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

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CRITICS

I believe that the trade of critic, in literature, music, and the drama, is the most degraded of all trades, and that it has no real value--certainly no large value...However, let it go. It is the will of God that we must have critics, and missionaries, and congressmen, and humorists, and we must bear the burden.
- Mark Twain's Autobiography

If a critic should start a religion it would not have any object but to convert angels, and they wouldn't need it.
- Mark Twain, a Biography

One mustn't criticize other people on grounds where he can't stand perpendicular himself.
- A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court

A critic
tumblebug

The critic's symbol should be the tumble-bug: he deposits his egg in somebody else's dung, otherwise he could not hatch it.
- Notebook, 1904

I like criticism, but it must be my way.
- Mark Twain's Autobiography

I don't mind what the opposition say of me so long as they don't tell the truth about me. But when they descend to telling the truth about me I consider that this is taking an unfair advantage.
- Speech, 1879

Who write the dramatic critiques for the second-rate papers? Why, a parcel of promoted shoemakers and apprentice apothecaries, who know just as much about good acting as I do about good farming and no more. Who review the books? People who never wrote one. Who do up the heavy leaders on finance? Parties who have had the largest opportunities for knowing nothing about it. Who criticise the Indian campaigns? Gentlemen who do not know a war-whoop from a wigwam, and who never have had to run a foot race with a tomahawk, or pluck arrows out of the several members of their families to build the evening camp-fire with. Who write the temperance appeals, and clamor about the flowing bowl? Folks who will never draw another sober breath till they do it in the grave.
- "How I Edited an Agricultural Paper"

 

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