banner

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

A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z


FLIES

Nothing is made in vain, but the fly came near it.
- More Maxims of Mark, Johnson, 1927

One fly makes a summer.
- "The Belated Russian Passport," also "Pudd'nhead Wilson's Calendar"

I'd rather have a rank old prostitute around than one fly.
- quoted in Isabel Lyon's journal entry for 2 August 1908. (Published in Mark Twain: Man in White by Michael Shelden)

I'd rather have ten snakes in the house than one fly.
- Letter to Albert B. Paine, March 1910

Fly & Thistle by Dan Smith
Photo courtesy of Dan Smith of Roanoke, VA.

Fly cartoon 1917

Letter of reply to Willard M White, the inventor of a portable fly and mosquito net frame:

There is nothing that a just & right feeling man rejoices in more than to see a mosquito imposed on & put down, & brow-beaten & aggravated, -- & this ingenious contrivance will do it. And it is a rare thing to worry a fly with, too. A fly will stand off & curse this invention till language utterly fails him. I have seen them do it hundreds of times. I like to dine in the air on the back porch in summer, & so I would not be without this portable net for anything; when you have got it hoisted, the flies have to wait for the second table. We shall see the summer day come when we shall all sit under our nets in church & slumber peacefully, while the discomfited flies club together & take it out of the minister. There are heaps of ways of getting priceless enjoyment out of these charming things, if I had time to point them out & dilated on them a little.
- text of letter and accompanying cartoon was published in Boise Idaho Statesman, January 28, 1917

banner logo

Quotations | Newspaper Articles | Special Features | Links | Search