Mark Twain Quotes That Showcase His Humor & Morality


For the first decade of his life, Samuel Langhorne Clemens—better known by his pen name, Mark Twain—was quite sickly. This made the rest of his childhood in the riverside village of Hannibal, Missouri all the more idyllic, and inspired some of today’s most famous and beloved Mark Twain quotes.

Although his family was nearly destitute and suffered several tragedies, people and landmarks from his youth are fondly remembered in his works, including The Adventures of Tom Sawyer and Adventures of Huckleberry Finn.

During his early life, Twain worked as a typesetter, a journalist/cartoonist, an itinerant laborer, and a riverboat pilot before finally declaring himself a “literary person” and focusing on his writing.

Mark Twain quotes

Mark Twain became well-known for his humorous stories, drawings, and eventually, “literature of a low order.”

Twain may have poked fun at his own achievements, but he is remembered to this day, more than a century after his death, as one of the most beloved American authors. Here are 20 of Mark Twain’s most humorous and noble quotes on life and love.

1. “Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So, throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.”
2. “Keep away from people who try to belittle your ambitions. Small people always do that, but the really great make you feel that you, too, can become great.”
3. “Forgiveness is the fragrance that the violet sheds on the heel that has crushed it.”
4. “With courage you will dare to take risks, have the strength to be compassionate, and the wisdom to be humble. Courage is the foundation of integrity.”
5. “Life is short, break the rules. Forgive quickly, kiss slowly. Love truly. Laugh uncontrollably and never regret anything that makes you smile.”
6. “All you need in this life is ignorance and confidence, and then success is sure.”
Mark Twain quotes
7. “Give every day the chance to become the most beautiful of your life.”
8. “The world owes you nothing. It was here first.”
9. “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.”
10. “Kindness is the language which the deaf can hear and the blind can see.”
11. “The trouble is not in dying for a friend, but in finding a friend worth dying for.”
12.  “It is better to keep your mouth closed and let people think you are a fool than to open it and remove all doubt.”
13. “We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars.”
14. “Courage is resistance to fear, mastery of fear, not absence of fear.”Read Why Nevada is The True Birthplace of Mark Twain
15. “Wisdom is the reward you get for a lifetime of listening when you would rather have talked.”
16. “The two most important days in your life are the day you are born and the day you find out why.”
17. “It is better to deserve honors and not have them than to have them and not deserve them.”
18. “Thousands of geniuses live and die undiscovered – either by themselves or by others.”
19. “Never allow someone to be your priority while allowing yourself to be their option.”
20. “The more I learn about people, the more I like my dog.”

Mark Twain quotes

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