Mark Twain – A Greatest Author, philosopher, psychologist and Wit of His Age

In the book “In his own words”, Mark Twain talked about his thoughts and feeling about his life, challenges and success. From his words, I am certain that he is a greatest author, philosopher, psychologist and wit of his age. I had feeling that his brain was like a X-Ray machine, seeing through greatest and worse of human nature. His words are so sharp like a laser pointer, directly pointed to the core value of human being and society. His words are so simple, yet so elegant; so bold, yet so witty. Following are some of his great quotes I truly believe in. And I enjoy reading them again and again:

On Character

“Courage is resistance to fear, mastery of fear, not absence of fear”.
“A man’s character may be learned from the adjectives¬†which he habitually uses in conversation”

On Emotions, Works and Success

“Keep away from people who try to belittle your ambitions. Small people alway do that, but the really great make you feel that you, too, can become great.”
“The secret of getting ahead is getting started.”
“All you need is ignorance and confidence and the success is sure.”
“Thunder is good, thunder is impressive. But it is the lighting that does the work.”
“I was seldom able to see an opportunity until it had ceased to be one.”
“Necessity is the mother of taking chances.”

On Philosophy

“Our opinions do not really blossom until we have expressed them to someone else.”
“Sanity and happiness are an impossible combination.”
“Life would be infinitely happier if we could be born at the age of 80 and gradually approach 18”.
“Prosperity is the best protector of principle.”
“Humor must not professedly teach and it must not professedly preach, but it must do both if it would live forever.”

On Personal

“I have been complimented many times and they always embarrass me. I always feel that they have not said enough.”
“I have spend most of my life worrying about things that never happened.”
“Good friends, good books, and a sleepy conscience: This is the ideal life.”
“How little a thing can make us happy when we feel that we have earned it.”
” I must have a prodigious quantity of mind since it takes me as much as a week sometimes to make it up.”
“I am an old man and have known a great many troubles, but most of them never happened.”

On Money

“The lack of money is the root of all evil.”
“Honesty is the best policy – when there is money in it.”
“A banker lends you his umbrella when the sun is shining but want it back the minutes it begins to rain.”

On Wisdom

“Age is an issue of mind over matter. If you don’t mind, it doesn’t matter.”
“It is better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to open one’s mouth and remove all doubt.”
“If you tell the truth you don’t have to remember anything.”
“Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to pause and reflect.”
“When angry count to four; when very angry, swear.”
“We all have thoughts that would shame the devil.”
“In this world one must be like everybody else if he doesn’t want to provoke scorn or envy or jealousy.”

On Observation & Reflection

“Anger is an acid that can do more harm to the vessel in which it is stored than to anything on which it is poured.”
“The greatest thing you can do is keep your mind young.”
“Those that respect the law and love sausage should watch neither being made”
“Sacred cows make the best hamburgers.”
“Good breeding consists of concealing how much we think ourselves and how little we think of the other person.”
“Forgiveness is the fragrance that the violet sheds on the heel that has crushed it.”
“Kindness is the language which the deaf can hear and the blind can see.”
“Never pick a fight with people who buy ink by the barrel.”
“A person who won’t read has no advantage over who can’t read.”
“Fame is a vapor.”
“Popularity is an accident.”
“Virtue has never been as respectable as money.”
“Golf is a good walk spoiled.”
“A man is never more truthful than when he acknowledges himself a liar.”
“When in doubt, tell the truth.”
“It is easier to stay out than get out.”
“Time cools, time clarifies.”
“Nothing needs reforming as much as other people’s habits.”
“There are several good protections against temptation but the surest is cowardice.”
“Everything has its limit — iron ore cannot be educated into gold.”
“Action speaks louder than words but not nearly as often.”
“Don’t let schooling interfere with your education.”
“You can’t depend on your eyes when your imagination is out of focus.”
“Nothing can withstand the assault of laughter.”
“”Wrinkles should merely indicate where smiles have been.”
“It is curious that physical courage should be so common in the world and moral courage so rare.”
“Be careless in your dress if you will, but keep a tidy soul.”
“Principles have no real force except when one is well fed.”

On Politics & Government

“If we had less statesmanship, we could get along with fewer battleships.”
“Patriotism is supporting your country all the time and your government when it deserves it.”
“In the first place, God made idiots. That was for practice. Then he made school boards.”

On witty

“Wit is the sudden marriage of ideas which before their union were not perceived to have any relation.”
“Get your facts first, then you can distort them as you please.”
“Truth is the most valuable thing we have. Let’s economize it.”
“A man never reaches that dizzy height of wisdom that he can no longer be led by the nose.”
“There ought to be a room in every house to swear in.”
“Never tell the truth to someone unworthy of it.”
“There is nothing so annoying as to have two people talking when you’re busy interrupting.”
“A lie can travel halfway around the world while the truth is putting on its shoes.”
“Cauliflower is nothing but cabbage with a college education.”
“A man who carries at cat by the tail learns something he can learn in no other way.”
“The first half of life consists of the capacity to enjoy without the chance. The last half consists of the chance without the capacity.”
“Never learn to do anything. If you don’t learn, you’ll always find someone else to do it for you.”
“Be careful about reading health books. You may die of a misprint.”
“Life does not consist mainly, or even largely, of facts and happenings. It consists mainly of the storm of the thoughts that are forever blowing through one’s mind.”
“Clothes make the man. Naked people have little or no influence on society.”
“Always do right. This will gratify some people and astonish the rest.”
“There are lies, damned lies, and statistics.”
“Truth is mighty and will prevail. There is nothing wrong with this except that it ain’t so.”
“Facts are stubborn. Statistics are more pliable.”
“It is better to take what does not belong to you than to let it lie around neglected.”
“Humor is mankind’s greatest blessing.”

On Writing & Intellect

“The very ink with which history is written is merely fluid prejudice.”
“Biographies are but the clothes and buttons of the man. The biography of the man himself cannot be written.”
“The right word may be effective but no word was ever as effective as a rightly timed pause.”
“My books are like water; those of the great geniuses are wine. Fortunately everyone drinks water.”
“The difference between the right word and the almost right word is the difference between lighting and a lighting bug.”

On the World

“Don’t go around saying the world owns you a living. The world owes you nothing. It was here first.”
“20 years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do. So do them.”
“Civilization is the limitless multiplication of unnecessary necessities.”
“It was wonderful to find America, but it would have been more wonderful to miss it.”
“An Englishman is a person who does things they have been done before. An American is a person who does things because they haven’t been done before.”
“When the literary German dives into a sentence that is the last you are going to see of him until he emerges on the other side of the Atlantic.”
“Somewhere between the Angels and the French lie the rest of humanity.”

On Love, Friendship, Marriage & Woman

“When you fish for love, bait with your heart not your brain.”
“Friendship will last a lifetime if not asked to lend money.”

On People & the Human Race

“Man is the only animal that blushes or needs to.”
“It takes your enemy and your friend, working together to hurt you. The first to slander you and the other to get you the news.”
“When a person cannot deceive himself the chances are against his being able to deceive other people.”
“Man is the only creature that possess malice.”
“We are always more anxious to be distinguished for a talent which we don’t posses than to be praised for 15 we do.”
“There is no sadder sight than a young pessimist.”
“If you pick up a staving dog and make him prosperous, he will not bite you. This is the principal difference between a dog and a man.”
“the human race is a race of cowards. And I am not only marching in that procession but carrying a banner.”
“Barring that natural look of villainy we all have, the man looked honest enough.”
“Man is the only animal that is cruel. He is the only one that inflicts pain for the pleasure of doing it.”
“in order to make a man or boy covet a thing, it is only necessary to make the thing difficult to obtain.”
“The wit knows that his place is at the tail of a procession.”
“Thousands of geniuses live and die uncovered either by themselves or by others.”
“April first is the day we remember what we are the other 364 days a year.”
“Why is it we rejoice at a birth and grieve at a funeral? It is because we are not the person involved.”
” a man cannot be comfortable without his own approval.”
“The human race has one really effective weapon, and that is laughter.”
“It is not best that we should all think alike; it is a difference of opinion that makes horse races.”
“There are basically two types of people. People who accomplish things and people who claim to have accomplished things. The first group is less crowded.”
“Let’s us make a special effort to stop communicating with each other so we can have some conversation.”
“Man was made at the end of the week’s work when God was tired.” “When people do not respect us we are sharply offended. Yet in his private heart no man much respect himself.”
“It is better to deserve honors and not have them than to have them and not deserve them.”


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