|| Nature knows no indecencies; man invents
- Mark Twain's Notebook
How blind and unreasoning and arbitrary are some of the laws of nature -- most of them in fact!
- "A Double-Barrelled Detective Story"
Nature makes the locust with an appetite for crops; man would have made him with an appetite for sand -- I mean a man with the least little bit of common sense.
- Following the Equator, Pudd'nhead Wilson's New Calendar
Architects cannot teach nature anything.
- "Memorable Midnight Experience"
It is strange and fine -- Nature's lavish generosities to her creatures. At
least to all of them except man. For those that fly she has provided a home
that is nobly spacious -- a home which is forty miles deep and envelopes the
whole globe, and has not an obstruction in it. For those that swim she has provided
a more than imperial domain -- a domain which is miles deep and covers four-fifths
of the globe. But as for man, she has cut him off with the mere odds and ends
of the creation. She has given him the thin skin, the meager skin which is stretched
over the remaining one-fifth -- the naked bones stick up through it in most
places. On the one-half of this domain he can raise snow, ice, sand, rocks,
and nothing else. So the valuable part of his inheritance really consists of
but a single fifth of the family estate; and out of it he has to grub hard to
get enough to keep him alive and provide kings and soldiers and powder to extend
the blessings of civilization with. Yet, man, in his simplicity and complacency
and inability to cipher, thinks Nature regards him as the important member of
the family -- in fact, her favorite. Surely, it must occur to even his dull
head, sometimes, that she has a curious way of showing it.
- Following the Equator
The laws of Nature take precedence of all human laws. The purpose of all human
laws is one -- to defeat the laws of Nature. This is the case among all the
nations, both civilized and savage. It is a grotesquerie, but when the human
race is not grotesque it is because it is asleep and losing its opportunity.
- Autobiography of Mark Twain, Vol. 2 (2013), p. 127. Dictated 18 June 1906.
Nature's attitude toward all life is profoundly vicious, treacherous &
- Mark Twain's notebook, no. 34. Quoted in Mark Twain Among the Indians and Other Indigenous Peoples (University of California Press, 2018).
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