Quotations From MARK TWAIN [SAMUEL LANGHORNE CLEMENS]


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  • Nothing so needs reforming as other people's habits.
    Mark Twain [Samuel Langhorne Clemens] (1835-1910), U.S. author. Pudd'nhead Wilson, ch. 15, "Pudd'nhead Wilson's Calendar," (1894).

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  • There was never a century nor a country that was short of experts who knew the Deity's mind and were willing to reveal it.
    Mark Twain [Samuel Langhorne Clemens] (1835-1910), U.S. author. repr. in What Is Man?, Ed. Paul Baender (1973). "As Concerns Interpreting the Deity," (1905).
  • If your mother tells you to do a thing, it is wrong to reply that you won't. It is better and more becoming to intimate that you will do as she bids you, and then afterwards act quietly in the matter according to the dictates of your better judgment.
    Mark Twain [Samuel Langhorne Clemens] (1835-1910), U.S. author. California Youth's Companion (June 24, 1865). "Advice for Good Little Girls," p. 164, Mark Twain: Collected Tales, Sketches, Speeches, & Essays, 1852-1890, Library of America (1992).

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  • Duties are not performed for duty's sake, but because their neglect would make the man uncomfortable. A man performs but one duty—the duty of contenting his spirit, the duty of making himself agreeable to himself.
    Mark Twain [Samuel Langhorne Clemens] (1835-1910), U.S. author. repr. In Complete Essays, ed. Charles Neider (1963). Old Man, in "What Is Man?" sct. 2 (1906).
  • If the bubble reputation can be obtained only at the cannon's mouth, I am willing to go there for it, provided the cannon is empty.
    Mark Twain [Samuel Langhorne Clemens] (1835-1910), U.S. author. (1879). "A Presidential Candidate," p. 725, Mark Twain: Collected Tales, Sketches, Speeches, & Essays, 1852-1890, Library of America (1992).

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  • I must have a prodigious quantity of mind; it takes me as much as a week, sometimes, to make it up.
    Mark Twain [Samuel Langhorne Clemens] (1835-1910), U.S. author. The Innocents Abroad, ch. 7 (1869).

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  • He reckoned a body could reform the old man with a shot-gun, maybe, but he didn't know no other way.
    Mark Twain [Samuel Langhorne Clemens] (1835-1910), U.S. author. Huck, in The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, ch. 5 (1885).
  • Training is everything. The peach was once a bitter almond; cauliflower is nothing but cabbage with a college education.
    Mark Twain [Samuel Langhorne Clemens] (1835-1910), U.S. author. Pudd'nhead Wilson, ch. 5, "Pudd'nhead Wilson's Calendar," (1894).

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  • Always obey your parents, when they are present.
    Mark Twain [Samuel Langhorne Clemens] (1835-1910), U.S. author. Speech, April 15, 1882, to Saturday Morning Club, Boston. "Advice to Youth," p. 801, Mark Twain: Collected Tales, Sketches, Speeches, & Essays, 1852-1890, Library of America (1992).
  • She had more sand in her than any girl I ever see: in my opinion she was just full of sand. It sounds like flattery, but it ain't no flattery.
    Mark Twain [Samuel Langhorne Clemens] (1835-1910), U.S. author. Huck, in The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, ch. 28 (1885).

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