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

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PREJUDICE

Twain & John T. Lewis
Photo courtesy of Dave Thomson
I have no race prejudices, and I think I have no color prejudices or caste prejudices nor creed prejudices. Indeed I know it. I can stand any society. All that I care to know is that a man is a human being--that is enough for me; he can't be any worse.
- "Concerning the Jews"

You cannot have a theory without principles. Principles is another name for prejudices.
- "Literature" speech

...an antipathy with a reason back of it has no advantage in lasting qualities over an inherited antipathy whose origin has been forgotten.
- unpublished letter to the editor of The American Hebrew, 1890, reprinted in Fables of Man

NEW HAVEN (CT) EVENING REGISTER, 26 Mar 1888, p. 2.

Untitled News Item

An interviewer got hold of Mark Twain in Washington the other day and tried to get him to talk politics, but beyond expressing a decided preference for Mr. Cleveland, the humorous Mark confessed to an ignorance of the subject. The following incident, however, shows that he is not without good ideas: Some one in the party suggested that the democratic party encouraged the confederate general too much, and asserted that Gov. Lee received a warmer welcome at the inaugural procession than Mr. Cleveland. This immediately stirred Mr. Clemens up, and he said: "That's no argument against the party. There's more prejudice than argument in that, but then human nature is largely made up of prejudices. If you had been shipwrecked, and were out on a raft beyond the sight of land or hope of rescue, with half a dozen of these confederate generals you antagonize so fearfully, and had nothing aboard but a wornout shoe and part of an old sock, you would have something else to think about than sectionalism."

[Editor's note: Fitzhugh Lee, governor of Virginia from 1886-1890, was the nephew of Confederate General Robert E. Lee.]

 

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