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

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LAZINESS

I thought I was lazy, but I am a steam engine compared to a Constantinople dog.
- The Innocents Abroad

I am no lazier now than I was forty years ago, but that is because I reached the limit forty years ago. You can't go beyond possibility.
- Mark Twain in Eruption

Honest poverty and a conscience torpid through virtuous inaction are more to me than corner lots and praise.
- "A Cat-Tale"

sleeping boy
Illustration from HARPER'S MAGAZINE, Feb. 1912


Clemens in bed
Photo from the Dave Thomson collection

I don't think there ever was a lazy man in this world. Every man has some sort of gift, and he prizes that gift beyond all others. He may be a professional billiard-player, or a Paderewski, or a poet--I don't care what it is. But whatever it is, he takes a native delight in exploiting that gift, and you will find it is difficult to beguile him away from it. Well, there are thousands of other interests occupying other men, but those interests don't appeal to the special tastes of the billiard champion or Paderewski. They are set down, therefore, as too lazy to do that or do this--to do, in short what they have no taste or inclination to do. In that sense, then I am phenomenally lazy. But when it comes to writing a book--I am not lazy. My family find it difficult to dig me out of my chair.
- quoted in Sydney Morning Herald, 9/17/1895

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