Connect with us

Best Mark Twain Quotes on Writing and Education

Allow the famous words of Mark Twain to open your eyes on writing and the value of education.

Mark Twain is hailed today as the “greatest humorist” the United States has ever produced. His many wise words and thought-provoking tales still inspire countless individuals today. Looking for motivational Mark Twain quotes to inspire you, too? Here’s our collection of Mark Twain quotes that will certainly open your eyes and mind.

So often I find myself quoting the words of Mark Twain in my writings. He has so many funny, useful, and instructive thoughts that he left behind as a gift for us.

It dawned on me that some of you might have some favorite Mark Twain quotes yourselves; and if not, you were really losing out. So, I decided to put a list together of what I consider his 50 best sayings.

I hope that you find the one you love, help give you a new one that inspires you, or simply just make you think and laugh.

Below is our collection of inspirational, wise, and thought-provoking Mark Twain quotes and sayings, collected from a variety of sources over the years. Enjoy!

Mark Twain Quotes on Life

1. “When angry, count four; when very angry, swear.”- MARK TWAIN, The Tragedy of Pudd’nhead Wilson

2. “All kings is mostly rapscallions.”- MARK TWAIN, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn

3. “The common eye sees only the outside of things, and judges by that, but the seeing eye pierces through and reads the heart and the soul, finding their capacities which the outside didn’t indicate or promise, and which the other kind couldn’t detect.” – MARK TWAIN, Joan of Arc


5. “Whoever has lived long enough to find out what life is, knows how deep a debt of gratitude we owe to Adam, the first great benefactor of our race. He brought death into the world.”- MARK TWAIN, The Tragedy of Pudd’nhead Wilson

6. “Do not put off till tomorrow what can be put off till day-after-tomorrow just as well.”- MARK TWAIN, Mark Twain’s Notebook

Mark Twain quotes that will change the way you think

7. “Everybody talks about the weather, but nobody does anything about it.” – MARK TWAIN, editorial in the Hartford Courant, Aug. 24, 1897

8. “Courage is resistance to fear, mastery of fear — not absence of fear.”- MARK TWAIN, The Tragedy of Pudd’nhead Wilson

9. “Good breeding consists in concealing how much we think of ourselves and how little we think of the other person.”- MARK TWAIN, Mark Twain’s Notebook

10. “Truth is mighty and will prevail. There is nothing the matter with this, except that it ain’t so.”- MARK TWAIN, Mark Twain’s Notebooks

11. “Golf is a good walk spoiled.”- MARK TWAIN, Greatly Exaggerated: The Wit and Wisdom of Mark Twain


13. “Its name is Public Opinion. It is held in reverence. It settles everything. Some think it is the voice of God.”- MARK TWAIN, Europe and Elsewhere

14. “When we remember that we are all mad, the mysteries disappear and life stands explained.”- MARK TWAIN, Mark Twain’s Notebook

15. “Put all your eggs in one basket — and watch that basket!”- MARK TWAIN, The Tragedy of Pudd’nhead Wilson

Related  Wayne Gretzky Quotes That Transcend Hockey

16. “The secret source of humor itself is not joy but sorrow. There is no humor in heaven.”- MARK TWAIN, Following the Equator

17. “Against the assault of laughter nothing can stand.”- MARK TWAIN, The Mysterious Stranger

Mark Twain quotes on how we think

18. “Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts.”- MARK TWAIN, Innocents Abroad

19. “After a few months’ acquaintance with European “coffee,” one’s mind weakens, and his faith with it, and he begins to wonder if the rich beverage of home, with its clotted layer of yellow cream on top of it, is not a mere dream after all, and a thing which never existed.”- MARK TWAIN, A Tramp Abroad


21. “Grief can take care of itself; but to get the full value of a joy you must have someone to divide it with.”- MARK TWAIN, The Tragedy of Pudd’nhead Wilson

22. “The lack of money is the root of all evil.”- MARK TWAIN, Mark Twain’s Notebook

23. “It is better to have old second-hand diamonds than none at all.”- MARK TWAIN, Following the Equator

24. “Don’t part with your illusions. When they are gone, you may still exist, but you have ceased to live.”- MARK TWAIN, The Tragedy of Pudd’nhead Wilson

25. “Clothes make the man. Naked people have little or no influence in society.”- MARK TWAIN, Mark Twain’s Notebook

26. “There is no distinctly native American criminal class except Congress.”- MARK TWAIN, Following the Equator
If you’re enjoying these quotes, make sure to check out our collection of wise native American quotes on community, respect, and more.

Mark Twain Quotes on Education

27. “Classic.” A book which people praise and don’t read. – MARK TWAIN, Following the Equator

28. “What’s the use you learning to do right, when it’s troublesome to do right and ain’t no trouble to do wrong, and the wages is just the same?”- MARK TWAIN, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn

29. “I have been studying the traits and dispositions of the “lower animals” (so called) and contrasting them with the traits and dispositions of man. I find the result humiliating to me.”- MARK TWAIN, Letters from the Earth

30. “Training is everything. The peach was once a bitter almond; cauliflower is nothing but cabbage with a college education.”- MARK TWAIN, The Tragedy of Pudd’nhead Wilson

mark-twain-quotes-on-lifeMore Mark Twain quotes

32. “When a humorist ventures upon the grave concerns of life he must do his job better than another man or he works harm to his cause.”- MARK TWAIN, letter to W. D. Howells, Aug. 23, 1876

33. “There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics.” – MARK TWAIN, Autobiography

34. “What a man wants with religion in these breadless times, surpasses my comprehension.”- MARK TWAIN, letter to Orion Clemens, Mar. 1860

35. “I always did hate for anyone to know what my plans or hopes or prospects were—for, if I kept people in ignorance in these matters, no one could be disappointed but myself, if they were not realized.”- MARK TWAIN, letter to Mrs. Moffett, Oct. 25, 1861

36. “Men are easily dealt with—but when you get the women started, you are in for it, you know.”- MARK TWAIN, letter to Mrs. Jane Clemens and Mrs. Moffett, Feb. 8, 1862

37. “We chase phantoms half the days of our lives. It is well if we learn wisdom even then, and save the other half.”- MARK TWAIN, letter to Orion Clemens, Feb. 21, 1868

Related  Decision Quotes That Remind Us How Much Power We Really Have

38. “Who would find out that I am a natural fool if I kept always cool and never let nature come to the surface? Nobody.”- MARK TWAIN, letter to Thomas Bailey Aldrich, Jan. 28, 1870

39. “Ah, well, I am a great and sublime fool. But then I am God’s fool, and all His works must be contemplated with respect.”- MARK TWAIN, letter to W. D. Howells, 1877

40. “My mind changes often … People who have no mind can easily be steadfast and firm, but when a man is loaded down to the guards with it, as I am, every heavy sea of foreboding or inclination, maybe of indolence, shifts the cargo.”- MARK TWAIN, letter to James Redpath, Aug. 8, 1871

41. “I would rather have my ignorance than another man’s knowledge, because I have got so much more of it.” – MARK TWAIN, letter to William Dean Howells, Feb. 10, 1875


43. “People who always feel jolly, no matter where they are or what happens to them—who have the organ of hope preposterously developed—who are endowed with an uncongealable sanguine temperament—who never feel concerned about the price of corn—and who cannot, by any possibility, discover any but the bright side of a picture—are very apt to go to extremes, and exaggerate with 40-horse microscopic power.”- MARK TWAIN, letter to Mrs. Jane Clemens and Mrs. Moffett, Feb. 8, 1862

44. “I am as prompt as a clock, if I only know the day a thing is wanted—otherwise I am a natural procrastinaturalist.”- MARK TWAIN, letter to W. D. Howells, Dec. 8, 1874

If you’re enjoying this article, be sure to also check out our collection of Animal Farm quotes to teach you the power of too much power.

Mark Twain Quotes on Writing

45. “Words are only painted fire; a look is the fire itself.”- MARK TWAIN, A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court

46. “The very ink with which all history is written is merely fluid prejudice.”- MARK TWAIN, Following the Equator

47. “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 practice either.”- MARK TWAIN, Following the Equator

48. “Principles have no real force except when one is well fed.”- MARK TWAIN, Adam’s Diary

49. “To string incongruities and absurdities together in a wandering and sometimes purposeless way, and seem innocently unaware that they are absurdities, is the basis of the American art, if my position is correct.”- MARK TWAIN, “How to Tell a Story”

Related  Steve Irwin Quotes That Will Make You Say “Crikey”

50. “Many a small thing has been made large by the right kind of advertising.”- MARK TWAIN, A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court

Mark Twain quotes that will make your day

51. “If you tell the truth, you don’t have to remember anything.” – Mark Twain

52. “The man who does not read has no advantage over the man who cannot read.” – Mark Twain

53. “Never tell the truth to people who are not worthy of it.” – Mark Twain

54. “You can’t depend on your eyes when your imagination is out of focus.” – Mark Twain

55. “Everyone is a moon and has a dark side which he never shows to anybody.” – Mark Twain

56. “Education: the path from cocky ignorance to miserable uncertainty.” – Mark Twain

57. “All you need in this life is ignorance and confidence; then success is sure.” – Mark Twain

58. “The two most important days in your life are the day you are born and the day you find out why.” – Mark Twain

59. “Never argue with stupid people, they will drag you down to their level and then beat you with experience.” – Mark Twain

60. “Education consists mainly of what we have unlearned.” – Mark Twain

More Mark Twain quotes

61. “Let us be thankful for the fools. But for them, the rest of us could not succeed.” – Mark Twain

62. “A successful book is not made of what is in it, but what is left out of it.” – Mark Twain

63. “He who asks is a fool for five minutes, but he who does not ask remains a fool forever.” – Mark Twain

64. “Write without pay until somebody offers to pay.” – Mark Twain

65. “The secret of getting ahead is getting started. The secret of getting started is breaking your complex overwhelming tasks into small manageable tasks, and starting on the first one.” – Mark Twain

66. “There are several good protections against temptations, but the surest is cowardice.” – Mark Twain

67. “If you tell the truth you do not need a good memory!” – Mark Twain

68. “Education: that which reveals to the wise, and conceals from the stupid, the vast limits of their knowledge.” – Mark Twain

69. “Plain question and plain answer make the shortest road out of most perplexities.” – Mark Twain

70. “Wit is the sudden marriage of ideas which before their union were not perceived to have any relation.” – Mark Twain

Did you enjoy these Mark Twain quotes?

Samuel Langhorne Clemens AKA Mark Twain was a brilliant and clever man of his time.

Through his works, his legacy and love of words will certainly live on. I hope you enjoyed these great – and sometimes funny – quotes on life, writing, and education.

Which of these Mark Twain quotes was your favorite? Do you have any other inspirational quotes to add to the list? Tell us in the comment section below.

Dr. Nikki Martinez, Lead Contributor
1 Comment
Click to view
1 Comment
  1. Wilhelm Franck

    September 4, 2019 at 11:45 AM

    24.) “Don’t part with your illusions. When they are gone, you may still exist, but you have ceased to live

Your email address will not be published.