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Quotes From Famous Books by Mark Twain


Books communicate facets of an author that would otherwise have remained hidden. For instance, Mark Twain's works drew inspiration from his own life. Tom Sawyer was a character based on Twain's youth. Tom Sawyer's best friend Huckleberry Finn was a character based on Twain's childhood friend Tom Blankenship. The following quotes have been collected from Mark Twain's books and publications.
  • A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court
    The blunting effects of slavery upon the slaveholder's moral perceptions are known and conceded the world over; and a privileged class, an aristocracy, is but a band of slaveholders under another name.

  • Pudd'nhead Wilson
    The fool saith, 'Put not all thy eggs in one basket' ... but the wise man saith, 'Put all your eggs in one basket, and watch that basket!'"

  • Notebook
    Strip the human race absolutely naked and it would be a real democracy.

  • The Prince and the Pauper
    When I am king, they shall not have bread and shelter only, but also teachings out of books, for a full belly is little worth where the mind is starved.

  • The Mysterious Stranger
    Next the statesmen will invent cheap lies, putting the blame upon the nation that is attacked, and every man will be glad of those conscience-soothing falsities, and will diligently study them, and refuse to examine any refutations of them; and thus he will by and by convince himself that the war is just, and will thank God for the better sleep he enjoys after this process of grotesque self-deception.

  • The Gilded Age
    No country can be well governed unless its citizens as a body keep religiously before their minds that they are the guardians of the law, and that the law officers are only the machinery for its execution, nothing more.

  • How I Edited an Agricultural Paper
    The less a man knows the bigger the noise he makes and the higher the salary he commands.

  • A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court
    The master minds of all nations, in all ages, have sprung in affluent multitude from the mass of the nations, and from the mass of the nation only -- not from its privileged classes.

  • Following the Equator
    The very ink with which all history is written is merely fluid prejudice.

  • Pudd'nhead Wilson
    Few things are harder to put up with than the annoyance of a good example.

  • Roughing It
    Change is the handmaiden Nature requires to do her miracles with.

  • The Gorky Incident
    Customs do not concern themselves with right or wrong or reason.

  • Innocents Abroad
    What is it that confers the noblest delight? What is that which swells a man's breast with pride above that which any other experience can bring to him? Discovery! To know that you are walking where none others have walked; that you are beholding what human eye has not seen before; that you are breathing a virgin atmosphere. To give birth to an idea -- to discover a great thought.

  • Adventures of Tom Sawyer
    Often, the less there is to justify a traditional custom the harder it is to get rid of it.

  • Following the Equator
    By trying, we can easily learn to endure adversity. Another man's, I mean.

  • Following the Equator
    Be careless in your dress if you must, but keep a tidy soul.

  • The Lowest Animal
    I wonder why? It seems questionable taste.

  • The Lowest Animal
    Of all the animals, man is the only one that is cruel. He is the only one that inflicts pain for the pleasure of doing it.

  • 3,000 Years Among the Microbes
    Between believing a thing and thinking you know is only a small step and quickly taken.

  • Pudd'nhead Wilson
    Why is it that we rejoice at a birth and grieve at a funeral? It is because we are not the person involved.

  • The Prince and the Pauper
    When I am king, they shall not have bread and shelter only, but also teachings out of books, for a full belly is little worth where the mind is starved.

  • Innocents Abroad
    One frequently only finds out how really beautiful a really beautiful woman is after considerable acquaintance with her; and the rule applies to Niagara Falls, to majestic mountains, and to mosques -- especially to mosques.

  • Adam's Diary
    After all these years, I see that I was mistaken about Eve in the beginning; it is better to live outside the Garden with her than inside it without her.

  • Following the Equator
    We despise all reverences and all objects of reverence which are outside the pale of our list of sacred things. And yet, with strange inconsistency, we are shocked when other people despise and defile the things which are holy to us.

  • Following the Equator
    The universal brotherhood of man is our most precious possession, what there is of it.
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