American Writer, Humorist
Mark Twain, pen name of Samuel Langhorne Clemens
American Writer, Humorist
I thought tamarinds were made to eat, but that was probably not the idea. I ate several, and it seemed to me that they were rather sour that year. They pursed up my lips, till they resembled the stem-end of a tomato, and I had to take my sustenance through a quill for twenty-four hours. They sharpened my teeth till I could have shaved with them, and gave them a 'wire edge' that I was afraid would stay; but a citizen said 'no, it will come off when the enamel does' ? which was comforting, at any rate. I found, afterward, that only strangers eat tamarinds ? but they only eat them once.
I was young and foolish then; now I am old and foolisher.
I like criticism, but it must be my way.
I reckon the widow or the parson or somebody prayed that this bread would find me, and here it have gone and done it. So there ain't no doubt but there is something in that thing. That is, there's something in it when a body like the widow or the parson prays, but it don't work for me, and I reckon it don't work for only just the right kind.
I took it up, and held it in my hand. I was a trembling, because I'd got to decide, forever, betwixt two things, and I knowed it. I studied a minute, sort of holding my breath, and then says to myself: 'All right, then, I'll go to Hell'--and tore it up - Huckleberry Finn.
I went to Maui to stay a week and remained five. I never spent so pleasant a month before, or bade any place goodbye so regretfully. I have not once thought of business, or care or human toil or trouble or sorrow or weariness, and the memory of it will remain with me always.
I like Joan of Arc best of all my books; and it is the best; I know it perfectly well. And besides, it furnished me seven times the pleasure afforded me by any of the others; twelve years of preparation, and two years of writing. The others need no preparation and got none.
I refused to attend his funeral. But I wrote a very nice letter explaining that I approved of it.
I used to worship the mighty genius of Michael Angelo ? that man who was great in poetry, painting, sculpture, architecture ? great in everything he undertook. But I do not want Michael Angelo for breakfast ? for luncheon ? for dinner ? for tea ? for supper ? for between meals. I like a change, occasionally.
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.
I lost Susy thirteen years ago; I lost her mother--her incomparable mother!--five and a half years ago; Clara has gone away to live in Europe and now I have lost Jean. How poor I am, who was once so rich! . . . Jean lies yonder, I sit here; we are strangers under our own roof; we kissed hands good-by at this door last night--and it was forever, we never suspecting it. She lies there, and I sit here--writing, busying myself, to keep my heart from breaking. How dazzling the sunshine is flooding the hills around! It is like a mockery. Seventy-four years ago twenty-four days. Seventy-four years old yesterday. Who can estimate my age today?
I said nothing of the sort.
I waked that I judged it was after eight o'clock. I laid there in the grass and the cool shade thinking about things, and feeling rested and ruther comfortable and satisfied. I could see the sun out at one or two holes, but mostly it was big trees all about, and gloomy in
I wish I could make him understand that a loving good heart is riches enough, and that without it intellect is poverty.
I have seen slower people than I am and more deliberate... and even quieter, and more listless, and lazier people than I am. But they were dead.
I must have a prodigious amount of mind; it takes me as much as a week, sometimes, to make it up!
I said there was but one solitary thing about the past worth remembering and that was the fact that it is past - and can't be restored.
I was afraid of a united Church; it makes a mighty power, the mightiest conceivable, and then when it by and by gets into selfish hands, as it is always bound to do, it means death to human liberty and paralysis to human thought.
I wish to become rich, so that I can instruct the people and glorify honest poverty a little, like those kind-hearted, fat, benevolent people do.
I have spent most of my life worrying about things that have never happened
I never could tell a lie that anybody would doubt, nor a truth that anybody would believe.
I said there was nothing so convincing to an Indian as a general massacre. If he could not approve of the massacre, I said the next surest thing for an Indian was soap and education. Soap and education are not as sudden as a massacre, but they are more deadly in the long run; because a half-massacred Indian may recover, but if you educate him and wash him, it is bound to finish him some time or other.
I was a-trembling, because I'd got to decide, forever, betwixt two things, and I knowed it. I studied a minute, sort of holding my breath, and then says to myself, All right, then, I'll GO to hell.
I wish to come down eighteen hundred years later and refer to a remark made by one of the Latin historians. Some Christians were persecuted in Rome through error, they being 'mistaken for Jews.' The meaning seems plain. These pagans had nothing against Christians, but they were quite ready to persecute Jews. For some reason or other they hated a Jew before they even knew what a Christian was. May I not assume, then, that the persecution of Jews is a thing which antedates Christianity and was not born of Christianity?
I have stopped smoking now and then, for a few months at a time, but it was not on principle, it was only to show off; it was to pulverize those critics who said I was a slave to my habits and couldn''t break my bonds