"There is nothing here [Civita Vecchia] to see. They have not even a cathedral, with eleven tons of solid silver archbishops in the back room; and they do not show you any moldy buildings that are seven thousand years old; nor any smoke-dried old fire-screens which are chef d'oeuvres of Rubens or Simpson, or Titian or Ferguson, or any of those parties; and they haven't any bottled fragments of saints, and not even a nail from the true cross. We are going to Rome. There is nothing to see here."
"It was a comfort in those succeeding days to sit up and contemplate the majestic panorama of mountains and valleys spread out below us and eat ham and hard boiled eggs while our spiritual natures reveled alternately in rainbows, thunderstorms, and peerless sunsets. Nothing helps scenery like ham and eggs."
"[Man] has imagined a heaven, and has left entirely out of it the supremest of all his delights, the one ecstasy that stands first and foremost in the heart of every individual of his race--and ours--sexual intercourse! It is as if a lost and perishing person in a roasting desert should be told by a rescuer he might choose and have all longed for things but one, and he should elect to leave out water!"
"The law of God, as quite plainly expressed in woman's construction, is this: There shall be no limit put upon your intercourse with the other sex sexually, at any time of life.... During twenty-three days in every month (in the absence of pregnancy) from the time a woman is seven years old till she dies of old age, she is ready for action, and competent. As competent as the candlestick is to receive the candle. Competent every day, competent every night. Also, she wants that candle--yearns for it, longs for it, hankers after it, as commanded by the law of God in her heart."
"Well, I had gone and spoiled it again, made another mistake. A double one in fact. There were plenty of ways to get rid of that officer by some simple and plausible device, but no, I must pick out a picturesque one; it is the crying defect of my character."
"Near by is an interesting ruin--the meagre remains of an ancient heathen temple--a place where human sacrifices were offered up in those old bygone days when the simple child of nature, yielding momentarily to sin when sorely tempted, acknowledged his error when calm reflection had shown it to him, and came forward with noble frankness and offered up his grandmother as an atoning sacrifice--in those old days when the luckless sinner could keep on cleansing his conscience and achieving periodical happiness as long as his relations held out."
"But that's always the way; it don't make no difference whether you do right or wrong, a person's conscience ain't got no sense, and just goes for him anyway.... It takes up more room than all the rest of a person's insides, and yet ain't no good, nohow. Tom Sawyer thinks the same."
"I thought a minute, and says to myself, hold on,--s'pose you'd a done right and give Jim up; would you felt better than what you do now? No, says I, I'd feel bad--I'd feel just the same way I do now. Well, then, says I, what's the use you learning to do right, when it's troublesome to do right and ain't no trouble to do wrong, and the wages is just the same?"
"It don't make no difference whether you do right or wrong, a person's conscience ain't got no sense, and just goes for him anyway. If I had a yaller dog that didn't know no more than a person's conscience does, I would pison him."
"We should be careful to get out of an experience only the wisdom that is in it--and stop there; lest we be like the cat that sitsdown on a hot stove-lid. She will never sit down on a hot stove-lid again--and that is well; but also she will never sit down on a cold one anymore."
"It was only just words, words,--they meant nothing in the world to him, I might just as well have whistled. Words realize nothing,vivify nothing to you, unless you have suffered in your own person the thing which the words try to describe."
"As by the fires of experience, so by commission of crime, you learn real morals. Commit all the crimes, familiarize yourself withall sins, take them in rotation (there are only two or three thousand of them), stick to it, commit two or three every day, and by-and-by you will be proof against them. When you are through you will be proof against all sins and morally perfect. You will be vaccinated against every possible commission of them. This is the only way."
"There is no character, howsoever good and fine, but it can be destroyed by ridicule, howsoever poor and witless. Observe the ass,for instance: his character is about perfect, he is the choicest spirit among all the humbler animals, yet see what ridicule has brought him to. Instead of feeling complimented when we are called an ass, we are left in doubt."