105 Wittiest Mark Twain Quotes on Travel, Politics, Education, Patriotism & Humour:
Better known as “The Father of American literature,” Samuel Langhorne Clemens, whose pen name “Mark Twain” made him famous around the world was one of the greatest American writers, who rose to fame through his wit, and humour.
His art of story telling and his ingenuity with words clicked with the American’s, and later became the writing style of many Americans.
Many novice writers even to this day seek inspiration by reading the classic creations of Mark Twain such as: ‘The Adventures of Tom Sawyer’ (1876) which was widely acclaimed, after which Twain wrote a sequel called ‘The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn’ in 1884, which has been called “the Great American Novel.”
Mark Twain or beloved little Sammy as his parents called him was born on 30 November 1835 in Florida, Missouri in United States of America to Jane, a native of Kentucky and John Marshall Clemens, a native of Virgina.
Twain was of Cornish, English, and Scots-Irish descent. He was the sixth of seven children of which only three of his siblings survived Orion (1825–1897), Henry (1838–1858), and Pamela (1827–1904).
When he was four his family moved to Hannibal, Missouri, a port town on the Mississippi River that inspired the fictional town of St. Petersberg in his best selling books, The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, and the Adventures of Huckleberry Finn.
Mark’s life hit rock bottom when his father, who was an attorney and judge by profession died of pneumonia in 1847, when Mark was only 11. Due to burgeoning financial crisis Mark gave up on schooling the following year, after the fifth grade, and went on to become a printer’s apprentice.
In the year 1851, Mark began working as a typesetter and wrote several articles and humorous sketches for the Hannibal Journal, a newspaper that his elder brother Orion owned. When Twain turned 18, he bid adieu to Hannibal and took the job of a printer in New York City.
Mark Twain was friends with Tesla, the greatest innovator of his times known for designing the alternating current (AC) electric system. Twain had a keen interest in science, and the two enjoyed spending time, and experimenting with current in Tesla’s laboratory.
Though the writer made a fortune through his writing but lost a heavy sum on investing in new innovations. So much so that he even lost the property he acquired from his wealthy in-laws to settle his debts. One of the biggest regrets of Twain was investing in Paige Compositor, which caused him a heavy financial setback in life.
Mark Twain always believed that the mantra for success is to start from somewhere. He never blamed his fate or made excuses after losing his father, though he had to leave his school, but continued educating himself at libraries.
It was in public libraries that Mark gained accessed to all kinds of material, and continued writing for journals, which made his pen name Mark Twain popular.
Mark’s first writing gig started with his humorous columns that he wrote for newspapers, where he first used his pen name “Mark Twain” which made him popular. Throughout his career he wrote several books, essays, and articles on socio political issues, and even became a prolific lecturer.
Twain’s huge contribution to American Literature was recognised by Oxford University, that awarded him the degree of Doctor in Literature.
One of the most unusual fact about Mark Twain is that he was born when the Halley’s comet was seen in 1835, and departed when the comet was last seen on earth.
In 1909 Twain quoted:
I came in with Halley’s Comet in 1835. It is coming again next year, and I expect to go out with it. It will be the greatest disappointment of my life if I don’t go out with Halley’s Comet. The Almighty has said, no doubt: “Now here are these two unaccountable freaks; they came in together, they must go out together”.
Twain’s prediction was accurate; he died of a heart attack on April 21, 1910, in Stormfield, one day after the comet’s closest approach to Earth.
Between 1893 to 1908, Mark Twain was mostly sighted in New York sometimes in banquets, hotels, and he even resided there at 14 West Tenth Street, and at 21 Fifth Avenue.
His unforgettable public appearances often for charitable purposes made him a star of New York, and the press gave him the title of “The Belle of New York.”
Before making it big in the field of literature and arts, Mark Twain held a variety of jobs from being a typesetter to river pilot, prospector, and even as a miner for a short time.
However, his breakthrough in career came with writing as well as through his lectures. His Southern charm of Mark Twain never failed to amuse his audience, whenever Twain conduced lectures the room was filled with his charming aura.
Mark Twain is undoubtedly America’s original, and greatest humourist and satirist, who was always ready to fight for a cause using his sharp wit. Twain was a vocal opponent of racism, and imperialism, and was even a member of the Anti-Imperialist League.
Mark was always keen in maintaining his image in the public eye. He was frequently photographed in his pristine white suit, which became his statement piece that he wore throughout his life. His white tuxedos eventually became his trademark as illustrated in his anecdotes.
Twain even wore a white summer suit to a Congressional hearing during winter season. He was never shy in experimenting with colours, and patterns that are considered as out-of-season.
“Next after fine colors, I like plain white. One of my sorrows, when the summer ends, is that I must put off my cheery and comfortable white clothes, and enter for the winter into the depressing captivity of the shapeless, and degrading black ones. It is mid-October now, and the weather is growing cold up here in the New Hampshire hills, but it will not succeed in freezing me out of these white garments, for here the neighbors are few, and it is only of crowds that I am afraid.”
Now its time to dig into some of the best Mark Twain Quotes on Travel, Politics, Money, Education, Love, Kindness, Patriotism, Humour and Success all combined one. So here are:
2. “Education: that which reveals to the wise, and conceals from the stupid, the vast limits of their knowledge.”
3. “In the first place, God made idiots. That was for practice. Then he made school boards.”
4. “Soap and education are not as sudden as a massacre, but they are more deadly in the long run.”
5. “Some people get an education without going to college. The rest get it after they get out.”
6. “Schoolboy days are no happier than the days of afterlife, but we look back upon them regretfully because we have forgotten our punishments at school and how we grieved when our marbles were lost and our kites destroyed – because we have forgotten all the sorrows and privations of the canonized ethic and remember only its orchard robberies, its wooden-sword pageants, and its fishing holidays.”
7. “Education consists mainly of what we have unlearned.”
8. “Don’t let schooling interfere with your education.”
9. “Inherently, each one of us has the substance within to achieve whatever our goals and dreams define. What is missing from each of us is the training, education, knowledge and insight to utilize what we already have.”
10. “The secret of getting ahead is getting started.”
11. “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.”
12. “If it’s your job to eat a frog, it’s best to do it first thing in the morning. And If it’s your job to eat two frogs, it’s best to eat the biggest one first.”
13. “A person with a new idea is a crank until the idea succeeds.”
14. “All you need in this life is ignorance and confidence, and then success is sure.”
15. “The lack of money is the root of all evil.”
16. “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.”
17. “Many a small thing has been made large by the right kind of advertising.”
18. “The best way to cheer yourself up is to try to cheer somebody else up.”
19. “Kindness is the language which the deaf can hear and the blind can see.”
20. “Never refuse to do a kindness unless the act would work great injury to yourself, and never refuse to take a drink – under any circumstances.”
21. “A little more kindness, A little less speed, A little more giving, A little less greed, A little more smile, A little less frown, A little less kicking, A man while he’s down, A little more “We”, A little less “I”, A little more laugh, A little less cry, A little more flowers, On the pathway of life, And fewer on graves, At the end of the strife.”
22. “It is higher and nobler to be kind.”
23. Great people are those who make others feel that they, too, can become great.
24. “The best minds will tell you that when a man has begotten a child he is morally bound to tenderly care for it, protect it from hurt, shield it from disease, clothe it, feed it, bear with its waywardness, lay no hand upon it save in kindness and for its own good, and never in any case inflict upon it a wanton cruelty. God’s treatment of his earthly children, every day and every night, is the exact opposite of all that, yet those best minds warmly justify these crimes, condone them, excuse them, and indignantly refuse to regard them as crimes at all, when he commits them.”
25. “Man is kind enough when he is not excited by religion.”
26. “The very ink with which history is written is merely fluid prejudice.”
27. “There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics.”
28. “Get your facts first, then you can distort them as you please.”
29. “Politicians and diapers must be changed often, and for the same reason.”
30. “Suppose you were an idiot, and suppose you were a member of Congress; but I repeat myself.”
31. “Buy land, they’re not making it anymore.”
32. “Fleas can be taught nearly anything that a Congressman can.”
33. “Sometimes I wonder whether the world is being run by smart people who are putting us on or by imbeciles who really mean it.”
34. “An honest man in politics shines more there than he would elsewhere.”
35. “All Congresses and Parliaments have a kindly feeling for idiots, and a compassion for them, on account of personal experience and heredity.”
36. “Conservatism is the blind and fear-filled worship of dead radicals.”
37. “It’s not the size of the dog in the fight, it’s the size of the fight in the dog.”
38. “Do the right thing. It will gratify some people and astonish the rest.”
39. “Apparently there is nothing that cannot happen today.”
40. “Courage is resistance to fear, mastery of fear, not absence of fear.”
41. “Men are easily dealt with—but when you get the women started, you are in for it, you know.”
42. “Who would find out that I am a natural fool if I kept always cool and never let nature come to the surface? Nobody.”
43. “With courage you will dare to take risks, have the strength to be compassionate, and the wisdom to be humble. Courage is the foundation of integrity.”
44. “The fear of death follows from the fear of life. A man who lives fully is prepared to die at any time.”
45. “It is curious — curious that physical courage should be so common in the world, and moral courage so rare.”
46. “Courage is resistance to fear, mastery of fear — not absence of fear. Except a creature be part coward, it is not a compliment to say he is brave; it is merely a loose misapplication of the word.”
47. “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.”
48. “There are many humorous things in the world; among them, the white man’s notion that he is less savage than the other savages.”
49. “Go to Heaven for the climate, Hell for the company.”
50. “I can live for two months on a good compliment.”
51. “I did not attend his funeral, but I sent a nice letter saying I approved of it.”
52. “A full belly is little worth where the mind is starved.”
53. “Life would be infinitely happier if we could only be born at the age of eighty and gradually approach eighteen.”
54. “When angry, count four; when very angry, swear.”
55. “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.”
56. “When your friends begin to flatter you on how young you look, it’s a sure sign you’re getting old.”
57. “Truth is the most valuable thing we have. Let us economize it.”
58. “When you fish for love, bait with your heart, not your brain.”
59. “Love is an irresistible desire to be irresistibly desired.”
60. “Love seems the swiftest, but it is the slowest of all growths. No man or woman really knows what perfect love is until they have been married a quarter of a century.”
61. “Praise is well, compliment is well, but affection-that is the last and most precious reward that any man can win, whether by character or achievement.”
62. “Don’t wake up a woman in love. Let her dream, so that she does not weep when she returns to her bitter reality.”
63. “If you want love and abundance in your life, give it away.”
64. “You can’t reason with your heart; it has its own laws, and thumps about things which the intellect scorns.”
65. “Love is not a product of reasonings and statistics. It just comes-none knows whence-and cannot explain itself.”
66. “Out of the depths of my happy heart wells a great tide of love and prayer for this priceless treasure that is confided to my lifelong keeping. You cannot see its waves as they flow toward you, darling, but in these lines you will hear…the distant beating of its surf.”
67. “The frankest and freest product of the human mind and heart is a love letter; the writer gets his limitless freedom of statement and expression from his sense that no stranger is going to see what he is writing.”
68. “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.”
69. “The secret of success is making your vocation your vacation.”
70. “One must travel, to learn. Every day, now, old Scriptural phrases that never possessed any significance for me before, take to themselves a meaning.”
71. “We wish to learn all the curious, outlandish ways of all the different countries, so that we can “show off” and astonish people when we get home. We wish to excite the envy of our untraveled friends with our strange foreign fashions which we can’t shake off.”
72. “We love old travelers: we love to hear them prate, drivel and lie; we love them for their asinine vanity, their ability to bore, their luxuriant fertility of imagination, their startling, brilliant, overwhelming mendacity.”
73. “The gentle reader will never, never know what a consummate ass he can become until he goes abroad.”
74. “It liberates the vandal to travel — you never saw a bigoted, opinionated, stubborn, narrow-minded, self-conceited, almighty mean man in your life but he had stuck in one place since he was born and thought God made the world and dyspepsia and bile for his especial comfort and satisfaction.”
75. “There is no unhappiness like the misery of sighting land (and work) again after a cheerful, careless voyage.”
76. “Take the universe as a whole, and it is a very clever conception and quite competently carried out, but I don’t think much of this globe as a work of art. It would have been better to take more time to it and do it right, it seems to me, than to rush it through, helter-skelter, in six days, just for reputation.”
77. “It is a subject that is bound to stir the pulses of any man one talks seriously to about, for in this age of inventive wonders all men have come to believe that in some genius’ brain sleeps the solution of the grand problem of aerial navigation — and along with that belief is the hope that that genius will reveal his miracle before they die, and likewise a dread that he will poke off somewhere and die himself before he finds out that he has such a wonder lying dormant in his brain.”
78. “I have found out there ain’t no surer way to find out whether you like people or hate them than to travel with them.”
79. “Grief can take care if itself, but to get the full value of a joy you must have somebody to divide it with.”
80. “The human race has one really effective weapon, and that is laughter.”
81. “If you don’t read the newspaper, you’re uninformed. If you read the newspaper, you’re mis-informed.”
82. “A man’s house burns down. The smoking wreckage represents only a ruined home that was dear through years of use and pleasant associations. By and by, as the days and weeks go on, first he misses this, then that, then the other thing. And when he casts about for it he finds that it was in that house. Always it is an essential – here was but one of its kind. It cannot be replaced. It was in that house. It is irrevocably lost…It will be years before the tale of lost essentials is complete, and not till then can he truly know the magnitude of his disaster.”
83. “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.”
84. “Forgiveness is the fragrance that the violet sheds on the heel that has crushed it.”
85. “Wrinkles should merely indicate where smiles have been.”
86. “There is a charm about the forbidden that makes it unspeakably desirable.”
87. “If you tell the truth, you don’t have to remember anything.”
88. “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 man.”
89. “A man’s character may be learned from the adjectives which he habitually uses in conversation.”
90. “It is better to keep your mouth closed and let people think you are a fool than to open it and remove all doubt.”
91. “Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to pause and reflect.”
92. “Don’t go around saying the world owes you a living. The world owes you nothing. It was here first.”
93. “Don’t part with your illusions. When they are gone, you may still exist, but you have ceased to live.”
94. “Never argue with stupid people. They will drag you down to their level and then beat you with experience.”
95. “It’s easier to fool people than to convince them that they have been fooled.”
96. “The more I learn about people, the more I like my dog.”
97. “God created war so that Americans would learn geography.”
98. “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.”
99. “I would rather have my ignorance than another man’s knowledge because I have so much more of it.”
100. “Let us be thankful for the fools. But for them, the rest of us could not succeed.”
101. “Patriotism is supporting your country all the time, and your government when it deserves it.”
102. “My kind of loyalty was loyalty to one’s country, not to its institutions or its officeholders. The country is the real thing, the substantial thing, the eternal thing; it is the thing to watch over, and care for, and be loyal to; institutions are extraneous, they are its mere clothing, and clothing can wear out, become ragged, cease to be comfortable, cease to protect the body from winter, disease, and death.”
103. “Each man must for himself alone decide what is right and what is wrong, which course is patriotic and which isn’t. You cannot shirk this and be a man. To decide against your conviction is to be an unqualified and excusable traitor, both to yourself and to your country, let men label you as they may.”
104. “Patriotism is merely a religion-love of country, worship of country, devotion to the country’s flag and honor and welfare.”
105. “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.”