Archive for Sunday, December 9, 2001

Quotations from Mark Twain’s letters

December 9, 2001


Some wit and wisdom from Mark Twain:

"Thunder is good, thunder is impressive; but it is lightning that does the work." 1908 letter to unknown person.

"The departmental interpreters of the laws in Washington ... can always be depended on to take any reasonably good law and interpret the common sense all out of it." 1887 letter to H.C. Christiancy.

"A baby is an inestimable blessing and bother." 1876 letter to Annie Webster.

"A man's private thought can never be a lie; what he thinks, is to him the truth, always." 1888 letter to Louis Pendleton.

"What a hell of a heaven it will be when they get all these hypocrites assembled there!" 1901 letter to Joe Twichell.

"Creed and opinion change with time, and their symbols perish; but Literature and its temples are sacred to all creeds and inviolate." 1894 letter to Fairhaven, Mass., library.

"I notice that God is on both sides in this war; thus history repeats itself. But I am the only person who has noticed this; everybody here thinks He is playing the game for this side, and for this side only." 1900 letter to William Dean Howells.

"Both marriage and death ought to be welcome; the one promises happiness, doubtless the other assures it." 1888 letter to Will Bowen.

"Gentlemen:.,;?!()"---'.. Please scatter these throughout according to your taste." Note sent along with a manuscript to a publisher.

"The difference between the right word and the almost right word is the difference between lightning and the lightning bug." 1888 letter to unknown person.

"A successful book is not made of what is in it, but what is left out of it." 1897 letter to William Dean Howells.

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