I don't have my books with me in the office, but Twain says
something like this at the end of Letters from the Earth, I believe. I
will try to remember to check later today.
On Sun, 4 Apr 1999, john sitter wrote:
> Dear Twainians,
> I'm trying to remember where I read a joke--well, a humorous story,
> anyway--so that I can quote and cite it properly.
> It's a variation on the world-as-vale-of-tears theme, and the general
> situation is that a preacher (rabbi? somebody's grandfather?) is
> declaiming something like so: "Oh, what a world of woe. Happiness is
> uncertain, misery certain. Lucky is he who passes from it quickly.
> Luckiest of all not to be born at all. But to whom is such good fortune
> granted? --Scarcely one in a thousand."
> A lugubrious enough joke, but, with that careful attempt at accuracy,
> one of my favorite punchlines. Is it from somewhere in Twain?
> With thanks for any help,
> John Sitter
> English Dept., Emory University