Quotes From Mark Twain

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Quotes for copywork and cursive practice.


<p>Quotes from Mark Twain Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didnt do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbour. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover. What would men be without women? Scarce, sir, mighty scarce. When angry, count to four; when very angry, swear. Prosperity is the surest breeder of insolence I know. Reader, suppose you were an idiot. And suppose you were a member of Congress. But I repeat myself. Man is the only animal that blushes or needs to. What is the difference between a taxidermist and a tax collector? The taxidermist takes only your skin. By trying we can easily endure adversity. Another mans, I mean. It is easier to stay out than to get out. The human race has one really effective weapon, and that is laughter. Civilization is the limitless multiplication of unnecessary necessities.</p> <p> Grief can take care of itself, but to get the full value of a joy you must have somebody to divide it with. Let us not be too particular; it is better to have old secondhand diamonds than none at all. Good friends, good books and a sleepy conscience: this is the ideal life. I was gratified to be able to answer promptly, and I did. I said I didnt know. Classic. A book which people praise and dont read. Have a place for everything and keep the thing somewhere else; this is not advice, it is merely custom. Facts are stubborn, but statistics are more pliable. Let us make a special effort to stop communicating with each other, so we can have some conversation. Modesty antedates clothes and will be resumed when clothes are no more. When we remember we are all mad, the mysteries disappear and life stands explained. When I reflect upon the number of disagreeable people who I know who have gone to a better world, I am moved to lead a different life. I thoroughly disapprove of duels. If a man should challenge me, I would take him kindly and forgivingly by the hand and lead him to a quite place and kill him. I do not like work even when another person does it.</p> <p> I think I can say, and say with pride, that we have legislatures that bring higher prices than any in the world. When I was younger, I could remember anything, whether it happened or not; but I am getting old, and soon I shall remember only the latter. I was born modest, but it didnt last. I was born modest; not all over, but in spots. 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. He was a very inferior farmer when he first began, and now he is rising from affluence to poverty. He would come in and say he had changed his mind which was a gilded figure of speech, because he hadnt any. The Moral Sense teaches us what is right, and how to avoid it when unpopular. I once sent a dozen of my friends a telegram saying, flee at once all is discovered. They all left town immediately. (following rumours he had been lost at sea) I promise to make an exhaustive investigation of this report that I have been lost at sea. If there is any foundation to the report, I will at once apprise the anxious public. Whenever you find that you are on the side of the majority, it is time to reform.</p> <p> We often feel sad in the presence of music without words; and often more than that in the presence of music without music. You may have noticed that the less I know about the subject, the more confidence I have, and the more new light I throw on it. Its not the size of the dog in the fight, its the size of the fight in the dog. He was shy as a newspaper is when referring to its own merits. Etiquette requires us to admire the human race. Obscurity and a competence that is the life that is best worth living. Every man is wholly honest to himself and to God, but not to anyone else. Keep away from those who try to belittle your ambitions. Small people always do that, but the really great make you believe that you too can become great. I am no lazier now than I was forty years ago, but that is because I reached the limit forty years ago. You cant go beyond possibility. When red-headed people are above a certain social grade their hair is auburn. Be careful about reading health books. You may die of a misprint. Name the greatest of all inventors. Accident. In the first place, God made idiots. That was for practice. Then he made school boards. Do the right thing. It will gratify some people and astonish the rest.</p> <p> I am opposed to millionaires, but it would be dangerous to offer me the position. Thrusting my nose firmly between his teeth, I threw him heavily to the ground on top of me. There is a charm about the forbidden that makes it unspeakably desirable. There is no use in your walking five miles to fish when you can depend on being just as unsuccessful near home. A man is never more truthful than when he acknowledges himself a liar. I make it a rule never to smoke while Im sleeping. Theres always something about your success that displeases even your best friends. Work is a necessary evil to be avoided. Always acknowledge a fault. This will throw those in authority off their guard and give you an opportunity to commit more. If you tell the truth, you dont have to remember anything. All you need in this life is ignorance and confidence, and the success is sure. Few of us can stand prosperity. Another mans, I mean. You cant depend on your eyes when your imagination is out of focus. Necessity is the mother of taking chances. Honesty is the best policy when there is money in it.</p> <p> Anger is an acid that can do more harm to the vessel in which it is stored than to anything on which it is poured. If you pick up a starving dog and make him prosperous, he will now bite you. That is the difference between dog and man. Always do right. This will gratify some people and astonish the rest. We have a criminal jury system which is superior to any in the world; and its efficiency is only marred by the difficulty of finding twelve men every day who dont know anything and cant read. It takes some little time to accept and realize that fact that while you have been growing old, your friends have not been standing still. He could foretell wars and famines, though that was not so hard, for there was always a war and generally a famine somewhere. In the real world, nothing happens at the right place at the right time. It is the job of journalists and historians to correct that. The human race is a race of cowards; and I am not only marching in that procession but carrying a banner. George Washington, as a boy, was ignorant of the commonest accomplishments of youth. He could not even lie. It is better to keep your mouth closed and let people think you are a fool than to open it and remove all doubt. Repartee is something we think of twenty-four hours too late.</p> <p> The first of April is the day we remember what we are the other 364 days of the year. Travel has no longer any charm for me. I have seen all the foreign countries I want except for Heaven and Hell, and I have only a vague curiosity as concerns one of those. There is something fascinating about science. One gets such wholesale returns of conjecture out of such a trifling investment of fact. Its no wonder that truth is stranger than fiction. Fiction makes sense. Man a creature made at the end of a weeks work when God was tired. Clothes make the man. Naked people have little or no influence on society. Thousands of geniuses live and die undiscovered either by themselves or by others. Part of the secret of a success in life is to eat what you like and let the food fight it out inside. Truth is tough. It will not break, like a bubble, at a touch; nay, you may kick it about all day, like a football, and it will be round and full at evening. Water, taken in moderation, cannot hurt anybody. Fleas can be taught nearly everything a Congressman can. Names are not always what they seem. The common Welsh name Bzjxxllwcp is pronounced Jackson. Courage is resistance to fear, mastery of fear, not absence of fear. Thunder is good, thunder is impressive; but it is lightning that does the work.</p> <p> Noise proves nothing. Often a hen who has merely laid an egg cackles as if she laid an asteroid. Wrinkles should merely indicate where smiles have been. Love seems the swiftest, but it is the slowest of all growths. No man or woman really knows what perfect love is until they have been married a quarter century. I am an old man and have known a great many troubles, but most of them never happened. Familiarity breeds contempt and children. We ought never to do wrong when people are looking. It is just like a mans vanity and impertinence to call an animal dumb because it is dumb to his dull perceptions. Dont go around saying the world owes you a living. The world owes you nothing. It was here first. It used to take me all vacation to grow a new hide in place of the one they flogged off me during school term. We are all alike, on the inside. All generalizations are false, including this one. When I was a boy of fourteen, my father was so ignorant I could hardly stand to have the old man around. But when I got to be twenty-one, I was astonished by how much he learned in seven years. October: This is the one month to avoid speculating in stocks. The others are July, January, September, April, November, Mayetc.</p> <p> Get your facts first, then you can distort them as you please. Only kings, presidents, editors, and people with tapeworms have the right to use the editorial we. Age is an issue of mind over matter. If you dont mind, it doesnt matter. I have found out that there aint no surer way to find out whether you like people or hate them than to travel with them. A good memory and a tongue tied in the middle is a combination which gives immortality to conversation. Let us be thankful for the fools. But for them the rest of us could not succeed. Words are only painted fire; a book is the fire itself. Education consists mainly of what we have unlearned. Fiction is obliged to stick to possibilities. Truth isnt. I have made it a rule never to smoke more than one cigar at a time. When I was younger I could remember anything, whether it happened or not. When your friends begin to flatter you on how young you look, its a sure sign you are getting old. Advertisements contain the only truths to be relied on in a newspaper. Put all your eggs in one basket, and watch the basket.</p> <p> Never run after your own hat others will be delighted to do it; why spoil their fun? Be virtuous and you will be eccentric. Why do you sit there looking like an envelope without any address on it? When you cannot get a compliment in any other way, pay yourself one. Kindness is the language which the deaf can hear and the blind can see. There are three kinds of people commonplace men, remarkable men and lunatics. I must have a prodigious quantity of mind; it takes me as much as a week sometimes to make it up. The burnt child shuns the fire until the next day. Well enough for old folks to rise early, because they have done so many mean things all their lives they cant sleep anyhow. It takes your enemy and your friend, working together, to hurt you to the heart; the one to slander you and the other to get the news to you. Many a small thing has been made large by the right kind of advertising. The educated Southerner has no use for an R, except at the beginning of a word. To be good is noble; but to show others how to be good is nobler and no trouble. Of all the creatures ever made man is the most detestable. Of the entire brood, he is the only one that possesses malice. He is the only creature that inflicts pain for sport, knowing it to be pain.</p> <p> Patriot: the person who can holler the loudest without knowing what he is hollering about. My mother had a great deal of trouble with me, but I think she enjoyed it. I have been complimented many times and they always embarrass me; I always feel that they have not said enough. Laws control the lesser manRight conduct controls the greater one. Heaven is by favour; if it were by merit, your dog would go in and you would stay out. Dont let schooling interfere with your education. The proverb says Providence protects children and idiots. This is really true. I know because I have tested it. Morals are an acquirement like music, like a foreign language, like piety, poker, paralysis no man is born with them. To eat is human; to digest, divine. Virtue has never been as respectable as money. Last week I stated that this woman was the ugliest that I had ever seen. I have since been visited by her sister and now wish to withdraw that statement. A banker is a fellow who lends you his umbrella when the sun is shining, but wants it back the minute it begins to rain. I was sorry to have my name mentioned as one of the greatest authors, because they have a sad habit of dying off. Chaucer is dead, Spenser is dead, so is Milton, so is Shakespeare, and Im not feeling very well myself.</p> <p> A man cannot be comfortable without his own approval. Whatever a mans age, he can reduce it several years by putting a bright-colored flower in his button hole. When you appeal to my head, I dont feel it; but when you appeal to my heart, I do feel it. When I speak my native tongue in its utmost purity in England, an Englishman cant understand me at all. A wise man does not waste so good a commodity as lying for naught. I was seldom able to see an opportunity until it had ceased to be one. A lie can travel half way around the world while the truth is putting on its shoes. A man who carries a cat by the tail learns something he can learn no other way. A person with a new idea is a crank until the idea succeeds. It is not best that we use our morals weekdays; it gets them out of repair for Sundays. I dont like to commit myself about Heaven and Hell you see, I have friends in both places. Its good sportsmanship to not pick up lost golf balls while they are still rolling. The man who does not read good books has no advantage over the man who cannot read them. We do not deal much in facts when we are contemplating ourselves.</p> <p> A round man cannot be expected to fit in a square hole right away. He must have time to modify his shape. I was young and foolish then; now I am older and foolisher. It is a mistake that there is no bath that will cure peoples manners, but drowning would help.</p>