The Homespun Wisdom of Mark Twain
–Substitute “damn” every time you’re inclined to write “very”; your editor will delete it and the writing will be just as it should be.
–It is wiser to find out than suppose.
–Courage is resistance to fear, mastery of fear—not absence of fear.
–The difference between the almost right word and the right word is really a large matter—it’s the difference between the lightning bug and the lightning.
–History may not repeat itself, but it does rhyme a lot.
–Grief can take care of itself, but to get the full value of a joy you must have somebody to divide it with.
–We should be careful to get out of an experience only the wisdom that is in it—and stop there; lest we be like the cat that sits down on a hot stove-lid. She will never sit down on a hot stove-lid again, and that is well; but also she will never sit down on a cold one anymore.
–It’s good sportsmanship to not pick up lost golf balls while they are still rolling.
–It is best to read the weather forecasts before we pray for rain.
–A good walk spoiled. (Definition of golf.)
–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.
–Thunder is good, thunder is impressive, but it is lightning that does the work.
–Climate is what we expect, weather is what we get.
–For in a Republic, who is “the country”? Is it the Government which is for the moment in the saddle? Why, the Government is merely a servant—merely a temporary servant; it cannot be its prerogative to determine what is right and what is wrong, and decide who is a patriot and who isn’t. Its function is to obey orders, not originate them.
–There isn’t a parallel of latitude but thinks it would have been the equator if it had had its rights.
–Man is a Religious Animal. He is the only Religious Animal. He is the only animal that has the True Religion—several of them. He is the only animal that loves his neighbor as himself and cuts his throat if his theology isn’t straight.
–Whenever you find that you are on the side of the majority, it is time to reform.
–My body is my own, at least I have always so regarded it. If I do harm…it is I who suffers, not the state.
–When I was younger, I could remember anything, whether it had happened or not.
–Under certain circumstances, profanity provides a relief denied even to prayer.
–The man who doesn’t read good books has no advantage over the man who can’t read them.
–Be careful about reading health books. You may die of a misprint.
–Suppose you were an idiot and suppose you were a member of Congress. But I repeat myself.
–Faith is believing what you know ain’t so.
–If you tell the truth you don’t have to remember anything.
–Few things are harder to put up with than a good reason.