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Happy 2013, From Mark Twain

January 2, 2013 | by

“Now is the accepted time to make your regular annual good resolutions. Next week you can begin paving hell with them as usual. Yesterday, everybody smoked his last cigar, took his last drink, and swore his last oath. Today, we are a pious and exemplary community. Thirty days from now, we shall have cast our reformation to the winds and gone to cutting our ancient shortcomings considerably shorter than ever. We shall also reflect pleasantly upon how we did the same old thing last year about this time. However, go in, community. New Year’s is a harmless annual institution, of no particular use to anybody save as a scapegoat for promiscuous drunks, and friendly calls, and humbug resolutions, and we wish you to enjoy it with a looseness suited to the greatness of the occasion.”

—Mark Twain, letter to Virginia City Territorial Enterprise, January 1863



  1. Lyttleton | January 2, 2013 at 12:47 pm

    How is it possible that Mark Twain had a perfect quote or quip for every occasion? Truly one of America’s greatest treasures.

  2. S. Tremaine Nelson | January 2, 2013 at 5:25 pm

    Another timely Twain quote: “Reader, suppose you were an idiot. And suppose you were a member of Congress. Ah, but I repeat myself.”

3 Pingbacks

  1. […] Read the rest of Twain’s musings on the Paris Review blog. […]

  2. […] A letter from Mark Twain to Virginia City Territorial Enterprise, January 1863. […]

  3. […] A letter from Mark Twain to Virginia City Territorial Enterprise, January 1863. ( via […]

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