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Some Quotes from Mark Twain
   I don't believe there has ever been a writer made more happy by words than Mark Twain.  He writes about a character, a landscape, a feeling, or whatever is before him with ease and honesty.  Not only could he write about these, he could write about these 3 or 4 different ways with each way as insightful and perceptive as the previous.

        Here are some quotes from Mark Twain's A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court.

      "But that is the way we are made: we don't reason, where we feel;  we just feel."1 

         Here's one that is funny.  The narrator is dressed as a 6th century knight, wearing an armor suit, helmet included.

       "Well, you know, when you perspire that way, in rivers, there comes a time when you - when you - well, when you itch.  You are inside, your hands are outside; so there you are; nothing but iron between.  It is not a light thing, let it sound as it may.  First it is one place; then another; then some more; and it goes on spreading and spreading, and at last the territory is all occupied, and nobody can imagine what you feel like, nor how unpleasant it is.  And when it had got to be the worst, and it seemed to me that I could not stand anything more, a fly got in through the bars and settled on my nose, and the bars were stuck and wouldn't work, and I couldn't get the visor up; and I could only shake my head, which was baking hot by this time and the fly - well, you know how a fly acts when he has got a certainty - he only minded the shaking long enough to change from from nose to lip, and lip to ear, and buzz and buzz all around in there, and keep on lighting and biting, in a way that a person already so distressed as I was, simply could not s

"The bells were close at hand, now, and their solemn booming smote upon the ear  like a message of doom.  A superstitious despair possessed the heart of every monk and published itself on his ghastly face."3 

The narrator, after claiming he could prophesize 1300 years into the future:

"One never had any occasion to prove his facts, with these people; all he had to do was state them.  It never occurred to anybody to doubt the statement."4

Finally,  The narrator has started two baseball teams full of Kings and other nobility.  Of course, their station in life wasn't conducive to accepting being called out by umpires:

"The umpire's first decision was usually his last; they broke him in two with a bat, and his friends toted him home on a shutter.  When it was noticed that no umpire ever survived a game, umpiring got to be unpopular."5

 Mark Twain,  A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court, Copyright 2001 Dover Publications Inc.

1 pg 54 2pg 59,3 pg 117, 4 pg 162,5 pg 242

Comments
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A Favorite
Sunday, December 6, 2009 3:03 AM by cenb
Thanks for sharing - Twain is a favorite in our family.
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None?
Tuesday, December 8, 2009 10:27 PM by MLawson
Sorry but I beg to disagree with you about his 'happy words'.

In his latter years, Clemons became very sour on mankind. Check out his: 'Man is but a Coffee Mill'. It's been many years; I'm not sure if that is the title or the first line or both.
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Wednesday, December 9, 2009 1:25 AM by GRSJR
MLawson:

This is probably what you are referring to:

"It is a desolating doctrine; it is not inspiriting, enthusing,
uplifting.
It takes the glory out of man, it takes the pride out of him, it
takes
the heroism out of him, it denies him all personal credit, all
applause;
it not only degrades him to a machine, but allows him no control over
the
machine; makes a mere coffee mill of him, and neither permits him to
supply
the coffee nor turn the crank; his sole and piteously humble function
being
to grind coarse or fine, according to his make, outside impulses doing
all the rest."

http://twainquotes.com/19100514.html
http://www.classicauthors.net/Twain/whatisman/whatisman18.html

I agree this is a bleak assessment. But even in this assessment there is some of what I refer to as ". . . made more happy by words. . . ".
I didn't mean he was a pollyanna, blindly optimistic and happy. I meant that he was "charmed" by words and enjoyed using them as a tool, like other craftsman use tools.
So, as an example, in my opinion, no other writer could have described a characteristic of man as; ". . . all applause. . . ". No other writer would have been as happy to use the term, "applause", to describe a human trait as Mark Twain. And I believe the same can be said of "coffee mill". Plenty of writers write of inspiration, glory, heroism, etc. but only Mark Twain can sensibly tie those with "applause" and "coffee mill".
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