| How insignificant we are, with our pigmy
little world!-- an atom glinting with uncounted myriads of other atom worlds
in a broad shaft of light streaming from God's countenance--and yet prating
complacently of our speck as the Great World, and regarding the other specks
as pretty trifles made to steer our schooners by and inspire the reveries
of "puppy" lovers. Did Christ live 33 years in each of the millions
and millions of worlds that hold their majestic courses above our heads?
Or was our small globe the favored one of all? Does one apple in a vast
orchard think as much of itself as we do? or one leaf in the forest--or
one grain of sand upon the sea shore? Do the pismires argue upon vexed questions
of pismire theology--and do they climb a molehill and look abroad over the
grand universe of an acre of ground and say "Great is God, who created
all things for Us?"
- Letter to Olivia Landon (Clemens) 8 January 1870
When the Lord finished the world, he pronounced it good. That is what I said
about my first work, too. But Time, I tell you, Time takes the confidence out
of these incautious opinions. It is more than likely that He thinks about the
world, now, pretty much as I think about the Innocents Abroad. The fact is,
there is a trifle too much water in both.
- Letter to unidentified person, 6 November 1886 (reprinted in Portable Mark Twain)
It is an odious world, a horrible world--it is Hell; the true one, not the lying invention of the superstitious; and we have come to it from elsewhere to expiate our sins.
- Letter to Olivia Clemens, 29 August 1896
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