By the way, in my letter to you, speaking of Hay, I said The presence
of such a man in politics is like a vase of attar of roses in a glue-factory
-- it cant extinguish the stink, but it modifies it.
- Letter to William Dean Howells, 27 October 1879
He has been the historian of Mr. Lincoln, and his book will never perish; he
has been Ambassador, brilliant orator, competent and admirable Secretary of
State, and would be President next year if we were a properly honest and grateful
nation instead of an ungrateful one, a nation which has usually not been willing
to have a chief magistrate of gold when it could get one of tin.
- Autobiography of Mark Twain, Vol. 1 (University of California Press, 2010), dictated 31 January 1904
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