A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court Quotes

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A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court by Mark Twain
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A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court Quotes Showing 1-30 of 189
“You can't depend on your eyes when your imagination is out of focus.”
Mark Twain, A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court
“You can't reason with your heart; it has its own laws, and thumps about things which the intellect scorns.”
Mark Twain, A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court
“THERE were two “Reigns of Terror,” if we would but remember it and consider it; the one wrought murder in hot passion, the other in heartless cold blood; the one lasted mere months, the other had lasted a thousand years; the one inflicted death upon ten thousand persons, the other upon a hundred millions; but our shudders are all for the “horrors” of the minor Terror, the momentary Terror, so to speak; whereas, what is the horror of swift death by the axe, compared with lifelong death from hunger, cold, insult, cruelty, and heart-break? What is swift death by lightning compared with death by slow fire at the stake? A city cemetery could contain the coffins filled by that brief Terror which we have all been so diligently taught to shiver at and mourn over; but all France could hardly contain the coffins filled by that older and real Terror—that unspeakably bitter and awful Terror which none of us has been taught to see in its vastness or pity as it deserves.”
Mark Twain, A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court
“My kind of loyalty was loyalty to one's country, not to its institutions or its officeholders. The country is the real thing, the substantial thing, the eternal thing; it is the thing to watch over, and care for, and be loyal to; institutions are extraneous, they are its mere clothing, and clothing can wear out, become ragged, cease to be comfortable, cease to protect the body from winter, disease, and death.”
Mark Twain, A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court
“Words are only painted fire, a look is the fire itself. She gave that look, and carried it away to the treasury of heaven, where all things that are divine belong.”
Mark Twain, A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court
“Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things can not be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one's lifetime.”
Mark Twain, The Innocents Abroad
“whenever the literary german dives into a sentence, this is the last you are going to see of him till he emerges on the other side of his atlantic with his verb in his mouth.”
Mark Twain, A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court
“You can't throw too much style into a miracle.”
Mark Twain, A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court
“His head was an hour-glass; it could stow an idea, but it had to do it a grain at a time, not the whole idea at once.”
Mark Twain, A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court
“People talk about beautiful relationships between two persons of the same sex. What is the best of that sort as compared with the friendship of man and wife where the best impulses and highest ideals of both are the same? There is no place for comparison between the two friendships; the one is earthly, the other divine.”
Mark Twain, A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court
“How empty is theory in the presence of fact!”
Mark Twain, A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court
“Intellectual 'work' is misnamed; it is a pleasure, a dissipation, and is its own highest reward. The poorest paid architect, engineer, general, author, sculptor, painter, lecturer, advocate, legislator, actor, preacher, singer, is constructively in heaven when he is at work; and as for the magician with the fiddle-bow in his hand, who sits in the midst of a great orchestra with the ebbing and flowing tides of divine sound washing over him - why, certainly he is at work, if you wish to call it that, but lord, it's a sarcasm just the same. The law of work does seem utterly unfair - but there it is, and nothing can change it: the higher the pay in enjoyment the worker gets out of it, the higher shall be his pay in cash also.”
Mark Twain, A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court
tags: work
“I was gradually coming to have a mysterious and shuddery reverence for this girl; nowadays whenever she pulled out from the station and got her train fairly started on one of those horizonless transcontinental sentences of hers, it was borne in upon me that I was standing in the awful presence of the Mother of the German Language. I was so impressed with this, that sometimes when she began to empty one of these sentences on me I unconsciously took the very attitude of reverence, and stood uncovered; and if words had been water, I had been drowned, sure. She had exactly the German way; whatever was in her mind to be delivered, whether a mere remark, or a sermon, or a cyclopedia, or the history of a war, she would get it into a single sentence or die. Whenever the literary German dives into a sentence, that is the last you are going to see of him till he emerges on the other side of his Atlantic with his verb in his mouth.”
Mark Twain, A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court
“The fact is, the king was a good deal more than a king, he was a man; and when a man is a man, you can't knock it out of him.”
Mark Twain, A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court
“But it is a blessed provision of nature that at times like these, as soon as a man's mercury has got down to a certain point there comes a revulsion, and he rallies. Hope springs up, and cheerfulness along with it, and then he is in good shape to do something for himself, if anything can be done.”
Mark Twain, A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court
“We must have a religion — it goes without saying — but my idea is, to have it cut up into forty free sects, so that they will police each other, as had been the case in the United States in my time. Concentration of power in a political machine is bad; and and an Established Church is only a political machine; it was invented for that; it is nursed, cradled, preserved for that; it is an enemy to human liberty, and does no good which it could not better do in a split-up and scattered condition. That wasn’t law; it wasn’t gospel: it was only an opinion — my opinion, and I was only a man, one man: so it wasn’t worth any more than the pope’s — or any less, for that matter.”
Mark Twain, A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court
“But that is the way we are made: we don't reason, where we feel; we just feel.”
Mark Twain, A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court
“Schoolboy days are no happier than the days of afterlife, but we look back upon them regretfully because we have forgotten our punishments at school and how we grieved when our marbles were lost and our kites destroyed – because we have forgotten all the sorrows and privations of the canonized ethic and remember only its orchard robberies, its wooden-sword pageants, and its fishing holidays.”
Mark Twain, The Innocents Abroad
“Human nature appears to be just the same, all over the world”
Mark Twain, The Innocents Abroad
“Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts.”
Mark Twain, The Innocents Abroad
“Bridgeport?" Said I.
"Camelot," Said he.”
Mark Twain, A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court
“The only man who behaved sensibly was my tailor; he took my measurement anew every time he saw me, while all the rest went on with their old measurements and expected them to fit me.”
Mark Twain, A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court
“Unlimited power is the ideal thing when it is in safe hands. The despotism of heaven is the one absolutely perfect government, and earthly despotism would be the absolute perfect earthly government if the conditions were the same; namely the despot the perfectest individual of the human race, and his lease of life perpetual; but as a perishable, perfect man must die and leave his despotism in the hands of an imperfect successor, an earthly despotism is not merely a bad form of government, it is the worst form that is possible.”
Mark Twain, A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court
“But as soon as one is at rest in this world off he goes on something else to worry about.”
Mark Twain, A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court
“Their very imagination was dead. When you can say that of a man he has struck bottom... there is no lower deep for him.”
Mark Twain, A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court
“Training- training is everything; training is all there is to a person. We speak of nature; it is folly; there is no such thing as nature; what we call by that misleading name is merely heredity and training. We have no thoughts of our own, no opinions of our own; they are transmitted to us, trained into us.”
Mark Twain, A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court
“I persuaded him to throw the dirk away; and it was as easy as persuading a child to give up some bright fresh new way of killing itself.”
Mark Twain, A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court
“There was a slight noise from the direction of the dim corner where the ladder was. It was the king descending. I could see that he was bearing something in one arm, and assisting himself with the other. He came forward into the light; upon his breast lay a slender girl of fifteen. She was but half conscious; she was dying of smallpox. Here was heroism at its last and loftiest possibility, its utmost summit; this was challenging death in the open field unarmed, with all the odds against the challenger, no reward set upon the contest, and no admiring world in silks and cloth of gold to gaze and applaud; and yet the king’s bearing was as serenely brave as it had always been in those cheaper contests where knight meets knight in equal fight and clothed in protecting steel. He was great now; sublimely great. The rude statues of his ancestors in his palace should have an addition—I would see to that; and it would not be a mailed king killing a giant or a dragon, like the rest, it would be a king in commoner’s garb bearing death in his arms that a peasant mother might look her last upon her child and be comforted.”
Mark Twain, A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court
“Mosques are plenty, churches are plenty, graveyards are plenty, but morals and whiskey are scarce. The Koran does not permit Mohammedans to drink. Their natural instincts do not permit them to be moral. They say the Sultan has eight hundred wives. This almost amounts to bigamy. It makes our cheeks burn with shame to see such a thing permitted here in Turkey. We do not mind it so much in Salt Lake, however.”
Mark Twain, The Innocents Abroad
“You see, he was going for the Holy Grail. The boys all took a flier at the Holy Grail now and then. It was a several years' cruise. They always put in the long absence snooping around, in the most conscientious way, though none of them had any idea where the Holy Grail really was, and I don't think any of them actually expected to find it, or would have known what to do with it if he had run across it.”
Mark Twain, A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court

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