Known as the "greatest American humorist of his age, Samuel Langhorne Clemens — aka Mark Twain — would have celebrated his 144th birthday today. Though his best-known works include The Adventures of Tom Sawyer and its sequel, Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, Twain was also a prolific letter-writer, speech-giver, and essayist and a short story savant.
To honor the American writer and humorist, the man William Faulkner called "the father of American literature," we've rounded up 20 Twain quotes we hope will inspire you today and maybe remind you to have a little more fun.
Don't go around saying the world owes you a living. The world owes you nothing. It was here first. — A Tramp Abroad
The fear of death follows from the fear of life. A man who lives fully is prepared to die at any time.
Humor is the great thing, the saving thing. The minute it crops up, all our hardnesses yield, all our irritations and resentments flit away and a sunny spirit takes their place. — "What Paul Bourget Thinks of Us"
I have never let my schooling interfere with my education.
For knowledge is worth more than anything there is in the world; it's what makes great and good men. — The Adventures of Tom Sawyer
Anger is an acid that can do more harm to the vessel in which it is stored than to anything on which it is poured.
If you tell the truth, you don't have to remember anything.
The common eye sees only the outside of things, and judges by that, but the seeing eye pierces through and reads the heart and the soul, finding there capacities which the outside didn't indicate or promise, and which the other kind couldn't detect. — Joan of Arc
The two most important days in your life are the day you are born and the day you find out why.
Always do right. This will gratify some people and astonish the rest. — Eruption
Courage is resistance to fear, mastery of fear — not absence of fear. — The Tragedy of Pudd'nhead Wilson
The man who does not read has no advantage over the man who cannot read.
You can’t depend on your eyes when your imagination is out of focus. — A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court
Keep away from those who try to belittle your ambitions. Small people always do that, but the really great make you believe that you, too, can become great.
A full belly is little worth where the mind is starved. — The Prince and the Pauper
Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts. — Innocents Abroad
My mind changes often ... People who have no mind can easily be steadfast and firm, but when a man is loaded down to the guards with it, as I am, every heavy sea of foreboding or inclination, maybe of indolence, shifts the cargo.
A man cannot be comfortable without his own approval. — "Sammlung"