History does not repeat itself, but it rhymes.
If voting made any difference they wouldn’t let us do it.
If you don’t read the newspaper, you are uninformed; if you do read the
newspaper, you are misinformed.
Sometimes I wonder whether the world is being run by smart people who
are putting us on, or by imbeciles who really mean it.
“I do not fear death. I had been dead for billions and billions of years
beforeI was born, and had not suffered the slightest inconvenience
I’ve never killed a man, but I’ve read many an obituary with a great
deal of satisfaction.
They did not know it was impossible, so they did it!
Drawing on my fine command of language, I said nothing.
The loud little handful will shout for war. The pulpit will warily and
cautiously protest at first…The great mass of the nation will rub its
sleepy eyes, and will try to make out why there should be a war, and
they will say earnestly and indignantly: “It is unjust and dishonorable
and there is no need for war.” Then the few will shout even louder…
Before long you will see a curious thing: anti-war speakers will be
stoned from the platform, and free speech will be strangled by hordes
of furious men who still agree with the speakers but dare not admit it …
Next, statesmen will invent cheap lies, putting 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.
It is curious that physical courage should be so common in the world
and moral courage so rare.
When I was a boy of fourteen, my father was so ignorant I could hardly
stand to have the old man around. But when I got to be twenty-one, I
was astonished at how much the old man had learned in seven years.
The man who does not read good books has no advantage over the man
who can’t read them.
Don’t go around saying the world owes you a living. The world owes
you nothing. It was here first.
Never try to teach a pig to sing. It wastes time and annoys the pig.
Never let your schoolin’ interfere with your education.
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.
It ain’t the parts of the Bible that I can’t understand that bother me, it
is the parts that I do understand.
All you need in this life is ignorance and confidence; then success
Whiskey is for drinking. Water is for fighting over.
Clothes make the man. Naked people have little or no influence on
There ain’t no surer way to find out whether you like people or hate
them than to travel with them.
Everybody talks about the weather, but nobody does anything about it.
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.
Every generalization is false, including this one.
A banker is a fellow who lends you his umbrella when the sun is
shining, but wants it back the minute it begins to rain.
Whenever you find that you are on the side of the majority,
it is time to reform.
Never put off until tomorrow what you can do the day after
In religion and politics, people’s beliefs and convictions are in
almost every case gotten at second-hand, and without examination.
A classic is something that everybody praises and nobody has read.
Always acknowledge a fault. This will throw those in authority
off their guard and give you an opportunity to commit more.
Get your facts first, and then you can distort them as much
as you please.
Kindness is a language which the deaf can hear, and the blind
It is better to deserve honors and not have them than to have
them and not to deserve them.
Golf is a good walk spoiled.
A man cannot be comfortable without his own approval.
Truth is more often stranger than fiction.
What gets us into trouble is not what we don’t know.
It’s what we know for sure that just ain’t so.
You cannot depend on your eyes when your imagination
is out of focus.
America is built on a tilt and everything loose slides
The trouble ain’t that there is too many fools, but that the
lightning ain’t distributed right.
I have found solace in profanity unexcelled even by prayer.
I didn’t attend the funeral, but I sent a nice letter saying
that I approved of it.
America is a nation without a distinct criminal class with
the possible exception of Congress.
I take my only exercise acting as a pallbearer at the
funerals of my friends who exercise regularly.
Some men worship rank, some worship heroes, some
worship power, some worship God, and over these
ideals they dispute and cannot unite — but they all
Wagner’s music is better than it sounds.
Be careful about reading health books. You may die of a
The test of any good fiction is that you should care
something for the characters; the good to succeed,
the bad to fail. The trouble with most fiction is that
you want them all to land in hell, together, as quickly as possible.
I haven’t a particle of confidence in a man who has no
redeeming petty vices.
In the beginning of a change, the patriot is a scarce man;
brave, hated, and scorned. When his cause succeeds,
however, the timid join him, for then it costs nothing
to be a patriot.
France is miserable because it is filled with Frenchmen,
and Frenchmen are miserable because they live in France.
The citizen who sees his society’s democratic clothes
being worn out and does not cry out is not a patriot
but a traitor.
I can teach anybody how to get what they want out
of life. The problem is I can’t find anybody who can
tell me what they want.
Tomorrow is the yesterday of two days from now.
I don’t give a damn for a man that can only spell a
word one way.
Denial ain’t just a river in Egypt.
Be respectful to your superiors, if you have any.
He is a stranger to me, but he is a most remarkable man
– and I am the other one. Between us, we cover all knowledge;
he knows all that can be known, and I know the rest. On Kipling.
It does look as if Massachusetts were in a fair way to
embarrass me with kindnesses this year. In the first place,
a Massachusetts judge has just decided in open court that
a Boston publisher may sell, not only his own property in
a free and unfettered way, but also may as freely sell property
which does not belong to him but to me; property which he
has not bought and which I have not sold. Under this ruling
I am now advertising that judge’s homestead for sale, and,
if I make as good a sum out of it as I expect, I shall go on
and sell out the rest of his property.
It was wonderful to find America, but it would have been
more wonderful to miss it.
If you would have your fiction live forever, you must neither
overtly preach nor overtly teach; but you must *covertly*
preach and *covertly* teach.
Substitute “damn” every time you’re inclined to write “very”;
your editor will delete it and the writing will be just as it
should be. Substitute “damn” every time you’re inclined to
write “very”; your editor will delete it and the writing will be
just as it should be.
Cauliflower is nothing but Cabbage with a College Education.
Land of religions, cradle of human race, birthplace of hum
an speech, grandmother of legend, great grandmother of
tradition. The land that all men desire to see and having seen
once even by a glimpse, would not give that glimpse for the
shows of the rest of the globe combined. On India.
There is something worse than ignorance, and that’s knowing
what ain’t so.
If you don’t like the weather in New England, just wait a
There is something fascinating about science. One gets
such wholesale returns of conjectureout of such a trifling
investment of fact. Estimate of the total annual deposition of silt
by the Mississsippi R.
Substitute “damn” every time you’re inclined to write “very”;
your editor will delete it and the writing will be just as it should be.
Always do right. This will gratify some people and astonish
The coldest winter I ever spent was a summer in San Francisco. California