Monday, November 4, 2013

Travel is Fatal to Prejudice

This being a blog about far-flung places (mostly), I thought about writing some preachy piece about the ridiculous habit of stereotyping a people without knowing them.  I figured Mark Twain’s quote above from Innocents Abroad would make a good title.  But then, fortunately for readers of MIE, I looked at my list of favorite Twain quotes for the attribution.  Light dawned.  One cannot read Twain and think boring thoughts.  He inspired a better  plan.  So, in addition to the title, here is about half of my collection of Twain nuggets—gold, every one.  You will learn more from a taste Twain’s witticisms than from a ton of my serious admonishments.

The lack of money is the root of all evil.
       More maxims of Mark Johnson 1927

A man cannot be comfortable without his own approval.
     What is Man? And Other Essays, Chapter II

Be good and you will be lonesome.
     Flyleaf of Following the Equator Pudd’nhead Wilson’s New Calendar

Honor is a harder master than the law.
     Speeches/Paine, p197

Always do the right thing.  This will gratify some people and astonish the rest.
     Note to the Young People’s Society, Greenpoint Presbyterian Church, 1901

When in doubt, tell the truth
     Following the Equator Pudd’nhead Wilson’s New Calendar

Do your duty today and repent tomorrow.
     More maxims of Mark Johnson 1927

There is nothing in the world like persuasive speech to muddle the mental apparatus.
     The Man that Corrupted Hadleyberg

If you tell the truth, you don’t have to remember anything.
     Notebook, 1894

Books are the liberated spirits of men.
     Letters 2/22/1894

I was born modest, but it didn’t last.
     Speech 3/4/1906

If books are not good company, where will I find it?
     Letter to M. Fairbanks from St.C

Clothes do not merely make the man. . . clothes are the man.
     The Czar’s Soliloquy

To eat is human. . . .to digest divine.

Annamaria - Monday


  1. Smiling widely and often, thanks, Annamaria! Twain is definitely a classic, in several meanings of the word. I especially liked the final, "They didn't know whose quote it was, so they said it was mine." VERY appropriate for our modern internet age. I couldn't estimate the number of quotes I've seen attributed to Albert Einstein (over one of his stereotypical wild-haired pictures), some of which are accurate, some of which sound plausible, and many of which are laughably wrong. Oil well, as they say in that state that shall not be named because of its surplus of dirty diapers... er... politicians.

  2. So glad you enjoyed them, Everett. The dirty diaper one is my favorite. So apt for these days.

  3. I think I detect a trend here, Annamaria, for I, too, favor the diaper...possibly because I spent yesterday with my six-month old granddaughter and concept is still fresh in my mind....;)