Mark Twain
Quicklinks
Top Links
main detailsbiographyby votesphoto galleryquotes
Filmographies
by yearby typeby ratingsby votesby TV seriesby genreby keyword
Biographical
biography
Did You Know?
photo galleryquotes

Quotes for
Mark Twain (Character)
from Mark Twain (2001) (TV)

The content of this page was created by users. It has not been screened or verified by IMDb staff.
The Adventures of Mark Twain (1985)
Mark Twain: The man with an idea is a fool, until the idea succeeds.

Tom Sawyer: [Looking at Twain's library] These must be those classics everyone talks about.
Huck Finn: What are classics?
Mark Twain: Something everyone wants to have read but don't want to read.

Becky Thatcher: How come you want to catch that comet so bad, Mr. Twain?
Mark Twain: Oh-ho-ho, the comet and I are part of the plan, angelfish. No doubt the Almighty said here, "There go those two unaccountable freaks. They came into this world together, they must go out together."

Mark Twain: I will continue on doing my duty, but when I get to the other side, I will use my considerable influence to have the human race drowned again, this time drowned good. No omissions. No ark.

Mark Twain: Everyone is a moon, and has a dark side which he never shows to anybody, if he can help it.

Mark Twain: A harp, a hymn book and wings? Good god, what a swindle. I'm led to consider a different path. Heaven for climate, Hell for company.

Mark Twain: Stormfield's a man of faith. Means he is willing to believe what he knows ain't so.

Mark Twain: Let me see, there are a number of things I want to say to you before I go.
[Clears throat]
Mark Twain: Always obey your parents.
Mark Twain: [Dark side] ... when they are present.
Mark Twain: Be respectful of your superiors.
Mark Twain: [Dark side] ... if you have any.
Mark Twain: Rise early, for it is the early bird that catches the worm.
Mark Twain: [Dark side] I once knew a man who tried it. Got up at sunrise. Horse bit him.

Mark Twain: It's time.
Mark Twain: [Dark side] I'm still considering whether to go. I haven't seen an atom of truth that there is a future life.
Mark Twain: Yet I am strongly inclined to expect one. Anyway, don't be such a sissy in the face of a real adventure.

Mark Twain: The human race, in all its poverty, has only one truly effective weapon: laughter. Against the assault of laughter - ha-ha-ha-ha! - nothing can stand.

Mark Twain: There's no sadder sight than a young pessimist. Except an old optimist.

Tom Sawyer: Supposing we do die? Is there really a heaven or a hell?
Mark Twain: Oh, I don't know about that. I don't wish to express an opinion. You see, I have friends in both places.

Mark Twain: Don't worry. Providence protects children, and idiots. I know it's true. I've tested it.

Becky Thatcher: Well, Tom and Huck and l, well, see, we're not so sure...
Mark Twain: That l know what l'm doing up here? Angelfish, it's just like piloting a river. You get to know the shape of it. Like following a hall at home in the dark. And even if you feel some fear, you know no harm can come to you because you've traveled that hallway a hundred times in nothing but bare feet and faith.

Mark Twain: You look about as disappointed as Presbyterians in Hell!

Mark Twain: That? Oh, that was just a little Writer's Block, that's all.


Hal Holbrook: Mark Twain Tonight! (1967) (TV)
Mark Twain: I was very particular about the kind of job I wanted. I didn't want to work. So I went over to the Congress, that Grand Old Benevolent National Asylum for the Helpless, and I reported on the inmates there.

Mark Twain: I wonder if God invented man because he was disappointed in the monkey.

Mark Twain: Man is the only animal who deals in the atrocity of war. He's the only one, that for sordid wages, goes forth in cold blood to exterminate his own kind. He has a motto for this: "Our country, right or wrong!"... And he has another motto: "Even though the war be wrong, we are in it! We cannot retire without dishonor!" Why, not even a burglar could have said that better.

[first lines, as seen on the original telecast, but not on the DVD]
Mark Twain: Ladies and gentlemen, I'm always sorry to have my name mentioned as one of the great authors, because they all have such a sad habit of dying off. Chaucer is dead; so is Milton, and so is Shakespeare. And I'm not feeling very well myself. I was born modest, but it wore off.

Mark Twain: [about Huckleberry Finn] We liked him. We admired him. We enjoyed his society. And because his society was forbidden us by our parents, we enjoyed it all the more.

Mark Twain: I used to tell lies, but I gave it up. The field is overrun with amateurs.

Mark Twain: [just before the first intermission] It's a terrible death to be talked to death.

[first lines]
Mark Twain: Ladies and gentlemen, how solemn and beautiful is the thought, that the earliest pioneer of civilization is never the railroad, never the newspaper, never the missionary, but whiskey.

Mark Twain: Well then, says I, what's the use in you learning to do right, when it's troublesome to do right and ain't no trouble to do wrong? And the wages are just the same.

Mark Twain: Well, it's a comical invention, the human race, any way you look at it. But sometimes it seems a shame that Noah and his party did not miss the boat.

Mark Twain: Well, that California get-rich-quick disease of my youth spread like wildfire. It produced a civilization which has destroyed the simplicity and repose of life, its poetry, its soft romantic dreams and visions, and replaced them with a money fever, sordid ideals, vulgar ambitions, and the sleep which does not refresh. It has created a thousand useless luxuries and turned them into necessities, and satisfied nothing. It has dethroned God and set up a shekel in his place. Oh the dreams of our youth - how beautiful they are, and how perishable!

[last lines]
Mark Twain: In just one hour of twenty-four, not more, I pause and reflect in the stillness of the night, and then I'm humbled, and then I'm properly meek, and during that little while I'm only the Mary Ann, fourteen hours out, cargoed with vegetables and tinware. But during all the twenty-three hours my vain self-complacency rides high on the white crests of approval, and then I am a stately India-man, ploughing the great seas beneath a cloud of canvas, and laden with the kindest words that have ever been vouchsafed to any wandering alien in this world, I think. Then I am the Begum of Bengal, seventy years out, homeward bound. Thank you and good night.

Mark Twain: When I was 14, my father was so stupid I could scarcely stand to have the old man around, but by the time I was 21, I was amazed by what he'd learned in just seven years

Mark Twain: Man is really the most interesting jackass there is. It's his idea, you see, that the deity sits up at nights to admire him.

Mark Twain: You see, man is also the religious animal. He's the only one who's got the true religion! Several of them.


Riverworld (2010) (TV)
Matt Ellman: [to Sam] So now, if I do this, how do I know you'll keep your end of the bargain and help me find Jessie?
Allegra Braccioforte de Venezia: You don't. It's a quandary, I know, but... look at his face. Would this face lie to you?
Matt Ellman: In a heartbeat.
Samuel Clemens: [dryly chuckles] It's true - I'm a habitual mendicant, but I pay my debts, not because I'm honest, but because I dislike intensely being obliged to another man. So, if you give me your assistance you will have my help in my return. Measure for measure.

Allegra Braccioforte de Venezia: Start the engines and get us out of here.
Samuel Clemens: Not yet. We have an agreement with Mr. Ellman.
Allegra Braccioforte de Venezia: You really meant all that? I thought you had more sense.
Samuel Clemens: Sometimes I don't know why I tolerate you.
Allegra Braccioforte de Venezia: Well, we know it's not for my cooking.

Hal Douglas: Do people actually do this for fun?
Samuel Clemens: Well, it is an unassailable fact that, as a recreational activity, mountain-climbing appears chiefly to lunatics, suicides, and the British.
Simon Porter: Like rugby.
Samuel Clemens: Are you trying to upstage me, Mr. Porter?
Simon Porter: Not likely, Mark Twain.
Youseff Mbaye: Do you want to stand here talking all day, or do you want to climb a mountain?
Samuel Clemens: You know, Sergeant Mbaye, if I ever novelize our adventures, you will be facing a considerable rewrite.

Samuel Clemens: And as to whether or not we can trust you, Mr. Ellman, I suppose we shall see... directly.

Amalie Fabarge: Half twain.
Samuel Clemens: Six feet! I've stepped in deeper puddles.

Francisco Pizarro: I am not that easy to kill.
Samuel Clemens: [Shoots Pizarro] Sure you are.
Francisco Pizarro: Clemens.
Samuel Clemens: Hello, Francisco
Francisco Pizarro: Coward! In the back?
Samuel Clemens: I find if you must shoot a dangerous animal, it's best to do it from behind and at a considerable distance.
[shoots him again, killing him]
Samuel Clemens: Strange. I thought I'd enjoy that.

Richard Burton: Captain Sir Richard Francis Burton. My friends call me "Dick."
Samuel Clemens: Burton? The explorer? You know, I read one of your books. It was amateurish, unnecessarily crude and pathetically self-congratulatory.
Richard Burton: Mr. Clemens. You know, I'm confused. Are you talking about my work, or yours?

Richard Burton: Now, Mr. Clemens, if you'll set down your weapon, we can discuss the terms of your surrender.
Samuel Clemens: "Surrender" is not in my vast vocabulary.
Richard Burton: How about "bollocks?" Is that in your vast vocabulary?

Samuel Clemens: You, sir, are a most despicable example of human kind.
Richard Burton: Why, thank you. Mr Ellman, I'm disappointed, I saved your life once, where's the gratitude?
Matt Ellman: I'll send flowers.
Richard Burton: Roses, I find work for any occasion.

Samuel Clemens: Captain Samuel Clemens, at your service.
Matt Ellman: Samuel Clemens? As in Mark Twain?
Samuel Clemens: Guilty as charged.

Samuel Clemens: We are never gonna catch 'em by followin' the river. We're tortoises... and that hare ain't gettin' any slower.

Samuel Clemens: The only real enemy in this life is despair, my friend.

Youseff Mbaye: Maybe this is not the time.
Samuel Clemens: I'm pontificating.


"Star Trek: The Next Generation: Time's Arrow: Part 2 (#6.1)" (1992)
Samuel Clemens: Any place that doesn't stock a good cigar doesn't rank high in my book.

[London has asked Clemens to help him write his own life story]
Samuel Clemens: Young man, I have a maxim that I have always lived by: no one is more qualified to write your story than you are.

Samuel Clemens: I suspect that even time travelers are vulnerable to the Colt .45.

Samuel Clemens: [seeing Worf for the first time] A werewolf!

Samuel Clemens: You got any passions, boy, any dreams?
Jack London: Well, I'd like to do some traveling, maybe go to sea. And Alaska - I've had the strangest notion to go see Alaska!
Samuel Clemens: That's a great idea, son, that's exactly what I would do if I were your age. Alaska, the Klondike, the aurora borealis, that's it! Follow your dreams, and write about them.
Jack London: Thank you, Mr. Clemens. You know, that is exactly what I'm gonna do.
Samuel Clemens: You do that, son.
Jack London: You'll see my name in print, too.
Samuel Clemens: I'm sure I will.
Jack London: And don't forget - the name's London, Jack London!

[Clemens mentions to Data an employee of the county assayer's office Data has spoken to earlier]
Lt. Commander Data: I have spoken to several people in that office.
Samuel Clemens: Yes, I know. And in the hall of records, and in the Geological Society, and in a little-known mineral shop in Chinatown. You do get around, don't you?
Lt. Commander Data: As apparently you do, Mr. Clemens.

Samuel Clemens: [to Troi] So, this is a spaceship. You ever run into Halley's Comet?

Samuel Clemens: I know what you say, that this is a vessel of exploration, and that your mission is to discover new worlds. That... that's what the, the Spanish said... and the Dutch, and the Portuguese...

[last lines]
Samuel Clemens: Don't worry, Madam Guinan. You're gonna be fine.

Samuel Clemens: Where are we? And when?
Commander William T. Riker: This is the 24th century, we're on Devidia II, and you're not supposed to be here.
Samuel Clemens: Well, it seems to me I have as much right to be in your time as you had to be in mine. I wanted to see how you've conducted my future affairs.
Counselor Deanna Troi: Your future affairs?
Samuel Clemens: The affairs of mankind.
Commander William T. Riker: But the disappearance of Mark Twain, one of the most noted literary figures of the 19th century...
Samuel Clemens: Thank you.
Commander William T. Riker: That's not supposed to happen.
Samuel Clemens: I only took advantage of an irresistible opportunity, as any good writer would.

Counselor Deanna Troi: Poverty was eliminated on Earth, a long time ago. And a lot of other things disappeared with it - hopelessness, despair, cruelty...
Samuel Clemens: Young lady, I come from a time when men achieve power and wealth by standing on the backs of the poor, where prejudice and intolerance are commonplace and power is an end unto itself. And you're telling me that isn't how it is anymore?
Counselor Deanna Troi: That's right.
Samuel Clemens: Hmmm... Well... maybe... it's worth giving up cigars for, after all.

Captain Jean-Luc Picard: I wish... I wish time would've allowed me to know you better.
Samuel Clemens: Well, you'll just have to read my books. What I am is pretty much there.
[Picard then turns towards Guinan]
Guinan: I'll see you in 500 years, Picard.
Captain Jean-Luc Picard: And I'll see you... in a few minutes.


Mark Twain (2001) (TV)
Mark Twain: I was made merely in the image of God, but not resembling Him enough to be mistaken for Him by anyone except a very near-sighted person. I believe our Heavenly Father created man because he was disappointed in the monkey.

Mark Twain: I was born the 30th of November, 1835, in the almost invisible village of Florida, Monroe County, Missouri... The village contained a hundred people and I increased the population by one per cent. It is more than many of the best men in history could have done for a town... There is no record of a person doing as much, not even Shakespeare. But I did it for Florida, Missouri, and it shows I could have done it for any place - even London, I suppose.

Mark Twain: [referring to his boyhood friend Tom Blankenship] He was the only really independent person - boy or man - in the community, and by consequence he was tranquilly and continuously happy and was envied by all the rest of us.

Mark Twain: In my schoolboy days I had no aversion to slavery. I was not aware that there was anything wrong about it. The local papers said nothing against it; the local pulpit taught us that God approved it, that it was a holy thing, and that the doubter need only look in the Bible if he wished to settle his mind - and then the texts were read aloud to us to make the matter sure; if the slaves themselves had an aversion to slavery they were wise and said nothing.


"Murdoch Mysteries: Marked Twain (#9.2)" (2015)
Mark Twain: Given my points of view, it's somewhat of a surprise that, uh, someone hasn't shot at me before.

Constable Henry Higgins: You can have Hendrickson; he lives almost ten miles out of town
Constable George Crabtree: Oh, I'm aware of that.
Constable Henry Higgins: Then why would you volunteer?
Constable George Crabtree: Because he lives right next to Mrs. Hempshire's Finishing School.
Constable Henry Higgins: Mary Lawrence went there.
Constable George Crabtree: Did she?
Constable Henry Higgins: For a time. She left; she said the women there were of easy virtue.
Constable George Crabtree: Oh, indeed? And if I recall correctly, today's laundry day. I remember once Jackson and I had to reprimand a couple of them for wandering around in their unmentionables.
Constable Henry Higgins: Did you?
Constable George Crabtree: Yes, and they were from France. The, the unmentionables, Parisian undergarments.
Constable Henry Higgins: Well, allow me to save you the trip.
Constable George Crabtree: Hmh?
Constable Henry Higgins: I could use a brisk bicycle ride.
[Higgins leaves]
Mark Twain: It's a shame... you don't have a fence that needs paintin'.
Constable George Crabtree: That was last summer, sir.

[last lines]
Mark Twain: Constable Crabtree, you strike me as a man with a nimble mind.
Constable George Crabtree: Well, thank you, sir.
Mark Twain: [holding book 'The Curse of the Pharoah'] This work of yours shows some, some promise.
Constable George Crabtree: You read it?
Mark Twain: I started it. Got any more in you?
Constable George Crabtree: I don't know; I haven't much felt like writing lately.
Mark Twain: Ohhh, spent some time in the penitentiary, lost a, a fiancée.
Constable George Crabtree: Indeed.
Mark Twain: Take it from me, son, reality can be beaten with enough imagination. Go to it.
Constable George Crabtree: Thank you, Mr. Twain.

[Twain has just been shot at, shattering a carafe of whiskey]
Detective William Murdoch: Mr. Twain, are you all right?
Mark Twain: I believe I'll need another drink.


"Voyagers!: Created Equal (#1.2)" (1982)
Jeffrey Jones: Boy, grownups can really be jerks.
Young Sam Clemens: Yeah, I don't have much use for them myself. You and your friend get in a fight?
Jeffrey Jones: Yeah. We saw a runaway slave get captured this morning. I wanna go back and help her escape again, but my friend won't help me. He says it's a bad idea.
Young Sam Clemens: Well, I have to go along with your friend there. Ain't right to help a slave escape.
Jeffrey Jones: Well, you think slavery's right?
Young Sam Clemens: Well, preachers don't say it's wrong. Teachers don't neither. Even the government says it's all right.
Jeffrey Jones: Well, you wouldn't wanna be a slave, would you?
Young Sam Clemens: Well, heck, no.
Jeffrey Jones: Well, why do you think it's all right for anyone else to be one?
Young Sam Clemens: I don't know. It's just... I've seen colored folks as slaves all my life. I just kind of got used to it. Well, it just seems natural.
Jeffrey Jones: Well, it's not natural. It's wrong. One day, everyone's gonna see that. And it's gonna be illegal in every state.
Young Sam Clemens: Well, I still don't know if slavery's right or wrong, but like my ma always says, I'm not one to put down a chance to get into trouble. So, if you're gonna break that slave out tonight, well, I'll help you.

Young Sam Clemens: [Sam and Jeffrey have been caught helping Harriet Tubman escape, and the three are now in the custody of the Sheriff] My ma was right, I'm headin' for an early grave.
Harriet Tubman: I'm sorry, boys, I really am. Never thought anybody but me would have to sacrifice for my freedom.
Jeffrey Jones: If I had to, Harriet, I'd do it all over again.
Young Sam Clemens: Yeah, me too. Well, heck, there's somethin' extravagant about bein' hung at the age of twelve.


The Ridiculous 6 (2015)
Grant: Gentlemen, the buy-in is $15,000
Mark Twain: 15 large. Are you sure General Custard can swing that?
General George Custer: It's Custer, not "Custard." There is no "D." I'm not a dessert.
Mark Twain: Boom, I just dropped some satire on your ass, General!
General George Custer: You got me!

Wyatt Earp: What's shakin' Twain?
Mark Twain: Hey, I'm good on anything. Just like gravy, baby. Good to see you my man.
Wyatt Earp: You too, man.
Wyatt Earp: Hey, I finally read Prince and the Pauper.
Mark Twain: Oh, is that right?
Wyatt Earp: Didn't get it.
Mark Twain: For reals?
Wyatt Earp: Satire! Boom! I got ya!


"Star Trek: The Next Generation: Time's Arrow: Part 1 (#5.26)" (1992)
Samuel Clemens: [to Data and Guinan] Eavesdropping is by no means a proper activity for a gentleman. Nevertheless, the deed is done!

Samuel Clemens: According to our best geologic estimate, the Earth is approximately 100 million years of age. Perhaps it is less, perhaps more.
Guinan: Perhaps a great deal more.
Samuel Clemens: Indeed. But regardless, it is ancient, in the extreme. Now, geology also tells us that man himself has existed but for a microscopic fraction of those years. Hm... hmhmhm... Curious, isn't it? That the world got by for such a great, long while, with no humans around to fill up space. I suppose Mr. Wallace and his supporters would say that the Earth needed all that time to prepare itself for our illustrious arrival. Why... the oyster alone probably required 15 million years to get it to come out just right.
Guinan: But if the Earth is not alone and there are millions of inhabited planets in the heavens...
Samuel Clemens: Quite my point. Man becomes a trivial creation, does he not? Lost in the vastness of the cosmic prairie, adrift on the deep ocean of time. A single one amongst... huh... countless others.
Guinan: Some may argue that a diamond is still a diamond, even if it is one amongst millions. It still shines as brightly.
Samuel Clemens: Someone might say that, dear lady, if someone thought that the human race was akin to a precious jewel. But this, er... increasingly hypothetical someone... would not be me.


"Bonanza: Enter Mark Twain (#1.5)" (1959)
Samuel Clemens: Now, back a couple of months ago, I was in California, a place called Calaveras County and the folks there seemed to think that they wanted to hold a, sort of a... a little frog jumping contest.
Minnie Billington: Yeah, I heard about it. You're the fellow who thinks up all that junk. Signs himself Josh.

Bill Raleigh: Are you afraid "The Enterprise" won't print any story you happen to dig up?
Samuel Clemens: You know, I had a little bet with myself that you'd go along with me.
Bill Raleigh: Sam, this is a newspaper, not a comic strip - you come up with a story, and "The Enterprise"ll print it!


"Death Valley Days: Ten Day Millionaires (#17.12)" (1968)
Cal: Work I don't mind. To tell you the truth, my nerves can't stand to see you swing that axe. Besides, you got some of them there five dollar letters to write. This mine's petering out. Go on, I'll chop that wood later.
Sam Clemens: All right, but I'll thank you not to malign my artistic epistles.
Cal: Wouldn't do that even if I knew what that meant.

[last lines]
Cal: Hey, wait a minute. Old Whiteman's cement mine... Sam, do you here me - we can grab a claim right next to his! We can still have those millions!
Sam Clemens: Not me this time, Cal. I'm going to Virginia City and take me a job on a paper.
Cal: Whataya mean? You can't pass up a chance like this!
Sam Clemens: This - and all of the others to come.
[regarding his pencil]
Sam Clemens: I don't know if this is going to make me a millionaire, but this is my gold mine from now on.


"Great Performances: Life on the Mississippi" (1980)
Sam: Beauty's fine, Mr. Ealer, I'm all for it. But it just seems to me there's a mighty high discount on it along the Mississippi River.
Ealer: Not a pilot going, boy, hasn't pondered all that, and doesn't sometimes wonder whether he's gained most or lost most by learning this trade.


Lady Susan: Missing Masterpiece by Jane Austen (2013)
Mark Twain: Every time I read Pride and Prejudice, I want to dig Jane Austen up from her grave and hit her over the head with her own shinbone!


"Another Period: Switcheroo Day (#1.7)" (2015)
Dodo Bellacourt: I always say "Have enough servants to satisfy your every whim but not enough to murder your family."
Peepers: Excellent point, Madam... Wife... Madam Wife.
Leon Trotsky: Families should only be murdered during revolution.
Mark Twain: Gandhi boy, a rebuttal?
Mohandas Gandhi: Well, no offense, but you sound like you belong to the bitch caste.
Leon Trotsky: I was raped in a gulag by Cossacks. Do you think your insults mean anything to me?
Mohandas Gandhi: I don't know what a gulag is but I will send you right back there!
Leon Trotsky: Come here!
[they fight]
Peepers: Mister Gandhi! Mister Gandhi, Mister Trotsky, please! Spirited debate is one thing! Violence is quite another!
Mohandas Gandhi: Nonviolence... I'd never thought of that... because I'm not a little bitch!