Mark Twain’s Speeches

Author: Mark Twain  | Date: 1906




If I were to sell the reader a barrel of molasses, and he, instead of sweetening his substantial dinner with the same at judicious intervals, should eat the entire barrel at one sitting, and then abuse me for making him sick, I would say that he deserved to be made sick for not knowing any better how to utilize the blessings this world affords. And if I sell to the reader this volume of nonsense, and he, instead of seasoning his graver reading with a chapter of it now and then, when his mind demands such relaxation, unwisely overdoses himself with several chapters of it at a single sitting, he will deserve to be nauseated, and he will have nobody to blame but himself if he is. There is no more sin in publishing an entire volume of nonsense than there is in keeping a candy-store with no hardware in it. It lies wholly with the customer whether he will injure himself by means of either, or will derive from them the benefits which they will afford him if he uses their possibilities judiciously.

Respectfully submitted,


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Chicago: Mark Twain, Mark Twain’s Speeches Original Sources, accessed July 15, 2024,

MLA: Twain, Mark. Mark Twain’s Speeches, Original Sources. 15 Jul. 2024.

Harvard: Twain, M, Mark Twain’s Speeches. Original Sources, retrieved 15 July 2024, from