Mark Twain quotes
Birthdate: 30. November 1835
Date of death: 21. April 1910
Samuel Langhorne Clemens , better known by his pen name Mark Twain, was an American writer, humorist, entrepreneur, publisher, and lecturer. Among his novels are The Adventures of Tom Sawyer and its sequel, the Adventures of Huckleberry Finn , the latter often called "The Great American Novel".
Twain was raised in Hannibal, Missouri, which later provided the setting for Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn. He served an apprenticeship with a printer and then worked as a typesetter, contributing articles to the newspaper of his older brother Orion Clemens. He later became a riverboat pilot on the Mississippi River before heading west to join Orion in Nevada. He referred humorously to his lack of success at mining, turning to journalism for the Virginia City Territorial Enterprise. His humorous story, "The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County", was published in 1865, based on a story that he heard at Angels Hotel in Angels Camp, California where he had spent some time as a miner. The short story brought international attention and was even translated into French. His wit and satire, in prose and in speech, earned praise from critics and peers, and he was a friend to presidents, artists, industrialists, and European royalty.
Twain earned a great deal of money from his writings and lectures, but he invested in ventures that lost most of it—notably the Paige Compositor, a mechanical typesetter that failed because of its complexity and imprecision. He filed for bankruptcy in the wake of these financial setbacks, but he eventually overcame his financial troubles with the help of Henry Huttleston Rogers. He chose to pay all his pre-bankruptcy creditors in full, even after he had no legal responsibility to do so.
Twain was born shortly after an appearance of Halley's Comet, and he predicted that he would "go out with it" as well; he died the day after the comet returned. He was lauded as the "greatest humorist this country has produced", and William Faulkner called him "the father of American literature".
Quotes Mark Twain
Variant: Never argue with an idiot. They will drag you down to their level and beat you with experience.
Attributed to Twain but never sourced, this quotation should not be regarded as authentic.
No known source in Twain's works.
The earliest known source is a Usenet post from November 2000 https://groups.google.com/forum/message/raw?msg=israel.francophones/j_b0peHVcJw/YN5cG6Pdk6QJ.
Pudd'nhead Wilson's New Calendar, Ch. LXVI
Following the Equator (1897)
Source: The Diary of Adam and Eve
Source: Who Is Mark Twain?
Variant: 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.
„A God who could make good children as easily as bad, yet preferred to make bad ones; who could have made every one of them happy, yet never made a single happy one; who made them prize their bitter life, yet stingily cut it short; who gave his angels eternal happiness unearned, yet required his other children to earn it; who gave his angels painless lives, yet cursed his other children with biting miseries and maladies of mind and body; who mouths justice, and invented hell — mouths mercy, and invented hell — mouths Golden Rules and forgiveness multiplied by seventy times seven, and invented hell; who mouths morals to other people, and has none himself; who frowns upon crimes, yet commits them all; who created man without invitation, then tries to shuffle the responsibility for man's acts upon man, instead of honorably placing it where it belongs, upon himself; and finally, with altogether divine obtuseness, invites his poor abused slave to worship him!“
The Mysterious Stranger (1916)
Variant of this quote "The best way to cheer yourself is to cheer somebody else up." is misattributed to Albert Einstein.
Source: According Quote Investigator Mark Twain did write a version of this saying in a personal notebook in 1896, and it was published by 1935 in “Mark Twain’s Notebook”. https://quoteinvestigator.com/2012/12/21/cheer-somebody/
Notebook entry, January or February 1894, Mark Twain's Notebook, ed. Albert Bigelow Paine (1935), p. 240 http://books.google.com/books?id=DjBVlb7cBSIC&pg=PA240
Variant: If you tell the truth you do not need a good memory!
Source: The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn
Cited as an example of "What Mark Twain Didn't Say" in Mark Twain by Geoffrey C. Ward, et al.
Variant: It is better to keep your mouth closed and let people think you are a fool than to open it and remove all doubt.