Famous Twain Quotes

Sam Clemens was never at a loss for words. Here you’ll find some of his most famous quotes‚ including the ones we inscribed on the walls of our museum center. While we continue to build our database‚ you can also check out twainquotes.com‚ a site lovingly created by Twain House friend Barbara Schmidt. Here‚ you’ll not only find quotes‚ but also hundreds of primary materials on Mark Twain‚ such as interviews and articles from newspapers and other media of the era.

  Advice to Kids
Always obey your parents when they are present.
Always respect your superiors; if you have any.
There is no sadder thing than a young pessimist‚ except an old optimist.
May you always keep your youth.
  Being Embarrassed
Man is the only animal that blushes. Or needs to.
We ought never to do wrong when people are looking.
  Being Good
Be good and you will be lonesome.
Honor is a harder master than law.
Always do right. This will gratify some people and astonish the rest.
Do your duty today and repent tomorrow.
  Books
Books are the liberated spirits of men.
If books are not good company, where will I find it?
  Fashion
Clothes do not merely make the man…clothes are the man.
  Food
A full belly is little worth where the mind is starved.
To eat is human…to digest‚ divine.
  Human Nature
Nothing so needs reforming as other people’s habits.
Character is the architect of achievements.
  Ideas
The man with a new idea is a crank until the idea succeeds.
  Learning
A full belly is little worth where the mind is starved.
  Money
The lack of money is the root of all evil.
  Nature
Architects cannot teach nature anything.
  Old Age
There is no sadder thing than a young pessimist‚ except an old optimist.
  Self Awareness
A man cannot be comfortable without his own approval.
I was born modest‚ but it didn’t last.
  Success
Prosperity is the best protector of principle.
All good things arrive unto them that wait and don’t die in the meantime.
  Travel
Travel is fatal to prejudice.
  Truth
Never tell the truth to people who are not worthy of it.
An uneasy conscience is a hair in the mouth.
When in doubt‚ tell the truth.
If you tell truth you don’t have to remember anything.
  Speeches
There is nothing in the world like persuasive speech to fuddle the mental
apparatus.
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Suggested Reading

An opinionated guide to books on Mark Twain, his life in Hartford, and his times.

Writing at the Mark Twain House

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