Wide World of Quotes > Mark Twain Quotes


Mark Twain
(original name: Samuel Longhorne Clemens)
American writer
(1835-1910)



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There was things that he stretched, but he mainly told the truth.
-- The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (1884)

All kings is mostly rapscallions.
-- The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (1884)

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 practise either of them.
-- Following the Equator (1897)

Familiarity breeds contempt -- and children.
-- Notebooks (1935)

The report of my death was an exaggeration.
(Usually misquoted as: "Reports of my death have been greatly exaggerated.")
-- Quoted in: New York Journal, 2nd June 1897

Suppose you were an idiot and suppose you were a member of Congress. But I repeat myself.
-- Mark Twain (attributed)

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

Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.
-- Mark Twain

I have read carefully the treaty of Paris [between the United States and Spain], and I have seen that we do not intend to free, but to subjugate the people of the Philippines. We have gone there to conquer, not to redeem.... And so I am an anti-imperialist. I am opposed to having the eagle put its talons on any other land.
-- Quoted in New York Herald, 15 October 1900 (More details here.)


Mark Twain the Anti-Imperialist

The Person Sitting in Darkness
A powerful anti-war essay by Mark Twain. Originally published in 1901.

The Moro Massacre
Twain's devastating response to the Infamous 1906 massacre of Filipinos by American forces.

The War Prayer
A mysterious stranger bids a church congregation reflect on what they are praying for.

Jim Zwick
Contains a valuable bibliography.


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The selection of the above quotes and the writing of the accompanying notes was performed by the author David Paul Wagner.

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