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Directory of Mark Twain's maxims, quotations, and various opinions:

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ASS

Dwig's winged ass

Illustration by "Dwig" from
the Dave Thomson collection

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.
- Notebook, 1898

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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