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Quotations From MARK TWAIN [SAMUEL LANGHORNE CLEMENS]

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  • I can understand German as well as the maniac that invented it, but I talk it best through an interpreter.
    Mark Twain [Samuel Langhorne Clemens] (1835-1910), U.S. author. Twain described German as "the language which enables a man to travel all day in one sentence without changing cars." Quoted in "German," Greatly Exaggerated, ed. Alex Ayres (1988).
  • All the territorial possessions of all the political establishments in the earth—including America, of course—consist of pilferings from other people's wash.
    Mark Twain [Samuel Langhorne Clemens] (1835-1910), U.S. author. Following the Equator (1897).

    Read more quotations about / on: america, people
  • You perceive I generalize with intrepidity from single instances. It is the tourist's custom.
    Mark Twain [Samuel Langhorne Clemens] (1835-1910), U.S. author. Mark Twain's Notebooks and Journals, vol. 2, notebook 18, ed. Frederick Anderson (1975).
  • France has neither winter nor summer nor morals—apart from these drawbacks it is a fine country.
    Mark Twain [Samuel Langhorne Clemens] (1835-1910), U.S. author. Mark Twain's Notebooks and Journals, entry in notebook 18, vol. 2, ed. Frederick Anderson (1975).

    Read more quotations about / on: winter, summer
  • In Boston they ask, "How much does he know?" In New York, "How much is he worth?" In Philadelphia, "Who were his parents?"
    Mark Twain [Samuel Langhorne Clemens] (1835-1910), U.S. author. repr. In Complete Essays, ed. Charles Neider (1963). quoted by Paul Bourget in, "What Paul Bourget Thinks of Us," North American Review (Cedar Falls, Iowa, Jan. 1895).
  • To be good is noble; but to show others how to be good is nobler and no trouble.
    Mark Twain [Samuel Langhorne Clemens] (1835-1910), U.S. author. Following the Equator, preface (1897).
  • No God and no religion can survive ridicule. No political church, no nobility, no royalty or other fraud, can face ridicule in a fair field, and live.
    Mark Twain [Samuel Langhorne Clemens] (1835-1910), U.S. author. Mark Twain's Notebooks and Journals, vol. 3, notebook 28 (July 1888-May 1889), ed. Frederick Anderson (1979).

    Read more quotations about / on: god
  • There is no such thing as "the Queen's English." The property has gone into the hands of a joint stock company and we own the bulk of the shares!
    Mark Twain [Samuel Langhorne Clemens] (1835-1910), U.S. author. "Pudd'nhead Wilson's New Calendar," ch. 24, Following the Equator (1897).

    Read more quotations about / on: gone
  • I speak French with timidity, and not flowingly—except when excited. When using that language I have often noticed that I have hardly ever been mistaken for a Frenchman, except, perhaps, by horses; never, I believe, by people.
    Mark Twain [Samuel Langhorne Clemens] (1835-1910), U.S. author. (1881). "Dinner Speech in Montreal," p. 779, Mark Twain: Collected Tales, Sketches, Speeches, & Essays, 1852-1890, Library of America (1992).

    Read more quotations about / on: believe, people
  • Out of the unconscious lips of babes and sucklings are we satirized.
    Mark Twain [Samuel Langhorne Clemens] (1835-1910), U.S. author. "Which Was the Dream?" (written 1897), published in Which Was the Dream? Ed. John S Tuckey (1967). An unfinished story; real name is Samuel Langhorne Clemens.
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