Poster from Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division
The people who go into ecstasies over St. Sophia must surely get them out of
the guide-book (where every church is spoken of as being "considered by
good judges to be the most marvelous structure, in many respects, that the world
has ever seen"). Or else they are those old connoisseurs from the wilds
of New Jersey who laboriously learn the difference between a fresco and a fire-plug,
and from that day forward feel privileged to void their critical bathos on painting,
sculpture, and architecture forevermore.
- The Innocents Abroad
Ten or twelve years ago I was surprised and shocked to receive from England
-- from the Internal Revenue Office -- a tax-bill of £48 -- an income-tax
bill, levied on my English copyrights. I was shocked, but it was not all shock.
I was flattered as well as shocked; flattered to be formally taken notice of
by a foreign government. It seemed to kind of introduce me into the family of
nations; seemed -- well, it seemed to sort of recognize me as one of the Friendly
Powers -- not on a large scale, of course -- not like Russia and China and those,
but on a -- well, on a secondary scale -- New Jersey.
- "Frank Fuller and My First New York Lecture," first published in 2009 in Who Is Mark Twain?
Also see quote on Sinners at Large
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