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

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RAFT

Sometimes we'd have that whole river all to ourselves for the longest time. Yonder was the banks and the islands, across the
water; and maybe a spark--which was a candle in a cabin window; and sometimes on the water you could see a spark or two--on a raft or a scow, you know; and maybe you could hear a fiddle or a song coming over from one of them crafts. It's lovely to live on a raft. We had the sky up there, all speckled with stars, and we used to lay on our backs and look up at them, and discuss about whether they was made or only just happened. Jim he allowed they was made, but I allowed they happened; I judged it would have took too long to make so many. Jim said the moon could a laid them; well, that looked kind of reasonable, so I didn't say nothing against it, because I've seen a frog lay most as many, so of course it could be done. We used to watch the stars that fell, too, and see them streak down. Jim allowed they'd got spoiled and was hove out of the nest. . .
- Adventures of Huckleberry Finn
Twain on a raft
Twain on a raft illustration
courtesy of Dave Thomson

I have been ten days floating down the Rhone on a raft, from Lake Bourget, & a most curious & darling kind of a trip it has been. ... a pedestrian tour in Europe doesn't begin [to compare] with a raft-voyage for hilarity, & mild adventure, & intimate contact with the unvisited native of the back settlements, & extinction from the world & newspapers, & a conscience in a state of coma, & lazy comfort, & solid happiness. In fact there's nothing that's so lovely.
- Letter to Joseph Twichell, 1 October 1891



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