Illustration by "Dwig" from
There are women who have an indefinable charm in their faces which makes
them beautiful to their intimates, but a cold stranger who tried to reason
the matter out and find this beauty would fail.
One is apt to overestimate beauty when it is rare.
One frequently only finds out how really beautiful a really beautiful
woman is after considerable acquaintance with her; and the rule applies
to Niagara Falls, to majestic mountains, and to mosques--especially to
It is more satisfactory to be pretty than right.
- Published in "Missing Maxims Returned to the Mark Twain Papers," Bancroftiana, Fall 2008, p. 11.
I would rather be picturesque than pretty, any time.
- Letter to Joseph Twichell, 31 July 1897
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