Mark Twain – his mother’s love and interest in people

Jane Clemens - Mark Twain's mother

“She had a slender, small body but a large heart – a heart so large that everybody’s grief and everybody’s joys found welcome in it and hospitable accommodation. The greatest difference which I find between her and the rest of the people whom I have known is this, and it is a remarkable one: those others felt a strong interest in a few things, whereas to the very day of her death she felt a strong interest in the whole world and everything and everybody in it. In all her lifeĀ she never knew such a thing as a half-hearted interest in affairs and people, or an interest which drew a line and left out certain affairs and was indifferent to certain people. The invalid who takes a strenuous and indestructible interest in everything and everybody but himself, and to whom a dull moment is an unknown thing and an impossibility, is a formidable adversary for disease and a hard invalid to vanquish. I am certain that it was this feature of my mother’s make-up that carried her so far toward ninety.”

– Mark Twain

Notes

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“Mark Twain – his mother’s love and interest in people” sources:

  • Twain, Mark and Charles Neider. The Autobiography of Mark Twain. 1st Harper Perennial ed. New York, Harper Collins Publishers, 2000.