Mark Twain

The Mysterious Stranger

    anattahas quoted2 years ago
    Every man is a suffering-machine and a happiness-machine combined. The two functions work together harmoniously, with a fine and delicate precision, on the give-and-take principle. For every happiness turned out in the one department the other stands ready to modify it with a sorrow or a pain—maybe a dozen. In most cases the man’s life is about equally divided between happiness and unhappiness. When this is not the case the unhappiness predominates—always; never the other.
    b5825192143has quoted9 months ago
    “I am perishing already—I am failing—I am passing away. In a little while you will be alone in shoreless space, to wander its limitless solitudes without friend or comrade forever—for you will remain a thought, the only existent thought, and by your nature inextinguishable, indestructible. But I, your poor servant, have revealed you to yourself and set you free. Dream other dreams, and better!
    b5825192143has quoted9 months ago
    “And what does it amount to?” said Satan, with his evil chuckle. “Nothing at all. You gain nothing; you always come out where you went in. For a million years the race has gone on monotonously propagating itself and monotonously reperforming this dull nonsense—to what end? No wisdom can guess! Who gets a profit out of it? Nobody but a parcel of usurping little monarchs and nobilities who despise you; would feel defiled if you touched them; would shut the door in your face if you proposed to call; whom you slave for, fight for, die for, and are not ashamed of it, but proud; whose existence is a perpetual insult to you and you are afraid to resent it; who are mendicants supported by your alms, yet assume toward you the airs of benefactor toward beggar; who address you in the language of master to slave, and are answered in the language of slave to master; who are worshiped by you with your mouth, while in your heart—if you have one—you despise yourselves for it. The first man was a hypocrite and a coward, qualities which have not yet failed in his line; it is the foundation upon which all civilizations have been built. Drink to their perpetuation! Drink to their augmentation! Drink to—” Then he saw by our faces how much we were hurt, and he cut his sentence short and stopped chuckling, and his manner changed. He said, gently: “No, we will drink one another’s health, and let civilization go. The wine which has flown to our hands out of space by desire is earthly, and good enough for that other toast; but throw away the glasses; we will drink this one in wine which has not visited this world before.”
    b5825192143has quoted9 months ago
    Why, He had saved it from harm—but she did not know.
    b5825192143has quoted9 months ago
    Dear, dear, if we could only know! Then we shouldn’t ever go wrong; but we are only poor, dumb beasts groping around and making mistakes.
    b5825192143has quoted9 months ago
    He had new and good clothes on, and was handsome and had a winning face and a pleasant voice, and was easy and graceful and unembarrassed, not slouchy and awkward and diffident, like other boys.
    mslanovahas quoted2 years ago
    Are you so unobservant as not to have found out that sanity and happiness are an impossible combination? No sane man can be happy, for to him life is real, and he sees what a fearful thing it is. Only the mad can be happy, and not many of those. The few that imagine themselves kings or gods are happy, the rest are no happier than the sane
    mslanovahas quoted2 years ago
    Sometimes in the private interest of royal families,” Satan said, “sometimes to crush a weak nation; but never a war started by the aggressor for any clean purpose—there is no such war in the history of the race.”
    mslanovahas quoted2 years ago
    In any community, big or little, there is always a fair proportion of people who are not malicious or unkind by nature, and who never do unkind things except when they are overmastered by fear, or when their self-interest is greatly in danger, or some such matter as that
    mslanovahas quoted2 years ago
    and a deep, financial joy shone in her eyes
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