What a fine thing it is to have an intellect, and room enough in the
seat of your breeches to hold it.
A man's brain (intellect) is stored powder; it cannot be touched itself
off; the fire must come from the outside.
Portrait from the Dave Thomson collection.
[Man] He has just one stupendous superiority. In his intellect he is supreme.
The Higher Animals cannot touch him there. It is curious, it is noteworthy,
that no heaven has ever been offered him wherein his one sole superiority was
provided with a chance to enjoy itself. Even when he himself has imagined a
heaven, he has never made provision in it for intellectual joys. It is a striking
omission. It seems a tacit confession that heavens are provided for the Higher
Animals alone. This is matter for thought; and for serious thought. And it is
full of a grim suggestion: that we are not as important, perhaps as we had all
along supposed we were.
- "The Lowest Animal"
Moralless man, bloody and atrocious man, is high above the other animals in
his one great and shining gift -- intellectuality. ... In physical talents he
was a pauper when he started; by grace of his intellect his is incomparably
the richest of all the animals now. But he is still a pauper in morals -- incomparably
the poorest of the creatures in that respect. The gods value morals alone; they
have paid no compliments to intellect, not offered it a single reward. If intellect
is welcome anywhere in the other world, it is in hell, not heaven.
- "Reflections on a Letter and a Book," Autobiography of Mark Twain (University of California Press, 2010)
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