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馬克·吐温Mark Twain,1835年11月30日—1910年4月21日),原名塞姆·朗赫恩·克列門斯Samuel Langhorne Clemens),是美国的幽默大師、小說家、作家,同時也是演說家,被譽為「美國文學中的林肯」。


  • 問題不是蠢人特別多,而是閃電都沒有準確擊中每一個。

The trouble ain't that there is too many fools, but that the lightning ain't distributed right.

Happiness ain't a thing in itself --- it's only a contrast with something that ain't pleasant. That's all it is.

True irreverence is disrespect for another man's god.

  • 人類是唯一如此的動物:他愛護他的鄰居就如同愛護他自己一樣,但是如果對方的宗教神學有問題,他會割斷對方的喉嚨。

He is the only animal that loves his neighbor as himself, and cut his throat if his theology isn't straight.  

  • 每一個人生下來都擁有一項資產,它比其他所有的資產價值都高,就是他最後的一口氣。

Each person is born to one possession which outvalues all his others --- his last breath.  

  • 良好的教養在於隱藏我們對自己較佳的評價,以及隱藏我們對他人較差的評價。

Good breeding consists in concealing how much we think of ourselves and how little we think of the other person.

  • 「名聲」如同是蒸氣,「聲望」如同是意外,在地球上唯一可以確定的事情是被遺忘掉。

Fame is vapor; popularity an accident; the only earthly certainty is oblivion.

  • 「原則」是「偏見」的另個名稱。

Principles is another name for prejudice.

  • 被大膽說出的預言,從來不會被迷信的人認為是愚笨無趣的。

Prophecies boldly uttered never fall barren on superstitious ears.

  • 「必要」不認識任何的「法律」。

Necessity knows no law.

  • 當你為愛情而釣魚時,要用你的心當作餌,而不是用你的腦筋。

When you fish for love, bait with your heart, not your brain.

  • 如果所有的人都是富有的,那麼所有的人都是貧窮的。

If all men were rich, all men would be poor.

  • 經常要坦白地承認一項過失錯誤,這將使你的上司意料防備不及,才會給你一個機會去犯更多的錯誤。

Always acknowledge a fault frankly. This will throw those in authority off their guard and give you an opportunity to commit more.

  • 首先去取得你的事實,然後你才能夠隨心所欲的扭曲誤解它。

Get your facts first, and then you can distort them as much as you like.  

The deadly enemy of a man, his own tongue....

  • 一本懷有惡意的書籍將不會傷害到任何人,除了寫它的傻瓜。

A malignant book would hurt nobody but the fool who wrote it.

  • 預言是人類唯一一項無法經由練習而改善的技術。

Prophesying was the only human art that couldn't be improved by practice.

  • 當一個人閱讀聖經時,他對上帝所知程度的驚訝是低於他對上帝所不知程度的驚訝。

When one reads Bibles, one is less surprised at what the Deity knows than at what he doesn't know.

  • 亞當真是一位老糊塗,他本來一切事情都很順利,而且他已經成功的贏得社區內最漂亮女孩子的芳心,但是他對自己的征服成果卻感到不滿足,他必須去吃那一顆可憐的小蘋果。

What a fool old Adam was. Had everything his own way; had succeeded in gaining the love of the best looking girl in the neighborhood, but yet unsatisfied with his conquest he had to eat a miserable little apple.

  • 印度擁有兩百萬個神,他們崇拜所有的這些神。在宗教上其他的國家都是窮人,印度是唯一的「百萬富翁」。

India has 2,000,000 gods, and worships them all. In religion other countries are paupers; India is the only millionaire.  

  • 如果你收養了一隻饑餓可憐的狗,並且讓牠舒適順利,牠將不會咬你,這便是一個人與一隻狗之間最主要的差別。

If you pick up a starving dog and make him prosperous, he will not bite you. This is the principal difference between a dog and a man.

  • 沒有一個世紀,也沒有一個國家曾經缺少過這樣的專家,他們能夠知道上帝的心思,而且也願意表示出來。

There was never a century nor a country that was short of experts who knew the Deity's mind and were willing to reveal it.

  • 有一個人從天堂來到人間旅遊,他所使用的是有效三十天的減價票,他試圖要把他的回程票賣掉。

Ingersoll's story of the man that went down from heaven on a reduced-rate excursion ticket good for 30 days --- and tried to sell his return ticket.

  • 為了練習,首先神造了傻人,然後祂創造了教育委員會。

In the first place God made idiots. This was for practice. Then He made School Boards.

  • 雖然在一切的成長物中,愛情看上去是最快的,究其實卻最遲緩。男男女女沒有一個人曉得什麼是十全十美的,除非一直到他們結婚了二十五年之後。

Though love seems the fastest of all growths, it is really the slowest. No man or woman knows what perfect love is, until they have been married a quarter of a century.

  • 在四月一日時,回想一下這一年來的其他364天自己在做些什麼。

The first of April is the day we remember what we are the other 364 days of the year.

  • 我會用city而永不用Metropolis來表達城市,用cop而永不用policeman來表達警察,既然三丶四個字母可以賺七個美分,為什麼要用長而贅的字呢?

I never write Metropolis for seven cents because I can get the same price for city. I never write policeman because I can get the same money for cop.

  • 不要把事實告訴不值得的人。

Never tell the truth to people who are not worthy of it.

  • 真相比小說還要不可思議。

Truth is more of a stranger than fiction.

  • 讓我們陷入困境的不是無知,而是看似正確的謬誤論斷。

What gets us into trouble is not what we don't know. It's what we know for sure that just ain't so.

  • 每個人都是月亮,總有一個陰暗面,從來不讓人看見。

Every one is a moon and has a dark side which he never shows to anybody.

  • 人一生有兩個最重要的日子,一是出生的那天,二是發現你為何而生的那天。

The two most important days in your life are the day you are born and the day you find out why.

  • 最初是神造了傻人,然后创造了教育委员会。11月30日名言

Go to heaven for the climate, Hell for the company.

  • 服裝決定人的型態,全裸的人對社會幾乎沒有影響。

Clothes make the man. Naked people have little or no influence on society.

Merle Johnson, More Maxims of Mark (1927)

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