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Mark Twain Quotes

38 of the best book quotes from Mark Twain
  1. #1
    “I have found out that there ain’t no surer way to find out whether you like people or hate them than to travel with them.”
  2. #2
    “You can’t pray a lie – I found that out.”
  3. #3
    “Stars and shadows ain’t good to see by.”
  4. #4
    “Sometimes you gwyne to git hurt, en sometimes you gwyne to git sick; but every time you’s gwyne to git well agin.”
  5. #5
    “What’s the use you learning to do right when it’s troublesome to do right and ain’t no trouble to do wrong, and the wages is just the same?”
  6. #6
    “Hain’t we got all the fools in town on our side? And hain’t that a big enough majority in any town?”
  7. #7
    “I do not wish any reward but to know I have done the right thing.”
  8. #8
    “I couldn’t bear to think about it; and yet, somehow, I couldn’t think about nothing else.”
  9. #9
    “Right is right, and wrong is wrong, and a body ain’t got no business doing wrong when he ain’t ignorant and knows better.”
  10. #10
    “Human beings can be awful cruel to one another.”
  11. #11
    “The only way to keep your health is to eat what you don’t want, drink what you don’t like, and do what you’d druther not.”
  12. #12
    “I was seldom able to see an opportunity until it had ceased to be one.”
  13. #13
    “The difference between the almost right word and the right word is really a large matter. ’tis the difference between the lightning bug and the lightning.”
  14. #14
    “Be respectful to your superiors, if you have any.”
  15. #15
    “I knowed very well why [the words] wouldn’t come. It was because my heart warn’t right; it was because I warn’t square; it was because I was playing double. I was letting on to give up sin, but away inside of me I was holding on to the biggest one of all.”
  16. #16
    “I was mighty down-hearted; so I made up my mind I wouldn’t ever go anear that house again, because I reckoned I was to blame, somehow.”
  17. #17
    “But the elastic heart of youth cannot be compressed into one constrained shape long at a time. Tom presently began to drift insensibly back into the concerns of his life again. What if he turned his back, now, and disappeared mysteriously? . . . [H]e would join the Indians . . . He would be a pirate! That was it! Now his future lay plain before him, and glowing with unimaginable splendor.”
  18. #18
    “There was not even a zephyr stirring; the dead noonday heat had even stilled the songs of the birds; nature lay in a trance that was broken by no sound but the occasional far-off hammering of a woodpecker, and this seemed to render the pervading silence and sense of loneliness the more profound. The boy’s soul was steeped in melancholy; his feelings were in happy accord with his surroundings.”
  19. #19
    “Saturday morning was come, and all the summer world was bright and fresh, and brimming with life. There was a song in every heart . . . There was cheer in every face and a spring in every step. The locust trees were in bloom and the fragrance of the blossoms filled the air.”
  20. #20
    “′Classic′ - a book which people praise and don’t read.”
  21. #21
    “Nothing so needs reforming as other people’s habits.”
  22. #22
    “You ought never to “sass” old people—unless they “sass” you first.”
  23. #23
    “Oh come, now, you don’t mean to let on that you like it?”
    The brush continued to move.
    “Like it? Well I don’t see why I oughtn’t to like it. Does a boy get a chance to whitewash a fence every day?”
    That put the thing in a new light. Ben stopped nibbling his apple. Tom swept his brush daintily back and forth—stepped back to note the effect—added a touch here and there—criticized the effect again—Ben watching every move and getting more and more interested, more and more absorbed. Presently he said:
    “Say, Tom, let me whitewash a little.”
  24. #24
    Tom told me what his plan was, and I see in a minute it was worth fifteen of mine for style, and would make Jim just as free a man as mine would, and maybe get us all killed besides. So I was satisfied, and said we would waltz in on it.
  25. #25
    “All right then, I’ll go to hell”
  26. #26
    “All kings is mostly rapscallions, as fur as I can make out.”
  27. #27
    “I don’t want no better book than what your face is.”
  28. #28
    “He was sunshine most always-I mean he made it seem like good weather.”
  29. #29
    “The average man don’t like trouble and danger.”
  30. #30
    “Then her conscience reproached her, and she yearned to say something kind and loving; but she judged that this would be construed into a confession that she had been in the wrong, and discipline forbade that. So she kept silence, and went about her affairs with a troubled heart.”
  31. #31
    “Jim said that bees won’t sting idiots, but I didn’t believe that, because I tried them lots of times myself and they wouldn’t sting me.”
  32. #32
    “Truth is stranger than fiction, but it is because Fiction is obliged to stick to possibilities; Truth isn’t.”
  33. #33
    “Now we’ll start this band of robbers and call it Tom Sawyer’s gang. Everybody that wants to join has got to take an oath, and write his name in blood.”
  34. #34
    “When in doubt, tell the truth.”
  35. #35
    “When a man loves cats, I am his friend and comrade, without further introduction.”
  36. #36
    “Tom was a glittering hero once more—the pet of the old, the envy of the young. His name even went into immortal print, for the village paper magnified him. There were some that believed he would be President, yet, if he escaped hanging.”
  37. #37
    “That’s just the way: a person does a low-down thing, and then he don’t want to take no consequences of it. Thinks as long as he can hide it, it ain’t no disgrace. That was my fix exactly.”
  38. #38
    “Say, Becky, was you ever engaged?”
    “What’s that?”
    “Why, engaged to be married.”
    “No.”
    “Would you like to?”
    “I reckon so. I don’t know. What is it like?”
    “Like? Why it ain’t like anything. You only just tell a boy you won’t ever have anybody but him, ever ever ever, and then you kiss and that’s all. Anybody can do it.”
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