American Writer, Humorist
Mark Twain, pen name of Samuel Langhorne Clemens
American Writer, Humorist
I never could tell a lie that anybody would doubt, nor a truth that anybody would believe.
I said there was nothing so convincing to an Indian as a general massacre. If he could not approve of the massacre, I said the next surest thing for an Indian was soap and education. Soap and education are not as sudden as a massacre, but they are more deadly in the long run; because a half-massacred Indian may recover, but if you educate him and wash him, it is bound to finish him some time or other.
I was a-trembling, because I'd got to decide, forever, betwixt two things, and I knowed it. I studied a minute, sort of holding my breath, and then says to myself, All right, then, I'll GO to hell.
I wish to come down eighteen hundred years later and refer to a remark made by one of the Latin historians. Some Christians were persecuted in Rome through error, they being 'mistaken for Jews.' The meaning seems plain. These pagans had nothing against Christians, but they were quite ready to persecute Jews. For some reason or other they hated a Jew before they even knew what a Christian was. May I not assume, then, that the persecution of Jews is a thing which antedates Christianity and was not born of Christianity?
I have stopped smoking now and then, for a few months at a time, but it was not on principle, it was only to show off; it was to pulverize those critics who said I was a slave to my habits and couldn''t break my bonds
I never felt so fervently thankful, so soothed, so tranquil, so filled with a blessed peace, as I did yesterday when I learned that Michael Angelo was dead.
I saw a startling sight today, a politician with his hands in his own pockets.
I was born intelligent, education ruined me.
I wonder how much it would take to buy a soap bubble, if there were only one in the world.
I have too much respect for the truth to drag it out on every trifling occasion.
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.