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Jester-Prophet Mark Twain

Mark Twain/Samuel Clemens
(Samuel Clemens)

"Forgiveness is the fragrance that the violet sheds on the heel that has crushed it."

"Humor must not professedly teach and it must not professedly preach, but it must do both if it would live forever."

"Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover."

"So much blood has been shed by the Church because of an omission from the Gospel: "Ye shall be indifferent as to what your neighbor's religion is." Not merely tolerant of it, but indifferent to it. Divinity is claimed for many religions; but no religion is great enough or divine enough to add that new law to its code."

"It ain't those parts of the Bible that I can't understand that bother me, it is the parts that I do understand."

"The Christian's Bible is a drug store. Its contents remain the same, but the medical practice changes."

"Denial ain't just a river in Egypt."

"But who prays for Satan? Who, in eighteen centuries, has had the common humanity to pray for the one sinner that needed it most?"

"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."

"I believe that our Heavenly Father invented man because he was disappointed in the monkey."

"We have not the reverent feeling for the rainbow that a savage has, because we know how it is made. We have lost as much as we gained by prying into that matter."

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

"Between us, we cover all knowledge; he knows all that can be known and I know the rest."

"The lack of money is the root of all evils."

"A banker is a fellow who lends his umbrella when the sun is shining and wants it back the minute it begins to rain."

"His money is twice tainted: taint yours and taint mine.''

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

"I don't like to commit myself about heaven and hell -- you see, I have friends in both places."

"We are discreet sheep; we wait to see how the drove is going, and then go with the drove."

"Loyalty to petrified opinions never yet broke a chain or freed a human soul in this world -- and never will."

"Satan hasn't a single salaried helper; the Opposition employ a million."

"Apparently there is nothing that cannot happen today."

"Let us consider that we are all partially insane. It will explain us to each other; it will unriddle many riddles; it will make clear and simple many things which are involved in haunting and harassing difficulties and obscurities now."

"It isn't safe to sit in judgment upon another person's illusion when you are not on the inside. While you are thinking it is a dream, he may be knowing it is a planet."

"True irreverence is disrespect for another man's god."

"Life does not consist mainly, or even largely, of facts and happenings. It consists mainly of the storm of thought that is forever flowing through one's head."

"Martyrdom covers a multitude of sins."

"Few sinners are saved after the first twenty minutes of a sermon."

"I find that principles have no real force except when one is well fed."

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