Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Twain

Amusing:

"Speaking of concentration, Dr. Herzl has a clear insight into the value of that. Have you heard of his plan? He wishes to gather the Jews of the world together in Palestine, with a government of their own -- under the suzerainty of the Sultan, I suppose. At the convention of Berne, last year, there were delegates from everywhere, and the proposal was received with decided favor. I am not the Sultan, and I am not objecting; but if that concentration of the cunningest brains in the world was going to be made in a free country (bar Scotland), I think it would be politic to stop it. It will not be well to let that race find out its strength. If the horses knew theirs, we should not ride any more."

Ironic:

"Will the persecution of the Jews ever come to an end?"
On the score of religion, I think it has already come to an end. On the score of race prejudice and trade, I have the idea that it will continue. That is, here and there in spots about the world, where a barbarous ignorance and a sort of mere animal civilization prevail; but I do not think that elsewhere the Jew need now stand in any fear of being robbed and raided. Among the high civilizations he seems to be very comfortably situated indeed, and to have more than his proportionate share of the prosperities going. It has that look in Vienna. I suppose the race prejudice cannot be removed; but he can stand that; it is no particular matter."


Profound:

"If the statistics are right, the Jews constitute but one percent of the human race. It suggests a nebulous dim puff of star dust lost in the blaze of the Milky Way. Properly the Jew ought hardly to be heard of; but he is heard of, has always been heard of. He is as prominent on the planet as any other people, and his commercial importance is extravagantly out of proportion to the smallness of his bulk. His contributions to the world`s list of great names in literature, science, art, music, finance, medicine, and abstruse learning are also away out of proportion to the weakness of his numbers. He has made a marvelous fight in this world, in all the ages; and has done it with his hands tied behind him. He could be vain of himself, and be excused for it. The Egyptian, the Babylonian, and the Persian rose, filled the planet with sound and splendor, then faded to dream-stuff and passed away; the Greek and the Roman followed, and made a vast noise, and they are gone; other peoples have sprung up and held their torch high for a time, but it burned out, and they sit in twilight now, or have vanished. The Jew saw them all, beat them all, and is now what he always was, exhibiting no decadence, no infirmities of age, no weakening of his parts, no slowing of his energies, no dulling of his alert and aggressive mind. All things are mortal but the Jew; all other forces pass, but he remains. What is the secret of his immortality?"

-All from "Concerning the Jews"



Relevant:

"I will set down a tale as it was told to me by one who had it of his father, which latter had it of his father, this last having in like manner had it of his father- and so on, back and still back, three hundred years and more, the fathers transmitting it to the sons and so preserving it. It may be history, it may be only legend, a tradition. It may have happened, it may not have happened: but it could have happened. It may be that the wise and the learned believed it in the old days; it may be that only the unlearned and the simple loved it and credited it."

- Intro,"The Prince and the Pauper"

7 comments:

FedUp said...

Mark Twain is one of my favorites. He has such a way of putting things.

A couple of my own additions

Irreverence is the champion of liberty and its only sure defense.
-- Mark Twain,

Man has been here 32,000 years. That it took a hundred million years to prepare the world for him is proof that that is what it was done for. I suppose it is. I dunno. If the Eiffel tower were now representing the world's age, the skin of paint on the pinnacle-knob at its summit would represent man's share of that age; & anybody would perceive that that skin was what the tower was built for. I reckon they would. I dunno.
-- Mark Twain, "Was the World Made for Man?"

Man is a marvelous curiosity … he thinks he is the Creator's pet … he even believes the Creator loves him; has a passion for him; sits up nights to admire him; yes and watch over him and keep him out of trouble. He prays to him and thinks He listens. Isn't it a quaint idea.
-- Mark Twain:

alex said...

Some other nice Twain quotes can be found here:
http://www.twainquotes.com/Jews.html

Jewish Sceptic said...

I have those three quotes printed out and hung up on my bedroom wall. They're nice "feel-good" quotes when the world has gone mad and Jihad is the word of the day.

alex said...

Kiruv groups often use the Twain paragraph that ends with "What is the secret of his immortality?"
But I've finally read the whole paper from which that is an excerpt. It's very interesting:
http://www.aish.com/jewishissues/jewishsociety/
Concerning_the_Jews0.asp

Orthoprax said...

Alex,

Yes, I know. I was reading it when I lifted several quotes from it for this post.

aoc gold said...

What Does Little Birdie Say?

(1)

What does little birdie say,
In her nest at peep of day?
Let me fly, says little birdie,
Mother, let me fly away,
Birdie, rest a little longer,

Till the little wings are stronger.

So she rests a little longer,

Then she flies away.

(2)

What does little baby say,
In her bed at peep of day?

Baby says, like little birdie,

Let me rise and fly away.

Baby, sleep a little longer,

Till the little limbs are stronger.

If she sleeps a little longer,

Baby too shall fly away.

-----by runescape gold

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