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

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KNOWLEDGE

Twain in his Oxford robes

Twain in his Oxford robes,
1907

All schools, all colleges, have two great functions: to confer, and to conceal, valuable knowledge. The theological knowledge which they conceal cannot justly be regarded as less valuable than that which they reveal. That is, when a man is buying a basket of strawberries it can profit him to know that the bottom half of it is rotten.
- Notebook 1908

For all the talk you hear about knowledge being such a wonderful thing, instinct is worth forty of it for real unerringness.
- Tom Sawyer Abroad

We have not the reverent feeling for the rainbow that the savage has, because we know how it is made. We have lost as much as we gained by prying into that matter.
- A Tramp Abroad

Sir, I have been through it from Alpha to Omaha, and I tell you that the less a man knows the bigger the noise he makes and the higher the salary he commands.
- "How I Edited an Agricultural Paper," 1870

You may have noticed that the less I know about a subject the more confidence I have, and the more new light I throw on it.
- A Bibliography of Mark Twain, Johnson,1935

I was gratified to be able to answer promptly and I did. I said I didn't know.
- Life on the Mississippi

But we are all that way: when we know a thing we have only scorn for other people who don't happen to know it.
- Personal Recollections of Joan of Arc

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