Sunday, June 25, 2017 Text is available under the CC BY-SA 3.0 licence.

Samuel Langhorne Clemens (Mark Twain) (1835 – 1910)


Better known by his pen name Mark Twain, was an American humorist, novelist, writer, and lecturer.
...an Autobiography is the truest of all books; for while it inevitably consists mainly of extinctions of the truth, shirkings of the truth, partial revealments of the truth, with hardly an instance of plain straight truth, the remorseless truth is there, between the lines, where the author-cat is raking dust upon it which hides from the disinterested spectator neither it nor its smell...—the result being that the reader knows the author in spite of his wily diligences.
Clemens quotes
My kind of loyalty was loyalty to one's country, not to its institutions or its officeholders. The country is the real thing, the substantial thing, the eternal thing; it is the thing to watch over, and care for, and be loyal to; institutions are extraneous, they are its mere clothing, and clothing can wear out, become ragged, cease to be comfortable, cease to protect the body from winter, disease, and death.
Clemens
We catched fish and talked, and we took a swim now and then to keep off sleepiness. It was kind of solemn, drifting down the big, still river, laying on our backs looking up at the stars, and we didn't ever feel like talking loud, and it warn't often that we laughed, only a little kind of a low chuckle. We had mighty good weather as a general thing, and nothing ever happened to us at all, that night, nor the next, nor the next.




Is not this insanity plea becoming rather common? Is it not so common that the reader confidently expects to see it offered in every criminal case that comes before the courts? [...] Really, what we want now, is not laws against crime, but a law against insanity.
H'aint we got all the fools in town on our side? And ain't that a big enough majority in any town?
When I, a thoughtful and unblessed Presbyterian, examine the Koran, I know that beyond any question every Mohammedan is insane; not in all things, but in religious matters. When a thoughtful and unblessed Mohammedan examines the Westminster Catechism, he knows that beyond any question I am spiritually insane. I cannot prove to him that he is insane, because you never can prove anything to a lunatic--for that is a part of his insanity and the evidence of it. He cannot prove to me that I am insane, for my mind has the same defect that afflicts his. All Democrats are insane, but not one of them knows it; none but the Republicans and Mugwumps know it. All the Republicans are insane, but only the Democrats and Mugwumps can perceive it. The rule is perfect: in all matters of opinion our adversaries are insane.
The minority is always in the right. The majority is always in the wrong.
Formerly, if you killed a man, it was possible that you were insane—but now, if you, having friends and money, kill a man, it is evidence that you are a lunatic.
Clemens
He is a stranger to me, but he is a most remarkable man — and I am the other one. Between us, we cover all knowledge; he knows all that can be known, and I know the rest.
If you don't like the weather in New England, just wait a few minutes.
I can teach anybody how to get what they want out of life. The problem is I can't find anybody who can tell me what they want.




When the doctrine of allegiance to party can utterly up-end a man's moral constitution and make a temporary fool of him besides, what excuse are you going to offer for preaching it, teaching it, extending it, perpetuating it? Shall you say, the best good of the country demands allegiance to party? Shall you also say it demands that a man kick his truth and his conscience into the gutter, and become a mouthing lunatic, besides?
A lie can make it half way around the world before the truth has time to put its boots on.
Clemens quotes
When even the brightest mind in our world has been trained up from childhood in a superstition of any kind, it will never be possible for that mind, in its maturity, to examine sincerely, dispassionately, and conscientiously any evidence or any circumstance which shall seem to cast a doubt upon the validity of that superstition. I doubt if I could do it myself.
I wish Europe would let Russia annihilate Turkey a little--not much, but enough to make it difficult to find the place again without a divining-rod or a diving-bell.
Laws are sand, customs are rock. Laws can be evaded and punishment escaped, but an openly transgressed custom brings sure punishment.
Familiarity breeds contempt — and children.
I don't give a damn for a man that can only spell a word one way.
If you don’t read the newspaper, you’re uninformed; if you do read the newspaper, you’re misinformed.
There are people who strictly deprive themselves of each and every eatable, drinkable and smokable which has in any way acquired a shady reputation. They pay this price for health. And health is all they get for it. How strange it is. It is like paying out your whole fortune for a cow that has gone dry.


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