Mark Twain Trail Quote of the Day – Friday – February 12, 2021


Mark Twain Letter To His Mother Jane Lampton Clemens and Family as Twain prepared to sail on ship Quaker City to Europe and Middle East which is the trip he wrote the book Innocents Abroad about >

“Jane Lampton Clemens and Family
1 June 1867 • New York, N.Y.

Westminster Hotel,
New York, June 1.

Dear Folks—

I know I ought to write oftener (just got your last,) & more fully, but I can not overcome my repugnance to telling what I am doing or what I expect to do or propose to do. Then, what have I left to write about? Manifestly nothing.

It isn’t any use for me to talk about the voyage, because I can have no faith in that voyage or any other voyage till the ship [ un ]is under way. How do I know she will ever sail? I My passage is paid, & if the ship sails, I sail in her—but I make no calculations, have bought no cigars, no sea-going clothing,—have made no preparation whatever—shall not pack my trunk till the morning we sail. Yet my hands are full of what I am going to do the day before we sail—& what isn’t done that day will go undone.1

All I do know or feel, is, that I am wild with impatience to move—move—Move! Half a dozen times I have wished I had sailed long ago in some ship that wasn’t going to keep me chained here to chafe for lagging ages while she got ready to go. Curse the endless delays! They always kill me—they make me neglect every duty & then I have a conscience that tears me like a wild beast. I wish I never had to stop anywhere a month. I do more mean things, the moment I get a chance to fold my hands & sit down than ever I can get forgiveness for.”

Link to above Mark Twain Letter at the Mark Twain Project