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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


MONARCH

There are shams and shams; there are frauds and frauds, but the transparentest of all is the sceptered one. We see monarchs meet and go through solemn ceremonies, farces, with straight countenances; but it is not possible to imagine them meeting in private and not laughing in each other's faces.
- Mark Twain's Notebook

I wish I might live fifty years longer; I believe I should see the thrones of Europe selling at auction for old iron. I believe I should really see the end of what is surely the grotesquest of all the swindles ever invented by man-- monarchy.
- Letter to Sylvester Baxter of Boston Herald, 1889

Dwig illustration
Illustration by "Dwig" from the
Dave Thomson collection

We hold these truths to be self-evident -- that all monarchs are usurpers and descendants of usurpers; for the reason that no throne was ever set up in this world by the will, freely exercised, of the only body possessing the legitimate right to set it up -- the numerical mass of the nation.
- Letter to Sylvester Baxter of Boston Herald, 1889

It is hard enough luck being a monarch, without being a target also.
- More Maxims of Mark, Johnson, 1927

Monarchy has speech, and by it has been able to persuade man that it differs somehow from the rattlesnake, has something valuable about it somewhere, something worth preserving, something even good and high and fine, when properly "modified," something entitling it to protection from the club of the first comer who catches it out of its hole.
- An unpublished letter on the Czar, 1890

Strip the human race, absolutely naked, and it would be a real democracy. But the introduction of even a rag of tiger skin, or a cow tail, could make a badge of distinction and be the beginning of a monarchy.
- Mark Twain's Notebook

The first gospel of all monarchies should be rebellion; the second should be Rebellion; and the third and all gospels and the only gospel in any monarchy should be Rebellion against Church and State.
- Mark Twain's Notebook

A select and peculiar kind of slave-proprietor who does not get his property by purchase, or trick, or beguilement, but inherits it -- from an ancestor who stole it.
- "Letters from a Dog to Another Dog Explaining and Accounting for Man"

dwig cartoon
"A Yankee in King Edward's Court" or
"Europe at the Throne of Twain"
"Dwig" cartoon from SUCCESS MAGAZINE, September 1907
Original cartoon owned by the Mark Twain Museum, Hannibal, MO.


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