Samuel Langhorne Clemens (1835-1910), best known to the world by his pen-name Mark Twain, was an author and humorist, noted for his novels The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (1884), which has been called “the Great American Novel”, and The Adventures of Tom Sawyer (1876), among many others.
Twain grew up in Hannibal, Missouri, which provided the setting for Huckleberry Finn and Tom Sawyer. After an apprenticeship with a printer, he worked as a typesetter and contributed articles to his older brother Orion’s newspaper. He later became a riverboat pilot on the Mississippi River before heading west to join Orion in Nevada. He referred humorously to his singular lack of success at mining, turning to journalism for theVirginia City Territorial Enterprise. In 1865, his humorous story, “The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County” was published, based on a story he heard at Angels Hotel in Angels Camp California where he had spent some time as a miner. The short story brought international attention, even being translated to classic Greek. His wit and satire, in prose and in speech, earned praise from critics and peers, and he was a friend to presidents, artists, industrialists, and European royalty.
Though Twain earned a great deal of money from his writings and lectures, he invested in ventures that lost a great deal of money, notably the Paige Compositor, which failed because of its complexity and imprecision. In the wake of these financial setbacks he filed for protection from his creditors via a bankruptcy filing, and with the help of Henry Huttleston Rogers eventually overcame his financial troubles. Twain chose to pay all his pre-bankruptcy creditors in full, though he had no responsibility to do this under the law.
Twain was born shortly after a visit by Halley’s Comet, and he predicted that he would “go out with it,” too. He died the day following the comet’s subsequent return. He was lauded as the “greatest American humorist of his age, and William Faulkner called Twain “the father of American literature.” Wikipedia
A lie can travel halfway around the world while the truth is putting on its shoes.
A man cannot be comfortable without his own approval.
A man who carries a cat by the tail learns something he can learn in no other way.
A man’s character may be learned from the adjectives which he habitually uses in conversation.
Action speaks louder than words but not nearly as often.
Age is an issue of mind over matter. If you don’t mind, it doesn’t matter.
All generalizations are false, including this one.
Always acknowledge a fault frankly. This will throw those in authority off their guard and give you opportunity to commit more.
Always do the right thing. This will gratify some people, and astonish the rest.
Always forgive your enemies; nothing annoys them so much.
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.
Be respectful to your superiors, if you have any. (Advice to Youth).
Better to keep your mouth shut and appear stupid than to open it and remove all doubt.
By trying we can easily learn to endure adversity — another man’s I mean.
Challenges make life interesting, however, overcoming them is what makes life meaningful.
Clothes make the man. Naked people have little or no influence on society.
Continuous improvement is better than delayed perfection.
Courage is resistance to fear, mastery of fear, not absence of fear.
Don’t go around saying the world owes you a living. The world owes you nothing. It was here first.
Few things are harder to put up with than the annoyance of a good example.
Forgiveness is the fragrance that the violet sheds upon the heel that crushes it.
Get your facts first, and then you can distort them as much as you please.
Grief can take care of itself, but to get the full value of a joy you must have somebody to divide it with.
Habit is habit and not to be flung out of the window by any man, but coaxed downstairs a step at a time.
How little a thing can make us happy when we feel that we have earned it.
Humour is the great thing. The minute it crops up, all our harnesses yield, all our irritations and resentments flit away.
I am opposed to millionaires, but it would be dangerous to offer me the position.
I didn’t attend the funeral, but I sent a nice letter saying that I approved of it.
I have never let my schooling interfere with my education.
I haven’t a particle of confidence in a man who has no redeeming petty vices whatsoever.
I was seldom able to see an opportunity until it had ceased to be one.
If you tell the truth, you don’t have to remember anything.
It ain’t what you don’t know that gets you into trouble. It’s what you know for sure that just ain’t so.
It is better to deserve honours and not have them than to have them and not to deserve them.
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.
Its not the size of the dog in the fight, its the size of the fight in the dog.
I’ve had a lot of worries in my life, most of which have never happened.
Kindness is the language which the deaf can hear and the blind can see.
Let us endeavour to live so that when we come to die even the undertaker will be sorry.
Let us so live that when we come to die even the undertaker will be sorry.
Love your enemy, it will scare the hell out of them.
Man is the only animal that blushes. Or needs to.
My mother had a great deal of trouble with me, but I think she enjoyed it.
Never argue with a fool, onlookers may not be able to tell the difference.
Never put off til tomorrow what can be done the day after tomorrow just as well.
Nothing so needs reforming as other people’s habits.
Nothing that grieves us can be called little. A child’s loss of a doll & a king’s loss of a crown are events of the same size.
Only kings, editors, and people with tapeworm have the right to use the editorial ‘we’.
Our opinions do not really blossom into fruition until we have expressed them to someone else.