When we remember we are all mad, the mysteries of life disappear and life stands explained.

The way it is not, the asylums can hold the sane people, but if we tried to shut up the insane we should run out of building materials.

Circumstances make man, not man circumstances.

The timid man yearns for full value and asks a tenth.  The bold man strikes for double value and compromises on par.

Clothes makes the man.  Naked people have little or no influence on society.

If you pick up a starving dog and make him prosperous, he will not bite you.  This is the principle difference between a dog and man.

Concerning the difference between man and the jackass: some observers hold that there isn't any.  But this wrongs the jackass.

Nothing is so ignorant as a man's left hand, except a lady's watch.

Familiarity breeds contempt -- and children.

When you fish for love, bait with your heart, not your brain.

Both marriage and death ought to be welcome the one promises happiness, doubtless the other assures it.

Be good and you will be lonesome.

Do your duty today and repent tomorrow.

It is not best that we use our morals week days; it gets them out of repair for Sundays.

Few things are harder to put up with than the annoyance of a good example.

We ought never to do wrong when people are looking.

A sin takes on new and real terrors when there seems a chance that it is going to be found out.

To lead a life of undiscovered sin! That is true joy.

[Adam] did not want the apple for the apple's sake, he wanted it only because it was forbidden.  The mistake was in not forbidding the serpent; then he would have eaten the serpent.

To promise not to do a thing is the surest way in the world to make a body want to go and do that  very thing.

Earn a character first if you can.   And if you can't assume one.

... in order to make a man or a boy covet a thing, it is only necessary to make that thing difficult to attain.

Always acknowledge a fault frankly.  This will throw those in authority off guard and give you an opportunity to commit more.

There are several good protections against temptations but the surest is cowardice.

Courage is resistance to fear, mastery of fear, not absence of fear.

It is better to deserve honors and not have them than to have them and not deserve them.

I was born modest; not all over, but in spots.

By trying, we can easily learn to endure adversity.  Another man's, I mean.

Man will do many things to get himself loved, he will do all things to get himself envied.

If a person offends you and you are in doubt as to whether it was intentional or not, do not resort to extreme measures.  Simply watch your chance and hit him with a brick.

It is not best that we should all think alike; it is difference of opinion that makes horse races.

Diligence is a good thing, but taking things easy is much more -- restful.

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

There is no character, howsoever good and fine, but it can be destroyed by ridicule, howsoever poor and witless.

The secret source of humor itself is not joy but sorrow.  There is no humor in heaven.

When angry, count four; when very angry, swear.

If the desire to kill and the opportunity to kill came always together, who would escape hanging?

In certain trying circumstances, urgent circumstances, desperate circumstances, profanity furnished a relief denied even to prayer.

Grief can take car of itself; but to get the full value of a joy you must have somebody to divide it with.

Let us endeavor so to live that when we come to die even the undertaker will be sorry.

Prosperity is the best protector of principle.

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

We all live in the protection of certain cowardices which we call our principles.

... no people in the world ever did achieve freedom by goody-goody talk and moral suasion: it being immutable law that all revolutions that will succeed must begin in blood.

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.

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.

Trial by jury is the palladium of our liberties.  I do not know what a palladium is, having never seen a palladium, but it is a good thing no doubt at any rate.

That's the difference between governments and individuals.  Governments don't care, individuals do.

My kind of loyalty was loyalty to one's country, not to its institutions or its office-holders.

The radical of one century is the conservative of the next.  The radical invents the views; when he has worn them out the conservative adopts them.

To arrive at a just estimate of a renown man's character one must judge it by the standards of his time, not ours.

To be vested with enormous authority is a fine thing; but to have the onlooking world consent to it is a finer.

A historian who would convey the truth has got to lie.

The very ink with which all history is written is merely fluid prejudice.

This atrocious doctrine of allegiance to party plays directly into the hands of politicians of the baser sort -- and doubtless for that it was borrowed -- or stolen -- from the monarchial system.

It could probably be shown by facts and figures that there is no distinctly native American criminal class except Congress.

Suppose you were an idiot.  And suppose you were a member of Congress.  But I repeat myself.

If a man doesn't believe as we do, we say he is a crank, and that settles it.  I mean it does nowadays, because now we can't burn him.

Monarchies, aristocracies, and religions are all based upon that large defect in your race -- the individual's distrust of his neighbor, and his desire, for safety's or comfort's sake, to stand well in his neighbor's eye.

[The preacher] never charged nothing for his preaching, and it was worth it, too.

There are those who scoff at the schoolboy, calling him frivolous and shallow.  Yet it was the schoolboy who said "Faith is believing what you know ain't so."

The first thing a missionary teaches a savage is indecency.

True irreverence is disrespect for another man's god.

Let me make the superstitions of a nation and I care not who makes its laws.

One of the proofs of the immortality of the soul is that myraids have believed in it.  They have also believed the world was flat.

When I reflect upon the number of disagreeable people who I know have gone to a better worl, I am moved to lead a different life.

The man who is a pessimist before 48 knows too much; if he is an optimist after it, he knows too little.

At 50 a man can be an ass without being an optimist but not an optimist without being an ass.

Life should begin with age and its privileges and accumulations, and end with youth and its capacity to splendidly enjoy such advantages.... It's an epitome of life.  The first half of it consists of the capacity to enjoy without the chance.  The last half consists of the chance without the capacity.

We should be careful to get out of an experience only the wisdom that is in it -- and stop there; lest we be like the cat that sits down on a hot stove-lid.  She will never sit down on a hot stove-lid again -- and that is well; but also she will never sit down on a cold one anymore.

Whoever has lived long enough to find out what life is. knows how deep a gratitude we owe to Adam, the first great benefactor of our race.  He brought death into the world.

All say, "How hard it is that we have to die" -- a strange complaint to come from the mouths of people who have had to live.

Truth is the most valuable thing we have.  Let us economize it.

I don't mind what the opposition say of me so long as they don't tell the truth about me.

Often the surest way to convey misinformation is to tell the strict truth.

Honesty is the best policy -- when there is money in it.

Some people lie when they tell the truth.  I tell the truth lying.

Carlyle said "a lie cannot live."  It shows that he did not know who to tell them.

Don't part with your illusions.  When they are gone you may still exist, but you have ceased to live.

Many a small thing has been made large by advertising.

You want to be very careful about lying; otherwise you are nearly sure to get caught.

There are 869 different forms of lying, but only one of them has been squarely forbidden.  Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy  neighbor.

A classic -- something that everybody wants to have read and nobody wants to read.

"Classic."  A book which people praise and don't read.

A successful book is not made of what is in it, but what is left out of it.

Persons attempting to find a motive in this narrative will be prosecuted; persons attempting to find a moral in it will be banished; persons attempting to find a plot in it will be shot.

It is better to support schools than jails.

Everything has its limit -- iron ore cannot be educated into gold.

Education consists mainly in what we have unlearned.

There are two times in a man's life when he should not speculate: when he can't afford it, and when he can.

My axiom is, to succeed in business; avoid my example.

The lack of money is the root of all evil.

I have found out that there ain't no surer way to find out whether you like people or hate them than to travel with them.

The gentle reader will never know what a consummate ass he can become until he goes abroad.

The Creator made Italy with designs by Michelangelo.

It used to be a good hotel, but that proves nothing -- I used to be a good boy.

The reports of my death are greatly exaggerated.

I have been on the verge of being an angel all my life, but it's never happened yet.

It is the little conveniences that make the real comfort of life.

To be busy is man's only happiness.

Do not put off till tomorrow what can be put off till day-after-tomorrow just as well.

Why is that we rejoice at a birth and grieve at a funeral?  It is because we are not the person involved.

The only way to classify the majestic ages of some of those jokes was by geologic periods.

One is apt to overestimate beauty when it is rare.

Nearly all black and brown skins are beautiful but a beautiful white skin is rare.

Whenever you find you are on the side of the majority, it is time to reform.

Necessity knows no law.

Necessity is the mother of "taking chances."

What then is the true gospel of consistency? Change.

The man with a new idea is a crank until the idea succeeds.

I would rather have my ignorance than another man's knowledge, because I have got so much more of it.

The holy passion of Friendship is of so sweet and steady and loyal and enduring a nature that it will last through a whole lifetime, if not asked to lend money.

Few of us can stand prosperity -- another man's I mean.

We have no thoughts of our own, no opinions of our own: they are transmitted to us, trained into us.

He is useless on top of the ground; he ought to be under it, inspiring the cabbages.

Put all your eggs in one basket and -- WATCH THAT BASKET.