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Janice McIntire-Strasburg <[log in to unmask]>
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Mark Twain Forum <[log in to unmask]>
Tue, 6 Apr 1999 10:05:41 -0500
TEXT/PLAIN (30 lines)
Dear John,
        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.
        Jan McIntire-Strasburg

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