Ten Real Twain Quotes

I spent quite a lot of my morning fighting the internet about a misattributed Twain quote. More on that experience in an upcoming Writers' Houses post, but I thought we should hang out with some better quotes that are actually real.

1. There are several good protections against temptation, but the surest is cowardice. - Following the Equator

2. I am not one of those who in expressing opinions confine themselves to facts. I don't know anything that mars good literature so completely as too much truth. Facts contain a great deal of poetry, but you can't use too many of them without damaging your literature. I love all literature, and as long as I am a doctor of literature--I have suggested to you for twenty years I have been diligently trying to improve my own literature, and now, by virtue of the University of Oxford, I mean to doctor everybody else's. - Speech to the Savage Club, London, 7/6/1907

3.  Patriot: the person who can holler the loudest without knowing what he is hollering about. - More Maxims of Mark, Johnson, 1927

4. 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

5. Wit and Humor--if any difference it is in duration--lightning and electric light. Same material, apparently; but one is vivid, brief, and can do damage--the other fools along and enjoys the elaboration. - Mark Twain's Notebook

6. I am dead to adverbs; they cannot excite me. To misplace an adverb is a thing which I am able to do with frozen indifference; it can never give me a pang. ... There are subtleties which I cannot master at all,--the confuse me, they mean absolutely nothing to me,--and this adverb plague is one of them. ... Yes, there are things which we cannot learn, and there is no use in fretting about it. I cannot learn adverbs; and what is more I won't. - "Reply to a Boston Girl," Atlantic Monthly, June 1880

7. Thousands of geniuses live and die undiscovered--either by themselves or by others.Autobiography of Mark Twain

8. He had discovered a great law of human action, without knowing it--namely, in order to make a man or a boy covet a thing, it is only necessary to make the thing difficult to attain.The Adventures of Tom Sawyer

9. Good breeding consists in concealing how much we think of ourselves and how little we think of the other person. - Notebook, 1898

10. 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.Mark Twain's Notebook