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The Xenophile Historian

K. U. P.

(Kimball's Unauthorized Perversion)

Mark Twain Quotes

When it comes to good quotes, Samuel Langhorne Clemens (1835-1910), better known as Mark Twain, belongs in a category all by himself.
  1. "A lie can travel half way around the world while the truth is putting on its shoes."
  2. "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 a man."
  3. "If you tell the truth you don't have to remember anything."
  4. "Let us endeavor so to live that when we come to die even the undertaker will be sorry."
  5. "Most writers regard the truth as their most valuable possession, and therefore are economical in its use."
  6. "Thrusting my nose firmly between his teeth, I threw him heavily to the ground on top of me."
  7. "When I was a boy of fourteen, my father was so ignorant I could hardly stand to have the old man around. But, when I got to be twenty-one, I was astonished at how much he had learned in seven years."
  8. "The jury system puts a ban upon intelligence and honesty and a premium upon ignorance, stupidity and perjury." (from Roughing It)
  9. "A banker is a fellow who lends you his umbrella when the sun is shining and wants it back the minute it begins to rain."
  10. "Reader, suppose you were an idiot. And suppose you were a member of Congress. But I repeat myself."
  11. "In the real world, the right thing never happens in the right place and the right time. It is the job of journalists and historians to make it appear that it has."
  12. "History may not repeat itself, but it does rhyme a lot."
  13. "The very ink with which all history is written is merely fluid prejudice."
  14. "Clothes make the man. Naked people have little or no influence on society."
  15. "Man is the only animal that blushes. Or needs to."
  16. "The radical of one century is the conservative of the next. The radical invents the views. When he has worn them out, the conservative adopts them."
  17. "There has been only one Christian. They caught and crucified him--early."
  18. "Loyalty to petrified opinions never yet broke a chain or freed a human soul."
  19. "It is chloroform in print." (Mark Twain describing a really boring book)
  20. "The Jews constitute but one percent of the human race . . . Properly the Jew ought hardly to be heard of. He is as prominent on the planet as any other people . . . He has made a marvelous flight in this world, in all the ages; and he has done it with his hands tied behind him . . . The Egyptian, the Babylonian, and the Persian rose, filled the planet with sound and splendor, then faded to dreamstuff and passed away; the Greek and the Roman followed, and made a vast noise, and they are gone; other peoples have sprung up and held their torch high for a time, but it burned out, and they sit in twilight now, or have vanished. The Jew saw them all, beat them all, and is now what he always was . . . All things are mortal but the Jew; all other forces pass, but he remains. What is the secret of his immortality?" (from The Complete Essays of Mark Twain, Charles Neider, editor, New York, Doubleday, 1963, pg. 249, quoted by Benjamin Netanyahu in A Place Among the Nations, New York, Bantam, 1993, pg. 400)
  21. "The only difference between a tax man and a taxidermist is that the taxidermist leaves the skin."
  22. "I am an old man and have known a great many troubles -- but most of them never happened."
  23. "She was not quite what you would call refined. She was not quite what you would call unrefined. She was the kind of person that keeps a parrot."
  24. "Heaven goes by favor. If it went by merit, you would stay out and your dog would go in."
I also have two short goodies from Mark Twain among my favorite stories.

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