The Best Of Mark Twain
The mania for giving the Government power to meddle with the private affairs of cities or citizens is likely to cause endless trouble, through the rivalry of schools and creeds that are anxious to obtain official recognition, and there is great danger that our people will lose our independence of thought and action which is the cause of much of our greatness, and sink into the helplessness of the Frenchman or German who expects his government to feed him when hungry, clothe him when naked, to prescribe when his child may be born and when he may die, and, in time, to regulate every act of humanity from the cradle to the tomb, including the manner in which he may seek future admission to paradise.
Faith is believing what you know ain't so.
Do not fear the enemy, for your enemy can only take your life. It is far better that you fear the media, for they will steal your honor. That awful power, the public opinion of a nation, is created in America by a horde of ignorant, self-complacent simpletons who failed at ditching and shoemaking and fetched up in journalism on their way to the poorhouse.
A mine is a hole in the ground owned by a liar.
In the first place God made idiots. This was for practice. Then he made school boards.
Never let your schooling interfere with your education.
Be careful about reading Health books, you may die of a misprint.
Water, taken in moderation, cannot hurt anybody.
Censorship is telling a man he can’t have a steak because a baby can’t chew it.
Sacred Cows make the best hamburgers
The only difference between a tax man and a taxidermist is that the taxidermist leaves the skin.
No man's life, liberty, or property is safe while the legislature is in session.
Keep away from people who try to belittle your ambitions. Small people always do that, but the really great ones make you feel that you too, can become great.
Get the facts first. You can distort them later.
If you tell the truth you don't have to remember anything.
It is better to deserve honors and not have them than to have them and not deserve them.
We are always more anxious to be distinguished for a talent which we do not possess, than to be praised for the fifteen which we do possess.
When a person cannot deceive himself the chances are against his being able to deceive other people.
I can live for two months on a good compliment.
Always do right. This will gratify some people and astonish the rest.
Do something every day that you don't want to do; this is the golden rule for acquiring the habit of doing your duty without pain.
Don't go around saying the world owes you a living. The world owes you nothing. It was here first.
Habit is habit and not to be flung out of the window by any man, but coaxed downstairs a step at a time.
I am opposed to millionaires, but it would be dangerous to offer me the position.
I don't give a damn for a man that can only spell a word one way.
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 quiet place and kill him.
If you pick up a starving dog and make him prosperous, he will not bite you. This is the principal difference between a dog and a man.
In religion and politics, people's beliefs and convictions are in almost every case gotten at second hand, and without examination.
It could probably be shown by facts and figures that there is no distinctly American criminal class except Congress.
Suppose you were an idiot and suppose you were a member of Congress. But I repeat myself.
It is curious that physical courage should be so common in the world and moral courage so rare.
It usually takes more than three weeks to prepare a good impromptu speech.
Just the omission of Jane Austen's books alone would make a fairly good library out of a library that hadn't a book in it.
The best way to cheer yourself is to try to cheer someone else up.
The man who doesn't read good books has no advantage over the man who can't read them.
The radical of one century is the conservative of the next. The radical invents the views. When he has worn them out the conservative adopts them.
Time cools, time clarifies; no mood can be maintained quite unaltered through the course of hours.
Courage is resistance to fear, mastery of fear not absence of fear.
Under certain circumstances, profanity provides a relief denied even to prayer.
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 don't know anything and can't read.
Whenever you find that you are on the side of the majority, it is time to reform.
You cannot depend on your eyes when your imagination is out of focus.
He had discovered a great law of human action, without knowing it - namely, that in order to make a man or a boy covet a thing, it is only necessary to make the thing difficult to obtain.
A human being has a natural desire to have more of a good thing than he needs.
It is by the goodness of God that in our country we have those three unspeakably precious things: freedom of speech, freedom of conscience, and the prudence never to practice either of them.
There are several good protections against temptations, but the surest is cowardice.
Sane and intelligent human beings are like all other human beings, and carefully and cautiously and diligently conceal their private real opinions from the world and give out fictitious ones in their stead for general consumption.
A classic is something that everybody wants to have read and nobody wants to read.
Laws are sand, customs are rock. Laws can be evaded and punishment escaped but an openly transgressed custom brings sure punishment.
The fact that man knows right from wrong proves his intellectual superiority to other creatures; but the fact that he can do wrong proves his moral inferiority to any creature that cannot.