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Directory of Mark Twain's maxims, quotations, and various opinions:

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FACTS

How empty is theory in the presence of fact!
- A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court

Get your facts first, and then you can distort them as much as you please.
- quoted by Rudyard Kipling in From Sea to Shining Sea

We do not deal much in facts when we are contemplating ourselves.
- "Does the Race of Man Love a Lord?"

For a forgotten fact is news when it comes again.
- Following the Equator

I never saw an author who was aware that there is any dimensional difference between a fact and a surmise.
- quoted in My Father Mark Twain, Clara Clemens

Pach portrait
Portrait of Clemens by Pach Bros.
from the
Dave Thomson collection

The mere knowledge of a fact is pale; but when you come to realize your fact, it takes on color. It is all the difference between hearing of a man being stabbed to the heart, and seeing it done.
- A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court

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

...if you are going to find out the facts of a thing, what's the sense in guessing out what ain't the facts and wasting ammunition? I didn't lose no sleep.
- Tom Sawyer, Detective

Always dress a fact in tights, never in an ulster.
- Life on the Mississippi

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