According to “Famous Twain Quotes,” one quote about life is “We ought never to do wrong when people are looking.” Two more are “Always do right. This will gratify some people and astonish the rest” and “All good things arrive unto them that wait and don’t die in the meantime.”
Known for his rapier wit and sharp tongue, Mark Twain, real name Samuel Clemens, is one of the most widely quoted American authors. Almost no critical texts agree on which quotations are his most famous, and many quotations attributed him are not his.
In a letter to William Dean Howell, Twain wrote, “Human life is maliciously planned with one principal object in view: to make you do all the different kinds of things you particularly don't want to do.” Twain’s crisp prose and precise diction couch some of his acid comments about doing things he didn’t wish to in his own brand of humor, which he guarded carefully from other writers. About originality he observed, “What a good thing Adam had – when he said a good thing, he knew nobody had said it before.” Called a “chronicler of vanities,” Twain’s stock and trade was his witty observations on the foibles of his fellow men. For instance, many of his most acerbic quotations are warnings that no good deed goes unseen or unpunished. An example is “Be good and you will be lonesome.” from “Following the Equator.”