75+ Insightful Mark Twain Quotes To Add Even More IQ To Your IG Captions

by Team Scary Mommy
Originally Published: 
Mark Twain Quotes
Library of Congress/Contributor/Getty Images

Born Samuel Langhorne Clemens, Mark Twain may arguably be most widely known as the author of The Adventures of Tom Sawyer and Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. But, the truth is, he remains one of the most influential and prolific writers in history — earning him a nickname as “the father of American literature.” Between the dozens of books, essays, stories, and lectures he published, in addition to his published ruminations about everything from travel to religion, Mark Twain quotes are plentiful and often cited.

Giving added weight to Twain’s words? The fact he wasn’t only an author. His quotes come from years of rich and diverse experience as a journalist, inventor, entrepreneur, and even riverboat pilot. There’s life in what he said. And, well, there’s a hefty dose of sarcasm and cynicism too, which is a whole mood (that we can appreciate).

So, whether you’re looking for an insightful Instagram caption or just want to do a little deep thinking, the following words of wisdom should do the trick.

Mark Twain Quotes About Life

  1. “Never put off till tomorrow what may be done day after tomorrow just as well.”
  2. “If you tell the truth, you don’t have to remember anything.”
  3. “Good friends, good books, and a sleepy conscience — this is the ideal life.”
  4. “What is human life? The first third a good time; the rest remembering about it.”
  5. “A man cannot be comfortable without his own approval.”
  6. “Never tell the truth to people who are not worthy of it.”
  7. “Don’t go around saying the world owes you a living. The world owes you nothing. It was here first.”
  8. “There is no sadder thing than a young pessimist, except an old optimist.”
  9. “May you always keep your youth.”
  10. “Man is the only animal that blushes. Or needs to.”
  11. “We ought never to do wrong when people are looking.”
  12. “Be good and you will be lonesome.”
  13. “Always do right. This will gratify some people and astonish the rest.”
  14. “To eat is human… to digest, divine.”
  15. “Nothing so needs reforming as other people’s habits.”
  16. “Character is the architect of achievements.”
  17. “The man with a new idea is a crank until the idea succeeds.”
  18. “The lack of money is the root of all evil.”
  19. “I was born modest, but it didn’t last.”
  20. “Prosperity is the best protector of principle.”
  21. “All good things arrive unto them that wait and don’t die in the meantime.”
  22. “Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to pause and reflect.”
  23. “Honor is a harder master than law.”
  24. “An uneasy conscience is a hair in the mouth.”
  25. “When we do not know a person — and also when we do — we have to judge his size by the size and nature of his achievements, as compared with the achievements of others in his special line of business. There is no other way.”
  26. “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.”
  27. “Never allow someone to be your priority while allowing yourself to be their option.”
  28. “Truth is stranger than fiction, but it is because fiction is obliged to stick to possibilities. Truth isn’t.”
  29. “Wrinkles should merely indicate where the smiles have been.”
  30. “What would men be without men? Scarce, sir… mighty scarce.”
  31. “You can’t depend on your eyes when your imagination is out of focus.”
  32. “Everyone is a moon, and has a dark side which he never shows to anybody.”
  33. “Courage is resistance to fear, mastery of fear — not absence of fear.”
  34. “The trouble is not in dying for a friend, but in finding a friend worth dying for.”
  35. “It’s not the size of the dog in the fight, it’s the size of the fight in the dog.”
  36. “The best way to cheer yourself is to try to cheer someone else up.”
  37. “The worst loneliness is to not be comfortable with yourself.”
  38. “The secret to getting ahead is getting started.”
  39. “The two most important days in your life are the day you are born and the day you find out why.”
  40. “Forgiveness is the fragrance that the violet sheds on the heel that has crushed it.”
  41. “The fear of death follows from the fear of life. A man who lives fully is prepared to die at any time.”
  42. “Always do what is right. It will gratify half of mankind and astound the other.”
  43. “Give every day the chance to become the most beautiful day of your life.”
  44. “Life is short, break the rules, forgive quickly, kiss slowly, love truly, laugh uncontrollably, and never regret anything that makes you smile.”
  45. “Twenty years from now, you will be more disappointed by the things that 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.”
  46. “Explore. Dream. Discover.”
  47. “When a man loves cats, I am his friend and comrade without further introduction.”
  48. “A banker is a fellow who lends you his umbrella when the sun is shining but wants it back the minute it begins to rains.”
  49. “The only way to keep your health is to eat what you don’t want, drink what you don’t like, and do what you’d rather not.”
  50. “There are basically two types of people. People who accomplish things, and people who claim to have accomplished things. The first group is less crowded.”
  51. “Life would be infinitely happier if we could only be born at the age of 80 and gradually approach 18.”

Mark Twain Quotes About Travel

  1. “The gentle reader will never, never know what a consummate ass he can become until he goes abroad. I speak now, of course, in the supposition that the gentle reader has not been abroad, and therefore is not already a consummate ass. If the case be otherwise, I beg his pardon and extend to him the cordial hand of fellowship and call him brother.”
  2. “There is no unpleasantness like the misery of sighting land (and work) again after a cheerful, careless voyage.”
  3. “Travel has no longer any charm for me. I have seen all the foreign countries I want to except heaven and hell, and I have only a vague curiosity about one of those.”
  4. “I have found out there ain’t no surer way to find out whether you like people or hate them than to travel with them.”
  5. “Books are for people who wish they were somewhere else.”
  6. “Architects cannot teach nature anything.”
  7. “Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts. Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one’s lifetime.”
  8. “Nothing so liberalizes a man and expands the kindly instincts that nature put in him as travel and contact with many kinds of people.”
  9. “A lie can travel halfway around the world while the truth is putting on its shoes.”
  10. “It liberates the vandal to travel — you never saw a bigoted, opinionated, stubborn, narrow-minded, self-conceited, almighty mean man in your life but he had stuck in one place since he was born and thought God made the world and dyspepsia and bile for his especial comfort and satisfaction.”

Mark Twain Quotes About Education

  1. “The man who does not read has no advantage over the man who cannot read.”
  2. “‘Classic’ — a book which people praise and don’t read.”
  3. “I have never let my schooling interfere with my education.”
  4. “Books are the liberated spirits of men.”
  5. “A full belly is little worth where the mind is starved.”
  6. “If books are not good company, where will I find it?”
  7. “In a good bookroom, you feel in some mysterious way that you are absorbing the wisdom contained in all the books through your skin, without even opening them.”
  8. “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.”
  9. “God created war so that Americans would learn geography.”
  10. “The difference between the almost right word and the right word is really a large matter. ‘Tis the difference between the lightning bug and the lightning.”
  11. “If you don’t read the newspaper, you’re uninformed. If you read the newspaper, you’re mis-informed.”
  12. “Education: the path from cocky ignorance to miserable uncertainty.”
  13. “Education consists mainly in what we have unlearned.”
  14. “Everything has its limit — iron ore cannot be educated into gold.”
  15. “It is noble to teach oneself, but still nobler to teach others — and less trouble.”

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