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Directory of Mark Twain's maxims, quotations, and various opinions:

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NOBILITY



Supplement from the THE GRAPHIC, July 13, 1907. Dr. Samuel Clemens. Drawn by Percy Frederick Seaton Spence (1868-1933) at a sitting specially granted to "The Graphic." From the Dave Thomson collection. According to Thomson, "This is one of the strangest likenesses I've ever seen of Twain done from life. It seems exaggerated and inaccurate at the same time with the piled up pompadour, high forehead, 'split' eyebrows and mustachios which appear to turn up on the ends as opposed to Twain's which sort of drooped. I think this stylization is a result of the sensibility of the artist Spence, who was probably used to depicting political figures. The subject looks more like a British statesman than a Yankee man of letters. If it hadn't been captioned I'd probably have guessed it to be another misidentified 'look-a-like.'"

 

 

I out-natived the natives themselves, and felt and spoke and acted like those girls of ours who marry nobilities and lose their democracy the first week and their American accent the next ...
- "Three Thousand Years among the Microbes"


A monarch when good is entitled to the consideration which we accord to a pirate who keeps Sunday School between crimes; when bad he is entitled to none at all. But if you cross a king with a prostitute the resulting mongrel perfectly satisfies the English idea of nobility.
- Mark Twain's Notebook

Essentially, nobilities are foolishness, but if I were a citizen where they prevail I would do my best to get a title, for the consideration it furnishes -- that is what we want. In Republics we strive for it with the surest means we have -- money.
- Mark Twain's Notebook #40, (Jan. 1897-July 1900)

Twain with his crown
Photo courtesy of Dave Thomson


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