Illustration by "Dwig" from
| There is no character, howsoever good and fine,
but it can be destroyed by ridicule, howsoever poor and witless. Observe
the ass, for instance: his character is about perfect, he is the choicest
spirit among all the humbler animals, yet see what ridicule has brought
him to. Instead of feeling complimented when we are called an ass, we are
left in doubt.
- Pudd'nhead Wilson
Concerning the difference between man and the jackass: some observers
hold that there isn't any. But this wrongs the jackass.
The term labrick was in constant use by all grown men except certain of the
clergy in the state of Missouri when I was a boy. It had a very definite meaning
& occupied in the matter of strength the middle ground between scoundrel
& son of a bitch...But...let me brush aside the ornamental & give you
the plain & authentic definition of the word. Labrick is substantially ass,
a little enlarged & emphasized; let us say, labrick is a little stronger
than ass, & not quite as strong as idiot.
- - Letter to Benjamin Eli Smith, 6 August 1906
I have been an author for 20 years and an ass for 55.
- fragment of a letter, 1891, to unknown person
It is no harm to be an ass, if one is content to bray and not kick.
- Personal Recollections of Joan of Arc
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