Words of Wisdom from Mark Twain

  • Get your facts first, and then you can distort them as much as you please.
  • Be careless in your dress if you will, but keep a tidy soul.
  • There are several good protections against temptation, but the surest is cowardice.
  • Never tell the truth to people who are not worthy of it.
  • We ought never to do wrong when people are looking.
  • If you tell the truth, you don't have to remember anything.
  • Always do right. This will gratify some people and astonish the rest.
  • All you need to be assured of success in this life is ignorance and confidence.
  • Have a place for everything and keep the thing somewhere else; this is not a piece of advice, it is merely a custom.
  • It's a good idea to obey all the rules when you're young just so you'll have the strength to break them when you're old.
  • Let us not be too particular: it is better to have old secondhand diamonds than none at all.
  • Do something every day that you don't want to do; this is the golden rule for acquiring the habit of doing your duty without pain.
  • If a person offends you, and you are in doubt as to whether it was intentional or not, do not resort to extreme measures; simply watch for your chance and hit him with a brick.
  • Always acknowledge a fault frankly. This will throw those in authority off their guard and give you an opportunity to commit more.
  • There is no use in your walking five miles to fish when you can depend on being just as unsuccessful near home.
  • Part of the secret of success in life is to eat what you like and let the food fight it out inside.
  • Don't part with your illusions. When they are gone, you may still exist, but you have ceased to live.
  • Be careful to get out of an experience all the wisdom that is in it; not like the cat that sits down on a hot stove. She will never sit down on a hot stove lid again...and that is well; but she will also never sit down on a cold one anymore.
  • I am an old man and have known a great many troubles, but most of them never happened.
  • Only presidents, editors and people with tapeworms have the right to use the editorial "we".
  • America is built on a tilt and everything loose slides to California.
  • The first of April is the day we remember what we are the other 364 days of the year.
  • The trouble ain't that there is too many fools, but that the lightning ain't distributed right.
  • You cannot depend on your eyes when your imagination is out of focus.
  • Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to pause and reflect.

That's What He Said: Quoting Mark Twain
This article lists some quotations mistakenly attributed to Twain. Scroll to the bottom to find some things he actually said.