American Writer, Humorist
Mark Twain, pen name of Samuel Langhorne Clemens
American Writer, Humorist
He was a solemn, unsmiling, sanctimonious old iceberg who looked like he was waiting for a vacancy in the Trinity.
His grammar is foolishly correct, offensively precise. It flaunts itself in the reader's face all along, and struts and smirks and shows off, and is in a dozen ways irritating and disagreeable. To be serious, I write good grammar myself, but not in that spirit, I am thankful to say. That is to say, my grammar is of a high order, though not at the top. Nobody's is. Perfect grammar?persistent, continuous, sustained?is the fourth dimension, so to speak: many have sought it, but none has found it.
Hotels are the only proper places for lecturers; when I am ill-natured I so enjoy the freedom of a hotel where I can ring up a domestic and give him a quarter and then break furniture over him
Humor must not professedly teach, and it must not professedly preach, but it must do both if it would live forever. By forever, I mean thirty years.
I am not interested to know whether vivisection produces results that are profitable to the human race or doesn't...The pain which it inflicts upon un-consenting animals is the basis of my enmity toward it, and it is to me sufficient justification of the enmity without looking further.
He was a very inferior farmer when he first begun . . . and he is now fast rising from affluence to poverty.
His hair was short and parted accurately in the middle, and he had all the look of an American person who would be likely to begin his signature with an initial, and spell his middle name out.
How blind and unreasoning and arbitrary are some of the laws of nature - the most of them, in fact!
I admire the serene assurance of those who have religious faith. It is wonderful to observe the calm confidence of a Christian with four aces.
I am not one of those who in expressing opinions confine themselves to facts.
He was endowed with a stupidity which by the least little stretch would go around the globe four times and tie.
His head was an hour-glass; it could stow an idea, but it had to do it a grain at a time, not the whole idea at once.
How can we expect another to keep our secret if we have been unable to keep it ourselves?
I admit that I treed a rheumatic grandfather of mine in the winter of 1850. He was old and inexpert in climbing trees, but with the heartless brutality that is characteristic of me I ran him out of the front door in his night-shirt at the point of a shotgun, and caused him to bowl up a maple tree, where he remained all night, while I emptied shot into his legs. I did this because he snored. I will do it again if I ever have another grandfather.
I am only human, although I regret it.
He was ignorant of the commonest accomplishments of youth. He could not even lie.
His heaven is like himself: strange, interesting, astonishing, grotesque. I give you my word, it has not a single feature in it that he actually values. It consists ? utterly and entirely ? of diversions which he cares next to nothing about, here in the earth, yet is quite sure he will like them in heaven. Isn?t it curious?
How empty is theory in the presence of fact.
I always did hate for anyone to know what my plans or hopes or prospects were?for, if I kept people in ignorance in these matters, no one could be disappointed but myself, if they were not realized.
I am opposed to millionaires, but it would be dangerous to offer me the position.
He was such a good man that people hated to see him coming.
His ignorance covered the whole earth like a blanket, and there was hardly a hole in it anywhere.
How little a thing can make us happy when we feel that we have earned it.
I always take Scotch whiskey at night as a preventive of toothache. I have never had the toothache; and what is more, I never intend to have it.
I am persuaded that in Russia, Austria, and Germany nine-tenths of the hostility to the Jew comes from the average Christian's inability to compete successfully with the average Jew in business--in either straight business or the questionable sort.