond possibility.
I wonder if God created man because He was disappointed with the monkey.
I have witnessed and greatly enjoyed the first act of everything which Wagner created, but the effect on me has always been so powerful that one act was quite sufficient; whenever I have witnessed two acts I have gone away physically exhausted; and whenever I have ventured an entire opera the result has been the next thing to suicide.
I never write metropolis for seven cents because I can get the same price for city. I never write policeman because I can get the same money for cop.?
I should not be able to make any one understand how exciting it all was. You know that kind of quiver that trembles around through you when you are seeing something so strange and enchanting and wonderful that it is just a fearful joy to be alive and look at it; and you know how you gaze, and your lips turn dry and your breath comes short, but you wouldn't be anywhere but there, not for the world.
I was born modest; not all over, but in spots.
I would do it myself, but my intelligence is out of repair.
I haven't a particle of confidence in a man who has no redeeming petty vices whatsoever.
I no see not that that frog has nothing of better than another.
I started out alone to seek adventures. You don't really have to seek them?that is nothing but a phrase?they come to you.
I was born modest? but it didn?t last.
I would like to live in Manchester, England. The transition between Manchester and death would be unnoticeable.
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.
I notice that you use plain, simple language, short words and brief sentences. That is the way to write English - it is the modern way and the best way. Stick to it; don't let fluff and flowers and verbosity creep in. When you catch an adjective, kill it. No, I don't mean utterly, but kill most of them - then the rest will be valuable. They weaken when they are close together. They give strength when they are wide apart. An adjective habit, or a wordy, diffuse, flowery habit, once fastened upon a person, is as hard to get rid of as any other vice.
I still believe, in spite of everything, that people are truly good at heart.
I was dead for millions of years before I was born and it never inconvenienced me a bit.
I would rather have my ignorance than another man's knowledge, because I have so much more of it.
I know all those people. I have friendly, social, and criminal relations with the whole lot of them.
I once heard a grouty northern invalid say that a coconut tree might be poetical, possibly it was; but it looked like a feather-duster struck by lightning.
I take my only exercise acting as a pallbearer at the funerals of my friends who exercise regularly.
I was gradually coming to have a mysterious and shuddery reverence for this girl; nowadays whenever she pulled out from the station and got her train fairly started on one of those horizonless transcontinental sentences of hers, it was borne in upon me that I was standing in the awful presence of the Mother of the German Language. I was so impressed with this, that sometimes when she began to empty one of these sentences on me I unconsciously took the very attitude of reverence, and stood uncovered; and if words had been water, I had been drowned, sure. She had exactly the German way; whatever was in her mind to be delivered, whether a mere remark, or a sermon, or a cyclopedia, or the history of a war, she would get it into a single sentence or die. Whenever the literary German dives into a sentence, that is the last you are going to see of him till he emerges on the other side of his Atlantic with his verb in his mouth.
I`ve had a very difficult life. Fortunately, most of it didn`t happen.
I know now that all that glitters is not gold... However, I still go underrating men of gold, and glorifying men of mica. Commonplace human nature cannot rise above that.