~Mark Twain, in Eruption
"There are several kinds of stories, but only one difficult kind—the humorous. I will talk mainly about that one. The humorous story is American, the comic story is English, the witty story is French. The humorous story depends for its effect upon the manner of the telling; the comic story and the witty story upon the matter."The humorous story is strictly a work of art—high and delicate art—and only an artist can tell it; but no art is necessary in telling the comic and the witty story; anybody can do it. The art of telling a humorous story—understand, I mean by word of mouth, not print—was created in America, and has remained at home."The humorous story is told gravely; the teller does his best to conceal the fact that he even dimly suspects that there is anything funny about it; but the teller of the comic story tells you beforehand that it is one of the funniest things he has ever heard, then tells it with eager delight, and is the first person to laugh when he gets through. And sometimes, if he has had good success, he is so glad and happy that he will repeat the 'nub' of it and glance around from face to face, collecting applause, and then repeat it again. It is a pathetic thing to see." ~Mark Twain, 1895 essay How to Tell a Story
"I have been an author for 20 years and an ass for 55." ~Mark Twain, fragment of a letter, 1891, to unknown person
"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." ~Mark Twain, Pudd'nhead Wilson
"Concerning the difference between man and the jackass: some observers hold that there isn't any. But this wrongs the jackass." ~Mark Twain, Notebook, 1898
"It is no harm to be an ass, if one is content to bray and not kick." ~Mark Twain,
Personal Recollections of Joan of Arc
"Of all the animals, man is the only one that is cruel. He is the only one
that inflicts pain for the pleasure of doing it."
~Mark Twain, The Lowest Animal
"The calamity that comes is never the one we had prepared ourselves for."
~Mark Twain, Letter to Olivia Clemens, August 16, 1896
"Comedy keeps the heart sweet... " ~Mark Twain, About Play-Acting
http://www.twainquotes.com/Bradley/PhysicalCulture.html ... such an interesting individual ...