Best Quotes of Mark Twain

TWAIN’S LETTERS V1 1835-1866 by A. B. Paine[MT#54][mt1lt10.txt]3193

A mighty national menace to sham
All talk and no cider
Condition my room is always in when you are not around
Deprived of the soothing consolation of swearing
Frankness is a jewel; only the young can afford it
Genius defies the laws of perspective
Hope deferred maketh the heart sick
I never greatly envied anybody but the dead
In the long analysis of the ages it is the truth that counts
Just about enough cats to go round
Moral bulwark reared against hypocrisy and superstition
The coveted estate of silence, time’s only absolute gift
We went outside to keep from getting wet
What a pleasure there is in revenge!
When in doubt, tell the truth
When it is my turn, I don’t

TWAIN’S LETTERS V2 1867-1875 by A. B. Paine[MT#55][mt2lt10.txt]3194

DEAR REDPATH,–I wish you would get me released from the lecture at
Buffalo. I mortally hate that society there, and I don’t doubt they
hired me. I once gave them a packed house free of charge, and they never
even had the common politeness to thank me. They left me to shift for
myself, too, a la Bret Harte at Harvard. Get me rid of Buffalo!
Otherwise I’ll have no recourse left but to get sick the day I lecture
there. I can get sick easy enough.

I send you No. 5 today. I have written and re-written the first half of
it three different times, yesterday and today, and at last Mrs. Clemens
says it will do. I never saw a woman so hard to please about things she
doesn’t know anything about. Yours ever, MARK.

This is the place to get a poor opinion of everybody in. There isn’t one
man in Washington, in civil office, who has the brains of Anson
Burlingame–and I suppose if China had not seized and saved his great
talents to the world, this government would have discarded him when his
time was up. There are more pitiful intellects in this Congress! Oh,
geeminy! There are few of them that I find pleasant enough company to
visit. I am most infernally tired of Wash. and its “attractions.” To
be busy is a man’s only happiness–and I am–otherwise I should die
Yrs. aff. SAM.

TWAIN’S LETTERS V3 1876-1885 by A. B. Paine[MT#56][mt3lt10.txt]3195

It is interesting to note that in thanking Clemens for his compliment
Howells wrote: “What people cannot see is that I analyze as little as
possible; they go on talking about the analytical school, which I am
supposed to belong to, and I want to thank you for using your eyes…..
Did you ever read De Foe’s ‘Roxana’? If not, then read it, not merely
for some of the deepest insights into the lying, suffering, sinning,
well-meaning human soul, but for the best and most natural English that a
book was ever written in.”

Pray offer my most sincere and respectful approval to the President–is
approval the proper word? I find it is the one I most value here in the
household and seldomest get.

In the same letter he suggests to his brother that he undertake an
absolutely truthful autobiography, a confession in which nothing is to be
withheld. He cites the value of Casanova’s memories, and the confessions
of Rousseau.

And I say this also: He that waiteth for all men to be satisfied with his
plan, let him seek eternal life, for he shall need it.

Well-good-bye, and a short life and a merry one be yours. Poor old
Methusaleh, how did he manage to stand it so long?

You are assisted in your damaging work by the tyrannous ways of a
village– villagers watch each other and so make cowards of each other.

TWAIN’S LETTERS V4 1886-1900 by A. B. Paine[MT#57][mt4lt10.txt]3196

And I have been an author for 20 years and an ass for 55
Argument against suicide
Conversationally being yelled at
Dead people who go through the motions of life
Die in the promptest kind of a way and no fooling around
Heroic endurance that resembles contentment
Honest men must be pretty scarce
I wonder how they can lie so. It comes of practice, no doubt
If this is going to be too much trouble to you
One should be gentle with the ignorant
Sunday is the only day that brings unbearable leisure
Symbol of the human race ought to be an ax
What a pity it is that one’s adventures never happen!

TWAIN’S LETTERS V5 1901-1906 by A. B. Paine[MT#58][mt5lt10.txt]3197

I have seen that iceberg thirty-four times in thirty-seven voyages; it is
always the same shape, it is always the same size, it always throws up
the same old flash when the sun strikes it; you may set it on any New
York door-step of a June morning and light it up with a mirror-flash; and
I will engage to recognize it. It is artificial, and it is provided and
anchored out by the steamer companies. I used to like the sea, but I was
young then, and could easily get excited over any kind of monotony, and
keep it up till the monotonies ran out, if it was a fortnight.

It vexes me to catch myself praising the clean private citizen Roosevelt,
and blaming the soiled President Roosevelt, when I know that neither
praise nor blame is due to him for any thought or word or deed of his, he
being merely a helpless and irresponsible coffee-mill ground by the hand
of God.

It was a presidential year and the air was thick with politics. Mark
Twain was no longer actively interested in the political situation; he
was only disheartened by the hollowness and pretense of office-seeking,
and the methods of office-seekers in general.

Shall we ever laugh again? If I could only see a dog that I knew in the
old times! and could put my arms around his neck and tell him all,
everything, and ease my heart. Think–in 3 hours it will be a week!–and
soon a month; and by and by a year. How fast our dead fly from us.

Aldrich was here half an hour ago, like a breeze from over the fields,
with the fragrance still upon his spirit. I am tired of waiting for that
man to get old.

When a man is a pessimist before 48 he knows too much; if he is an
optimist after it, he knows too little.

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