It is curious that physical courage should be so common in the world and moral courage so rare.
In religion and politics, people’s beliefs and convictions are in almost every case gotten at second hand, and without examination.
It is better to keep your mouth closed and let people think you are a fool than to open it and remove all doubt.
Most people are bothered by those passages of Scripture they do not understand, but the passages that bother me are those I do understand.
My mother had a great deal of trouble with me, but I think she enjoyed it.
Apparently there is nothing that cannot happen today.
Often it does seem a pity that Noah and his party did not miss the boat.
Part of the secret of success in life is to eat what you like and let the food fight it out inside.
The best way to cheer yourself is to try to cheer someone else up.
I thoroughly disapprove of duels. If a man should challenge me, I would take him kindly and forgivingly by the hand and lead him to a quiet place and kill him.
The difference between the right word and the almost right word is the difference between lightning and a lightning bug.
The right word may be effective, but no word was ever as effective as a rightly timed pause.
The man who doesn’t read good books has no advantage over the man who can’t read them.
Wisdom teaches us that none but birds should go out early, and that not even birds should do it unless they are out of worms.
Sane and intelligent human beings are like all other human beings, and carefully and cautiously and diligently conceal their private real opinions from the world and give out fictitious ones in their stead for general consumption.
It is not in the least likely that any life has ever been lived which was not a failure in the secret judgment of the person who lived it.
Of all the creatures that were made, man is the most detestable. Of the entire brood he is the only one–the solitary one–that possesses malice. That is the basest of all instincts, passions, vices–the most hateful. He is the only creature that has pain for sport, knowing it to be pain. Also–in all the list he is the only creature that has a nasty mind.
Humanity has unquestionably one really effective weapon—laughter. Power, money, persuasion, supplication, persecution—these can lift at a colossal humbug—push it a little—weaken it a little, century by century; but only laughter can blow it to rags and atoms at a blast. Against the assault of laughter nothing can stand.
Nothing is so ignorant as a man’s left hand, except a lady’s watch.
The older we grow the greater becomes our wonder at how much ignorance one can contain without bursting one’s clothes.
Indecency, vulgarity, obscenity–these are strictly confined to man; he invented them. Among the higher animals there is no trace of them.
In morals, conduct, and beliefs we take the color of our environment and associations, and it is a color that can be safely warranted to wash.
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.
His ignorance covered the whole earth like a blanket, and there was hardly a hole in it anywhere.
Well enough for old folks to rise early, because they have done so many mean things all their lives they can’t sleep anyhow.
Never refuse to do a kindness unless the act would work great injury to yourself, and never refuse to take a drink- under any circumstances.
You can’t reach old age by another man’s road. My habits protect my life but they would assassinate you.
All right, then, I’ll go to hell.