American Writer, Humorist
Mark Twain, pen name of Samuel Langhorne Clemens
American Writer, Humorist
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.
I once sent a dozen of my friends a telegram saying 'flee at once - all is discovered.' They all left town immediately.
I think a compliment ought to always precede a complaint, where one is possible, because it softens resentment and insures for the complaint a courteous and gentle reception.
I was gratified to be able to answer promptly, and I did. I said I didn?t know.
I?m opposed to millionaires, but it would be dangerous to offer me the position.
I know the look of an apple that is roasting and sizzling on the hearth on a winter's evening, and I know the comfort that comes of eating it hot, along with some sugar and a drench of cream... I know how the nuts taken in conjunction with winter apples, cider, and doughnuts, make old people's tales and old jokes sound fresh and crisp and enchanting.
I persuaded him to throw the dirk away; and it was as easy as persuading a child to give up some bright fresh new way of killing itself.
I think the Cincinnati Enquirer must be edited by children.
I was seldom able to see an opportunity until it had ceased to be one.
I?m so happy I could scalp somebody. (Said after he got married)