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Quotations From MARK TWAIN [SAMUEL LANGHORNE CLEMENS]

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  • The difference between the almost right word and the right word is the difference between the lightning- bug and the lightning.
    Mark Twain [Samuel Langhorne Clemens] (1835-1910), U.S. author. The Art of Authorship, George Bainton (1890).
  • I reckon a body that ups and tells the truth when he is in a tight place, is taking considerable many resks; though I ain't had no experience, and can't say for certain.
    Mark Twain [Samuel Langhorne Clemens] (1835-1910), U.S. author. Huck, in The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, ch. 28 (1885).

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  • A strange and vanity-devoured, detestable woman! I do not believe I could ever learn to like her except on a raft at sea with no other provisions in sight.
    Mark Twain [Samuel Langhorne Clemens] (1835-1910), U.S. author. The Autobiography of Mark Twain, ch. 76, ed. Charles Neider, Harper & Row (1959).

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  • I have no desire for riches. Honest poverty and a conscience torpid through virtuous inaction are more to me than corner lots and praise.
    Mark Twain [Samuel Langhorne Clemens] (1835-1910), U.S. author. 1881. "A Cat Tale," p. 769, Mark Twain: Collected Tales, Sketches, Speeches, & Essays, 1852-1890, Library of America (1992).

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  • Well, I had gone and spoiled it again, made another mistake. A double one in fact. There were plenty of ways to get rid of that officer by some simple and plausible device, but no, I must pick out a picturesque one; it is the crying defect of my character.
    Mark Twain [Samuel Langhorne Clemens] (1835-1910), U.S. author. Hank Morgan, in A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court, ch. 37 (1889).

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  • Patriot: The person who can holler the loudest without knowing what he is hollering about.
    Mark Twain [Samuel Langhorne Clemens] (1835-1910), U.S. author. "More Maxims of Mark," p. 945, Mark Twain: Collected Tales, Sketches, Speeches, & Essays, 1891-1910, Library of America (1992).
  • There are only two forces that can carry light to all the corners of the globe ... the sun in the heavens and the Associated Press down here.
    Mark Twain [Samuel Langhorne Clemens] (1835-1910), U.S. author. Speech, September 18, 1906, to Associated Press, New York City. "Spelling and Pictures," Mark Twain's Speeches, ed. Albert Bigelow Paine (1923).

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  • Their very imagination was dead. When you can say that of a man, he has struck bottom, I reckon; there is no lower deep for him.
    Mark Twain [Samuel Langhorne Clemens] (1835-1910), U.S. author. Hank Morgan, in A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court, ch. 20 (1889).

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  • What is the difference between a taxidermist and a tax collector? The taxidermist takes only your skin.
    Mark Twain [Samuel Langhorne Clemens] (1835-1910), U.S. author. "More Maxims of Mark," p. 947, Mark Twain: Collected Tales, Sketches, Speeches, & Essays, 1891-1910, Library of America (1992).
  • How empty is theory in the presence of fact!
    Mark Twain [Samuel Langhorne Clemens] (1835-1910), U.S. author. Hank Morgan, in A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court, ch. 43 (1889).

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