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Michael A. Guy

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the Wit & Widsom of: installment No. 2
by Michael A. Guy   
Not "rated" by the Author.
Last edited: Sunday, December 02, 2007
Posted: Sunday, December 02, 2007

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another series of quotes from my fall reading of classic writers... plus just one from myself (as quoted in my novel)

The Wit & Wisdom of… installment# 2


Another round of Mark Twain as I am reading, “Following the Equator” this fall and he has so much to say that is witty and still apropos to the present; this time, the ever-present contradictions in politics and religion – still so true – and a little on youth & aging.

And yes, I suppose his work is considered “classic” but I’m taking the exception to the rule:


“Classic.” A book which people praise and don’t read.

                                    -Pudd’nhead Wilson’s New Calendar.


By trying we can easily learn to endure adversity. Another man’s, I mean.                          -Pudd’nhead Wilson’s New Calendar.


Few of us can stand prosperity. Another man’s, I mean.

                                    -Pudd’nhead Wilson’s New Calendar.


Grief can take care of itself; but to get the full value of a joy you must have somebody to divide it with.          Following the Equator


Prosperity is the best protector of principle.

                                                            Following the Equator


Politics & History


My kind of loyalty was loyalty to one’s country, not its institutions or its office-holders.

                        A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court


This atrocious doctrine of allegiance to party plays directly into the hands of politicians of the baser sort – and doubtless for that it was borrowed- or stolen—from the monarchical system.

                                                            “Consistency” (speech)


The radical of one century is the conservative of the next. The radical invents the views; when he has worn them out the conservative adopts them.



The very ink with which all history is written is merely fluid prejudice.

                                                                        Following the Equator


It could probably be shown by facts and figures that there is no distinctly native American criminal class except Congress.

                                                                        Following the Equator




If a man doesn’t believe as we do, we say he is a crank, and that settles it. I mean it does nowadays, because now we can’t burn him.

                                                                        Following the Equator


There has been only one true Christian. They caught and crucified him—early.                                                                    Notebook


Man is the only animal that has the True Religion—several of them.

                                                                        “The Lowest Animal”


…tyrannical, murderous, and morally rotten as they [the nobility] were, they were deeply and enthusiastically religious.

                                    A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court


The Church has opposed every innovation and discovery from the day of Galileo down to our own time, when the use of Anesthetics in childbirth was regarded as a sin because it avoided the biblical curse pronounced against Eve.                       Mark Twain: A Biography, Albert Bigelow Paine


[The preacher] ever charged nothing for his preaching, and it was worth it too.

                                                            Adventures of Huckleberry Finn


True irreverence is disrespect for another man’s god.         Notebook


Eternal Rest sounds comforting from the pulpit… Well, you try it once, and see how heavy time will hang on your hands.

                                    Captain Stormfield’s Visit to Heaven”


When I reflect upon the number of disagreeable people who I know have gone to a better world. I am moved to lead a different life.

                                                                        -Pudd’nhead Wilson


When I was a boy of fourteen, my father was so ignorant I could hardly stand to have the old man around. But when I got to be twenty-one, I was astonished at how much he had learned in seven years!


Wrinkles should merely indicate where smiles have been.

                                                                        Following the Equator

Whoever has lived long enough to find out what life is, knows how deep a debt of gratitude we owe to Adam, the first great benefactor of our race. He brought death into the world.                 -Pudd’nhead Wilson


All say: “How hard it is that we have to die” – a strange complaint to come form the mouths of people who have had to live.

                                                                        -Pudd’nhead Wilson


‘You expect too much from this world, Henry. Perfection and immortality are only found in the next life.’ Raising his finger, he admonished me:

“Fear no hell, desire no heaven.”

            Michael Guy, Chapter one, “The Last Renaissance Man”


On that note, have a safe and happy Holidays. I will get on with the new “classic” writer in my next installment, probably next year. Perhaps I should have saved some of the political quotes for 2008 or we may need an encore of Samuel Clemmons’ wisdom to get us through!

Happy Holidays, Michael Guy















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Reviewed by Regis Auffray 3/2/2008
Thank you for sharing these "gems," Michael. Love and peace,

Reviewed by Ronald Hull 12/9/2007
Clemens was a hoot. I admire him for his humor and incite. An old girlfriend told me he was also erotic.

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