The most entertaining thing about Mr. Clemens and his alter ego, Mark Twain, is the sheer volume of witticisms that exist and are attributed to him. His sense of humor leaned decidedly towards the dry, sarcastic, deprecating observations of life. Whenever I feel in need of something to lighten my spirits, I almost always turn to my journals of quotes that I have written over a lifetime, and a large number of those recorded quotes are from Mark Twain. He always makes me laugh, and many times makes it clear that regardless of the times in which he lived, his quotes could easily apply to this modern age.
Those are just a few of the quotes I have copied down over the years that Mr. Clemens shared with the world. His point of view, sometimes lighthearted, other times harsh and condemning, always has the power to make me laugh, or to stop and ponder. He lived a life that was full of excitement, travel, success, failure and many tragic moments - he lost three children and outlived his beloved wife. He was known to have poor judgment in business investments and was always one step ahead of financial distaster throughout most of his adult life. Fortunately for us, he was a prolific writer throughout his lifetime, toured the world on a highly publicized lecture tour and was often quoted. We are the benefactors today of all of his efforts. (The Mark Twain House website)
“Don't part with your illusions. When they are gone you may still exist, but you have ceased to live.”
“Always do right. This will gratify some people and astonish the rest.”
“There is a good side and a bad side to most people, and in accordance with your own character and disposition you will bring out one of them and the other will remain a sealed book to you.”
"I'm glad I did it, partly because it was worth it, but mostly because I shall never have to do it again."
“Keep away from those who try to belittle your ambitions. Small people always do that, but the really great make you believe that you too can become great.”'
“Suppose you were an idiot and suppose you were a member of Congress. But I repeat myself.”
“It's spring fever.... You don't quite know what it is you DO want, but it just fairly makes your heart ache, you want it so!
I remain an appreciative audience of Mr. Clemens/Mark Twain simply because he has always provided me with small moments of genuine laughter. I value those moments so much, and love to share them with others. Life isn't always meant to focus on the somber, ponderous, grave topics - we have those aplenty. Therefore, why not take little snippets of time to stop, be carefree and page through books of thoughts such as the ones above and a few more that I couldn't resist sharing...
“I thoroughly disapprove of duels. If a man should challenge me, I would take him kindly and forgivingly by the hand and lead him to a quiet place and kill him.”I am thoroughly charmed, teased into laughter on days that I might be feeling sluggish and run down, and quite often wind up belly laughing at some of this man's thoughts. I think, had I been given the chance, that I might have enjoyed talking with him face to face. His words remind me that life is meant to be enjoyed, that the oftentimes bizarre or even frustrating days that are handed to us also offer humor, if we care to look for it. I will continue to be a fan and student of Mr. Clemens' works for the rest of my life, and no doubt, if you're connected to me on social media forums such as Facebook and Twitter, you'll see me posting quotes of Mark Twain fairly often.
“I was gratified to be able to answer promptly. I said, 'I don't know.'"
“We had the sky up there, all speckled with stars, and we used to lay on our backs and look up at them, and discuss about whether they was made or only just happened.”
“Yes, even I am dishonest. Not in many ways, but in some. Forty-one I think it is.”
“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 like a good story well told. That is the reason I am sometimes forced to tell them myself.”
I simply felt like writing a blog that didn't have a deeply meaningful, socially constructive theme to it. Rather, I wanted to concentrate on the simple act of embracing little things that make me smile. Mark Twain's quotes fall into that category, and as such, I leave you with one final thought:
“The human race has one really effective weapon, and that is laughter.”