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American humorist and writer
(1835 - 1910)
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We love old travelers: we love to hear them prate, drivel and lie; we love them for their asinine vanity, their ability to bore, their luxuriant fertility of imagination, their startling, brilliant, overwhelming mendacity.
      - [Travel]

What gets us into trouble is not what we don't know, it's what we know for sure that just ain't so.
      - [Knowledge : Trouble]

When in doubt, tell the truth.
      - [Truth]

Work is a necessary evil to be avoided.
      - [Work]

Get your facts first, and then you can distort 'em as much as please.
      - interview with Rudyard Kipling, in "From Sea to Sea"
         (epistle 37) [Journalism]

It was in Warwick Castle that I came across the curious stranger whom I am going to talk about. He attracted me by three things: his candid simplicity, his marvelous familiarity with ancient armor, and the restfulness of his company--for he did all the talking.
      - A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court
        [Books (First Lines)]

The ungentle laws and customs touched upon in this tale are historical, and the episodes which are used to illustrate them are also historical.
      - A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court
         (preface) [Books (First Lines)]

Soap and education are not as sudden as a massacre, but they are more deadly in the long run.
      - A Curious Dream,
        "Facts concerning the Recent Resignation"

Barring that natural expression of villainy which we all have, the man looked honest enough.
      - A Mysterious Visit [Honesty]

All the territorial possessions of all the political establishments in the earth--including America, of course-- consist of pilferings from other people's wash. No tribe, howsoever insignificant, and no nation, howsoever mighty occupies a foot of land that was not stolen.
      - Following the Equator
        [Conquest : Countries : Land]

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 practise either of them.
      - Following the Equator (ch. 20) [America]

Man is the only animal that blushes. Or needs to.
      - Following the Equator (ch. 27) [Blushes]

There are several good protections against temptations, but the surest is cowardice.
      - Following the Equator (ch. 36)

It takes your enemy and your friend, working together, to hurt you to the heart: the one to slander you and the other to get the news to you.
      - Following the Equator (ch. 45) [Sadness]

Truth is the most valuable thing we have. Let us economize it.
      - Following the Equator (ch. 7) [Truth]

He is now fast rising from affluence to poverty.
      - Henry Ward Beecher's Farm [Poverty]

There are laws to protect the freedom of the press's speech, but none that are worth anything to protect the people from the press.
      - License of the Press [Speech]

Modesty antedates clothes and will be resumed when clothes are no more.
  Modesty died when clothes were born.
    Modesty died when false modesty was born.
      - Memoranda (vol. III, p. 1513),
        in Paine's "Biography of Mark Twain"

The silent colossal National Lie that is the support and confederate of all the tyrannies and shams and inequalities and unfairness that afflict the peoples--that is the one to throw bricks and sermons at.
      - My First Lie [Lying]

An experienced, industrious, ambitious, and quite often picturesque liar.
      - My Military Campaign [Lying]

In other localities certain places in the streams are much better than others, but at Niagara one place is just as good as another, for the reason that the fish do not bite anywhere.
      - Niagara [Fishing]

Irreverence is the champion of liberty and its only sure defense.
      - Notebook [Irreverence]

Familiarity breeds contempt--and children.
      - Notebooks [Familiarity]

Good breeding consists in concealing how much we think of ourselves and how little we think of the other person.
      - Notebooks [Breeding]

What a good thing Adam had. When he said a good thing he knew nobody had said it before.
      - Notebooks [Originality]

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