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Everything I Ever Needed To Know I Learned From Tom Sawyer – Mark Twain – Part 1


If he had been a great and wise philosopher, like the writer of this book, he would now have comprehended that work consists of whatever a body is obliged to do and that play consists of whatever a body is not obliged to do. *** Knowledge is worth more than anything there is in the world; it’s what makes great men and good men. *** There was once a church choir that was not ill bred, but I have forgotten where it was, now. It was a great many years ago and I can scarcely remember anything about it, but I think it was in some foreign country.*** Often, the less there is to justify a traditional custom the harder it is to get rid of it. *** There was some satisfaction about divine service when there was a bit of variety in it. *** All trials bring their compensations. *** Tom knew that when his name was pronounced in full, it meant trouble. *** Church ain’t shucks to a circus. *** The elastic heart of youth cannot be compressed into one constrained shape long at a time. ***  Frivolity and jokes and spotted tights were an offense, when they intruded themselves upon a spirit that was exalted into the vague august realm of the romantic. *** They said they would rather be outlaws a year in Sherwood Forest then President of the United States forever. *** The public are not slow in the matter of sifting evidence and arriving at a verdict. *** She never observed that her health journals of the current month customarily upset everything they had recommended the month before. ***  She was as simple hearted and honest as the day was long and so she was an easy victim. *** A pirate don’t have to do anything, Joe, when he’s ashore, but a hermit he has to be praying considerable, and then he don’t have any fun, anyway, all by himself that way. People don’t go much on hermits, nowadays, like they used to in old times, but a pirate’s always respected. And a hermit’s got to sleep on the hardest place he can find and put sackcloth and ashes on his head and stand out in the rain. *** They began to feel a vague fear that they had been doing wrong to run away; and next they thought of the stolen meat, and then the real torture came. They tried to argue it away by reminding conscience that they had purloined sweetmeats and apples scores of times; but conscience was not to be appeased by such thin plausibilities; it seemed to them, in the end, that there was no getting around the stubborn fact that taking sweetmeats was only “hooking,” while taking bacon and hams and such valuable was plain simple stealing – and there was a command against that in the Bible. So they inwardly resolved that so long as they remained in the business, their piracies should not again be sullied with the crime of stealing, Then conscience granted a truce, and the curiously inconsistent pirates fell peacefully to sleep. *** The quicker a fish is on the fire after he is caught the better he is. *** An ignorant lump of bread, uninstructed by incantation, could not be expected to act very intelligently when sent upon an errand of such gravity. *** It was a gory day. Consequently it was an extremely satisfactory one. *** Let us draw the curtain of charity over the rest of the scene. 

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May 2007
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