Saturday, May 17, 2014

An Idiot of the 33rd Degree

When it comes to being an aggressive writer, I am a lightweight compared to Mark Twain. He once wrote to the author of a snake oil drug advertisement that he received in the mail:

The person who wrote the advertisements is without doubt the most ignorant person now alive on the planet; it is also without doubt he is an idiot, an idiot of the 33rd degree, and scion of an ancestral procession of idiots stretching back to the Missing Link...

A few moments from now my resentment will have faded and passed and I shall probably even be praying for you; but while there is yet time I hasten to wish that you may take a dose of your own poison by mistake, and enter swiftly into the damnation which you and all other patent medicine assassins have so  remorselessly earned and do so richly deserve.

Adieu, adieu, adieu!

Mark Twain

(From Letters of Note: An Eclectic Collection of Correspondence Deserving of a Wider Audience)