Few men of first class ability can afford to let their affairs go to ruin while
they fool away their time in Legislatures...But your chattering, one-horse village
lawyer likes it, and your solemn ass from the cow countries, who don't know
the Constitution from the Lord's Prayer, enjoys it, and these you always find
in the Assembly; the one gabble, gabble, gabbling threadbare platitudes and
'give-me-liberty-or give-me-death' buncombe from morning to night, and the other
asleep, with his slab-soled brogans set up like a couple of grave-stones on
the top of his desk.
- Letter to Sacramento Daily Union, June 20, 1866
In my experience, only third-rate intelligence is sent to Legislatures to make
laws, because the first-rate article will not leave important private interests
go unwatched to go and serve the public for a beggarly four or five dollars
a day, and a miserably trivial distinction, while it is possible that a talented
matron, unincumbered with children, might go with no great detriment to the
affairs of her household.
- "Female Suffrage, Views of Mark Twain," St. Louis Missouri Democrat, March 1867
I think I can say, and say with pride that we have some legislatures that bring
higher prices than any in the world.
- Speech 7/4/1873
...it's so hard to find men of a so high type of morals that they'll stay bought.
- Notebook for Aug. 1890-June 1891
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