I like Mark Twain:
In Paris they just simply opened their eyes and stared when we spoke to them in French! We never did succeed in making those idiots understand their own language.
-The Innocents Abroad
Good citizenship would teach accuracy of thinking and accuracy of statement.
– Speech, May 14, 1908
Supposing is good, but finding out is better.
Mark Twain in Eruption; Mark Twain's Autobiography
It is human life. We are blown upon the world; we float buoyantly upon the summer air a little while, complacently showing off our grace of form and our dainty iridescent colors; then we vanish with a little puff, leaving nothing behind but a memory–and sometimes not even that. I suppose that at those solemn times when we wake in the deeps of the night and reflect, there is not one of us who is not willing to confess that he is really only a soap-bubble, and as little worth the making.
– Mark Twain's Own Autobiography (North American Review, May 3, 1907)
Obscurity and a competence. That is the life that is best worth living.
-Mark Twain's Notebook
It makes one hope and believe that a day will come when, in the eye of the law, literary property will be as sacred as whiskey, or any other of the necessaries of life. It grieves me to think how far more profound and reverent a respect the law would have for literature if a body could only get drunk on it.
– Dinner speech 12/8/1881