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Mark Twain / Englische Zitate

"Whenever you find that you are on the side of the majority, it is time to pause and reflect." -- Notebook, 1904

"The radical of one century is the conservative of the next." -- Notebook, 1898

"Often, the less there is to justify a traditional custom the harder it is to get rid of it." -- Tom Sawyer

"Principles have no real force except when one is well-fed."

"Our Country, right or wrong..." Have you not perceived that that phrase is an insult to the nation? -- "Glances at History," in deVoto, Letters from the Earth

"Don't go around saying the world owes you a living; the world owes you nothing; it was here first."

"By trying, we can easily learn to endure adversity. Another man's, I mean." -- Following The Equator

"Be careless in your dress if you must, but keep a tidy soul." -- Following The Equator

"Next the statesmen will invent cheap lies, putting the 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."...The Mysterious Stranger

"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." -- MacLaren?, Morally We Roll Along, 1938, as quoted in Alex Ayres' The Wit and Wisdom of Mark Twain.

"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 of them." -- Following The Equator

"By and by when each nation has 20,000 battleships and 5,000,000 soldiers we shall all be safe and the wisdom of statesmanship will stand confirmed." -- Notebook, 1902

"One frequently only finds out how really beautiful a really beautiful woman is after considerable acquaintance with her; and the rule applies to Niagara Falls, to majestic mountains, and to mosques--especially to mosques." -- Innocents Abroad

"We are all beggars, each in his own way." -- Paine, Mark Twain: A Biography.

"We despise all reverences and all objects of reverence which are outside the pale of our list of sacred things. And yet, with strange inconsistency, we are shocked when other people despise and defile the things which are holy to us." -- Following The Equator

"Man is a Religious Animal. He is the only Religious Animal. He is the only animal that has the True Religion -- several of them. He is the only animal that loves his neighbor as himself and cuts his throat if his theology isn't straight. He has made a graveyard of the globe in trying his honest best to smooth his brother's path to happiness and heaven… The higher animals have no religion. And we are told that they are going to be left out in the Hereafter. I wonder why? It seems questionable taste..." The Lowest Animal essay, 1897

"Between believing a thing and thinking you know is only a small step and quickly taken." -- "3,000 Years Among the Microbes."

"In religion and politics people's beliefs and convictions are in almost every case gotten at second-hand, and without examination." -- Neider, Autobiography.

"Why is it that we rejoice at a birth and grieve at a funeral? It is because we are not the person involved." -- Pudd'nhead Wilson

"When I am king, they shall not have bread and shelter only, but also teachings out of books, for a full belly is little worth where the mind is starved." -- The Prince and the Pauper

"I don't suppose there was much danger. People born to be hanged are safe in water." -- remark by Mark Twain's mother when learning of his narrow escape from drowning in Bear Creek (as told by Alex Ayres, The Wit and Wisdom of Mark Twain)

"We were good Presbyterian boys when the weather was doubtful. When it was fair we did wander a little from the fold." -- "I Have Tried to Do Good," speech, 1902.

"The universal brotherhood of man is our most precious possession, what there is of it." -- Following The Equator

"For business reasons, I must preserve the outward sign of sanity." -- letter to William Stead, 1890

"Change is the handmaiden Nature requires to do her miracles with." -- Roughing It

"We are always too busy for our children; we never give them the time or interest they deserve. We lavish gifts upon them; but the most precious gift--our personal association, which means so much to them--we give grudgingly." -- Paine, Mark Twain: A Biography

"Every time you stop a school, you will have to build a jail. What you gain at one end you lose at the other. It's like feeding a dog on his own tail. It won't fatten the dog." -- Speech 11/23/1900

"There has been only one Christian. They caught and crucified him--early." -- Notebook, 1898

"Can we afford Civilization?" -- "To the Person Sitting in Darkness"

"No civilization can be perfect until exact equality between man and woman is included." -- Notebook, 1895

"Suppose you were an idiot. And suppose you were a member of Congress. But I repeat myself." -- Paine, Mark Twain: A Biography

"Customs do not concern themselves with right or wrong or reason." -- "The Gorky Incident"

"Strip the human race absolutely naked and it would be a real democracy." -- Notebook, 1897

"What is it that confers the noblest delight? What is that which swells a man's breast with pride above that which any other experience can bring to him? Discovery! To know that you are walking where none others have walked; that you are beholding what human eye has not seen before; that you are breathing a virgin atmosphere. To give birth to an idea--to discover a great thought." -- Innocents Abroad

"I never let my schooling interfere with my education." -- Alex Ayres, The Wit and Wisdom of Mark Twain

"Education consists mainly in what we have unlearned." -- Notebook, 1898

"Few things are harder to put up with than the annoyance of a good example." -- Pudd'nhead Wilson

"Loyalty to petrified opinions never yet broke a chain or freed a human soul." -- "Consistency"

"God puts something good and lovable in every man His hands create." -- "The American Vandal," speech, 1868

"What is the most rigorous law of our being? Growth. No smallest atom of our moral, mental, or physical structure can stand still a year. It grows--it must grow; nothing can prevent it." -- "Consistency," speech, 1887

"The heart is the real Fountain of Youth." -- Notebook, 1898

"The very ink with which all history is written is merely fluid prejudice." -- Following The Equator

"We have a criminal jury system which is superior to any in the world; and its efficiency is only marred by the difficulty of finding twelve men every day who don't know anything and can't read." -- Fourth of July speech, 1873

"The less a man knows the bigger the noise he makes and the higher the salary he commands." -- "How I Edited an Agricultural Paper"

"The master minds of all nations, in all ages, have sprung in affluent multitude from the mass of the nations, and from the mass of the nation only--not from its privileged classes." -- A Connecticut Yankee In King Arthur's Court

"The trouble is that the stupid people -- who constitute the grand overwhelming majority of this and all other nations -- do believe and are moulded and convinced by what they get out of a newspaper." -- "License of the Press," speech, 1873

"If you tell the truth, you don't have to remember anything."

"The best way to cheer yourself up is to try to cheer somebody else up."

"We have a criminal jury system which is superior to any in the world; and its efficiency is only marred by the difficulty of finding twelve men every day who don't know anything and can't read."

"Loyalty to petrified opinion never yet broke a chain or freed a human soul." (inscription beneath his bust in the Hall of Fame)

"Good breeding consists of concealing how much we think of ourselves and how little we think of the other person."

"Be careful about reading health books. You may die of a misprint."

"The human race has one really effective weapon, and that is laughter."

"Man is the only animal that deals in that atrocity of atrocities, War. He is the only one that gathers his brethren about him and goes forth in cold blood and calm pulse to exterminate his kind. He is the only animal that for sordid wages will march out... and help to slaughter strangers of his own species who have done him no harm and with whom he has no quarrel.... And in the intervals between campaigns he washes the blood off his hands and works for "the universal brotherhood of man" - with his mouth".

"Name the greatest of all inventors. Accident."

"No country can be well governed unless its citizens as a body keep religiously before their minds that they are the guardians of the law, and that the law officers are only the machinery for its execution, nothing more." -- The Gilded Age

"Citizenship should be placed above everything else, even learning. Is there in any college of the land a chair of citizenship where good citizenship and all that it implies is taught? There is not one -- that is, not one where sane citizenship is taught. There are some which teach insane citizenship, bastard citizenship, but that is all. Patriotism! Yes; but patriotism is usually the refuge of the scoundrel. He is the man who talks the loudest."-- speech, 5/14/1908

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