Mark Twain on Travel


Mr. P recently read Mark Twain’s The Innocents Abroad, which is a bunch of his travel musings from a trip with his friends to Europe and the Holy Land.  He read so many gems to me that I had him bookmark them so I could share them with you.

On regaling your friends with stories when you come home:  We wish to excite the envy of our untraveled friends with our strange foreign fashions which we can’t shake off . . . The gentle reader will never, never know what a consummate ass he can become, until he goes abroad.

On tour guides:  If they would only show you a masterpiece of art, or a venerable tomb, or a prison-house, or a battle-field, hallowed by touching memories or historical reminiscences, or grand traditions, and then step aside and hold still for ten minutes and let you think, it would not be so bad.  But they interrupt every dream, every pleasant train of thought, with their tiresome cackling.  Sometimes when I have been standing before some cherished old idol of mine that I remembered years and years ago in pictures in the geography at school, I have thought I would give a whole world if the human parrot at my side would suddenly perish where he stood and leave me to gaze, and ponder, and worship.

On observing the way of life in Europe:  In America, we hurry–which is well; but when the day’s work is done, we go on thinking of losses and gains, we plan for the morrow, we even carry our business cares to bed with us . . . I do envy these Europeans the comfort they take.  When the day of work is done, they forget it.

On visiting churches:  I have not been to church so often in a long time as I have in the last few weeks.  The people in these old lands seem to make churches their specialty.

Have a lovely weekend!


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