Mark Twain Quotes

Funny Mark Twain Quotes on Politics, Religion, and the Human Condition

Mark Twain paid Ulysses S. Grant to write his memoirs.
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Mark Twain had a way with words beyond his books and stories. He was also quite sharp with insults and opinions, especially regarding politics and religion. 

"Reader, suppose you were an idiot. And suppose you were a member of Congress. But I repeat myself." –Mark Twain
“There is no distinctly native American criminal class except Congress." –Mark Twain
"Sometimes I wonder whether the world is being run by smart people who are putting us on or by imbeciles who really mean it." –Mark Twain
"Never argue with stupid people. They will drag you down to their level and then beat you with experience." –Mark Twain
"It's easier to fool people than to convince them that they have been fooled." –Mark Twain
"Fleas can be taught nearly anything that a Congressman can." –Mark Twain
"God created war so that Americans would learn geography." –Mark Twain
"Don't go around saying the world owes you a living. The world owes you nothing. It was here first." –Mark Twain
"A lie can travel halfway around the world while the truth is putting on its shoes." –Mark Twain
"An honest man in politics shines more there than he would elsewhere." –Mark Twain
"I am quite sure now that often, very often, in matters concerning religion and politics a man's reasoning powers are not above the monkey's." –Mark Twain
"All Congresses and Parliaments have a kindly feeling for idiots, and a compassion for them, on account of personal experience and heredity." –Mark Twain
"Patriot: the person who can holler the loudest without knowing what he is hollering about." –Mark Twain
"Loyalty to country ALWAYS.

Loyalty to government, when it deserves it." –Mark Twain
"A banker is a fellow who lends you his umbrella when the sun is shining, but wants it back the minute it begins to rain." –Mark Twain
"Conservatism is the blind and fear-filled worship of dead radicals." –Mark Twain
"The man who does not read has no advantage over the man who cannot read." –Mark Twain
"In the first place, God made idiots. This was for practice. Then He made school boards." –Mark Twain
"You believe in a book that has talking animals, wizards, witches, demons, sticks turning into snakes, burning bushes, food falling from the sky, people walking on water, and all sorts of magical, absurd and primitive stories, and you say that we are the ones that need help?" –Mark Twain
"The easy confidence with which I know another man's religion is folly teaches me to suspect that my own is also." –Mark Twain
"Facts are stubborn things, but statistics are more pliable." –Mark Twain
"If you tell the truth, you don't have to remember anything." –Mark Twain
"Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts.

Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one's lifetime." –Mark Twain
"Clothes make the man. Naked people have little or no influence in society." –Mark Twain
"If you don't read the newspaper, you're uninformed. If you read the newspaper, you're mis-informed." –Mark Twain
"The more I learn about people, the more I like my dog." –Mark Twain
"Kindness is a language which the deaf can hear and the blind can see." –Mark Twain
"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." –Mark Twain
"Education: that which reveals to the wise, and conceals from the stupid, the vast limits of their knowledge." –Mark Twain
"George Washington, as a boy, was ignorant of the commonest accomplishments of youth. He could not even lie." –Mark Twain
"I have a higher and grander standard of principle than George Washington.

He could not lie; I can, but I won't." –Mark Twain
"Honesty is the best policy - when there is money in it." –Mark Twain
"I would rather have my ignorance than another man's knowledge because I have so much more of it." –Mark Twain
"It is curious that physical courage should be so common in the world and moral courage so rare." –Mark Twain
"To be good is noble; but to show others how to be good is nobler and no trouble." –Mark Twain
"The gentle reader will never, never know what a consummate ass he can become until he goes abroad. I speak now, of course, in the supposition that the gentle reader has not been abroad, and therefore is not already a consummate ass." –Mark Twain
"In the beginning of a change the patriot is a scarce man, and brave, and hated and scorned. When his cause succeeds, the timid join him, for then it costs nothing to be a patriot." –Mark Twain
"Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to pause and reflect." –Mark Twain
"Never put off till tomorrow what may be done day after tomorrow just as well." –Mark Twain
"What would men be without women?

Scarce, sir...mighty scarce." –Mark Twain
"Sanity and happiness are an impossible combination." –Mark Twain
"I have never let my schooling interfere with my education." –Mark Twain
"Keep away from people who try to belittle your ambitions. Small people always do that, but the really great make you feel that you, too, can become great." –Mark Twain
"The difference between the right word and the almost right word is the difference between lightning and a lightning bug." –Mark Twain
"April 1. This is the day upon which we are reminded of what we are on the other three hundred and sixty-four." –Mark Twain
"Never tell the truth to people who are not worthy of it." –Mark Twain
"I did not attend his funeral, but I sent a nice letter saying I approved of it." –Mark Twain
"Be careful about reading health books. You may die of a misprint." –Mark Twain
"The fear of death follows from the fear of life. A man who lives fully is prepared to die at any time." –Mark Twain
"The silent colossal National Lie that is the support and confederate of all the tyrannies and shams and inequalities and unfairnesses that afflict the peoples — that is the one to throw bricks and sermons at." –Mark Twain
"There is no sadder thing than a young pessimist‚ except an old optimist." –Mark Twain
"Thousands of geniuses live and die undiscovered — either by themselves or by others." –Mark Twain
"In a good bookroom you feel in some mysterious way that you are absorbing the wisdom contained in all the books through your skin, without even opening them." –Mark Twain
"Truth is stranger than fiction, but it is because Fiction is obliged to stick to possibilities; Truth isn't." –Mark Twain
"Books are for people who wish they were somewhere else." –Mark Twain
"Never allow someone to be your priority while allowing yourself to be their option." –Mark Twain
"A clear conscience is the sure sign of a bad memory." –Mark Twain
"A full belly is little worth where the mind is starved." –Mark Twain
"Man is the only animal that blushes.

Or needs to." –Mark Twain
"I haven't a particle of confidence in a man who has no redeeming petty vices whatsoever." –Mark Twain
"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." –Mark Twain
"Humor must not professedly teach, and it must not professedly preach, but it must do both if it would live forever. By forever, I mean thirty years." –Mark Twain
"Only laughter can blow [a colossal humbug] to rags and atoms at a blast. Against the assault of laughter, nothing can stand." –Mark Twain
"There are many humorous things in the world; among them, the white man's notion that he is less savage than the other savages." –Mark Twain
"Let us be thankful for the fools. But for them, the rest of us could not succeed." –Mark Twain
"In the beginning of a change the patriot is a scarce man, and brave, and hated and scorned. When his cause succeeds, the timid join him, for then it costs nothing to be a patriot." –Mark Twain
"Get a bicycle. You will not regret it if you live." –Mark Twain
"A half-truth is the most cowardly of lies." –Mark Twain
"Education consists mainly of what we have unlearned." –Mark Twain
"Action speaks louder than words but not nearly as often." –Mark Twain
"There's one way to find out if a man is honest: ask him; if he says yes, you know he's crooked." –Mark Twain
"The right word may be effective, but no word was ever as effective as a rightly timed pause." –Mark Twain
"Writing is easy.

All you have to do is cross out the wrong words." –Mark Twain
"The Bible has noble poetry in it... and some good morals and a wealth of obscenity, and upwards of a thousand lies." –Mark Twain
"If Christ were here there is one thing he would not be -- a Christian." –Mark Twain
"Obscurity and a competence—that is the life that is best worth living." –Mark Twain
“Often it does seem such a pity that Noah and his party did not miss the boat." –Mark Twain
"The most interesting information comes from children, for they tell all they know and then stop." –Mark Twain
“Under certain circumstances, profanity provides a relief denied even to prayer." –Mark Twain
"Of all the animals, man is the only one that is cruel. He is the only one that inflicts pain for the pleasure of doing it." –Mark Twain
"I've had a lot of worries in my life, most of which never happened." –Mark Twain
"Go to heaven for the climate and hell for the company." –Mark Twain
"I do not fear death. I had been dead for billions and billions of years before I was born, and had not suffered the slightest inconvenience from it." –Mark Twain
"The reports of my death are greatly exaggerated." –Mark Twain
"Always do right.

This will gratify some people and astonish the rest." –Mark Twain
"Life is short, break the rules, forgive quickly, kiss slowly, love truly, laugh uncontrollably, and never regret anything that made you smile. Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn't do than by the ones you did. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover." –Mark Twain