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Quotations From MARK TWAIN [SAMUEL LANGHORNE CLEMENS]

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  • 51.
    From his cradle to his grave a man never does a single thing which has any FIRST AND FOREMOST object but one—to secure peace of mind, spiritual comfort, for HIMSELF.
    Mark Twain [Samuel Langhorne Clemens] (1835-1910), U.S. author. repr. In Complete Essays, ed. Charles Neider (1963). Old Man, in "What Is Man?" sct. 2 (1906).

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  • 52.
    He had not failed to observe how harmoniously gigantic language and a microscopic topic go together.
    Mark Twain [Samuel Langhorne Clemens] (1835-1910), U.S. author. 1881. "A Cat Tale," p. 770, Mark Twain: Collected Tales, Sketches, Speeches, & Essays, 1852-1890, Library of America (1992).

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  • 53.
    The fact that man knows right from wrong proves his intellectual superiority to the other creatures; but the fact that he can do wrong proves his moral inferiority to any creatures that cannot.
    Mark Twain [Samuel Langhorne Clemens] (1835-1910), U.S. author. repr. In Complete Essays, ed. Charles Neider (1963). Old Man, in "What Is Man?" Sect. 6 (1906).
  • 54.
    We never become really and genuinely our entire and honest selves until we are dead—and not then until we have been dead years and years. People ought to start dead and then they would be honest so much earlier.
    Mark Twain [Samuel Langhorne Clemens] (1835-1910), U.S. author. The Autobiography of Mark Twain, ch. 55, ed. Charles Neider, Harper & Row (1959).

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  • 55.
    Whenever the literary German dives into a sentence, that is the last you are going to see of him till he emerges on the other side of his Atlantic with his verb in his mouth.
    Mark Twain [Samuel Langhorne Clemens] (1835-1910), U.S. author. A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court, ch. 22 (1889). Twain's bewilderment with the German language was a recurring subject: it is "the language which enables a man to travel all day in one sentence without changing cars." Speakng the language was the main difficulty: "I can understand German as well as the maniac that invented it, but I talk it best through an interpreter." (Quoted in Greatly Exaggerated, ed. Alex Ayres, 1988).
  • 56.
    When I was a boy of fourteen, my father was so ignorant I could hardly stand to have the old man around. But when I got to be twenty-one, I was astonished at how much he had learned in seven years.
    Mark Twain [Samuel Langhorne Clemens] (1835-1910), U.S. author. "Old Times on the Mississippi," Atlantic Monthly (1874).

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  • 57.
    I heard a Californian student in Heidelberg say, in one of his calmest moods, that he would rather decline two drinks than one German adjective.
    Mark Twain [Samuel Langhorne Clemens] (1835-1910), U.S. author. "The Awful German Language," appendix D, A Tramp Abroad, 1879.
  • 58.
    Intellectual "work" is misnamed; it is a pleasure, a dissipation, and is its own highest reward.
    Mark Twain [Samuel Langhorne Clemens] (1835-1910), U.S. author. A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court, ch. 28 (1889).

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  • 59.
    I reckon I got to light out for the Territory ahead of the rest, because Aunt Sally she's going to adopt me and sivilize me and I can't stand it. I been there before.
    Mark Twain [Samuel Langhorne Clemens] (1835-1910), U.S. author. Huck, in The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, ch. 43 (1885).

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  • 60.
    Humor must not professedly teach and it must not professedly preach, but it must do both if it would live forever.
    Mark Twain [Samuel Langhorne Clemens] (1835-1910), U.S. author. The Autobiography of Mark Twain, ch. 55, ed. Charles Neider, Harper & Row (1959).

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